Wisdom of the Heart

Lessons From My Dogs

Wisdom of the Heart

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.
-The Fox, Le Petit Prince

True wisdom may be very simple. Yet like most things simple it eludes all but the old, those experienced, expanded souls who, having realized the illusion of material pleasures bringing any sense of lasting happiness, fall back upon the simple wisdom of their hearts. For true wisdom may be no more than listening to our hearts.

Can we remember back to the time after 9/11 when people opened their hearts to neighbors and strangers alike, to people of various races and cultures and forgot, for a short moment, differences and petty grievances and saw instead our many similarities? But all too soon, the collective heart began contracting, suspicion and hatred were more rampant than before. Why is it we have to be teetering on the edge to let go of petty grievances? Why does it so often seem to take life and death?

I look to my dogs whose equilibrium and balance, so evident in their daily lives, must surely come from a place of metaphorical heart. Not relying on spoken words or influenced by money, status or title, dogs sense the “heart” of a person by reading their energy. If I want a quick reading of someone, I consult my dogs.

This is the wisdom of the heart. While dogs may steer clear of humans whose energy jars them, most dogs are accepting of even those people we might deem undesirable. They’re equally accepting of other dogs, and many is the time I’ve marveled at multiple dogs living together and coexisting beautifully, when the same household full of humans would prove a disaster waiting to happen.

I teach on-line but I have dial-up. The other day I called Hughes Net to see about satellite. I thought it might be nice finally to watch a You Tube video. I’d been sent a link for a video about entanglement and the illusion of time, and it fascinated me. But Hughes Net was going to charge over $75 per month and I decided there was some wisdom in frugality, and leaving my status with dial-up. At that moment I also realized that the wisdom I need is within me. I just need to be quiet enough to hear it. I need to learn how to live from my heart, not my head where may reside, paradoxically, intelligence and intellect, but not true wisdom. True wisdom comes slowly with time and age and cannot be taught or learned in the classroom. True wisdom begins with a place of goodness and ends in grace.

And if I fall short of taping into my own limited wisdom, I have only to turn to the dogs, those gentle beings who seem to hold all of nature’s breath and joy.

Kay Pfaltz is a writer and animal activist.  All profits from books are donated to animal welfare organizations. www.kaypfaltz.com.