July 14, 2008

What Do You Want From Life?

“Then to the Lip of this poor earthen Urn
I leaned, the Secret of my Life to learn:
And Lip to Lip it murmured — While you live,
Drink! — for, once dead, you never shall return.”

– Omar Khayyám, Persian poet

That’s the real question, isn’t it? Ask a dozen people what they want from life, you’ll hear a dozen answers: Happiness, love, fame, wealth, health, prosperity, peach, music, sex, play.

The list goes on.

What’s interesting about most answers is that they’re void-fillers. The reality of existence is inescapable. The cause of anxiety, depression, and addiction, ultimately, is simple desire: The desire to be loved. The desire to be “okay.” The desire to have others around us so we needn’t face what Lao Tse called The Void.

It’s enough to make you laugh, isn’t it? The answer to the question, “What do you want from life?” then, doesn’t really matter. What you want, essentially, becomes irrelevant. You can have anything you want.

But: You must drink deeply.

And you must be willing to pay the price, to participate in The Great Exchange. Meaning, of course, that what you offer in trade for what you want must be of equal value in terms of the ongoingness of things.

Caveat Emptor: If you cannot be present with The Void, want is nothing more that the neurotic need to fill the unfillable hole. And you’ll never have enough, for The Void is infinite.

The Secret of Life is to be present in the ongoingness of things. To receive what life brings, and offer what you have in exchange, measure for measure. To simply be with and of The Great Void, without the need or desire to fill that space with anything.

When we relinquish our desire, we have the opportunity to participate in The Great Exchange of Life. So when you consider what you want from life, ground yourself. Aim solely to be part of The Great Exchange, and you’ll discover what you seek.


Ask yourself what you want to receive from life, and what you are prepared to give in exchange this week. Sit in The Void without wishing it to be anything else. You will be astonished at the treasure awaiting you there.

Comment Below ↓

There are no comments yet, be the first!

You must log in to post a comment.