A lot of people in the world are in search of meaning. How should I make life more meaningful? – This is the question that a lot of us ask ourselves when things do not seem to go right. A lot of people in the outside world are eager to sell you their products so that your life becomes more meaningful.
Somebody is out there giving motivational speeches, someone has become a life coach, someone is trying to make sense out of the lines which are on your palms and so on. The self-help industry has become a huge market in itself, but what is the point of this?
People have become sick of working for their nine-to-five jobs and so they are trying to find alternative ways to earn money. Helping others has become an alternative form of income. To most people it has become a full time job.
I do not have any problem with people trying to help others, but not unless you have experienced something of any value in your own life.
The people who are helping others make life meaningful are simply fooling themselves and others because life in itself is meaningless. There is no purpose to life.
With all of that being said, you can make your life beautiful if you wish any moment if you are willing to understand certain aspects of life which are very subtle.
Life becomes beautiful in doing the little things. If you have not mastered the little things in life, everything you do in order to add meaning to your life will just make your life more meaningless.
Little Things that Matter Much:
When I was in school, we used to have this small booklet that was given to us every year. In this booklet we had the schedule for that year. There was a certain page on this booklet which had this line, “Little things that Matter Much”. On this page, the teacher had to write anything positive that she would notice about the student. If you have done something good, the teacher would write a remark on the page. Unfortunately, that page in every students booklet would always remain blank. In fact, very rarely would anybody get a positive remark.
Years later, I realised that little things do not matter much, at least, to the world that we are living in. The people who are responsible in providing you an education as well fail to see the little good things that students do.
As a result of this conditioning, we grow up to think that perhaps, we need to do something great in life in order to be appreciated.
When I first began learning and applying mysticism into my life, I realised that it is only the little things in life which we do that matter. Everything else in life which is done in order to add meaning is a complete waste of time.
Life Does not Demand for you to be Special:
Life does not want any individual on this earth to do anything special because life has already made a human being special. If you try to become special, you will not become special, but retarded. Many people have become retarded in the world simply because they have forgotten the fact that they are already unique.
An individual is not to become unique but to recognise his or her uniqueness. Once you have recognised your uniqueness, then there is no problem at all. Once you know that you are unique, you no longer try to be something. In identifying your uniqueness, you simply relax and stay the way you are.
Being brings beauty to every Action:
Once you have realised that you are already unique, then being becomes simple. Out of this state of being whatever you do is beautiful.
A man of being has a signature of his on every action that he performs. Every little thing that a man of being does becomes beautiful, because the man is beautiful within himself. Ugliness cannot arise out of a beautiful person. On the other hand, if an ugly person tries to do something beautiful, it will automatically become ugly.
Have you not noticed this in your own life? You try your best to make others happy, but somehow, you end up messing things up. You ruin other people’s lives, your relationships become topsy-turvy and all sorts of crazy things keep happening simply because you have put too much focus on your actions as opposed to your being.
Actions arise out of your being. Strive to make your being beautiful, and then every action will follow your being like a shadow.
Bringing Love to the “Little” actions:
Now that we have created a base for the entire topic, we can get into further details. Now that you have understood what the being is, we can look at the little actions that matter.
In life, there are hundreds of activities that you perform on a daily basis, or if you’re lazy like me, then perhaps you may perform a few activities here and there. The point is to do all of these activities with love.
When you bring love to every action that you do, your life starts to become more grounded. Always remember that the role you play in the outside world is not what gives you the real identity. What you do in the outside world is simply a fallacy. In the office, you may be the boss, but that doesn’t matter because at home if your wife treats you like a slave, that is what you really are.
The role which we play in the outside world is simply a role, it is not our reality. Whatever you do in the outside world is something which is demanded from you. If you are demanded to do a certain task in a particular way, you will do it. You may receive credit for it, but do not think that you have become great as result of what you’ve done.
Love is the Only thing that makes you Great:
Love is the only thing that makes a person great. If you do something just because it is your duty, then you are just a slave. When you do something out of love, the slave that is within you dies. Suddenly a mystic is born within. Mystics are not born in the world, they are given birth to by themselves.
