The Meaning of Life

Ah! If only I knew the answer to this question, I would finally live in peace. Ring a bell? It certainly rings true for me. After a lifetime of existential pondering, principal of which is the aforementioned question, there can be only one logical answer: life itself.

Our brains will insist that there must be something more. There must be some higher purpose for each of us to make this crazy life seem meaningful. Surely! But what has your life taught you? Have you found peace? Have you discovered a meaning in your life which has responded to all your doubts and taken away all your suffering?

If you have, then stop being selfish and share it with us all!! ūüôā

As we have previously looked at, you will never find peace or the meaning of life searching within your own limited brain – that is, your past experiences and acquired knowledge. How can you? Your brain only knows what you have done, learnt and seen up to this moment so there is nothing new that it can offer you.

So any meaning to life can only be found outside of your past. That is, beyond the limitation of your thinking brain, and beyond this there is no “meaning of life”; the question itself simply doesn’t exist. Beyond thought there is no need to search , become or give meaning to anything.

Just live. Don’t fall into the trap of asking the cause of your problems to solve itself – that is madness. The only sane way to live is beyond thought, which is to say free of the need to ask questions at all. That will take a load off your shoulders to start with!

Thought is the cause of all your problems. Thought wants you to believe there is a meaning to life and so keeps you anxiously seeking an answer. You will likely receive a dozen possibilities and continue exploring one or many until the day you die without getting a truly satisfying answer. Because there isn’t one.

We can be free only when we finally internalise the FACT that thought is the source of suffering and therefore cannot be the source of true freedom. True peace, freedom and meaning lies beyond thought and can never be described, labeled or experienced. It just is and that can never be understood by thought.

Unsatisfied with the explanation? This is a pill you brain will downright refuse to swallow – but that’s your choice to listen to it or not. Yes, you can!

“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.” Joseph Campbell

“Life has to be given a meaning for the obvious fact that it has no meaning.” Henry Miller

INSPIRATION…

MEMORY AND OBSERVATION

We are all caught in a very subtle trap, and it all starts with memory.

Our first memories are usually from the ages of 3+ so as a new-born child and infant we have no memory. This is important because it is memory that creates “me” and “my story” through experience, knowledge and possession. This is mine, that was my birthday, I experienced that, I suffered this…When memory begins, we are immediately isolated from the world around us as “me” and begin to see the world through this “me” rather than just as it is.

As our knowledge and experience is added to and reinforced we become more and more sure of certain things which become our beliefs. So memory (stored in the brain) forms our beliefs. We continue to accumulate knowledge and experience about ourselves so becoming more sure of our self image.

The source of our ills stems exactly from this capacity to remember. Our memory creates “me” and it creates our beliefs. With this internal framework of what we believe the world to be like and what we believe ourself to be like we create the filter with which we experience reality.

So we are always looking at and experiencing reality through our memory – that is, the past. By definition, our vision of the world is not real nor actual. It is, and will always be, limited, That is why we generally repeat the same behaviours and mistakes over and over in life, perhaps fine-tuning this or that and learning a little from our mistakes, but our fundamental beliefs and core values remain the same over time.

So we are limited by what our memory dictates to us in the form of beliefs and habits and these define our quality of life. We then look to this same memory for answers on how to change habits and beliefs to improve our quality of life. Doesn’t make sense – a problem cannot solve itself!

So, if we cannot ask the question “how do I change”, what can we do?

Observe without memory

Only when your brain is silent can the mind (universal intelligence) guide you in right action. And that can only happen NOW. Not tomorrow, gradually over time or any other moment in the future.

The only time you will ever “change” is right now, and the only way you will achieve this is by doing nothing – just observing without memory (a silent brain). Don’t ask how to observe without memory because you are asking memory about that!! Just do it ūüôā

“We need silence to be able to touch souls” Maria Teresa

INSPIRATION…

 

 

 

 

Be present in the moment

8 seconds.

That is the average human concentration span. We are SO far gone from actual reality that it comes as no surprise to me whatsoever that the world is what it is. Our minds are incessantly remembering, obsessing, criticising, complaining, dreaming…basically making noise in order to avoid the dreaded silence.

We are encumbered by fear and anxiety and obsessed by desire and the avoidance of pain. We are lost in the fantastical lands of yesterday and tomorrow. A nasty cocktail indeed that manifests in a world of violence, suffering and inequality.

The ego’s sole purpose is to create its own reality and have us believe that it is the right and only one. Through the creation of time and a false “me” it keeps us trapped in the past and future. Yet time doesn’t exist and neither does this false “me” and the “story of my life”.

