What is life about ?

What is living?

Is it to live depending on circumstances, in comfort, fulfilling urges and desires, or is it to act in full freedom, with discernment and intelligence in order to reach serenity and happiness?

Life has the value that we give it in relation to what we are.

For a stone, life is to resist.

For a plant, life is for growing.

For an animal, life is for feeling and fulfilling one’s pleasure.

The human being has within himself mineral, plant and animal elements.

What differentiates the human being from these elements is the ability to ask himself questions.

“What use does life have?” For Pierre Hadot, a philosopher specialized in Antiquity, philosophy is not a theoretical system but an experience which is lived, and it is a confrontation to reality, to one’s ideas, dreams and decisions and a questioning of oneself without, which there is no life.

Life is a movement

What is living? Is it to live in a state of inertia seeking the easy life, or is it to live while fulfilling oneself with determination, decision, responsibility and intelligence?

To live is a movement. Things are alive because there is movement. But if this movement becomes inert, mechanistic, artificial, repetitive, dependent, resistant and routine, then life fades and dies. To move from comfort, laziness, living day to day, and from the instinct of preservation which protects us, we need to take risks, to give a purpose to our movements.

The more ambitious our goals and dreams are, the more we are capable of putting ourselves in motion.

To live in autonomy

Life is characterized by autonomy. It is capable of repairing itself, and healing its wounds. An inanimate object cannot do that without human intervention.

Life reproduces itself. We can program ourselves to direct our existence towards something else. We can reproduce ourselves biologically or through ideas and sentiments.

Life self-regulates and balances itself. This is the basis of ecology.

If our body was not able to regulate itself, it would constantly be ill. Life is to be in movement and to understand the laws of movement. Some encounter these laws through simply being impacted by the movement. They run after life but do not live. They live unconsciously and are moved by instincts and urges. Others question themselves: ‘Where am I going, who am I? What use does life have?’ They seek a goal, a meaning. They marvel before life, the universe and all that inspires them and enables them to learn with intelligence.

The Expression of consciousness

Movement is found in the words ‘to express’, that is, to realize the potential we have within. But what are we expressing? This is where the notion of consciousness comes in. We can express that which is good within, our need for social recognition, our desire for self realization; our quest for Good, the Truth and Beauty, and we can also express the false, superficial and apathetic side of ourselves. In other words, we can express living or appearing to live.

Socrates introduced to the Western world, the concept of conscience.

He said: ‘I have within me a little voice, a daemon, (not a demon but a genie/angel, a conscience) which sometimes tells me what I shouldn’t do but not what I should do.’ There is a conscience within each one of us, and sometimes this conscience makes us suffer and is suppressed in the subconscious where it continues to act on the body or the feelings.

The expression of a destiny

Expression implies ‘to accept to be confronted by others, and to experiment in order to improve that which we think we are, or are becoming’. To live is to express that which is positive, creative, harmonious, simple but beautiful and good. It is not to express oneself guided by urge or desire, or in other words to let off steam and engender violence for oneself and others. To express a destiny is not to express the future through fortune telling. From a philosophical viewpoint, the classical authors of antiquity explain that in ancient Theatre, the Greek tragedy presents the story of a character that has a choice between living a tranquil peaceful life, and accomplishing an exploit which will transcend him, transform him, sometimes at the cost of his life (the Hero).

We all have a destiny in potential. This destiny will express itself in our choosing to not act like everyone else, to take ownership for our own life, to be what we want to be and not to become what others expect of us. Life is to confront the unknown, to accept the mystery, to live with it.

The power of life and freedom

As Hegel said, ‘true consciousness is not a theoretical faculty but a power of living and freedom’. To live is to express a power over oneself which leads us towards freedom. For a human being to become free, he should not be conditioned by circumstances or by his passions. He must decide and act with intelligence.

One can live as an animal, a stone or a tree. To live as a human being, one needs to have spirit. From a philosophical viewpoint, spirit is that capacity we have to understand the world and to free ourselves from it. This capability may be associated with intelligence (intellegere in Latin: to be able to enter). The spirit enables the human being to understand what is real, and to take action while becoming independent of circumstances and not being overwhelmed by them.

One keeps a clear spirit in spite of situations. Spirituality is a struggle in order to maintain intelligence, discernment and the possibility to see things in their unity and not in their various parts. Reason enables us to divide things; intelligence enables us to reunite them.

To live intelligently is not only to live “reasonably”. The ultimate goal of life is happiness. Not an immediate, ephemeral, happiness satisfied by urge, but what Socrates calls eudemonia; an inner state of serenity, wisdom and calm, a state of being without attachment, and with discernment.

To live life is an opportunity to be happy.

life-happiness

Advertisements

The Power of a Smile

A smile is a beautiful thing.

It’s a universal symbol of happiness and a force of nature. Yes, a force of nature. Have you ever observed what happens within you when you smile, or better yet, forced yourself to smile when you’re feeling down? Give it a try right now. No matter how you’re feeling or what’s going on in your life, close your eyes and smile. Observe the feeling of warmth that wells up in your belly as you do it.

