I had this epiphany a while back – it sounds catchy too. And I can’t refrain from sharing my thoughts to anyone who is ready to listen or read. Hence this post.
We live in different planes simultaneously. Life has several aspects to it. We have work, family, society and oneself. Practicing spirituality on a day-to-day basis while leading so many lives all together isn’t exactly a breeze. We tend to avoid a practice or effort which isn’t easy, as it is very easy to say this endeavor is not for us. But it is said and that the hard path is generally the better one in the long run.
Over time, as I have been trying to maintain a spiritual basis for my day-to-day life, I’ve hit upon this formula (little formulae help to stick to the difficult path) for leading three aspects of life. I’ve called it Three Lives in the title. The basis of my thought is the associated purpose of each life we live. As we remind ourselves of why we are doing anything or for whom we are doing anything, it becomes easy to look at our work with a less disturbing perspective.
So here goes:
1) Live the Material Life for society and family (mainly progeny)
2) Live the Intellectual & Creative Life for profession
3) Life the Spiritual Life for oneself
There it is – three lives, three distinct purposes.
The material life constitutes the creation of wealth. Money can lure a person far away from a peaceful and balanced life. The pursuit of money can be addictive and never-ending while pushing one to selfishness and attachment. While money should be used to ensure a comfortable lifestyle which ensures being able to do one’s work unhindered, beyond that the money earned ought to go towards helping society and preparing children to be useful to society. One’s children are also a contribution to society and sustenance of mankind in general.
Everyone knows we can’t take our earnings to our grave, but if one is blessed with the ability to attract money, a good way to stay detached from its addictive nature is to remember that money is but a concept created by human society and its best use is the betterment of human society.
Om Swamiji did say once that “money is a social debt”.
While the material life can cater to physical needs and provide for a peaceful retirement, it would be inappropriate to neglect intellectual and creative pursuits – learning, reading, writing, drawing, music, researching, etc. The mind, when left to wander without a harness is likely to become either idle or destructive.
Creative and intellectual pursuits ensure the brain cells remain productive and active. A seamless way to lead the intellectual and creative life is to integrate it with one’s profession, or choose a profession based on one’s likes or passion. Having an ambition to excel in work, being progressive, moving to leadership, innovating and such traits come from an active intellectual and creative life.
Having covered the body and mind, there is the third aspect of life – that of the soul. This is a domain meant for oneself. Spirituality is an individual journey and feeding and enhancing the spirit is the only life one ought to lead for oneself.
Knowing that the connection with the soul is all one needs to do for oneself, keeps away vices like greed, hate, jealously and enhances the quality of love, kindness, compassion.
Whether this formula work out for everyone is something only time and feedback can tell. I’m pretty happy with my discovery. It helps me look at my life with a clearer perspective and set priorities right. Feedback and learnings from my readers is most welcome.