- Education and Science
Happiness Right Livelihood and Healing the Soul
Right Livelihood Always Contributes Something Good to the Common Weal
We're talking about more than a job that suits our talents. We're into healing the soul
When we talk about happiness and livelihood we are really talking about something more than finding a job we like. It refers not only to our talents and propensities, but to whether or not we will gain or lose inner peace by being employed in it. It is that important. At ego level we might not know this - but our Higher Self knows it.
There is a story told of a famous American scientist who booked himself into a Vipassana Meditation centre in Burma (Myanmar) way back in the 1950s or early 1960s. Here was a man who was well-known to his fellow scientists, likely regarded in very high esteem, and just as probably earning a huge salary in his work as a nuclear physicist. No doubt he held himself in pretty high esteem also - on the surface. That is, his ego would be telling this almost non-stop. But something in him knew differently.
Vipassana takes the practioner deep, deep within. Soul healing is the aim here
The scientist - who needed some soul healing - booked himself into that Vipassana Centre and, once in, was not able to get out until the end of the course. The gates were locked. He'd signed the various agreements that he wouldn't leave before the time was up, so he had to go through with it: meditate. And when I say 'meditate' I mean for maybe eleven or twelve hours a day from when he would have been obliged to arise (around 4-00am) until he went to bed (around 9-30pm.) There'd be no talking; no communication with fellow practioners. He was alone, surrounded by silence.
Vipassana takes the practicioner deep, deep into him or herself. And as it does so it digs into the deepest recesses of the subconscious mind. The phobias, traumas, fears that have been deeply repressed surface. They don't come up as particular memories, but rather as the sensations which accompanied those memories. Also, those emotions which have been deliberately suppressed, as in ignoring feelings of guilt, also surface. Generally, the results aren't pleasant.
Right Livelihood and Healing the Soul - Your inner self knows what you're up to
This famous scientist suffered greatly. It is said that when the teacher and his assistant looked into his cell from a high up vantage point (where they could not be noticed) this man was not just writhing in agony but was actually standing on his shoulders! They observed how he groaned and jumped around trembling all the time. He was in hell - abolute hell!
And why was this? Well, it turned out that that scientist was a leading light in the Cold War Armaments Race. His work was to design nuclear bombs, bombs which could anhiliate entire cities, killing hundreds of thousands of people. And this terrible work, along with the sensations which he'd buried away for so long, were now surfacing.
Are we adding or taking away from the world's happiness? Are we adding to the Common Weal
Happiness and right livelihood. This man obviously thought he had it - until he undertook that course. It is said that when he got back to America he resigned his post and devoted the remainder of his working life to the peaceful uses of atomic energy. Soul healing had made some progress, it seems.
If we examine our own lives and the work we do, it will become clear to us - although our ego-minds will try its damndest to rationalize away the findings - whether or not we work in a moral occupation. Are we adding to or taking away from the world's happiness? If we're making landmines, or handguns, things that are specifically made to harm others, then we are in an immoral job. No, it doesn't matter if you're doing it to 'fight the enemy.' Today's enemy is so often tomorrow's friend, and vice versa.
Does your job depend upon exploiting the frailties and follies of others?
But there are subtler jobs and vocations which really detract from the sum total of Human happiness. Do you design, or build, or market gambling equipment? Does you job depend upon the frailty and follies of other people? If you're a newspaper reporter, photographer or editor, do you stretch the truth until it is no longer that, just to sell more papers?
And subtler even again: Do you provide premises or facilities where you know that immoral things - no, we're not just talking about illicit sex here - are happening; people are suffering because you, by your action -or in this case innaction - are allowing things to be as they are?
In the matter of right livelihood and healing the soul our Higher Self continues to guide us. We only need to listen to our hearts for Its guidance
It gets tricky, doesn't it? This soul healing requires insight. Some years ago a man apparently designed an automatic-firing gun which would make the most sophisticated Gattling Gun look like a medieval cannon. He was lauded high and loud. Apparently the design was whisked away by the military and he was paid a large sum of money for his efforts. Now what would such a device be used for? Killing others, of course! He could hardly be praised for contributing something positive to the common weal.
Anyone, anywhere, who provides a product or service which hurts other people is into less than right livelihood. The old sayings, Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, and What goes around comes around, are lost on these people. But others will surely do unto them what they're doing eventually, in this life, or the next one, or the one after that. What goes around does come around. Our Higher Self knows all these things. So if we want to save ourselves from future suffering we need to seek out and find work where we assist, help, contribute to the common weal.
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