I recently viewed a YouTube video in which a guest related the account of a friend who had just bought a very expensive house. This wasn’t expressed, but his friend was probably quite proud of his achievement. The guest went on to share that his friend had attended a party at someone’s home; and during the tour of the house, he learned that a rare painting there cost more than the price of his home. In other words, the cost of his new house was “hanging” on the host’s wall.
Does this situation–not the specific details–seem familiar? So often, we “hang” our happiness upon the achievement of a goal, with the erroneous expectation that its achievement can fulfill us. The majority of our societies condition us to believe in “happiness-dependent” ways of living that are ultimately hollow. They feed our ego’s need to compete; to stand out in the arena of life–a triumphant victor, our trophy raised high overhead–and shout, “I have finally succeeded, for I am better than you!” What this system fails to point out is that even the home with the rare painting could hang on someone else’s wall.
For a while, this way of existing may seem to function well; but inherent in the flawed belief system is a trap door that can spring open at any moment; plummeting those who have unconsciously consumed the bait into the depths of despair. If we define success (whatever that means) via the egoic perspective and a competition-based system, we have unwittingly signed a contract that leads to suffering. Upon the dotted line will be our name.
The way out of the human predicament is to see clearly; to knowingly recognize That which is beyond the limited perspective of the “person” and the rules by which it attempts to govern. Buried deep within each of us, there is worth beyond definition, a glorious dimension that “is” us. It is the rarest (because there is only One of IT) and, therefore, priceless; yet, paradoxically, It is the most common, because It permeates the interstices of everyone and everything. It is the very heart of peace and joy. We needn’t hang our happiness upon a facade. We can recognize Truth now and enjoy our apparent paintings and homes just for the fun of it.
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2022 – R. Arthur Russell
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