Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Help Comes From the Strangest Places

--by David Brooks (Feb 01, 2011)

Help comes from the strangest places. We are living in the middle of a revolution in consciousness. Over the past few decades, geneticists, neuroscientists, psychologists, sociologists, economists, and others have made great strides in understanding the inner working of the human mind. Far from being dryly materialistic, their work illuminates the rich underwater world where character is formed and wisdom grows. They are giving us a better grasp of emotions, intuitions, biases, longings, predispositions, character traits, and social bonding, precisely those things about which our culture has least to say. Brain science helps fill the hole left by the atrophy of theology and philosophy.

A core finding of this work is that we are not primarily the products of our conscious thinking. The conscious mind gives us one way of making sense of our environment. But the unconscious mind gives us other, more supple ways. The cognitive revolution of the past thirty years provides a different perspective on our lives, one that emphasizes the relative importance of emotion over pure reason, social connections over individual choice, moral intuition over abstract logic, perceptiveness over I.Q. It allows us to tell a different sort of success story, an inner story to go along with the conventional surface one.

To give a sense of how this inner story goes, let’s consider a young member of the Composure Class, though of course the lessons apply to members of all classes. I’ll call him Harold. His inner-mind training began before birth. Even when he was in the womb, Harold was listening for his mother’s voice, and being molded by it. French babies cry differently from babies who’ve heard German in the womb, because they’ve absorbed French intonations before birth. Fetuses who have been read “The Cat in the Hat” while in the womb suck rhythmically when they hear it again after birth, because they recognize the rhythm of the poetry.

As a newborn, Harold, like all babies, was connecting with his mother. He gazed at her. He mimicked. His brain was wired by her love (the more a rat pup is licked and groomed by its mother, the more synaptic connections it has). Harold’s mother, in return, read his moods. A conversation developed between them, based on touch, gaze, smell, rhythm, and imitation. When Harold was about eleven months old, his mother realized that she knew him better than she’d ever known anybody, even though they’d never exchanged a word.

--David Brooks, in Social Animal

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On Jan 31, 2011 Venkat wrote:

absolute truth beautifully  re-presented!

thank you

Dr Venkat Pulla


On Feb 2, 2011 ganoba wrote:

 Rishis (seers) through the regular practice of meditation, which allows us to see the whole (the core, the shell and everything in between) knew  that the part we become aware of is not the whole truth. What our senses can perceive is only the outer shell. To consider this to be the whole truth or even as the significant part of the truth is a serious error in any study.

Modern science on the other hand limited its study only to this part. As a result we came to know a lot about the material world. Later the study had to be extended to the realm of energy and then it was found that these two, matter and energy are closely related and inter-changeable. inevitably the study had to lead to space. It is now being found that empty space produces matter and energy which after a brief flash of existence merge back into it.

The material progress that this has led to has blinded many of us to the self imposed method in scientific enquiry of treating human senses as the final arbiters of truth. We still seek scientific validity for age old truths. Yoga, meditation, accupuncture, Reiki and many such systems are still being subjected to this humiliating treatment.

Wake up Sid.

On Feb 3, 2011 anumaster wrote:

good,i need morethan this stories

On Feb 7, 2011 Pancho wrote:
My family calls me Pancho and some of you might think that you don't know me but I'd like you to know that I love you all. 
These were the three points I talked about during the sharing circle at the Kindness Temple last Wednesday:
1. Unexpected Birds
2. The Origin of the (R)evolution.
3. Invitation: Filial Insight
1. Unexpected Birds
One never knows who will benefit from our learning experiences and work. During the last weeks the Free Farm in San Francisco, has been hosting incredible guests. Somehow this green patch in the middle of the asphalt jungle has become more than a church without walls. As described by a volunteer:
"The workdays feel alive with activity and conversation and when the volunteers leave, it feels like the farm comes alive in a different way. A Red Tail Hawk came and perched up on the tall flagpole...she hunted mice in front of us, eating her kill on the frame of the new hot house.[...] It was a reminder of all the creatures, visible and invisible, and all the relationships that exist on this third of an acre. There are the micro-organisms in the soil that create the nutrients for plants to grow and flower, which brings the bees, who pollinate the flowers that create fruit, which brings the mice and small birds, which brought this hawk. This is the beauty of interdependence.
This hawk symbolizes how the farm is increasing in biodiversity and becoming a sanctuary for many lives, including us humans."
Also last Wednesday, three of us were in the lunch area by a little bush we decided not to cut last year. All of a sudden, a beautiful metallic blue and green hummingbird made an incredible ritual: he spent close to 3 seconds in front of each one of us --as if he were saying 'Namaste'-- and then he had a feast with all the flowers that are blooming from the little bush.
We never planned all this. The Universal Love flows in mysterious ways and if we pay attention to the subtle currents, the miracles of life will manifest everywhere.

2. The Origin of the (R)evolution.
The (R)evolution started in the wombs of our mothers. That's were the Uprising of Souls was ignited. When I was younger, I could not understand my mother when she said that the intention was the most important part of a gift. My rational and materialistic mind found hard to grasp that wisdom. Nipun's lemon story reminded me of this kind of motherly wisdom: 
"My first time back in India, my friend from kindergarten was taking me around on his newly found motorcycle and he was, of course, speeding and my American stomach was already edgy with all the food. So as he's hitting all the potholes, and pretty soon I start throwing up. 
Here we were, these teenagers in a messy situation and none of us know what to do. Just then, an old man on a bicycle stops and takes out something from his bag. It's a lemon. He cuts it in half and he offers it to me. No words. It's just implied-suck on this and you'll be fine. And then he takes off. Just like that. That's generosity. He gives half of what he has in that moment. Maybe he needed it for the evening dinner, but instead he stopped for an unknown person on the street, shared his lemon and walked off without saying a word. That's service."
Receiving raw kindness from a man who didn't know him. It is not how much we give but how much of what we have that we give that determines the level of our commitment to the kindness (R)evolution. 
Some of us give some or all the material wealth we have, but what is more precious than devoting our entire lives to serve humanity? How much time of the time left we have on this Planet are we going to devote to practice service?
3. Invitation: Filial Insight
Deep inside all of us there are the seeds of compassion and unconditional love we received by our mothers when we were in the womb. Our first experience is the gift of a mother's love; without us knowing who or what this person is, we are showered with love. Later, our biological family kept nourishing these seedlings. Kindness to children in their formative years is the key to accelerate the Total (R)evolution of the Human Spirit. For those of us who had the fortune to have a nourishing and loving childhood, it is our responsibility to share this infinite love with all people who interact with us. It is of extreme importance to acknowledge the love we received during our early infant stages --and must pay-it-forward to new generations! 
Now I can understand my father too. When I was upset with my mother, he always reminded me: "Without your Mom you would not be on this World, you must be infinitely grateful for her love and who she is. Period."
We must continue to facilitate the learning of the hearts of our children if we want to have a harmonious Earth.
The invitation is to look within ourselves for all these ONE-derful seeds of compassion and unconditional love that we all have somewhere in our soul and lets keep watering them with kindness for ourselves and our neighbors. The inspiring example of the Mehta family who has been opening not only the door but also their hearts to anybody for more than 13 years, is a reminder of the beauty of the potential we have as the Grand Human Family.
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.