When i think about the person i really want to be (the lowercase i is to used to differentiate between the universal “I,” which is…who knows :-)), i realize that nearly all of the qualities i’d love to embody have already been manifested by me at some previous point, if only for a moment. If only for a moment, i know that i’ve been completely selfless, i know that i’ve been perfectly healthy, i know that i’ve been joyful, cheerful, unconditionally loving, humbly serving, and radiant, if only for a moment. And because i know that i’ve achieved these qualities for a moment, i know that i can achieve them for many moments, and perhaps even string them together moment-to-moment-to-moment, over the course of a lifetime, to realize more abundantly that infinite potential that is within me and you and everyone.
So the Best Self is there, it’s been there and it will continue to be there forever. Throughout the course of this lifetime, i’ve been perfectly the way i’d like to be in so many ways: perfectly healthy, perfectly happy, perfectly generous, perfectly humorous, perfectly cheerful, perfect patient, perfectly present, perfectly charismatic, perfectly fearless, perfectly loving, and the list goes on. And even if i couldn’t think of moments in life where i’ve embodied such qualities, i know that i could look to any other human being and their personal experience, and see that if i’ve witnessed perfect giving, that i can live that quality too. Like Jesus said, something like, “and greater works shall you do.” What one of us can do, all of us can do. Maybe this doesn’t include dunking a basketball or running 4 minute mile, but the things that we really, deeply, purely and truly desire, we all have access to every moment. If you’ve ever witnessed one person experiencing perfect peace, you too can have that perfect peace. Or even if you’ve only read about a person in a state of perfect peace, like Christ or the Buddha, then you too can have that. Because the human experience is the experience of being human it is accessible to anyone who has been given the human qualities of body, mind, heart, and soul. You need nothing else! Just you, perfectly as you are, with the abundance of gifts freely bestowed upon you at birth is more than enough to realize everything that you most wholly desire with every fiber of your being.
For the moments in my life that i’ve been completely present and mindful and even God-conscious, if only for a moment in prayer or a deep breathe (or maybe those are the same ;-)), then i know i can have that experience again and multiply it so that i experience it more abundantly, more often. And on some level, i know i can have that experience all the time. It’s just a matter of desiring it and of paying the price to have it. If i really want God-Consciousness, awareness of God all the time, watching pornography and playing video games for 8 hours a day probably won’t help…but maybe it will who knows i haven’t really tried that route. So too have an experience of God all the time, what price is worth paying? What price would you pay? Many people pay the price of celibacy to be forever more aware of God. Others pay the price of silence. The price of wearing a habit or singular color robes seems to be a common price for people seeking God. Alas, is it worth it?
Being embodied in human form, it’s easy to see the short-term value in activities like eating cake, playing video games, having sex, eating more cake, etc. The challenge is not for us to value short-term activities, but for us to live for the long-term; the longest term of all being eternity. To live for eternity is a great challenge we face as humans. It can hard to believe in the unseen, to believe in a life beyond this life, and so it’s easy to succumb to the short-term pleasures of the world. But constantly, as we succumb to any short-term cravings, we’ll later feel the medium and long-term repercussions. Tis so easy to discount the future for a pleasureful present! How can we bring ourselves to live for the long-term? How can we start to live for eternity, and what does that look like?
Living for eternity means living for the one thing that is permanent. The things of the material world, including these physical bodies, turn to dust in a matter of years. If there is one thing that is lasting beyond the form of the world it must be that which you might call spirit / soul / God / Consciousness. Live for the Spirit. Live for Soul. Live for God. Live for Consciousness. This is living for eternity. Living in the context of eternity, we quickly realize how futile are the acts of judging, resenting, and blaming. In every moment, it’s the present moment. The past dies to the present, and the future is imaginary. In the pure context of the now, there is no history and there is no future, there is just the essence of What Is here and now. This is it! And everything in the moment is one with the moment; that is, there is an unifying energy that exists within all that one experiences in the present moment. The present moment is united in itself. It is whole and complete and one. One Present Moment. The wholeness of which you could call God or Spirit or Consciousness or Spaghetti Monster…just words 🙂 But there is a wholeness, there is a unifying presence behind it all, and this is true in every moment. Every moment is unified. Every moment is whole. It need not be changed, it need not be any other way than how it is. That which is permanent in this moment is not necessarily visible, but it is in the essence of all that is visible. As some like to call it, Source Energy. And you can think of it this way: everything that’s ever happened in the entire history of the universe adds up to this present moment. It all accumulates just perfectly so to create this here and now, to bring you to these words, these words to you, and it happened just exactly as it did. Trillions upon trillions of decisions, both conscious and unconscious, unfolded precisely as they did to create this unified moment. This One Moment 🙂 So if we are ever to experience that which is permanent, that which we might call God, it would be reasonably to look for God now, and to find God now in anything and everything you choose to give your attention to. Because it all adds up, beyond any conscious comprehension the present moment is exactly as it is, billions of years in the making, and you made it here.
