Wisdom comes out of calm

Better calm than violently angry.

I need to be calm when photographing in nature.  Had I lacked calm, this butterfly would have fled, then I would have no photo of it.

I act with calm when photographing in nature. Had I lacked calm, this butterfly would have fled, then I would have no photo of it.

When I deliver to my customers I encounter dogs at the gate.  The difference between losing an arm or getting to the door with a friendly dog in tow is calm and wisdom.  The dog is the guardian of the gate, I befriend the dog or I never enter the gate.  Most dogs, especially the wolf-like dogs, can communicate with their eyes.  I can tell instantly the intentions and mood of a dog before I enter a gate by looking at their eyes.

In dealing with dogs, including all animals, acting slowly, calmly and relaxed means the animal is less likely to respond with fight-flight response.  I seduce dogs by conveying feelings to them with my eyes.  I can place a thought in my mind and it will convey in my eyes straight to the dog with dramatic results.  I act slowly, focusing all my attention on the dog; I think friendship, happy to see the dog, calmness; I will eventually have that dog either running for a ball or licking my hand.  Had I at any point felt fear, anger or coldness towards the dog, the dog would have picked it up in my eyes and reacted negatively.

My attitude towards dogs, and everything I do, is it is better to act in harmony with my world than impose violent control upon it.  Nature is my teacher, and calm is one of its teachings.  Calm is the sister of patience and tolerance, letting nature flow at its own pace and in its own way.  When I planted acorns, I was unable to force them to grow, they acted in their own timing, at their own pace.  I am like a parent rather than the master of eight strong oak saplings.  I provide my saplings with opportunity through water, sun and good soil; protecting them from caterpillar and fungus; they follow their own nature in becoming fast growing little trees.

The mind that has no calm is like a drunken person, it has no wisdom, rushing from one crisis to another, lacking the anchoring of wisdom, the drunk does stupid actions and ruin is the drunks ultimate reward.  When a cat comes to me inviting me to stroke it, I gain opportunity to find my inner calm in a world of war.  Calm provides the metaphorical nutritious soil for which planted acorns grow into oak trees, but the reverse is rocks upon which nothing grows.

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17 responses to “Wisdom comes out of calm

  1. This is lovely, calm writing, Alex. Thank you. I was meditating in an apple orchard near an ashram many years ago. After half an hour, I felt movement around me, and when I opened my eyes, I saw five deer munching apples all around me–and within five feet. I’ll bet that
    many of your readers have had similar experiences.

    • What a special moment you had with the deer. I believe that the external world reflects our inner state, so that a calm mind ripples out, drawing to it experiences such as the one you shared. I have had similar experiences, nature likes to surprise.

  2. Equating lack of calm with being drunk is alien to me. Actually, I drink water, and never had a drop of alcohol. A mind that is not calm, does not have to be angry. Actually the problem may be to neurologically define “calm”.

    When the anger neurohormones are on, the mind is certainly not calm, but that does not mean that, when the mind is not calm, the mind is angry.

    In a preceding comment of Alex, one finds:
    ” Calm provides the opportunity for wisdom to emerge, metaphorically like soil waiting for the seed. The mind that is angry, in emotional turmoil, acts like the drunk, and they will never make wise choices or actions.

    The Americans were wise to avoid war, and they were wise to stay out of other peoples political problems until those aggressors began to attack them.”

    The last part was exactly Hitler’s program (he gave explicit instructions not to make Americans angry, because he viewed racist America as half Nazi already, and thought of it as a natural ally). Hitler’s plan went awry, in great part because of Churchill, an Anglo-American.

    Because the Americans refused to support France and Britain, and the Commonwealth, in 1939-1940, more than 70 million people died, including six million Jews assassinated calmly. I refuse to call that “right”. I call it wrong. I even call it an infamy. Something the USA ought to be eternally ashamed of, that the USA had to wait for Hitler to declare war to them to find something wrong with him. It was more than despicable, and unwise, but outright criminal. That, of course, is my calm opinion, forged by decades of careful consideration.

