The Path Towards Self-Realization: Part III
By Karin Friedemann, TMO
Stop Outward Searching
Once you have made a commitment to yourself to consciously search for the true meaning of life, and you know at least mentally, that the only way to find yourself is to look within yourself; now it is time to look at all the places you have been searching unsuccessfully for fulfillment, and examine the reasons why. On my journey, I have met many people who travel the world searching for their souls. Some of them will find it, I am certain, but they wonâ€™t find it in a pub, or on a train, or in the sunset. The moment they stop looking for happiness, is when they are sure to find it.
Many people think of love as the highest joy and fulfillment. But love as paradise is an illusion! People try time and time again to find completion in another human being. Time and time again, they are hurt because the other showed himself or herself to be imperfect. When you love someoneâ€™s good points and ignore their bad points, you are in love with a myth, which you have created. This is wonderful for a while; you are filled with passion and energy, like a divine madness. But you are looking through him, not at him. This is unfair to both of you. One day, you are forced to look at him as an imperfect human being with human weaknesses. The love you felt instantly vanishes. Instead of blaming yourself for having expected too much from him, you reject him and search for another person to give meaning and happiness to your life.
A long-lasting, happy relationship between two people who are trying to find perfect fulfillment in the other person is impossible. It is only when you are secure and happy within yourself that you can find harmony with another person. If you are balanced inside yourself, you have the strength to see others truly – to be able to look at their faults, but also beyond all their imperfections and see their magnificence! You can appreciate their whole being, and such a relationship will be meaningful, because you are not expecting the impossible. Not only does this type of love last, but it grows more beautiful with time.
Wanting to Save the World
Many people have aspirations and desires to save the world from corruption and misery. This is quite natural, because the world is imperfect, and people do suffer. But I suggest that the struggles between nations and societies are nothing more than a reflection of all the personal struggles of individuals. If people were at peace with themselves, there would be no need to gain wealth and power at the expense of other peopleâ€™s freedom and well-being.
There are so many people who have tried, and are still trying to unify the world, and all of them have failed. They say, â€œForget your ego and join our cause.â€ But they are only chopping at the branches, not at the root of the problem. For as long as people are at war with themselves, they will never be able to be at peace with others for any length of time. As long as people are feeling unfulfilled, they will keep trying to gain as much power or as many possessions as they possibly can, in order to feel more secure about themselves.
I am suggesting that often, in trying to organize and change others for the good of humanity, you are conveniently avoiding having to look at the problems inside yourself.
How can you hope to save society if you canâ€™t even save yourself? Society is made up of individuals like yourself, all struggling to find happiness and completeness. As long as you are not at peace with yourself, you are acting out of fear and anger, the root of all evil. You want to save the world, but it is only because you are afraid to die, or because you are angry at what others have taken from you. Obviously, the world is imperfect. But fighting out of anger has never brought about peace, and it never will.
The important thing to do is first to rid yourself of your fears and your anger, by going inside and finding the root of your individual problems. Then you will have the wisdom and courage to truly help others. â€œIt is better to conquer the self than to win a thousand battles, for then, the triumph is yours.â€
The way to come to terms with yourself is to look at yourself. This seems fairly obvious, but people really have problems listening to what their inner voices are saying to them. I personally have this problem especially when it comes to knowing when to rest. I wear myself out, always working too hard, and then wanting to go out and have fun – while my whole inner self is screaming at me: â€œThis is too much stress for me to handle! Please just go home and do nothing for a while!â€ But I am driven by guilt, or anger, or perhaps a desire to prove something, and so I push myself beyond physical and mental capacity until my body reacts against my will with headaches, illness, and complete exhaustion. Then my mind starts feeling like itâ€™s going bananas, and my emotions act up so I get hysterical over silly incidents, or I get totally depressed and I can no longer function: all because I didnâ€™t listen to my inner voices – my own intuition about whatâ€™s best for me. Thatâ€™s one problem I am working to overcome, through meditation and relaxation, and just learning to live sensibly!
When I say â€œvoices,â€ I am referring to feelings coming from the Psyche deep within. These voices are also known as intuition, or ESP, or commonly as guilt, anxiety, or a vague longing. When responded to properly, these voices will guide you through every step of your personal evolution. By listening to them, you can learn a great deal about yourself and others. Donâ€™t repress these feelings! Lack of attention to these voices will result in dissatisfaction, depression, and mental instability. One has to develop the ability to perceive these voices and decode their messages. The best way is to practice! So start listening!
For example, if you are feeling a vague sense of guilt, the thing to do is figure out why you are feeling guilty, and what you can do to relieve yourself of it. This will vary. You may need to repent and make amends, or you may need to realize that you are being neurotic and simply forgive yourself. In order to respond to your inner voices appropriately, you first have to be able to separate yourself from the situation and be able to look at it objectively. This is the only way to overcome the natural defenses, which keep you from hearing the voices clearly and receiving internal guidance.
[to be continued…]