(Editor's Note: I thought this was very fitting for this time of year especially. Enjoy what Dr. Frank Bowling has to say. His words always seem to resonate with me, so I hope they do with you also.)
Inner Beauty, Inner Light
Emerson wrote, “There is no object so foul that intense light will not make beautiful.” Though he was a philosopher, when Emerson wrote those words he was simply describing the natural world. His appreciation of nature was so great, he marveled at everything in it, and the more clearly illuminated by sun or moon or stars, the more fantastic he thought each animal or insect or blade of grass or grain of sand became.
Certainly, Emerson’s words are true in the context in which he wrote them, but being an incorrigible armchair philosopher myself, reading them instantly sent my mind spinning off into an interpretation that perhaps he never intended, though one of which I feel certain he would approve.
I am, generally speaking, a positive thinker. I mostly see the glass half full. I expect that things are eventually going to work out for the best, and am fond of saying, “There’s a reason for everything,” though often times we may have great difficulty discerning what in the world that reason might be.
And so, when I read the words “intense light” in Emerson’s essay, I could not help thinking about the clarity that can come from focused attention in the present moment. So often, we find ourselves functioning on autopilot, and when faced with difficult people or situations, our initial or even sustained response may be to classify them as negative, or ugly, or in Emerson’s word, “foul.”
Yet, there is in this vast universe of ours an organization so complex, and so perfectly orchestrated and synchronized, any cognizant and coherent person must surely see behind, beneath and within it a universal intelligence. Surely, there may be a Master Plan, and if there is, surely everything that happens to us must be a part of that Grand Design.
It would seem to behoove us, then, to the best of our ability, to judge nothing that occurs, to accept people and events as they are, and to look inside our own hearts for the courage and wisdom to learn from them whatever we are meant to learn. We’re here to grow, and everything that happens to us is an opportunity to further that growth. If we can develop the ability and the habit of seeing the world and everything in it from that perspective, perhaps we can spark within ourselves that intense light of which Emerson wrote, so that all things may become for us truly beautiful, and we ourselves truly beautiful in return.
Wishing you health, happiness and peace this holiday season.
(Make sure you are shining bright this holiday season [and all year long] with periodic upper cervical care.)