Although people often complain about the process of getting older, it does offer a benefit that keeps getting more and more valuable with the passing of time – perspective. Perspective , the taking in of the longer view, the bigger picture, the ability to make sense of a certain set of elements, gains clarity and occurs more frequently as we mature.
Whether we think of it in terms of discerning the unconscious patterns of our lives or the political /historical patterns with which we are surrounded, perspective offers us a sense of balance and detachment. We are able, as the dictionary says, to view things in their true relation with each other.
We may think of perspective as being gained either from the lazy man’s approach to enlightenment ie. putting forth little effort at development, or of being the fruit of intense meditation or deep inner work. In the first approach, perspective becomes an organic process gleaned simply from the experiences undergone with the passing of years. Perspective is gained haphazardly and over long spans of time. In the latter case, the spiritual trainee, by consiously pursuing development, is able to access deeper levels of perspective more quickly and effectively. In either case, the person develops an increasing sense of the a ha moment in their life, the ability to recognize a familiar pattern taking place either within or around oneself. Ah, I’ve seen that before.
We begin to develop an innate sense of the spiral-like nature of all life, inwardly as well as outwardly. We find ourselves encountering familiar landmarks in our psychological landscape as well as out there in the world. As the spiral tightens, progress becomes more swift. A sense of being cared for, of getting it grows and becomes more strong, even though we may as yet be unable to articulate this understanding. It doesn’t matter. We are becoming increasingly steady and balanced in our passage through the world. Does our choosing matter? We would suggest that the gaining of perspective is well worth whatever time and effort we can put towards this accomplishment. The value of perspective, while living in such times as our modern era, is hard to overestimate.
Whether through plain, everyday experience or by applying ourselves consciously to inner development and spiritual discipline, the end result is assured. What makes a difference, here and now, is our exercising of the power of choice. Do we opt for the extended tutelage of the long-body of experience, or the straight-and-narrow course offered by self-development? The value of a choice embracing a conscious, deliberate development of our own spiritual potential can only have a benificient effect on both our own welfare and that of all beings everywhere.
With blessings, Larry