Relationships: the only meaningful thing in life

At the age of 5 or 6 I saw a biblical cartoon on Noah’s Ark and assumed that was reality: there was a God and life after death is Heaven. Shortly after I told my mom the great news about what I had learned that day, she taught me some concepts in Buddhism: cause and effect, karma, reincarnation. For some reason, that made more sense to me and that became the defacto standard until I graduated from high school. I have always been pretty spiritual because life wouldn’t make sense if there wasn’t some sort of after life, but I never committed myself seriously. My reasoning at the time (and still is) was that if life ended after you die, then what would be the point of living? Why not blow up the earth and get it over with? Therefore based on that logic, there had to be some sort of reason as to why we exist.

In college, I began to rebel and question my original beliefs in search for my own meaning to life. During this time, I gave both Buddhism and Christianity some serious thought, weighing the positives of each teaching, but disliked the rigidity and structure in the way it was taught. I started to believe that religion was man’s way of creating power by instilling fear into people and gradually started to side with atheism. During this rebellious phase, I started challenging my mom’s spiritual ideas with what I had thought to be pretty sound arguments, only to get shot down on my own limited understanding of the spiritual concepts to begin with. It just didn’t make sense to me anymore (It’s kind of like the feeling when you learn calculus for the first time and realizing everything you had learned in math before was crap because it was the kiddie way of doing things). Sensing that I was a bit lost, my mom began recommending spiritual books for me to read after college. I was eager to relearn concepts from a different perspective, hoping that it would perhaps ease some of my frustrations.

Fast forward another year and 6 books later, I have concluded that although most of what I have read all give the same or similar message, there are definite minor differences in the teachings. Focusing on these differences would ultimately miss out on the more important and finer truths to life. My new definition for spirituality is now “Accelerate your self-understanding to move on towards unconditional acceptance of others”. I have came to this conclusion that it doesn’t really matter if there is a life after death because the most important thing while you’re here on this planet is your relationship with yourself and your relationship with others. If you treat yourself and others well, then there should be no reason for you not to have a better “after life” (define “after life” however you would like). If you had all of the wealth, power, and intelligence in this world, it would not matter the instance you lose all of your relationships. Thus true wealth lie in the abundance of you relationships. True power lies in the quality of your relationships. And true intelligence helps you maintain those relationships.

Those are my beliefs…for now.

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~ by toekneelc on October 5, 2007.

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