The first two stages of life, that of student and householder, are for doing. The second two stages of life, that of hermit and renunciant, are for undoing. Adapted for the Western mind, per T.S. Eliot, we advance for a while and then we retreat, arriving where we started from and knowing the place for the first time.
When bad things happen, good men relax. This is not a superficial movement.
Simplify, reduce, subtract, detach. As Arsenio Hall used to say, “Let’s get busy!”
Are we human sticky buns, glue-meisters clinging to persons, possessions and relationships? Trouble that way lies. Not that persons, possessions and relationships are inherently troublesome. Not at all. But stickiness? That’s the devil.
What happens when the man who has not found himself tries to change himself? Not much, frankly. The new man is not the old man refurbished and improved. He’s the old man dropped.