The title of this blog is actually a lyric from Enigma’s ‘Le Roi Est Mort VIVE Le Roi!’ album. That particular lyric is repeated twice, in two separate songs and for the past few days it’s been repeating in my head over and over again. It’s not the usual case of getting a song you’ve heard on the radio stuck in your head; in this case it’s more like the words mean something to me – although I haven’t really been sure WHAT they mean. They somehow feel significant, as though applicable to where I am right now. I don’t even fully know what the phrase “I get closer to the crossing point of life” means; at least not with my rational mind. Intuitively, however, I seem to grasp some deeper meaning to those enigmatic words.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I feel as though I’m at a crossroads in life and I have a big choice to make. My train is coming and it’s absolutely vital that I’m ready to jump aboard; or else I’ll miss it altogether and life will take an altogether different turn. I can’t elaborate on this more fully, it’s almost an intuitive feeling I have and it’s not something that’s isolated to me, I don’t think. I get this feeling that with so many things in life and with so many people, this is make or break time. It’s time for us to really stop what we’re doing and ask ourselves if we’re truly living our lives in a way that’s authentic and aligned to what we know, deep in our hearts to be true.
I can see the many ways in which I’ve not lived authentically until now. The ego loves to direct the show and arrange our priorities. With ego calling the shots, our priorities are roughly as follows: I want to look good, I want others to think I look good, I want others to recognise me and approve of me and validate me, I want to be accepted, I want to be the top of my game, I need my beliefs and opinions to be respected and validated, I need to be right, I need to be in control, I need to be better than (or at least appear to be better than) this person and that person…the list goes on actually. Oh that’s all just so familiar to me (and probably to you as well, if you’re honest. There’s nothing personal in all this – it’s just the way the human ego operates at present). I ran the show from this operating system for a number of years, all the while trying to be the Dude (!) – above all, wanting to be cool, wanting everyone to melt in my presence, wanting everyone to see how charming, intelligent and irresistibly attractive I was. I don’t suppose there was anything wrong with that – it’s a valid enough choice to have these as your priorities and there is really no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in the way you conduct yourself so long as you’re not hurting others.
The thing was, underneath the surface I always knew that I had deeper, truer priorities and ones that were being stifled and suffocated under the ego’s need to be king. Being Mr Popularity was nice, but beneath the surface was a nagging discontent and an aching pain, because I knew that I wasn’t really being authentic to who I am at the deepest level. I wasn’t really being ‘True’. Life circumstances conspired to strip me of the trappings of Mr Popularity, primarily by imposed upon me an illness that left me unable to socialise much and kept me confined to…just myself, a lot of the time. In that space, in which all the old false stuff gradually burned away, I unearthed my true priorities, the things which I know I really have to bring to the surface and actualise if I’m to “catch my train”.
Previously I’d never have shared these aspects of my nature with anyone, perhaps for fear of being ridiculed or shot down, but strangely since turning 30 I’ve become a bit more fearless in my ability to express my deepest nature and most intimate truths (I guess once you pass through the ‘fear’ of passing the 30 barrier you achieve a measure of invincibility! We shall see…). I feel the truest priorities for me include being able to express myself creatively without fear of ridicule or rejection; to be free of the opinions of others.
I no longer write or speak what I think others want to hear: I simply express what, in my heart, I know to be true for me. I intend to write books that are fully aligned with my own personal vision without regard to whether or not they might be commercially ‘viable’ or whether other people will ‘get’ them. Getting published is no longer my primary motivation – being true to my muse is.
That might sound like I’m veering toward self indulgence, but I don’t know if it is. Maybe Self indulgence (and I’m talking the big ‘Self’ with a capital ‘S’, if you get my meaning). But not ‘self’ indulgence (the little self with a small ‘s’): if it were that kind of ‘self indulgence’ I think the primary motivation would again be to get published and have everyone think how brilliant I am – basically, to resurrect Mr Popularity.
But I guess my prime motivation or priority is actually to help other people. I don’t mean that in a noble, heroic kind of way…I just mean it as a matter of fact. I’ve come to realise that the only true fulfilment – and ultimately the highest purpose and potentiality for our being here – is not to get all we can out of life, but to give all we can to life. In our culture we’re always so focused on what we can ‘get out of life’ that we’re locked into a ‘me, me, me’, ‘gimme, gimme, gimme’ mentality that is actually quite distasteful and ultimately extremely self-defeating (after all, the world can never give us all that we seek – it’s simply not the nature of life to be able to do that. Life is a zero sum game).
How could I, in all good conscience, live my life from a place of continual self-striving and self-seeking when there is so much suffering in the world (and pretty much all of it needless)? Why should I be totally rooted in acquiring more and more money and things and possessions and ‘prestige’ (all ego-food; superficially tasty, but ultimately hollow and unfulfilling), when people are starving out there, pointless wars are being fought, people are abusing each other, animals and the planet, simply because they’re gripped by unconsciousness and delusion?
Imagine getting to the end of your life and realising that while you reached the ‘top of your game’, made heaps of money and had a great house and four holidays a year, you ultimately did NOTHING to make the world in any way a better place? Great legacy, huh?
So where am I going with this? Basically I just feel it’s time for us to examine our truest priorities. So many people around me are living ego-driven lives (each devoting just about all their energy in striving to construct and maintain the perfect Mr or Miss/Mrs Popularity). Realise now just where that will lead you. Ask yourself how you will feel when, at the end of your life, all you have to show for an entire lifetime is a fabricated ego identity which will sooner or later crumbled like dust anyway? How would things have been different if you had lived your TRUE PRIORITIES?
And I don’t buy the excuse that you ‘don’t know’ what your true priorities are. They lie deep in your heart, etched into your soul, embedded into every cell of your body – all you have to do is stop the mind and the stream of ego-stuff long enough to listen. You know what’s truly important to you in life – and you know that you know, so please don’t kid yourself otherwise. Just get over the fear of what others will think, or how ‘scary’ it will be to chart entirely new terrain (or rather the same terrain, but with an altogether different map). People that are still stuck in their own ego-crap probably will think you’re insane. So what? They can’t have a clear view of who you are until they have a clear view of themselves.
The train is coming……and it will only stop if we’re ready to climb aboard. The destination is the same for all of us, and yet the route is different for each of us: it’s the life we were born to live, the life that’s hard-wired into us, but which has hitherto been subverted by ego. Life is so short – we kid ourselves into thinking otherwise, that death is some ‘far off’ thing – so we only get so many opportunities to embrace the ‘True’ before our tickets become invalid.
I’m about ready to make my choice. When the train comes I’m going to try and jump aboard. All that can stop me are my old habitual conditioned fear patterns and the entire ego-embargo (I want to be liked, admired, validated, damn it!!). I can overcome those by measuring them up against the reward offered by being true to my real priorities in life: BEING FREE. FULFILLED. AT PEACE.
So I urge you, as I’m urging myself, to ditch the false, and align with the True aspects of yourself. Remember Pema Chodron’s powerful question: “Knowing that death is a certainty and that time of death is uncertain, what is the most important thing?” Be clear on that and be willing to act upon it, rearranging your life to appropriately honour these new priorities. That is “the crossing point of life”…