Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Magical Power of Perspective

Have you found the magic? The good news is that you don't have to look for it. It will find the real you. Now, that's the trick. The operative phrase being: the real you. Someone once said that if you don't know where you're going any road will get you there. Hackneyed? Yes, but it's equally profound.

If we are spiritually connected, our true destiny will find us. If we can overcome the gravity of materialism and people worship, we will find diamonds in the rough by way of the people we meet, the ideas and values we embrace and sometimes, even in our dreams.

The Buddhist believe strongly in the power of what is called Nyo Ze Factors. Here they are: nyo ze so, nyo ze ze , nyo ze sho, nyo ze sa, nyo ze in, nyo ze en, nyo ze riki, nyo ze ka, nyo ho and nyo-ze-hon-mak- -kyuoto. These are ten factors of nature, designed to expiate one's bad karma caused by one's negative thoughts and behavior. Interpreted, they represent: Appearance, Nature, Power, Influence, Internal cause, Relation, Latent effect, Energy and drive, Manifest effect and Consistency from beginning to end.

When I lived in Los Angeles (where I grew up) many of my friends were involved in Hollywood, one way or another. I loved them, but I never had an interest in Hollywood. That factor probably helped to produce our friendship in an abstract way. For example, when out in public with them, I observed first hand, the pathetic nature of star gazers and paparazzi. While I don't feel sorry for my most fortunate friends, I understand the madness. They could not sit down to a decent meal at a restaurant without the gazes and inteterruptions. Because I am not famous, I saw upfront what we regulars must look like when mesmerized by famous personalities. What does that have to do with writing? Everything. Read on.

During my visit to the far east, Seoul Korea in particular, I attempted to soak up some Eastern culture. Oh, how we are so different in the west. It is relatively enlightening to ensue the other side, to peruse a different perspective on life, a perspective diametrically opposed to our own. It's okay, don't defend yourself, just travel with me, vicariously, for a moment and bring your main characters along with you.

Before leaving for Korea, I spent time with a good friend of mine who happens to be a world re known businessman. As we spoke in a hotel lobby, a few people gathered around. Simultaneously, there were two businesspeople next to us who drew a large crowd of Americans. They were attracted to these gentleman because the men were famous. They listened to my friend for a moment, then returned their attention to the famous personality believing they would learn more from him. Little did they know, my friend, Nolan, was far more famous, more successful, more generous and knowledgeable in business than all of us combined.

Later, I asked Nolan why he had not mentioned his background (or his last name) when I introduced him. He responded, "...because I already know who I am."

The point of the story is that we in the west perceive value based on notoriety, material and commercial success. Although, individuals who rightfully exemplify those values are worthy of honor for their accomplishments, and although they have much to offer, it does not mean they are spiritually appointed to encourage each admirer toward his or her destination.

The nyo ze factors mentioned above are designed to put us in the company of the right people at the right time.

"They are looking to be sold," Nolan said. I did not understand his conveyance at the time, but I do today.

After visiting the far east, substantially, I began to grasp a part of universal wisdom which we rarely confront in the west. It is not about commerce. Our calling in life is not written on a brochure. Enlightment is not sold. Great fictional characters and great books emanate from the hearts and minds of passionate people, long before they become famous. The greatest works of the masters are often unseen, unread, unspoken. Some of John Lenon's greatest music was revealed after his death. The same will be manifested in Michael Jackson's music. The same is true among painters such as Rembrandt and Van Gogh. Their best work was done long before fame was realized. Tiger Woods best golf game took place during a causal match with friends, not at The Masters. As readers and writers, part of our call to destiny is to enjoy those diamonds in the rough, before the necessity of commerce destroys genius given to increased public appetite calling for prolific production, rather than quality art created in solitude free of commercial coercion.

So, consider the characters in your story. Are they more prone to follow the crowd, or, are they spiritually inclined to find themselves? That's a question we might put to our characters, and more importantly, to ourselves. At this point, our characters begin to grow and so does the writer.

One should be oneself, because others are already taken.

Buddhist believe in what is called "yo ze factors." Those are fundamentally, spiritual elements in the universe that affect karma. Among those factors are: influence, manifested reality, latent reality,