Every month our team here plays the “Being Game”, in which we choose an aspect of the divine to hold in our attention in order to deepen our understanding of ourselves. This month’s game is Being Clear. We are finding endless situations and ideas out of this month’s game which are leading to daily awakenings. One aspect that has come to light is that clarity sometimes can only occur after a period of darkness or difficulty or confusion or some other form of suffering. We now see those times of pain and discomfort as a necessary condition to becoming clear. Really. This is a lesson that admittedly needs to be learned time and again, but it does become a new awareness and eventual path to acceptance. How would it be to see any form of anger, resentment, negativity, or pain as a great lesson, a great chance to see clearly?
Another aspect of Being Clear allows one to escape from being paralyzed when living in the “gray” area – that place where one feels stuck, immobile and indecisive. We see that making any decision often allows us to move past an issue even if the choice seems not to ultimately serve us. Some would say that there are “no mistakes”, there are simply decisions that cannot yet be judged as good or bad at the time. One such example of this cause and effect is in this famous Zen story:
Once upon the time there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.
“Maybe,” the farmer replied.
The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.
“Maybe,” replied the old man.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.
“Maybe,” answered the farmer.
The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.
“Maybe,” said the farmer.
And so it goes. Where are you being clear?