Have you ever looked to an expert to tell you what to do? A leader, teacher or guru?
I hold my hand up with you. Human beings have sought the advice and counsel of sages and teachers for thousands of years.
Back in the day the high priestess at the temple of Delphi was a magnet for all and sundry to bring their burning questions. Much like today ancient people wanted to know things like: how well their business would fare, what prospect they had of finding their perfect mate, how to kickstart their life, what they needed to do to get well….and so on.
I made my own pilgrimage to Delphi as a tourist. Rich sienna-colored dust kicked up as I trod ancient paving stones. And a sage scented aroma from wizened cypress trees filled the afternoon breeze.
Apparently the priestess would perform rituals and utter prophesies that were often bizarre, hit and miss affairs. Perhaps her mysterious pronunciations were part of her appeal.
But the idea that certain people and special rituals hold the power to know what’s best for us persists.
Human beings consult all kinds of oracles. From enlightened teachers to tarot cards, and healers to horoscopes.
Back in my Delphi days I was a seeker. I’ve done my fair share of sitting at the feet of teachers. And I’m grateful for life changing healing and insights I’ve gained. But a healthy dose of skepticism prevented me from becoming a T-shirt wearing fan of guru’s.
What I always suspected, and am now convinced, is that every human being has access to wisdom.
The Buddha put it this way:
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.”
He counseled to weigh up what comes your way. And if what you hear benefits not just you but others too. Then this is worth living.
Characteristics of wisdom
Wisdom comes from the source of life that births stars and grows your toe nails.
Wisdom is not what you think with your intellect. It arises as an inner knowing that touches your heart.
Wisdom comes when it’s needed, not when it’s not. It requires patience and trust.
Wisdom doesn’t try to control life. It knows how to surf life’s inevitable ups and downs with grace and mastery.
Wisdom is 100% reliable. Not because it makes everything work out how you want. But because it’s always available to move you in the direction that serves the whole.
And because wisdom is always available and arises when it’s needed. Strategies are not required to tap into it.
So don’t take your own thoughts, or other people’s thoughts too seriously. Enjoy your favorite teachers, inspirational books and rituals but remember; you are your best guru. It’s what wakes up in you – brings your own wisdom to life – that heals and inspires you and ripples out to change our world.