Friday, May 2, 2008

"Gam Zu L'Tova" and the grokking of the unseen world... Easier at 3??

"Gam Zu L'Tova" and the grokking of the unseen world... Easier at 3??
One of my students recently recounted a story to me about her nephew, who, for his 3 years on the planet, has a suprisingly enlightened reaction to spilling milk. When things go awry - like thomas the tank engine gets smashed by his sister, or his sucker falls in the dirt, her responds with the refrain: Gam Zu L'Tova. It's a Hebrew saying, meaning, "This is also for the good." As a therapist, I spend a lot of time hearing about the wounds of the world. In most cases it is not particularly helpful for me to remind people to look on the bright side, for fresh pain only needs commiseration and empathy. Yet, personally, I am getting a lot of mileage out of my newly aquired phrase. Reminds me of the infinite wisdom of Rumi, the Sufi mystic poet, who eternally reminds us to be awake to the unseen realms. He writes:
Everyone sees the unseen in proportion to the clarity of his heart, and that depends upon how much he has polished it.
Whoever has polished it more sees more - more unseen forms become manifest to him.
(As quoted in The Sufi Path of Love : The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi (1983) by William C. Chittick, p. 162)
Rumi is from Afghanistan, and was the #1 best selling poet in the US a few years back. The paradox of that is, I'm sure, obvious, while we are seemingly unable to get along with Rumi's present day countrymen. Anyhow, I take the 3 year old as the messiah of the day - as evidence of the fact that despite the fact that sometimes things appear to be going to hell in a handbasket the world over, there is a spirit in the little creatures that could be powerful enough to balance out all of the recklessness. It's contrary to reason, but reason is conditioned and constructed. The conditioned mind finds itself quite clever, but is really a very shaky guide. All it seeks is defense, impunity, and an easier world, a quest which leads to ruin. The heart, more ambiguous at times, is much more reliable. We have no idea what is coming. Unshield, let down the armor, allow befuddlement. Gam Zu L'Tova.
Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.
Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment is intuition.

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