“…the greatest hunger of all, is the hunger for meaning.”
“The Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert talk about the two “hungers”. There is the Great Hunger and there is the Little Hunger. The Little Hunger wants food for the belly; but the Great Hunger, the greatest hunger of all, is the hunger for meaning…
There is ultimately only one thing that makes human beings deeply and profoundly bitter, and that is to have thrust upon them a life without meaning.
There is nothing wrong in searching for happiness. But of far more comfort to the soul is something greater than happiness or unhappiness, and that is meaning. Because meaning transfigures all. Once what you are doing has for you meaning, it is irrelevant whether you’re happy or unhappy. You are content – you are not alone in your Spirit – you belong.” –Laurens van der Post (Photograph of Sir Laurens Van Der Post, with a Bushman in the Kalahari Desert.)
A friend posted this on Facebook this morning and it resonated with what I have been thinking deeply about this week in the wake of my grandson’s graduation from High School last month up in Ashland, Oregon. I sent him my blessing in a letter in which I offered a few morsels of wisdom and insight into life. I wrote
As your paternal grandfather, I bestow upon you the blessings of your forefathers and mine. With this blessing comes the responsibility to be fruitful in your life. Your life will bear fruit as you pursue what it is you love doing that also serves and benefits others, and you have plenty of examples and role models in your immediate family of fruitful living. You can look to them, to us, for guidance along the way at any time. I am available to you for as long as I am present in this world.
Throughout my life and professional career as a holistic practitioner, I have found much meaning in serving others. The meaning of my entire life has been in serving others. It has been for me as though there are no “others” but only One being with many diverse and colorful faces, of which I am but one such expression. As I gave to others I was giving to myself. For me, there is no greater meaning one can find in life than giving of oneself in service to others.
Lead forth with Spirit
Further on in my letter I offered this assurance and encouragement to my grandson:
You are 18 now, and that number resolves to a 9 in numerology. Nine is the symbol of a completed cycle bringing forth. The circle on top represents the cycle completed, and the line coming down from the circle represents the One you are coming forth into your world to begin a new cycle, a new day. What you will create in this next cycle is entirely up to you. You have all that you need in yourself to achieve your presence in this world and to bring forth your gift. Always remember that Life provides for your needs at all times. All you need do is ask and you will receive from within; seek and you will find what you are looking for; knock and the way will open up before you. Just keep moving and your life will take form as you go forward. Lead forth with your spirit. All else will follow. . . .
Spirit. How many youngsters graduating from our scholastic institutions come away with an awareness of the importance of their spirit? “Lead forth with my spirit? You’ve got to be kidding. It’s my education that will get me what I want and need out of life: success, money, identity and meaning.” That’s what we were taught, and look where it’s got us. Mark Twain had a way of saying things that made people think: “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” The school of life is the one that matters, and one lives with or without a higher education. Spiritual education matters most. As we lead forth with our spirit, with our hearts through which spirit works, our minds with their concepts and ideas will follow to help in providing form for our dreams and aspirations born of spirit. But it’s spirit, vibration, that shapes our worlds.
The word education has the Latin root Educare which means to draw forth. What is there to be drawn forth by our teachers? Obviously that which is already there within the student: genius, creativity, something that’s new and unique, that’s not yet been given or seen! Something the world is waiting for and for which the times are ripe! Something that will make a difference in the world.
When our older son was setting out to make his life, he told me he just wanted to make a difference in the world. And so he has indeed. He didn’t go to college either. For as long as I’ve known him, he has led forth with his beautiful and creative spirit and zest for life. He is truly, and in every practical way, the light of his world. And his world gathered around him in rich abundance, pressed down and running over. Our younger son is having the same experience in his life. “Stuff” has a way of coming to those who love what they are doing in life, and in good measure and balance.
You see, the world is nothing but coagulated energy, made of light and sound vibrating at a myriad of frequencies. Energy is vibration and vibration shapes our worlds. The vibration of the light of love originates in spirit and is an attractive energy that draws substance together in a cohesive whole. The vibrations of greed and competition, on the other hand, originate in ego and are dissipating energies that require great effort in order to hold onto the stuff one accumulates to fill one’s world and hopefully give one a sense of meaning and value. Only it doesn’t. Meaning and value are not to be derived from stuff. They are inherent within our very being. We are human beings not human doings. Our meaning and value is in who we are as creators and not in what we do and create in our lives — and the nature of our meaning and value has very much to do with the times and places in which we were each placed.
We were made for these times and this place!
I said this in my letter to my grandson that I hope will give set him in search for his meaning:
And remember to give thanks in all things, no matter how hectic and turbulent things may get – and they will. Just keep looking up and, like the proverbial bar of soap, you will go up when squeezed. You can handle whatever comes to you, for you were made precisely for these times.
I am proud of you for simply being who you are, for who and what you are is enough. Always remember that. You are enough. As you mature spiritually, you will come to discover and reveal your Higher Self, that which we all seek to know more fully: our Self. But for now, you are enough. Now, go forth and shine your sweet and beautiful light, your unique gift to us all and to the world. You are the light of your world. Shine brightly so that you can see the way before you.
A wise teacher once said “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” We live in dark times, but it doesn’t help any to complain about them. We were each and every one of us made precisely and purposefully for these times. It doesn’t take a college education or a degree to see what is needed in our times. Should we need a reminder, we have the Peace Prayer of St. Francis to revisit from time to time. I’ll leave you with it.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Just reading this prayer ignites and fans a flame in the heart. “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” Yes! There is genuine meaning and purpose in these words. May they be a light in the world unto our young boys and girls of this new generation who face greater challenges than I know I did when I graduated from high school and college a few decades ago. God bless them each one and keep them safe.
Until my next post,
Be love. Be loved
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