Thursday, February 4, 2010
Building on Inspiration
"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea." Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
When I teach shamanism to people, sometimes I will talk about and demonstrate techniques. More often, however, I will work at inspiring the students. Inspiration is the key to all drive for knowledge. When we inspire we infuse a person with the spirit of the subject matter. Sometimes we inspire when we don't even know we are doing it. Sometimes we know we are setting an example and follow through for the sake of not just ourselves, but the ones we are inspiring. Both do benefit.
I have always been an avid believer in the right to a free mind. Free thinking is what leads to innovation, invention, and true progress. If we don't progress we are doomed to stagnate and fail. This is why I also am very able to learn from my students in turn. I don't see myself as the big kahuna from whom everyone must learn and to whom everyone must bow down. My students are my best teachers. They are able to look at life and see possibilities that I have not even thought about. As a result, I quickly grow to catch up to them and then we are all that much better off. In fact, I don't even like calling people my "students" and only do so for a frame of reference. I see all of us as teachers and learners in life.
Once inspired, we are able to take quantum leaps into the previously unknown territories and make our way to new understandings of the world in which we live and the universe of which we are all a part. To do this, we most often have to discard our previous thoughts about the way things are and embrace the way they could be. It's a big universe out there. Why would we ever want to limit it to only what we think we know?