I was looking for my temper the other day. The shock of watching a friend in conversation severely locked into their belief system startled me, causing me to release my grasp on my temper. Anyway the experience left me wondering. Are we looking to shout what we believe louder, or explore, independently or together, expanding the limits of perception?
Slipping into a mode of ‘defending’ instead of ‘listening’ happens in a flash. Of course the real gap is from the time you’ve lost your temper, till the time that you know that you have, if you even get that far. Because we’re not talking about raging storms, just a ‘hardening of the categories’* enough to where, the conversation’s chance of enhancing understanding, fades like the winter sun. What’s the gap in time, once and if, you’ve recovered from that conversation enough to just start looking for your temper?
When I thought why is the message so poignant to me? Is it because we all do that, because it’s easier to see the speck in your neighbor’s eye than the moat in your own? Seeing how extreme, a self-created blindness, it was, I accepted how much I was doing it, how inevitable that we all do it. It is how the understandings we build our lives on, are built.
Mathew 6:14, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
It is a poem that couples so nicely with words of the founder of Aikido.
“Aikido is not for correcting others. It is for correcting the discord in your own mind. The enemies to defeat are the devils in our own hearts.”
Seeing the potential for correcting my own mind, I began, to use the phrase my teacher uses, ‘easy the I’. I started to let go of how rigidly I was holding my beliefs and opening into an increasingly more creative space. I did so, struggling with the frustration that I might’ve been the only one doing it. Everyone else was, more than likely, busy re-telling themselves and anyone who would listen, how what they thought, was right. That is a much easier path to follow, than ever wondering whether or not our beliefs were true and whether or not they were, how one would know it. The realm of wonder scares some people. It attracts others.
As my spirit started to relax a bit more, my vistas opened on an empowered dialogue, at least in my own thinking, if not with those who failed to exercise their right to do the same. My sense of being opened on an ever-refining perception. My compassionate understanding of how limited each of our abstractions of reality is, took on another realm of possibility. It is through re-linking our experience with the totality, and through that eternal study alone, that will take us beyond trying to ‘solve the problems we face with the thinking that created them’.
Create a Beautiful World!
- ‘hardening of the categories’ is a phrase i gleeped from Tom Crumb, “The Magic of Conflict”, a brilliant translation of aikido into practical life application.