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How to find true fulfilment in life

From a very young age, we have been living our lives on autopilot. Simply getting things done and moving on to the next thing without much conscious thought. We get out of bed in the morning, have breakfast, get ourselves clean and ready to go to school or work… then get back home, have some food, watch some TV or do some homework, then go to bed… When we were young children, we had no idea what tasks we needed to perform. We relied upon our parents to tell us what to do… but from our adolescence onward when the sense of self has developed, we play more of an active role in choosing and performing the tasks that we think that we need to do: pass our the exams, get a place at university/college, get a girlfriend/boyfriend, get a job, then get a better paying job, get to a bigger number in our savings account, then probably get married and have children...


What we often refer to as ‘Life’ seems to be just a continuum of one thing after an other, in the direction towards ticking all the boxes of the criteria that the current societies agree on how a person should be/should have in their lives, and also a better sense of self. Though those criteria keep extending and changing day by day, region to region, and any sense of fulfilment or achievement usually only lasts for a very short while. Whether it is a tremendous moment, a great victory or success, or even the most painful of failures or hurtful experiences, they all come and go, and will be quickly replaced by something else. All experiences are transient. We never seem to be able to get a hold of lasting fulfilment or remain in happiness for long (though that also means that we never remain stuck in painful/negative situations).


Our sense of self - our identity - is formed by the perceptions of the mind and ego which are also illusionary and transitory in nature. The mind and ego only exist by grasping on to the existence of external objects of the ever-changing material world and the subjective projections - mental images - of those objects (based on past memories and experiences). They do not know what or who they themselves are, other than simply identifying themselves with the objects this individual “I” possesses or the mental images of them.


All things in this material world are temporary in existence, nothing - no object - remains exactly the same from one moment to the next whilst the ego wants things to be in its control and wants things to stay exactly in the way it believes they need to be to produce the same preferable experiences that it has tasted in the past. The mind as a faculty of the ego carries an impossible mission which is: searching endlessly in both the outer world of objects and the inner world of mental images in the hope to get hold of the preferable experiences for the ego’s sake. Sometimes some success is achieved, and the ego is satisfied for a short while. But the frustrating thing is as the mind doesn’t stop its functioning, it keeps gathering information from the outside world and analysing that data through its mental activities based on its conditioned beliefs, and the result is that: the ego quickly grasps for new prospective objects/people/circumstances - the next targets - that promise it more satisfaction for its sense of self and enhanced status.


Life therefore turns into a constant chase towards fulfilment of endless desires of the ego.


Almost guaranteed, somewhere in the midst of this never-ending chase, the mind is totally lost - not knowing any other directions rather than mindlessly following the pull of the next desires/targets that the ego has chosen.


The moment we pause and ask ourselves: ‘Why is it that we keep trying so hard to get something for ourselves, then when we get it, we quickly move on to the next objects without lasting fulfilment?’ - Is the moment the mind vaguely realises that there is something not true - something inauthentic - in its meaningless march through life under the spells of our hidden unconscious programming and the urges of the ego alone. Once the mind starts to feel the subtle calling of the Soul, every so often it will have to face its confusion and be torn between two decisions: carrying on with its unconscious lifelong service to the ego then again and again resulting in frustration and suffering, or finding what would bring true fulfilment and fill its sense of existence with meaning and purpose.

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As a human being, each of us is a unique combination of a human organism with an identical set of thoughts, perceptions and beliefs - the mind, animated by our spirit. Fulfilment is never comprehensive when achieved at only one or two levels of existence. It has to be on all levels - physical, mental, and that of the soul - all at once! (unless you are one of those extremely rare human beings throughout human history who are fully enlightened and have disengaged in what we call ‘life’ of a human on earth, so you would have completely eliminated/abandoned physical senses and the life-engaging mind)

For the rest of us - the human beings living in the current civilisations on earth who are still engaging in, and wanting to live our human lives to their fullest with true fulfilment, instead of focusing on fulfilling the desires of the ego alone (which only exists and functions in the mundane world of objects), the mind must realise its real task which is: to find (and then maintain) the ‘sweet spot’ where true fulfilment is achieved in the body, mind, and the Soul all at once. Before that time, existential frustration, psychological suffering, and feelings of meaninglessness are inevitable throughout our time here on earth.


How can we find that ‘sweet spot’?


Firstly, we need to know what brings fulfilment on each level of our existence.


The body wants fulfilment of its senses: good tastes, nice sounds, beautiful sights, lovely smells, things pleasing to the touch, and all of these only happen when the body is in good condition and functioning well. The mind wants to be occupied and entertained with thoughts (any kind of thoughts, either negative or positive, good or bad, true or untrue). Whilst all that the Soul wants is to express and experience its essence fully and truly.


What the Soul wants is to express and experience its essence fully and truly.

If we look only at the body and/or the mind level of fulfilment, we’d surely be lost in millions of things that could seemingly do the job. But as long as the desire at the Soul level is not met, we never get to the place where we experience inner peace and truly feel content in life as one aspect of our existence (the most subtle and spiritual part) is unfulfilled. So, knowing the Soul’s essence is a prerequisite to make it possible for us to navigate and choose among millions of prospective experiences/objects/activities in the physical and mental worlds that would be in alignment with the Soul’s desire.


What is the Soul’s essence?


So now it comes to a classical Truth that all religions and all spiritual teachings have been pointing out since the dawn of human history:


"The Essence of the Soul/God/the Self/Divinity is Pure and Unconditional Love”.

The Soul has only one desire: to express and experience itself/its essence - which is pure and unconditional love - fully, and truly.


What is pure and unconditional love?


It is love in the absence of ignorance/unawareness, harm, fear, guilt, deceit, excessiveness, addiction, resentment, possessiveness, bitterness, egocentricity and conditionality.

So long as the experiences of the body and the expressions/activities of the mind (including thoughts, words, and deeds) are all in accordance with the essence of the Soul that we find the truth of our existence - we are in ecstasy of being fully human - the authentic Self experiences and expresses itself through the form and individuality of life as a human being.


As human beings, regardless of what we might or might not yet realise, we have the freedom - at the levels of the body and mind - to choose what thoughts to think, what words to say, what actions to perform in each given situation, and also very importantly, what attitude to have towards any circumstances/experiences presented to us in our lives (and based on that chosen attitude we are then also able to create/choose a new direction of thoughts, words, and actions).


How come we have that power?

It is the power of the human mind. When we don’t feel that we have that freedom, it is only because our mind is cluttered, lost and run by unconscious programming of societal conditionings instead of our own truths and will.


Only a mind - with clarity, stability, clear directions and discrimination between what is true to the Self and what is not - can help us to stay in alignment by choosing the experiences/objects/activities of the body and mind that are in accordance with the essence of the Soul.

So, maintaining the clarity and stillness of the mind as well as nourishing it with right/correct understanding of truths are the keys to maintaining that ‘sweet spot’ where the body, mind, and the Soul find true fulfilment, and true alignment.


‘The mind alone can be your greatest asset or your worst enemy’ (Bhagavad Gita).

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