"The Meaning of Life is to embody compassion. Anyone can discover this. When you discover this and live it, you discover your truest nature and share its joy."
The Dalai Lama
This form our spirits assume, this changing body/mind we occupy on Earth from our birth to our death, is a miraculous combination of the magical quantum/electrochemical exchange of matter and energy, and equally amazing mechanics. The material "reality" of our flesh and bone bodies, bumping around this world. Our attitudes and beliefs; our genes and chromosomes; our focus and intention; our psyches and our Karma, shape the physical "realities" of our lives.
We intuitively know about this stuff, and more and more, Science is confirming the magical relationship between all these aspects of being; but it's confusing. How does the system work exactly? To bring our wants, our purpose into physical reality?
Confusing the issue are programs like The Secret, a difficult combination of the magical nature of intention and power of Love's creative force, and the occult power of Ego – man's will for self-enhancement through acquisition and "mastery" over Nature. "The Dark Side." It's the difference between being naturally aligned with Source (God and Love, if you will), and open-heartedly receiving all that you require for peace and fulfillment (success); and the separation from Source into your Ego Self (dark side) – an entity that through force of will manipulates the energies of the world to achieve sensory rewards, which are elusive and momentary (everything except Love is.) Putting it simply, both you and your Ego Self want a nice girlfriend or boyfriend, but your Ego Self still won't be happy when it gets one.
We look through this prism of our perceptions – Through a Glass Darkly, to try to find the way to at-one-ment, the unification of purpose and lifestyle. But so much seems to stand in the way. Julian Schnabel's wonderful film, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, based on the book written by stroke victim Jean-Dominique Bauby, does a brilliant job of describing the obstructive quality of our bodily forms. The subtle yet powerfully destructive nature of the Ego Self. Bauby's story demonstrates the nature of what's really important, beyond considering our self as just a body and mind.
Of course, the answer is Love. The mechanism it empowers for attaining real success lies in our attitudes, beliefs, and actions. An uncompromising attitude of Love and compassion towards all (no matter how challenging that may be at the moment!). An unshakable understanding of the oneness – the interdependence of everything, and the belief that every expression of Nature is Divine and requires proper care and respect. Living these attitudes and beliefs will intuitively guide you in the right direction. Your actions will have a path to follow. Your purpose will become clear.
Meanwhile, going about that in these clunky and obscure "rides" we inhabit can be pretty challenging. Why is my hair falling out? We need to sit in meditation to touch the energizing light of Love, and sort through our psychic baggage objectively. If a piece of semi-conscious luggage pops up on your meditation screen, or rides your mind day-to-day, don't let it weigh down your serenity – take care of it! Investigate, illuminate, resolve. That way, it won't be in the way when it comes time to help someone else. Compassion is the path to purpose. It's not just a tree hugger's dream, it's a real strategy for success.
While you're trying this strategy out by being as compassionate as possible, don't forget the most important person, without whom no success can be attained – yourself. It's the nature of the beast that our Ego Self (judgement, comparison) is hard on our True Self (Love, compassion), for being imperfect. For not measuring up to the material scale it measures success by. So every time you hear that critical voice within, simply forgive yourself. Have compassion for you. Quietly get in touch with your inner nature, with your True Self, and you'll immediately know that you're doing the best you can – especially tricky for a subtle, expansive spirit of light stuck in an imperfect form.
Associate with this inner, spiritual self more and more, and less and less with your body, with it's aches and pains. With how you look. Less with your five senses and the momentary gratifications of this world. For example: Meat isn't worth the killing because it tastes good for a couple minutes. Associate less with the ceaseless, sequential demands of your intellect, and the willful need to figure everything out. In short, relax into your being.
Make an effort to relate to this world using your sixth sense – your magical, intuitive sense – which you can connect to through the practice of meditation. Then the actions you're led to through Love and compassion for others will show you your path to all forms of real success. Even the tough parts (ouch!) of being here in this doggone body will become easier to deal with. You still have to look out through that glass...but it will look a lot clearer.
"As is a man's meditation, so is his feeling of love;
As is his feeling of love, so is his gain;
and faith is the root of all."