“Everything you’ll ever need to know is within you; the secrets of the universe are imprinted on the cells of your body.”
― Dan Millman, Way of the Peaceful Warrior
When I first read this in the months following Natalie’s death I remember that it gave me hope. It felt like something important, something that, if true, would help everything in my life make sense. I wanted it to be true but had no idea how it could be.
But that understanding has begun to change as I learn, experience and allow my brain to process the sum total of all that it has been exposed to. What’s starting to come out the other in is a rudimentary understanding that the wisdom is already in the brain waiting for the right experiences and serendipitous timing to draw it out. If you don’t get these things, the wisdom lies waiting for the opportunity to present itself as an epiphany. It may seem like I’m suggesting that a newborn is just as wise as an elder in a tribe, and I am. With the right experiences and some key lessons and moments, the newborn can cultivate the same wisdom.
With reference to all of the lessons of the universe, that’s a lot, and it covers a very long time, so the distinction of where the wisdom comes from can be dismissed as semantic. What cannot be dismissed however are the pieces of wisdom that apply to our own lives. When someone tells us something that is profound, it strikes us hard NOT because they offered up a new piece of wisdom but because a new piece of wisdom came from inside of us. Phrased another way, how would you know it is wisdom unless you can identify wisdom?
Who is the wise person in these types of situations? Is it the person who drew together a few thoughts and chewed-out some words or is it the person who was waiting for those words to come into their life so they could trigger their reactions of “wow, that is profound.”