henever our world changes for the better, it does so for only one reason: somewhere, in some place, someone (just like you and me) is suddenly “changed.” In the blink of an eye there comes an unexpected, but long-hoped-for visitation; a totally new idea appears in a mind that’s been preparing just for its arrival, and a marriage takes place between what has been and what yet may be.
Like stars that dot the evening sky, our history is filled with bright moments such as these, where something altogether new is given birth; from them come the discoveries that change the world we know.
Every period of recorded history reports the arrival of what must be considered certain “game changing” ideas, the advent of some unique insight whose appearance serves to transform the consciousness of the world itself. Of course, revelations such as these occur in all fields of endeavor. Like individual raindrops that feed our streams and rivers, it is new ideas that nourish and sustain the growth of science, art, and the humanities. Yet, seen aright, all that grows out of these varied branches flows, as it does, from out of one vast unseen ocean: self-knowledge.
The Greatest Secrets Await Within Ourselves
Every truth ever discovered — each new light that will ever burn bright — already exists in our consciousness. All we will ever know and share about love, humility, compassion, and sacrifice — the secrets that will reveal and then resolve old sorrows — awaits us within ourselves. Hidden in this truth is our great promise, both as individuals and as a race of beings.
I call these timeless ideas that ignite and stir us to remember our forgotten spiritual heritage “seeds of fire.” And even as the smallest mustard seed holds within itself the potential for a great vine, branches, and much fruit, so do higher ideas hold a three-fold power that’s unleashed as soon as it makes contact with the soil of a fertile mind. This three-in-one power is:
1. Discrimination: the ability to discern what is true from what is false.
2. Intention: the will to act upon and clarify one’s discoveries.
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3. Illumination: the realization of a new order of being freed from the bondage of self-induced limitation.
This means that regardless of when in time, or where on earth, one of these truths appears, its effect is always the same. By its deft touch, “the sleeper awakens” and the meaning of our life takes on a whole new magnitude.
Discovering a Pearl of Great Price
A kind of spiritual birth takes place when our consciousness first becomes aware of itself. Something is born in us in that same moment; there’s a distinct sense that within us lays buried “a pearl of great price.” Faint as it may be, we perceive the presence of an immeasurable, if not divine life whose possibilities are somehow recognized as being the same as our own. But with this great promise revealed comes also the inevitable birth of a new kind of longing.
Imagine someone who has lived out her entire life completely alone on a small island. As a result of her condition, she has no awareness whatsoever that anyone — or anything else — like her exists.
Then, one day, while exploring the most distant part of the island, she rounds a point and stops dead in her tracks. Before her, stretching into the distance — and around the other side of the point where the rising tide has all but erased any evidence of them — is a set of footprints in the sand!
Stunned by her discovery, her thoughts race to a standstill. She knows it wasn’t she who made these footprints, because her own tracks lead right up to them. Slowly the evidence mounts into something unthinkable: though these strange prints are clearly similar in shape and form to her own, they’re unmistakably larger, wider, and leave a deeper impression.
Like someone suddenly shaken awake from a deep dream, her mind struggles to make sense of what’s real and what’s not; even so, she’s aware of one thing for sure: she is not alone! Something has happened from which there will be no turning back; and from this point forward, both fearful and attracted to what she may find, she spends all of her waking hours in search of the one who left the footprints in the sand.
Seeking for The Unknown Wisdom
When the sleeper awakens, the seeker is born...
Whenever, through our exploration of life, we come upon some “seed of fire” — some new thought or insight that awakens us to a part of ourselves unknown only a moment before — we realize that we are not alone.
And, for having now been introduced to what amounts to a higher level of our own awareness, we also receive another gift beyond description: the realization that within us already lives a body of timeless wisdom that is more who we are than anything we could have ever imagined ourselves to be. But even this discovery, as great as it is, is just one of the diamonds to be uncovered along the way.
©2011 by Guy Finley.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Weiser Books,
an imprint of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC. www.redwheelweiser.com
The Seeker, The Search, The Sacred: Journey to the Greatness Within
by Guy Finley.
About The Author
Guy Finley is the best-selling author of over 40 books and audio albums on self-realization. He is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit center for self-study located in southern Oregon where he gives talks four times each week. For more information and to download Guy’s Free 60-minute MP3 “Five Simple Steps to Make Yourself Fearless,” visit http://www.GuyFinley.org/kit
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