“Experience life in all possible ways —
good-bad, bitter-sweet, dark-light,
summer-winter. Experience all the dualities.
Don’t be afraid of experience, because
the more experience you have, the more
mature you become.” ― Osho
No, this isn’t a “purpose of life” post. It’s a…stop doing the same thing and expecting a different result post.
In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m troubled by how little we question the status quo. You know the landscape that allows us to continue to pollute on an unprecedented level, to see wanton greed and accept it as part of the necessary face of capitalism but, most of all, the disparity between a faithless society and one connected to a higher purpose. (Notice I’ve not mentioned the G-word but what I’m alluding to is something infinite and beyond our current (worldly) understanding.)
On a practical, day-to-day level this means inviting into our hearts a “more beautiful question” (see the writings of e.e.cummings) and then living that question with all the passion, grit and fortitude that we seem able to devote to the success, goal-orientated credo that fills so many of our personal development books.
The question that sits at the heart of this process of self-inquiry is “Who am I?” which I first read about in the writings of Sri Ramana Maharshi. But even if that’s not your flavour of self-reflection, you might ask something along the lines of “Am I my thoughts?”. Odd, eh? Possibly, but I bet you’ve never stopped to investigate if your thinking self is the same as your true self. (If you need to read any book, you could do worse than read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle which details the different parts of our being starting with the thinker and investigating the watcher (of said thoughts) and then something beyond that — i.e. awareness of the awareness of our thoughts.)
If this sounds ridiculous then I can accept that but not to the extent that so many of the people I meet are driven by a deep fear of losing what they have, instead of accepting more of what they do have. And, in a vocational setting, too few people go to work for anything more than the money which leaves them bereft of soul…and any connection with their true gifts.
But of course I’m not going to break through to you or anyone else. The imperative isn’t there. Indeed, in my own case it took a near-death exeperience for me to lift the veil on my ego-induced life where I thought that my purpose was to get instead of grow emotionally and spiritually, and align with true self.
In the end, as I repeat ad nauseum, all of this is a choice — even reading this far — but trust me unless we’re willing to step out of our “meaning of life” diatribe that insists on conformity as the sine qua non of success, I fear that it will take more than a “life experience” to wake you up from your narcissistic torpor.