How to Have Meaningful Life
By Andrew Shykofsky
In one of the parables found in the New Testament (Matthew 25:14), Jesus teaches about a rich man who calls forth 3 people and gives them varying sums of money and instructs them to make use of the money wisely. After a number of years, he returns to see how each one has fared out. 2 of the three men come forth humbly to show how they have multiplied what was given to them and they are met with welcoming and approval. Each of them are then given responsibility over many things.
But the third accuses the rich man of having wicked intentions and states that he buried the money and now is giving it back, having done nothing with it. The rich man then instructs his servants to cast the ungrateful man into a dark place (quoted as the outer regions) which most consider is hell.
The common interpretation of this teaching is that God has given each person a certain lot in life and 2 out of 3 put in a good effort and are rewarded. 1 of 3 rejects God’s offer and is cast into hell. Once again we see why a lot of people reject Christianity because they find such an attitude to be harsh and unfair. We wonder why God would be so quick to cast someone into hell just because they have a bad attitude. But we must condition ourselves to approach the teachings of Jesus with much greater humility. Whenever we can’t immediately understand the teaching, or are worried that it feels harsh or unloving, let’s train ourselves to simply say we don’t yet get it. It has to be right somehow but perhaps my mind is hooked on some idea and I can’t quite see what is being taught.
In the case of the parable of the talents, the teaching should be looked at from the internal perspective. Consider that the three men who receive talents represent aspects of ourselves. Some respond very well to the gifts and revere the rich man who gave them. These parts of us want to go out into the world and multiply the wealth we have been given. We want to use our talents to make the rich man happy so when he comes back to account for his investment, we have good news to share.
The reason one of the 3 acts as he does is representative of those parts in us that are distrustful of God, angry, selfish and self-righteous. Make no mistake, we all have them inside of us somewhere even if you have a really good outer act. The parable now teaches us how the God in us should and will respond when a part of us comes before God and has this sort of prideful, nasty attitude. God says to cast it into hell where it belongs. In other words, when God calls this part of us to account for what good it has done, and it reveals its disdain for God, it is to be cast out of us and disassociated forever. This is in fact a great thing. The God in us helps us to identify the parts of us that are off and who reject God’s Grace.
This parable is helpful to get us focused on what a meaningful life is. It is quite simple really… take the gifts that God has given you and use them to increase God’s wealth on Earth. God’s wealth refers to the virtues of love, faith, hope, charity, compassion, mercy, humility, kindness, truth and so on. If you sincerely take this on as your mission, you are guaranteed to have a meaningful life because so doing sets you in accord with the vibration of God. This attunement fulfills what every human truly desires, to feel loved and to feel valued (as in to be useful).
It is relatively easy to sit in a classroom or attend a Sunday church service and get very excited about such an approach to life. It is another thing altogether to put it into practice and live it out day by day. First off, it’s disruptive. Our world is not in agreement about this. We have our sights set on finding meaning through building a great career, or finding a perfect mate, raising a successful family, becoming a star or making a lot of money. These are the things that most of us feel willing to admit to.
Then you have a deeper level of desires where the accountability gets a little fuzzy such as being able to find a rich husband to take care of us or scoring a trophy wife to win the admiration of our guy friends. Some want to build a massive empire and use that power to control people and have sex with lots of women. Others long for a life with hardly any responsibility or one completely drenched in pleasure. Or on the flip side, some are forever taking care of everyone else and not really tuned in to God. This attitude is a little of the ‘life sucks and then you die’ perspective so the goal is just to get through it without drawing too much attention to oneself.
None of these aspirations will lead to long term happiness, contentment nor peace. We just weren’t created to live in those ways mentioned. Unfortunately, we’ve become quite stubborn and determined to find meaning in these ways of life no matter what the cost.
