A mentor of mine once shared, it is a good thing when you learn to tolerate those with other world views, but is an even greater thing when you learn, not only to tolerate, but to embrace.
To 'embrace'... it is such a liberating force. All expressions of true love spring forth from it. All success is preceded by it. It is like a fountain that pours forth from the depths of the earth. Its origin is unseen and unknown, it just is. It grows over time, through many experiences and then comes forth to extinguish any obstacles that once seemed unsurmountable.
As I grew up, trying to find my way and make my mark, I developed a very narrow view on the world and our universe. I embraced that worldview fully and journeyed closer and closer to its core. Close enough to find that the image I held for so many years, slowly revealed layer upon layer of deceit, perhaps self deceit. Upon discovery, I was catapulted into a world of uncertainty, I started wandering, slowly allowing myself to expand my boundaries one brick at a time.
This can be a scary process, but I soon learned that one must have faith to embrace doubt.
Who can see back into eternity past? Who can see into eternity future? Some have a quick answer. I believe this view is born out of fear, out of our need to label, to understand every situation, every being, every relationship. A way of thinking that says, if we can box it, we can understand it.
Consider how the sun setting over the horizon can move a soul to tears... 92 million miles from the place where you read these words, a Herculean cluster of atoms presents itself as a ball of fire, composed of hydrogen and helium. It radiates light and heat across a vast nothingness, refracted by an atmosphere of largely nitrogen, some oxygen and traces of other gases to produce a spectrum of colors that, when it enters through the iris and comes to rest on the retina, produces an impulse in the brain, that translates into a sense of beauty, longing and wonder.
Many of us embrace a limited and very specific worldview, which makes us feel safe and gives us a sense of security. But this also limits us to the boundaries of the story we tell ourselves, or choose to believe. Inevitably, this also keeps the outside world from entering into our 'world.' It is a beautiful thing though, to allow yourself, to embrace a wider lens on the world.
"Humanity is a family which has hardly met.'"
These are the beautiful words of Theodore Zeldin. I resonates deeply doesn't it? I now choose to believe in that which draws us together... Ideas such as loving kindness, empathy and I found, beauty, in particular, can be healing phenomenon. And finally... joy.
Do we need to bound these ideas within a specific worldview before we can embrace them?
[click images to enlarge]
These photographs I took on a trip to Mauritius, where I joined friends at a Hindu Diwali Festival of Lights. Some years ago, I would not have allowed myself to engage in a ritual like this. Now I know, this was due to fear, fear that my boundaries may be pierced by the 'outside world'.
...Oh what a beautiful thing that would have been!