Enjoy the festive season, but do not despair if the fun does not last, welcome it.
Should you at some stage feel emptiness, face those “so what” moments, or suffer existential pains; do not despair. Do not ignore your experience either and do not even try changing it with different, new or more intense activities. Instead, slow down, take a a few deep breaths and wonder whether the pains might be related to your soul making its presence felt. It could perhaps be a prelude to the potential birth of your true self. It might be a growth opportunity for you.
Rumi, in Discourses of Rumi elaborates on this in his wonderful story-telling manner which I’d like to share the gist of it with you below.
One day Rumi pays an unexpected visit to the king; surprised and overwhelmed the king asks him: to what fortune do I owe such an honour from you? In reply Rumi tells him:
It is all because of your lofty spiritual aspirations. The higher and greater your rank and the more you become occupied with important, exalted worldly affairs, the more you consider yourself to have fallen short of your spiritual purpose. You are not satisfied with what you have achieved, thinking that you have too many obligations. Since none of these attainments can blind you from that divine attainment, my heart is moved to serving you. And yet for all that, still, I wanted to pay you formal honour as well.
He goes on to emphasise that the worldly matters are of importance and must not be ignored, yet we all have a higher life purpose which we have a choice whether we attend to or not. It is fine not to listen to our calling, many people live like that and that is also part of life. It is however, an opportunity for growth which is always accompanied with some kind of pain in order to wake us up and to motivate us.
It is pain that guides us in every enterprise. Until there is an ache within, a passion and a yearning for that thing arising within us, we will never strive to attain it. Without pain it remains beyond our reach, whether it is success in this world or salvation in the next, whether we aim at becoming a merchant or a king, a scientist or an astronomer.
It was not until the pains of birth manifested in Mary that she made for the tree. Those pains drove her to the tree, and the tree that was withered became fruitful.
Like Mary every one of us has a Jesus within, but until the pains manifest, our Jesus is not born. If the pains never come, then our child rejoins its origin by the same secret path through which it came, leaving us empty, without the birth of our true self.
It would be best for us to strike a balance between our worldly and spiritual needs and attend to both. Unfortunately most of us ignore our soul and overfeed our worldly needs. While this might alleviate our existential pains but also sends our inner Jesus child back to its origin; leaving us barren, unsatisfied and empty regardless of our levels of achievement or fun.
Your inward soul is hungry.
Your outward flesh is overfed.
The devil has gorged to sickness.
The king begs even for bread.
The cure is found while Jesus is here on earth!
But once he returns to heaven,
all hope will have fled.
* From Discourse 5 of Discourses of Rumi.
The story of birth of Jesus that Rumi refers to is based on the Qur’an which is slightly different in details from that in the Bible. Nevertheless the core meaning is the same; not only in both Christianity and Islam, but also in all traditions as a universal principle. Jesus said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21).
For an elaboration on the universality of the message please read: The Kingdom Of God Is Within You