This was an essay I wrote in college of psychotherapy science. It gave me a lot of insight on my life values, what my real goal was in life and the areas in my life I need to pay attention.
Before I touch on specific issue, I would first of all like to stop at the question: what is life? What is life’s purpose? What is life about? Through the answers to these questions it will be easier to understand the answer to the main question of the essay.
Throughout my youth, I often wondered about the purpose of life. Especially, this questions arose in difficult times, when the meaning of life eroded.
For a long time I searched for an answer. Eventually I found it in spiritual thought system A Course of Miracles. Its interpretation of the purpose of life is very different from how life is regarded in today’s world. If I would like to summarize briefly the meaning of life, it would be in its awakening. The awakening from the dream of separation. All the value and meaning that life has for me is that I wake up from this dream and its associated suffering, guilt and projection, into the state of oneness and unity of all life. Real life is not a life of separate “small persons” trapped in bodies in an infinite universe. It is a union of everything and all in one mind that is not separated from its source, which for me, is God.
When I answer a question about the meaning and purpose of life it is easier to talk about the values which make sense of my life. Love is certainly one supreme value to which I aspire, crave and which at rare moments I feel or remember. Why remember? Love is a state that is in all, but because of desire for individuality and power, we forgot it.
Love for me is a universal value and is not tied to any person or thing. Love is a state of complete absence of fear. Love is a state of no judgment of ourselves, our feelings, thoughts, the people around,.. Love is to recognize yourself in the other. Love is a feeling of oneness with everything that surrounds me. Love is when you are able to pursue the objective: “Together, or not at all” or in other words, the principle of the common interests of all. Love is when you recognize our fellow man in only one of two possible states: love or a call for love. The latter includes all conditions that give rise to all the ills of the world – from hatred, guilt, envy, sorrow, egoism .. When you are oriented only on these two possible conditions, you can no longer judge anyone for their actions, because deep down, all they are doing is calling for love.
Above I have listed a few examples of what love is to me – the highest possible value and the only one which gives meaning to my life and led me to my only real and ultimate goal – awakening in it, awakening to oneness.
Mosaic of love consists of several other “sub values”, which are closely related. Among them I would classify gratitude. In particular gratitude that I was given situations and people who through tough times are allowing and teaching me the meaning of suffering. Such moments are very precious, as the increased awareness and the ability of their non judgmental observation, serves as a tool that allows me to get to know the purpose and the illusory nature of suffering. When I speak about suffering, I am talking about the suffering of the mind. I see its aim in defending against the truth or love – in order not to blend with it, not to be awakened in oneness with our source or God.
The next piece in the mosaic of love could be accepting our fellow man as he or she is, with all its characteristics. It also means acceptance all life situations – the “bad” and the “good” ones. Its related value is already mentioned non judgment, which I consider to be one of the key life values on the way towards remembering love. According to my perception of the world – which is based on the fact that the whole world literally exists only in my mind, and so my outside picture is a projection of my inward condition – condemnation of anything is a condemnation of myself. So caricatured, any anger at anyone or anything is “holding a sword above your own head.”
Giving is the next value, which is important in my understanding of the world based on the oneness of mind.
“To give and to receive are one in truth. I will receive what I am giving now.” (A Course of Miracles: W-108)
The latter quote from A Course of Miracles clearly shows the dynamics of giving and receiving. Therefore, if there is only one mind and not millions of separate bodies, then it is only logical that giving to fellow human being is essentially giving to oneself. As soon as you give tranquility, peace of mind and kindness, it is possible to feel this right away “on our own skin”. You get all this in the extent to which you gave. So giving “in my world” is one of the key “sub values” of love. That directly affects my experience of joy, happiness and on the other hand, the lack of it, if I withdraw giving.
Awareness – mindfulness, which brings inner peace and tranquility are the next values that are also closely related with love. Once I calm down internally through the observation of emotions, thoughts, surroundings and different situations, I can easily feel the love. It is easier to slip into a state of all pervading and unconditional love. I feel the love for everything around me: to different people, nature, animals, objects. I see my reflection in all. With mindfulness I can feel the love in various difficult situations while having intensive mental murmur and the feeling of apparent importance of our “problems”. I try to observe the negative thought flow non judgmentally and at the same time not identify with it. With wakefulness, I try to take away heavy weight from thoughts. When I realize that I am not my thoughts, I can feel the serenity and inner peace, despite mental stream of thoughts, despite a troubled environment, and less than ideal conditions for the silence.
