There has never been a time when the earth has been more inhabited. People, plastic bottles, car parts, computers and chemical byproducts clutter the ocean and land alike. Perhaps less thought about is the sound vibration that each and every manifest form carries with it. With all that stuff in the world, the sound vibrations infiltrating the planet over are louder than ever! Indeed, we have more channels that carry sound than ever before in the forms of television, radio, internet and mobile broadcasting. In the midst of the sound overload it can be easy to be mislead, this way and that. Politicians, media, religions all selling their wares, trying to convince us that we will be happier, better versions of our self with their product.
It is easy to feel distracted, confused and even lost when there is so much information seemingly ‘coming at us’; it becomes difficult to focus on one point. Ironically, as half the world walks around aimlessly with their bows on the wrong target, the others are being driven out of house and home without the ability to speak out. Lacking the ability to communicate verbally with humans, the wildlife and wilderness are dropping away from our ecosystem as they are raped and pillaged, driven into smaller and smaller areas.
So, what to do? The situation today on earth can seem futile, considering the above.
How do we reconnect with purpose in a world that seems so out-of-control, unfair and senseless? What is the point?
If you ask most people what the point of their life is, they will say it’s to be happy. But what is happiness? When we attach happiness to external factors, we end up missing the point time and time again.
In the epic poem, the Bhagavad Gītā, a battle between light and dark forces is imminent. Arjuna is chosen by the light side as their greatest warrior. He is not chosen for reasons like his bravery, archery skills, or his powerful muscles. Instead, Arjuna is declared the greatest warrior because of his ability to focus on the point. While other soldiers are looking this way and that, Arjuna’s gaze is fixed. What is his point of focus? He remains transfixed by his charioteer, who is Krishna. Krishna is pure consciousness.
Krishna, Shiva, consciousness, or perhaps there is another name you give complete and dimensional awareness. The point is that happiness does not come in a bottle. Happiness is that which we can never hold or attain, but is simply, that which we are. We are all on a journey, on our battlefield, not unlike Arjuna. While we may aim at a destination, a person a profession or a skill, who is to say if we will ever get there, and what we will find if we do finally arrive? Understanding and falling in love with the journey is the point; learning to make decisions that go beyond the ups and downs of short term cravings and desires that will eventually but inevitably come to an end. Ironically, as we get to know our self, we become self-less, aiding in the care of those without a voice so they are not overlooked and treating all beings with equanimity. That is consciousness, and that is the point.
Beyond more gadgets, a bigger house or a better job, when we stop looking this way and that, listening to so-and-so’s opinions and judging what everyone is doing around us, we can start a journey inwards; one with less plastic, styrofoam and background noise. Through practices like meditation we can get to know ourselves, and snuff out some of the external noise, to listen more clearly to what is going on, not in the mind, but in the heart. When we see beyond the external factors we yearn for that we think will make us happy, we might start to understand that underneath all of that is consciousness, the continuous stream that connects all living beings.
It can take time to peel away the layers of noise and suffering to connect with this, which is why we practice. We practice by meditating, chanting, moving mindfully, reading inspiring texts that remind us that while we have a body and mind, we are more than that. We practice until we become. All the while, we are consciousness, and that is the point.