The Inner Light

I want to pay tribute this week to the army of people, some voluntary, some paid, who have been trained to the highest possible standards in ‘listening’ without giving opinion or openly judging in any way. The work they do goes largely unnoticed until, either through desperation, sadness, depression or even a requirement for behavioral adjustment, we: you or me: need to openly confide our inner nadir or conflict to a complete stranger. I include in this ‘nod’ those unseen yet remarkable people who take a deep breath before picking up the phone at the Samaritans. Others too provide a free and invaluable service as they calm the financially desperate as the wolves of debt encircle every aspect of a waking life: the Consumer Credit Counselling Service. They are all there for those times in life when the proverbial rug is literally pulled out from under ones feet at the drop of a hat: often instantly, without warning, opening doors to desperation, bewilderment, isolation, inadequacy and futility. Some professions have the knack of including some of these empathetic standards within their daily lives, routinely adopting such skills over and above the call of duty. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, fire fighters and the police: all come into contact on a daily basis with the mental fallout that can beset any of us ant any time: as you read this thousands of such ‘counselling’ conversations are taking place. It brings home to one that the health of the inner being is just as important as that of the outer.

The tissues are in the drawer

The key to writing anything is always to draw on ones personal experience and, having had an intimate knowledge of all of the above, I can honestly say that if it were not for at least two of such counselling experiences I would not be here today. My life would have ended: not because of peritonitis or pneumonia: but because of darker forces deep inside the mind that were determined to conspire against me.

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – chapter 47
Without going outside, you may
know the whole world.
Without looking through the window, you may see the
ways of heaven.
The farther you go, the less you know.
Thus the sage knows without traveling; He sees without looking; He works without doing.

The Inner Light by George Harrison

Without going out of my door,
I can know all things on earth
without looking out of my window,
I can know the ways of heaven.
The farther one travels
the less one knows
the less one really knows.
Without going out of your door,
You can know all things on earth
without looking out of your window,
you can know the ways of heaven.
The farther one travels
the less one knows
the less one really knows.
Arrive without travelling,
See all without looking,
Do all without doing.



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2 responses to “The Inner Light

  1. Richard, this was a very moving piece.

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