The Mire Can Even Teach a Wise One

John Gilmore

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Last night the moon was almost full. My guess is that it will be full tonight. This year I’m living in the tropics. What would usually be cold winter nights are much warmer. Tonight it is windy. It’s a bit cool, about sixty five degrees, with a lot of wind. You can stand outside and look up at the sky without shivering and being bundled up in a thick winter coat.

It is summer here, in Costa Rica, even as many people are preparing for Christmas. I find it pleasant and quite comfortable. I find that I can do without the winter of the Northeast quite easily, even the way that the temperature feels is very relative sometimes. One thing that nature teaches us is that conditions that are miserable for one person can often be quite pleasant for others.

Who doesn’t know someone who likes skiing? Many people even leave the warmth of sunny California to go into the mountains of Colorado, or Nevada, to slide down snowy hills on two narrow sticks. In the meantime there are people here who wear thick sweaters or jackets at night, because sixty five is just a bit too cold. One’s body usually adjusts to where they are if they’re there long enough. What seemed terrible when they first got there, just doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

This also carries over to the trials that we face in life. Some people live in situations that seem so horrible that many of us don’t think that we could stand it for a second, yet they survive. How? There is something about the human soul, that divine spark, that gives us the power, if we are willing, to rise up above every condition. It even gives us the power to prosper in the worst of circumstances sometimes. We are like the lotus blossom.

The lotus floats upon the dark and murky waters and draws its nourishment from the muck and mire at the bottom of the pond. When it opens it is one of the most beautiful plants that anyone has ever seen. If we can cultivate a way of life that allows us to push aside the hurt and pain and then cultivate our beautiful divine self, using the muck, the death, the pain and the violence to build us up, instead of allowing it to tear us down, we too will be like the lotus blossom. This is the path of the compassionate warrior.

We can use the hurt, the fear, the pain, like a jeweler’s cloth to polish ourselves like a fine mirror. As we become more and more refined and more polished, we will be a reflection of reality. We will be a reflection of this vast universe and the divine power that works to bring life out of death and destruction continually. In nature there is something that insists on creating. The life force is powerful. It always struggles to bring forth a beautiful blossom out of all of the muck and mire of life. May we be willing to do so.

Instead of falling down. We can have the wings to rise up on the storms and the torrents of the strong winds that so often batter and buffet us, so that we can have a larger view. We can expand our perspective and see with the eye of the eagle, so that we, some day, can be that polished mirror. We can be the reflection of all that is loving, kind and beautiful in this world if we like, or we can give up and become the mud. I would prefer to be the beauty. Wouldn’t you?

Dr. John Gilmore is a writer, a martial arts teacher and a seminar leader of Four Minute Chi-Kung. For more information on practical spirituality go to . For more information on reclaiming your power and the beauty that resides within. Visit and examine A Return to Being Human Religiously, by Dr. J. W. Gilmore


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