“When you try to understand everything”
You will not understand anything
The best way is to understand yourself
And then you will understand everything”
Invite to this moment a feeling or memory of love … maybe you’ve experienced this after a yoga class, meditation, vacation, walk in nature, connection with a pet or loved one. Take 10 deep breathes basking in the space and sense of peace and stillness this space creates. The feeling or memory of it longs to hang on beyond your hectic life. But within moments, back in the pace of a modern day, all the old patterns return and that part of you is forced to the back burner only to crave another of its moments in another space away. Unfortunately, this hectic, separate, way of living becomes the norm for many people. Why do we accept that?
We consider it precious, even sacred, to feel open, spacious and beautiful from the inside out. To feel the space and opportunity for inner peace and Love. But it quickly becomes pushed away somewhere in us like that special outfit hanging in the back of the closet held only for special occasions. What part of human nature allows that to happen? What if that gorgeous, spacious feeling was just a glimpse of how most people could feel most days in a world changed. What if that feeling was the healing birthright of all life on our planet? Would you do the work to get there?
I was at a book club one fall evening when, following one women’s story about an unruly co-worker, another women chimed in, some people just aren’t self aware. Some people? Hmmm……perhaps, most people? She made it sound as if not being self aware was some kind of excuse or genetic given. I imagined a far side cartoon but instead of the dog driving, a blind person just made it through a busy section of town, havoc strewn everywhere, a cop leans in the car window, and the blind person blankly explains, but I’m blind.
Being apt to self awareness isn’t something most people are born with. It is a journey of great effort, a lifetime of arduous work and for most travelers’; it is hardship. It is not quick or easy and there’s little fan fair. Inner work slows us down, puts us face to face with our deepest fears and also makes life interesting and transformative! Kind of like tending to a colicky baby night after night and journeying through life with another human. It is wonderfully transformative and creates meaning for each individual (and therefore our systems, collectives and groups), our lives shift from fate filled clichés’ to unique creative gifts worthy and sustainable for everyone.
What if the busyness, stress and hectic reality we are expected to live was an illusion? Would trusting in something of inner beauty and wisdom be enough for you to embark on a journey inwards? Would you make the change if you knew it would heal someone or something you Love? Would you trust that the worlds answers live inside of yourself? How do you feel in this moment imagining a world beautiful and sustainable for all? Does it seem like a childs fairy tale?
To know thyself is the wisdom imparted by every world changing teacher (Buddha, Jesus, Socrates, Gandhi, Jung, Plato etc..) As I see it, it is the lifelong journey and most important purpose of being there is. When you consider what you know and what the people around you know is it about knowing thy self… or is it about knowing something outside yourself? Like the language of tax law or how to market your business? Perhaps you are an expert in scientific research or investigative reporting… maybe a technocrat, bureaucrat, military official, nurse, teacher, parent, student or historian? How long did it take you to know what you know? … days, month’s, years? How much time, effort and money have you dedicated to knowing what you know? Notice how our “developed” global culture promotes anything and everything but to know thyself. How do you aspire to know thyself?
When I look at our world and our failing global economic systems, our dying eco-sytems, our violence in schools and fighting countries, our failing health care and education systems, our corporate take overs and mass marketed culture, our sky high divorce rates, our daily news reporting corruption and apathy, our exploited internet, our diseases and poverty, our corporate sponsored governments… I see a whole bunch of people…a whole history of people, who will look anywhere and everywhere for answers except the sustainable ones deeper than their own fears. I see a whole conglomerate of individuals, just like you and me, who are in various roles in life acting from day to day in ways that are blind to their inner worlds. Blind to the repeating patterns, the fate filled cliché’s, they live and create each day… just like the proverbial blind man above.
Fear and powerlessness have so many disguises it is hard to remember what is beneath the mask. Fear of not having enough often shapes into greed… fear of shame and embarrassment may mask as perfection… fear of pain can manifest as rigidity, intolerance or avoidance; fear of vulnerability shapes into power. After a particularly long lasting migraine I found myself barking at family members, BE QUIET!… they were already tip toeing, but fear of more pain took over. It is very difficult to relate with Love while FEAR is CONSTANTLY competing for attention. Our limbic brain is 50 million years old! But if we consciously or unconsciously choose to stay blind, these shadow places become the master marionettes and we become the puppets.
Take a moment to return to your own memory, experience and feeling of inner peace and Love. Give yourself permission to feel it fully. Then imagine yourself and others living life from a place of Love rather than a place of fear. What stories in your mind block you from actively moving towards a beautiful and sustainable world view? … Listen to what comes up…do you notice fear at the root of change?
It’s only been in the last thirty or so years that western science has proved the power of feelings. In fact throughout history many scientists and other leaders have worked hard to disclaim feelings and even to pretend they don’t exist. Through the ages feelings have been labeled as all kinds of things…irrational, hormones, craziness even the work of the devil, and the irony is that this can happen when our feelings are not related to… they do become crazy, irrational and at times (think of crimes of passion or war) like the devil.
Yogi’s have known for thousands of years what western science and medicine is now coming to in the last thirty. There is no mind/body separation. What you think in your mind manifests in your body; what matters in your body; matters in your mind; feelings cannot be placed in the mind or in the body; they are in both simultaneously. If we chose the inner journey through fear towards love, we encounter the hearts wisdom along the way and come into knowing places of compassion, generosity, empathy, friendliness, kindness, patience, grace, gentleness and joy! As we learn to know the world through the eyes of the heart we change and the world changes. Relating with Heart is the beautiful, love based, non-separate, new world view I am referring to. This is the world I would like my children and grandchildren to grow up in. As I see it this is the only change that is truly sustainable for the love of our future.
When you try to understand everything
You will not understand anything
The best way is to understand yourself
And then you will understand everything