Van Gogh prepared his craft to go to Paris where the hub of neo-impressionists had been buzzing. He arrived to have his soul nourished by being in proximity to other painters.

Victor Frankl would say that being in proximity to those in suffering deepens your religious and existential purpose and drive. Freed from concentration camps, he began a psychotherapy practice to get close to the hurting again.

Activists in Richard Powers’ novel, The Overstory, find proximal inspiration from fellow environmental defenders in upstate Washington where the battle against deforestation rages on.

Energy, depth and purpose, inspiration-unity through proximity. We all have a natural inclination toward communities. We can use community for self-gain, status, pleasure, or any other hedonistic rewards, or we can suck the marrow out of those last five letters.

Author: Ben Fridge

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