“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1: 2-3)
“I don’t know why I like him. I just do.” (From the lyrics “So Emotional” sung by Whitney Houston)
“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. (John 6: 63)
Two days ago I was on an errand when a woman jammed her push-chair right at the back of my left heel. The impact was so strong it ripped the back of my sandal off. I checked to see whether I was bruised but there was no evidence of the impact. She apologised of course. I knew she didn’t mean it so I let it go.
I returned home early so I could change shoes. I made myself a sandwich, dumped the extra bag I’d been carrying, freshened up and headed off to Hampstead Heath where I was going to listen to some live music.
On my way to Hampstead by bus, I pondered why I had had the experience with the woman earlier. Was it because I had thoughts of attack? No, I was and am always in the presence of Love. Was there something to learn from the experience? No, there are no lessons for me to learn. Why? Damnit, there must be a reason, a meaning! Did I gain or lose from the experience? From a human perspective I had lost a fiver, maybe more, as I’m going to have to have the sandal repaired at some point. I also did end up going home and had a sandwich. But then again I wasn’t hungry and I could have waited till I got back. Why then did I have the experience?
It was time to get off and wait for another bus. I heard someone call my name. It was another university friend. Can you believe it, she was the fourth university friend I’ve seen in five weeks. OK, why is she here? What beliefs or thoughts that I hold is she about to reflect back at me? She got off with me and we waited for my next bus. She said I looked thinner; I told her I was a stone lighter (14 pounds) since university days. Then she said she was feeling woozy and queasy because of the heat. Aha! I’ve been preoccupied with the weather lately. I, who used to swoon as soon as the sun came out, can now not only cope with the heat, I can even sit in the sun. I touched her arm in sympathy; I understood where she was coming from. My bus arrived. We exchanged hugs and I was on my way.
I arrived at Hampstead Heath still pondering over the earlier incident. I didn’t feel like listening to music anymore so I took a walk around the heath and finally sat down on a bench. I realised that the incident with the woman and her buggy had made no impact on who I am, my real Self. Granted, I have to repair my sandals but that’s about all. I thought about the meeting I’d just had with my university friend. Did it enrich my life? It was good to see her of course but enriched my life it did not. Why? Because I’m already complete and nothing can be taken away nor added to the fulfilment that I am.
If I’m so fulfilled, why am I here taking this walk in Hampstead Heath? Why indeed? I neither get pleasure nor does it make me happy being here. Why oh why do I do the things I do? If what I do is to make me happy it’s not working because I’m already blissed out. If what I do is to give my life meaning, guess what? I’m already fulfilled, I need no meaning.
Why am I? Why have a life when whatever I do gives me no more satisfaction. There has to be a reason why I’m here at this time. No meaning, no point. I remember a while back I watched a documentary about man’s motives for going into space. A scientist involved in the documentary said the following happened to him after making the programme. One day he was driving in his car when he heard a dog barking and chasing his car. Out of curiousity he stopped the car. The dog ran over, urinated on the car tyre and walked away. Is it possible that I’m having a life experience so I can say “Been there done that, bought the t-shirt; oh no, the t-shirt is stuck!” There’s got to be another meaning for being here.
I guess one meaning is I have experiences so I can have something to write about. Do I get joy from writing? If Joy means I feel a sense of purpose and meaning, then no. There have been many months when I haven’t written yet I’ve been in a state of bliss. I know that this state of bliss is present in all and no one really needs me to give them fulfilment. If I didn’t write another word I know no one’s going to miss my writings, nor do I expect them to.
There’s got to be a meaning to life, there has to be right?
Yes I believe there is. The meaning is that everything I do has no real meaning save what I give it. Even if there was no meaning I would still have existence. I eat yet I know that if I never ate another morsel I would still exist. If I didn’t have a single friend I would still be happy because I know I am joy. If I didn’t sleep again I know I will be filled with energy because I am life. If I didn’t do anything I will still be fulfilled because I am fulfilment.
I also realise that if I were to stay in a state of Bliss and not do anything then I might as well make an exit and return to the formless state of eternal rest. I know that I am here to live as Spirit and prove to myself that life is Spiritual and not material. Another way to put it is to demonstrate that the flesh is subordinate to the Spirit and this state of union of spirit and flesh is called Avalon. Jack Haas puts it this way: “In that commingling Avalon, where the new Eden is born without time, need, nor meaning, and the shift through epochs now adorns the inimitable cosmos, I dance continuously in the unrepressed glory of our orgy, song, and redemption.” (From “Roots and Wings” by Jack Haas; http://www.spiritandflesh.net/)
I also like to think that another meaning for my presence on earth has to do with expressing of God attributes. According to Yogananda, “The rishis taught that each human being has been created by God as a soul that will uniquely manifest some special attribute of the Infinite before resuming its Absolute Identity. All men endowed thus with a facet of Divine Individuality, are equally dear to God. (From “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda).
So the incident with the woman and her pushchair had a meaning for me after all. It was a reminder to me that no matter what is going on, I am Spirit, I am Freedom. That is the only meaning of life.
Why am I? Because I am.
All my love,