Sincerity is a value that is very similar to the value of giving. Sincerity returns to you relatively to the amount you give it – the same as in giving. I think it is very important for a healthy and respectful relationships. Without sincerity it is difficult to build any relationship. Recently I devote special attention to this value, because I feel that I need to do a step forward to a more sincere relationships. For me, sincerity is mainly associated with pain, which I could feel if I tell a friend or partner my sincere feelings or if I express myself wholly. In my mind and in the subconscious there is still a lot of fear, which warns me, that if I won’t be like or behave like others expect me to behave, I will not be loved from such people and I could lose friends. In such moments I try to do my best any just watch these thoughts that are telling me this. I realize that this fear is associated with the past, which I still maintain and believe in it. However, I realize that living a life in the moment and not identifying with the thoughts is a process that does not happen overnight. However, a 100% honesty – to myself and to others – is one of those life values which I feel is very important. I have it strongly before my eyes and it is my definite goal.
Trust. Confidence that in this moment everything is as it should be. Trust, that your life brings you on the path people and situations that will provide the opportunity for inner growth and help you to achieve inner peace. Many times it would seem that this leads you precisely in the opposite direction – to the various negative emotional states and ailments, but I see them as learning tools – tools that when you are mindful, will allow you to see various insights and help you get closer to inner peace and joy. Often, such unwavering trust is put to the test and it seems to you that the world has turned against you. In such moments I try to withdraw from the situation and see the bigger picture and the purpose which is hiding in the back.
Playfulness. By this I mean that child’s playfulness and unburden-ness with life. Today there is too much rigidity – life is taken too seriously. There is little spontaneity, everything is oriented towards the importance of achieving some business and personal successes and achievements. Society expects you to be successful. As we scramble for these ideals, we get tired and we can also burn out mentally. I therefore consider playfulness a very important value in life. Whatever I do – although this is often difficult because of the above mentioned mind schemes about the importance of “success” – I am trying to look at life more lightly – without burdening unnecessary. In particular I try to relax when you noticed that I’m in a crunch to bother with a certain thing. Then I try to stop, breathe and smile.
Laughter, which is closely related with the previous value, is the following which gives meaning to my life. Relaxed, inner, soft laughter comes when I can watch life as a game, when I don’t bother with various trifles that many times occupy my mind. Then I can smile and know that everything is ok as it is at that moment and that I don’t need to change anything. I need only to accept any given moment and smilingly move towards life.
How to get to the state of pure Love?
On my understanding, the world is a place, which is largely ruled by guilt, hatred, anger and egoistic mentality: “Kill or be killed” (A Course of Miracles, M-17.7:11), which would symbolically also mean looking only at our own interests. Such a mentality is of course a deviation from the values of love and only adds to the mentality of separation. It seems important to me not to deny this basic, the above-mentioned negative feelings with which we come into the world and which we reaffirm further through the process of socialization. On the other hand, I am aware that love is present within everyone of us, cloaked with various layers of defenses and guilt. In our unbridled desire to be separated and to have our own egoic individuality, we have forgotten our true nature – a real nature.
It seems to me that the value of love in today’s world is one of the most misunderstood. In particular, it is often used in a romantic relationship where we want to love and be loved. Unfortunately, it is difficult to talk about real love – as expansion of it – in most cases. Usually, the purpose of most relationships is to fill the emotional void or any other shortfall that we feel in ourselves. However, there is nobody but ourselves, who can substitute this void. Only we alone can get ourselves back to the forgotten state of pure love, because we are the ones who gave it up. In this I see the responsibility of the individual to be aware of their role in the process of finding joy – which I see it as a synonymous value of love. In the presence of one, the other is automatically present.
In most cases, the relationship starts with the aforementioned negative projections. But it depends on us whether we will be free from it through awareness of what we are doing – taking and manipulating. Awareness and uncritical observation is one that will show us another possible choice of viewing and growth in a relationship. Thus, when we move into the role of observer of our exploiting ego in action, we will get an insight into what actually our motive in the relationship is.
And when we will be at a point where we will have enough suffering, when we realize that there is another purpose and another way of looking at relationships – one with shared and not separate interests – then we can enter the path to true Love.
This list of values, which provide guidance to my already mentioned main objective – awakening and inner peace. I could also describe this state as perfect Love, when every fear disappears and the mind unites with all beings and the whole world. Thus the idea of separation disappears and oneness comes – pure love and joy.