During medical school and residency training in psychiatry we were taught to assess our patient’s ability to think abstractly by asking them to interpret the meaning of various proverbs. Most of the students and residents would use simple proverbs like ‘Don’t cry over spilled milk’. However, I came across one attending psychiatrist who emphasized the importance of not giving a well-known, ‘easy’ proverb to interpret. He wanted to stretch the imagination and abstraction capabilities by giving much more obscure proverbs such as ‘The Golden Hammer breaks the Iron Door’.
I found that this wonderful old proverb stirred the most introspection in both the patients and the treating physicians. Over the years I have returned to this proverb for meditation. I have looked at this from all angles and taken it to different levels over the years. It is so rich.
Most recently I have viewed the ‘Golden Hammer’ as a representation of when I choose to dance in the Light of my True Essence … my Loving Self and higher consciousness. I see the ‘Iron Door’ as a representation of when I (or others) choose to dance in Shadow Characters – lower consciousness, harsh negativity, or the obstacles placed in our path by our egos.
I have found this old saying to be such a wonderful representation of the power of compassion and love in shifting consciousness – whether it be my own consciousness I am trying to achieve or whether it be shifting consciousness of others by acting as a role model. When I feel frustrated with a situation I will ask myself: “Is there a Golden Hammer to be used in this given situation to break through this Iron Door?”
Then I remind myself to BE the Golden Hammer! Care to join me? I think we need more Golden Hammers out in the world. 🙂
Loads of Radiant (Golden) Light to you all!
Tracy Latz, M.D.