    • Patrice, we diverge based perhaps on word definitions, since words often can be misinterpreted. I sense in reading your arguments against calm as a position against what you see as indifference, apathy, complacency; the tragic state of existence as like a mouse unaware of the snake that is about to strike. What you describe is a blindness, and I know this blindness to be the child of hubris, the result of holding opinions that blind the individual to the reality of the emerging crisis humanity finds itself in. Calm for me is a state of being that allows the individual to see with clear eyes the truth of the world, to see also themselves without delusions, and to find solutions or strategies to the challenges they find themselves in. With my clear vision, made possible with a calm mind, I have avoided many negative events and have safely navigated through challenging situations.

      Despite my best plans life will cause unexpected situations to arise. Initially I might be thrown into chaos by surprise events, but I have learned to quickly recover my calm and then find strategies to cope with the new situations I find myself in. In all crisis and unexpected turns of fortune, it is the calm that prosper, the unbalanced mind fails to cope well with unexpected challenges.

      Hitler and Japan were blinded by prejudices and opinions; they failed to spot all the variables in play before embarking on the strategies that caused USA to enter the war leading to their defeat. Nobody in Nazi Germany and Japan seemed to have experience of American mindsets, of their nation, their beliefs and strengths. Sun Tzu for instance advises leaders to gather information on an opponent so that strategies can be calculated based on truth rather than ignorant opinion. Nobody in Japan or from Nazi Germany in a decision making role had visited or lived in USA, their ignorant opinions about what they thought USA was like was incredibly naive, they lost their war because of it.

      The State is an organism that is self-interested, there is no benefit to become involved in other people’s problems unless it directly impacts the State. USA became involved against Germany in the First World War because Germany was sinking US shipping and had made a pact to support Mexico in grabbing US territories. Germany in the Second World War again underestimated USA when they supported Japan when it attacked Pearl Harbour.

  3. I have read both posts and, frankly, are bemused. It feels as though each is describing something utterly different to the other. I have a number of hours of electrical work today but will also give the matter a ‘coating of thought’ while working and offer my humble conclusions later on.

    • Although Patrice and I see the same challenges humanity faces in this world, how we interpret and respond to those challenges and the resulting solutions is totally different. Truth is relative, and though I am unable to share the conclusions of Patrice, I respect them. In the end actions shape the world, not words.

    • My wiring job is completed and I’m knackered; to use an English street expression! ;-) However, there was a part of the old brain that mulled over the exchange and it’s settled upon me as a post that I am going to write for next Wednesday over on Learning from Dogs. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Alex I so understand what you mean as you say you can detect mood of an animal and by altering your own vibration to be that of calm it in turn responds… I believe many animals are telepathic in being able to detect intent.. A pity we humans have lost the ability to tune into each other! :-)

    Loved your post and the relevant comments were interesting :-)

    • Thanks Sue. Most animals are instinctive creatures, picking up non-verbal signals, to understand that and then communicate with the animal on their level is close to being telepathic.

  5. Attitude, mindset, and a calm demeanor — all ingredients for favorable encounters and outcomes, Alex. An animal rights advocate and lover of canines,I know and am unusually attuned to their world (this is where people often roll their eyes). :)

    To our mutual friend Sue Dreamwalker’s lovely comment I would proffer that, as humans, we have not lost the ability to tune in to one another. It’s just that fewer are choosing to do so.

    • You are right Eric, the quality of empathic communication with people and other living things is dormant, but it is easily awakened if an individual makes the choice to use it.

  6. Wisdom calls out of Calm – which comes from Chaos?

    • Chaos is manifested as strife or war. The individual seeks harmony from war but needs to have a calm mind to see the path to harmony. The actions of the individual in moving towards harmony out of war brings forth wisdom. Does this make sense?

  7. Pingback: NEW WISDOM, NEW TURMOIL | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

  8. Pingback: Vive la différence. | Learning from Dogs

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