What Makes Life Worth Living for in This Time of Turmoil?
posted by Roman Hanis on November 23rd, 2017
Life… Life can be so contradictory and abound with paradoxes. I reflect on the staggering contrast in a world where corruption feeds on virtue while peace is violently fought for.
What makes this life truly worth living for, and why would I wish for life to continue after I die?
I asked these questions before recently becoming a parent, witnessing the miracle of life springing into existence. Experiencing firsthand the immense effort and heroic spirit involved in delivering a being into this world while supporting my wife through a homebirth made it a life-changing ceremony in more ways that one.
Our son’s emergence initiated a previously unimaginable boundlessly loving capacity. Such advent of pure innocence shook me to my core, especially because throughout my life I’ve witnessed so many become shadows of themselves, disenchanted from the original awe and inspiration of being fully alive. After all, being fully alive makes for a much more vivid experience of all the hurts and disappointments that accompany life’s happy moments.
Yet these glimpses of innocence frowned upon as naivety by the society I grew up in remain the most meaningful beacons of my life’s purpose. For a long while, unable to see a place for this wakeful ideal in everyday existence, I simply couldn’t bring a child into this world. I had to start by healing the inner child first; rediscovering the light of openness in a world of closedness…
What’s your value system?
An old friend recently wrote congratulating me for my newborn child, simultaneously asking if the whole world is going to hell, clearly overwhelmed by recent news reports of mass murder and environmental crises.
Maybe you can relate to this conundrum, I know I can, seeing how one lifetime won’t suffice to resolve the problems society faces today. Unless of course, at the source of each problem lays the same basic self-deception, mass-manufactured for collective consumption. In fact, rather than stewarding or problem-solving, most governments today view consumption as the main reason humans exist.
Countless “useful society member’s” lives are spent on achieving a value system imposed by the greedy corporate agenda, disseminated by mainstream media propaganda. In this system, people are persuaded the void in their lives can be satisfied by impermanent trinkets and distractions rather than the inner resourcefulness of limitless heart-centered presence; that presence inherent as a seed of childlike openness within everyone.
And so, the original wakefulness is insidiously coaxed into the plug-n-play maws of the insatiable matrix. It’s not surprising that all hell breaks loose when collective consciousness desperately grapples with a rancid value system void of sustainable nurture.
The heart’s destiny
Now in the presence of this uniquely magnificent being squeaking and squirming in his peaceful sleep, I’m increasingly in awe of the all-encompassing sense of purpose rekindled in my life. This unadulterated seed of curiosity immersed in the mysterious womb of creation is the genesis of evolution. After all, this childlike awe allows for an epiphany of love in the universe’s limitless expressions.
I find nothing more essential than learning to unwaveringly uphold the original flame of existential purpose from which all life emanates. This newborn childlike essence is the greatest teacher, mirroring the same in myself. This inherent openness and reciprocity of love is a beacon for the heart to awaken to and blossom within.
Why doesn’t everyone abide in this fearless and abundantly loving natural state incomparable with anything else, and why don’t I?
A shift of attitude
The disillusionment often sparks rebellion against the system, a tactic only keeping humanity chained by the very thing it fights. A famous quote by the father of Transpersonal Psychology, C.G. Jung, describes it as: “What you resist, persists”.
While dominated by conditioning, all of one’s actions stem from a disempowered mentality perpetuating disturbing dynamics. On the other hand, understanding this hamster wheel mentality allows resolution.
Not to say that there should be a complacency about the current state of affairs, but that the action initiated from a place of non-disturbance has the bird’s eye view necessary for resolution.
Let’s consider that at the root of this great evil is basic mistrust in unconditional love; the infallible ground of life itself. If that’s valid, might the“irreconcilable” contrast of corruption feeding off virtue be resolved by a shift of attitude?
The free choice of freedom
What real option is there to transcend the “irreconcilable” paradox that is life? The conceptual mind isn’t equipped to answer this. Pseudo-logic merely defends against the overwhelmingly scary mystery of the heart, creating walls of conditioning; a jail of humanity within a warped value system. And all because of an unsubstantiated fear of Nature’s power inherent within all beings; the power to face the interconnectedness of all life, and the innocence serving the shared heart of which we’re all part.
I’m slowly coming to understand that, just like all deceptions have one source, at the root of it all lays the one basic choice each of us have in any moment; to face oneself. To me, this means real discernment cultivated through patience, generosity, perseverance and fearless unconditional love.
Indigenous people the world over have long recognized these qualities as essential human traits because they tap the immutable essence transcending the expiration date of a conditioned separate identity.
And THAT is the kind of attitude shift so potent, as to reconcile the seemingly irreconcilable.
Of course, embodying this is much easier said than done, since it’s easy to be happy when everything is hunky dory. It’s when faced with circumstances outside the comfort bubble such as the inevitable existential thresholds of sickness, old age, loss of dear ones, and death that evolution takes place. The timeless values of living wisdom traditions become truly meaningful when facing inescapable calamities uncompromisingly.
Each moment brings everyone closer to inevitable death. Seeing that life can not be possessed but can only be shared allows for inconceivable challenges to be overcome. There’s nothing more real than this tender, vulnerable innocence to which even ferocious animals succumb and all power in the universe kneels in service of, consciously or not.
In the service of eternity
It is needless to hide from some experiences of life in the consumption of others if the tender heart openness experiencing them is more nurturing, meaningful and lasting than all experiences combined. Yet to unravel this openness, all those experiences need to be faced indiscriminately with the same generosity of open-hearted attitude.
A life in support of immaculate love within all beings is a life worth living. When I give my life willingly to this greater purpose, nothing lesser can possess it since that kind of life already encompases everything. The father of all paradoxes is the immeasurable wisdom of generous presence embracing motherly love for genuine, childlike wonder. I wish everyone the happiness as timeless as the cycle of life itself – the freedom of love in the eyes of a child, transcending the illusion of time and space.
By acknowledging the collective deception in such a way, awareness intuitively overflows illusory boundaries towards humane values – the foundation of incomparable freedom and happiness. What this means on a practical level is that by acknowledging the disasters and suffering of the world, I become motivated more than ever to instill my life with essential human values, contributing to a positive model of the world peace starting from within.
Where there is no fear, no corruption can enter and thus the reciprocity of the natural world is honored by actions, words, thoughts and feelings, in the service of eternal innocence. It’s now time to return to my greatest teacher – the universal child awakens.