Thank you for your responses on my last blog post: ‘The Purpose of Tests’. Many of you shared your thoughts privately and sent them to my personal email account – totally understandable as this can be a sensitive and personal subject. I asked a couple of my friends if I could share their insights on this blog and they kindly agreed… One friend shared a powerful dream they had had about learning to be a ‘hollow reed’ after being severely tested and having been stripped from one of their most prized possessions – their musical instrument. Another friend shared that tests and difficulties really make you become detached from your ego…they humble you and bring you down to your knees…. Thank you to my friends who shared their responses on the blog too – I really enjoyed reading your insightful comments.
One of the reasons I wanted to make the CD, Fire and Gold, is precisely because it is on the theme of tests and difficulties and is a subject we all experience. Because it’s a a common thread in all our lives, everyone can identify with it.
Below is one of the quotations that I chose to set to music for the CD on a similar theme of how this world is just a show. It is the title song from the CD, Fire and Gold. You can listen to the song below:
“The world is but a show, vain and empty, a mere nothing, bearing the semblance of reality. Set not your affections upon it… The world is like a vapor in a desert, which the thirsty dreameth to be water and striveth after it with all his might, until when he cometh unto it, he findeth it to be mere illusion”. -Bahá’u’lláh
This quote has such depth in meaning and when I reflect on it I understand that the world is not real. It’s just an illusion and it’s passing. Anything that passes ultimately cannot be real. To give you an example, it’s like watching a movie – it has a reality in that moment when we’re watching it, but then it’s over. Thinking of it in symbolic terms, it’s as though we are the actors in the movie. We’re here in this world observing a movie but when the movie’s over, we leave the theatre. What we do in the movie dictates who we are when we leave the movie. What we’ve done in this world and what we’ve developed are who we are. I believe that when we leave this world we take two things – our good deeds (what we’ve done) and our virtues (who we are). The only things we get to keep eternally are things that we give away, ie. our service to others. When we are of service there is an element of sacrifice. We give up that time to help someone else. That act of service is ours forever and that’s what we take with us when we leave this world. The reason we take it with us is because we gave it away. I believe, however, that one has to be of service with a pure motive and with true sincerity otherwise I don’t think it translates as true service. Of course those we aid will benefit but I don’t think our soul could fully benefit unless it’s done with the purest of motives.
The phrase that echoes in my mind from the above quotation is: “Set not your affections upon it…” – a warning sign not to get attached to this world. I would love to hear your thoughts or any inspirational stories you would like to share…