Life journeys take many paths, and they cross often. All must answer the same life questions. So though our sojourns differ, those new to the path may benefit from familiar footprints at the intersections.
I believe it is difficult to understand those whose skill sets and concerns differ significantly from our own. That is a major reason we see things differently. Depending on the tools we possess, an obstacle for one may be an opportunity for another. If all one has is a hammer, one may never think to use a screw—or a saw. Won’t a board split if we pound it hard enough?
It has become fashionable, even prideful for some, to claim or strive for complete independence in all things. Forcing oneself to struggle in areas of lesser talent, insisting that greater effort is all that is required, keeps one from nurturing their special talent and perhaps using it to benefit others. It also keeps us from recognizing and appreciating the special talents of others. I think that recognition is important for finding partners and building teams, and an important quality for leaders to cultivate.
Someone once asked me, “What would it be like to be God, to have God-like power?” My answer was, “I have been God. My dog Freya sees me as all-knowing and all-powerful, the deliverer of all good things, immortal, and invulnerable.” I don’t let that go to my head. When I make the mistake of roughhousing with her—a 110-pound Rottweiler-Shepherd with a lot of sharp edges—she teaches me otherwise.
I walk away bloodied, but that doesn’t shake her faith in my perfection. Many have commented on how she follows and seems to worship me. I remember my children when small behaving in much the same way. The mantle of godhood should be taken seriously but worn lightly. As with many pretenses of godhood—PhDs, certified credentials, modern breakthroughs and discoveries—I find little that is new. Discarding ancient wisdom, we rediscover what was long known and, hearing it coming from our mouths, declare it brilliant and extraordinary.
Out of curiosity—a trait I have in abundance—I have tried many things. Except for all the added mysticism, I found Yoga little different from the stretching exercises I learned for wrestling and Tai Kwan Do. The fact that they bring peace and relaxation doesn’t require an advanced degree or expensive class to appreciate.
I met with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi when he toured the country—the same person John Lennon visited in India. His teachings predate “Mindfulness” and were certainly not about voiding the mind. It was all about thinking clearly. Cleeer-leee was how he pronounced it. One clears the mind to filter out the nonsense repeated and shouted at high volume, often with the intent to manipulate and sell everything from happiness to politics and used cars. These claims of new and perfect knowledge cannot stand close examination.
I believe the early Genesis story was intended as a metaphor. Eve died in the perfection of the garden and was born into the life of struggle necessary to survive and grow in an imperfect world. Like mine, her sin was curiosity, wanting to know and understand what was outside the gate. She may have been willing to pay the price for the mistakes she made.
This post was inspired by M. Talmage Moorhead whose post set me to thinking.