“The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity” – Leo Tolstoy
The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Pablo Picasso
The famous Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung was once asked by a BBC journalist whether he believed in God. Pausing for a moment, Jung answered: “I don’t need to believe I know.”
While institutionalized religion is essentially a doctrine of what to believe, and how to behave, Jung was referring to experiential spirituality that has been embedded in the collective consciousness of mankind for eons.
Humans have always instinctually felt that there is a creative force within and beyond transcending the self. Derided as a Mystic, Jung is today regarded as a pioneer in bringing together science and religion.
For the Mystics, spirituality cannot be defined as a theology. We all have those precious few moments where we feel a sudden clarity of mind, have an epiphany, or when everything suddenly falls into place. These are rare occasions when consciousness touches authentic soul nature.
When we are disciples in service of the greater good, we will perceive that driving force within that some describe as a real feeling of happiness, contentment, and satisfaction.
Worshipping the false Gods
In the spiritual vacuum of much of our materialistic culture, we are however taught that happiness comes from the worship of things. It is all about HAVING instead of BEING. We are sold an illusion.
Self-worth is defined by what we own and what status we have in society. It is about feeling significant rather than BEING happy. Individualization, personal needs, and wants take precedence over the holistic needs of community and society at large.
We have seen to what extremes individuals took what they perceived as their “personal freedom” during the pandemic and the culture wars over issues such as environmental protection. An entitlement culture will always be at odds with collective responsibility.
The more attention we focus on the external the more disconnected we become from our divine nature within. The “selfie-culture” in the form of self-worship and narcissism inevitably leads to unhappiness, disappointment, and ultimately depression. The ego appetite to be significant, to be seen, and to be heard is insatiable. A preoccupation with the self compares and is never grateful for what is.
There is compelling evidence that the secret of happiness begins when we begin to transmute the needs of self in service of the bigger whole. It is at the root of all the great religions. Matthew 6:21 tells us: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
In Taoist and Buddhist teachings the worship of the 10,000 things is the root cause of unhappiness and one of the biggest obstacles to spiritual transformation. It refers to the human tendency in getting stuck to concepts, thoughts, beliefs, concepts, and idol worship.
Numerous studies have found that when we help and serve others the brain releases happy hormones such as dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin. It can help us feel that we are living a meaningful and significant life. Happy hormones counteract the effect of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline that eventually rob the body of energy and cause fatigue.
Life is ultimately spiritual practice that brings consciousness to every moment of daily living, amid all the distractions, complexities, turmoil, and challenges. When we navigate that personal path and go into alignment with the higher self, it is comforting to know that we are protected and guided, that all in the bigger picture has meaning.
There is a prayer or personal mantra I say to myself each day after getting up in the morning. It has been truly transformational to my life in a multitude of ways:
Lord grant that this day may prosper for me. Lord turn from my path all harm. Let this work on earth become thigh heavenly sacrifice. Make me an instrument of thigh will and peace.
Planning and structuring your day is important but at the same time, we have to humbly surrender when external circumstances are out of our control, and adapt accordingly. Sometimes when things don’t go our way it might just be for our own good. The universe could have a different plan and we are blind to the bigger picture.
Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker
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