If you’re happy with your life (as many are), don’t waste your time on this site. If however you can’t quite understand how you got to this place in life, I want to welcome you. You’re not alone; many are beginning to question. These lyrics from the Talking Heads “Once in a Lifetime” sum it up beautifully
“And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself
Well…How did I get here?
And you may say to yourself
My God!…What have I done?! ”
This seems to be a defining time on Earth; especially in the West.
Many derive their sense of inner meaning from outer sources. Corporations spend billions on mind and wallet control to ensure we all want the latest i-phone, the ‘affordable’ leased B.M.W., or the McMansion that’s mortgaged to the hilt, etc…And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
How do we pay for all this stuff? If we’re lucky, we’re making a living doing what we love. If not, we may be the product of well-meaning parents or over worked high school guidance counsellors who lead us to career choices that don’t really reflect our talents or interests.
For many, consumerism drives our choices and gets us out of bed on Monday morning. That’s so we can go to the job we dislike to pay for a life which may or may not reflect who we are at a core level. More and more are working a second job just to make ends meet!
Most of us walk around simply existing…happily defined by our labels; manager, parent, spouse, portfolio owner, weekend athlete. But what happens when the surface meaning gets stripped away? We lose our job, the kids grow up and move away, our relationships change, we face a financial setback or we are confronted with a health scare. At times such as these, our very identities are questioned.
As if this weren’t enough, what happens when normal developmental benchmarks are reached? We all feel the need to assess our life path at times, and it strikes at predictable ages….29, 42, 50, 58. Some choose to sleep through the opportunity.
Others take the road less traveled…(After all, a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.)
Defining your own I. D. or Inner Identity is akin to swimming upstream during spring run-off. It’s a solitary journey, it is an itch which needs to be scratched, and it’s a bitch! If you Google the concept, your browser will fill with soundbites and platitudes regarding authenticity. Talk to anyone who’s ever done it (individuated) and they will likely look at you dumbfounded, struggling for the words to explain something which defies description. There are few words worthy of the journey.
Buddha (Siddhartha) left riches, fame, family and comfort behind when he was called to define and live his Inner Identity. After many years under the Bodhi tree (tree of Awakening), Buddha understood the true nature of things, and by extension, his own true nature. Stories such as these can be seen as metaphors, as a glimpse into an experience which is Universal in nature.
If all of this seems a bit overwhelming, take solace in the notion of reincarnation. It’s highly doubtful the truly awakened or individuated beings in the history books arrived on the planet the first time with such wisdom. That level of wisdom is the sign of an old soul with many incarnations and lots of karma (learning) opportunities mastered.
If you’re hearing the call to live a more consciously aware, individuated life…don’t worry. No one expects you to become the Buddha overnight. This is a journey of lifetimes. If you want clues on how to proceed…here are a few places to look.
- The most important clues come from inside yourself. Learn to quiet the mind and connect with your intuition.
- There are clues in science and math, although these disciplines in and of themselves are too removed from the true human experience. Guard against using them as proof against this undefinable experience of inner definition or awareness. Use them as a signpost, but defer to your intuition when in doubt.
- There are clues in spiritual teachings. Soul and spirit are not to be confused with religion. Dogmatic, defining structures will not provide clues in the search for inner truth. Soul and Sprit are that part of you which is non-material in nature. It is your consciousness. Your I AM awareness.
- There are clues in the Universe. The sun, moon, planets, stars, the Milky Way Galaxy and distant galaxies all impact us. Gravity, magnetism, photons, black holes, dark matter…we may not fully understand their impact on our energetic beings, but there are clues within clues here. Ancient wisdom, intuitive knowing, early scientific understandings, and the Art of Astrology can help us along.
- Look for guides who are further ahead on the journey and can provide you with a map. They won’t be hard to spot. There is a level of love, compassion and forgiveness they possess for themselves and share with all. Those who are living a life which is closest to yours can provide you with relevant direction. A monk who lives his life sequestered from the realities of 21st century life has no real understanding of car pooling :) Can he guide your journey? Perhaps…if he is a monk with a Ferrari ;) It was Kierkegaard who wrote “Who has the most difficult task; the teacher who lectures on ernest things a meteor’s distance from everyday life – or the learner who should put it to use?”
This is an inner journey, so no one can complete the journey for you. You will have to put it to good use yourself.