One of the great benefits of the isolation brought on by the COVID pandemic was more time spent at home. A year or so ago when the shelter-in-place order was given in our state, I decided to use the confinement to finish my basement.
We had moved into a wreck of a house which we had rehabbed over the course of the previous summer, not moving in until early fall. The basement was an even bigger disaster than the rest of the house, but last on our list of priorities to address, and a convenient place to shove all the miscellaneous belongings we weren’t ready to deal with.
As fall transitioned into winter, the basement clutter gradually dissipated, and I was left with this largely empty space absent flooring and featuring damaged walls, drooping ceiling tiles, broken cabinetry, and a layer of grime and filth coating all. I looked around and thought – this will be my COVID project.
Over the course of the ensuing year, I repaired, replaced, and painted; I installed flooring, cabinetry, lighting, and trim. Day by day, evening by evening, weekend by weekend, this horrid space my children refused to visit gradually transformed into something new, something bright, something clean and welcoming.
Last weekend, my wife came downstairs and declared the basement a fait accompli. Like a pollinating bee, she began hanging pictures on the walls, rolling rugs onto the floor, and arranging furniture. When she was finished, my construction project had been transformed even further into something warm, inviting, and comfortable.
As we stood there inspecting our combined handiwork, she turned to me and commented how proud I must feel seeing the result of all my hard work. My reaction was rather ho-hum. Make no mistake – I was glad that it was done and useable, but I didn’t really experience any sort of glee or elation or pride over the accomplishment. My wife shook her head. What was wrong with me?
It’s always been that way with my creations. I’m a creative person. I write. I cook. When I cook, I enjoy combining tasty and nutritious ingredients together into dishes I believe my family will enjoy. When it comes time to put my creation on the table, however, I rarely have an appetite. I write, but don’t particularly like to read what I’ve put to page (once I’m done editing and re-writing), typically having grown rather tired of looking at my words. I was rapidly becoming convinced I had a deep-seated psychological defect that would take years to unravel and heal.
The Monday after our de facto basement ribbon cutting, still puzzling over my apparent inability to celebrate the successful culmination of my year-long subterranean efforts, I stumbled across the Shaltazar message The True Purpose of Human Life. Therein was my answer.
I remember hearing or reading that life is about the journey, not the destination, which is pretty much what this message affirmed. In Western society, we are results-driven – programmed as children to work and strive, win, conquer, achieve. We judge each other based on our accomplishments, wealth, possessions, the achievement of our goals. He who has the most stuff in the end wins, right?
It occurred to me the reason I felt unmotivated to celebrate the completion of the basement – and why I don’t like to eat my cooking or to necessarily re-read what I write – is not because I don’t like myself, but because my joy is in the doing, not in the end result.
As Shaltazar points out, the true purpose of human life is to have experiences, plain and simple. Contrary to what we have been taught, we are not here to achieve a particular goal or to serve a specific purpose. Although the things we do may have positive collateral benefits to mankind or the environment, from a cosmic standpoint, our job is to merely show up every day and live life, end of story.
Keep in mind that Source is non-physical spiritual energy with no direct means of experiencing what it has created. Source cannot see, smell, taste, or touch. Source can only know or not know, and not knowing is not an option as that equates to stagnation and Source is never in stasis.
The only way for Source to know its creation is vicariously through the physical senses of the living organisms Source itself created. Viewed in this context, we are but the eyes and ears of Source, and mankind nothing more than seven billion data collection points here to feed information back to the One about what it’s like to be a human living in the duality. The collection of our individual experiences add threads to the tapestry of God’s knowing, thereby allowing Source to grow and evolve and the universe to continue to expand.
What a relief it was for me to realize I could stop focusing on the results of my experiences and just fully embrace the experiences themselves!
By adopting this focus, it doesn’t matter whether what we attempt produces a particular result. Without judging the efficacy of our experiences, and by letting go of any expectation related to outcomes, each experience becomes more fulfilling, more infused with joy, bliss, calm, harmony, and peace. In immersing ourselves in what comes our way without judgement, bias, or qualification, we will discover what life is truly meant to be – an accumulation of rich and rewarding experiences where the end result is irrelevant.