Time doesn’t exist because you cannot go back to yesterday and when you were there it was “today”. You cannot go into tomorrow because when it comes it is “today”. There is only today, and to be more specific, there is only a continual movement of moments that constitute reality.

The “story of me” is not real because it is a subjective interpretation of my life experiences expressed through thought. This story creates your beliefs and values which in turn determine your thoughts, feelings and actions which define your reality; a reality which in 99.9% of humans is a roller coaster ride of highs and lows.

But surely the singular purpose in life is to live in harmony and peace?

Regardless of what you have, where you are and what you are doing, if you do not feel happy and at peace your quality of life is suffering. It is stated in the practise of Buddhism that the very objective of life is to be in peace at the moment of your death.

To live happily and peacefully the majority of the time requires that you accept the present moment as the only true reality. Can you see and understand this as an irrefutable fact?

When you clearly see this it doesn’t mean you are instantly free of the burdens of the past and anxieties of the future, but it does mean you are more aware of their nature and this awareness will help you to live more in the present moment.

Living more in the present moment is about seeing it is the one true reality and understanding that real peace can only exist in that moment. It isn’t about abandoning your dreams and aspirations or forgetting your past, but about releasing yourself from attachment to your past and to your desires.

The past has happened for you to learn lessons and grow (hopefully!), so take those lessons and leave the emotional attachment behind (no amount of anger or tears will ever change it). ¬†looking to the future to become more and achieve more is only destructive if you are attached to that vision meaning you will be highly emotional if you don’t reach your goals. It is highly unlikely you are currently doing today as you planned or thought you would be doing 3 years ago, so why be surprised or disappointed when life takes you in a different path than expected when that is the norm?

I don’t know if we were meant to live 100% of the time in the present moment, but I do know that this is where you will find true peace.¬†It is not a bucket-list tick or goal to gradually achieve. it requires clarity and understanding combined with a firm desire and determination, but without attachment or you will once again be caught up in your ego’s story of me.

Reflect, understand, relax and enjoy the vast silence and peace that can only be found right now, and now, and now…

“Look lovingly at the present, for it holds the only things that are forever true.” A Course in Miracles

“What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now.” Buddha

“Realise deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” Eckhart Tolle

INSPIRATION…

 

Great Books – The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel

This hmaster-key-systemas to be one of my all-time favourite books. Charles F. Haanel was an American businessman who lived from the late 19th Century through to the mid 20th. His great personal success in life led him to study and identify the keys to a boundless and happy life.

The book is jam-packed full of enlightening content, not onlyexplaining to the reader the truths about how our minds and the universe interact to create our lives, but also a methodology for aligning ourselves with the laws of the universe in order to purposefully manifest.

The “Master Key System” refers to a series of exercises aimed at giving you greater awareness of yourself and the world around you and to hone the vital skills of attention and visualisation needed to direct and create your life.

Mr Haanel first stresses that you, and only you, are responsible for the quality of your life. Youget what you give, in the sense of the thoughts and images generated constantly in your mind. It is up to you to realise and accept that controlling your thoughts, feelings and images is the key to creating a life exactly as you would like it.

Alternatively you are subject to the same “luck” you have had all along based on your habitual lines of thought, feelings and actions.

To take control of your thoughts and feelings IS possible but requires willingness, persistence and determination through the application of specific exercises. The more control you gain over your body and mind, the more you will be able to purposefully direct your life.

Fundamentally you take the time out necessary each day to practice this mastery. It requires astate of peace and relaxation always. Once relaxed, your work is to firstly banish all unwanted thoughts, feelings and images and then idealise and visualise those things you want in your life.

Practice, effort and persistence based on these guidelines will allow you to grow stronger and gradually take more control of your life, directing it instead of being directed.

This is a truly inspiring book, written from someone who lived and breathed every word written in it. What better example can you ask for?

“Our future is entirely within our own control. It is not at the mercy of any capricious or uncertain external power.” Charles F Haanel

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The Master Key System

 

 

ABOUT FORGIVENESS

Foregiveness

Having been through a divorce a few years back with 2 small children I had the opportunity to reflect long and hard on forgiveness. Yep, over and over…

What is forgiveness? Why do we need to forgive? Is it even necessary? Is it possible?

Although it might seem contradictory, forgiveness is fundamentally about you, not anyone else. It is about you because it is you who suffers when you carry resentment and anger inside you. It is about you because you cannot forgive without first making an effort to really understand the situation. It is about you because you cannot forgive without being really honest with yourself. It is about you because it is your responsibility to love and respect yourself first and foremost.

Forgiveness comes fundamentally from a willingness to forgive and a sincere desire to understand. You cannot easily forgive someone through just wanting to be a good person and leaving the past behind you. It requires a willingness to forgive and a clarity that forgiveness is about you finding peace.

