If interviewed, most of us would express a desire to be successful.....We want to be successful, as writers, as business owners, as parents, as human beings....... What is success? How does it relate to soul and Spirit? Is their a standard in God's mind that we are trying to meet to be successful? or is "success" a term that applies only to the material world?
If a person is OK with whatever, they have spiritually succeeded. None of us really know what if any feelings we define as human exists in the spiritual realms. We can also succeed vicariously, through transference or collectively, because it will feel like it belongs to the individual.
Collective Success...I like that. Working together as a team to be successful is a huge mantra in the business world. I think it can apply to spiritual "success" as well...even if the definition of spiritual success is merely ...Being the best human you can be in any given moment. If we hang around , discuss and study with other human beings that are striving to "be the best they can be"...there will be a synergy and all will benefit.... including the world in which that group is functioning.
I always like to explore the original etymology of words (because I'm such a pedant ;) ). The word "success" comes from the Latin noun "successus" which simply means "an advance", i.e., moving forward, "a succession", i.e. that which comes after something else, and "an outcome usually presumed to be a satisfactory or happy one". In turn the Latin noun "successus" comes from the Latin verb "succedere", meaning merely "to come after", i.e., an event or action that occurs after some previous event or action. Interesting that these original meanings are actually fairly neutral and wide in application. Mainly it means that the "successus" outcome, usually presumed to be happy or satisfactory, is something that is felt to be satisfactory to the person taking the action. "Satisfactory" or "happy" does not necessarily have anything to do with power, money, or status (and often doesn't). Nor does it have to do with some high spiritual state (although a "successus" [satisfactory outcome] of regular contemplative meditating could be a calm, peaceful state of spirit or an expansion of insight).
It's unfortunate that today the word "success" is frequently used to denote power, influence, status, or money and that this misreading of the original meaning has contributed to the commodification of spirituality, so that it is increasingly measured in terms of the charisma of the spiritual teacher, his/her "platform", and the amount of money he/she can make from marketing his/her spiritual wares.
As you can see, that was certainly not the original meaning of the word.
Thanks Sharon....I too love to use words and their meanings as a source of contemplation.....I have found that my current word meaning app lacks the detail I used to get from a giant dictionary.. Do you perhaps have an app to recommend for looking into the origins of words?
From what I have read and heard, the vast majority of near-death experiencers say that learning how to love is our major purpose for existing on this planet. By that I would say that any progress towards love would be success. At the same time, others suggest that we are successful just by being here because we are learning through the experience. Many spiritual "lessons" seem to come out of what mainstream society would call failures, disasters, and tragedies. I think part of the cosmic game plan is that we don't and won't know until life between physical lives.
My answer - "Yes!" The key is love. The below writing was taken from my journal.
"Just read New York Times article about 100 year-old doctor. Article, 'A Physician Examines His Novels' states:
'Even at 100, Dr. Keilson blames himself for failing them: ‘My parents were the basis of my life. I still feel guilt over my parents and it never ends.’ Then later, he said, ‘sadness is the basis of my life.'
I feel same way. Sadness big reason want to be good father, because love of my mother and sadness having no father.
New York Times article ends:
'Is he angry with God? He said, ‘A God, if there were a God, would work in such a way that I wouldn’t have to be angry about what’s happening in the world.’
Asked if he believed in God, Dr. Keilson answered with lines from another of his poems: ‘Jews in this world are a dirty/ heap of cheap money long/ devalued by God he does/ not receive us/ he throws us away/ he calls us back/ we paid all the debts.’
Told his answer seemed evasive, he laughed and said, ‘And it is.’
Dr. Keilson feels guilty for not pushing his parents to leave Netherlands. They died in Auschwitz concentration camp.
Believe 'higher power' did help during World War II. America and allied forces fought with love against Nazi Germany. If love didn’t win, most Jews would be exterminated."
Jon....Not sure how this applies here? I did see it appropriately posted under the topic of "killing..." If I'm missing a point please elaborate how this fits in with the topic of "spiritual success" Thanks
Throw in a hearty dose of laughter and you may be on to something.
Peter, interesting you should mention laughter.... for many years I denied my sense of humor...that somehow laughing at the absurdity of this planet was making "fun" of God's creation. But now I think that appreciating God's sense of humor through laughter at ourselves and our planet is a sign of an improved perspective.....and a healthy one also. Live, Love, Laugh....;-)
Well there you go-Take a look at one of my clients NDE tales, they're grotesquely hilarious, and reflective of your comment. Just looK: Back to Hades: Eustice Seeney Returns to Hell by DD Cross. Eustice died and went to hell, his stories are all over the internet, and I must say are intriguingly gut busting.
I'm thinking that there is probably not a hard definition of success, but rather like beauty, success is in the eye of the beholder. I feel successful as I move forward towards goals I have set in my mind in collaboration with my soul. While those around me have seen me as abandoning success when my goals no longer aligned with what "they" thought I "should" be doing. They had defined my success in terms of positon, title and monetary income...while I defined my success in terms of leaving the daily rat race of a lucrative position, becoming my own "boss" and spending time doing my "soul work", the things that I love....studying spirituality, counseling, writing, and working in the field of vibrational medicine.
I feel the most successful when I am able to synthesize my life into a well orchestrated piece of music or art...with splashes of color, beauty, and sound....with thoughts words and actions that inspire continued movement forward within myself and others.
What is "moving forward"? In my world moving forward is any and all movement on the physical, mental and spiritual planes that is away from separation and toward Divinity and Oneness. If I am moving in that direction and moving with love and compassion I can be successful in all that I think, say and do.
What makes you feel successful?