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It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

by Michael Levy(more info)

listed in personal growth, originally published in issue 155 - February 2009

Going Along Just Because

Wherever we turn today, we find a financial guru, spiritual teacher, inspirational life coach, religious leader, scientific author, media expert or academic professor, etc., who is keen to be paid  to teach us how to live our lives or educate our minds with analytical sophistication. Each one suggests different approaches of how living successfully should be achieved. There may be nothing wrong with listening to other people's advice; however, on the other hand, there may not be too much right with it if we understand there is a better choice within ourselves.
 
In the movie The Seven Samurai, there is a scene with Steve McQueen. He is asked why he and his six companions are helping poor Mexican villagers fight a large band of villains that greatly outnumber them. The seven are only being paid one Peso for risking their lives to help the oppressed people.
 
Steve smiles and tells a tale of a man who stripped naked and ran into a large cactus and hugged it. When asked why he did it, the man replied ... It seemed like a good idea at the time.
 
How many ideas that seemed good at the time have been fed to you by experts that turned out to be a waste of time and money?
 
Did you follow the advice of a financial expert who may have done well for a number of years but eventually lost you most of your investments? [à la Bernard Madoff] On reflection, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
 
Did you make a visit to Rome and walk through the Vatican? Did you see all the tapestries and paintings that depict holy wars, mayhem and fighting? All the great monumental churches in the past that were paid for by poor people, who lived in poverty, yet were indoctrinated to support 'good ideas of religion' because of the fear of God's wrath. On reflection, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
   
Did visits to doctors, psychiatrists, hospitals, who only knew how to treat symptoms and not the cause, do more harm than good with a constant build up of medical drugs that contain detrimental side-effects, and now you are dependent on them for survival. On reflection, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
 
Did you pay more than you could afford to attend one posh spiritual retreat or seminar after another, all filled with eloquent squeakers? It allowed your ego to feel satisfied by listening to spiritual advice as a substitute for your own soul delivering its true silent wisdom. At the time of listening to the guru's voices it seemed to do the spiritual trick, but when tragedy struck your life, it did not work too well. On reflection, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
                       
Did you attend university crammed with fine analytical ideas, came away with a great education, only to find in later life the education was detached from wisdom and left you in a big hole of resentment. On reflection, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
 
Did you become a successful expert or celebrity who enjoyed the admiration of the public? So much so, that all your life was taken up by acting out roles, delivering lectures, writing books, fashioning lots of fame and fortune... only to find out on a near death experience, the time could have been better delegated by knowing when enough was enough. On reflection, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
               
Did successful business trips cause you to spend less time with family and thus end up in an acrimonious divorce? On reflection, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
 
In-deed, many times, days spent achieving more success, becomes a lack of time spent in peacefulness. Abundance of busy-ness becomes a lack of serenity. Occupied mind, full of unusable knowledge, becomes a lack of silent tranquillity. Consequently, a lack of intellectual expert advice could lead to a simple life of truer prosperity.
 

Getting Back into Our Centre

Enhancing the desires of the ego often leads even the wealthiest person to ask, where did it all go wrong, when the gilt wears off the acquisitions. How can we achieve a more authentic existence without looking back in anguish saying, "it seemed like a good idea at the time"?
 
There are over six billion people on earth, and most are not aware they are at the centre of their universe, thus can direct their daily actions in a valid manner from a central point of view.
 
When an individual travels around the surface of earth in a 360 degree circle they know they will eventually come back to the place they started. However, once we start to mark out a point on the map where we believe we belong, we will start to position ourselves from that point. We see the world through materialistic eyes that we possess. We compare our distance from each point, and start to be intellectually north of centre, academically south of centre, politically east of centre or religiously west of centre.
 
Our authentic inner home is beckoning us, but alas our conditioned mind will not let go of its hold. Consequently, we will not return to our inner home base wisdom because we have divided our ego self, from our true self, and severed our invisible connection of intelligence from the whole of the cosmos.
 
Once we have a fabricated division in our view point, we then have something to defend. A territory, a tribe, an intellectual point of view, constructed from manmade logic and reason. All this framework of opinions, ideas and suggestions builds up materialistic desires both tangible and imaginary.
 
