Thursday, October 27, 2011

Looking up

I would like to share three interesting perspectives on looking up...

People often refer to others they look up to for inspiration. Some look up to earthly characters, others choose metaphysical ones; some, admire both kinds. I recently heard the Bible referred to as "the first self-help book." Hmm... I could see the case for that. In it, as well as countless other writings from that era, there are references to wise people having "went up to the mountain." As it turns out, this is currently understood to mean that they stepped aside to reflect on the situation and attempted to gain a hilltop-like perspective, while aligning their thoughts more closely to that of God's and seeking His (Her, what-have-you) guidance and assistance. Einstein is noted to have said that you cannot solve a problem from the level of the problem. Apparently, these wise people knew that, too.

In the same stroke I learned of the above, I was also taught a fascinating physiological fun-fact about the literal act of looking up. Where ever you are, take note of your posture, your spine, your breathing... then make a small adjustment by tilting your chin up just a notch, and then raise your gaze a few degrees. You will likely notice a clearer breath and a subtle inner smile. Supposedly, moving your eyeballs upwards engages your frontal lobe. This is where advanced cognition takes place. This is how we solve problems :)

Lastly, I was walking the half-block from my car to my home the other night, and I gazed up at the stars, which I often do at night; during the day, I frequently admire the cloud formations. Granted, where I live, there aren't a lot of starry nights, or days with clouds other than a gray blanket, but when I do get to look upon the moon and stars or a batch of cumulus clouds, I tend to take the opportunity. I always have, but I find, sadly, not many others do. I thought a little more about it this other night, and I realized that I do it not only because I just love Nature, and enjoy taking it in, but in the case of examining the beauty of the sky, I also enjoy the sense of scale it provides. I suspect some people, were they to consider their smallness, might feel very meek, and perhaps experience a sense of impotence. For me, however, I find that when I am reminded of the vastness of the Universe, I feel even more grand for being a part of it, and it is my problems which come to seem insignificant to me. I wish for all of Creation to be able to share in this experience with me.

In summary, looking up offers numerous ways to grow: you can look up to inspirational entities for guidance and a broader perspective; you can look upwards to engage your cognitive powerhouse; and you can look up at the sky to remember not to take things too seriously :) Happy gazing!

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