Another of Werner’s aphorisms that I particularly liked was this: Want it to be the way it is. Like the others, it sounds simple on its face. It’s a kind of anti-prayer. Instead of wanting god to change things for the better, you tell yourself to feel the full force of reality and get on with it. It is like a version of the Serenity Prayer. If you can’t change it, deal with it.

Over the years, however, I’ve come to realize that this saying doesn’t really make sense. It is impossible to know anything with enough certainty to change or accept it. Reality is not binary. Our perceptions can shift on a dime and are often beyond our control.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t have control at times. We do, but much less than we think. We are a bunch of contradictions held together by a very deep core of knowing, and, as such, mysteries. The sad part of living is that we put a false veneer of simplicity and control over everything. We constantly judge ourselves and others and imagine those judgments are true.