Do you recall the passage in the bible that says, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto thee.’? In this statement is the secret on life. How can that be? It can be because the Kingdom of God is the attitude, manner and approach to life that fulfills our highest nature. When you find the Kingdom and you have raised your personal vibration such that you can reside in heaven, you will have learned how to gain everything else in life that you need. Make the pursuit of God your top priority and everything else is added after that.
Why is this so hard for people? Remember the parable in the beginning of the lesson. We all have parts that disdain the idea of working for God. Are they natural parts in us? No but over the centuries of humanity living mostly without a connection to God, they have become pretty much the norm. Now as you approach a very real Path, 2 out 3 parts in us say yes, but one third says no way. That amount of resistance leads to a lot of problems. Meanwhile, God is actively trying to get those uncooperative parts thrown out of us.
People mostly say they want to be happy and live a fulfilling life. That’s a universal goal. But from there, it splinters off in all directions. Everyone has their idea of what is going lead to that happiness but who can say for sure. Unless you have it and have seen it sustain over the long term, you’re mostly guessing, hoping or doing it trial and error. For some reason though, most people are pretty sure a life in God is NOT the way to happiness. How they got there, I don’t know.
But we can break some of these things down and better understand why we have barnacled to certain ideas. First off, everyone is angry and hurt because the love we received growing up wasn’t enough. We were denied the things we needed, mistreated, ignored, abused, misled, neglected and used. Most of us are seeking happiness as a reaction against how we were raised. If for example we were forced to be responsible for stuff too early, we may be seeking a life with minimal to no responsibility. If we were abused, we might be seeking a life of power to even the score. If we were smothered by a parent, we might be seeking independence and so on.
While accomplishing these goals might bring some relief, it won’t yield lasting happiness. Happiness comes when we are connected to God, aware of our soul and committed to a life where we are using the gifts God has given us to glorify Him. Glorifying God means becoming a channel for Him to work through you in which case, your treasures will multiply. For some, this will mean great wealth but it will be wealth earned righteously. For others, you will be a source of healing to those who are sick maybe physically, maybe emotionally, and likely spiritually. This manner of living becomes quite easy when all these superficial and reactive attempts at evening the score are examined and discarded.
Instead, we seek to return to a neutral place where the wounding and concepts taken on in our past and them proliferated in our adult lives are finally seen for what they are and dropped. At the same time, we are learning and building a spiritual life that puts God and our soul at the forefront. This is next to impossible to do without a Teacher who knows how to get there. They know how to get there because they submitted to a Teacher themselves and were shown. And they did the work necessary to overcome that 1/3 in them that resisted.
As always, we need to be practical about this stuff. You begin by deciding if you are going to make a go of it. It’s true that it is optional, and not required. We have free will and God won’t force you to live in relationship with him. Next, you need to work with a conscious being who can lead you through the labyrinth of your consciousness and your defensiveness to connect with the higher parts in you. It is very beneficial to have a community in which you can connect and relate to others who have made this same choice. Doing this work in isolation is quite a bit tougher.
When you consent to the work, the Teacher is going to help you recognize the concepts, ideas, wounds and patterns that are alive in you which distance you from God. While we can say we love God and pray and try to live a morally righteous life, that doesn’t actually lead to the deeper peace and happiness. You will have to let yourself be seen in a much more comprehensive way and have the stomach to deal with what comes up as a result. Things will come up to be reviewed and given over to Jesus and Mary so that something new can take their place.
The result is freedom from limiting concepts, mindsets and emotional baggage which will feel quite good. But the meaning in your life won’t really flourish until you decide to give your life to God and allow Him to raise you up in consciousness to a level that at present you can’t conceive of. We call it the lower heaven world. From this perspective, you are virtually in a constant state of inspiration with very active spiritual sight. Your feel for energy is heightened and these gifts allow you to bring a great deal of healing wherever you go. These are the dividends given back to you from the gifts God gave you. Once you have demonstrated your desire to use them fruitfully and earnestly, God invites you in deeper and you are given more responsibility to be of use. Now you will find your life quite meaningful.
Teacher: Andrew Shykofsky