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How to Become a Master of Life
Extract from "Wisdom on How to Live Life (Book 4)"
Are you a master or a slave of life? A simple question such as “Why do you do this?” reveals whether a person is a master or a slave of life. If the answer is “Because I have no choice,” the person is a slave. For a master’s answer will be “Because I choose to do it.” A slave feels that he is forced to do something, therefore he has no power to choose, and is a victim of circumstance. On the other hand, a master feels that he is doing something out of choice; therefore he has freedom to choose and is empowered to do so. This difference in feeling has nothing to do with the actual happening. Both the master and the slave may be doing the same thing under the same circumstance, but one feels empowered while the other feels powerless. This article compares the beliefs of masters to those of slaves, and describes how masters live.
2.0 Master beliefs
Our feelings and actions are very much dependent on our beliefs. In order to become masters, we need to adopt the beliefs of masters. The following clarifies the beliefs of masters as compared to those of slaves.
2.1 We are spirits
Many scientific publications tell us that we are physical bodies, while many spiritual publications tell us that we are spirits. Of these two beliefs, the consequence of choosing one over the other is enormous.
Physical bodies have a beginning (birth) and an end (death). So if we choose to believe we are bodies only, we will be very concerned with the death of our bodies, because as our bodies die, so do our beings. On the other hand, if we choose to believe we are spirits, we will not be too concerned with the death of our bodies, as spirits cannot be hurt, damaged or die. As spiritual existence is guaranteed to be eternal, spiritual lives do not have beginning or end. The existence of spirits is not threatened by the death of bodies. Spirits can live with or without bodies. Hence, if we believe we are physical bodies only, we will focus on our physical lives. We will then try to keep our bodies going forever, for we do not want our beings to end. Unfortunately, physical existence is guaranteed to be temporal. No matter what we do, our bodies are destined to perish one day. We will be saddened by the death of our bodies for we believe it is also the end of our beings. Not being able to prevent the death of our bodies, we feel powerless and become slaves of life. On the other hand, if we believe we are spirits living in physical bodies, we have an added dimension – the spiritual dimension. Since spiritual lives are eternal and will definitely last much longer than physical bodies, we will focus more on our spiritual lives. We will not be saddened by the death of our bodies, and we do not do the impossible to prevent our bodies to die. Instead, we look for ways to develop our spiritual lives. As we do, we feel empowered, thereby becoming masters of life.
2.2 We are all connected
By observing our physical bodies, we see that they are separate from one another, and are not connected. So if we believe we are bodies only, we will not feel connected to our fellow beings, for your pain is not my pain. We look for differences in our bodies, and may develop the “us and them” syndrome. We may even feel hostile towards them if we perceive them as enemies or competitors. Life becomes a competition in which we have to struggle to win. So we embrace the win-lose concept, and when we win some and lose some, we feel that we are slaves of life. Moreover, are we truly winners when we take more than we need while others do not have enough?
On the other hand, if we believe we are spirits, spiritual publications tell us that we are all the same and we are connected. We may think of spirits are like air, and there is only one air covering the entire Earth. With this belief, it becomes impossible to develop the “us and them” syndrome, for your gain is my gain, and your loss is my loss. Life becomes cooperation, and we can only win if others also win. So we embrace the win-win concept, thereby becoming masters of life.
If we believe we are bodies only, the issue of reincarnation does not arise because as our bodies die, so do our beings. On the other hand, if we believe we are spirits, spiritual publications tell us that as spirits, we can leave one body and subsequently take up another. If this is so, we may consider bodies are like clothes in which we wear one for one day, and change to another on another day. This belief enables us to live life without attachment to our bodies, thereby becoming masters of life.
Within reincarnation, there is one belief that by taking up different bodies, we progress in our evolution. When we evolve to a very high state, we may choose to remain as spirits forever, and there is no need to take up further bodies. However, before we reach this very high state, we are obliged to take up bodies after bodies. This belief also implies that when we live in bodies, we are at a lower state and are slaves of life. On the other hand, there is another belief that as spirits, we simply live alternately with bodies and without bodies, and this process goes on forever. With this belief, we can be at a very high state and can become masters even when we live in bodies. The latter belief is therefore more powerful. While we are in bodies, we can be masters.
2.4 We always have choice
If we believe we are physical bodies and the death of our bodies is the end of our beings, then of course we are not prepared to die. As such, we do not have the option of choosing to leave or not to leave our bodies. On the other hand, if we believe we are spirits in physical bodies, and we can take up bodies after bodies, then we always have a choice. The choice is to keep or to leave our bodies. By having such a choice, we are empowered because no one in the entire universe can then force us to do anything we do not want. Conversely, anything we do, it must be our own choosing, thereby becoming masters of life.
While we have the choice of leaving our bodies, this is of course the final choice with our present physical bodies, and we can only exercise this choice once. We should therefore exercise this choice with great wisdom bearing in mind that our bodies are sacred and we have good reasons for having them. Moreover, there are usually many other choices available to us before reaching this final choice.
More likely, we may be faced with the following. We do not wish to do certain thing but by not doing, we are afraid that we will lose certain perceived benefits. For fear of losing these benefits, we proceed to do the thing that we do not like. This in itself is not a problem. It only becomes a problem when we tell ourselves that we do not have a choice in the matter. Then, we become slaves of life. Alternatively, we can see that we have a choice. We may choose not to do that something and forego the perceived benefits (which may still happen). Or we may decide to go ahead and do whatever so that we may reap the perceived benefits (which may not materialize). Either case, we are empowered as it is our choice, thereby becoming masters of life.
