- Who are we?
- Where do we come from?
- Where are we going?
- What do we do now?
- Why do we exist?
Many people think that once they can answer the five questions above, everything will become clear, and they will arrive at their ultimate destination. In reality, this realization is only the beginning of the actual journey.
Life is harsh, painful, and unfair. We encounter obstacles that force us to change. We take risks with unforeseeable results. We make choices that require our sacrifices and trouble, yet those who benefit from our help may turn against us. It is through this crucible of Life that knowledge transmutes into wisdom.
Practicing spirituality is not about disconnecting ourselves from daily life. Instead, we integrate all the different parts of our lives, including all the painful and challenging parts that we detest, as well as the delicious and beautiful parts that we love. It is in this crucible that we can develop the healthy habits below:
1) Accept reality while changing it: Accept whatever appears in our life unconditionally while making concrete effort to pursue our goals. The Universe is not a wish-granting genie that allows gains without sacrifices.
To live fully in this world is to live truly from reality. Truth is determined by the present physical world, but it must also be linked to our past. The past was once our reality; it was because of the past that the present exists. Thus, our personal history is precious to us.
2) Beware of conflicts of interest: A servant cannot serve two masters simultaneously. Are we serving a higher purpose or our interests? If we do not separate the two types of work, we may fail to serve either properly.
If our freedom of choice does not move in harmony with the world, we will go down the path of self-destruction because our individual power opposes the power of Creation. This is why capitalism is incompatible with empathy.
3) Be careful about personal sacrifices: If we are not a saint, do not try to be one. To be a saint, we should be prepared to serve ungrateful and disrespectful people. Otherwise, we will grow disillusioned towards our work and resentful towards those we tried to serve.
Living selflessly is consistent with feeling true love and fully accepting the world. If we can do one of these, we can do all of these. If we fail to do one of these, we fail to do all of these.
4) Live actively with purpose: True realization is not centered on escape but on acceptance. True realization is not about giving up but about building on meaning. True realization is not to attain passive hollowness but active fulfillment. Planet Earth is not a shooting gallery where each of us is a target waiting to be shot at. Regardless of our fate, luck, and life situation, we must take action to change our lives. We are responsible for bringing our inner calling from the abstract into physical form using our own lives.
Humanity should understand that the technology they have created can reproduce human nature, uniqueness, abilities, experiences, and so forth. Humans will one day meet artificial companions exactly like them and fail to distinguish between the real and artificial. If Humanity understands the concept and purpose of the soul, then they would be able to grant a soul to these new lives, successfully entering the glorious age of space exploration. If not, then these soulless tools will very likely destroy Humanity.
5) Accept the mainstream material world: Seeing money with contempt and technology as harmful artificial creations cuts us off from the rest of the world and guarantees our isolation. This is perfectly fine if we wish to withdraw from the world, but not if we want to be effective agents of positive change.
There used to be only one physical reality, but Humanity has invented ways to bring the unreal virtual into reality. This means that the unreal virtual becomes part of reality itself. In addition to the electronic networks connecting Humanity, Humanity has also replaced the natural with the urban environment. If we do not accept this altered version of reality, then we are escaping from reality.
6) Reduce opinions and increase knowledge: Many people think they are knowledgeable enough to express their objective views on complex matters, for instance, non-scientists who warn of the dangers of genetically modified foods. In the era of fake news, it is wise to abstain from forming opinions on matters in which we are not experts. A truly open-minded person has few views.
Many people call their faith-based “knowledge” science. However, science does not only rely on individual observations or the publication of papers in a journal; it requires repeatable objective and measurable observations by other people in controlled conditions and the ability to extrapolate the unknown to qualify the results as “scientific”.
7) Honor our Pain: Humanity’s Existence is built on pain.
- We must give up something to attain another.
- We will regret our choices.
- We will have to live with things that we dislike.
- We will have to leave or discard things that we like.
- Our material gains are someone else’s material losses, and vice-versa.
- Life is unfair.
These points are most obvious for those who trade the financial markets, a giant casino where people swap their wealth with each other. For every dream that someone fulfills, someone else has their dream broken.
We must make these sacrifices and regrets count. Life is unfair, and we have no way to erase the unfairness, but we can make it right. Only with this awareness and change will the cycle of pain have a chance of ending.