What Is Real Living?

What is true, real living?

This is a question I ask myself all the time. Perhaps it is because there is little voice inside of me, a little piece of me that has recently awoken, that has just begun to point the way for me. It’s constantly reminding me that there is something more, something I knew but have long forgotten. Maybe, in one of my recent past lives, I began my search. I know that I haven’t quite found what I seek, because I still feel the grip of a greater slumber holding onto me. I don’t want it anymore.

Now, it’s one thing to say you want to shake off the blanket of awareness you so want to let go of, and quite another to actually do so. I’m in that position right now – I want to go, but I don’t know where exactly I’m going, nor how to get there. Maybe I never will. But I’m going to use that little piece, that little voice within me to guide me. I must find what is under that blanket, under that cloak or shallow living.

Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth and current Dala...

That guy has got some serious wisdom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered:

“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

Wow. Do me a favor and re-read that quote.

Sun Pillar

Whatever is there, beyond the blue skies and bright sun is waiting for us. The beauty is that it’s within you, hidden until it is found. (Photo credit: Axiraa (away))

I truly believe that how we come to answer this great question – What is true living? – is unique to each and every one of us. Thousands of years ago, The Church enforced only one way to the “truth”, but those were times when people hadn’t yet explored critical thinking or feeling like we do today. For some, the way is still in the bible, still in the following Jesus. And you know what, that is completely, 100% fine. Of course, our interpretations of such things vary greatly, and as long as they feel right within the deepest crevices of our beings, why shouldn’t we allow ourselves to believe what we so deeply feel?

So with that thought, I always encourage every person I meet to always, always explore what they believe. We all come from diverse backgrounds, but I believe we’re all going to the same place.

Beyond guidance, I do not believe what I or anyone else can say will enlighten anyone by any means. It’s a journey you and you alone can take for yourself. Like I said, there can be guidance and help along the way, but just as a train does not move without fuel to power it, you will not move forward without your passion to lead the way.

What is real living to you, and how will you discover it?



37 thoughts on “What Is Real Living?

  1. I being 23 am so confused from time to time about my life, you made some really good points and i also think i will remove my blanket and see whats out there for me! Good read!

    • Thanks, and good luck. It’s a process, and I may be no farther along than you are. But making the realization that there is stuff out there, and you can go see it is the first step.

  2. The quote by the Dalai Lama is seriously deep. I need to really reflect on that and consider this post. Thanks for the thought-provoking content. I am intrigued by the posts I’ve read thus far. Keep writing please 🙂

    • I know, it definitely is. It’s funny how such a seemingly childish man can tap into such ridiculously powerful things. And I appreciate it. I hope you enjoy everything you read. 🙂

  3. That is indeed the biggest problem with “modern” man today – he doesn´t really live.

    What it´s worse is that he fears life. All pursuits he undertakes derive from this basic deep existential fear, he invariably banishes himself from his own life perpetually refusing to confront his real nature.

    This constant escaping from himself he calls “life”. Someone who is always on the run, cannot be expected to take any real responsibility for anything, and thus whatever he does is shallow and superficial – despite studies he remains an ignorant, his “success” means only destruction, all in all, never knowing what Life or Love is, he fails totally albeit his “grand” achievements.

    His so-called life means isolation, pointless struggle, sorrow and confusion. Inside of him he knows that, but due to his incredible arrogance he never admits this fact. .

    So what is really living…?

    Living is “know thyself”. Living is finding out WHO YOU ARE. Living is finding out what Fear and Separation is about.

    Living is responsibilty – that is, the ability to respond to WHO YOU REALLY ARE.

    • BRILLIANT. I loved every word of what you said. Amazingly put, and quite honestly, this has got to go down as one of my favorite comments ever. Your words deeply resonate with me… thank you.

      • I am glad!

        You see,

        What is quite amazing is that a 14-years-old boy raises with acuity all these vital and pertinent questions, questions that most “grown-ups” fail to see and formulate.

        Really, considering this, I am convinced that there is hope for this world.

        So, just go on with your questions.

      • Wow your comment looks like a poem. I really am looking for hope in this world, and I’m certain it’s still here. We have to start becoming more dynamic, though, and that can start simply by thinking about things. Thank you very much for supporting me.

      • My comment looks like a poem – hm, I like that. We create Hope in this very moment with these inights, and open dialogue about impending matters.

        Indeed, as you say “We have to start becoming more dynamic though, and that can start simply by thinking about things.”

        I would add FEELING ABOUT what´s going on.

        We support each other in this honest quest for answers.

      • We do support each other, and eventually I think we create networks of support that we may rely on. As for feeling, yes, it is a part, but one that may come with a bit of time. I know that I have not yet learned to truly feel. It’s a process to discover.

      • I was literally thinking of that an hour ago: we create networks of support that we may rely on.
        Many people, – especially the young generation – are utterly confused as there is no one to guide when it comes to what Real Living is about… Many are in deep pain, and due to the fact that the ones who are supposed to give guidance – parents, teachers, psychologists, etc. – are also afraid and cannot therefore give the right support.

        That is why I asked you whether you ponder on talking in schools.

        Please listen carefully:

        You don´t learn to be hungry or thirsty. It ´s the same with feelings.

        The problem is that this present age is afraid of – and discards real feeling, tacitly preventing us from our accepting our greatest treasure: EMOTION.

        Everything boils down to this – Emotion…
        I said innumerrable times – LIFE IS EMOTION.

