Rekindle Your Wild Joy and Deep Belonging to the Earth

Perspective March 25, 2010

I love it when my perspective suddenly gets shifted. You know? This is the basis of all good jokes; the aha! that surprises us into delighted laughter. You expect one thing, but quite another pops up.

The teaching tales of Mulla Nasruddin (likely dating from the 1200s!) exemplify this sudden destabilization of normal consciousness, using it to lead listeners toward enlightenment.

A neighbor comes upon Mullah Nasruddin frantically searching for something under the light of a lamp post in the dusty street outside his home.

“Mullah, what have you lost?” he asks.

Nasruddin replies, “Oh, it’s terrible. I have lost my keys.”

The neighbor, being the kind person he is, gets down on his hands and knees and begins to search with Nasruddin through the dust. After a long time, the neighbor asks Nasruddin, “Mullah, are you sure you lost your keys right here in this exact part of the street?”

“Oh no!” says Nasruddin, “I lost them somewhere in my house.”

“What?!” exclaims the neighbor, getting up creakily. “If you lost them in the house, then why are we wasting our time looking for them under this lamp post?”

Nasruddin replies, “The light is better here.”


I imagine that the ability to shift perspective also forms the basis of real communication; when we suddenly “get” what the other person means.

The first example, the joke, was an aha; this one is an ohhhhh! Now I get it.

Both are basic seed syllables that Hindu wisdom say are the core of “ah” and “om,” the breathing in and out mantras that make up the living universe.


It feels enlivening to notice the potential for animated engagement everywhere.

I find it especially fun to be reminded that the world is looking back.

Everything from hairpins to hinges…


Cute animistic window hinge

Animistic hinges in their original context. Can you find them?


…not to mention the more-than-human world, which is always watching.



And I feel, from experience, that the more we respond to these beings, objects & processes surrounding us, the more they will respond back in kind.

Free play in an animate universe.



6 Responses to “Perspective”

  1. Lisa Mertz (facebook link) Says:


  2. Brien Engel (facebook link) Says:

    Great shots! Nice story, it reminds me of the joke Garrison Keilor has used a lot, the two penguins on an ice floe…

  3. Arlene Immerman (facebook link) Says:

    Your story reminds me of Chelm. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Copps389 Says:

    Mind-blowing article. This kind of is just a enormously nicely structured piece of writing, just the awesome info I was looking regarding. I praise you

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