Do you remember being a little kid and dancing to the song “The Hokey Pokey,” putting different parts of yourself into it and then being asked to “put your whole self in”? Remember how good it felt to shake your body and turn around? You were present, alive, and awake! Isn’t that what life is all about?
You put your whole self in! This really is what life is all about, but why do so few of us put our whole selves in? Most of us in Western culture are not treated as whole and honored from the moment we are born. We are treated like little people with something missing. In certain Eastern traditions, children like myself would have been identified, recognized, and sent to the mystery schools, but in our culture bright children are sent to schools that are themselves a mystery to us, for our educational system does not address our innate and natural gifts. Instead it fills us with knowledge, based on the premise that we are getting something that is missing.
We act out or overachieve, for we are not being nurtured and fed in the place where we are already whole. We start out in life as a great big question mark and graduate from school with a degree and a great big period at the end: “Because I said so—period!” “Don’t ask any more questions; just do what the boss says—period!” “Just take the pills and do as I say—period!”
We try to be successful according to the textbook rather than following our own inner wisdom and sacred texts. I’ve always resonated with these words of Carl Jung, stated in Memories, Dreams, and Reflections:
“My life often seemed to me like a story that has no beginning and no end. I had the feeling that I was a historical fragment, an excerpt for which the preceding and succeeding text was missing. I could well imagine that I might have lived in former centuries and there encountered questions I was not yet able to answer; that I had been born again because I had not fulfilled the task given to me.”
Excerpt: “When Did You Die?