Why Don’t They Teach This At School? How To Distinguish Between What Serves You And What Doesn’t

In my previous blog post, I argued that your life’s number one purpose is to constantly learn new things, put them in practice and, consequently, grow to your next best version.

At some point in this article, I referred to what I believe is a key skill for every human being to exercise, in every day of their lives.

That’s the ability to distinguish between which situations serve you in life and which don’t.

I promised to revisit this topic and further elaborate on it. I aim at fulfilling my promise with the present article.

There Is No Recipe For How To Live Your Life (At Least In The Long-Run)

If you’ve already lived for a fair amount of time and you aren’t in complete denial, you’re likely to agree with this statement.

Here, I will resort to a quote by Carl Gustav Jung, the iconic Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, student of Sigmund Freud, and founder of analytical psychology:

The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.

C.G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul

The truth of this statement is empirically proven every day. Don’t go too far. Just look at the lives of the few people who are closest to you.

I bet that most of them are people with similar backgrounds, upbringings, stories, influences and aspirations to yours. Yet, isn’t it true that an approach, a technique, or even an advice that is perfect for one could lead to a catastrophic outcome in the case of another?

I believe this is a truth that is pretty easy for most people to digest and accept.

However, what’s far more difficult to embrace is another, deeper, more fundamental, truth:

Even if we look at your life only, there is no recipe for how you should live it in the long-run.

(Equate “long-run” in this case with anything that exceeds half a dozen of seconds).

The reason that most people tend to resist the reality of this statement takes us back to what they identify themselves with.

This is their mind, a.k.a. the Voice In The Head. I started covering this issue in this mammoth of a post, which has triggered three other posts so far.

Excuse me: four, if we also count the current one.

Now, as I mentioned in these posts, the problem is not that the Voice In Your Head exists. The problem begins from the moment you identify yourself with it.

Because that’s when you become ready to believe in anything it says.

If you cultivate your observation skills (highly recommended), you’ll see that consistency is not one of the Voice’s virtues. It tends to shift among topics, moods, and even intonations, faster than the weather changes.

See, The Voice In Your Head is craving for stability. It needs to enhance its purely illusory and imaginary identity by finding firm grounds to establish itself upon.

And its perennial struggle (and your suffering) is due to the fact that this stability is nowhere to be found.

Almost nowhere. There is one – one and only one – place where stability really exists.

This place is your Consciousness. Your Awareness. Your (always switched on) Alert Attention and Presence.

This is the one thing that never changes, never flickers, never perishes.

This is the Light of the World.

That’s what the Voice In Your Head is craving for. Why? Because it’s its sustenance, its food, its oxygen.

Remove your Alert Attention from the Chatterbox In Your Head. Then see what happens. It becomes weak, distant, vague.

It becomes harmless.

Oh, by the way, now it’s a good time to define what Ego is.

What Is Ego?

Ego is your identification with the Voice In Your Head.

In other words, Ego is the absorption of your awareness by the Voice In Your Head.

[Attention (pun intended): Ego is NOT the Voice itself. This fine distinction is crucial and ignoring it has led to many a serious misunderstanding].

This fundamental distortion is the root of all true Evil and Madness, inflicting serious harm upon humanity throughout its history. Even more so in the relatively recent past, of course.

And all true spiritual teachings, no matter what their occasional origin and form is, are advocating the same thing:

The way to your enlightenment or salvation must pass through your disidentification with your mind, at all costs. It’s a purely experiential (not intellectual) thing.

This is what the, so called, spiritual awakening process or journey is all about.

And if I’m honest with you, it’s a journey that I’ve personally been on ever since I remember myself. But especially in the recent couple of years or so, I’ve immersed myself even deeper into it.

Hey, I even wrote a whole book about it.

And while I haven’t “arrived there” yet, I know I will not – cannot – disembark until it’s completed.

There are some paradoxes in my last phrases, but it would require too big a deviation to analyze them. Let me just telegraphically highlight one:

“How can you arrive at a place, if you’re already there”?

As I stressed in some of my previous posts: Life loves paradoxes. This is because they reveal – sometimes subtly, sometimes not that subtly – the superficial illusion of multiplicity of things and, subsequently, the underlying oneness of everything that exists.

But let’s return to our post’s main subject…

How Can We Distinguish Between What Serves Us And What Doesn’t In Life?

Let’s recap.

We established that there is no recipe for how to live life. Neither in general, nor specifically for you, as an individual human being.

We also saw that the identification with the Mental Voice In Our Head is, in fact, some sort of a recipe. Yet, it’s a recipe for how NOT to live our life. This is because it can only lead us to acute suffering and, in extreme cases, even to our demise.

OK, but what does that leave us with?

Isn’t there nothing to hold onto? Is there nothing but an existential quicksand, both outside and inside of us?

Remember what we also touched upon earlier in this post?

There’s one thing in our life that is truly stable, permanent, untouchable, powerful.

Our Awareness, Our Consciousness, Our Alert Attention And Presence.

Naturally, the only effective guidance on how to live our life, on how to distinguish between what serves us and what doesn’t, is related to its only constant.

In other words, to our true identity.

In practical terms: once we, consistently and persistently, remove our attention from our mind’s voice, we also understand that our preferences, our likings, our expectations, our anticipations, our “past luggage” are all fictional.

Once we achieve this detachment/realization, we, automatically and perfectly, tune-in to reality. Both outside and inside of us.

Reality then will dictate to us, prompt us, guide us, every waking minute of every hour of our life, on what we should and what we shouldn’t do.

All that is required from us is to follow’s life’s guidance, as it constantly unfolds. Both through the events of the external world and through our inner intuitive sparks.

(A question that comes up here is: how can we distinguish between what’s intuition and what isn’t? Perhaps, this will be the main theme of my next post).

By unwaveringly applying this approach, we ensure optimum effectiveness and efficiency in whatever we do. We also quickly move towards the infinite joy, excitement and bliss, found deep in the core of our Being. The Love Supreme that is always available to us.

Sounds like a utopian, unrealistic, “hippie fantasy” to you?

I couldn’t blame you.

However, if you’re sincere with yourself, you have to admit it: you have experienced such feelings of overwhelming happiness in the past. And, likely, you have associated them with the particular external circumstances of your life at the time.

But the key here is in you realizing that, yes, the triggers for such experiences may be external. Yet, the sensation you felt was all yours.

And all of it was springing from a place very deep inside of you.

From the only, truly inexhaustible source of Energy and Life in this Cosmos.

Until next time,

Be well and remain alert.

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