There are many prophecies and theories about what is in store for us in 2012. Hold on to your hats. It could be the end of the world. It could be the end of present tyrannies or simply a broad-based spiritual awakening. I propose that we make 2012 a Y.O.U., a Year Of Understanding.
In 2012, there will be more understanding arising out of new revelations, shared online, tweeted and emailed. There will be more coming out about the powers behind the economic forces that are driving more hard working people into poverty. There will be more information (and perhaps understanding, too) about governments, war, about mega-corporations and the corporate run media.
But the Year Of Understanding I propose is about the big U: Understanding as a way of life, a daily priority that will finally help us Understand who we are. We are not (ultimately, that is) pawns of economic policies and their police. We are not trained rats meant to run the engines of commerce. We are not consumers grouped in families with marketable needs. We are not helpless worshippers of Fate or a distant, judgmental Deity bent on keeping us in our place.
Who are we? (Hold on to your hats; this is big.) We are visitors come this era to infuse it with Love, Gratitude and Understanding through purposeful, enlightened action. Do you want proof? Commit your actions with Love, Understanding and Gratitude, and you will awaken your knowledge of who we are. (I dare you to commit to it without any presuppositions!)
Last night my wife had an unusual dream as she tossed and turned. In the morning she remarked, “It’s a wonder that we don’t yet understand sleep. Or dreaming.”
I have a feeling that we don’t understand sleep or dreams because we don’t understand wakefulness. I have a stronger feeling that we don’t understand death because we don’t know how to live fully. And we don’t understand love because we don’t know who we are. All the mysteries of life will be resolved when we give ourselves to Understanding.
We can’t understand things if we continue to move at the frenetic, multi-tasking pace that we do, without stopping to listen to our inner knowledge, hunches, and feelings. We can’t understand who we are when we are constantly pushed by the agendas of others. We can’t understand what we are here to do if we always give top priority to economic imperatives (rules we didn’t write and barely understand).
To make 2012 a YOU, we must give priority to the four elements of Understanding: C.O.L.A. (Curiosity, Openness, Love and Acceptance). Understanding does not happen without Curiosity. We naturally have great Curiosity as children, but that is cured with endless rules and authorities to enforce them. If there is any hope of Understanding, we must be Open to people and circumstances, without our fears and prejudices in the way. Understanding also requires us to Love all that this person or circumstance (including ourselves, of course) creates – though it be destructive, chaotic and unpleasant. (See below for a parable the prophet Jesus told about this.) To Understand, we must also Accept life’s circumstances (including the people) as they are, for nothing in this world exists for no reason.
A Year Of Understanding I propose is not about Fate, Armageddon or the toppling of repressive regimes. It is about each one of us, taking the power we have (and has never been lost) to become fully ourselves. Here’s how it works: the more Gratitude we have, the better we Love and Understand. The more Love we share, the better we Understand and the more Gratitude we have for life and all its quirks. Finally, the more we Understand, the more Gratitude we have for the life we know and the more we become Love. By this path of Understanding, we discover more about what life is and on the way, discover and Understand who we really are.
There is a curious story that Jesus of Nazareth told regarding what to do when someone plans an economic hardship for us. It demonstrates a deep Understanding of how all things work together. (It’s from Matthew 13:24-30, New International Version)
“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
Jesus points out that the process of life must be respected and come to fruition instead of being interrupted beforehand. If it is interrupted, the good and desirable may be harmed as well as the chaotic, destructive and undesirable.
This Understanding accepts the way of Life, as unfair, tainted and unpleasant as it can be. In other words, “let it be.” At the harvest it will be sorted out; but in the meantime, use it to Understand life, relationships, growth and fulfillment. This is wise. It is deep Understanding. It has no haste or anxiety.
This “Parable of the Wheat” reminds us to Understand the priorities of the moment by continuing to care for the wheat. Reacting in frustration will uproot the good.
It’s up to YOU. Make it YOU. Be YOU. It is YOU.