By Priyanka Vakil
“People have already had to rethink so many concepts of motion; and they will also gradually come to realize that what we call fate does not come into us from the outside, but emerges from us,” Rainer Maria Rilke famously wrote, on the idea that our future is a separate circumstance our beings must adapt to, rather than a product of those beings.
But it’s not surprising if you consider how we are taught to think about fate and purpose. One of the most fundamental things we are taught in this life is that we need a measurable way to spend it. Different cultures value different ambitions, but we collective enforce the conditioning of “getting somewhere” and “being someone” not only on ourselves, but on everyone else.
“It is only because so many people have not absorbed and transformed their fates while they were living in them that they have not realized what was emerging from them; it was so alien to them that, in their confusion and fear, they thought it must have entered them at the very moment they became aware of it, for they swore they had never before found anything like that inside them. Just as people for a long time had a wrong idea about the sun’s motion, they are even now wrong about the motion of what is to come. The future stands still… but we move in infinite space.”
In spiritual readings and talks, there is a focus on becoming aware of this constructed “self.” We are called to become conscious of the fact that what we regard as “I” is temporary. Once it has experienced time and deteriorates, it is only that “self” – the one we’ve carefully, consciously and unconsciously invested in – that will die.
It seems while we’re all in this lifelong journey toward “becoming a somebody,” in reality, we’re on a one-way path to “becoming nobody.”
“A personality is an artificial construction of bits and pieces that you have gathered. Since it is an artificial construction, if you don’t protect it, it will crack and fall down. This is the whole purpose of the spiritual process – everything that can crack and fall down should fall down right now. There is something within you that cannot crack, nor can it fall. Ultimately, any significant transformation can happen in your life or in anyone’s life only when the intelligence of the Creator is at play.” – Sadhguru
So the expectation that we are to arrive somewhere with life has been ingrained in us since childhood. However, over time, our idea of “succeeding” becomes cyclical. More importantly, it keeps us on a treadmill of always trying to identify what’s wrong with our lives, rather than seeing what’s right with them.
We become aware of ourselves through an accumulation of our experiences – but we are not defined by the experiences themselves. We are not the stores of memories in our heads. We are not the expectations in our minds. We are not the people who arrive. We are arrived. Every moment is us arriving. We are here now. We are the somebodies until we become the nobodies. We are also the bodies between the somebodies and the nobodies. We strive to become somebodies until we realize there is nobody to be. There never could be a set of things to do but what we are already doing. We simply are.