15 Dec Living Selflessly Beyond The Body
The one who plants trees knowing he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life. ~ Rabindranath Tagore
Few of us ever consider the virtue and nobility of a lifetime. For most, the only importance in this lifetime is attributed to the body, its gender and its survival. Our bodies have become the mania to our lives.
We are so obsessed with our bodies and the ego that defines them that we lose sight of the origin of the Life we actually live in. Most of us are completely unaware of how the body and the brain work. Hence, we are easily duped by our deceptive body chemistry and give ourselves over to the biological process of this earth.
It is all a “sleight of hand” trick that the body purports to our senses. NOTHING in this world IS AS IT SEEMS.
There is a big difference between the state of our LIFE and the manner of our living. Very few people truly realize the difference. ~ Siraj
In our youth we are the “king of the hill” and feast upon another person’s weakness in order to survive and increase our assets. Then suddenly one day the tables are turned due to old age coming upon us and we become the “meat” on the plate of another man’s dinner table, metaphorically speaking, and are devoured.
As we grow old we are culturally considered a “non-person.” As we dwindle physically and mentally and are weakened through age, our society considers us non-essentials and even an actual burden to the economy and the society as a whole. The elderly, with diminishing attributes, become unimportant and irrelevant to the economics and morals of a new society that regulates the cruelty and acceptability of human antics, which mortify the elderly. Hence, our lives are overlooked and we become “eaten up” as a worthless commodity.
Ah, I am reminded of one of my favorite stories that was given to me many years ago. It brings tears to my eyes as it is about the ride (via the body) that all of us will eventually take in our lifetime.
Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window.
Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation.
Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself.
So, I walked to the door and knocked. “Just a minute,” answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase.
The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
“Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.
She kept thanking me for my kindness. “It’s nothing,” I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated.”
“Oh, you’re such a good boy,” she said.
When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”
“It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly.
“Oh, I don’t mind. Actually, today is my birthday.” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.”
I looked in the rearview mirror. Her eyes were glistening.
“I don’t have any family left,” she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.”
I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
“What route would you like me to take?” I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a young girl.
Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing. As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.”
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door.
The woman was already seated in a wheelchair. “How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse.
“Nothing,” I said.
“You have to make a living,” she answered.
“There are other passengers,” I responded. Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.
“You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you.” I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life. I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift.
I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly speak. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware and beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID, BUT THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL ABOUT WHAT THEY REFUSED TO REALIZE.
We have made survival our sole purpose for living. The body and its impulses are the “everything” that drives us into an assumed livingness. Driven by impulses, we live head on into all sorts of mischief that distracts our attentions from the authentic LIFE we know nothing about – the Way to a LOVE that is transcending.
We are out of harmony with the LIFE and this planet due to side-pathing our attentions toward gratifying the body’s genetic whims and urges, governed by the ego and emotions, as our sole mission in life.
Everything in our society is about the state of the body. Most people actually believe that the body is merely a matter of birth, livingness and death as the totality of life. It is not!
Love is the point of everything in this world. ~ Siraj
We must be intelligent and un-eclipsed by emotionality in order to allow for insight beyond the confines of the body’s agenda. We begin by sitting in the Silence, without guilt or shame, and simply observe our own lifelessness through the futility of trying to preserve the ego through emotionality. Authentic living involves a selflessness that our ego and emotionality cannot endure. So it is selflessness that matters most. It is that simple.
Begin by wanting “no-thing” with all of your Heart
Then be “born again” in this lifetime - not through the body, but through the Spirit, the Authentic
Live in the depth of generosity that puts the ego into perspective
Vow with all your energies to live in the virtue of simplicity, solitude and the silence
Live in selfless surrender to Love