        Emotion is the right answer to life. Meaning, self-worth, gratitude, all great things are the outcome of emotion.

        So I tell you again: you cannot learn to breath – the same goes for feeling…

        What you need to observe though is the fear invested in feelings, understand it and gradually rid yourself of it.

      • I like what you say, I really do, but I disagree slightly as well. Life is very much about emotion, about feeling. One could even say it’s all about the feeling and emotion – everything worthwhile connects back to feeling.

        I disagree in that I do believe we need to learn to feel, to allow emotion to freely exist as a part of our lives, or rather the word I’m looking for is re-learn. We knew how to feel, but we also learned how to limit it, how to hide it away. Over time, we began to look at it differently, to see emotion as a foreign, alien thing. An inconvenience, an obstacle. I believe we need to relearn what feeling is, each and every one of us, on our own terms.

  4. I think of this often as well…daily if truth be told. I agree that we must all find our own way. I am a spiritual person yet I do not find the concepts of organized religion comfortable. It does not feel right to me. I have no problem with others finding religion as their guide. I just can’t anymore. So my journey is mine, I own it. It is one of spirituality and deep thoughts. I love it and it is mine.

  5. The Dalai Lama, speaks of a simple thing about life, follow our heart to look for the joy for ourselves, that we can share with others. But, sharing is an art. Our parents share their love with us by not pampering us, but to give it in such a way that we learn the lesson, and the wisdom through adversity/effort (sorry, not happiness) in life, so that we eventually understand the true love, and true happiness, and finally true me.

    When we walk past a bush in the little path of forest, we have walked past a thousand worlds, the worlds of insects, other small organisms, the plants etc, and our world is just as tiny as them, and so there is nothing to be proud of by knowing our world.


    • You say some powerful things, and what I mean is that exploring the world is a start to the exploration of ourselves. The observations of those tiny world led you to realize how tiny our own world is… a discovery in many ways.

  6. interesting and honest thoughts -refreshing.
    my favorite line from this post: I know that I haven’t quite found what I seek, because I still feel the grip of a greater slumber holding onto me.
    nice to meet you, thanks for stopping by plucky umbrella – mary

  7. Pingback: What is living – a dialogue between me and Richard « Mirrors of Encounters

  8. The Dalai Lana quote reminds me of something I read a while ago about how His gives us all these wonderful plants that can survive in the harshest conditions and we work so hard to make grass grow when all we need is already growing. The human race is always looking over its shoulder… Life begins when we let go. Nice post.

  9. This is a good question that can only be answered every moment anew. When I live with Death on my shoulder, reminding me to make every breath, every word, every thought and every action out of that thought really count. When I like myself and how I live then I am really living. Thanks for asking.

  10. As another cerebral, intelligentsia type, might I make some suggestions for real living? It is not possible to discern analytically alone- you also have to experience life. And while the journey will always continue, I think that putting yourself in challening, unfamiliar situations is usually the key to unlocking those doors within your soul. Also, challenging yourself to break out of routines and relationships that no longer serve you. Like the pearl of great price, like the fact that it is easier to thread the eye of a needle with a camel than for a rich man to enter heaven, spiritual seeking requires you to be willing to give up EVERYTHING at a moment’s notice, in search of wisdom or in service to a greater good. That doesn’t mean you have to go join the peace corps, but it does mean you have to bust out of your comfort zone and never stop exploring and examining your beliefs. It doesn’t mean you constantly have to be in exploring mode either- you can adopt a set of views, principles, and goals to live your life by for as long as you see fit and as long as your conscience allows it.In our limited, human way of thinking about things, it can seem like different virtues and religions are in conflict, but I do believe they are part of a greater whole we just can’t see. That being said, in this life, you can identify with some things more than others, and you have to go where you find truth. In the US, the principles of equality and liberty are constantly in tension, but both are great principles. The messages of many religions have a lot in common, but to truly believe in any of themm, you have to reject all but the one that call you, even if you do see a deeper ecumenical understanding. Some might disagree with me on this, but they are entitled to their own views- tome, you can’t believe in everything at the same time! even if you can analytically see the value in it.
    I suggest you take any opportunity you can to travel or try a new activity that is the opposite of what you usually do. If you are an indoor guy, pick an outdoor sport. If you a lone contributor kind of persn, join a team sport. It is through experiences that we keep growing. Though everything happens in the mind, or ocnsciiousness, rather, you dont want to live your life without your senses and without rich experiences in the present moment. So go try somethingnew, or at least be thoughtful about what’s old. FOr me, i am really struggling with the idea of making choices that will bring me greater stability in life but will also entail greater routine, which can be the enemy or advocate of personal growth. I know as a 14 yr old, you only have so many opportunities, and I’m sure you might find things difficult being so deep and thoughtful at a young age, but enjoy being exactly what you are right now and see if you can discover some more about yourself. I think that there are some things you can only get from experience and analysis can only take you so far. So go forth, and live a little, and your dreams will become clearer and you will live a little more deeply.

    • We have the exact same view on this subject. I agree with every word you said, and I’m assuming you connected with the piece that I wrote. It’s a difficult thing to just jump into something, but as you said, it’s vital for the cycle of growth to continue. And yes, due to my age my opportunities are more limited, but at the end of the day, I think I have control over how many opportunities I do and don’t have.

      Thank you for reading and for writing this powerful and long comment.

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