Quotes That Matter – Week 4
This week’s quote is from Sheldon Kopp: “I’m no longer interested in character development, as long as that implies in any way that my Buddhahood is not already at hand. My aim is to know and celebrate all that I am.” Kopp’s message is the cornerstone of my own growth and healing as well as the tone of my work with clients. Let’s look more closely at the meaning of this quote and its implications.
Kopp is suggesting that he is no longer interested in improvement, as long as that implies that his essential goodness as a person isn’t already here. He’s presenting us with a seminal approach to human potential and growth. He is discarding the old paradigm of “I want to grow in order to get better”. The new model starts with “I’m fine the way I am, and I’m interested in my personal development”. Here, an interest in “personal development” is not about improving. It’s about becoming more of my true nature or what Carl Jung would call “individuating”.
The challenge is that most of us were raised on the old model, that we engage in education, a spiritual practice or some measure of acquiring emotional intelligence in order to get better. Kopp is asking us to at least explore holding more compassion and acceptance for who we are now, with love being the compost that yields both more awareness of who we and more welcome for what we discover about ourselves..