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180 +/- 180

Look now forward, and let be backward;
and see what thee faileth,
and not what thou hast,
for that is the readiest getting
and keeping of meekness.

It occurred to me today, while reading the 14th century Christian mystical work The Cloud of Unknowing, that most of us see things exactly 180 degrees out of whack.

On two levels.

It also occurred to me that these two levels are, and should be, naturally, 180 degrees out of whack to each other.

In the quote above, the author of The Cloud is speaking of things spiritual, or “ghostly”, as he prefers to say.

It seems to me that, in ghostly things, too many of us have reversed his instruction, acting as though this were our mantra for personal virtue:

See what thou hast,
and not what thee faileth,
for that is the readiest getting
and keeping of Pride.

On the other hand, in physical things — whether possessions, or body image — most of us act as though we have applied his “ghostly” instruction to the wrong level, making this our rule for the world of “things”:

See what thee faileth,
and not what thou hast,
for that is the readiest getting
and keeping of Discontent.

Would it not be far better, to turn our physical and our “ghostly” worlds, up-side down and down-side up?

It seems to me that both our worlds would be enhanced, if we first chose to accord our ghostly (inner) world with the instruction:

See what thee faileth,
and not what thou hast,
for that is the readiest getting
and keeping of Humility.

And our physical (outer) world would be enriched, if we chose to act always according to this instruction:

See what thou hast,
and not what thee faileth,
for that is the readiest getting
and keeping of Contentment.

Where we choose to look — to focus most of our day’s attention — seems to me to be the key.

The key to bringing our upper (inner) and lower (outer) worlds into natural alignment.

It also seems to me, that what we should look at — and not look at — in our higher (“ghostly”) world view, needs to be 180 degrees opposite to our lower (physical) world view.

Just as Nature urges free air to “look now forward, and let be backward” in opposite directions, above and below the equator.

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And with increasing gusto, the higher (or lower) one moves towards the poles.

Spiritual:  See what thee faileth, and not what thou hast…

Physical:  See what thou hast, and not what thee faileth…

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