With New Eyes
How many remember when you first looked out on a world of conflict and strife and said to yourself, with an absolute knowing, “Life is about something other than this insanity! There is something far more important than the anger, fear, dishonesty, strife and pain I see happening!”
I ask this question at some point in almost every workshop I do these days and a quizzical, almost strained look comes over many of the faces that stare back at me. I see relief from the stress of trying to remember an experience hidden by the pain learned from an often unkind world as, one by one, hands emerge proclaiming recall. “What do you remember knowing life was about?” Hesitantly, at first, a solitary voice proclaims, “Peace,” then another voice chimes in, “Love,” and others begin a chorus of responses, “Cooperation!” “Harmony!” Happiness!”
The lights are flashing in most faces by now, as though a long forgotten friend has just arrived. A murmur of knowing ripples through the room. From the tens of thousands who have answered this question in my workshops over the years, a consistent, clear and powerful theme emerges. Everyone’s answer is some variation on the theme of Love!!
Why is the theme always the same? The ancient Aramaic Scriptures say that the human being is made in the “Image and Likeness of Love.” Is it possible that they were not speaking of some sort of religious principle but a simple fact of life? Is Love the “stuff” out of which we are made? Is each of us capable of remembering when we knew our true nature from firsthand experience? If Love is the nature of the human being, why is it so difficult to find in the world? In ourselves? To re-call it when someone gives us “the look?”
I consider this as I think about the holiday season we are entering. Holidays which, before the materialistic insanity of today’s world and the belief that life is about, “He who dies with the most toys wins,” were called Holy-days—Christmas, Hanukkah—a time to re-claim, re-member and appreciate our (W)Hol(y)ness. What has the world taught us in that we have turned these precious opportunities to slow down and think about life—our Holy-days—into a frenzy about shopping for things?
THE CHALLENGE OF LIFE CONSISTS NOT IN EXPLORING NEW LANDSCAPES BUT IN DEVELOPING NEW EYES. Marcel Proust 1871-1922