Core Strategies For Spiritual Development: Theories Fade… Scars Last

Same Rock. A Different Day.

Same Rock. A Different Day.


May 1, 2016 9:01 AM

I awoke to snow.

The snow is the reason the Great Nomadic Horde encamps just south of here, down in a lower, warmer elevation. It is dusty down there. And windy. And crowded. That is the cost of the Horde’s fear—dust and winds and crowds.

I’ve been up here in the higher elevations for a month now. Each evening, I park the van facing northeast. Each morning, I open the van’s cargo door and the solar system’s largest radiant heater shines in and warms the interior. I slide the easy chair forward, into the sun and bask in the warmth, drinking my coffee while watching the elk and the birds and the squirrels enjoy the Spring.

I have the woods to myself. No dust, no winds, no crowds.

Four weeks of beauty and peace and serenity. The cost of all this Beauty? Two days of snow.

And even the snow is beautiful.

The mind has its fears—the heart has its pleasures.

Below, an excerpt from the book, same section as yesterday, but the next topic…

The Wise Have Their Scars

I have a saying, “The smart have their theories, but the wise have their scars.” Similar to simultaneously pursuing both the paths of the Mind and the Heart, in order to truly grasp a concept, you must both understand it and put it into practice. You shouldn’t just read this book and say, “Okay, I get it.” Why? Because you’ll soon forget it. Sad but true. Today’s world is filled with theories and short pithy sayings and little pearls of wisdom, but until spiritual knowledge becomes etched into your very being, it will just flow in one ear and out the other.

“The smart have their theories.” This is a critical aspect of spiritual growth. We must understand the theory—from the grand scheme of things down to the tiniest details—in order to understand the map. By understanding the theory, we know which route to take in our spiritual travels.

“The wise have their scars.” Just as important as understanding the map and deciding on the route to travel, is the doing of it: Stepping outside of our safe and comfortable home—a home we’ve lived in all our lives and known so well—shouldering our packs and walking the route we’ve penciled in on the map. Anyone can be an armchair traveler—online forums are filled with book-smart nondualists—but for true spiritual growth we must shiver in the freezing rain, and sweat in the relentless sun, and—as the cars roar by—cough in the dry, earthy dust. We must feel it, we must experience it, we must be injured by it. Our egos must take the hits. We can’t just think about what it’s like to be hit, our egos have to be hit—they have to take the punches and feel the bruises long afterwards. We must feel the Truth personally, and in feeling it, in gaining those deep and painful scars, we learn the Truth in ways no armchair traveler ever has or ever will. We learn the Truth to our very core. We become wise.

Read this book and understand it. Then re-read the chapter on an Aspect that you’d like to work on (the map), and practice bringing this Aspect to life (walking the route). Over and over and over again: read, practice, read, practice, …. Soon your scars will grow deep… and your wisdom profound.

Theories fade, but scars last.

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5 thoughts on “Core Strategies For Spiritual Development: Theories Fade… Scars Last

  1. Just thought Id check in on you, Wayne, and see what you’re up to. And as usual, I’m jealous. I love what you do. As a big fan of Thoreau- someone I would want to meet if he were still around- I have to say you’re right up there with the true ones- the great livers of the divine onenes of nature and solitude. I’m so glad I got to meet you last summer by “divine arrangement” or as some call it “coincidence. You are always an inspiration.

    Stephanie Elling
    Farmington, AR

  2. I would like to pass through your exact location later when you leave. I want to see what your seeing. Just shoot me an email please. Tks!

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