Why do we search for meaning in our lives? Why does it seem like we have a spiritual fire burning a hole in our souls?
Really, why should we do this? It holds no immediate gratification to find meaning in life and yet many people still yearn for it, search for it and work towards it.
What is this drive, this spiritual fire that pushes us into unknown territory, beyond the expectations of our family and culture? From where does it come?
Why do people hear a calling to serve others or to seek out new discoveries in science and art? Where does altruism come from and the desire to improve the human condition?
Animals don’t have this drive, this burning need to find meaning and contribution in life. Sadly, many humans who are oppressed by economic circumstances and religious dictates also don’t search for it because they have more pressing needs of the moment to attend to.
Only the person who has achieved a certain level of financial independence, and who can provide for their own needs of food, water, shelter and clothing seek this journey of meaning.
What is this burning need to find something greater than Earthly pleasures of comfort, distraction and entertainment?
The New Message from God calls this burning need “The Spiritual Fire”:
As a creature of the earth, your heart will continue to beat; your body will work. But these things cannot produce the desire to create, the desire to establish true relationships, the desire for meaning and the search for meaning. These must come from a deeper incentive that lives within you, deep down within you. This comes from the fire. – The Spiritual Fire
Consumer Goods Attempt to Satisfy our Spiritual Fire
So, we all have this Spiritual Fire. But BEWARE . For the person who has achieved a basic level of comfort and security, the mental environment is constantly appealing to our spiritual fire and attempting to drain and weaken it.
The advertisements running in the mental environment – on television, radio, and online – also know what is spiritual fire inside us. The advertisements speak to our deep yearnings for meaning, relationships, service and purpose in life.
Whether its a car or a toothpaste or an article of clothing, the promise of all advertisements is that we will be happier, filled with meaningful relationships and confidence with these products. Look at any advertisement and you can know this is true. They are appealing to our spiritual fire in a slightly dishonest way:
But no amount of possessions or purchases can satisfy the spiritual fire. It burns and drives us forward in search of that meaning and the truth of our lives:
This is your freedom, you see, for nothing in the world can extinguish this [spiritual fire]. It remains pure within you. Even if your life has been defiled; even if your life has been misspent; even if your life is currently under suffering, under subjugation or oppression by others, the fire is pure within you. It will give you the eyes to see and the ears to hear and the strength to look at life objectively. It will restore you from your obsessions and addictions, for it is more powerful than they.
Have the courage to see the messages behind the messages in our culture: the ads, the offers, the inducements which entice us to substitute our real life meaning for trinkets of short-lived pleasure. You need this spiritual fire; the world needs this spiritual fire. What is spiritual fire if not the ultimate truth of our reason for being in the world?
What’s the first thought or feeling that comes to you when you think of “work”?
For me, it was first dread and then excitement.
For most of my life, I dreaded work. I mostly hated school (except for gym class). I have disliked most of my jobs which were boring and uninspiring.
But I also have had great passion and success when I worked on my own projects. When I worked in creative pursuits, when I was building something, I could pour hours and hours of immeasurable energy into projects. It was as if everything I could give would be given, and even more than I knew I had to give.
In these circumstances, I felt alive. I felt a tangible meaning in my life. I was not a random mutation. I was not a misfit anymore.
The New Message recognizes this ambivalence of hating and loving work:
What is this work that we speak of? Is it your current employment, which you resist and have difficulty with? … Review how you have responded to work in the past—your desire to work, your ambivalence concerning work and your resistance to work. Recognize how all desire to escape work has really been a desire to discover Knowledge. – Steps to Knowledge
This revealed to me why I resisted school and resisted work. I had to know what my life was FOR before I could begin my true work!
It was not that I didn’t want to work or that I was lazy. I always knew I could work very hard on something when I was motivated.
That was the key for me: motivation! Why would I be motivated sometimes and not others?
Work with Knowledge is True Work
In the past, I didn’t see the point of studying something in school if I didn’t know how I would use it. Yes, some things just need to be learned in order to function in society and be an educated person.
Beyond these essentials of education, I really wanted to know what I was supposed to do with my life. What was the meaning, purpose and direction that I should follow?
If I knew these things, then I could focus like a laser on getting there by learning what I needed to learn and then accomplishing the things I knew I had to do in life. The New Message calls knowing the meaning, purpose and direction of life our “Knowledge.”
Your true work in the world is to discover your Knowledge and allow it to express itself through you. – Steps to Knowledge
In my jobs, I worked hard, but it was never because of money. Yes, money is a very useful thing and sometimes I didn’t have enough which really motivated me to work! But beyond having enough money to live on, very few jobs motivated me if I didn’t feel a meaning and purpose for me to do the job. I needed the money, but I didn’t need the job.
I see this with everyone when I look at the world. If you have enough money to live on, then you need something more to motivate you. You need inspiration; you need Knowledge to guide you to your life’s meaning, purpose and direction:
It is through your work and meaningful activity that you will experience your value—the value of your individual life and the assurance of your true destiny. Your true work guarantees you all things of value and provides you escape from all things that conceal you and render you helpless and miserable. – Steps to Knowledge
If you are searching for meaning in your life, I have news for you: life is what you make it!
