To Trust Life is to Trust the Natural Laws of the Universe

Our TLT story today is half philosophy, half story – – told to me by a grown man, reflecting back on an experience he had at age three in his native country of Japan.  This particular friend has been an extraordinary teacher to me, a mentor really.

As we settle in to my favorite coffee/tea house, both enjoying egg salad sandwiches with a mutual friend of ours, I can feel myself begin to eagerly anticipate what I know is just minutes away: a story which is sure to be meaningful to me (and hopefully to you as well)…and the teaching that I know will come with it.

But before we begin, I’d like to remind you about the language I referred to in my article of Jan. 28th, entitled “Just What Do I Believe?”  In short, we all use different terminology to, at times, convey the same idea, depending on our background, culture, etc.  Please do not get caught up on language (for more detail, simply refer to paragraph 3 in the aforementioned article).   I am specifically referring to the verbiage of ‘Great Intelligence’.  That doesn’t speak to you?  Fine.  Substitute with God, Our Creator, Universe, etc.

Enough set up.  Sandwiches consumed, sipping tea, my friend begins:

“I feel my story will be better understood if I lay some foundation before I tell it.  Human beings have struggled for millions of years for survival.  The whole process of survival has led to the conditioning of the mind.  That is to  say, there is a fixed stimulus – a response reflex, some are simple and others complex.  The fight for survival as an individual, family, clan, tribe, nation, religious entity, and so on, has divided mankind.  The conditioned brain has become dependent on thought process, memory, and the ego for its survival.

At this point, you must be wondering, how else would we survive and what else is there to be dependent upon?  To me, Trusting Life is to trust the natural laws of the universe governed by the Great Intelligence.  Just look at the planets revolving around each other in perfect harmony.  Look at the existence of all those beautiful planets.  Look at the operation of the natural laws at all levels – – sub-atomic to the entire universe.  We realize it is all governed by the Great Intelligence.  Just looking at the natural beauty that surrounds us, it gives us a glimpse into that magnificent Intelligence.  We can see how it is taking care of the whole universe and how the whole universe is Trusting Life for its survival.

After saying that, I see that all we have to do is Trust Life, or that Great Intelligence, to guide us moment to moment, as it guides the whole universe.  Which leads me to my story:

I was raised in a small town in Japan from birth until I left for college.  When I think of my early childhood memories, I am reminded of my favorite pastime: appreciating the beauty of nature.  I would sit for hours totally absorbed, looking at the rain, watching the sunset or sunrise.  I would wake up early, just to gaze at the bright stars on the dark background of night.

The best time for me to watch nature was around sunrise.  I used to walk around the grounds outside my house, even as early as three years old, enjoying the nature that surrounded me.

One morning was very different.  I saw a man cutting the clothesline attached to the poles in the field in front of our house.  It seemed very odd to my three year old mind.  I finished my customary walk, and came back inside my house.  But all of the sudden, and completely outside of my normal routine, I felt a strange urge to go outside again.  This urge led me to the front of our next door neighbor’s house.  Right before me, in their front veranda, I saw the same man hanging with the clothesline around his neck.

I had never seen anything like this before – not on television, not in movies.  I didn’t have the thoughts to even process what was going on, but I knew this was serious.  I ran back into my house to wake my father and uncle.  After great effort (they were both sound asleep), I took them and showed them what I had seen.  They got a knife and jumped inside the veranda, re-stacked the chairs the man had used to “kick off” from, and my father started cutting the clothesline while my uncle supported his legs.  The man dropped down to the floor.  [I was watching the whole ordeal, knowing the man was going to be okay; I just knew.]  As they sprinkled water on his face, the man started to breathe and move.  Although I knew he was going to be okay, I still found myself feeling relieved.  The man was taken to the hospital and I saw him a few days later, walking around with no obvious damage.

On that morning, I feel I was guided by that Great Intelligence.  The man’s days were not over.  I feel because I was in tune with the moment, thus in tune to the guidance by the Great Intelligence, I was aware of the space around me.  I must have felt this man hanging himself even if I was not seeing him do it physically.

I have observed that inner silence, stillness, quietness, and trust are the key to let Love, Intelligence, and Sacredness flow through us without the static noise of our ego, conditioning, and inner chatter obstructing them.  Also, I must say I realized from the article, “88 Cents (Part 2),” that sometimes we go through the struggle and conflicts to learn the lessons of Life and at the end, surrender for The Guidance and Intelligence to work through us.

