Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How to Judge by Appearances...and Do It Well! (New Thought message 6/5/11)

Is it healthy to judge by appearances? You bet it is!

As a New Thought teacher, practitioner and devotee, I am always looking for interesting quotes and anecdotes to share with those I teach. One of my favorites comes from Oscar Wilde. I like Wilde because he often flies in the face of conventional wisdom. And he does it with flair and confidence, not just sarcasm and indifference. These particular words of his may shock or unsettle you for any number of reasons, but let them sink in a bit deeper than the surface. They are keen words from a keen mind. I'll be back after you read them to make a final comment or two:

"It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible." (From The Picture of Dorian Gray)

What I believe Wilde is saying here is that we often take our everyday world for granted. Look at the tree. Look at the flower. It's not that they are there in front of you; it's that you can see them, experience them at all. Your eye, an extension of the brain, is flooded with the light that has reflected off the branches or the petals and you have in some mysterious way turned that light into picture. You 'see' the tree and the flower. How can the absolute mystery of that not stun you? And it goes for everything else in this world, in this universe. Why is there something instead of nothing? You do not know. Nor do I. 

So then, why do we spiritual types concern ourselves so much with the ethereal when the real mystery is where we stand right now in this moment? Why do we seek a nirvana or a heaven when all that can possibly be given us has been given us? Why? Because we allow our childish self-seeking to convince us that this is a chaotic, rough, mean, and perhaps evil place that needs to be (God forbid!) transcended.

You stand on holy ground, in the midst of the Great Mystery, a mystery that shows itself to you in every moment. It is not hiding, waiting for you to seek it out. Rather, it displays itself openly, willingly, in all its majesty, its grandeur, its beauty, right here and right now. In its flora, its fauna, its soil, its water, its air. And in its creatures. You need only look. And listen. And wonder!

Judge, then, by appearances. For what you seek is already visible. 

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