WE ARE NOT NEARLY SO IMPORTANT as we think we are (well… not in the prevailing way that most people imagine). We are all completely expendable — imaginarily here for a very brief time. Then the dream ends as suddenly as it began (though the only thing which really “dies” is illusion).
During this brief span that we call “life”, we play our little roles in a vast and glorious process that we are not even aware of. But we do have a choice in how we play those roles: We can either live primarily to fill our bellies and be ruled by our desires OR we can devote ourselves to serving others. The beautiful irony is that when we choose the service of others we fortuitously become fulfilled anyway! 😊 But the person who is living primarily for himself or herself cannot realise that. To such a one it appears as if “dog eat dog” — strike before you’re struck — is the only way to behave if one wants to find fulfilment. This is one of the primary delusions on the planet, for dogs who eat dogs will themselves be eaten — if only by their own inflated self. “Those who live by the sword die by the sword”.
Serving others has nothing to do with being a professional “do-gooder” (though it certainly involves doing good). For there are those who look as if they are serving others but they are secretly serving themselves. For example, they do this through “virtue-signalling” on social media profiles or charging loadsamoney for healing and other apparent acts of service or they hobnob with top politicians and flaunt their charities around to obtain (false) knighthoods. (I say “false” here because a true Knight is not ordained by any monarch but by living a knightly way of life devoted to the highest being one can imagine).
Many today are searching for “Truth” or “enlightenment. They read many books and visit many gurus and attend multiple teaching workshops — at the end of which they are not really any the wiser, even if they have increased their sum of knowledge to regurgitate in memes on social media! However, if you really want to draw near to the Divine and know Truth, the greatest thing you can do is live a life of service. Then the epiphanies will come racing into your being like warm rain from another world.
There is surely only one true foundation for serving others: namely, the realisation of one’s own UNimportance, which should both make us smile and be thankful for the ability and opportunity to serve. Ironically, the more unimportant one realises one is (in terms of the way that most people imagine they are important), the more one perceives one’s true calling and finds fulfilment. This is one of the many beautiful paradoxes which litter the spiritual life. Another of these paradoxes is that the more we become aware of our smallness in relation to the vastness of everything, the more we become aware of our participation in that vastness — thus ultimately being of greater significance than we could ever have imagined when thinking of ourselves as being important in the world. You will then notice that the less seriously we take ourselves, the more seriously we will take our souls in all their bountiful flowering and interconnectedness.
Finally, those who serve others never need to say: “I serve others”, for that too is a trap for the ego. True service is subtle and unostentatious… quietly doing what it loves to do… yet it is the warp and woof of a life lived to the full because service to others is ultimately service to the Divine. To realise that is both life-changing and life-affirming (and death-defying).
© Copyright, Alan Morrison, 2017