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Stand on your head

Stop a moment, take a deep breath, and stand on your head…


If you’re very wise, have lots of life experience, or have worked as a teacher or counselor, you probably understand that. If you’re 2 years old, it’s obvious. Duh.

Strange that deep truths might be clear to a 2yo and completely obscure to intelligent adults? No, not really. The magic that keeps animals alive in the forest, the ocean, the jungle… it’s called “instinct.” The greatest wisdom humans have available to them, they were born with. It’s their instinct. That’s why so many meta- paths encourage silent sitting, quieting the noisy mind, being still for hours, intensely studying a flower or blade of grass, and so on.

You’re not looking for new or even secret hidden wisdom. You’re just trying to get the distractions out of the way so what you started with – your “instinct” – becomes clear again.

Mystics all over this world start from many different places: Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Taoists, Sufis, Scientists, Martial Artists, Shintoists, Wiccans, and lots more. And yet, when they reach a certain level of awareness, they all bring their ideas down to a small number of “sacred truths.” These fundamentals are clear, obvious, and seem to undergird everything else. What’s really weird is that these fundamental ideas are THE SAME ONES no matter where they started.

That’s strange. It’s a bit like if every person in the world, no matter what language they started with, made up their own language. And they all ended up creating exactly the same words! It’s pretty close to impossible that something that unlikely would happen just by chance. There has to be a reason for it. Human “instinct” is that reason.


But why stand on your head?

When you think about something long enough, it’s easy to get stuck. You may even go in circles. Each thought or idea leads to the next one and the next, over and over. You need to “get fresh eyes on it,” “employ the beginner’s mind,” “think outside the box,” and so on. Many cultures and groups use this principle. To get un-stuck, you need to perceive things differently. The simplest way to do that is to look at it all upside down and backwards. Stand on your head. Lay on your back on the bed or couch, hang your head over the edge, and look at the world upside down for a while.

Seem simple? Seem stupid, maybe? All the greatest truths are simple. Remember 2 years olds and instinct? Yep.

Try it. Right now, take a moment and look at your world upside down for a few minutes. Blind belief is for children, complete idiots, and those too scared of experiencing life to explore. Don’t believe, go try it. See if you can notice at least one small thing you haven’t noticed before.

Stop a moment, take a deep breath, and stand on your head…

Did you try it? If not, stop reading. You’re caught in one of those three categories I just mentioned. Stop wasting your time with my nonsense ideas… and go watch the news.

++ Angel

Jan 17, 2011

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