Truly Listening

  • Journal Entry #7 — Seeing It Otherwise

There is nothing more tiresome than contending with a world seemingly stuck in the land of stereotypes and commonplace labels.

Both lead to faulty and incomplete perception, continual misassumption, and tedious overreaction.  And, of course, all of this leads to cycles of endless repetition that prevent people and relationships and countries from evolving.

For instance, it’s fairly easy to know when someone has made a superficial or self-serving assumption.  An assumption that is likely a projection of their inner world, not yours.

  • Shadow dancing.  And it leads nowhere.  Absolutely, nowhere.

I think that’s why spiritual growth is so important to our world — on a personal and collective level.  Unless we can find our way out of the repetitive nature of our perceptions (our conditioned, prefab thoughts), we are destined to run the same maze day in and day out.

Someday we may be 100 years old, and surely, we’ll look different by then, but inside, has anything changed?  Have we learned who we are, in spiritual terms?  Have we bothered to look, to care?

  • The human life span is incredibly brief.  What is everyone waiting for, I wonder.

I listened to a 2-hour program recently, via live stream, that featured the inspired voices of 3 spiritual leaders of international distinction: Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer.  They spoke individually, and then answered a few questions.  Dr. Dyer’s appearance happened at the last minute due to coincidence, so he only spoke at the close of the session.

Even though I’ve read their books, listened to their videos, and followed their work for many years, there is always more to learn.  A spiritual practice takes on many different forms during a lifetime, and listening to those who have shown great resilience and dedication can only be empowering.  Encouraging.  Illuminating.

It doesn’t matter if I agreed with them or not.  Nor does it matter if I liked the message (or personal style) of one over the other.  What matters is that I am willing to listen, because I am  dedicated to learning as much as possible about spiritual awareness — through direct and indirect experience, by seeking out the wisdom of others, and by being attentive to my inner guidance (or intuition).

Then other possibilities may surface: transcendence (going beyond thought),  higher levels of consciousness, spiritual awakening.

  • “I want to know God’s thoughts; the rest are details.” ~ Einstein

Sometimes, though, it feels like a spiritual agenda–a desire to create a peaceful, caring world that is able to move beyond the deadening level of assumption-making–is nearly invisible to mainstream society, even when the complaining never seems to end.

Where does everyone think the answers are going to come from?  Have we even thought to consider how we perceive and define problems?

And, of course, nothing can be more liberating than moving beyond predictable mind polarities.  Yes, No; Either, Or; Agree, Disagree; Right, Wrong; Accept, Reject; Explore, Resist.  This list could go on forever.  What would you add?  In many ways, these inevitable mind polarities represent the global treadmill.

  • My level of consciousness (have you discovered the work of Dr. David Hawkins?  If not, I’d like to recommend his book Power v. Force — The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior) seems to be  evolving because I truly want to move beyond the treadmill of blind habit and dulling conformity.
  • Why is this important?
  • Because living blindly, or as someone who is merely an extension of the past (or unconsciously, as some spiritual leaders put it), doesn’t feel enlightened.

My graduate work in the social sciences allowed me to study some of the deeper issues in life.  And when I wrote Where the Heart Resides: Timeless Wisdom of the American Prairie, I took another spiritual step.

Somehow I knew that wide open spaces could nurture our spirits; that Thoreau and Whitman were actually speaking in spiritual terms much of the time.  But I also sensed this was a path that felt like “home.”  Not in geographic terms so much, but because of my desire to look beyond surface issues and explanations for something deeper, more profound, and lasting.  This wasn’t about “religion” either; this was about spirituality, and what it means to discover (and live from) the timeless dimension within.

And now I’m writing a new book … also nonfiction, also about the spiritual journey within.

My manuscript is a work-in-progress without a deadline, but time is not the issue.  What’s important is the long-term commitment — the willingness to remain open to learning, growing, and continuing to realize the inherent spiritual potential we all share.

  • So what’s preventing you from looking beyond your perceptions of old, your assumptions of old, your reactions of old?  Where is your sense of discovery, or are you already looking beyond an external framework for deeper answers?  Are you beginning to realize that you may have closed the door on your own spirituality prematurely, assumed you had nothing more to explore in this regard?  But isn’t this a journey that is “without distance,” and therefore, never complete?

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.  We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ~ Einstein

So, by the way, thank you Eckhart Tolle, Dr. Chopra, and Dr. Dyer for becoming such inspiring spiritual leaders.  For speaking out and having the perseverance to keep speaking out.  Some of us, and hopefully, most of us, are truly listening.  ~ dh

 Thanks for stopping by today.  See you in a couple of weeks!

Seeing It Otherwise, our spiritual journey for 2013, focuses on exploring perceptions, assumptions, and reactions.  It’s a great opportunity to journal or meditate on the ideas and questions presented.  Blog posts will serve as brief journal entries every other Friday morning.  I hope you’re enjoying this close-up of life and spirituality.  Next journal post: May 10th.

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