Pause and Reflect
Sapere Aude: Think for yourself!
One's perception is intuitive, heart centered and emotional in nature. One's perspective relies on experience, logic and thought. Gleaned from years of conditioning, either one can be the main focus of a person's ideas about life and manifest in the way they reflect on things.
We tend to spend more time in our minds than we do in our hearts. There is a kind of dismissal evident when people say they "feel" instead of they "think". It seems inconsistent in the Western World to "think" from the heart, while in the Eastern World it is espoused in the Tao te Ching and other Eastern works.
At times I feel as though my existence in the world is either in a time period too early, or too late. Many times I have been ahead of the curve about my ideas, and other times I have found myself reflecting upon the wisdom of the ages for my own unique perspective on life. Having read so many books and considered so many differing views on religion, spirituality, philosophy, history, and great literature, I find myself feeling alienated from the current paradigm. It is difficult to exist in a world so diametrically opposed to my own worldview.
Most of the time I am uncomfortable existing in a world were people articulate their religious ideals but do not walk the path they espouse. Judgment, anger and bigotry appear to loom around each and every corner, and violence in the name of one of the greatest teachers mankind has known has been waged. Taking a tip from the Buddhists, I see that beliefs can be lived through acts of love and compassion. Watching kind and loving gestures and silent reverie echo the spiritual system these pilgrims admonish.
Reflecting upon the perceptions people have about others and their inability to listen to the perspectives others have means we remain stuck in old thinking and do not allow ourselves to reflect upon our own beliefs. We are born with the social and religious systems our parents have embraced and echo their choices in everything, from the type of toilet paper we buy to the way we vote for political candidates. Unless we choose to investigate any other way of doing things, we become clones of our parents and teachers thoughts an preferences. Why? Because the influence has been ingrained into our very psyches.
There is nothing wrong with becoming like our parents, teachers and religious leaders if we consciously choose to be such. But it is incumbent upon us all to ask ourselves how we really feel about things, and to examine other sides of the issue in order to get a clear picture of our position on things. To merely remain in a belief system because it is easier to be told what to think and do is to allow our own precious perspective to be sullied. After all, if we do not consider why we think the way we do, or do the things we do, we are just pawns in the hands of our destiny. There will not be an opportunity to live any other life than that which we have ended up with.
People often say they choose security over freedom in life. The truth is there is no such thing as security. We admittedly think security is something we can attain, or that we have, but life can rip any part of that away at any time. We can lose people, jobs, homes money, looks and even our minds through no fault of our own. Freedom is also something we do not really have as well, for as long as we must remain tied to material things, we are fettered by encumbrances that are, by nature, a heavy load.
Of course we can shed those encumbrances, and choose to lose that which tie us down. Great thinkers have written many works, great soldiers have laid down their lives for freedom over tyranny, but true freedom is but an illusion. My perception is we only borrow everything we "own" in our lives. It is for us to use while we inhabit our earthly vessels. When we die, someone else borrows it for a time as well, but we all know no one can take it with them.The fear we perceive keeps us from living our lives fully. To change ones perspective is risky. We would rather stay in familiar situations than risk a new way of living, changing our way of seeing and doing things differently in life. Change seems like a dirty word. It means we have to be uncomfortable...go into ourselves and do inner work, or make a shift in our perception.
To reflect has been given a bad rap. It is only though pain that we realize when we are happy. It is only through opening our closed minds that we can see the light and choose whether we want to know more, or remain in the dark. It is only through love that we can become who we were truly meant to be. Fear be gone. Let the light penetrate your core and know the truth will always reveal itself in the end.