On Beyond the Bad News
Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
There is an erroneous notion out there I’ve noticed, that somehow by being worried about the world or yourself, or serious and heavy, or angry or fearful, and sharing in the “news” you’ve heard, or the thing that happened to you, or how doomed we or the planet supposedly is, that one is somehow more responsible, aware, deeper, more in touch, authentic, more realistic and practical. Nothing could be further from the truth.
We see troubles, lacks and fears not only as important but as real, and wearing the bad news and drama for all to see, commiserating with others, as an adult duty. It is a habit we have seen and choose to participate in. We see almost everyone else doing it, so why not join in the fun?
Artists and writers too will consider their pain, heartache, suffering and deep dark past as good, worthy material, and in sharing with other artists or an audience, they are being significant and profound. This is also a false notion.
It is an odd idea indeed. While it’s true you’ll be more in touch with the pack, it is false that it’s more helpful, authentic, deep, or responsible. You are actually, overtly or secretly, enjoying it, reveling in the negativity and drama. If you have a glimpse of this fact, it can help set you free. It’s not bad, it’s just stupid.
In fact, being happy is your highest responsibility, not just now during a “crisis” but in life as a whole. Not a responsibility like a human one, but a calling: a calling from within the very nature of life itself, to rediscover that which you are, what you knew before you were born into a body.
By being unhappy (fearful, hateful, doomed…), you are less resourceful, less intelligent, less useful to anyone (including yourself) and actually blasphemous in a sense, compared to what you really are. In contrast, being at peace within yourself is the greatest service to humanity, the most loving to yourself and all others you are in contact with. It will radiate itself, effortlessly…
You have no duty to be heavy and dense like others. You do have a sacred trust to be your true self, and find out what that is.
Be courageous, stand alone. Don’t go along with the crowd. Turn off the news and turn off the reporting. In the long run you will feel more intimate with life than you ever did (except perhaps as a child). But now this child-like experience will be with adult self-awareness. What a wonderful way to be!
Wouldn’t you rather feel light, have a laugh, smile at your neighbor, see a “stranger” as a friend, whether they acknowledge it or not, wave and whistle while you work and play, go about your daily business? Wouldn’t you rather play with a dog until your grin is so wide it hurts? Wouldn’t you rather cry from the love you feel in your heart that you cannot describe, like a warm glow of light, dissolving all illusory barriers? This is your birthright and covenant with reality, with entirety, with eternity.
From that standpoint then you can help the world, if that is your calling.