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"The loss of utility associated with giving up a good is greater than the utility associated with obtaining it"

- Eldar Shafir, Research psychologist

Why so serious?

By Narain Ishaya on 23 June 2014

This is going to be annoying to many people on a spiritual path, but if you want to be free, stop taking everything so seriously!

When I began to realize I wanted to wake up, I didn’t even know what that meant.  I did know it was the purpose of my life.  I did know I needed to find a path to help discover the truth of what I am.  I did know I couldn’t do it on my own.  And more than any of that, I did know it was a very serious endeavor.

I had always known, right from the very beginning, that Christ was an invitation to become as he was, and that the same thing went for Buddha, Krishna, and all the great sages and saints of history.  Nothing about any of those examples, however, had ever been represented as joyful.  In fact, I always had the impression that the path was anything but joyful.

Far from putting me off even beginning the quest, this actually made sense to me.  That was the nature of my mind.  I was going to struggle and suffer to find the Kingdom of Heaven, because anything worthwhile requires great struggle and sacrifice, right?  Wrong.

This is a very common, but entirely false, belief.  That doesn’t mean you can’t create a path of suffering, you can, but it will not lead you to freedom.  When you are ready to be truly free, the seriousness must end.  That’s when the true spiritual path begins.

The search for truth is a search for the true nature of the Self.  It is the ultimate joy, and the end of separation.  Separation begins with the recognition of the individual “me.”  For the illusion of the separate self to continue, everything must be taken personally, everything must be about the ego/mind and it’s experience of like/don’t like, good/bad, right/wrong and me/you.  The limited, separate self is incredibly, almost miraculously invested in these positions and judgments.  In order to take things personally, we must, to some degree, take them seriously.

live lightAll of the immense effort and struggle we have put into life has been motivated by the ego, and it’s sense of personal gain or loss.  All of it has kept the awareness away from the glory of now, and surrender to a higher will.  All of it has been the separate “me” imposing it’s puny little will onto the perfect unfolding of divinity…and that’s funny!

You don’t have any control; you don’t have any control at all.  When you stop taking things so seriously you stop taking them so personally, and as a result, the whiny little individual you-ghost begins to lose it’s hold over your attention.

Do you want a mantra to help you wake up?  “So What?”  Make this your approach to everything that arises and peace will increase, I guarantee it. When we get to the end of a lifetime, all of the things we thought were so important turn out not to be so, but then it’s a little late!  Start now.  Everyday take things a little less seriously than the day before, especially your spiritual path, and watch what happens. When you are not so invested in things going the way you think is the best, you can be more open to the magic that has been trying to come to you the whole time.

If you want to walk in the footsteps of the sages, if you want to walk the path of a Christ or a Buddha or a Krishna, you must be willing to walk the path of Joy.

About the author


Christina Rabe

Christina is from an African country where people live in poverty surviving only day by day, and where unemployment is the most serious problem affecting young people. Her desire for a new life encouraged…  Read full bio

rb.nicolette@gmail.com