SUCCEED BY MEANS OF CREATIVE PARTICIPATION
By Rev. Dr. Arthur Chang
Joseph Campbell said,
Life is joyful just as it is.
I don’t believe there was anybody who intended it, but this is the way it is. James Joyce has a memorable line: ‘History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.’ And the way to wake from it is not to be afraid, and to recognize that all of this, as it is, is a manifestation of the horrendous power that is of all creation.
The ends of things are always painful. But pain is part of there being a world at all … I will participate in the game. It is a wonderful, wonderful opera – except that it hurts. (The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers, book, p. 65-66)
How can we participate in this world as it is?
Live intentionally each day
Living intentionally each day brings focus into our lives. The world is filled with options, which, to the disorganized mind, means distractions. If, for example, our main focus it to have possessions beyond what we need to move our deeper soul-intention forward, then, disorganization will take over our lives and, as our Buddhists friends would say, “Living become empty.”
Our soul-intention is the feeling we have inside about what we are to be doing with our lives. James Joyce’s feeling that “History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake,” gives us the artist’s rendition of how we can be living in a world of confusion and become disoriented by our senses. Our soul-intention is connected with God’s original aim, which is to express goodness through us by means of Divine Order.
We have the great gift of freedom accompanied by the awesome weight of responsibility. To be overwhelmed in the morning by the sheer waves of life’s responsibilities can easily drown out our soul-intention. This is losing our feeling of support of the Divine Power available to us.
Focus on What not How
It is better to focus on what you wish to do with your life rather than on how to do it. How is often out of your immediate control. What is always available to you. To focus on what is to invite, in consciousness, the whole world to bring ideas and opportunities to your doorstep and it will.
We may not know how to get enough rain, but what we can do is to use water more efficiently. We may not know how to get more electrical power but we can learn to use what power we have more effectively. We may not know how to keep consumers’ prices from rising but we may choose what items we can do without or find alternatives more to our liking.
Create Your Own Opportunities
There is a tendency to hope for better opportunities when there seem to be few. However, we can use the creative factor in us more effectively to create our own opportunities. Most successful people do this. “Lack” is an opportunity for becoming more creative—not a forecast for our impending death.
Spending time praying and contemplating while using the principle of “What if?” will stir the fire of your immensely creative capacity into action. This is using your inner resources to create your own opportunities. This is living in the realization that God is always putting before us, options. As you create novelty, you will find the means to advance your universe.
Creative participation in our world is the way to succeed at living daily and throughout our lives.