At some point in our life, we search for meaning. We ask: where is it? How do I find it? What is the meaning of my life?
And the answer can be boiled down to what you do most often, most consistently, and most naturally. Life meaning is not 100% pre-destined, but we can’t create it either.
The New Message teaches that we’re always practicing something. Every day, every hour, every minute we’re practicing.
Remember that all you can do is practice. No matter what you do, you are practicing something, you are asserting something, you are confirming something and you are studying something. – Steps to Knowledge, Step 340
The trick is to practice the right things, to practice what we know our life is for. We must practice it in order to accomplish what we know we must do.
How can one KNOW what to do in life? How can anyone know that what they are doing is right for their life?
Steps to Knowledge provides a pathway to discover this meaning for every life, everywhere. It is a comprehensive guide for discovering life purpose, meaning and ultimately knowing that life is what you make it.
Currently, students of Steps to Knowledge are celebrating the period 25 years ago when this sacred text for life renewal, life redemption and life fulfillment was brought into the world through the Messenger, Marshall Vian Summers.
For 20 days, every night we gather in person and online to celebrate and to practice our Steps meditation. We listen for the still and ever-present voice that guides our deeper lives.
If those qualities sound like you would like in your life, they can be yours. Just start practicing – every day – what is important to you. If you follow the Steps to Knowledge exactly as they are given, you will know, too, that life is what you make it.
The New Message emphasizes the need of seeing the Big Picture of life in order to understand the meaning of our life. It’s a matter of perspective and understanding our true place in life.
Here’s an analogy: If we only know our local neighborhood, we don’t know what possibilities exist for us beyond it. We won’t know that there are many, many more people than who we know in our own neighborhood. It expands our perspective and understanding to meet people from places we have never seen or visited. It expands our potential ideas for where we can go, who we can meet and what we can accomplish in life.
The New Message asks us to take the same view of our life in the universe with billions and billions of worlds with intelligent races. If we only know of life on this planet, then we don’t really understand the full spectrum of life in the universe and our place in it.
We have to understand that we are living amidst a Greater community of worlds and that our life on Earth is a small part of our greater life.
This is seeing the Big Picture of life – not a small and isolated life within one planet or one lifetime. We are on a much larger journey of life, traveling through a vast cosmos of intelligent life on countless worlds, some of which we have been already, some of which we are destined to visit.
Doesn’t this make sense? Some of our deepest inclinations and thoughts don’t originate from this lifetime or planet. Haven’t you wondered how it is that you feel this way? It wasn’t all due to genetics or our environment.
This Greater perspective of a Greater reality in a Greater community of worlds can yield rich benefits of deep insight, knowledge, relationships of destiny and a greater sense of satisfaction in life and confidence about our real self-worth.
The Greater Community will alter how you see yourself, how nations here interact with one another and the whole priority of humanity. Its impact can be extremely beneficial if you can understand it correctly. - from “Entering the Greater Community”
If you aren’t seeing the big picture of life, you won’t be comprehending the big meaning of your life. By remaining focused on this small, but beautiful planet, we remain focused on our small, but beautiful life.
This is why you have come. You did not come to sleep on a beautiful planet, but to help preserve it and protect the human family from decline and from subjugation. - from “Entering the Greater Community”
The New Message is here to broaden our perspective so that we may have a bigger vision, a truer vision of our existence and reasons for being on this planet at this time.
Explore your Greater Reality.
Our ideas and preconceived notions of who we are, what life is about and what we should do in life all get in the way of seeing life for what it really is: simple and loving.
Within this simplicity of life we all have a mission, or destiny to fulfill. This mission usually isn’t complex or complicated. Our minds will want to make it so because the mind feeds of complexity, but really it is simple.
What makes life complex is that people want life to be what life is not, they want themselves to be what they are not and they want their destiny to be what it is not.Then they attempt to gain from life that which confirms their own idealism, and because life cannot confirm this, all becomes distressed, conflicted and complex.The mechanism of life may be complicated in its minute details, but the meaning of life is directly obvious to anyone who looks without the distortion of judgment or preference
Learn more about how to discover your Personal Destiny.
Coming out of the holiday season, some people get depressed and believe that their life is not necessary or meaningful.
Like George Bailey from the Frank Capra movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” we sometimes lose sight of how vital and necessary our life is.
Our job gets us down. The weather can get us down. Our local sports teams can get us down. Even things that normally make us happy can get us down: pets, children, even our favorite food.
I love this film because it reminds me of how necessary my life is and how important everyone’s life is. Steps to Knowledge touches on this truth and goes one step further:
Your life is a necessity. Its importance is not merely for you alone, but for the world as well. If you can comprehend this in truth, this will override any sense of unworthiness or indolence that you may still possess. For if your life is a necessity, then it has purpose, meaning and direction. If your life is a necessity, then all other lives are a necessity as well. In this, you will wish to harm no one but instead will seek to affirm Knowledge in everyone. This necessity, then, bears with it the strength and the direction that you require and provides you with the grace and depth that you must receive for yourself. A necessary life is a meaningful life. – Step 172 from Steps to Knowledge
A Necessary life is a Meaningful life
If we could all see how vitally important our life was and what the purpose of us being here was, there would be no more depression, hopelessness, addiction, or anxiety. Vitality would spring forth effortlessly!
