The Best Way to Be

Joan Marques - Ed.D., MBA.
Burbank, California

The best way to be is untouched: Caring about the well-being of others, but not making one's well-being depend on theirs. However, this state of existing, although sought-after by many because of its guarantee for a peaceful, undisturbed life, is not very easy to achieve. In fact it seems an almost impossible state to reach for a caring parent, for as long as one has children, and one cares for them, one is practically incapable of being content if the children are not doing well in the ways that matter most: health, happiness, and survival.

Yet, whether enlightenment can only be achieved by being untouched or not, a state of near-enlightenment is not impossible, even when one is "touched" by offspring. The secret to reaching the near-enlightened state may simply be to keep one's priorities in order. That is, not attaching oneself to anything that can be taken away again: not a position, not a possession, not even one's own life. And yes, that too is a hard state to achieve, but not impossible, especially when one learns to see things in perspective.

It is all about perspectives, you know. Perspectives are eminent. Perspectives may be considered the biggest business of all. Look around you: there are so many people and institutions that are making staggering fortunes by being in the business of selling perspectives. Some preach the perspective of guilt to place a burden on followers' souls in order to make them submissive. Some lecture the perspective of punishment to impose fear on followers in order to have them refrain from doing certain things. Some promote the perspective of a forthcoming yet distant paradise as a reward to motivate followers in doing the things they want them to do.

And some preach the perspective of developing one's own perspective: Turning inside to obtain insight. They do that by informing others that they are not followers, but entities who should develop their own perceptions; and that they should not feel forced to do anything that is not in harmony with their spirit; that they should only be submissive toward their inner voice, which will tell them what is the right thing to do; that they should only fear this inner-voice, sometimes called conscience, as it will be their sole punisher if they wander from their own values; and that they can achieve paradise everyday of every year if they maintain respect for the insights they have attained. And these are the ones that ultimately reach the state where they can connect with others, as they have discovered their own source of serenity, and can now care for others without making their ultimate well-being depend on these others. They can practice interconnection because they have achieved inner-connection.

So, yes: one can become untouched by detaching oneself from everything that can be taken away; positions, possessions, and even one's own life. And yes, even parents with strong emotional ties to their children can reach this state, but it may take longer, and it may require more effort.

And who says anyway that nirvana has to be a constant place to reside? Is life not in and of itself a chain of changes, and thus, a guarantee for ups and downs? And is paradise, or nirvana if you will, then, not an impermanent haven?

Now, for the ones who wonder what the above elucidation about being untouched and developing one's own perceptions has to do with business: try to achieve anything while being insecure, unfocused, disconnected from colleagues, and inwardly unbalanced. Success, dear one, starts with knowing what you want, and can only be reached when you go for what you want. And going for what you want often requires bundled efforts: team spirit. And team spirit requires a spiritual workplace. And a spiritual workplace requires trust and inter-connectedness. Now, if success is what you want: your paradise; your nirvana; and you know that it starts with knowing what you want, you may realize by now that knowing what you want requires nothing more than inner-connection, which is...right: turning inside to obtain insight.

Need I say more?