Where you look
Dean Graziosi tells an attention-grabbing story of the white-water rafting guide who teaches the teen-aged rafters to look where he points. Dean’s story is much more entertaining than my reflections about chopping wood in articles 32 and 33. He explains that the guide points to the direction of safety. Rafters row in the direction where they are looking. If they look at the rocks they are trying to avoid, they will wind up on the rocks. Indeed, we set our destination by where we look.
Yesterday I was treated with a recitation by David Whyte of his poem “What to remember when waking.” It was a landmark to me in the study of starting a day effectively. You might guess that a poet would influence me more than a goal-setting efficiency coach. The metaphor of emerging from the night means realizing the vision for today that we can hold only before the planning takes place. I frequently need that reminder to be aware of the wide world, not the treadmill portion. While I love to blog about perspective, I can lose my own. Then I need inspiration from somebody else’s.
What do you think Jane Addams and Dr. King awoke to? I purposely choose heroic figures who had different roles to play. The one founded or co-founded several organizations while the other worked in the settings of existing organizations which became mighty instruments of change. I’m positive they had one characteristic in common: neither one awoke to the thought “I wonder how much money I can make today.” Because they were genuine, these were leaders I can follow.
The poem speaks softly in appreciation of the inner nature that is “not an accident.” How I wish I could so poetically appeal to the good inside you. I would arouse in you the “small opening into the new day which closes the moment you begin your plans.” Jane Addams surely had to think about her plans before she accomplished the first public library in Chicago, the NAACP, the ACLU, and on and on. I’m thinking about the moment before those items became conscious. What did she see in herself?
Dr. King responded to public cries for justice. He felt keenly the need of millions of disadvantaged people. But I am wondering what he saw before he opened his schedule book. What consciousness greeted him each morning when he realized he continued to be alive? How did he see the role only he could teach us to emulate? What inner light did he trust? What was it that became visible to us to sustain our confidence in his message?
All my prior articles address the worlds we are creating. I have parsed them from internal and external viewpoints and thoroughly examined the importance of perspective. Today, with a poet’s help, I examine the origin of perspective. What is our connection with reality which David Whyte calls the “mountain presence of everything that can be”? Where is our fountain of strength? While I have placed self and other on equal footing, I have always been aware that entering the combination requires having a self. Where did it originate? It does exist. Mine is there, in the poet’s words, before the moment I begin my plans. Perhaps a philosopher would use the term “first cause.” What is it?
By now my regular readers recognize that I am encouraging you to live up to the potential within you. Your every self-awareness is a talent waiting to be expressed. The good you will accomplish originates before you do it: the thing is created mentally before physically. Conceptualizing is your moment of actual creation. In the perfect opening we are discussing, reality is transferring from the unknown “hidden in your sleep” to its manifestation in the waking world. Do you give yourself credit for that? Do you appreciate that the world would be poorer without it? Do you apply it accordingly, with confidence?
There are outward evidences or signals of this deeper, hidden power that lurks in you. What do you think about when you do not have to think? When nobody is commandeering your schedule, when you pause to be yourself, where do your thoughts go? If you think about what you don’t like, you will not like your world.
Could you possibly be wasting away feeling sorry for yourself? Those thoughts self-multiply and you become a sorry mess indeed.
Might you be jealous or disappointed? Those thoughts don’t strengthen you or improve others.
Do you allow yourself unrealistic fantasy? “The world” is not a synonym of Santa Clause handing out everything you wished for.
No, your thoughts, your “first cause,” constitute the concrete origin of the future to which you commit yourself. If the unforced thoughts do not rise, you do not rise either.
If I am a good teacher, you are already clamoring for this lesson’s homework before I assign it. Your train has already left the station headed for a destination of blessing lives of many people. What you realize—what you are–in the inner space of this fertile moment defines the purpose of your own creation. It is you, and what you project or make visible flows from it. You are not a wrecker (described in the word “fight”). You are a creator (described in the word “love”),
Are you now going to lay down this article and curse the world for being evil? I don’t think my readers are capable of that. Are you going to stop reading so you can continue unproductive entertainments? Don’t let that kill the inner seed that needs to grow today. The unseen mind must emerge from under the cover; no distraction can obliterate it. What you think and say right now is already creating your world. Your speech reveals whether your attention is on the wrecking ball or on the mansion.