Consequently, we will feel an inner attack of low self-esteem if we feel we have a lack, or we will go on the offensive of egotistical arrogance if we feel we have an abundance of knowledge or possessions superior to other people. Progress of humankind is not measured by materialism; however, the way we now view life in the modern world is dependent upon faltering, yet highly praised information. We have become a slave to a mixture of sophisticated belief systems.
 
There will always be people, especially in the media, who point to all the bad things in this world. Fortunately, we do have a choice of how we can view our world. We can live in a body and mind without spirit's guidance, egotistically believing the world revolves around only us and live just on the outside surface, seeking other people's good ideas. This way of life leads to negative emotions, frustrations and an unbalanced mind. Alternatively, we can live as a free infinite spirit centrally directing a temporal body and mind? As wholesome people, on a wholesome planet, for the betterment of all humanity.
 

Living from the Inside Out

When we see ourselves at the centre of the universe from our inner perspective looking outward to our surface life, we  recognize everyone else also as centred beings and we give respect, for all life forms are worthy ...  All are central in the universal circumference of existence.
 
When we expand this realization, we understand that everything in life is at the centre of the Cosmos...In the centre of infinity. No longer do we measure our self-worth in a distance, a possession or a difference from anyone else. Moreover, we see ourselves as a central player in an infinite field of pure potential. In other words, we are all wholesome beings, central to the whole-sum of all things.
 
This message is very important to understand and it is not easy to accept, but unless we do, we will be fighting and arguing, armed with all our good ideas gained at great expense of squandered time, money and energy of past generations of ignorance personified. 
 
It is far more enjoyable consuming our time on earth arranging authentic illustrations of harmony and contentment for others to follow, via our central spirit's infinite wisdom. By sitting in the centre of our own reflections we can echo the messages delivered to our minds from the golden silence of limitless universal insights.  Each one of us is unique in our human form, and our creativity should not be surrendered to what seems to be other people's good ideas.
 
Therefore, how about that we stop seeking the next big or good idea and start to realize all our dreams and aspirations came to fruition when we were born with the gift of life. It is nice to achieve success and prosper; however, unless we live from the centre of our true creation we will wallow on the surface of our existence, and the deep joy of life will evade our existence on earth.
 
So the next time you get the urge to buy an expensive DVD, book or seminar, on how to live a successful life, go to the grocery store, buy a loaf of bread, go to the park, sit beside a pond and feed the ducks. When you hear them quacking and wagging their tails in delight, you will learn more than any human being can teach you about the simple way to live in joy.
 

References

Levy M Professional optimist. In Love and Joy.  http://www.pointoflife.com
"Cultures suffer because they journey through life in differing circles with only the surface connecting the wheels." - Michael Levy
Over the waves of the Internet, turbulent oceans of the mind may develop tranquil thoughts at ...  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/pointoflife/2008/07/23/The-Point-of-Life-Inspirational-Show-with-Michael-Levy

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About Michael Levy

Michael Levy is an international talk show host, philosopher, poet and the author of sixteen inspirational books. His latest book, available on Amazon is That's Rich: Connect the Dots. One of Michael’s recent books is on healthy eating, meaningful thinking and authentic living and is available on Amazon - Well Well Well: Eat Well, Think Well, Live Well. The first section deals with food and nutrition, with many useful ideas on how to stay healthy and active throughout a lifetime on earth. The second part of the book turns the microscope on the way we humans process our thoughts and the ways they can destroy via ignorance or invigorate our lives in a meaningful way via inner truth and wisdom. The third part of the book help people to obtain full value for the time they have been gifted for time is our most precious asset, we need to spend it wisely. The last part of the book is an excellent guide to mediation via metaphysical spiritual poetry. Michael's poetry and essays enhance many web sites, newspapers, journals and magazines throughout the world. He is a prominent speaker on health and wellness maintenance, stress eradication, wealth creation and development, authentic happiness and inspirational poetry. Michael's web site: www.pointoflife.com/

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