Observe the shift in your energy as you turn that frown upside down. If you’re still not convinced, go in front of a mirror and notice how you look when you’re smiling. Once again, observe how you feel within and how you feel about the reflection looking back at you as your facial expression changes. If you’re feeling particularly cheeky, look yourself in the eyes, smile and say: “You’re awesome!” I believe that a smile is one of the most powerful and most underrated gifts that we, as humans, possess. It embodies our ability to create and our ability to express the infinite love that is within us.

So many of us go through our days dragging our feet, lamenting our struggles, waiting for this or that to happen to cheer us up and we forget that all the while, we have this incredible tool at our disposal to raise our spirits. When we smile, something lights up inside us; we connect to our Source and we are actually able to alter our mood. What’s even more amazing is that we can share this gift with others.

The only thing more powerful than one person smiling is two people smiling at each other. We all know that wonderful feeling we get when we look into someone’s eyes, and with the simple exchange of a smile, a world of meaning is communicated. It can be an expression of love, of joy or of laughter. Smiling is contagious, as is laughter, and the only thing they cost us is whatever suffering we are holding on to. In the same way that each of us has a unique smile that can bring joy to ourselves and others, we also all have unique creative gifts that were meant to be expressed in the world. Similarly, it is up to us to use these gifts to spread joy, love and inspiration, to pick ourselves up when we’re low and to lift the spirits of those around us when they need a boost. For one person, that gift could be having a way with words; for another, it’s a knack for creating culinary delights, still another has a gift for photography and another makes beautiful floral arrangements. There are an infinite number of these little gifts and talents in the world and they live in each and every one of us. If you’re not sure what yours is, take a moment and think about things that you’d really like to do but have never tried. Then pick one, give yourself permission to be a beginner and get busy discovering your gift! When we use our gifts and share them, much like a smile, our creations move out into the world around us like little bundles of love in motion. They have the power to heal, to move and to inspire. What a shame it would be to let these gifts go to waste.

So today, smile and smile often. Smile at yourself, smile at a loved one and smile at a stranger. And whatever that thing is that you love to do, do it and share it with someone. Play a song for a friend, write a poem for a loved one, paint a landscape for your sibling, photograph your favorite nooks of the city, sing your heart out for God, pick some flowers for your mom. And do it all with a smile, knowing that you are spreading love, joy and inspiration.

Peeling Skin of an Orange

I feel at times that Life is more like peeling the skin of an orange.. You slowly begin realising as you grow older the finer softer jucier parts of life, while some may only see the seeds and avoide the sweet juice all around them, while some enjoy the flavour and live life happily.

Just a thought I would love to share.

– Mustafa Mun

Can Money BUY , HAPPYNESS !!

I was just pondering over a thought today that .. Well, money surely can buy happiness and its true in many circumstances, but not always, you need money for the basics alright, but its upto your material needs and desires to want more. The needs are always limited, its the wants that surpasses the needs.

One may recieve a certain salary, and he might be satisfied with it, while the other might be over satisfied with it, while one might not be satisfied at all.

So IS HAPPINESS , you own PERCEPTION ????

Well it truly is!

Money is needed for some of the best things in life, if you have enough and are willing to spend on your desires, you should go ahead and do it!

Some feel the need to buy expensive materialistic items with their money while the other might like to save , while some might like to give it in charity. It’s totally a person’s choice !

It’s all upto an individual, and his willingness to use Money , in his own way.

One thing I have observed that , people who Think they are Poor, are not exactly Poor. Well most of them , not all, have access to food, shelter and a daily income, while for the unfortunate rest, there are a lot of helping hands our there whom we do not know of, doing their little bit , trying to bridge the gap, & it’s a fact !

So it all boils down to one simple logic, that Happiness is just a state of perception, and money is just a flow of Energy (where energy is your labour involved in working at your workplace, to getting that salary, then using it to buy food, and then back to work) ,  to satisfy our materialistic needs.

I have found the image below really interesting, thought of sharing with all of you.

– Mustafa Mun

Is Happiness Around The Corner?

For lots of people, happiness is just around the corner. They just need to get their degree, a particular job, a promotion, or a raise. Maybe they’re waiting to get married or have a child. Perhaps they will be happy when they retire.

Alfred D’ Souza said, “For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, or a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” John Lennon put it another way, “Life is what happens while you are making other plans.”

The point is our lives are happening now. If we are to get the satisfaction and fulfillment we want, we have to learn to draw pleasure and joy from everything that happens to us and around us because these experiences are the very essence of our life. The more conscious we are that life consists of the journey, not the destination, the more likely we are to get the most out of it.

So, if there are things you want to do, begin to fit them in now or accept the fact that you can be happy whether or not you do them.

Happiness isn’t just around the corner. It’s now or it’s never.

The good news is you have everything you need to be happy. Philosophers, poets, and scientists all agree it can’t be attained through money, prestige, or power. Happiness is not a fact, it’s a mindset. All you need is optimism and gratitude.

Michael Josephson
www.charactercounts.org