We know true joy of life from early childhood. As small children we had only biological needs, such as food. When these needs were fulfilled, we curiously explored the world by permanently asking ‘Why?’ and ‘Why not?’ with all our senses. This is also known as “play.” We did not just grow physically, we also grew mentally at a phenomenal speed. Life was beautiful and we enjoyed it to the fullest.
Yet, as we grew older and learned countless rules about how to behave within the social groups to which we belonged, our joy of life diminished. These rules also created mental needs, such as wanting to be seen and loved, which further contributed to our discontent.
True joy of life eludes us, as we are busy following the rules that we have learned and we are busy trying to satisfy the mental needs that arise from these rules. We have learned to call this the search for happiness. But none of the satisfactions that we have learned to look for – food, sex, romance, success, possession, drugs – lead to the kind of satisfaction that we so eagerly desire.
How can we once again experience the deep joy of life that we had when we were little?
To find an answer, it helps to understand why we enjoyed life to the fullest as a child. The reason is simply that we lived our full potential.
This begs the question: What is the full potential of a human?
An answer to this question is in “The Full Potential of a Human.” The full potential of a human is limitlessness.
Living limitless requires to permanently go beyond. Therefore, we can experience true joy, satisfaction, and contentment with life not by being content with what we have achieved but by going beyond. Again and again and again - lifelong.
This is how we lived when we were little. We were never content with what we had achieved. We were not content with crawling but wanted to stand, walk, and run. We were not content with somebody giving us a hand while we walked but wanted to walk alone. We were not content with being fed but wanted to feed ourselves. We were not content with grunting and stammering but wanted to speak all the languages that we heard. We were not content with what we knew about something but asked questions to find out more. We were not content with what we could reach but wanted to reach what was out of reach. We always wanted to know more, achieve more, reach more. This is why we tirelessly explored with all our senses the world and our place in it. When we were little we always yearned to grow and we gave everything to achieve this. Our ravenous curiosity was the power behind living the limitless life we had as a child.
Why did we stop living like that? It happened precisely as told in “The Other Story of the Eagle in the Chicken Coop.” By growing up in a limited and limiting human society in which we saw but humans who live limited lives we simply took on the limited and limiting behavior of our peers and thus inevitably became limited and limiting ourselves.
We live limited lives because we started to be content with what we have achieved. We started to be content with what we have achieved because this is what most people do and because we were told to be content.
Limitlessness is our true nature. Limitation is what we have learned. To be limitless again as the only way of experiencing true joy of life again, we need to become free from our limitations. Our limitations are the rules that we learned, “The Boxes We Are In.”
photo by Ben White on unsplash.com