“One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.” – The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry.
Have you ever read the Little Prince?
Although its style is one of a children’s book, the Little Prince character in the book makes many very insightful observations about life and human nature relevant to all ages… but perhaps we adults need it the most.
I read it about 18 years ago and I remember being very touched by the simple message coming through the Little Prince.
Recently I was inspired to re-read it. As I did, the quote above really stood out. It essentially sums up the overall message of the book.
As adults we so easily get caught up in “adult” thinking and forget the simple wisdom we naturally had when we were children. The Little Prince helps to put us back in touch with this part of us.
Child Like Innocence and Wisdom
There’s a child like innocence that passes through the Little Prince… but it’s not childish.
It’s a simplicity of wisdom that we often associate with child like innocence, but that’s mostly because as adults we’ve built layers and layers of conditioning and beliefs systems into our sense of self that disconnect us from it.
But this child like innocence is a wisdom that’s simple, profound, has nothing to do with age, and emanates from the heart. When we can quiet the noise in our mind, turn off the self judgement and return to this inner wisdom, it’s like an invisible weight is lifted from our heart. There’s a freshness and freedom – a simplification.
The goal is not to return to being a child, the goal is to reconnect to the simple wisdom that resides in our heart. Children reflect this wisdom, but it’s available to all of us.
Clarity of the Heart
When the Little Prince says “One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.” – he’s referring to this wisdom of the heart.
When we see from the heart, we see the essential nature of things. We see beyond the boundaries of our ordinary thinking mind. Beyond the stories and dramas. Beyond our attitudes and limiting belief systems.
It’s the perception of something more essential underlying the nature of our experience.
You might be sitting quietly and mindfully tuning into a plant or tree. You see it. You appreciate its beauty… and as you continue to tune into it you feel something in your heart responding. It’s more than what you see with your eyes… you feel an underlying connection between you and the plant or tree.
As you stay with the experience your heart continues to open and expand, and you feel a growing sense of interconnectedness between all things. You realize, we do not exist independently of the things around us. More than just the words you’ve heard someone else say, you feel it intimately inside yourself – you’re part of nature.
Experiences like this aren’t seen through the eyes, although the experience may start there. These experiences are felt with the heart.
Connection and Human Interaction
At a deeper level human interaction is really about connection. What matters to the heart is how much we connect.
For example, when someone is enthusiastic about something there’s a spark of aliveness, a sun inside, shining through them. I’ve always found it a beautiful experience to hear people talking about things that pass their enthusiasm. I may not always resonate with the thing they’re enthusiastic about, but I always resonate with their enthusiasm.
Sun inside to sun inside.
The essence of human connection.
Even the root of the word “enthusiasm,” demonstrates this. It comes from the Greek word entheos – En, which means “in” or “inside” and theos, which means “god”. So entheos can be translated as “god inside.”
Here’s an article I wrote for Tiny Buddha where I talk more about the power of enthusiasm: Your Enthusiasm is Contagious, So Share Your Passion Loud and Proud.
More Wisdom from the Little Prince
One of the other messages that comes though the Little Prince is how the time and energy we put into something (or someone) creates a deep and meaningful connection. But it’s not just the time and energy, it’s the amount of care we engage when doing it.
And this is what brings that special ingredient that we don’t see with our eyes.
What are the things that you caringly put your time and energy into?
Take some time to feel the sense of meaning and connection you’ve cultivated to that thing or person.
Are there things (or people) you put your time and energy into that are not serving you? Perhaps you need to reassess where you put your time and energy, so you can instead give that time and energy to something else.
Where does your enthusiasm shine?
If you haven’t read the Little Prince before I highly recommend you do. It’s an easy read. Or if you have read it before, I encourage you to read it again… It’s amazing the things we pick up when we re-read a book like this.
The simple wisdom of the Little Prince will touch your heart and reconnect you to your own inner wisdom.
The Peacekeeper Project offers training and education to help you quiet your busy mind, so you can live from your heart.
To get started with meditation and learn the Peacekeeper Project’s Heart Space Meditation, you can gain access to a Free Course here.
If you’re ready to dive in and live from your heart, then Finding Stillness is a comprehensive 21 Day Meditation and Mindfulness Online Course that will teach you how to quiet your busy mind so you can live from the heart.
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