1. Life devoid of quality-time and miracles. The sea of information surrounding us does not only open possibilities but also imprisons us, especially when we become its servants instead of its masters. Consequently, we lose quality-time and the capability of sensing miracles. I give three examples to illustrate how our possessions and social bonds grow over us becoming oppressive and unmanageable. This is the time when we start to crave for a miracle. From this ’self-made trap’ we can get free only with cutting the Gordian knot tied by ourselves. How?
2. The miracle of our own lives. The miracle we crave for is hidden in the depth of our own spirits. Let us discover it! (If you are interested in how you may do this, please read the post.)
3. Entering quality-time: when we become a miracle in others’ lives. As we discover the strength of our inner spirit, more and more of fleeting moments are becoming quality-time, Kairos. Entering quality-time we start to discover those around us who also live in quality-time. (If you are interested about the identification of people sensing Kairos, please read the post.) With them we may form a self-amplifying cycle. Thus we become a peace-source, which radiates caressing, loving silence all around. On the Path to this I wish all my Readers a lot of joyful experiences!
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1. Life devoid of quality-time and miracles
We know we are on the wrong track,
but we are compensating for this shortcoming
by accelerating. (Stanislaw Lec)
We live in the era of information over-flow. On one hand, this is a magnificent experience, since it creates the feeling that we possess both knowledge and the ability to act. And indeed, we can achieve a lot more than our ancestors did even a few decades ago. On the other hand, our growing ties and possessions may easily increase our vulnerability. We may become slaves of our own objects, people’s opinion and the circumstances. Let me show three examples for this.
My first example is a quote from the Nobel-prize winner novel of Imre Kertész, the ’Fatelessness’: „I quickly recognized for example that I had not live properly. … There were some kinds of food which I had not like. … There were certain things I had been worried about, or – whatever ridiculously it sounds – I had been afraid of. … Now I recalled these fears from time to time just for the fun to imagine them, feel them again, and smile at them.” (Reading these sentences it is worth thinking of that all this ’now’, ’fun’ and ’smile’ are actually happening in Auschwitz...)
Thoughts of Don Juan: "Most of our energy goes into upholding our importance. If we were capable of losing some of that importance two things would happen to us. On one we would be free our energy from trying to maintain the illusory idea of our grandeur, and two, we would provide ourselves with enough energy to enter into the second attention to catch a glimpse of the actual grandeur of the Universe."
Master Lin-Chi says: "The trouble lies in their lack of self-confidence. If you do not have enough self-confidence, you will busily submit yourself to all kinds of external conditions and transformations, and be enslaved and turned around by them and lose your freedom. But if you can stop the mind that seeks [those external conditions] in every instant of thought, you will then be no different from the old masters."
Information surrounding us does not only provide possibilities but also binds us, especially when we become its servants instead of its masters. The soul becomes defenseless when exposed to an overwhelming excess of information, relations and opinions, and starts to panic. The speed of information flow may reach the point when impulses start to coalesce. We may enjoy this first, since at last ’we are in the game’. However, we may not notice that in the meantime something terrible has happened. We have lost quality-time. We exchanged it to crap-time. Quality-time, Kairos has slipped out of our hands and only Khronos, the time which melts away, remained. Becoming insensitive to Kairos is an awful event not only because we lose those special moments when we could feel Totality but because we do not recognize those moments either when our own lives reach milestone decisions.
One of the consequences of losing quality-time is that we become insensitive to miracles. Let me illustrate this with three stories.
The first story is Anthony de Mello’s example of the dog walking on water. A man took his new hunting dog to a trial hunting. He shot the first wild-duck which fell into the lake. The dog, walking on water, picked the duck and brought it to his master. Not daring to believe his eyes, the man called his neighbor out on the following day. The dog brought all preys to the man walking on water. His neighbor did not say a word. After many repetitions the man could not hold the question back: Have you noticed anything special about this dog? — The neighbor rubbed his chin thinking. – Yes, – he said at last – now as you ask it, I have. This bastard cannot swim.
