Understanding Ourselves

According to the dictionary, understanding is “a psychological process related to an abstract or physical object, such as a person, situation, or message whereby one is able to use concepts to model that object. It is the ability to make sense of, fathom, unravel, decipher, interpret, figure out, work out, make head(s) or tail(s) of, get one’s head around.” I venture to guess if you’re like me, the thing you’d like to figure out is the meaning of life. Where are we? And why are we here, anyway? The awakening of our own faculty of understanding starts with questioning—questioning the old ways of thinking that may have been taken for granted.

In my experience, the world is full of hints all around us all the time. To be honest with you, it’s still a tremendous mystery. But occasionally, we get a sense of what it’s all about. For example, a small, unexpected thing might whisper a hint, like in this haiku I wrote.

A spark of sunlight
on a drop of morning dew –
the universe there
like the poet’s grain of sand –
seen but for a short second.

I may catch a glimpse
of eternity in it
if I can but see
beyond the world’s disguise
to the spirit living there.

So our curiosity is one of our strongest tools to gain spiritual understanding. As we become more and more willing to understand the world and ourselves, we begin to realize that it’s all working out for the good.