Monday, May 7, 2012

I Want to Tell You a Secret

Okay, so maybe it’s not exactly a secret but I wanted to get your attention so you’d read something I came across today.  I saw one line of the piece below on someone’s website and was intrigued, so I clicked the link.  As I read, thoughts filled me from this piece which was so simply expressed. 

Whether you believe in G-d, a higher power or force or even something extraordinary within each person that has the power to make us greater than our natural abilities would portend.  But it’s up to us to find a way to access it, to find the key that will free us from whatever hinders us.  We seek for it far and wide when in reality we’ve had it all along.   I think this speaks to everyone


Man, on his own, cannot reach higher than his own fingertips.
He cannot break out of his own skin;
he cannot lift himself up by pulling at his own hair;
all of his achievements are tied to his ego;
all that he may comprehend is defined by his own subjective perception.

He is a prisoner by virtue of existence.
So G‑d threw Man a rope:
He gave him tasks to fulfill that are beyond his grasp;
thoughts to fathom that take him outside the hollow of his subjective universe.

All that is needed is his willingness to leave himself.
We are all prisoners. But we sit on the keys.

-      Tzvi Freeman, 2007
Based on the Teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe
(Complete reference at end)

For myself, after some introspection, I realized just how many challenges I’ve let pass by because I felt I just wasn’t up to them at the time.  But I think if we come into contact with an obvious challenge that seems too coincidental to not be meant for to us we can react in one of three ways.  I’ll start off with the first response today and move the next two on subsequent days to give us all time to think in between.

Put Blinders on and never Leave the Starting Gate

First, we not may not allow ourselves to perceive whatever challenges may come our way.  We have reached a comfortable place and are determined to remain there such that we put on blinders so as not to see any opportunities for further development.  While we can acknowledge development is good, we feel we’re just fine in the development department and know anything new is bound to upset our sense of comfort which we’d really prefer not to do. 

Internally we feel uneasy over our lack of willingness to struggle with new challenges.  But put blinders on, purposefully blocking such opportunities from our minds.  This prevent unease from growing into guilt over refusing to acknowledge that there is always more we can strive to attain to better ourselves and the world around us.   We tell ourselves, “I don’t have to think of this now.  There’s plenty of time in the future to try that out.  I can always come back to it if I so choose.” 

Yet once a challenge has passed us by it is rare the same one will return to give us a second chance.  And having blocked it from memory there is no trace in our minds that it ever presented itself to begin with.  In this way, we will never have to acknowledge that we have greater potential to reach for, avoiding the risk of being pulled away from our comfort zone.  So we sit where we are most at ease, our mindset that of one who refuses to question their personal status quoi. 

Tomorrow I’ll tell you my thoughts on another way we may respond to challenges.  As I have been writing these I recognize myself in one of the three options.  As you read see you recognize yourself also.  Have I already hit on it with the first?  If so, keep reading the next posts and perhaps, if so inclined to do so, you may learn something that will lead you to a place you’d prefer to be.


Passage from:

Freeman, T., (2007).  Bringing Heaven Down to Earth I.  New York:  Class One Press. 347 pp.

1 comment:

  1. As we are designed as prisoners, are we not also required by design, to have the will to create, and don't they go hand in hand so that we may continue to exist as a species in this ever changing, dynamic universe? How else would G-D expect us to survive? So if we do not choose to engage in that process we are then just being partially or selectively self destructive. That seems unnatural and against the intent of our existence. I therefore rule out #1. Waiting for #2 and #3.