Shining Through

‘Hundreds of thousands of impressions from the invisible world are eagerly wanting to come through you! I get dizzy with the abundance. When life is this dear, it means the source is pulling us.

Rumi, ‘Husam’


Beginning again in this beautiful moment of September, I am reminded of the book by David Ehrenfeld of that same title, “Beginning Again.” In one sense we are always beginning again, each morning when we get up and start the day, each time we come upon a friend and greet them, each year when we begin our classes once more with a new group of students, and every moment that we awaken to ourselves and the reality of who we are. And in that beginning we find the fascination with all that is, all that has been, all that will be, converging in that very instant. Ehrenfeld wrote, “How to fit into the possibilities of our lives is what nature has to teach us.” I like that expression of fitting into the possibilities of our lives, which are in fact infinite and boundless; I like the idea of fitting into that which is without limits. How can we fit into the infinite? That expression also captures some measure of my experience of coming into contact with the full range of inquiry that might be taken up in every moment, in all of the systems and phenomena that we encounter. Over the years, I have felt the breadth and depth of what we take up in my classes to be an ever growing and expanding experience of recognizing how much is present everywhere. Every question and topic we take up reaches out to everything else. Today in our integrated science class, students were sitting with collections of pennies, working to see how much they could come to know about their particular collection of objects, how to think about knowledge, assumption, uncertainty and perception. As we reviewed the wide array of insights and questions they had about their pennies, a student brought up a question about the Latin phrase inscribed on the penny, E pluribus unum. After working together to consider the meanings of plurality and the sense of one, we stopped to consider this expression of our collective unity and the many levels through which one could find meaning in it. It was a lovely moment to reach out from our pennies in their shining copper and roundness and year classes to that greater sense of the whole, the ever present absolute. Every day in my teaching, I experience that which is dear, the dizzying abundance, all that wants to come through us.


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