What one must do is remove oneself from the normal course of things, to turn from the quotidian — all deadlines, all arrangements, all praise and all criticism — and to the cosmic*.
*Is cosmic the word? Perhaps not. If not cosmic, then perhaps to the ultimate, or to ultimate concerns — in short, to one’s own death and to the smallness of one’s life.
Indeed, matters which seemed large now become impossible to see. And what is the effect of this new perspective on the individual? Liberation. One’s failures, one’s successes: neither is of any consequence.
This new scale having been established, by what criteria does one adjudge his own life? To what virtues does he aspire? Merely to become oneself, is all. To obey himself, we could also say.
“Maybe this works for you,” someone complains, “but I live in the real world.”
Yes, but not for long!
“Well, I’ll make these changes later. I’m busy now.”
This is later for the billions dead.
“You’re annoying me and are weird.”
I’m not pleased to hear that, certainly. But I predict I’ll manage somehow.