How many people suffer because they are unable to utilize their potentials to the fullest? How many believe that they are unable to live their own lives because their environment impedes them, with false references to ”loyalty,” “traditions,” and “customs?” Have you ever had the impression that deep inside you shrink smaller and smaller, and you give up your dreams just in order to meet the expectations of your environment?
In the young seagull the desire arises to spread his wings and discover the distances promising so many wonders. The other seagulls were scared, and strictly reproached him: ”The sense of life is to fly as far as you find food. If you fly any further, you will be alone, and won’t find the way back.” Though the young seagull was scared of finding himself alone, he was unable to resist the temptation of flying far away, and he tested his wings day by day. Successes were followed by failures, but he did not give up: every day he flew a bit higher. One day he flew higher than the clouds, and the familiar landscape disappeared from his eyes, and he saw nobody around him. He could have felt lonely, but he still did not feel lonely. He was, instead, unique. The little seagull soared on, enjoying the currents of the air. Then he met a seagull–its wings were shining bright. Then newer and newer seagulls appeared, with their wings shining bright. The little seagull arrived in his new home…
(The story was inspired by Richard Bach’s book entitled: “Jonathan Livingstone, the seagull.”)
You are individual and unique, a special manifestation of life. Or-in other words-you are an unique flower of life.You are unique: the level of your Consciousness is unique, and so are your experience, recognition and wisdom. You have unique skills that you have learnt in a unique way–no matter how objective the information is, as long as you have acquired it, it has gone through your individual and unique filters, thus gaining an individual color. Your experience is your experience, and even if your friends have similar ones, those are still only similar, and not fully identical with your own experience. These experiences give birth to unique recognitions–these constitute your own wisdom. There has never been, there is not, and there will never be another person who is fully identical with you. Your countless individual characteristics, complementing and mutually reinforcing each other, add up to an absolutely unique individual–that is your gift to Life.Through you, a peculiar flower of Life is blooming, and this flower is your personal gift to mankind, to existence.
Why would you need to be a copy of anyone else? Why would you need to imitate others, who are ”more successful” and ”cool?” Why would you need to uncritically accept the dogmas of others, when you also possess the source of wisdom, waiting to be utilized? Why would you need to dwindle, to give up your dreams?
…And still, the story is repeated on innumerable occasions... You arrive on this wonderful planet so rich in opportunities, you start on your journey, to explore it with innocent curiosity, you begin to know yourself, you acquire individual knowledge, add it to your individual skills, gather experience and wisdom. Then you are unable to use all this, because your environment tells you to often to stay pout, to stay where you are. Instead of the immense opportunities of the endless journey, you choose the narrow path they show you, and you must not detour from that path. Your grand plans and ideas from your teenage evaporate, you give up your dreams, and you suppress your deep-rooted desires of self-implementation. You burn out, you become indifferent and insensitive to the miracles of life, and you are quietly broken.
At a meeting the participants were dealing with the question whether there is life after death. The Zen master said nothing, just laughed, and refused to answer question. The disciples became increasingly impatient, and wanted him to answer their questions. ”Now, is there life after death, or there is not?” they demanded.
”Have you noticed that it is always those who want another, eternal life, who are unable to do anything with their present life? The questions is, whether there is life before death?” he said mysteriously. (Anthony de Mello)
Dou you have a life before your death?–that is the only question the answer to which you must find yourself. Are you able to live your own (not infinite) life, or will you copy the life of others? Do you live in the present moment, or are you a ghost wandering in the past or pursue the dreams and nightmares of the future? Are you able to discover that the most important point of your existence is existence itself, enjoying the nectar of a life lived to the full?
When you start your journey of inner development, experiences will become recognitions, and these recognitions usually dramatically transform the way you look at the world and yourself. A change of world-view takes place in you, your old beliefs are no longer valid, and you wake up in a larger and more receptive world. This awakening may, at the same time, bring about a change of your environment. Some people will look at you worried, whereas others with hatred, as they do not understand the reasons of your change. With your new and broader world view you become a stranger, a menace for them, and a reaction of their internal Ego appears: “You are different from us! You have deserted and betrayed us, you no longer have a place among us!” Where you used to have a good time previously, you have no place now. That is too small place a home for your expanded world view. As your old environment and old friends and acquaintances become hampering factors, you can do nothing but leave them behind. You leave them behind, so that you can freely try your own, newly discovered wings! You do not need to break up all connections with them, or to react to their negative emotions in any way, all you need to do is to accept that everybody acts according to their own levels of Consciousness, shapes their own environment and lives in it. You accept them as they are, you do not intend to change them: their way is not your way. If they are able to, they accept peacefully or at least acknowledge your change, if not, that is their responsibility and not yours.
Everybody is responsible for their own life. You may look at another person with empathy and understanding, but you cannot take responsibility for their fate. His life is his way; you may peacefully help him in his difficulties, but you cannot redeem him. The only thing you are responsible for is how consciously you live your own life. You are in no way able to redeem the world, but you can be a shining light of Consciousness, illuminating your environment. Where there is light, darkness cannot rule. The only thing that counts is you should be this Consciousness in the eternal moment of Now, and allow Life wishing to soar in you arise.
When you submit to the depths of the Present, the actor will not be “you,” the ”small self,” who drives on to achieve something, to manipulate, influence, control and rule, but Life itself will spread its wings in you. Just as a small seed grows into a beautiful rose without any willful intention, as a seagull, able to soar, hatches from an egg, as a caterpillar turns into a colorful butterfly, the program of Life is there in you, and takes to wings–if you allow it to. It is not possible to bring up a man with education, training, religious or educational methods; it will only create a member of a society. The program of becoming a man is in you, just as the program of developing your individuality is also there in you. You do not need to do more than allowing it to unfold, in an alert, permissive, receptive and conscious way.
You and I, we were all born with gull wings. Discover them, spread them, and soar! The infinite world is out there, waiting for you!
(Excerpt from the book “The Miracle of Consciousness”)
Abouth the Author:
Ervin K. Kery attained mindfulness after a sudden crash of the ego. Since the first awakening to consciousness he is an enthusiast consciousness and mindfulness meditation researcher, spiritual writer and publisher. More about the Author here..Check out the books published by the author here.