- Journal Entry #13 — Seeing It Otherwise
Incessantly, and often much too quickly, we simply react.
We proclaim that something is “good” or “bad,” and maybe we pass judgment so quickly we don’t even pause to take a deep breath first.
Certainly, there is a time and a place for quick reaction. Emergencies. Intuitive nudges. Creative sparks. And so on.
- But all too often automatic reactions create a needless stream of stress.
Likewise, it seems that habitual reactions (or mindless behavior) can prevent us from growing. They keep us stuck in the past. And in spiritual terms, when we are on “automatic pilot” … unaware, unconscious, unawakened, closed to change and spiritual exploration … we don’t see what is right in front of us.
“Like those in the valley behind us, most people stand in sight of the spiritual mountains all their lives and never enter them, being content to listen to others who have been there and thus avoid the hardships.” ― Robert M. Pirsig, American writer and philosopher, and author of the philosophical novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values
What spiritual mountains are in your path?
Are you walking around them, away from them, or just closing your eyes?
- I decided to climb them.
The view isn’t bad; it’s getting better all the time.
Funny, too, because I’ve never thought of myself as much of a mountain climber. But it’s sort of like discovering the very reason for my existence.
Sometimes, when the climb is steep and my view is clouded, I pause to wonder why most of us spend our lives caught up in “surface activity” … until something points to the compelling (and beautiful) mountains ahead. The loftiest ones ever seen, or imagined.
In the presence of eternity, the mountains are as transient as the clouds. ~ Robert Green Ingersoll
When we’re children no one seems to explain to us what these captivating mountains are all about; spirituality is perhaps discussed, but maybe only indirectly in terms of a specific religion (which is not the same as spirituality), or maybe in ways so infrequent, so superficial and meaningless, that we simply don’t understand what the adults are talking about.
- It usually takes significant life experience for us to figure things out — to see what is right in front of us.
Even then, if we are constantly “reacting” to the world, instead of “responding” from a place of true inner awareness, we may be oblivious to the call of the spiritual mountains that are merely trying to get our attention.
- As I am able to quiet the mind, reactions slow, space arises, and I can let go of the need to judge every moment, every idea — everything that passes before me. After all, we are all adrift on a planet named Earth; we are all part of a universal story that is forever unfolding. And maybe the spiritual mountains are the only real mountains to be discovered. All else, a tempting mirage. ~ dh
Thanks for stopping by — see you in a couple of weeks!
Seeing It Otherwise is an online spiritual journal for 2013.
We are exploring perceptions, assumptions, and reactions. It’s a great opportunity to journal with us or meditate on the ideas and questions presented. Blog posts serve as brief journal entries every other Friday morning.
I hope you are enjoying this close-up of life and spirituality. Thanks for being here!
Next journal post: August 16th.
- Comments are welcome when open, but I encourage inner dialogue as well … or more importantly. Thanks, have a great week!
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