the lost man chronicles
95. the fountain inside

"In two years he had learned everything about shepherding: he knew how to shear sheep, how to care for pregnant ewes, and how to protect the sheep from wolves. He knew all the fields and pastures of Andalusia. And he knew what was the fair price for every one of his animals."
~ The Alchemist, Paulo Coehlo

"It wasn't that the job was hard, but merely that we put in a lot of hard work," I explained with unruly emphasis to my boss.

Just as my father used to scorn with his patronizing scowl, I felt at this point that indeed I did "know everything." And as a result, success had been a matter of a good dose of Edisonian inspiration. This was experience applied, science in motion, and thus had not required much intelligence, just a little ingenuity, and a lot of perspiration.

And thus, although I smiled amidst all the accolades that my superiors were extolling upon me, inside I was sighing. For the job was no longer mentally trying, and thus my status was bordering on complacency.

As I know my personal destiny is positioned to be more than a happy stupor, I am motivated to move on, for I have come to realize that an enchanted life requires consistent renewal, upheaval and change, even if that merely means rearranging the furniture. In fact, most of the time it is that simple, for most of us work, live, love and play with limited resources. Therefore, it is most prudent to use one's imagination and move things around, rather than unnecessarily burying oneself in debt and the burden of maintenance.

Besides, most of the time true happiness begins and ends at home.

For some, home means wandering about the world and living with one self, traveling alone, if only mentally, accumulating nothing but experience, understanding and intuition.

For most though, the abode is manifest materially, and not only leads to wistfully whisking through countless catalogues, hording collections of plastic trinkets which they never take out of the box, having foolishly bought the notion that possessions are more valuable as space taking decorations on display than as tools or toys for play ("it's worth more that way, and I hope to some day auction it online for twice the price") , but also ultimately leads to frustration with the frivolity of it all. Yet, the vast majority never realize this, and thus die unhappy.

Bliss is immaterial and the potential for having it in your life is already stored away in the infinite space of the mind. To tap it one must continually initiate an effort to be aware of one self, opportunity, and the circumstances that both of the former play out in. There's no better explanation as to why half who are alive feel deadóthey simply are not taking the initiative to change, see and entertain their situation differently.

Hence, it is best not to blame anyone but your self should you get stuck in a rut behind the same old door; don't pout, whine or simmer peevedójust get out. For should you find that "you know everything" inside, and suddenly you discover you are slightly less than happy, accept it as a sign that it is time to take a ride elsewhere. Risk venturing away from comfort as soon as you begin to yearn for renewal by simply learning something new.

For ultimately, those who continue learning maintain their youth throughout life, youth being the elusive secret that takes the universal struggle out of the individual's strife.

"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young." ~ Henry Ford

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