These days I look around at the speed at which the world is moving and the many ways we are being caught in the quagmire of technology and digital devices, and the rampant consumerism we are being sold where we can buy something today and have it on our doorstep tomorrow, I sometimes wonder what we think we are achieving.
It seems to me there is an inner emptiness that we are trying to fill, which can never be filled with all the things we are busy with. I notice in myself whenever I want to get on the computer in those empty moments or to compulsively buy something online, that there is something within that I don’t want to feel. It is something that is calling me to pay attention, either a sorrow or a grief or a fear that my soul is moving through. If we are paying attention there is much to feel and much to grieve in our world today.
Fortunately I am dedicated to my meditation practice that invites me to be still, to look within and to pay attention to the places that are uncomfortable or scary to face and feel within myself. It is hard enough even with that to stay focused on what is important and abiding.
I often ask myself “Are you filling the hole right now, or are you feeding
your Soul?” This makes it very clear what my focus is and where I am
putting my attention.
Primary and Secondary Satisfactions
There are primary satisfactions in life, and there are secondary satisfactions.
The secondary satisfactions in life are the ones most of us these days are occupied with; getting through the endless e-mails (which never end, by the way!), being engaged with social media, getting ahead in our career and the pursuit of progress, status and success, buying the latest new gadget on Amazon, and many more activities that are mostly virtual and not actual satisfactions. They in some way have to do with an idea of success or fulfillment or happiness in the future. The future, as we have been told,
does not actually exist, just as the past does not, except as a projection
of our own minds.
The only place that truly exists and the only place where we can find happiness is in the present moment, which unfortunately is where we spend very little time. Primary pleasures have to do with being fully engaged in what is here now, the things that bring us a sense of ease and well being, contentment and joy, even if they have no “useful“ purpose in the long-term aspect of our lives, which is where we are told we should have our focus.
Activities that up until recently were a large part of our lives, and our ancestors regularly engaged in, like cooking and sharing meals together as a family and as community, spending time in Nature, hunting, fishing, tending to a garden, sitting around the fire on a winters evening and sharing stories and songs, dancing and creating art.
I realize as I write this that the millenials probably think I am talking about a world long forgotten, being so busy with their Instagram and instantly accessible techno information and entertainment. Each ping of the text fires some dopamine in the brain, giving us temporary pleasure, but leaving a deeper need unfulfilled, and leaving us ultimately more stressed and less present in our lives.
An Ancient Memory and Longing
I know that in each of our souls is a memory and a longing for something deeper, more fulfilling. I know that much of the distress, loneliness, and isolation that is both the symptom and the cause of so much unhappiness and psychological problems is because of the fact that we are all trying to fill the hole, this aching need for something which technology is not giving us.
Are you longing to find a way to feed your Soul? To give yourself the primary satisfactions of the kind that bring us together as human beings and connect our hearts and minds to what is real and true, the values that our ancestors knew, which nourishes us in a deeper way. On one level we have a world that is more materially rich than ever before, but our hearts ache for the kind of simple pleasures our ancestors knew; connection to our hearts, to our loved ones, to family, friends, community, cosmos, Mother Nature. We long for a sense of belonging. These are the primary pleasures that truly feed our Soul.
As we look around in our world we see a world rapidly losing its Soul, so lost in the progress of the material that people are left floundering, countless species are dying, our Planet is being plundered and we are losing touch with the sacred.
This is why I invite you my friends, to pay attention to what feeds your Soul, and let go of what simply fills the hole. Find a way to bring the things that truly bring you joy, for no reason at all, do the things that you love to do, such as taking the time to read a good book, play with an animal or a young child, paint, write poetry, invite friends to dinner and spend hours preparing and sharing a meal, revive the intimate conversations that deepen intimacy, dance and sing in company where you can let your heart open and your Soul soar.
May you remember what truly brings you joy and deep fulfillment. May you fall in love once more with the one wild and precious life that you have been given,
and in this way make a big difference in a world that so desperately needs
to reclaim it’s Soul.
Many Blessings ~ Rajyo