How to Live “The Real Life”
An Adventure in Guidance over Striving
Like Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye, many of us would love to escape the phony world for a life in the bright city of authenticity.
Feeling that way around age 16, I penned this in my journal, calling it the Revolution to the Real Life.
I woke up to a dream
Life’s not what it would seem
The visions, the thoughts behind the face.
When will we ever see
How it all comes to be
We search society but we don’t find a trace
Confusion in the clatter
No one knows what’s the matter
It’s time to turn to an internal voice
The war is in the thought
What is, is not
We’ve been everywhere there’s only one more choice
Be Real, Be Real
Say to me all you truly feel
Unbind, The mind
Break down the door that keeps the Soul away
As I matured, my definition of the “Real Life” became more practical, yet still unattainable… That is, until I delved deeper…
But first, my new definition of the “Real Life” was a state of being when mind, body and soul act in harmony.
It sounds like a fantasy, but the closer we come to this state of inner resonance, the more “real” things get.
Self-improvement is often mistaken for struggling and striving to achieve what we want. But using force means the ego is heavily involved, which usually brings negative outcomes.
Our ego should not be our master, but more a tool of our intuition.
Our ego is what struggles and strives, and is in no position to assume authority over our intellect and our soul. That’s where most problems begin, when we let our ego’s cravings call the shots.
The Real Life is beyond ego, beyond even the physical body itself.
Let’s dive further…
Most of us think of our physical body as the most “real” thing about us, while thoughts and beliefs are abstractions.
But the yogis of India saw it the other way around. Ancient masters gazed into the human mind and spirit with the microscope of meditation.
What did they discover? Our body is about the most “unreal” thing about us… It’s merely a temporal manifestation of our spirit, influenced by thoughts and karma.
They body merely takes ques from the more “real” aspects of our personality — our minds and our souls.
The yogis spoke of five layers, or Koshas’s, that govern our physical body. Like the layers of an onion: they are separate but one.
Our physical body is largely governed by our energetic body (which science calls the electromagnetic field). That energetic layer is greatly influenced by our mental and intellectual state.
To go up a step higher, we find blissful loving acceptance of all, that state of full absorption attainable in deep meditation or spiritual epiphany.
Finally, above that is your soul, always connected to God.
Therefore, the most real thing in our lives (in order of important) is:
1. God (one of many names)
2. Our Soul
3. Our intellect (subconscious and intuition)
4. Our ego
5. Our energetic field
6. Our physical body
This is a spiritual ranking. Guess which way the world would rank these? And there lies the root of all phoniness … Holden Caulfield take note.
The Real Life is all letting go and tuning into our intuition which is connected to our soul. We then become guided all our various layers of being start to function in harmony.
“The sage acts by doing nothing.”
– Lao Tzu
This quote essentially means the sage lets things take their natural course, allowing for spontaneous action in the flow of the moment.
What’s it like to be united with “spirit” like this?
There’s a story in Bible where the disciples ask Jesus what they should say while out spreading the Gospel.
Instead of giving them talking points, Jesus advises against planning anything to say, but rather to simply let the Spirit guide them.
And that’s the Real Life, a quiet ego allowing inner guidance to lead us to a life of love and abundance.
In letting go, it’s like an inner cruise-control activates. We can then relax, enjoy the ride, and act in the flow of the moment. We become real.