My second story is about a man who played Bach on his violin for 45 minutes in the Washington DC metro. During the 45 minutes, altogether six people stopped to listen to his music (among them some small children whom were dragged away by their parents). Some twenty people threw him money not even slowing down. When the music stopped no-one clapped his hands. Thirty-two dollars in all were collected. Passers-by (with one exception) did not know that one of the world’s most famous violinists, Joshua Bell played the most difficult pieces of music history on his Stradivari worth of four million dollars. Two days before the performance in the metro he was on stage at a full-house Boston theatre where the tickets cost 100 dollars as an average.
My third story is about a few cells of our thumb. One day we wounded our thumb. It became inflamed and hurt. We applied a medical tape, some antibiotics and an epithelizing cream. The wound was healed rapidly. What a banal story, is not it? Let us have a look at the same story as the grandpa-cell is telling it to the grandkid-cells. "When I have lived here already for a long-long time, all of a sudden a major disaster happened. We were hit by an asteroid. Many of us have died instantly. Worse of all, hundreds of thousands of invaders, called "bacteria" arrived, and wanted to conquer us. We had a heroic fight, but we were about to loose the battle. Nothing remained but our hope in a miracle. Led by Father Stem-Cell, we all started to pray. And the miracle did happen! From the Heaven a white cloud came, which was poisonous to our enemies and – at the same time – it gave strength to our exhausted fighters. We keep this Day of Liberation in our best memories ever since."
After having read the three stories it is worth to ask some questions. Are we sure that we have noticed all the miracles that happened to us last week? Are we sure that a miracle is the same mysterious event at all levels of complexity in the Universe, and not a logical response to an unusual situation – at a much-much higher level of complexity?
The nature of miracle has many additional important features. A miracle never happens for its own sake, or 'for fun', but helps something. Martin Luther also emphasized this who fiercely condemned miracles used for raising money. At the same time it is also important to see that Luther himself cured two of his friends, Frederic Myconius and Philip Melanchton rather miraculously from their seemingly fatal illnesses. It is also an important characteristic of miracle that a miracle can be identified by anyone except for one person: the one who made it happen.
2. The miracle of our own lives
There can be very tragic side-effects of becoming captured by crap-time and desensitized to the (smaller or larger) miracles happening around us. The overflow of incoming information, the myriads of tasks may grow over our heads. The moment may come, when we give up. Our souls curl up and we wait for a miracle. If we think this process over we may realize ho easily we can ruin our lives. Because of wanting more and more we swamp ourselves with so many things that our souls lose the capability of sensing a miracle. Right here we start to crave for miracle, since the plentitude of our possessions and social bonds became unmanageable. From this ’self-made trap’ we can get free only with cutting the Gordian knot tied by ourselves. How?
The miracle we crave for is hidden in the depth of our own spirits. As Thich Nhat Hanh says: "People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child -- our own two eyes. All is a miracle. ... You are a miracle and everything you touch could be a miracle." Shri Chinmoy phrases the same idea as follows: "God's supreme Love manifests in me and through me to transform my human problems into my divine opportunities".
An amazingly large Strength is hidden within us – deep inside.
Let’s discover it and unfold it! How?
In Deepak Chopra’s ’The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success’ the first step is practicing silence and non-judgment (non-labeling). If I consciously do not judge but only experience the world, the outer silence may soon become my inner Silence. Experiencing Life and Totality liberates us and provides creative power. The second step is joining the flow of the universe with accepting what the universe gives to me and that I give the universe what I (and only I) can give to it. From these the most important is love. The third step is accepting problems as possibilities and losses as the price for learning a better future. The fourth step is applying the least effort (which is very much related to the experience of the flow of the universe and increasing the harmony of this flow). In the following two steps we bring our deepest intentions to our conscious mind instead of repeatedly enforcing our previous ties and engagements. The final step leads us to the next section of my post: when the Strength discovered in ourselves starts to move and help others.