Given that our existence has been in the making for so long, it seems foolish to think that the best things we can do with ourselves while here is eat food and have sex. Granted, without food and sex we probably wouldn’t be here (i would say definitely wouldn’t be here…but who knows? Possibility of virgin birth and sun gazing for sustenance? ;-)), but we likely have higher faculties. And if we’re concerned with mere physical survival of this small physical body that we’re temporarily residing in, and then next to that simply seeking to pleasure ourselves in a simple way, then how are we to ever discover the gems that reside forever in us? How are we to discover the Kingdom Within and the Spiritual Riches if we constantly give our attention to food and sex? When we grow in trust in Creation, and trust in God, and in awareness of true identity as forever connected with God and safe no matter what, we can let go of the smaller self desires and open up to the desires of our Higher Self / Soul. Then we can perhaps knows from personal experience the “peace that passeth all understanding” and connect with the permanent essence of reality that pervades all being.
The key is trust. Trust in Creation, trust in God, trust in Goodness. Trust in your heart, and in your conscience. Trust in a purity of purpose. If you are listening to the guidance of your Soul, you’ll always be moving in a wonderful direction. No matter how it may look, you’re always good. And even if for a moment you disconnect, or for many moments you disconnect, that moment you reconnect is the moment you reclaim your power and remember who you really are and reestablish yourself in fearlessness because you know that you are created by the Divine and whatever happens is for your good. No matter how far from the path you may stray, the moment is when you can go back on the path. We only live one breath at a time. We can only move one step a time. So take the next step. Take a conscious breath. Enjoy the gift.
Back to the Best Self…
The Best Self, for me, is inevitably rooted in God, in Consciousness, in Gratitude, and in the Present Moment. and i know that i’ve experienced this way of being before, and if only for fleeting moment i’ve felt vigorous and enthusiastic and perfectly healthy and peaceful and radiant and charismatic. And so i wonder what happens when all of these states combine, or maybe some of them will drop by the way side to make room for a higher state. Alas, part of me dreams of the life in which i consistently embody all of these qualities. At the same time, perhaps there’s a bit of fear that comes along with it. Because, likely, if i’m embodying all of those qualities, there will be increased responsibilities, but then again, rooted in the present moment, everything’s pretty easy 🙂 And with a pure heart and pure purpose at all times, forever intending goodwill and love and service, there’s really nothing to fear!
As much as it helps to have role models and people we admire, perhaps even looking up to the great ones of history like Jesus and Buddha and Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln and whoever else, my guess is that whatever qualities you really want to embody, you can look back to a time in your life when you’ve fully possessed it, if only for a day, an hour, a single minute or moment, you’ve had it. So meditating on perfect figures like Christ can be helpful, but it can also be daunting. Because Christ symbolizes the perfection of the human form and a divine incarnation, so where are we even to begin with moving towards Christ-likeness? That’s why step-by-step is the key to all growth. Day by day. Learn, adjust, grow. Become better and better. Ben Franklin worked on developing one virtue each week, marking a journal whenever he found himself not abiding by it.
By all means, have your pinnacle role models and exemplars for human life, but also achieve enough clarity so you know one-by-one how you are seeking to grow and become more like that Best Self that you know is within you.
The fundamental teaching seems to be to know what you want. As i read the other day in “The World’s Religions” by Huston Smith, apparently one of the central tenets to Hindu philosophy is that you can have anything you desire. So if you desire women, wealth, health, fame, power, pleasure, whatever – it’s yours. You can also desire God – and in due time, you will soon know God more fully, and even “have” God, if that’s a thing 😉 So the key is desire. Know what you want. Clearly. Think about it. Meditate on it. Be true with yourself. No need to hide anything. The more clearly you ask, the more directly you will receive. Prayers that are specific are more easily understood. Sure, God knows what we want before we ask, and even before we think about it, yet it helps for us too to know what we want as clearly as possible, so perhaps in those moments that we aren’t supremely connected with our Soul or God and living the reality of “Thy Will be Done,” then at least we can utilize our consciousness to continue to move us in the direction of realizing our worthy ideal. If we ask for guidance, we will receive guidance. We can direct ourselves nobly, and God can also direct us. Whatever you ask for, it’s yours. And, have no fear for asking for something and perhaps not wanting it the next day. We learn, we change, we grow, we evolve. Perhaps it was Emerson who said, “Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself.” Word is bond, yet we’re always forgiven and under grace and allow to let the past die and embrace the now as the moment for pure prayer and positive thought and action.
Well then, words 🙂
Know what you want. Think about. Thoughts create reality.
Answering the questions, “Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose?” yes…those indeed are helpful questions to consider.
Present Moment, Wonderful Moment.
You can do anything in complete Peace and Harmony when you are aware of God.
And while i’m at it…laugh, dance, play, sing 🙂 Light yourself on fire with Spirit!!!