Impossible you say? Then, please let me invite you into a world with a different mind. I wonder how you would view the world, your identity, possessions, profession, or what constitutes your happiness, success, or status, if any of the following where true:
- You were born handicapped
- You were born blind or deaf
- You were born in extreme poverty or extreme wealth
- You were the opposite order of birth in your family (like if you are the oldest, consider if you were the youngest)
- You were born with parents that were extremely prejudice, or extreme fundamentalist (like from Westboro Baptist Church)
- You were born in a country that was in the middle of a war zone
- You were born in a different country, especially one with a totally different culture and social rules
- You were born of the opposite sex
- You were born with a different body type, facial features, color or size
When you think about it, it is a miracle that we have any commonalities at all considering the diversity of our planet. And it begs to question – what if everything I think is true is really only a fabrication of my mind because of my specific environment and upbringing?
Why do we have so many strong opinions and stances on things? I have met some people that are so rigid in their beliefs that they are willing to hurt and diminish others in order to try to force their beliefs onto others. And what is equally perplexing about these extreme believers is that their opinions are not even based on life experiences, but only from the information they have gathered from others.
I brought up these different scenarios of our birth and upbringing to encourage you to see how different your views and beliefs might be about EVERYTHING had you had different life experiences. For instance, you might feel very humbled by having a “penny pincher” mentality, when you think about how your life might have been different raised in a poor third world country where food and water was a true daily blessings. My intention is not to make you feel bad that you might be in a “better” environment than someone else, but rather that what you consider “better” is much different than what someone else might consider “better.” In fact your entire view of the world would likely be different.
Recently, I watched a DVD called “Happy” directed by Roko Belic. The film featured a family in India that lived in the poorest conditions and yet were exuberantly happy. They described the reasons for their happiness as, the love of their children, their neighbors, and their gratitude for what they have. You could see the genuine joy of the father as he spoke about his children. So for this Indian family, their idea of “better” or “happy” is simply to walk up upon his family after a long day at work with pennies for pay, to see his smiling children’s faces.
So it can be said that our life definitions of good, bad, happy, sad come from our life experiences combined with how much or how little we allow those around us to influence us. From childhood we begin to paint the pictures of our reality based on what we feel, our hurts, fears, triumphs, loves, and what we see and hear that we either want to believe or feel obligated to believe.
Would you not logically agree then that we can’t really know what is true because we are only using a small portion of all the information that is available? What we think we know is only a tiny sub-set of what is available to know. So how can we ever really say that what we know is true and correct? We can’t.
One of the most spiritually enlightening and mature attitudes we can adopt is the spirit of non-knowing. We get glimpses of pieces and parts that ring true to us. Most of these come from experiences that move us deeply. It is in these moments that we may be getting the closest to the truth than all the other life experiences we have had, combined. It is in these moments that we get filled with awe and wonder and know the immensity of availability of universal knowledge.
This quality of not-knowing is what the Buddhists call “the beginners mind”, and it is a quality of openness, newness and realizing potential in everything we see and do. What would happen to us if we began to realize that everything we thought we knew was wrong, or at least very incomplete? What happens is – we grow………. And the more we allow for our unknowing, the more we grow. The more we grow, the more we learn. The more we learn, the richer our life experiences and the more we have to share, without prejudice. When we don’t know, ALL is possible. A couple of weeks ago, I was watching Oprah’s new Sunday evening show called Super Soul Sunday. She was talking to one of my favorite spiritual teachers, Eckhart Tolle. She always asks her guests at the end of the show what they know for sure. When she asked Eckhart what he knows for sure, he said, “Nothing.” When we realize we know nothing, everything is available to us. Something to think about.
- 3 comments • Finding Home • Metaphysical • Motivational • New Age • Personal Growth • Practical and Useful • Soulfully Inspiring • Spiritual
- Tagged as: beginners mind • conditioned mind • learning about ourselves • nothingness • open minded • purity of mind • Universal Mind • unlimited mind
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