2.5 No need
By observing our bodies, we find there are many bodily needs. On the other hand, if we believe we are spirits and have the option of taking up bodies after bodies, then we do not have to be too concerned with these needs. Moreover, if we believe we are spirits, our focus is not to keep our bodies going forever. By living as spirits, we can live a life of no need because spirits do not have need. By living a life of no need, we can make our choices wisely, thereby becoming masters of life.
2.6 Great Spirit
Spiritual publications tell us that we are part of one Great Spirit, and we and the Great Spirit are one. If we believe so, whatever is good for us is good for the Great Spirit and vice versa. It is then logical to believe that the Great Spirit will only do us good, as he or she is only doing good to himself or herself. Living with such a Great Spirit, we feel empowered thereby becoming masters of life.
2.7 Cause for happening
If we believe we are physical bodies and have the physical dimension only, for any happening, we will look for physical causes only. On the other hand, if we believe we are spirits in physical bodies, then we have the added spiritual dimension. For any happening, we will look for physical as well as spiritual causes. If we believe we are one with a Great Spirit who will only do us good, we can then believe that any happening must be good for us. By adopting this belief, we feel empowered thereby becoming masters of life.
3.0 Master living
If we adopt the beliefs of masters, we may live like masters. The following discusses how the masters live with the preceding beliefs.
3.1 Spiritual living
Since the master knows that she is a spirit whose existence is eternal, she is not too interested in undertaking tasks that are merely for the sustenance of her physical body. Instead, she is much more interested to undertake tasks that are good for her spiritual being. As such, she is not too motivated by physical rewards. Instead, she is much more motivated by spiritual rewards. Her priority is to undertake spiritual tasks that enable her to know spiritual truths. By knowing these truths, a master lives with truth and discriminates against falsehood.
As the master knows that he is a spirit and not the body, he does not indulge into the pleasures of the bodily senses because he finds that spiritual inner bliss is far more enjoyable. A master also knows that when he takes up a body, life promises him nothing. A master lives a life of no expectation. Living as a spirit, the master does not have any attachment to physical objects. By having no attachment to physical objects, a master can choose not to participate in any activity, and can therefore live a life of renunciation.
3.2 Connected living
A master knows that she is connected to all others. Whatever she gives to others, she gives to herself. A master therefore lives a life of giving rather than taking. She also knows that as she serves others, she serves herself. A master therefore also lives a life of serving others. By giving and serving, a master lives a life of love and compassion. A master also knows that she is connected to humans of all races. A master therefore lives a life of racial harmony. A master knows that she is connected to nature. A master therefore lives in harmony with nature.
A master knows that if he cheats others, he cheats himself. A master therefore lives a life of sincerity, honesty and integrity. A master also knows that if he is inconsistent in his thought, word and deed, he is cheating himself and others. A master is therefore true to himself and others. A master knows what are the rights and wrongs in life. A master therefore lives a life of righteousness. A master also knows that if he attacks others, he attacks himself. A master therefore lives a life of non-violence.
3.3 Life without fear
Since the master knows that she is a spirit and can take up body after body, she is not afraid of the death of her body. By not fearing death, the master lives a life without fear. By being fearless, the master is much more prepared to undertake daring tasks that are outside her comfort zone.
3.4 Life of choosing
Since the master knows that whatever action he takes is his own choosing, his actions are empowered. Whatever he undertakes, he does with conviction, and bears the responsibility. He does not blame others for the consequence. By taking responsibility for his action, he chooses his action wisely. By accepting the consequence of his action, he is at peace with himself. A master lives a life of peace and no regret.
A master also knows that whatever action taken by others, it is their own choosing. A master therefore does not grieve when a being chooses to leave her body, as she knows it is the choice of that being.
3.5 Life of no need
Since a master lives a life of no need, he does not require anything and demands nothing. Because a master lives a life of no need, he can therefore live a selfless life and has no desire. He does not require a particular outcome to make him happy. Conversely, there is no outcome that can make him unhappy. He therefore lives a life of equanimity.
As the master lives a life of no need, she does not require any company as she does not have any social need. She also does not require any follower. A master does not have any emotional attachment. By living a life of no need, a master can choose her company wisely and she chooses good company.
3.6 Life of letting go
A master knows that he is part of one Great Spirit. Whatever task he undertakes, he knows that the Great Spirit is on his side. He therefore does what he can, and leaves the rest to the Great Spirit. A master surrenders to the Great Spirit and lets the Great Spirit determine the outcome. A master lives a life of letting go.
A master also knows that whatever she achieves, the Great Spirit is the cause and she is the instrument. A master therefore lives an egoless life.
3.7 Good life
A master knows that he and the Great Spirit are one, and the Great Spirit will only do him good. So whatever happens to him, a master knows that the Great Spirit is doing him good. A master therefore lives a good life.
Some of the beliefs introduced in this article may be new to you. Hence, you may be tempted to ask for proof. Let me suggest that the important issue here is not whether these beliefs are true or not, but whether they are useful in helping you to become a master of life. You may of course choose to accept and reject these beliefs. By doing so, you have actually demonstrated that you are a master of life. This is of course your true self; you may then choose to live as a master or otherwise.
4.1 Who is a master?
A master is somebody who knows the truth of beings and lives according to that truth. A master knows that she is a spirit who may live with or without a body. He also knows that the existence of the spirit is eternal, while the existence of the body is temporal. She therefore lives her life by favoring the eternal. He also knows that as a spirit, he is connected to all beings, and has no need. She therefore lives a life of detachment, honesty, love and compassion. He also knows that he is part of one Great Spirit, a master therefore lives the good life without fear and ego.
4.2 End note
A master is not somebody who has everything but someone who needs nothing. May you become a master of life!
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