The most important lesson of 2017
What I learned from my Spiritual Teacher and how to start 2018 right
The past year was interesting for me in all senses. Many things have changed. Many things have found their logical ends and I many of them had their inspiring starts.
I know the same is true for you. You’ve been through some serious shit but you survived and you stayed in the game. You’ve had your moments of joy and careless happiness and they made you keep moving.
We did alright. Let’s just take a moment of appreciation, take a deep breath and just take it easy on ourselves, just for a short moment before continuing the race to start this year right. Together:
We both know that this year will be the most challenging for us, demanding our best sides to reveal themselves and solidify but we also have this knowledge that this year will become the year of transformation — some of the things that we will make happen this year will change us forever.
I am thankful to people who were around. I am thankful to those who left for teaching me important lessons, spending their time with me, and at the end making space for new exciting things to come. I am thankful to those who stayed reminding me that I am still a man I used to be, telling me that there is still a long journey ahead of us, a path to walk together.
I know that you learned so many things this year and I would love to hear your story and learn from you. Please, share with me. Be my teacher.
The lesson of the past year that I would like to share with you is one word, really:
We are humans.
We are these weird animals swarming the planet. We serve as a negative entropy harnessing the power of putting things into order.
An engineer who fits millions of nano-transistors chasing Moore’s law, an organic chemist mixing simple starting materials to synthesize a pharmacologically active compound, a writer creating volumes of a masterpiece by juggling mere 26 letter, a painter disintegrating the rainbow and enclosing his soul into form and shape. All of them create a meaning out of chaos. As humans, we have excelled in the Art of Order reaching unbelievable heights.
But as our brains got bigger, as we got smarter, the level of sophistication behind our mental constructions went through the roof.
The life is already so perplexing, why do we need to complicate things further?
I made a decision to simplify my mindsets.
I simplify Love.
Love. This word lost its flair. We rubbed it down to the level of platitude. Do you feel how bland is the taste on the tip of your tongue when you say this word? The word is a God. When it has no power in people’s hearts what change in the world do we expect to see?
To answer this question I turned to my spiritual teachers.
I have been following Alexander Hakimov for years now. Along with Mooji, Eckhart Tolle, Neale Donald Walsch and others, he became the light of wisdom and guidance in my life. He is the true guru and his teachings are easy for comprehension, immersive and extremely practical. Today I want to share what he taught me about love.
This is what he says about love:
“There are no perfect people. You have to fall in love with the person — accept the person. Not just her character or some of her physical attributes but the person behind them.”
It is a bit hard to explain because of the etymology of the words itself. The word “person” in English comes from Latin — “persona” the word for the actor’s mask in the ancient theater, a character that an actor played. This word still has an imprint of the meaning of facade, of something external and fake.
In Russian, the word “person” is “личность” (lich-nost’) which basically means “лицо” (li-tco) — “face”. The words themselves become a good analogy for explaining what really a person is — a person is a face behind the mask.
Alexander Hakimov elaborates on this matter:
“How to accept the person? The word Respect is the one that is the most appropriate in this sense. You need to learn how to respect each other. You don’t need to love. The word “love” has been perverted. It should be “respect”.
If you meet a person who will become your best friend it is the best of luck in this life.
Don’t seek for big love. I warn you. All of the mistakes are made with this. Big love comes much later in life.
At this point in your life, if you think about a family you need to find a companion.”
Again, the word “companion” does not fully reflect the meaning. In Russian, the word companion means “fellow traveler” — “спутник” (sputnik) which comes from the word “путь” (put’) — “the way, the path”. Maybe the word “Sputnik” is familiar to you from the famous Russian satellites as they were called this way because they accompany Earth in its flight through space. Anyways, “sputnik” means — someone that will share your path. A life partner.
The Guru continues:
“Your companion should help you, and you should help her to achieve the perfection of your souls. And the primary foundation of this relationship is friendship.
We don’t talk about love because people confuse love and lust, they confuse love with infatuation. And those two are more or less silly things.
Love is for God. If you are thinking about finding a wife, you can choose any woman. If you respect and you are respected you can choose any person. But if there is lust and there is no respect, the relationship is dangerous. Fluctuations in lust cause blaming. There is no respect. So where does the love go?
Don’t look for some supernatural things in the material life. All essential truths are simple.
When we will elevate our consciousnesses to the level of God — at that time we will experience something special, something unusual. Other things just won’t work.”
This is what I have the intention to simplify. My understanding of Love. During the past year, I learned that selfless Service is a way more practical substitute for some abstract understanding of Love. The mastery of selfless Service is just enough to live a happy and meaningful life.
What is your definition of Love?
As I simplify my understanding of love, I simplify other things.
I simplify the material life.
I have just finished the decluttering challenge throwing out all the useless stuff from my home during 30 days. I realized that nothing matters. All of this stuff is just stuff. We all need to understand that when we will die we will have to leave it all here. We are just guests in this house. Let’s not get attached.
I simplify my relationships.
I apply a mindset of a truck driver. I have a destination, I have a mission and I have a path driving my truck of life. When I see interesting people standing on the road waving me I pull over. If you need my help, I help. I will never be dodgy and let you know where I am heading right away. If you find that we are on the same route, you are welcome to sit down in my truck and join me in my journey, I will be happy to travel with you, share my stories and create some new ones along the way. Maybe we will like each other so much that I would like to drive with you until the engine of my truck will stop beating. What a wonderful journey we would have! But if you break the rules of the truck, if you make a mess in my truck, I will kindly ask you to get off a couple of times and kick your ass out if you persist in staying.
I simplify choices.
Fewer clothes — less concerns about what to wear. Fewer apps on the phone — less distractions. More rituals — less time thinking what to do next. More deep work — less time to sit and contemplate about your life. Less stuff — more space. Fewer people — more time for yourself. Freedom is not all-permissiveness. Freedom is cutting away the redundant.
New Year starts today. 365 days — 365 opportunities — 365 steps deep dives in discomfort.
We both know that we will sit next year on December 31, 2018, meditating about the year flying by on the speed of light and think: “what da hell just happened?”
Focus on the process. Be mindful. Here and Now, stay present in the moment as this is the only way to seize it.
Here I go, 2018! Hoorah! I am all hyped up!
How about you?