EVERYTHING IS MEANINGFUL
Everything that life brings to a person is meaningful. We might have a personality that likes it or not likes it, might enjoy it or experience it as painful. Our personality has acquired through the years a belief system that filters all life events, exterior or interior. These filters make it very difficult for the hidden unique meaning to reveal itself. Most of the time, our personality assumes a behaviour, based on her belief system, that looses the meaning of the moment. Through these filters we try, in vain however, to apply a meaning to our life, ignoring the opportunity for an objective meaning to be revealed to us.
A human being is more that a personality, a character, a belief system. A human being is created with a conscience beyond and deeper than the personality. A conscience that is aware, has no filters, no history, no past or future. A conscience that is always wise, intelligent, intuitive and loving in nature. It is our unique spiritual footprint, our inner guide towards a meaningful life and what is right for this unique individual.
As long as we learn how to live through our conscience and teach our personality to serve our inner guide, we can experience the meaningfulness of our lives, living a life that is bathed in dignity, love and purpose.
The story of Akram from the book:
Seeker After Truth, Idries Shah, Octagon Publications.
There was once a man, and there have been many like him both before and since, who decided that he should make a change in his life. What is the point, he asked himself, of trying to do things, or letting things happen to me, if I do not know my Fate?
He sold his few possessions and began to walk along the highway, when he came to a teahouse, where he saw a dervish sitting, talking to a number of people. The traveller, whose name was Akram, waited until the audience had gone and then approached the man of wisdom.
I am in search of my Fate, he said, and wonder whether you can suggest how I might start on this important endeavour.
This is easier believed possible than it is achieved, replied the dervish, and it would be better to ask how to Recognise your Fate than to assume that you can do so without preparation.
But I am sure that I can recognise my Fate! Akram cried, because it is well known that one’s Fate is a reflection of oneself!
Looking like you externally is not the same thing as being a reflection of you, said the Dervish, especially when, like everyone else, you have so many sides, that you find it hard to see you own reflection in all forms.
The Dervish continued in this vein for some time, and Akram, stopped listening to him. He came to the conclusion that there would be nothing that he could profit from here, so he said to the Dervish: Mystical analogies are, of course, too deep for me to understand. But if you are travelling, might I accompany you, at least for part of the way? The Dervish agreed and they set off along the road.
Presently they saw a tree by the roadside, from it was clearly to be heard a strong buzzing sound. The Dervish said: put your ear to the trunk of the tree, and see what you can hear. Akram, followed his advise and realised that the tree was hollow.
Inside there was a very large number of bees.
The Dervish said: the bees are trapped, if you break the branch and release them, the bees will be able to escape. It might be a kindly act and who knows where it might lead?
Akram answered: Old man, you are not of this world! Has it not been said that one should not be distracted from one’s objective by minor matters? Now, supposing that someone were to offer me some money for breaking the branch, I would accept, for I have no money for my journey. But to do it for nothing is absurd!
As you will, said the Dervish and they continued on their way.
They stopped to rest for some time, when a man came by, with two large jars strapped to the sides of his donkey.
Where are you going? Asked the Dervish.
To the market, he replied, to sell this honey. Some miles before, I heard some bees in a hollow tree, and they seemed to want to get out. So I broke a dead branch and they swarmed. I found this huge amount of honey and being poor, I am on the way to supporting myself!
Akram said to the Dervish: I should, perhaps, have got to the honey first, as you suggested. But, on the other hand, it may not have been the same tree, and in that case I would probably have been stung, and that is not the Fate I am looking for!
The Dervish said nothing.
Further along the road they came to a bridge over a river and suddenly a fish poked its head out of the water, looked at them, its mouth opening and shutting in a pathetic way.
What do you think that means? Akram asked the Dervish.
Cup your hands with interlaced fingers, said the Dervish and see whether you can understand the speech of the fish. When Akram did as the Dervish suggested, he found out that he could indeed understand the fish, who was saying: help me, help me!
The Dervish called out: what help do you seek?
The fish answered:
I have swallowed a sharp stone. There is a certain herb on the river-bank. If you would kindly pluck some and throw it to me, I could bring up the stone and spit it, to find some relief.
A talking fish, indeed! said Akram. I think that this is some sort of a trick. I refuse to make myself ridiculous. In any case, I am in search of my Fate. Dervish, if this strange happening is anything to do with you, perhaps you might care to help the fish yourself!
The Dervish only said: no, I shall not do anything.Let us be on our way.
Soon afterwards a well dressed man came galloping, shouting: miracle! miracle! I was crossing a bridge, when believe it or not, the man said, a fish spoke to me. It asked me to throw it some herbs.I did so, and after eating them, it threw up a flawless diamond as big as both my fists!
How typical of life, said Akram, that a man of wealth should get even more, while I, unable to succour the fish because I was on important business, I am forced to beg for my bread in the company of a most uninteresting dervish!
They continued on their way. The next event in their journey was when they stopped to eat beside a rock, embedded in the ground. A low humming seemed to be coming from the rock and Akram put his ear to it. He found that the sound came from under the rock, and as he listened he could understand what it meant.It was a number of ants, and they were saying:
If only we could move this rock, or get through it somehow, we would be able to extend our kingdom and find room for all of us. If only something could come to our aid! If only someone or something would take the rock away!
Akram looked at the Dervish and said: What have I to do with ants, rocks or kingdoms? First, I must find my Fate!
The Dervish said nothing, and they continued on their way.
The following day, they heard the sound of many people singing and shouting with glee. Akram asked one of them what had happened.
The man said:
A goatherd, believe it or not, heard some ants murmuring under a rock, in great distress. He moved the rock so that they could extend their nest. What do you think he found underneath? A huge treasure of gold pieces. He took it and shared it with all his neighbours and we are the lucky villagers who benefited!
The Dervish said to Akram:
You are a fool, for you have thrice failed to do even the simplest thing that might have brought you the fortune which you desired! You are a fool, because you are even less prepared to follow your fate than all those people who just did a kind action and were not obsessed by their Fate and their personal desires! You are a fool, for you have, instead of following your fate, distanced yourself from it, by your behaviour and your failure to look at what is beneath your nose. Above all, you are a fool because you did not attend to what I am and what I have said, not said and indicated.
Akram, like many other before and since, became enraged. He shouted at the Dervish:
Self satisfied and domineering know-all! Anyone can be wise, after the event!
I noticed that you, a miserable and underfed wanderer on the face of the earth, did not take any advantage of the great things which you are now such an expert upon! Perhaps you can tell me why that is?
I can indeed, replied the Dervish, I could not benefit myself because I had other things to do. You see, I am your Fate!
Then the Dervish disappeared, and he has never been seen again: except of course by all the Akrams who have lived since that time, many, many years ago.