Excellence Reporter: Dr. Desai, what is the meaning of life?
Kamini Desai: The body is like the wave of an ocean. It is one of the many millions of shapes the ocean of undifferentiated potential can morph into. Anything that lives and dies in time; whether a tree, an animal or a thought, is an expression of this potentiality. This ocean of potentiality is Source. It is the place from which all creation comes into existence, just as a wave does, and into which all creation will once again dissolve. Though we are embodied, we all hold a spark of the Source from which we came, just as a wave holds the essence of the ocean within it.
Most of us have become so attached to and identified with the “human” aspect of existence, we have forgotten our “being”. We have moved away from the Source, not knowing that we are more than just a body and mind that will live and die. The further we move away from our Source essence, the more we feel we are missing something, looking into the world of forms (other waves) to find the wholeness we think we have lost. We think a better job, a better body or more money will fix the essential pain we experience. We call this essential pain, “I’m not okay,” or “Something is wrong here,” or “Is this all there is?”
In an attempt to solve this sense of missing something we go to the mind which is built on a platform of biological survival. Limited to this survival-based programming which avoids pain and secures pleasure to ensure life, the only answer the mind can give us is “avoid this or get that and you will feel okay.” The mind tells us to find wholeness by avoiding what was painful in the past, or making up for painful events that came before. It drives us to find wholeness by securing the things that will make feel pleasure and be happy as conditioned by our past. But pleasure isn’t wholeness, neither is a lack of pain. Pleasure and pain are temporary states. Wholeness is our nature. In search of it, we run and run after the mind’s “to do” lists, telling ourselves that if we just achieve just one more thing we will feel better, we will be able to stop, we will be okay. But that day never comes. We just keep running and running and never arriving. Why?
Can you solve a problem that doesn’t exist? No. No amount of searching will make you whole because you already are whole! We have just been searching in the wrong place. The answer is not in doing more or getting more, the answer is in being. It is in rediscovering that we are and always have been connected to a Source greater than ourselves. That Source is the essence of our being. That Source already includes everything. Nothing can be added to it, nothing can be taken away from it. Nothing we gain will make us more, nothing we lose can be taken away. We have been suffering from a mass illusion that we are innately broken when we have never been broken at all. Therefore nothing we do to fix ourselves will ever work because there is nothing to fix!
To me, the meaning of life is to be restored to our experience of our own essential nature–our wholeness, our completeness-–just as we are. We are created “in the image and likeness of God”. We are Source made manifest. We have come here to rediscover this essential truth and to know it experientially — but only after having traveled far from it. If Source includes everything, the only way for Source to experience itself is to journey away from its own nature into forgetfulness only to rediscover itself anew. This, I believe, is the meaning of life and the meaning of the human journey–to know that you are a Human Being.
~Kamini Desai, PhD is the Education Director of the Amrit Yoga Institute. Over the past 25 years Kamini, author of Life Lessons, Love Lessons, has created an exciting and unique body of teachings incorporating western psychology and eastern philosophy. Considered an expert in the science of yoga nidra, yoga therapy, relaxation, and artful living, her practical and accessible teaching style has been welcomed throughout the United States and in over 10 countries around the world. In 2012 she was awarded the title Yogeshwari (woman of yogic mastery) for her keen ability to bring ancient illumination to the genuine challenges of the human experience.
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