Last night was another sleepless one. Thanks to a persistent migraine--probably from trying to watch the 3D tribute to Michael Jackson on the Grammy's without 3D glasses--I could not shut my mind up so around six a.m. I gave up, picked up some not-so-light reading, and came across something to share.
In her book Defy Gravity, Caroline Myss asks us to consider what the grace of Wisdom represents, which she defines as "The presence of God unfolding guidance within the events of your life while you seek to respond with wisdom in the midst of the changes."
Earlier she talked about what God is, and I like her view that "Out in the vastness of external space, the only force that exists is a sense of divine, nameless Light--no costumes, no churches, no synagogues, no ashrams, no mosques, nothing. Just Light." That's a pretty bold statement, but at essence it feels as true as anything else. That doesn't mean we can't use the costumes, churches, etc. to bring us closer to the embrace of Light, if that's what it takes.
Throughout her book she quotes Buddha and Jesus and Mohammed and other faiths so I don't think she has a problem with using them as 'pointers', and quoting Eckhart Tolle (I think he might be quoting Buddha here), just be careful not to mistake the pointer for the Truth. I've also heard 'don't mistake the finger pointing to the moon as the moon itself.'
But back to wisdom. Caroline goes on to say--and I so love this--"You cannot ask why did this happen to me? In situations of loss or pain, such a question assumes an injustice has been done that requires an explanation." I can't tell you how many times I've ridden that fruitless merry-go-round.
Then she says something I have begun to suspect; "All crises have more than one level of origin--the level you can see and the many other levels of influence that rise as high as the cosmic plan of evolution and the common destiny of humanity." Halleluja! I can stop blaming the ex, my grandson's adoptive parents, the government, the fill-in-the-blank.
She goes on; the question you must ask yourself then is "How wisely do I want to perceive this? Do I want to see this situation through wisdom or through woe?" Woe is the result of taking events personally, as if all pain and suffering were intended just for you." Well, I wonder how long it will take for this one to sink in--to live it and not just know it--because frankly, this is HUGE.
"Wisdom is the choice that recognizes pain and suffering as part of the human experience. It is inevitable that we will cause each other to suffer in some way." This seems to happen regularly within the circle of people we interact with, and the closer the relationships the more likely--family, friends, co-workers, all of it. "At times these actions will be deliberate and at times they will be unintended. It is wise to recognize yourself in everyone else. (bold highlighting mine).
This perspective is something you find in Byron Katie's Inquiry, what she calls, The Work. What I love about inquiry is that in the end, you really do start to see yourself in everyone, which makes for a more compassionate perspective. Caroline adds, "Wisdom allows you to melt into others, and the more you melt, the more compassion is awakened." Well bingo, I've just connected some dots.
In the heart of her discourse on wisdom, Caroline invites us to "Seek the wise response in all the events of our lives" and some questions she suggests we ask ourselves include:
- What changes am I fighting that are bringing me pain?
- If I am in pain, am I taking something personally that has nothing to do with me?
- Am I blaming someone for something that would have happened anyway?
I also like Caroline's focus on the good of the whole, or everyone, not just our little speck of self. She adeptly shows the difference between the work of the ego and the work of the soul. And that, my friends, makes for good reading.