Finding Joy in Life - It's not about meeting the needs of your body...

If you believe that life has anything to do -- anything at all -- with the needs or goals or accomplishments of your body, then you haven't understood anything at all about the purpose of your existence, about the reason you, a spiritual being, chose to travel through time and space with your body and dwell in the realm of physicality.

You must understand who you really are before you can begin to understand life -- or even tolerate it. Only when you know your true identity, and your true purpose for being here, can anything that's happening around you even begin to make sense. In the absence of this clarity, life as it is lived on the planet Earth will become totally unacceptable to do. It will make no sense at all. And you will want to reject it, to run from it, to hide from it, to pretend you have nothing to do with it, and ultimately, to abandon it.

It will all seem so pointless to you. It will all seem to have no reason or purpose whatsoever, but to simply be a tangled mess of no-fun alternatives and joyless experiences and frustrating choices and impossible challenges, and you will say to yourself more than once, "what's the point?"

In these moments of deep questioning you may find yourself in such a negative place that you will even snort out the defiant lie: "I'd rather be dead."

Only in the presence of Awareness can the primitive existence that we are all living in this barbarian civilization begin to have any meaning, to hold any promise, to provide any comfort in a way that makes sense to our soul.

So here is the truth, here is what you need to know to make some sense of it: You are not your body. Your body is something you have, it is not something you are. The "You" that you are, is non-physical. You are a package of energy, a singular unit of the Essential Essence of all of life. You are an expression of all and everything that life is. In spiritual terms it could be said that you are an Individuation of Divinity.

You are a Spirit. You live in two realms: the Realm of the Spiritual and the Realm of the Physical. You move between realms eternally in a process called Evolution. You experience life in the Realm of the Spiritual in order to know your Self, and you experience life in the Realm of the Physical in order to Experience your Self. The back-and-forth movement of your soul between realms is a journey from Knowing to Experiencing and back again.

So far this is all pretty straightforward. Now here comes the twist. In order to Experience your Self you must forget some of what you know about your Self. This is because if you remembered all of it, there would be no way to re-create the Experience of it. And it is the Experience of your True Self which your soul desires.

I will explain in my next commentary why forgetfulness is necessary. For now, take my word for it that it is. Digest this feast little by little. What we have here is a meal for the Mind, nourishing your understanding. Do not try to gulp it down all at once. Do not gobble it up. Savor it, morsel by morsel. Taste its delicious flavor delicately, bite by bite. For now, allow yourself to just accept the fact that a certain kind of "selective amnesia" is part of the Process of Evolution.

What is important for you to know, what is vital for you to understand in the early going as you explore your Reason for existing and the Reality of all of life, is that there is a much larger agenda being served here than what may be immediately apparent. That agenda has nothing to do with the desires of your body, although your body may, and will, be used in advancing that agenda.

The agenda you are serving is the agenda of your soul. This does not mean that you can have nothing to do with the desires and the joys of physical life. Indeed, it is just the opposite. It is through experiencing the desires and the joys of physical life that the agenda of your spirit is served. Yet you cannot begin to know the joys of physical life until you stop chasing after them as if they were the Prime Agenda, the Prime Purpose, the Prime Goal.

Because most people have not given up the chase, most people have given up the joys. They're resigned now to settling for simple satisfactions. They want only an end to the fear, to the struggle, to the frustration of daily existence. They seek a modicum of security and just the smallest portion of what they see that the most fortunate have. They have become bitter and angry as a result of their inability to achieve even these minimal life goals. They have joined the Great Mass of the Disaffected. They are facing, each day, a life of small sufferings (or in some cases, very large ones), and they scrape and scratch for a tiny moment of happiness here or there.

This is the way it is for many people on this planet. In fact, most. Believe me, I am not exaggerating here. This is the way it is. Perhaps you have experienced life in this way yourself. Perhaps you are experiencing life in this way right now. The above description may feel a little exaggerated to you, but, by and large, it may not be so far off from your own moment-to-moment journey. And if this is not the way life is for you now, I'd venture to say that, at the very least, you know someone in your immediate circle of acquaintances who fits this description perfectly.

I don't mean this to be a "downer." I'm not trying to throw tons of negative energy around here. In fact, just the opposite. I am bringing all of this up here because I want to make a larger point: Life need not be this way. Life was not intended to be this way. The reason life is this way for so many people is that there is among so many people a huge misunderstanding about the nature and function and the purpose of life itself, and who they are in relationship to that.

The good news is that there is a formula that human beings can use that can and will turn their experience around. And the beginning of that formula is about coming to a place of great clarity that life has nothing to do with the body. Life has to do with the Spirit.

That is the understanding for today.

Let that be Today's Reminder.

Nothing more needs to be said now. That is enough. That is a lot. It is a great deal to absorb and to embrace and to digest. So grab onto that knowledge and hold tight to that wisdom as you move through this day.

Stop -- this very day, stop -- the incessant voice inside your head that complains about the experiences your body is not having, the pleasures your body is not enjoying, or the security your body is not feeling. And stop, as well, the endless activity of your mind, wishing for acknowledgment, that others may know who you are and how special you are and how wonderful you are and how good you are at what you do.

You will have all of this. I tell you that before this lifetime is over, every one of your wishes about this will come true.

And it will mean nothing to you.

Then you will realize that you have been reaching for the wrong thing. Then you will understand...then, in that will know that you came here to begin with to serve the agenda of your Soul, not the agenda of your Mind or Body.

I know that all of this may seem empty to you right now -- especially if you are young. Who wants to wait for all the wisdom of life to befall you? Who wants to wait for all the wishes of youth to be granted? Who wants to go through everything that it seems we have to go through in order to achieve what the Spirit is choosing to accomplish?

Yes, yes, it takes great patience, it takes a great willingness to surrender to the process, it takes great faith, especially when you are young. For you have just come into your body, after all, a mere 18 or 25 years ago, and you are just really embarking upon your life, and you understandably want to get on with it, and experience the joy of it.

Well, you can! Yes, you can! Even while you are young! Wisdom does not have to wait until you are very old. It is not the treasure only of the ancient and the aged. True wisdom may be embraced at any age, at any time, in any moment. And with the embracing of such wisdom, joy becomes possible to achieve and to experience -- yes, even in the midst of the frustration and the anger and the sufferings small and large.

So journey with me to the place within you where wisdom resides, where lasting joy is created, and where the wonder of life may be known as it was always intended to be experienced. Come with me now, and I will show you the place where your heart's desires dwell, where your grandest truth lives, and where is born your most wondrous expression of Self, which can emerge through you, as you, in the most extraordinary and breathtaking way at any moment.

You must believe me when I tell you there is more to life than you now know. I promise you. There is a Reason that conditions are the way they are in the appearance of things, and there is a Reality that stands apart and aside from these conditions. This series of commentaries will deal with the Reason and the Reality.

Someone asked me the other day, "What is Enlightenment?" Enlightenment, I told them, is joy experienced. And it can be experienced, even in the midst of the primitive life that we all live on earth. Indeed, we came to the earth to do so. We have the opportunity, because of this environment, to know and experience the bliss of entering and expressing our True Selves. On the time scale of the Universe, we are here for but a split-second. Yet even in this tiny moment, even in this smallest slice of eternity, we have ample opportunity. Such is the wonder and the glory of life. And such is the generosity and the love of God.    ~ NDW



Keep updated with Spirit Library

Author Information

Neale Donald Walsch

Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. With an early interest in religion and a deeply felt connection to spirituality, Neale spent the majority of his life thriving professionally, yet searching for spiritual meaning before beginning his now famous conversation with God.


Neale Donald Walsch Archives