- Whatever your sense of wealth is, whatever your highest aim and your needs for attaining it, I invite you this Diwali to probe it more deeply and critically.
How do you feel wealthy? Diwali, the festival of lights, is an invitation to this inquiry. At Diwali, Hindus often worship Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth. ‘Laksh’ means goal, aim, target. To attain one’s highest aim is to gain wealth. How does your life serve your highest aim?
Mine has been a journey whose zigs and zags are narrowing into sharper focus. I have many goals but my highest one is singular: I want to be more aware, awake, and conscious exiting my life than I was entering it. So I keep peering deeper under the hood, even if sometimes I fear leaning so far over that I’ll fall into the engine. But I feel wealthy whenever I have the support crucial for this work:
Not to mark hands marching down the moon-faced clock but to gaze upon clouds drifting across the twilight moon. Not to achieve any conditioned goal but to get closer to a preconditioned state. Slow time softens discursive thought so I can feel life pulsing in my cells and in the air around me. My month of silence and solitude is one of my greatest riches. I will fight like hell to protect it, even from other parts of myself.
Slow time helps me listen past my thoughts to creation, and creation speaks loudest and clearest in the wilds of its own making. When I can think less loudly, I can hear what the trees have to say and let their breath into my lungs and mine into their leaves. I can feel how the moon beckons to the waters and know why the birds sing to both of them. I can know in my bones that “I think, therefore I am” is the lie foisted upon us and the truth is actually, as Audre Lorde said, “I feel, therefore I can be free”.
What I feel in nature now is the growing intensity under which life is desperately eking itself out. The richness of this earthly realm–where mind meets matter, where limit meets possibility, where suffering meets the sublime–is being plundered to paucity by madmen who keep us enthralled in our minds so we can no longer feel the truth embedded in our bodies.
Whatever your sense of wealth is, whatever your highest aim and your needs for attaining it, I invite you this Diwali to probe it more deeply and critically. Even if you return to the same one, you’ll be wealthier for the journey of asking how it fits into reciprocity with the wilderness of this wonderous world we live in.
Mansi Goel is an insight addict and a liberation enthusiast. She is most concerned with ideas of Being and Meaning that inform how life is experienced. After escaping corporate life, Mansi spent months is silent meditation and has now crafted a version of the philosophical life that she had always dreamed of.