Gurdjieff ([1877-1949], priest, physician, teacher, author of ‘Meetings With Remarkable Men’) tells us that to live in a truly creative and dynamic way; we would have to think in a completely new way. He encourages that to be completely fulfilled, we must engage in our own conscious evolution. In his work he also speaks about conscious labor and intentional suffering and about the importance of undertaking the burden of responsibility for serving the future…in other words building a legacy…
Gurdjieff’s student J.G. Bennett “…adopted as a major theme of his life and work the teaching known as “The Fourth Way”. This is very simply that in the face of a threat, whether environmental disaster, war and conquest, or economic collapse, those persons who are able to do so must accept the responsibility of guiding and supporting the less resourceful, but not through the conventional institutions of government or religion, but rather on the level of new ideas and attitudes, inspiration and spiritual regeneration. As many Sufi teachers have done, he hinted at a world of experience in which the laws are quite other than those governing the material world – in some cases, the reverse. Those who are able to decipher this riddle must inevitably dedicate themselves to serving humanity, and the future of our world.” (www.jgbennett.net)
Those of us that understand that there is far more to life than what we can physically “see”, understand also that we have a responsibility to encourage other people not to be limited by their own thinking. I speak often of the fact that you should never, ever judge or evaluate a situation by the way that it looks in any given moment—you should only ever operate from your intention about what the outcome will be. So many people are stopped in their tracks because they think that the obstacles they encounter are “real”…they fail to understand that what makes obstacles “real” is believing that they exist. There are people that are never stopped, people that never quit…if one way gets blocked up they find another…these are the people that succeed and know how to live ‘outside the box’…these are the kind of people you want to know.
I mostly live in a conversation called ‘what’s next…what else needs doing’, the past few weeks I have been living in a question called, “What is your Legacy?”
It is interesting that when you begin to engage in this discussion your life and what you have done or not done shows up in a whole different light…complaints and grievances don’t hold much water in the Legacy conversation…25 years after you’re dead nobody is going to care that your back hurt or you had a cold or a headache or that you were too tired to do the laundry. Some people have told me that their children are their legacy and that is certainly true for all of us that are parents, however, for me that isn’t enough.
I want to leave something that breathes on long after I checked out…something that is dedicated to making people’s lives better, something that educates people and teaches them how to succeed…something that helps those that need helping…something that can be carried forward …something that makes a difference…
My life will change from living in the question, “What is your Legacy?”…do me a favor and take a moment to answer that question for yourself…honestly. How are you giving back, who are you helping, and what are you serving besides yourself? How do you serve the future?
I have a theory that if people lived in these questions life would take on a whole new meaning…if people lived for a purpose bigger than themselves the small annoyances they suffer would become much less significant.
Certainly not the average conversation, but average conversations never create much growth or much action—they also don’t cause you to think much. I leave you with my favorite quote by George Bernard Shaw:
“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. “
George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Epistle Dedicatory
- written by Noelle (in case you couldn’t tell)