Wisdom of Kahana: Fulfillment
It is our greatest treasure, yet it appears to be the most difficult of all of life's joys to find. We search endlessly, sometimes reaching the end of existence without ever experiencing it. Perhaps it is because we all begin as empty vessels, trying to fill our cups a drop at a time, only succeeding in quenching our thirst momentarily but never satiating that parched sensation that lingers at the back of our throats. We search the depths of the oceans, the tops of mountains, but we fail to look in the most obvious of places for this all-elusive fulfillment; exactly where we stand. I look around me, at the blank faces, the lost souls, those that either ignore what I write and even those that try to absorb every word but fail to grasp the essence and I realize sadly that they have never tasted the fulfillment of existence. The lives in which they particpate are shallow and untrue. Playing their parts as if we exist in some great melodrama but never committed to their performances, only waiting for the drawing of the final curtain when they can take their bows and silently fade from this reality. Like spectres in the night, they live without substance, striving but not succeeding, reaching but never grasping, until they realize that the drops which they did manage to fill their cups with are nothing more than vinegar, bitter to the taste and souring in the stomach. Somewhere, sometime, they have lost the ability to see the world in its sincerity, in its unmatched beauty that surrounds them wherever they may stand.
Where There is No Wrong
Nothing can be right in the Universe if you perpetually live in a world where there is no wrong. I understand the need of some to insist on political corrrectness, their compulsion to avoid pointing a finger of blame at anyone for fear that they themselves will be accused of being bigotted or prejudiced, or sexist or racist. Their fear of such terms has caused them to be peering over their shoulders constantly, nervous of the intimidation of intimation, and in so doing they have become blind to the reality that without confrontation there can be no truth; there can be no learning; there can be no achievements that move us forward to a higher level of understanding. What is wrong, is wrong. It has no connection to being policitally correct, or benevolent, or socially receptive or morally convicted. In fact it is the insistence of those that use these as the placards of accusation whenever one speaks out against that which is unacceptable no matter who commits intentional acts that are contrary to the ethical morality and innate responsibility of mankind that is the roadblock to so many in achieving a quality of life and a fulfillment that can only be brought about by a humanistic committment that essentially equates to the spirituality achieved when there is a spark of divine acceptance that we are governed by a power far greater than ourselves. Do not let yourselves be blinded by the politics of mankind but rely on your own inner moral convictions to make judgments of that which is right and that which is wrong without fear of reprisal. That is what separates those attaining fulfillment from those that are nothing more than the sheep being herded to slaughter, for the latter have permitted themselves to fall under the sway of the staff of shepherds that serve no one or any master but their own convictions which are based solely on their own selfish desires. Every perception you have must be an awareness of contrast. That what you see and how you see it matters more than all the voices in the world that tell you what you must be seeing. That is the true nature of self-awareness, when you recognize the value of your own interpretations and hear your own voice within the silence.
Through the Eyes of a Child
Remember back to a time when as a child you gazed upon the world and were filled with wonderment. When all the confusion and issues of the world were not even registering or impacting on your perceptions of the colours, aromas, or sounds that surrounded you. When you could lay back on the grass and watch the clouds overhead dance across powder blue skies, forming shapes that you saw as messages meant only for you. In our mad scramble to adulthood we have let the outside pressures erase all these sweet memories, blur the colours that were always sharp and intense in our childhoods, and the images manifested in the clouds have simply evaporated. We have been falsely led to believe in the constant turmoil of our every day lives that we must constantly be in motion, otherwise if we stop we will simply cease to exist. Therein lies our failure to find fulfillment, blinded by the mistaken belief that inactivity means we cannot 'do something'; we cannot contribute; we cannot find satisfaction. We do not live more fully because we are doing more, because experience does not rely on activity, but instead requires that we have the courage to experience it less but savour it more. It is about finding contentment with that which immediately surrounds us, not in all those things that are beyond our reach. Too often we try to look at everything and instead we see nothing. Too often we look outside when it would be more appropriate to be looking inside. Fulfillment comes from the quality of our experiences and our action, not the quantity.
If we persist in half-living then we will neither be content nor fulfilled. Many of us have permitted our lives to be dictated to, by those that have no interest in our well being nor does our fulfillment bear any interest to them. By permitting this we have made our own lives less real and this unreality not only makes us less happy but riddles us with guilt. The less we are happy and the guiltier we feel, the more we try to replace these malicious feelings with more action, thinking that the quantity will displace the lack of quality but instead the sense of being unfulfilled merely increases exponentially. Only through enforcing a cessation, taking a rest so to speak, can we correct the imbalance of our lives. Shabbos (the Sabbath) is about to start. Time to take that rest that we were instructed to take over three thousand years ago and see the world with a clarity that we lost once we were no longer children. In the eyes of the Lord, we will always be his children. To find fulfillment it is time that we actually act like we really are the Children of God.
Avrom Aryeh-Zuk Kahana