The problem for most of us is that we see the world as an end in itself, rather than as a means to an end.
When I treat the world as an end in itself, I end up chasing money to buy happiness, power to exert control, pleasure for its own sake.
There’s nothing wrong with money, power or pleasure. But they’re vehicles, baby, like the old song says. They represent experience, and experience is the road to enlightenment. It’s not enlightenment itself.
What end is the world a means to?
It’s a means of remembering who and what we really are. Some people call this learning and say that there are lessons to be learned here. I like to think of it as recollecting – as re-collecting – who and what we really are from the seemingly disconnected bits of our experience.
How can I tell the difference between when I’m using the world as a means to an end as opposed to when I’m using it as an end in itself?
By asking myself: Am I happy, right now, today? Am I grateful? Do I want what I have, or am I telling myself that I’ll be happy when I have something different, something else, something better? Am I in the moment? If I can answer these questions to my satisfaction, I’m remembering what I am and always have been. I’m realizing that the world is a vast carnival of experiences to be enjoyed, or accepted, yet never to be taken too damned seriously. So that at the end I can laugh at it all and say: What a ride!
© 2022 by Michael C. Just
Mike’s novel, The Dirt: The Journey of a Mystic Cowboy, is available in softcover or eBook formats through Amazon.
You can purchase the book through this website. Or go straight to amazon at https://www.amazon.com/s?k=the+dirt+journey+of+a+mystic+cowboy&crid=1S40Q4BXSUWJ6&sprefix=the+dirt%3A+journey+of+a+m%2Caps%2C180&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_23
Mike’s other titles, including The Crippy, The Mind Altar, and Canyon Calls, are available through this website or through Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002
Three of his short stories have recently been published online:
Lies, Ltd. has been published by The Mystery Tribune @ Lies, Ltd., a short story by Mike just, has been published by the Mystery Tribune – Just Mike Just
The Obligate Carnivore has been published by the Scarlet Leaf Review @ Category: MICHAEL JUST – SCARLET LEAF REVIEW
I See You, Too has been published by the 96th of October @ I See You, Too – 96th of October