A recent conversation with an acquaintance at the gym included these two lines:
Me: “at the end of it all you’re not going to wish you had worked more, but you’ll probably wish you had danced more.”
Acquaintance: “you must be independently wealthy to think like that.”
I haven’t thought of it this way before but that is exactly how I would describe living with purpose. As a result of my practice I have come to a place where there is no reward in this world greater than taking refuge in The Path. Being able to just sometimes identify with Self provides me with enough space to comprehend how all of the wealth in the world could not buy the Peace of Self-Realization.
Or the Joy.
Or the Contentment.
Or the Bliss.
Or nothing at all.
I am astonished at the depth to which I understand these things despite being as caught up in the illusion as I am. This suggests that traveling further down this path will certainly reveal how the riches of the world are no more than baubles and trinkets.
Alexander the Great realized death was upon him and made a request for something that had never been done. He told his court, “When you carry my dead body in the streets, let both my hands hang out. Don’t cover them.”
He was questioned as to why he would want such a thing and he replied:
“I want it to be known that I am dying with empty hands. Everybody must see it and nobody should try to be Alexander again. I have gained much and have still gained nothing. My kingdom is great but I am still poor.”
That’s it! Once you reach the height of success in this world, whatever that may be for you, you begin to realize the emptiness and the poorness of your true condition. When there is nothing left in this world to conquer, the only thing that remains is the Self. And if we have not done our work in that area then we have forfeited our time in this place.
Alexander died poor but I do not plan on going out that way. I will continue to develop lasting wealth within and not be fooled by this world’s promises of fame or fortune.
In the words of Jesus:
“do not store up treasures here on earth…store your treasures in heaven.”
Everything gained within this world will be lost either to rust or moth or thieves or death. But the work we do for Self or God or MonkeyDrop will last forever. The extent to which all of my work and all of my deeds are done for that Supreme cause is the extent to which I am Independently Wealthy.
All of this reminds me of a song we used to sing back in church:
“This joy that I have, the world didn’t give it to me…the world didn’t give it and the world can’t take it away…”