There are any number of ways to view anything. A business can be viewed from the point of view of the employees, the owners, the customers, the general public, the government… and, depending on the perspective, you will see something different.
WAYS TO VIEW YOU
In the same way, there are any number of ways to view you. You can be viewed from the point of view of those who depend on you, those who control you, strangers, authorities… and from each perspective, you can see something different.
You will also notice that, on different days, you look in the mirror and see someone different. Sometimes you will see a bit of a hero, sometimes a bit of a wimp, sometimes someone healthy, sometimes someone ill, sometimes someone nice, sometimes someone you don’t like.
One way of viewing wisdom is as an appreciation of all these different perspectives. The wise person does not only look at life from a single viewpoint. They embrace life from all viewpoints. In contrast, perhaps foolishness is the inability to see these different points of view. When we are foolish, perhaps, we tend to have narrow minds. Life becomes a cartoon version of itself, and our view of it narrows to our selfish viewpoint.
Watch a very young child hanging on to a possession. Sometimes they will become hugely attached to it, getting very distressed when it is taken away. Equally, watch some wise old things: they may have the opposite approach to possessions, viewing life with equanimity, whatever is given or taken away.
When we are young, we need a bit of selfishness in order to grow as healthy biological beings. Crying is our alarm system, with which we warn our carers when we feel vulnerable. But when we are older, we can choose to lower the temperature on that alarm system, and see life as inherently safer. We even have the ability to think through all vulnerability, come out the other end, and realise that we are not vulnerable at all.
INFINITE PERSPECTIVES, NO SELF
If you analyse your self closely enough, you may come to a strange conclusion: that you are not really there in any ultimate sense. You will look at your breath, and not know where your breath ends and the air begins. You will look at your body, full of different cells, including many bacteria, and not know which are ‘your’ cells and which are ‘other’ cells.
This is quite a wise thing to think. There are specific meditations which focus on this: the fundamental emptiness of the self, and of all things… the fact that, ultimately, things are only really the labels we give them.
For today, perhaps try to rest content in the understanding that, whatever situation you are in, there are infinite perspectives.
This means that it is foolish to sit and argue from one narrow perspective. You are fighting with no one but yourself.
Perhaps you have been looking at life as though through a microscope. Interesting though that is, sometimes let yourself sit back and look around in a more relaxed, less dogmatic way.
Any entity can be viewed from an infinite number of different perspectives.
This includes you. You change perspective daily, sometimes seeing yourself as good, sometimes as bad, sometimes safe, sometimes vulnerable.
There is some comfort in widening the mind to encompass an infinite perspective. It helps us realise that we normally live in very small, narrow worlds.
Maybe, just for today, let go of your narrow mind.