How much our chances to discover our inner Strength depend on our spiritual talent? Spiritual talent has been defined in various ways. Quite a variety of potential ingredients of spiritual talent (such as the independence from the crowd’s opinion, the strength of focusing, the depth of experiencing humility, the capacity and need of questioning the essence of life, the extent of compliance, etc.) and capabilities (such as holistic approach, capacity of shifting to various spiritual states back and forth optionally, presenting our long term vision to others in a charismatic way, etc.) have been listed by these definitions. Before the Reader, with the help of spiritual IQ tests, becomes encouraged to measure the chance of overcoming the problems and serving others with the soul’s inner energy, let me have two important comments. The first comment comes from the general nature of talent. Quite a lot of ingredients of talent are not at all static. They can change for an amazing extent even within months. Though there are only a few systematic examinations for that, I think that this ability of rapid development is acutely true for the spiritual talent. My most important, closing comment is a quote from a conversation I had with one of our talent supporting religious Sisters a few years ago. With a very kind and understanding smile she listened to my enthusiastic thoughts about how important it would be to measure spiritual talent and then she quietly said: "You know, dear Peter, we call this — Mercy."
3. Entering quality-time: when we become a miracle in others’ lives
As we discover the strength of our inner spirit, more and more of idle moments become quality-time, Kairos. Let me illustrate this process with a quote of Shri Chinmoy: „when Light enters into our physical consciousness, all kinds of fear are bound to disappear. ... If you live and swim in your soul’s sea of Light, you become pure gratefulness. ... Light makes us feel the richness what we are, that we are able to do everything and that we may become everything.”
How can we recognize those around us who can help unfold the miracle of our inner spirit? Studying wrong prophets a quite good list can be made of how we can recognize a person helping us unfold ourselves. A "true prophet" highly esteems and gladly assists the development of connection with someone's inner spirit. Due to rich spiritual experiences is tolerant and creative. Is not afraid of trying new approaches to solve complex issues and life situations. Just because of the knowledge achieved knows that does not know anything. Due to this and to the contemplation of Totality becomes immensely humble. Is Truth-seeking in both words and actions. Remains accountable and self-critical. Builds a community based on honoring differences, which protects its most vulnerable members the most.
Bringing miracles has never been an easy job. The personality who has reached a high level of integrity will differ much of the crowd. These people are considered strangers and often become despised or excommunicated. But all this is worth it because of two reasons. On one hand, these ’strangely behaving’ members of the community will give the most creative answers of the community. This can be observed even in such simple experiments where robots, which were 'programmed to behave differently' can help human groups much better in solving complex tasks than other human beings using the same logic. Such ’shockingly unusual’ behavior is a common characteristic of disordered protein segments, stem cells, omnivores (or top predators, which also stabilize ecosystems) and market gurus. (Please note that by listing these examples I did not want to infer that a top predator or a market guru is immensely humble and Truth-seeking in both words and actions...) On the other hand, bringing miracles releases inner energies. This may turn to a self-amplifying circle in which we become a peace-source, which radiates caressing, loving silence all around and with this creates peace-sources, which radiate caressing, loving silence all around, and-so-on... If we became full of Light, we become radiant. If we became Radiant: people are drawn to us because we have become the Torch. If we can radiate Light on people around us: their Love and Light will return to us and our happiness will be fulfilled.
With all these, moments of our lives will be transformed to Kairos and become hallowed.
On the Path to this I wish all my Readers a lot of joyful experiences!
Postscript: I would like to apologize that my native language is not English. I am especially not familiar with English phrases concerning spiritual life. I would like to ask all Readers whose native language is English to send any corrections to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you very much for your help (and patience) in advance! (I hope as time passes there will be fewer and fewer mistakes in the text.)