The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered:
“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
The human is a complex organism. Within the sphere of humanity we find the extremes, the hyperextreme and the simple. In a bombardment of culture, information, mental delusion and idealism, we tend to lose the very quality that makes us so special. We render the spirit mute in all of our frivolous pursuits of desire, resulting in a despondence that we continually deny.
The Dalai Lama is very accurate in his statement. Many men die having never truly lived. Under the guise of status quo and cultural contract, many men travel through life trying to simply “keep up” with everything else, never really finding himself and never making a spiritual connection.
In an attempt to create a pedestal of status for himself, my father continually moved our family from house to house. He would never choose a home that he could afford. It was always out of range financially. As a result, we suffered more with being denied structure or solid ground. We were forced to live among a rank of social status that we didn’t belong. This caused a rift within the family.
I realize now that my father was hurting himself even more. He wasn’t living his own life. He was living to please his ego, never connecting with the spirit, never truly living life to the fullest for his own sake. The illusion of status and acceptance continued to elude him at every turn.
All too often men and women fall into this trap. We see ourselves through the eyes of others instead of with the heart. We fail to accept life. We fail to see what is truly worth living for in this world. We do not live at all, we just slowly die.
The sphere of humanity can be a vibrant place full of light, love happiness and serenity. Or it can be a dark place, full of illusion, fear and anxiety. It holds all of these possibilities, and we all find what we seek.
When it comes right down to the basic keystones of life, we must remind ourselves of a few things: We are alive. The world does not make us. We build our own hearts. We build our own kingdoms of spirit. Realize that life in simplicity is beautiful right here, right now, in the present moment.
We are the builders of Men. Build yourself for yourself; for the spirit and for those you love, not for how the world wants you to be.