The Surest Way to Miss Your Life is to Take the Detour to Illusion - Grasshopper
"The American Dream" is a marketing mantra that leads us to a detour where we chase the horizon and never arrive.
This illusion precedes Herbert Hoover's campaign slogan, "A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage." The ever present logic presented with this promise is that when we get something, we will feel a certain way. We have been conditioned that if we get "this," then we will have "that."
The lure is happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment, freedom - but those stops are not on this route. The tacit promise of advertising is that you'll feel better when you get the product or service they tout. The ad may be disguised with logic but the message is focused on triggering your feelings.
It's mainly manipulative hocus pocus designed to get you to move forward to a baited hook. The carrot is dangled and we chase it. But when we just STOP AND NOTICE we recognize that spinning wheel can never clothe us in satisfaction.
Lest you think this is a rant on advertising, it's not. That would be like protesting sunrises. Both will always be with us. This is more about the underpinning of our conditioning and the effect it has on us. The result of our cultural conditioning is to get sucked in to the sizzle that doesn't satisfy and miss our life in the process.
Take this one question test and you will have a clearer understanding that you are looking for something that can't be found on this level - like looking for earthworms in clouds.
Here's the question: For what purpose?
It's an all purpose question that takes you closer to the core each time you ask it. Take any want or desire you have and ask yourself "For what purpose?" "I want an expensive, new car." For what purpose? Each time you come up with an answer, ask the question again until you get to an answer that seems to feel authentic. This will help you get past the conditioning and get to the emotional basis of your want or desire. If you play with this long enough, you will do what the Madison Avenue Magicians do. You will get down to the feeling trigger.
The benefit in discovering it for yourself is that you will now have the ability to recognize what you are really looking for and longing to feel. Perhaps you'll get the gift of awareness that you don't want the car at all. You may recognize that you want the satisfied feeling it's supposed to bring.
"For what purpose?" is a great recognition tool in finding what you truly want.
The next step is the most important one - to go one step deeper into life. This step will plunge you smack dab into living your life from the inside out instead of the outside in. Reminds me of a story . . .
There were two skunks named "In" and Out." Mother skunk told In to go out and Out to come in. A few hours went by and there was no sign of In who went out. Mother skunk sent Out out to bring In in. Out eventually found In deep in the woods and brought him home. Mother skunk asked, "How did you find him?" "It was easy," said Out. "In-stinked."
Instinct is the step that leads you deeper to life. "When you start asking yourself questions like, "Is this all there is?" instinct has kicked in and the search for real life begins. The detours of our cultural conditioning will always delay our discovery of life and our life's purpose.
Your life's purpose will reveal itself when you begin to recognize that you are an expression of the wholeness of life - not an isolated island of thought wrapped in a bag of skin. Once that discovery is made, your life naturally unfolds like a flower in springtime. You won't need any highway billboards suggesting what your next step should be. Life takes you by the hand and walks you to the next step. Life encourages you to trust. Cultural conditioning keeps you locked in to hope and fear and keeps you moving towards mirages.
Please embrace and enjoy your 5 year plans, your cultural wants, desires and needs as accents to life. They needn't be stuffed away or given up like an ascetic may do. They are to be appreciated as parts of the whole, like a spice is to a meal. Spices, by themselves, cannot sustain life.
You'll know you've discovered life, when you unmistakably know that you are life itself - the nourisher and the nourished as one. The parable of the loaves and fishes becomes real for you as you discover the life beneath your life provides is an inexhaustible supply of that which you truly seek.
You will miss your life by looking for it on the horizon. It's always present and ready to live you now. To find it, all you have to do today is to stop chasing Crudités.
All the best,
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