Got an email from a past graduate who found life becoming mundane and was afraid of becoming just another working “zombie” like those she sees on the train going to work everyday. She asked me what her life meant and how could she make her life more meaningful and fulfilling.
At last night’s class, I told the class that life is nothing more than the game of knowledge and information. He who knows more and is armed with more information holds advantage and dominion over those who lack the knowledge. This is the power game that is played everyday in business, within corporations, at your office, at home, amongst friends and almost everywhere else you can think of. It is even in the market – the power-players always know more than the retailers.
I may not have the answer to the meaning of life but I do believe that the purpose of life is to continue to educate ourselves and to keep ourselves informed.
I have found new purpose in life by arming myself with information and knowledge. It has made me successful, it has made my life meaningful as I educate others to improve their lot in life and it has made me a role model for my children to emulate as they pursue higher learning.
It has made me the top in my profession as my competitors scramble to find an edge to beat me without realising that it is all about continued learning and improving what you already know. While they busy themselves finding ways to beat me, they join the many in that rat race while I go about learning and improving myself, not caring about what they do. I only concern myself about my continued learning because it is that knowledge that keeps me on top.
Change the way you think. Look for a new focus. If you’re a parent, then you have an obligation to raise your children right. Start by gaining knowledge that you can impart to them in the future. Adopt a skill that they can learn from you for their survival and growth. Do something meaningful for yourself so that they can emulate – continue your learning and education.
And always remember that is not about what you want but more importantly about what you NEED that matters more.
At the very least, you won’t be a zombie on the train because you have a purpose while they don’t.
In closing, let me quote Miyamoto Musashi from the final chapter of his “Book Of Five Rings“;
“I will describe the essence of the Ni To Ichi Way of strategy in this book of the Void. What I call the void is where nothing exists. It is about things outside man’s knowledge. Of course the void does not exist. By knowing what exist, you can know that which does not exist. That is the void.
People in this world look at things mistakenly, and think that what they do not understand must be the void. This is not the true void. It is confusion.
In the Way of strategy, also, those who study as warriors may think that whatever they cannot understand in their craft is the void. Someone like that will continue to be distracted by irrelevant things. This is not the true void.
To attain the Way of strategy as a warrior you must study fully other martial arts and not deviate even a little from the Way of the warrior. With your spirit settled on your duty, you must practice day by day, and hour by hour. Polish the twofold spirit of Shin [heart] and I [will], and sharpen the twofold gaze of ken [perception] and kan [intuition]. When your spirit is not in the least confused, when the clouds of bewilderment are cleared away, there is the true void.
Until you realize the true Way, whether in Buddhism or in worldly laws, you may think that your own way is the one correct and in order. However, if we look at things objectively, in the light of the Straight Way of the Heart or in accordance with the Great Square of the World, we see various doctrines departing from the true Way. What you believe in often proves to be contrary to the true way, distorted as it is by tendencies to favor your own thoughts and views. Know this well and act with forthrightness as the foundation and keep the true Heart as the Way. Enact strategy broadly, correctly and openly.
Then you will come to see things in an all-encompassing sense and, taking the void as the Way, you will see the Way as void.
In the void is virtue, and no evil. Wisdom exists, principle exists, the way exists. Spirit is Void.”