If you were invited to choose between one of the following two options, which would you choose?
1. A check for $500 million, made out to you personally. The IRS isn't going to touch it. It's absolutely free and clear, and of course, would get you well on the way to being a billionaire.
2. An increasing sense of the timelessness and immortality of your own being. Caution. You're still going to lose your physical body somewhere along the line, mind you, in this deal.
Personally, I'd go for #2.
Personally, I'd go for #2. Here are some of my reasons.
It's true that I could probably think of some ways to spend that kind of money, or some of it. I could see JoAnn and me on a nice world cruise, for example. I could see myself at the wheel of a shiny new Jaguar motor car, like the one in the picture. Fresh from Britain maybe, or maybe not.
It would be colored British racing green of course, and I admit I’d be thrilled to bits for awhile anyway. I mean, think about it. The comfort and elegance. The speed of it. The luxury of it. The Englishness of it.
I suppose I could become a philanthropist, too, come to that. But here’s what concerns me about #1. At the end of the day, I worry if the $500 million in cash would make me truly happy and meaningful. If it would make me whole. If it would make me free, and fulfill my destiny.
The world needs a calm center
In these dangerous times, the world needs a calm center more than ever before. We ourselves need a calm center more than ever before. And the only place I know where true calm exists is in the eternal love and truth of my own timeless Being.
I find that when I am still, heart opened to the truth of my existence, I sense the presence of true meaning and happiness that is limitless. I realize anew that happiness already exists. I realize that peace and freedom already exist.
It is my own happiness. It is the happiness of my own Being and it is already free, and whole, and at peace. This is what I want to offer and share and experience more than anything else. What is worth trading for this?
What is worth trading for "Intimations of immortality," as I think the poet William Wordsworth named his famous poem?
The truth of you doesn’t age at all
As I think about these things, some words from the British poet, Rupert Brooke, that I read long ago, come to my mind. The young handsome poet wrote these words shortly before his untimely death in World War I:
“We have built a house that is not for time’s throwing. We have gained a peace unshaken by pain forever. War knows no power. Safe shall be my going, secretly armed against all death's endeavour; Safe though all safety's lost; Safe where men fall; And if these poor limbs should die, safest of all.”
The true promise of aging
I think this is one of the profound privileges of aging -- the true promise of aging -- the opportunity to connect more deeply with the truth of our existence.
When we think of aging, we sometimes become anxious at the thought of becoming increasingly decrepit, perhaps dependent on others.
But "Be still," it was said, "and know that I am God."
When we are willing to set aside, for a moment, our busy thoughts and preoccupations, and simply “be still," as it was put, we discover what these words really mean.
We find the truth that sets us free. Not an external truth, but the truth of our own being.
I’d love to hear any thoughts or comments you may have on this post.
Bye for now, and God bless.