When we have learned to look at the world and see God's fingerprints all over it, when we have learned to look within ourselves and sense the spirit of God moving us to be good, to be generous, to be compassionate, when we can gather on this day of the autumnal equinox, with exactly twelve hours of light and twelve hours of darkness, and learn to relish the daylight with gratitude and to welcome the darkness unafraid, then we will know that we are alive.
~Rabbi Harold Kushner
The more I read, the more I'm convinced that there's no truly new information in my area of interest -'feeling better about things'- only new ways of packaging the information. It has become even clearer to me that there are strong commonalities coming from diverse disciplines and traditions spanning the centuries.
Looking at the above quotation by Rabbi Kushner, the phrase,'learning to find God's fingerprints' seems to take many different forms. To my way of thinking it reflects a prominent theme within the writings on self-help, stress reduction, etc. and all spiritual traditions. That is, our ability to tune in to a source of inner wisdom which is typically unavailable because of our usual mind-set. This 'source' concept can stand alone without reference to a deity. The proposition could even be couched in scientific jargon --- eg. 'left brain' vs.'right brain'.
We can always find another way to describe the same thing. The metaphors seem to be largely a matter of personal taste. But it's all about the same thing --- an inner source of wisdom and joy, a higher type functioning which can be accessed, just by learning to sit still and listen. The message seems to be everywhere I look. How to get there is another story. But, the encouraging thing is that it looks like many individuals traveling many different paths have reached a place which they felt was worth the trip.
Shall we call this place enlightenment? Nirvana? Knowing we are alive? How about 'feeling better about things'?