The Worth of a Life

‘Back to nature’ – Robert Storm Petersen (Storm P.), 1945 – Wikimedia

We are all blessed with moments of intense happiness, no matter how ignorant of our true nature we may be. Happiness has always been in the picture. It may have come unexpectedly one glorious morning at the start of a day-long walk in the mountains, or while falling in love, or travelling in a busy train, or quietly sitting at the window sipping tea. You know, these moments when we enjoy every bit of the world around us, when we stop indulging in thoughts and are free to just watch, hear, taste, enjoy, admire. Such happiness is self-explanatory, the proof of god, an enhancer of being. It is beauty revealed, love in action. It is the worth of a life — any life. The only time when we truly see, and hear. Birds seem to have replenished the earth. Flowers appear and butterflies dance in the thin air of our self. Why do you think that, in common parlance, happiness is said to make you like the king of the world? Why do we say that, at the time of happiness, the world belongs to us? Why does happiness seem to be solving all our problems? Does that not express the intuition of our likeness with the world around us?

Happiness is the point of absolute equality in all human beings. When somebody is ignorant of his true nature, and when he has a moment of pure joy and happiness, he becomes a prince and a master in matters of truth. But unfortunately, he remains an ignorant master, who takes that joy, that living sense of being, for granted. Who thinks happiness to be just a passing thing, an accident, a beautiful feeling. Not something that needs to be looked into, explored, and expanded. These are the lost moments of truth that pass unknown, unnoticed in our lives, relegated in the field of time, soon covered up with our crass ignorance. What matters when we are happy, what presents itself with force, is just the plain awareness of being. Being commands. Being is refined. Being is all that matters, all the knowledge we need. When we experience true happiness, we are in a position of not knowing, even if we are a specialist in non-duality, with a ‘spiritual’ etiquette attached to ourself. This is why a true spiritual teacher has no knowledge to give. His place is one of innocence and humility. He never addresses ignorant people, but converses with truth itself. She only shares being with all around her, renders happiness recognisable. Being is the supreme teacher, and the supplier of joy. Don’t let it pass.



Text by Alain Joly

Painting by Robert Storm Petersen (Storm P.) (1882-1949)



Robert Storm Petersen (Wikipedia)


Other ‘Ways of Being‘ from the blog…


2 thoughts on “The Worth of a Life

  1. Have you read Ernest Becker? “What does it mean to be a self-conscious animal? The idea is ludicrous, if it is not monstrous. It means to know that one is food for worms. This is the terror: to have emerged from nothing, to have a name, consciousness of self, deep inner feelings, an excruciating inner yearning for life and self-expression-and with all this yet to die.”


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