From a young age, I’ve been attracted to spirituality. In the 80’s, I followed channelers, investigated astrology, read tarot cards, collected crystals, and did a Native American vision quest. In the 90’s, I did shamanic drumming, read mystical texts, discovered yoga, studied world religions, and sat for my first meditation. My spiritual pursuits continue to this day.
Unfortunately, right from the get-go, my “know-it-all” tendency wanted my persona to be a wise sage. Bad idea.
Why? Because when you’re trying to be a wise sage, you can’t learn anything. You have to already know something to be a wise sage, and I was just a youngster!
There is another problem. Being a wise sage implies that you’re already there. And anyone on the spiritual path knows that it’s an awfully long journey… that probably won’t end in this lifetime, if it ever does. So if you’re in a hurry to get there, you may be in for a reality check. And if you think you’re “all that”, you’re probably not.
So I continually have to bring myself back to being an innocent child.
Many of the great spiritual teachers say that we should endeavor to be like a child. Does this mean to act childish? Of course not! What is means is that we should remain open, innocent, pure, and receptive. We should, as the Buddhists say, maintain beginner’s mind – no matter how much we know (or think we know).
It’s a lot of fun, though, to be a wise sage. It’s great for our egos! But of course, not very helpful. And if you try to be one, you’ll fail.
However, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t wise – or that your Higher Self isn’t wise. It means that you can’t try to be that. In any way, shape, or form. Wisdom comes through you.
Wisdom isn’t owned by us. It’s not something we collect. It isn’t something we can patent or put a copyright on. Wisdom comes from Source, from the Divine. The only way we can be a wise sage is to put aside ourselves and allow it to flow through us.
If we ever identify ourselves with that wisdom – that’s mine, I thought of that, aren’t I great? – the flow shuts off then and there.
What do we do if we ever find ourselves (like I do!) thinking we’re the wise old sage? Come back to your true essence… that childlike innocence.
Young children are in touch with their being. Even when they’re doing, they’re being. They are simply one with whatever is in front of them. When they’re playing in the mud, they’re totally open to it – feeling it, shaping it, tasting it, throwing it. Time doesn’t exist. “Getting dirty” doesn’t exist, until an adult imposes it on them. They are fully there, curious, interested, and immersed.
They are present and open-hearted. That is the essence of a child, and that is our true Self.
What we bring to the table as adults is awareness. We have the intention to be present, and we are aware of presence and the state of our open (or closed) heart. Children are unconsciously present and open: adults are able to be conscious.
So if you find your wise sage rearing its head, don’t worry – reconnect to your essence through your childlike innocence. Mindfulness, being conscious, leads the way. Step outside and smell a flower. Quiet your mind with meditation. Create some art, without letting your inhibitions stop you. Play, laugh and be silly. Sit down with your child or your sister’s/brother’s/neighbor’s child and follow their lead. They’ll get you back into your essence.
And if something wise comes out of your mouth, chalk it up to being open enough to receive it.