What is a Successful Life?
"Success - To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
A Successful Life is an Art
To live a successful life from an esoteric perspective, is an art that requires considerable skill. To respond favorably to the changes that unfold through time calls for increasingly more skill. This is why to take up the subject of living a successful life is so valuable to us all.
But what is a successful life but to love life. Broadly speaking there are four life periods, infancy, youth, adulthood, and old age. What constitutes a successful life period?
Infancy is our most pure state - love toward the parents - called innocent spiritual. It constitutes the center of our being, a center of protection.
Webster's Dictionary states, "the earliest stage of anything". It is our intuition - the source of all of our images of what we want to become and what we want to create. We all have this inner connection, and can access it for any endeavor to be successful, and for any life to be fulfilled.
Youth is the development of the sensual level of consciousness - idolatry. We learn about instruction and knowledge, but also judgment. The development of love toward the self and love toward the world. It is the development of the mirror - called self-love - the formation of the ego. This is an important stage as there can be no awareness without conflict. Conflict is necessary in order to develop separation - separation is necessary in order to be creative.
Adulthood is the development of awareness through faith. During this period we become aware that all of our opinions and beliefs are based on what we have been taught - the awareness that, we live in externals. Here we establish interior truth and allow the passing away of dogma - love of faith is established.
(There is a good Buddhist meditation where when you are on the beach with your child you practice allowing your child to play without disturbing them.) This is the inner faith to be developed in adulthood.
In Old age we take the awareness of our transitory ness and release it into enlightenment, with no longer any need to prove - a kind of innocence in wisdom. Open and unfolding into the innocent trust of the Cosmic - being reborn into the knowingness of our eternal nature. Giving back.
We need to remember that the stage we are in now is but a stage to the final goal - the end result being, conjoined with the ONE SELF.