To forgive does not necessarily mean to forget or trust again. Forgiveness is to accept what has happened and know it cannot be undone. It is what it is and the important thing now is to be happy and that cannot happen when you carry the burdens of the past with you.

Life is only lived right NOW, so the only moment that truly matters is now. You’re primary concern, therefore, should be that you feel great right now. Everything that takes you away from that should be banished. Forgiveness starts with forgiving yourself for what happened (why did I let it…how could I be so stupid…why didn’t I…) which allows you to live peacefully now.

If I don’t feel good right now, then my life is not a good one and I will just continue to live more of the same in the future (because what I think and feel today will define me tomorrow). That MUST be my priority, and if that is my priority then I must let the past go. Letting the past go is about ME being happy right now. It has nothing to do with anyone else. I am the only person who can truly understand me and I am the only person who can make my life better.

I forgive because I want to be happy right now (have a quality life) and because I know the past can never be undone. I forgive because I know that will improve my quality of life and of those around me. I forgive so that I am free from the past, but I do not forget as the lessons learnt from my experiences can be valuable in being clear about who and what I choose in my life. I forgive because I choose to be a strong person and be an example for others to follow.

I forgive because I love and respect me!

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†Mahatma Ghandhi

“The first step of forgiveness is the willingness to forgive.” ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Marianne Williamson

INSPIRATION…

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Eleroy.com Forgiveness Quiz

FIND YOUR LIFE PURPOSE. FIND CLARITY

fullsizerender-31.jpgYou’re lying on your deathbed (bear with me!) with just a few hours left to breath on this beautiful planet…NOW what is truly important to you? What would you most want to do in those last moments? Who would you most like to be with? What would you most like to say, and to whom? What would you most like to see, taste, smell, touch, feel? What do you regret not having done? What would you have changed about your life?

Personally, I believe that a having clear mind is one of the hardest yet most-important responsibilities in life. A clear mind is a happy mind, a focused mind and a powerful mind. Clarity is absolutely fundamental for a successful life. Without clarity we aren’t moving in any particular direction or at least not focusing our energies to achieve more, faster.

it should be one of the school curriculum subjects! Certain traditional cultures around the world understand the importance of a clear direction in life. They often spend many years as a community helping young adults to discover their purpose in life and start on their path to mastery of whatever that purpose is.

Clarity is the starting point from where you become the master of circumstances, rather than a slave to it. It’s when you take control of your life through discovering your purpose and motivations. Reflect, reflect, reflect on the questions posed above (and others as they come to you) until you are crystal clear about your passions, interests and values that will guide you in your life.

As always, the spiritual before the psychological and physical. The hard work is mental and requires courage to go beyond what society, family, friends and your past dictate to you and decide for yourself what matters and where you are going. A dominant sign of all successful people is precisely the courage to believe in themselves, which is to know themselves and decide for themselves, regardless of outside influence.

You, and only you, can know what is best for you, what mission you have in life and where to start. There may be 7.5 billion people on the planet, but you are still unique and individual; we all are. How can anyone know you better than yourself if we are all unique? Be brave, be free, have clarity!

“Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardor, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shams, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision.” Aldous Huxley

“I genuinely enjoy sweating out my frustrations and living a healthier life. My workouts are not all about vanity. They are about clarity for my mind and soul.” Khloe Kardashian

INSPIRATION

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OPRAH.COM What are you meant to be

 

 

NO EXCUSES

ExcusesI was once involved in a work project given to us by the executive management team involving myself and 5 other managers. By the end of the 3 month project, there were just 3 of us left in it and of those three, two of us had done 95% of the work. The shocking point here is that all of us were local or area manager level.

It’s about mindset and taking responsibility. When you are in a fixed mindset then the blame for unwanted circumstances and events generally falls on someone or something else. When you refuse to take (at least some) responsibility for events then you will never make progress as nothing gets done, and no progress is made without action.

Excuses are the easy way out. A successful project, job and life isn’t about justifying with all the reasons why something did or didn’t happen or get done, but about deciding, finding the time and resolving.

Start at the beginning. When you have a choice in the matter, don’t commit unless you are 100% on board and will follow through. If you don’t have a choice (e.g. work obligations) then focus your energy on planning and executing rather than why it can’t/couldn’t be done.

Fundamentally excuses denote a focus on “me”, as opposed to “us”. The truth of the matter though is that a successful and happy life is most-certainly more about focussing on “us” than “me”. You know that if you avoid responsibility it sticks and nags, hounding you until you either spend the effort to do what’s expected of you, or you spend the effort in creating a “feasible” excuse.

