“The middle path is the way to wisdom.” ~ Mevlana Rumi
Yesterday I watched Eckhart Tolle visiting Google Headquarters. He talked with Google’s Bradley Horowitz about the balance of “knowledge” and “wisdom” (a.k.a. spirituality, although the Google VP of Product Management didn’t mention that word) in front of Google staff. And although Tolle started out with praising Google’s working conditions and the way they create space for people, one could say that there aren’t much more different ways of looking at the meaning of wisdom: While Google has certainly many highly intelligent people with brilliant and high-performing minds employed, Tolle says the secret lies in turning the mind off and in not looking for an identity in it.
Are people really interested in digging to the deeper meaning, the real truth of things? Or is this maybe to difficult, maybe even futile to follow?
Maybe you are asking now “Myrko, where are you going with this?”
Or maybe I have even lost you already.
My Personal Experience
I also got the feedback to be more personal in my blog posts recently, so I’m going to use some more personal information and experiences along with my posts. In many discussions and also in my own reflections, the deeper I dig the more it gets obvious that balance in life is at the core of what is the right way to go.
In the discussion of “mind vs. spirit” balance simply means that I don’t take an either-or standpoint here. This may turn off some of you who are heavily on either one of the two sides. Most like to have a clear answer, a standpoint in favor of one opinion and in opposition to another. But the reality is, that it’s never black and white. It’s not about making a decision here, it’s more about finding the way that works best most of the time and doesn’t create conflicts on the inside or on the outside.
Embrace Your Spirit!
My personal experience is that in the moment I realized the power of now, a whole new world opened up effortlessly. It centered me in a way that nothing else mind-created could do and it gave me an ultimate foundation for my being and my life.
For me it didn’t work long-term to focus only on what my intelligent mind, my thoughts and emotions, my desires and wants suggest. Something meaningful is missing. As long as you are on the “search”, you may not realize it yet. But when you nearing your destinations that you thought are your ultimate you, you may feel content and satisfied, but I bet there is also a new question arising… something along the lines “Is this all there is?” or maybe “What is the next level?”
Embrace Your Mind!
But… on the other hand, I would never ever dismiss the power of the mind. The mind is incredible and is your number one tool in the world. Everything about setting goals, making plans, being productive, improving focus etc. still aplies.
Having a sharp mind is extremely valuable and helps you to function in this world, do what you do successfully, which means nothing else as creating value for others.
I point that out because I struggled with this myself, when I somehow got the feeling that mind-activity contradicts being present. In a way it does indeed, because you only have a certain amount of attention and when you put it to a task or to any kind of object, it gets attached there and is not free in this moment. But attention being free is necessary to become present.
Balance, the Final Answer!?
The final answer for me is to find balance between intense mind activity and simply presence. Still of course, even with intense mind activity I feel that there is some kind of conscious presence in the background. And I think this is the reason why I don’t loose myself in the mind anymore, which simply means making an identity out of what the mind creates.
Balance does also seem to be the ultimate solution when you look at the different parts of your life. In an article on work-life balance Jerry Colonna says that the concept of work-life balance is bullshit: “First, it presumes that work is in opposition to life… Second, the concept sets us up for terrible guilt.” But in the end he concludes that you still need to divide up your time to balance your most important life-areas (work,body,family).
It never really works for long if you favor just one single area, for instance spending almost all time at your work and much less on your body or your family. This almost always fires back. You can have areas of expertise, but you can’t afford to have areas out of balance.