What is Important to You- Personal Reflections

18 Feb

What things do you think you cannot live without?

I was asked to answer that question and in fact, this is an important and complex question. There are many things that are important factors that I cannot live without.

Most of what I definitively cannot live without are my body’s physical necessities to survive, such as oxygen, clean water, nutrients, warmth and coolness, protection from the elements, movement, sleep, etc.. Without all of these and others, my life would be short and miserable. So, I am careful to honor these requirements by being mindful that I have them of good quality in my life allowing me to maintain sound physical health.

For because of my body’s healthy balance, with a good physical foundation and salutary environment, and the quality of my emotions and thoughts being uplifted and positive, I am much less likely to become depressed, anxious, etc.. My life will not be constricted and unhappy. Also, in this regard, I can not live well without the wisdom of maintaining a balanced perspective on life and my situation in it.

And then there is the spiritual social aspect. By spiritual I mean
intuitive knowing that everything is interconnected and interdependent within the mysterious universe. A quote from Albert Einstein expresses this well, ‘The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as aII serious endeavor in art and science. He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind. Ta sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is something that our mind can not grasp and whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly and as a feeble reflection, this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious. To me, it suffices to wonder about these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all that there is.’ This perspective prevents any alienation since I know that all the creatures on this earth are a part of the larger universal life force that we share together. All beings on all levels want to thrive, we are all intertwined in the web of life. We are all together.

This brings me to the point of how I came to know and value that experience of oneness. Well, when I was younger and with many extended camping trips with friends, in the wilderness, I came to see not only the awesomeness and vastness of the universe but also my companionship, on this planet, with all other sentient beings including the forests, plants, etc.. Then, finally, after a long search to
clarify that intuition for me, first with awareness training and then the meditative and ethical Buddha’s Path and Satori, I came to clearly recognize the oneness of everything with the subsequent empathy and
compassion for all life of this world. This insight I cannot live well without.

So, I cannot live without the requirements of life which means
having shelter, and other necessities that give my physical needs
support and basic comfort to thrive. I cannot live happily and satisfied without my knowing my innate inter-connection with everything alive on this earth. I cannot live happily without simple expressions of my interests and activities. Finally, I cannot live well without actively expressing my feelings of connectedness and openness, on various levels, with other people and beings, measured by the available and possible reciprocity.

Overall, besides the requirements of the survival of my physical life, the foundation of my happiness and satisfaction and guiding principle is my spirituality of feeling the interconnectedness and interdependency of all life on this planet. This is always a satisfaction I know and honor through my positive interactions in living.
 Rodger R Ricketts Psy.D. 2021

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