There used to be a time when we said things like ‘the universe guided me to this’, and often we took it as a sign that we needed to trust it. However with Google’s advertising algorithms is it really valid to say things like, I just found this video or website, it’s a sign!?
As soon as I check out a video on youtube my recommended videos line up and the usually the next one in line is something either I am researching, am interested in or both. Divine appointment? Not unless its headquarters is google.
So today in this manipulative world we need to go beyond the coincidence and look into ourselves. We need to test all information that we are bombarded with, everything that we see and hear needs to be Truth tested. Especially when we get an intuitive feeling we need to ask ourselves is this thought implanted or am I recognizing a pattern?
See, there has been a known science that has made the rounds of every enlightened coffee table talk. The hundredth monkey theory. Quoted and preached into every corner of the world this ‘scientific theory’ stressed that when a critical number of the population engage in a new action or a belief then it transmits into everyone’s consciousness.
It’s been debunked but I remember in college we regarded it as a holy grail for the saving of our species. If only we could get enough people to meditate, think peaceful thoughts… etc. I remember my analytical mind questioning me about the absurdity of such a phenomenon but I clearly remember how I vehemently silenced it saying it’s my rigidity to old programmings that is making me hesitant to the truth.
At 42, I have realized many things in life, the first being people are gullible, especially when you appeal to their innate desires. Here, mine was world peace, not a bad desire but it led me on a collision course with new age groups, alternative healing, the works. Most of which run on the placebo effect, what you think and truly believe becomes your reality.
I remember my days in college, I was the hippie with straight long hair that dangled to my hips, clad in stonewashed jeans and khaki kurtas and a peace sign hanging around my neck. You always found me in groups discussing world peace, awakening the masses and spreading love and light. They were the good days, when I still had a tribe, I was encouraged by like-minded friends and rejected by snooty, arrogant and mean individuals. It only reaffirmed my belief that my crowd was enlightened and the ‘others’ needed saving.
Life was the biggest wake-up call that I received. I discovered that love and fresh air did not fill bellies and after a while of lack, the happy feelings began to fade. I went headlong into the ‘capitalistic’ world and began my career, and tried to create a balance by getting the people in my workplace to mediate, and discovered likeminded friends who were spiritual but also deeply invested in making money.
I discovered that most of these spiritual practices run on charities, donations and aren’t offered freely with love. Spirituality had a capitalistic side, albeit the exchange was for happiness and fulfillment. Both sides were happy with the transaction, like when I buy amazing shoes. Baby, I’m worth it blaring on the background as my wallet gets lighter.
That led me to really dig deep into every aspect of spirituality, and I realized that nothing is self-sustaining. A monetary exchange is always a prerequisite, I remember feeling cheated with that realization. If spirituality was so enlightening then why would one still need a monetary exchange for sustenance? Were we just swapping one model of living for another?
Thus began my spiral into the unraveling of many tightly held beliefs. A few earth-shattering self-realizations later, I realized something very simple but consoling. Life goes on, the chaos continues, a lesson ends and another begins. Every uncomfortable experience brings what Lisa Nichols calls ‘gifts wrapped in sandpaper’. Once you accept the suffering and the discomfort you unearth truths about yourself. How you cope/react/behave/handle an uncomfortable/unfamiliar situation tells you a lot about yourself. Considering that you spend your entire life with yourself, not a bad practice to get to know yourself before you die.
I remember having this discussion with a friend and she asked me a universal question, why? Why question your beliefs, why seek the truth, why get to know yourself? Why is a very good question but what is better, is asking why not?
One of the major realizations I have unearthed in life is that humans are genetically hardwired for being lazy. Half the inventions in the world are designed to make life easier, more comfortable and make you do less work. Even our brains are hardwired to ignore any process or action that costs more in terms of energy/thought/effort etc. The only time we ignore this basic programming is when we are passionate about something. Interest is the kill switch for this innate programming.
So if we round up all the things that interest us and start exploring them, we might just discover a passion and if we can channel that to serve humanity, awesome. Ikigai backward….