People would be busy living their important lives – not in an ego sense of being better that others – but important in the true sense of living a life they know that MUST live: in service to humanity or in service to the Earth and its living creatures. A necessary life is a meaningful life!
Interested in connecting with your the necessary and meaningful life that you were born to live? Knowledge holds the answers for you. Take the Steps to Knowledge and start to discover your necessary and meaningful life today:
Pablo Picasso understood the meaning of life. He knew that life was for more than temporary pleasures or stimulation.
Picasso knew through his own efforts that the meaning of life was to discover our true gifts and then to give them to the world. How do we realize our gifts? How do we find this meaning?
The New Message advocates stillness as the most direct path to discovering and remembering our purpose:
“Give yourself completely into stillness and silence. Give of your heart and give of your mind. Give all that you realize you can give, for this is a gift to the world. Though you cannot as yet see the result, have confidence that this giving will extend beyond your own mind and will touch all minds in the universe, for all minds are truly joined in reality.” – Read more quotes on Stillness
“To begin with let us speak about what Knowledge is and why it is so important for you. Knowledge represents the deeper Spiritual Mind within you. The Mind that Knows…What was Created by God is Knowledge within you, this deeper mind that we are describing. So for now be content, realize Knowledge is your connection to God, it is how you can experience God, most directly, and it is the part of you that has really come into the World for a Mission. In other words, Knowledge contains the memory of your Creator, the memory of your purpose for being here and the blue print for your mission in life.” – Greater Community Spirituality
We can’t just assume that we are in the right place, doing the right things with the right people because we have Knowledge. This Knowledge must be felt, and especially, it must be heard.
In my experience, Knowledge is the very soft voice deep within me that tells me where I need to go and what I must do to fulfill my mission. It is under my conscious awareness most of the time. If I have to “think about” Knowledge, I can’t hear it.
My mind that knows the blue print for my life’s mission is quiet and very different from my monkey mind that wants exciting activities and fantastic ideas. It is the still mind, that must be developed through a practice of inner listening, that knows where my life is taking me.
Knowledge is like a gentle, steady breeze that is constantly pushing me in a certain direction in order to reach my destiny.
In stillness I can read the blue print for my life’s mission. In stillness, all things can be known…
When I was a young man looking to start a career, I was bedazzled with many alluring choices in life.
I could become a teacher, a doctor, a business man, an artist, and the list went on and on. Many fortunate people in the World face this same struggle and continually ask themselves, “What I should I do? I have so many choices in life!”
The mere fact that you believe you have choices [in life] is an indication that your certainty is beyond your awareness. – Secrets of Heaven, Step 36
They’re saying that when we consider Option A over Option B, we really don’t know what we’re doing. We don’t have the certainty of purpose that gives our life meaning.
Knowledge Eliminates Choices in Life
In other words, if we’re having a hard time making a decision, we need to get in touch with what our life is really for and we need to discover Knowledge. The book continues to explain about Knowledge and choices in life…
For when you know, there is no choice. What is known is of God. In time, your knowing will become so strong that the burden of decision making will fall away from you. Without choices, the mind is free and can rest and enjoy, unafraid of what it must choose between. Without choice is perfect faith in the knowledge that everything that is known leads to greater peace. - Secrets of Heaven, Step 36
So, choices are really burdens in disguise. My culture always promoted choice as “freedom”. But seen from the Angels’ perspective, choice just slows us down as we strive to find meaning in our life and to live it.
Source: New York Times
Meditation Leads to Meaningful Life
It’s worth noting that these meditation methods are not just useful, but inexpensive. You don’t need a drug or an injection. You don’t have to become a Buddhist, or adopt any particular religious faith. Everybody has the potential to lead a peaceful, meaningful life. We must explore as far as we can how that can be brought about.
The calamity of 9/11 demonstrated that modern technology and human intelligence guided by hatred can lead to immense destruction. Such terrible acts are a violent symptom of an afflicted mental state. To respond wisely and effectively, we need to be guided by more healthy states of mind, not just to avoid feeding the flames of hatred, but to respond skillfully. We would do well to remember that the war against hatred and terror can be waged on this, the internal front, too.
I try to put these methods into effect in my own life. When I hear bad news, especially the tragic stories I often hear from my fellow Tibetans, naturally my own response is sadness. However, by placing it in context, I find I can cope reasonably well. And feelings of helpless anger, which simply poison the mind and embitter the heart, seldom arise, even following the worst news.
If humanity is to survive, happiness and inner balance are crucial. Otherwise the lives of our children and their children are more likely to be unhappy, desperate and short. Material development certainly contributes to happiness – to some extent – and a comfortable way of life. But this is not sufficient. To achieve a deeper level of happiness we cannot neglect our inner development.
Ready to try a program of meditation to create meaning in your life? Take the Steps To Knowledge.