Archive for February, 2015

Some additional thoughts

February.28. 2015

So is wisdom an intrinsic thing which can only be accessed by people with special ‘talents?’

Can it be imposed from outside?

Can you buy wisdom and become a wise person as a result?

Can you seek a master and become a man of wisdom too?

To answer these questions, let me recount the story of a great musician.

In the middle of a great concert career, he suddenly lost his technique. Somehow, he found he couldn’t play as freely and as naturally as before.

The critics noticed it also, the old brilliance was gone.

This is someone who, as a child, had played to ecstatic crowds from Berlin to New York and then somewhere around age thirty, he suddenly lost his technique.

The story goes that despite his best efforts to try to regain his former technique, he never found it again.

His playing was still great by any standards, but that spark of pure genius, the effortless touch of the prodigy was gone.

So what changed?

Did someone take that wisdom away from his hands and fingers?

Did he wake up one day with new hands and fingers?

No, everything was essentially the same.

Still the same old body, the same hands.

What happened was he had lost the wisdom in his body.

A wisdom he had intuitively found from years of playing and experiencing as a child.

A wisdom that enabled his body to find that sweet spot where everything clicked into place to produce a perfect alignment of hands, fingers, muscles, and mind.

That wisdom had nothing to do with his body or with any innate talent.

Because when it left him, the body was still essentially the same.

And it was unconscious, because if it was conscious, he could have been able to recall it in an instant.

Imagine someone with a deep intimate knowledge of something (his own body) and of a particular body experience (playing the instrument), and yet suddenly not being able to reproduce that experience, no matter how hard he tried.

It just goes to show.

Wisdom can’t be imposed from outside.

It is an internal thing which means no one can give it to you, you’ll have to find it yourself.

It has nothing to do with a particular body or mind.

And it operates at an unconscious level, which means you can’t force it to happen at will.

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The second thing

February.20. 2015

So perhaps you think you’ve found the wisdom you’re looking for, but how do you know that it is really ‘it?’

Especially if you’ve been searching a while, you’ve probably experienced a few false alarms along the way.

How do you know you’ve arrived at your goal?

The answer is in the results.

Perhaps you’re looking to play a certain technique on the guitar and for some reason, you’re unable to get what you want.

Your fingers just wouldn’t cooperate.

No matter what you do, you could not produce the effect you’re looking for.

Then one day, by accident, you change something in the way you attack the strings, or the way you hold the thumb and suddenly, voila, you’re able to produce that effect.

The change is instantaneous.

Almost miraculous.

This is what it feels like when you finally stumble onto the truth.

You will see instant results.

But the principle doesn’t only apply to the guitar.

You see the same principle at work in life.

For example, the uplifting power of wisdom creates good positive energy.

When you surround yourself with this positive energy created from your newfound wisdom, you will find that whatever you want to accomplish is suddenly easier.

Consider the carrot vs. the stick approaches.

You can try to force an outcome with a stick but it takes too much effort and involves violence which means that whatever outcome you get, if you get any, is not pretty.

Plus, you create resentment which will come back to haunt you.

But if you use the carrot, it’s effortless and the outcome is filled with positive energy.

That’s because everyone wins in the carrot approach. The other party gets to eat the carrot and you get your outcome.

The reason why you get instantaneous results is because the wisdom to accomplish what you want to accomplish was always within you.

You’re just setting it free.

That great guitar technique was always in your fingers, but may have been locked up by some misalignment in your body and by realigning your body, you’re finally setting it free.

That wisdom within your mind was always there, and by a shift in perception, you’re finally seeing it for the first time.

In other words, that wisdom you were searching for was always within you in the first place, unable to emerge, and when you finally discover the secret, the pivotal principle, you’re finally setting it free.

This is the second thing you need to know on your wisdom journey.

When you find what you’re looking for, it should feel like you’ve come home.

Everything finally feels right, no more struggle.

All the imbalances, the misalignments in your thoughts and body are suddenly resolved and now you’re able to see the whole situation perfectly.

So do not believe those who will try to sell you their ‘wisdom,’ and when you tell them that it’s uncomfortable and unnatural, they tell you to be patient, that it will take time for you to get ‘acclimated’ to it.

The truth is that true wisdom should feel right and work immediately.

You should see the results immediately.

Yes, there will usually be a transitional period, when you’re between the old and the new.

During this time, you will find yourself lapsing back into the old and the old problems will come back again.

So you want to stay vigilant and keep yourself focused on the new in the early stages, and you might have to do this consciously.

But once you solidify your new wisdom state, it should become automatic.

It will become a part of your natural state.

The period of adjustment has nothing to do with acclimating yourself to the new. Rather it’s in making sure that you do not lapse into the old.

The pivot principle

February.7. 2015

Most of the time, in wisdom journeys, you’re just wandering around, trying different options, different approaches, hoping to find the one that will bring you to your destination.

Sometimes you will get lucky and stumble onto the right path by instinct, or by accident.

Sometimes you will have someone else’s road map and know what to look out for and your journey is shortened considerably.

The problem, however, is that when you do find the ‘right’ option, how do you know it’s really the one?

It will look just like every other option. There will be nothing to indicate that this is it, this is the one that will lead you to where you want to go.

Well, there is something that will help give you a clue.

It’s what you might call the pivot principle.

The pivot principle is the one key element that will crystallize all the other elements. When you find this element, the others automatically fall into place.

You might call it the key to the kingdom.

Or the breakthrough principle.

Because it will literally unlock the door to the wisdom you’re searching for.

For instance, in guitar playing, once you find this key element, the other elements will become immediately obvious.

Let’s say you’re searching for your ideal hand position, that sweet spot where playing becomes effortless.

And you don’t know where to start—how should you play with the thumb, what angle do you hold your fingers, should you play from the left side or the right side or square against the strings?

All critical issues which have no answers.

That is until you find this key element.

And when you find it, everything else immediately falls into place.

You will know exactly what to do.

The reason is that nothing works in isolation, everything works together.

For instance, how you play with the thumb will impact your fingers, will impact the angle of your attack, will impact the direction of your strokes, which will in turn impact how you play with your thumb.

And there are no clear answers until you find that one principle that clarifies everything else.

The same principle applies in life.

Many times, you will struggle with a seemingly intractable problem until one day, almost miraculously, you stumble onto the one concept that will put everything else into focus.

And you know exactly what to do.

So most of the time, our search for wisdom is to find this one principle that unlocks all the others.

And the only way to find it is to keep searching.

To never give up.

And to understand that the journey can take years.

Sometimes I hear the word ‘frustrated’ in connection with a particular search.

‘Frustrated’ indicates that the person has certain expectations of finding what he’s looking for quickly and when he doesn’t find it, he gets ‘frustrated.’

Unfortunately, the search for wisdom does not follow any schedule, especially not one that you set. It will happen when it happens, and until it happens, you keep on searching.

This is the reason why wisdom is a rare commodity, because it takes so much time and effort.

But the payoff is immense.

Because when you find it, life (and whatever goal you’ve set for yourself) becomes effortless.

Next, the second thing you need to know on your wisdom journey.