The Way to Lasting Fulfilment

How do we get the best out of life? Is lasting fulfilment possible in this uncertain world, where the only certainty is our limited life span and our eventual separation from all we know and love?

The good news is that from time immemorial there have been teachings that show us how to transcend life’s restrictions and realise a deeper security, peace and freedom from fear. The philosophy and practice of non-duality is one such teaching, and covers all aspects of our life.

Although the name non-duality may suggest something abstract and intellectual, the teachings centre on human life, and show us how this wonderful gift can be consciously transformed, strengthened and uplifted with the help of certain great ideas and practical methods that are open to all. This is because the teachings focus on our true self, and the fulfilment they promise satisfies our deepest needs.

We also learn to understand the workings and state of our mind, which plays a central role in our quest for happiness. We know that to influence our mind is always a challenge, because the mind is driven by a mass of deep-rooted habits, and has developed views and opinions which pose as certainties, and ward off the threat of change. But over time and with right guidance, we do change, and we are far mightier than the sum of our habits. We have the inner power to meet any challenge, and if we go forward with trust in the deeper power at the heart of our own being, we will soon realise in our own experience that an inner uplift is not only possible, but that our mind can be consciously transformed into an instrument of peace, freedom and wisdom.

This inner development assumes that our life, to be truly worthwhile, has to be progressive. The habitual resistance to change is good and safe up to a point, but something in us needs to make an advance, so that we are going forward in a way that leads to true happiness.

Outer progress in terms of our material possessions, has its place, and we may be fortunate and happy because of our situation. But such happiness may not last, or may not be enough to free our mind from fear and anxiety. There is an inner and independent way which is different. This involves seeing our own inner life, the life of our mind and feelings, in a new light. Our inner being, with its creative energies, is now to be viewed as if it were a precious raw material, used or expended with great care, and held in reserve so that it may be available for the work of our highest development, which includes our deepening peace and clarity, leading to strength, understanding and happiness.

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This article is from the Spring 2024 issue of Self-Knowledge Journal.