|- a corner of my desk -|
It matters whether you succeed or fail in the eyes of the world. It matters whether you are healthy or not healthy, whether you are educated or not educated. It matters whether you are rich or poor - it certainly makes a difference in your life. Yes, all these things matter, RELATIVELY speaking, but they don't matter ABSOLUTELY.
There is something that matters more than any of those things and that is FINDING the ESSENCE of WHO you ARE beyond that short-lived entity, that short-lived personalized sense of self.
You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the DEEPEST level.
Reincarnation doesn't help you if in your next incarnation you still don't know who you are.
All the misery on the planet arises due to a personalized sense of 'me' or 'us.' That covers up the essence of who you are. When you are unaware of the inner essence, in the end you always create misery. It's as simple as that. When you don't know who you are, you create a mind-made self as a substitute for your beautiful divine being and cling to that fearful and needy self.
Protecting and enhancing that false sense of self then becomes your primary motivating force...For most things in life, you need TIME: to learn a new skill, build a house, become an expert, make a cup of tea...Time is useless, however, for the most essential thing in life, the one thing that really matters: self-realization, which means knowing who you are beyond the surface self - beyond your name, your physical form, your history, your story.
You cannot find yourself in the past of future. The only place where you can find yourself is in the Now.
Spiritual seekers look for self-realization or enlightenment in the future. To be a seeker implies that you need the future. If this is what you believe, it becomes true for you: you will need time until you realize that you don't need time to be who you are.
...By knowing yourself as the awareness in which phenomenal existence happens, you become free of dependency on phenomena and free of self-seeking in situations, places, and conditions. In other words: what happens or doesn't happen is not that important anymore. Things lose their heaviness, their seriousness. A playfulness comes into your life. You recognize this world as a cosmic dance, the dance of form - no more and no less.
When you know who you truly are, there is an abiding alive sense of peace. You could call it joy because that's what joy is: vibrantly alive peace. It is the joy of knowing yourself as the very life essence before life takes on form. That is the joy of Being - of being who you truly are."
- Eckhart Tolle