Outer, or Everywhere Wisdom
inner wisdom different than outer wisdom? Prevailing wisdom suggests
that personal, inner wisdom comes after the individual has had enough
life experience to learn that consequences always follow actions. Outer
wisdom, then, is carried by the Elders, whether they be grandparents,
parents, philosophers like Plato and Socrates, or Black Elk and Fool’s
Crow. Do the inner and outer worlds merge so we can gain insight from
either or both?
life experience suggests to me that wisdom available to us is found
within and without all at the same time. Wisdom is gained by integrating
the lessons from life into an insightful problem solving process. How do
we get comfortable trusting insights from choices that didn’t turn out
so well? How do we learn to trust our own roadmap of life?
live in a world of conflicting messages that encourage us to be
independent and self reliant, and yet often causes us to question our
own judgment. The map through that is to find the way that allows us to
access the insights from our own life experiences and allows us to use
all of the accumulated wisdom around us.
that possible? Yes, it is.
tend to live in a literal world, and get caught up in the very literal
things that take up our daily existence. If we examine ancient wisdom,
we find that the Elders of those cultures examined not the physical
literal world, but what those signs meant. In other words, the ancients
lived and breathed within a world of symbolism; a very different place
from television and a fast paced life. Symbolism was pervasive in the
ancient world to the extent that indigenous people worldwide used the
same or similar symbols to represent the same things. Carl Jung
identified this aspect of the human psyche as the Collective
Unconscious, that place of symbols and archetypes universal to human
piece of navigating our own roadmap is to look at our previous
experiences and see what the choices and outcomes meant to us; what did
we learn, and how did that piece fit into the rest of our lives? How can
we use that knowledge to help the next time? That kind of integration
brings wisdom and often makes future choices simpler.
what about that map of life? Actually, it is like any other roadmap. The
journey we have chosen is unique and the path we take is ours to
navigate. However, the information on the map that helps us navigate is
available to any one willing to use it. It can show landmarks and
changes in landscape if we stop to use it as a resource.
are choice points in life when we welcome and need input from other
sources. Sometimes that source is a mentor, elder or peer. Sometimes we
need to look beyond our immediate community to a greater wisdom. It is
possible for us to connect with the Collective Unconscious and access
the wisdom and knowledge available there. It can happen as an unexpected
inspiration or thought that comes to us when we ask, and then sit in
silence. We can request and receive counsel through our dreams. The
Oracle at Delphi brought aid and healing to people through dreams, and
that source is still available to us today. Synchronicity is another
happening in our lives that can provide us with needed answers.
ancient cultures had Augurs, individuals trained to interpret the signs
and symbols that appeared in response to a question. We tend to live so
literally that we ignore some of the signs that are all around us. The
Macumba priestess said "Everything
can serve prophecy. You only have to pay attention. The universe is full
of signs - when you learn to look at things the right way, you will
understand what I am trying to say. The shape of clouds, the way birds
fly, the sounds of nature, an unexpected meeting, all these transmit a
message that expresses the will of the Gods." The Collective Unconscious and the Universe
communicates with us through all the aspects of life that surround us,
we have but to ask to have access to that wisdom. Connection to that
wisdom supports and reinforces the learning we have accumulated in a
experience the power of and possibility of merging internal and external
wisdom you can try this experiment the next time you need insight
greater than what you believe you can navigate on your own:
purpose of this exercise is to help you recognize the levels of reality,
perception and wisdom available beyond the literal. When you open to
different kinds of perception you literally draw different people and
events toward you, bringing the insight asked for.
the world around us to draw in information and insight connects and
merges our inner world with the much greater Universe that is around us.
We are a part of that Universe and we have access to its wisdom, if we
are willing to ask for help and counsel. The more we are open to the
signs and symbols around us, the more we realize that we are not
separate from the world around us, and the accumulated wisdom of the
epochs is there to help us navigate through life.
Try it. You may find you
really are never alone.
Leigh Randolph, D.D.S, M.S. is
a Board Certified Endodontist who has a private dental practice and
teaches dentistry at The Ohio State University. She is a certified
Visionary Craniosacral Work™ practitioner, Holistic Coach™, Reiki
Master, and Family Constellation Facilitator.