Your parents can only give birth to that part of you which is not you. What you refer to as birth is simply the birth of your body. The real thing which is inside you has to be given birth to with your own insight and understanding of life.
Therefore, unless you come to a point in your life where you get rid of duty, whatever you do will become ugly. The being cannot be given birth to out of ugliness.
The way you walk, the way you talk, the way you express yourself, the way you are when nobody is around – all of these things matter more than what you can imagine. If any of these simple things in life cannot be done with love, grace, and beauty, then your life is a waste. Then no matter what you do in life, your life will be meaningless.
The Story of Mary, Martha and Jesus:
There is a story of Jesus in the Bible which I had heard as a child. It is one of the most beautiful stories that I have heard. As a child, I perhaps did not understand it at all, but because the story was beautiful, it remained somewhere at the back of my mind.
As I’m writing this, I suddenly happened to remember that story. The story is that Jesus comes to visit the home of Martha and Mary – Two sisters who happened to be very close to Jesus. Both these women had great respect for Jesus. You can say that they were very good friends. When Jesus entered their home, Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and began listening to Jesus’ words. Martha being a very formal person immediately ran into the kitchen to prepare a meal for Jesus.
Jesus’ arrival was unexpected. Therefore, Martha was probably having a tough time in the kitchen, and so she says to Jesus, “Lord, are you not concerned that I am left alone here to serve?” “Can you please tell Mary to help me here in the kitchen?” Jesus being an eccentric man says to her that she shouldn’t be worried about all of these trivial things. In fact Mary has chosen to do the right thing which is to listen to my word.
Reflections on The Story:
For a person looking at this from a superficial perspective, it may seem as though Martha was more considerate and hospitable, but Mary was more simple when compared to Martha. She was more concerned about her spiritual growth. A man like Jesus does not care about hospitality. Jesus could see clearly through a person’s heart. Martha was more concerned about service. She was more concerned with impressing Jesus. Mary, on the other hand had chosen to just sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to his word.
Jesus’ response to Martha makes us feel as though Jesus is crazy, but this story has a very important message. Jesus was basically pointing out to the fact that in life, what you do doesn’t matter at all. What matters is your heart and your quest to become more in life.
Martha was more formal, but Mary was not concerned about formality. She was seeking to have a deeper communion with Jesus. These are the little things in life that makes a person great.
Every Genius in the world is simple:
There are thousands of examples in the life of various mystics in the world where they continually emphasise on the person’s consciousness as opposed to the actions. We are always concerned with doing great things in life but seldom do we think about doing those so-called great things with love.
When Mary chose to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to him, it was out of great love. Her love for Jesus was so tremendous that it didn’t even cross her mind that perhaps, Jesus must be hungry. Maybe, I should ask him whether he wants some food or drink.
Her action was so simple that it may have seemed very selfish of her to forget about everything and focus about her own spiritual growth, but this is the beauty of being simple.
There are stories of Buddha just sitting in meditation and the entire atmosphere around him changes so much that flowers begin to shower on him. Now for a person who is too concerned with action, this may look silly. Sitting in silence is such a simple act, but even an act as simple as that can make the flowers shower. These stories may not be factual but they all point to a great truth. The truth is that it is always the little things that make a person great.
Buddha, Mahavir, Jesus and every other mystic in the world have lived such simple lives with no goal, and just look at the impact that they have created. Mahavir would roam around naked – now what is so great about that? But that is Mahavir’s simplicity. To an ordinary person it does not matter at all, but to Mahavir it was his entire standpoint in life.
Mahavir’s nakedness was a message that in life we do not come with anything. Someday, we need to leave everything that we have in this world. You can roam around naked like Mahavir, but it won’t have the same beauty. You can sit in meditation for hours like Buddha and it won’t matter at all. You can drink wine, eat meat, and roam around with criminals like Jesus did, but it won’t be the same.
The actions that you do don’t matter, but the simplicity with which you do them makes all the difference. If you try to do the same things that Jesus, Buddha and all the great people in the world do, you will fail miserably because what they did is of little significance as opposed to who they were.
Being is more important. Be loving and simple and let every action arise out of that purity of consciousness and you wouldn’t have to bother about making life meaningful at all. Meaning follows like a shadow to those who know how to just be.