Looking for Meaning
What is the meaning of our life on this earth? We live, we die, and in between we rush around looking for some kind of happiness, some kind of pleasure and some kind of meaning, before this brief flame is snuffed out. We experience sadness at the prospect of death before we have really lived; yet if we ask what it means to really live, we have no idea.
To live life to the fullest – what does that mean? To have as many experiences as we can? To conquer countries and build empires? To saturate ourselves in the indulgence of all possible sensual pleasures? None of the usual answers can withstand the stroke of death, which may come at any moment. Death renders all our achievements and aspirations meaningless. ‘We can’t take it with us’ is the old expression. So what meaning can exist in the face of death? What joy can we take in life, when it must certainly end?
If we were to say that there are things that endure beyond death, and that we ourselves also endure beyond death, then maybe we would have something to work with. Then there would be some grounds for considering that maybe there is a way to obtain meaningful peace and joy out of life. But to the best of our knowledge nobody gets out of here alive. If anybody ever did, he certainly didn’t come back to tell the tale! As far as we know, that is…
But the mystics assure us that there is indeed life beyond the grave and the crematorium. If we subscribe to this view, then we have to take a longer view of what has real meaning, beyond the short span of this life we’re living. One can hardly find satisfaction in the frantic space between birth and death. It’s impossible to be serene and composed if one has no certainty of tomorrow. But if one believes in the eternal life of the soul, then one can take the longer view and work toward developing a higher state of consciousness that will persist beyond our current limitations, and give us access to our as yet unrealized potential.
By raising our consciousness, we move inexorably towards the Absolute, which is the core and source of all existence. By stripping away the superfluous, by rising above the limitations of the temporal self, we reveal the essence within that is our true self, the immortal soul that longs only to return to the Great Spirit within that is its Father.
Until we reach this point we search in vain for meaning and peace. Only by contacting that spiritual essence within ourselves can we start to realize our true nature and our divine heritage.
But do we possess the necessary tools for the job? Is this something that we can do by reading books and having discussions and by leading what most people call a ‘good life’? Many people believe exactly that, but this belief does not stand the test of logic nor indeed of our own experience.
Whenever we have tried to develop new skills or acquire new knowledge, we have always needed a teacher or instructor. If we need a teacher to learn a language, play a piano or understand quantum physics, why wouldn’t we also need a teacher to learn spiritual science, the most arcane of subjects? Not only would this be foolhardy, but downright dangerous.
As with all worldly pursuits, we need a teacher. We need a teacher who, by way of qualifications, has travelled this road before us and is familiar with all the obstacles and difficulties that stand in our path, and will help us to either avoid them altogether or to deal with them in the best way possible.
The highest path is the one that leads straight to our divine source and ends with our total immersion in and union with the Lord. For this purpose, only a teacher who has already achieved this goal will do. The pathway that achieves this is the path of the sacred Sound. This Sound or Word of God is the essential element behind the entire creation. It is this power within that is the key and the fundamental essence of the path that leads us back to him.
It is only by contacting a living teacher who is qualified to show us the way that we can learn the proper method of progressing in our aspirations. Only such a one can teach us the method by which we may come in contact with the divine essence, this sacred Sound that will lead us directly to the very feet of the Primordial One.
No matter how futile life may seem to be, in the context of this one life we are living, when we come into contact with a true spiritual Master, we start to realize that life, in fact, is eternal. We can then see the longer view – that this life is merely a step on the way of the soul’s journey home to the Lord.