What do we teach our children?
What do we teach our children? I often think back at my childhood, and wonder: what do I wish my parents had taught me? Let me start by saying that in this life I was blessed with wise and loving parents. I wouldn’t have wanted them to have been or have done anything differently. Yet, as I grow and develop new ideas and have internal realizations I sometimes wonder: ‘what if?’ I’m sure you too will sometimes wonder.
So the question as to how our life could have worked out differently had we know certain things we know now is not an unreasonable one. I hope to think that by looking back I can learn from my past.
Perhaps I should rephrase the question: If I would start over with the knowledge I have now, how can I positively change my future? When I accept reincarnation as a reality, this line of thinking becomes all the more important, knowing I have the power to change my destiny, in this life and the next. I am the product of my past, and I am shaping my future every moment with my current thoughts and actions.
The wiser my soul, the broader the spectrum of my awareness. By expanding my awareness beyond my current situation, and remembering my past lives, perhaps I can project and shape my future beyond the visible spectrum of ‘here and now’. I can gain an understanding of the consequences of my thoughts and actions and how these affect my future, even beyond this life.
So what would I have wanted to know?
I wish I had been taught that it is important to focus on 3 areas of life; my body, my mind and my Soul, or Self.
With body I mean the material world, and how my body interacts with it. I wish I had been told that to allow this body to move freely and happily, complete independence is paramount. This means understanding money, not looking at it as all-important, neither neglecting it. I wish I had understood early on that having enough of it will allow this body to be healthier and free. I would have given the pursuit of security more thought and be more aware of proportions, i.e. not over-emphasizing this pursuit, but be enough aware of its importance in the grand scheme of my life. I wish I would have been taught that true independence is also2 a material issue.
With mind I mean my inner world. I wish I had been taught that mind is everything. That without a pure and happy mind life is severely compromised. No matter what I do or don’t do, an understanding of how my actions affect my state of mind will allow me to create happiness consciously. Blind material pursuit (or negligence of it) without understanding how my actions affect my state of mind is living blindly. I wish I had been taught early on about this intimate relationship. I also wish that early on I would have understood that it is most important to seek happiness within, and that my actions and pursuits would have been primarily focused on my mind. Or, in relationship with the material world, that the things in the world would have been pursued only for the sake of achieving mental/inner happiness. And not have had the illusion that using my mental faculties for the sake of the things of the world would make me happy. I wish I would have understood early on that material independence is only independence when in service of a pure, light, and free mind.
With Souls or Self, I mean my true identity. I wish I would have been taught that at the end of the day, when this life is over, all that remains is my real Self. And that no matter how successful or comfortable I was in this world, the sum total of my actions will determine my future. I wish that early on I would have had the perspective, the insight, to understand that life needs to be looked upon beyond the visible spectrum of the ‘here and now’, and that we need to understand how we got to be here under these circumstances, and where our actions will lead us. I also wish I would have understood that the source of happiness lies within. That the Self is the nucleus, the inner light that, when manifested through a pure mind, allows me to be in bliss. That all other pursuits, material, and mental, are to be subservient to this understanding and need to serve this purpose alone. Freedom in the material world allows for mental freedom, and mental freedom allows the inner light of the Self to shine within, thus creating sustaining and real happiness. A trouble-free mind is a conduit of happiness, not the source of happiness. The source of happiness lies within the Self.
Taking this understanding with me now perhaps I can start over. Each moment is the beginning of a new life.
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