By Mary Jaksch
Do you sometimes wonder what the purpose of life is? If you are not sure, you may be looking at life the wrong way. You may have a view of life as a path. However, there is another way to see life. Read on to find out what that way is.
Let’s first take a look at the conventional way to understand life as a path. Do you see your life as a path? That’s an image that is often used in the realm of spirituality personal growth. I’m guilty of it myself.
This implies that we are struggling towards a pinnacle. We overcome hardship and climb up and up towards…well, towards what, exactly? In the spiritual realm we might say that we climb towards enlightenment, wisdom, awakening, or…what? In the realm of personal growth we might imagine that we are climbing towards, success, wealth, personal fulfillment, or …what?
We are pulled through life by promises like a donkey by carrots. We are always moving towards that pinnacle. First we go to kindergarten and then we look forward to primary school. We are told how wonderful it will be when we finally go to college. And then to university. Finally, as good citizens we embark on a career, a relationship, maybe a family. It seems that we are at last approaching the pinnacle of our life. (One of our readers, Jonathan Meads, sent me a funny and enlightening cartoon clip that illustrates this. Do have a look at it here.)
What pinnacle? More often than not, the pinnacle turns out to be redundancy, or illness. And then – one day the sun goes behind a cloud – and we die. Just like that.
Now, tell me again – where was that pinnacle? Did I miss it?
The strange thing is that for a long time the pinnacle seems to be in the future. Just out of reach. Then, from one moment to the next, it seems to be in the past. You’re suddenly beyond it. You’re a ‘has-been’. And you can’t quite remember what the pinnacle should have been. All you know is that you’ve missed it.
That’s pretty depressing, isn’t it? But, stop! What if life isn’t a path?
What if life is a dot?
Yes, I said dot.
A dot doesn’t have dimension. There is no before and after. The dot is now. This moment. Now.
What if this moment right now is the pinnacle of our life? What if each moment is the pinnacle? That is, if we actually live it and don’t miss it through dreaming of the future.
What if the smell of fresh ground coffee is the pinnacle? What if the hug at the door as you go to work is the pinnacle?
It would change things, wouldn’t it?
We would focus on what we enjoy, and not on moving up in our career. We would surf more, and dance more, and sing more, and laugh more, and love more, and hug more.
We would feel the wind in our hair. We would watch the moon rise. We would bask in the sun. We would roll in the mud. We would play in the surf.
We would kick up our heels and feel free. Free to be a bit wild. Even zany. We would live with abandon.
We would enjoy that dot. The dot that is life.
Let’s have a conversation:
What do you think? How is your life? Are you on a path or on a dot?
Second photo by Jeff Kubina
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