The Burning Bush of Wisdom (#873)

This week, I’ve found myself sharing an analogy with multiple clients, each of whom were struggling with finding the “right” way of handling difficult situations in their businesses and personal lives…

In the book of Exodus, there is a story that Moses spoke with God in the guise of a “burning bush” – a bush that was on fire but not consumed by the flames. Later in the narrative, he is given stone tablets with ten commandments on them to teach the children of Israel how to live.

Because of the changing nature of thought and consciousness, there are times where we feel like the children of Israel, searching for guidelines set in stone that will tell us exactly how to live. There are times when we feel like Moses, in direct communion with a deeper wisdom that guides and instructs us if we let it. And there are times, perhaps rarer for most of us, where we feel like the bush itself, engulfed in the flames of spirit and inspiration but not consumed by them.

What are the implications of this analogy in terms of how we live our lives?

For me, I spent many years looking for more things to etch in my stone tablets – words of wisdom that I could live by that would tell me exactly what to do no matter what situation I found myself in.  Some of the epigrams I’ve tried to live by over the years include:

  • Always be loving
  • Do unto others as you would have done unto you
  • Let go and let God
  • Live in the moment
  • When in doubt, do nothing

While they’re all great bits of advice, they also seem more or less apt depending on the particular circumstance and state of mind I find myself in moment by moment. So when I began to see that a deeper wisdom and intelligence existed beyond my personal thinking, I began to spend more time seeking communion with that wisdom. And sure enough, more often than not, each time I looked in the direction of that deeper wisdom, I would get an insightful answer to my “dilemma of the day”.

But because I didn’t yet understand that that deeper intelligence and wisdom was always available to me, I would immediately try to inscribe my new insight onto the stone tablets of “How I Should Live”, turning my back on the source of wisdom as I went out and tried my best to live today according to yesterday’s insight. And the problem is that over time, yesterday’s “perfect answer” devolves into today’s “good idea”, ultimately becoming yet another line item in a list of “shoulds” that I will judge myself for not living up to.

Gradually, it’s become clearer to me that the very fact that I’m looking for “the right way to live” is a sure sign that I’ve temporarily lost sight of the ever-present intelligence that we are a part of. And because I know that, I’m often able to find the humility to go back to the drawing board and allow a fresh new answer to come through, one that will carry with it the perfection of this moment and the “just right” feeling that always seems to come with an insight whose time has come.

Have fun, learn heaps, and may the light within you illuminate your path in the world around you!

With all my love,
Michael

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