"You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.”
― René Daumal
This week we also commemorate the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King’s view from the mountaintop was a revelation of the Divine rights of all people. Inalienable in Truth, yet unrealized in matter of fact. From the highest perspective, he knew the ideal, the Real, that indeed all men are created equal, and that though such equality was not practiced it was the will of The Creator, and thus the destiny of mankind, to live into the truth of our Oneness in God,
Our appreciation of the lives of those who pass on is formed by the way each person has touched our lives. What touches us is at once very personal, and impersonal as well. Those who seem to have the most profound effect on us are those who lived their lives in dedication to something that outlives them. Think about that for a moment, since it belies the logic of the mortal mind.
The "gusto" theory of living, which implores us to grab all of it we can this time around, recognizes that there is only so much time and space for us to live a full life. It stresses acquisition as a benchmark of a successful life. It promotes having and holding, living life like a conqueror until finally we die and lose (or leave) the deed to all of it. This philosophy is epitomized by the phrase often seen on a bumper that reads, "The one who dies with the most toys, wins!" I have always wondered, "Wins what?"
Those like Dr. King, and others who have rejected such worldly logic, and marched to the beat of a different drum, leave us inspired to raise the bar of our own life's mission and carry on their good work. Their purpose became our purpose. It was not what they acquired in life, but what they shared that outlasted the span of their lives.
There is another kind of logic, rooted in infinite wisdom, which maintains that we only keep what we give away. It could also be said that the only thing worth having is what can be shared. Only that which connects us to the whole of life and to each other comprises true success. If we honor our true nature, then the purpose of life, quite simply and profoundly, is to express ourselves. As spiritual beings imbued with divine qualities, life's meaning hangs on the question of what we bear witness to in each moment of living. No situation can deter such a fundamental mission, as every circumstance becomes yet a new opportunity to express the Infinite life that is God.
To live this way, we may find ourselves out of step with our companions, as Thoreau observed, because we do hear a different beat, a heartbeat, that reminds of something essential and eternal that calls us home, while we are still on earth. I pray that you will spend quiet time at the summit, where in the rarified air of spiritual consciousness you might hear the calling of the inalienable connection to a higher order of being and how its expression manifests in the life that is before you.
Peace and blessings,