In a recent
discussion, a friend was talking about seeking calmness. Being calm is
preferable to being agitated. In our high stress world, calm has become
a goal of most of the clients we see.
Calm is easy. There are many way to find a calm state. One can become calm by going into a coma. You would be calm but that is not the real goal. If someone is agitated in the hospital, they will often drug them until they become calm. Living on drugs is considered an illness.
So, what is the real goal if being calm is not? The elements most people want are calmness, being alert, being fully present, having the mental faculties sharp, and having the physical senses acute and so on. These attributes combine to define serenity. In metaphysics, we often refer to this as balance or enlightenment.
Actually, balance is not serenity. Balance is a process to help you get to serenity. You balance your bodily sensations with your mental activity and your spiritual needs. You balance your personal life with your work, your family, and your communities and so on and so on. These two examples should show one thing, balance is not a scale with a left and a right side. Balance is always many sided.
Enlightenment is also not serenity. Enlightenment is the real goal. Serenity is a state of being that is the result of being enlightened. Few of us will get to a true state of enlightenment. However, many of us will find some serenity.
Remember, serenity is not being in a stupor. It is not being spaced out. When you are serene you are extremely conscious. You can be mentally and physically active. You are part of the real world.
A person who is serene seems to be unaffected by all of the negativity that is around them. At work, they are the one that greets what others consider bad news with suggestions on how to move forward. They are the ones whose minds are active and clear. They react quickly and usually seem to never be surprised.
Not being surprised is not an illusion, trick or cover-up. They are fully conscious. They are totally in the moment. They see the interconnections of many more variable than most of us. Because of this serene state they see what happens as the natural result of all that has come before.
Remaining positive is not an illusion, an accident or a false face. The person who is serene sees the matrix of possible outcomes. They know that, at any time, a positive action can place us on the path to a positive outcome.
No person is born into a life that will give them serenity. It is, for all of us, a goal that we can seek. We say “can seek” and not “seek” because many people seek different goals. The two that are the biggest in our society are power and money. These two are often related but not always and neither leads to serenity. Those who seek wealth or power spend most of their time and energy trying to retain it when the get it. They become very narrow and out of balance.
It is interesting that people like the Dalai Lama, who find serenity, also have a great influence on those around them. And that influence is communicated to others. In the end, they seem to exert more influence and more real power than those who seek the power. Likewise, the person who is serene is comfortable
in what they have. They want for nothing. That is something that people with lots of money never say. Even if there is nothing they want to buy, they always want more money or that next conquest. Many of them want one thing above all others, serenity.