The only useful purpose is to turn within and realize. There is nothing else to do. ~Ramana Maharshi
I just finished reading, The Snowball, the story of billionaire Warren Buffet. From the time he was a little boy, he made, and collected money. One could say he was absolutely obsessed with doing so. Some would say he is a genius, and most would say he is successful. I’m not saying any of this is not true, but any of us can be a genius and be successful when we give our attention to something, when we are almost, if not completely, obsessed.
This is because everything we need to know about something comes to us when we focus on it. Answers. Questions. Insights. Tools. Wisdom.
What we focus on is up to us, and what we feel is our purpose and talent. And, what if what we focus on, and what completely inspires us, is something beyond what we see? Beyond what our culture values as something we should focus on? What if we what we are completely interested in, and devoted to, is the inner life?
Does the inner life matter?
For the most part, our culture admires those who build a fortune, a business, or even a lifestyle, but what about when someone builds a spiritual foundation inside of themselves?
What if someone works as hard at knowing who they are, as another would work at building a fortune? Is building an external world more valued than building an inner world? It truly does not matter if what we value is valued by society, but it might make the inner life less interesting, and therefore a road less traveled.
But maybe this is changing. Maybe there are more sleepwalkers, hanging onto only a thread of worldly pursuits, and waking up. Maybe one by one, we are awakening to the inner life because truth is, whatever we are building on the outside is coming from inside of us, and I’m not sure we always make this connection, and we need to.
There is an opportunity right now to do so, and as one who is obsessed with the soul, and ‘knowing thyself’ and all things spiritual, I want to take the time to give a shout-out to all of you out there who are working within your soul; all of you living the examined life.
The work of the soul is hard work, often unnoticed work, and it is worthy of a congratulations. I know what you’ve done. What monsters you’ve had to face. What shadows you have encountered. I also know you’ve faced your light, the truth of you who you are, and as much as you want it, it has frightened and eluded you. The changes happening inside of you are often slow and subtle, and even you have had a difficult time knowing if all this inner work matters. And sometimes, you feel like you’ve changed so much, and yet you keep waking up to the same old life. I know. I know. I know.
And I also know, if you are now in a place where you have built yourself a beautiful home inside of yourself- a home that was already there, but you took the time to dig through all the clutter of your soul to find it, you have earned the right to go there now and live. Live from that space, and speak to us, those of us rubbing our sleepy eyes, and remind us what’s important. We need to hear it. We need to hear your voice from that clear space because we hear a calling too, but we aren’t sure where to begin, but we know we must.
The inner life matters. Give your self to it. Devote your time to it. Discover the workings of your soul, and if you must- become obsessed, or at the very least, curious. Be interested in who you are, and you will find all that you are not.
The external life does not define who we are. It’s only a snap shot of what’s inside, and every thing external changes, and does not yet reflect all of who we are. It can’t. It is what is on the inside, deep inside, where that potential lies, where the questions and answers begin to awaken, and where we discover what is in us that is changeless and true. The only way to know is to turn within and realize. It is all there is to do.