The Brilliance We Are
Sometimes we catch a glimpse of ourselves that shows us that we are not as small as we think, and we start to see the shining beauty and brilliance that we are. Knowing ourselves this way can open us up to a deeper appreciation of the beauty of others, and offers us a vibrant, compassionate path towards the generosity and creativity that is available to every one of us. This week's Turning Towards Life is a conversation about about opening to what we really are, hosted as always by Lizzie Winn and Justin Wise of Thirdspace.
This is Turning Towards Life, a weekly live 30 minute conversation hosted by Thirdspace in which Justin Wise and Lizzie Winn dive deep into big questions of human living. Find us on FaceBook to watch live and join in the lively conversation on this episode. You can find videos of every episode, and more about the project on the Turning Towards Life website, and you can also watch and listen on Instagram, YouTube, and as a podcast on Apple, Google and Spotify.
Here's our source for this week:
The proximity of death, the ultimate failure, seems to open us this way. In his novel the idiot, Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote a thinly veiled account of the time the tsar played a terrible joke on Dostoyevsky and his circle of revolutionary intellectual friends. The czar had them all arrested. And then one morning they were awakened at dawn and told they were to be executed. As Dostoyevsky rode to the execution with his friends in an open wagon, a strange sensation began to overcome him. He felt a spacious, oceanic sense of time. He felt as if the limits of time had opened wide. In a few minutes he would die, but he felt as if he had all the time in the world to do what he needed to do. What he needed to do, he now realised, was to say goodbye to his comrades for the final time. He did this in a full and leisurely way, the great love he bore for his companions welling up to the bursting point. And then he decided to spend his last moments on earth looking around at the world for the last time. As he did so, he found himself gazing at the tin roof of a nearby barn. A brilliant morning sun was shining, and a great burst of sunlight shone off the tin roof. Suddenly he knew for certain that this was what he would become. In a few minutes he would die, and he would become this blazing, radiant light. This knowledge filled him with an ecstasy so intense he thought that if it went on for even another minute, he wouldn't be able to bear it. It was then that the czar’s captain told them it was all a joke. The czar had only wanted to frighten them. They wouldn't die after all. Dostoyevksy was changed forever by this experience. It showed him what he really was. It took him to the core of his being, and he was a different man for the rest of his life.