Thank you, Leslie for giving us an opportunity to share our ideas and stories with the rest of our fellow human beings and learn from each other.”

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Wow.  What an incredible story, as well as the teaching that set the stage for us.

After listening intently to my friend, I was reminded of a scientific article I ran across several months ago that discussed a similar concept.  The author, whose name I didn’t capture, was discussing the difference between concentrating/thinking vs. tuning in.  Here is an excerpt from the article that mirrors what my friend was saying above:

Shireen (the scientist being interviewed): “There is a clear difference between concentrating and tuning in.  If I concentrate, I try with all my might to achieve something with my thoughts.  Usually you achieve just the opposite.  What we call “thinking”, is actually mainly about doubting.  You wind up in all kinds of emotions – “I can’t do this, what am I doing here?” – and you don’t achieve your aim.   Tuning in means not thinking, [while] making contact with the information that’s already there.  You become one with the information and resonate with it.”

Author:  “Anyone who thinks that only the Mahatma or the Saviour can do that, now has scientific evidence of the contrary.  Each one of us is capable.  Each one of us is a creator.  Each one of us can change the world.  And that doesn’t have to be an endless, difficult process – just think of the Aboriginals’ ability to heal broken bones.  It can happen today.  It can happen now.”

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And it does happen daily.  It happened on the morning, all those years ago, when a three year old little boy in Japan felt he was being beckoned to walk outside, for no other reason, than he was tuned in with the moment, with his environment, with IT ALL.  And for the ultimate reason, being responsible for saving a man’s life.

Thank you, friend.  Thank you for sharing your story and teaching.  I look forward to continuing to learn, grow, and share with you.

A Word on Love

Love.  What a truly beautiful word – to these ears at least.  However, love is one of those words I try to limit its use.  It’s a very strong word, and one I like to use with purpose and definite feeling.

My cousin Roxana first brought the word ‘love’ and its use to my attention almost 20 years ago.  She has spent most of her life in Mexico, and although she can speak English, she doesn’t have much need or opportunity to use it.  One day we were discussing fundamental differences between the two languages.  She made the comment that in English we have a word for everything.

“Every little everything has a specific word for it in English,” she said.  “And if you don’t have a name for it, you’re quick to make one up.  So why is it that you all use the word ‘love’ in such a general sense?” she asked.

“Do you really love your car?  Love your mother?  Love the weather outside?  Love the color yellow?  Love a movie or a TV show?”  she continued.  She had a point.  You’d use a different verb in Spanish to express the love of a car versus the love of a person.  Actually, to use the same verb for both would be absurd; it wouldn’t really compute.

I tucked that conversation away, although I keep it in the forefront of my mind when choosing to use the word love.  [By the way, love isn’t the only word I put in this ‘exclusive use’ category.  A few others are: hate, perfect, awesome, and amazing.]

In a similar vein, I remember a time when a colleague of mine would end each phone conversation with his wife by saying, “I love you, Honey.”  I could hear him from my cube and thought it was sweet the first couple of times.  Until it appeared the statement was actually more like a period at the end of his sentence.  It had become a habit.  Granted, it was a nice thing to say, but still, I couldn’t help but wonder a few things.  First, I’m sure he loved his wife, I wasn’t questioning that.  (Not my place to question anyway.)  My internal questions were more around the rote behavior.  Did it lessen the meaning?  Was it less heartfelt?  Was it somehow less ‘received‘ by his wife on the other end of the line?  It was clearly a pattern, but I found myself contemplating if the pattern ought to be broken?  And if so, how?

Not five minutes later, his phone rang and it was his admin.  They discussed their business related stuff, and as he hung up, he said, “I love you, Honey.”  Dead silence.  I remember being able to feel the awkwardness as he pushed his chair back, walked the ten steps over to her cube, and fumbled through his “Oops shpeel.”  [And in case you’re wondering, he did continue with the “I love you, Honey’s” with his wife, but he preceded them with her first name.  They also sounded as if they had a bit more oomph behind them – at least to my untrained ear.]

Whether it’s with your lover, your kids, your Valentine, your cousin, your FAITH sisters, or your whomever, I hope you feel it when you say, I LOVE YOU. I hope the person receiving it can feel it.   And when you’re expressing your love for something, as we do in English, I hope you equally feel that.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

“To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.” -David Viscott