Skip to content

Experience Meets Innocence: Are You The Tiger or The Lamb?

Spread the love

“You are an angel, and your life is your message. You can be a messenger of lies, fear, and destruction; or a messenger of truth, love, and creation. But you cannot deliver lies and truth at the same time.” Don Miguel Ruiz

Experience: A Tiger snarls... by Michael Nichols via NG

I get a Daily Inspirational quote from Don Miguel Ruiz’s mailings; each, a pithy reflection and refreshing insight on life and how we choose to live it. Don Miguel is the author of The Four Agreements, The Fifth Agreement, and a host of other uplifting books. He is truly a gifted healer and writer.

The quote above arrived on Saturday and got me thinking about how we choose to present ourselves to the world. Do we show ourselves fully? Or Do we show our masks; our strengths juxtaposed against our struggles?

As I read and re-read the quote, my sister called and we chatted about the mixed messages people get today; we are constantly bombarded by messages and messengers pitching good and evil, steals and scams, and bargains and baloney… We sway here and there, caught up in the dance, fine-tuning our radar as we move along. Experience meets innocence and vise versa. Sometimes, the lines blur… How do we know the difference?

As we discussed this matter, we both agreed that we are fully ensconced in the age of experience and innocence; there is much to learn and much to add to what we already know or else … we self-destruct. Somehow, William Blake’s two poems seeped their way into the heart of our conversation; the juxtaposition of great good and profound evil, the messages of innocence and that of experience…

Blake’s “The Tyger” is one of his most important “Songs of Experience” that examines the terror that exists in our world even as we glorify that which is pure and good in “The Lamb.” “The Lamb” is an equally important poem from Blake‘s “Songs of Innocence” that contrasts the fear and terror with messages of blessings and benevolence. Did our Creator make both of them?

As the holidays kick in and we overload on the good and not so good stuff, some of us will be singing the blues and others a completely different tune… Did he who made the fecund make the famished? According to don Miguel, we cannot be messengers of both good and evil… Even in a state of confusion and indecision, we still choose; albeit reluctantly. I suspect William Blake would have agreed. I have offered you both poems below.
What are your thoughts?

“Experience, which destroys innocence, also leads one back to it.” James Baldwin

Innocence: Children holding little lambs by Aaron Huey NG

“The Tyger” – From Songs of Experience by William Blake. 1757–1827

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

“The Lamb” – From Songs of Innocence by William Blake. 1757–1827

Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed,
By the stream and o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?

Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee,
Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee.
He is called by thy name,
For He calls Himself a Lamb.
He is meek, and He is mild;
He became a little child.
I a child, and thou a lamb,
We are called by His name.
Little Lamb, God bless thee!
Little Lamb, God bless thee!

Do share your insights, comments, thoughts…Thank You! 🙂 Sending you wishes for peace & prosperity during this Holiday Season!
Positive Motivation Tip: Embrace that which elevates and eschew that which enervates…

Tiger by by Michael Nichols via National Geographic
Children Holding Lambs by Aaron Huey via National Geographic

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank

12 Comments leave one →
  1. 29/11/2010 3:10 am

    Beautifully said, as always Elizabeth. I wholeheartedly believe you cannot be good and evil. Everyone deserves the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and improve themselves, but they need to be patient because others will remember and doubt for quite a while.
    In a completely crass way my father-in-law used to say… “you can’t be a little bit pregnant and you can’t be a little bit honest… you are or you’re not.”
    Thanks for the post.

    • 29/11/2010 1:40 pm

      True, we all do learn from our mistakes… some choose not to care. I’ve never cared much for hypocrisy as it’s best to just be clear and embrace who you are 🙂
      Glad you are doing better each day Barb.
      Healing light coming your way!
      Happy Holidays!

  2. Bree permalink
    29/11/2010 3:54 am

    That tiger is fierce and embodies the dread Blake writes about.
    The children holding the lambs are a perfect juxtapose of the two.
    There are some people who try to hide their evilness by pretending to be good but, sooner or later, their true colors show through.
    We don’t need to show all of who we are but we need to be consistent.
    Happy holiday season to you too!

    • 29/11/2010 1:43 pm

      Yes, yes, yes… consistency is key. We are complex beings in a complicated world; all that duplicity is just too damn tedious! 🙂
      Happy holidays too!

  3. 29/11/2010 5:50 pm

    I have learned many hard lessons over the past few months. My truth is beginning to expand, at first I was afraid, but now…I thank God for allowing me too grow and remain open to His revelation. A black and white world of right and wrong is colored by many different perspectives.

    • 01/12/2010 11:00 pm

      Thank you CD for stopping by… Sure, there are nuanced aspects of this tiger/lamb premise, but it all starts with the road we choose to travel on. I love your vision and the journey you are on.
      Stay strong and be blessed! 🙂
      Happy Holidays!

  4. 29/11/2010 10:56 pm

    What a thought provoking post!

    • 01/12/2010 11:03 pm

      Thank you JD4’s mom, I hope you are enjoying the start of the holiday season!
      Thanks again for stopping by; I enjoyed stumbling your post…
      It’s been a while 🙂
      Happy Holidays!

  5. 30/11/2010 3:16 am

    Amazing post!! Stopping by from Stumble Tumble Tuesday. Glad I can share this with others 🙂

    • 01/12/2010 10:38 pm

      Thank you Tessa and I will pay you a visit and return the favor later this week. 🙂
      Happy holidays!

  6. 30/11/2010 4:43 am


    I read The Four Agreements and loved it’s simplicity! This was a thought provoking post.
    Found you through Stumble Tumble Tuesday.

    • 01/12/2010 10:39 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Kim; it’s been a hectic week for me… I will return the goodwill. 🙂
      Happy Holidays!

Your Comment is Appreciated!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: