Something has had me in constant pain for the last few years. I’m constantly reaching for the life inside me and in doing so, the inner energy has brought on immense discomfort.
Just a few years ago, I believe I had an ego death. I found myself a successful, overachiever with everything I ever wanted in life by age 30. The perfect job for my work life balance, the perfect family of four, the perfect house that your parents dreamed of for you, and the perfect partner who supports you through illness and health.
I was set. I would be able to break the multi-generational trauma of living off of poorly buttered spaghetti sandwiches and being the king of catastrophes constantly self-sabotaging my place in this world when something good would happen.
My kids would be raised and taken care of in a completely different light. They’d have access to foods that nourish them, not harm. They’d have present parents who weren’t stuck at work every waking minute to make ends meet. They’d be presented opportunities later in life to springboard into theirs.
But this pain continued to linger. I thought that I had done everything I was raised to do. To provide for my family. To be selfless. To make a name for myself.
As I continued, the pain would worsen. Something in the universe was telling me that this was wrong. That everything is already taken care of and I should focus my will somewhere else.
I’d start to read more philosophy and mythology for answers. I’d find answers on existential questions like the purpose of life, what morality is, and the nature of our reality.
I had a propensity to explore the human condition. The combination of reason, logic, and critical thinking of philosophy combined with the symbolic narratives, storytelling, and cultural beliefs would help me convey the meaning of what it means to live a good life.
Then I’d explore the philosophies and mythologies across the known world. Seeing the natural phenomena, moral guidelines, and narratives that provide a sense of unity across us as individuals.
What I’d slowly begin to realize is that if you want to save your soul, you have to forget your comfort.
This life I was given was not only for pleasures. It was for figuring out the confusion that is given to each of us when we’re the baby crying down the hall. That what I thought was clear, understandable, and obvious was not what life is actually about. Life is something else. It is unclear, unknown, contradictory, and nonexistent at the same time.
This feeling not knowing had returned. I was no longer numb to it. My body was keeping score and guiding me to where I needed to go. The weaker my hands, the more effort I should make to achieve what it is telling me.
It told me to look inward for all the answers. That one day neither my wife, son, daughter, nor parents can help me when death comes knocking. That one who understands this would find a path to bliss.
That we all come into this world alone and leave it alone. When we’re first brought into the world, we try to conquer it. When we’re ready to leave it, we yield to it.
As Socrates famously knew, our soul does not learn anything, it simply remembers what it knew the whole time. That our life is a constant remembering, that we are constantly trying to remember the answers to life’s big questions.
The soul knows everything. Nothing new can surprise it. Nothing can be bigger than it. The soul is not afraid of anything. It lives according to its own laws. It gives courage against all the misfortunes of life.
Nobody can damage your soul. You’re taught that sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never harm you. Nobody knows who you are and the life that you live.
The soul seeks truth. There are countless ways to deceive oneself and only one way to seek truth. You must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.
You’re in a constant battle to save your soul. May it be the most important battle you fight each day.