Either way you’ve had to focus on the task, so why not just focus on getting it done rather than why you didn’t? It’s a win/win; taking “excuses” out of your vocabulary means you will be fulfilling your responsibilities and getting more done. This means, setting yourself up for greater success and achievement. Just do it! ūüôā

“You can make excuses or you can make progress. You choose.” Brian Tracy

“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” George Washington

“I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took an excuse.” Florence Nightingale

INSPIRATION…

 

Great Books – Freedom from the known by Jiddu Krishnamurti

This is a fantastic book summarising a lot of the key teachings from the late Jiddu Krishnamurti.

Krishnmurti-Freedom from the known

After spending his childhood and many years as a young adult being groomed as a “World Teacher” he rejected his imposed obligations and dedicated the rest of his wonderful life to inspiring people to free themselves from ego and its associated madness.

There are innumerable words of wisdom to be taken from the book, a few of which I will share with you now and you can also see summarised in the mind map

  • The key to change is understanding. To truly understand aproblem is¬†to act upon it and therefore resolve it.
  • The “observer” and the “observed”. You act and then the voice in your head judges that action through commentary (criticism, anger, complaint, comparison…). The voice in your head likes to think it is separate from “who” is doing the acting, but it’s not true; they are one and the same. This separation is a fundamental cause of human suffering as we avoid responsibility and attribute blame.
  • Real understanding comes only through observation without commentary.
  • Time does not exist. It is a creation of thought, and the very creation of the “past” and the “future” lends itself to suffering through living in them, rather than in the only reality which is this precious living moment right now, and now, and now…:-)
  • True freedom is when you are free from the past and future, unconditionally. Free from your knowledge, experiences, fears and desires so you can live joyously in the present moment. Don’t try and label it as thought cannot comprehend or describe true freedom…
  • True love is not an emotion and not conditioned by any demand or requirement. True love cannot be understood by thought so cannot be adequately described with words.

Jiddu Krishnamurti was focused on ending human suffering and above all encouraged people to think for themselves. To take the time to ask ourselves existential questions and to follow the answers through to the end. To truly understand human behaviour in general, as we are all essentially the same when it comes to basic emotions.

He pointed out the current violent state of the world, despite thousands of years of organised religions Рwhat has to change? The individual. We are only responsible for changing ourselves, but that one change can start a chain reaction. If you want change in the world, then BE that change.

I highly recommend this book as a guide to understanding all the facets of human behaviour and to clarify why we are as we are and how we can improve and contribute more peace and harmony to our lives and the lives of those around us.

Krishnamurti Freedom from the Known

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CREATING LASTING CHANGE

change

Having spent more than 20 years reading, listening, reflecting, considering, trialling, observing, learning, attending (phew!) and a host of other things I’ve likely forgotten, I’ve come to a realisation; real, lasting change IS possible.

Not only is it possible, but it’s deceptively simple. No kidding!

Consider for a moment a time in your life when you have changed a habit or achieved a goal with apparent ease. Actually, that is exactly when you are successful. You will not achieve significant change or success when your actions are forced and you are “obliged” to do it. “Musts” generally get spat back at you by your omnipresent ego. “Really? You’re telling me I have to do it…well we’ll see about that!”

All permanent change comes from within and is relatively effortless. This is because once you have decided something spiritually, the psychological and physical just follow through. By spiritual, I mean the real you. When you have understanding, clarity, reason and make a clear decision, then your subconscious will do as instructed and almost seamlessly remove desire and create new habits.

It may sound too good to be true, but the truth of the matter is that all things brilliant in life are ingeniously simple – in fact, too “easy” and “simple” for our egos to accept as a possibility. That’s where you¬†have to take control and guide your subconscious (the seat of habit and beliefs) to change through clarity and decision.

Start with a clear “why”. What is the reason for this change? What do I stand to gain by it and what is my motivation for doing it? Why is the change better than the status quo? What pain am I avoiding through this change? Can I see very clearly the benefits? Can I visualise myself with this new habit/s and how good they look and feel?

When you can really see yourself with the change already in place and feel how wonderful it is to be there, your subconscious will accept it as important and guide you in your new habits almost without effort. Your work is to clearly understand the why and deeply feel the need for the change as well as clearly visualising it. You are almost demanding the change because it is so clear to you why you need it. This clarity dissipates doubt and fear and empowers you forwards.

It really is that simple! If you can’t think of a personal example from your life to date I encourage you to try it out for yourself. Don’t let your ego fool you into thinking that enormous effort is required for any change or that it is just downright impossible. Bollocks! After all, most of your actions in life are just habitual so it’s simply a question of changing them.

be strong!

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi

“If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.” Jim John

“Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.” Soren Kierkegaard

INSPIRATION…