Although Spirit has the best opportunity to shine through me, when I’m in solitude, unencumbered by the outside world of people, traffic and material things, it is when I’m out in public that my Light really shines. This may seem a bit opposite of what we’re taught to believe – Be in the World but not of it!
However, it is when I’m with other people that my True Self is able to express the joy I have from being who I AM. As a musician, my purpose is to bring joy to and out of other people. I don’t do that so well, sitting in my living room or at my desk. It’s when I expand my day or evening by stepping out of my comfort zone into the world around me and interact with other souls, who are striving to fulfill their soul purpose.
Herman Hesse wrote about the young ascetic Siddhartha, who left the comfort of his Brahman family and home to travel with his best friend Govinda in search of Buddha. They lived the life of yogis, begging for food and meditating most of the day. Finally, Siddhartha realized that he needed to return to the world of men in order to fulfill another part of himself. He became a wealthy merchant, high respected in his community. Then, he fell in love with a very popular and high-priced courtesan, who eventually fell in love with him and gave birth to a son, a rare event, indeed. When she died, their son became Siddhartha’s responsibility. In his teens, the son was extremely rebellious and ran away, causing Siddhartha much grief (much the same as he caused his own father, when he went off with Govinda). In the final chapter, Siddhartha switches places with the ferryman, whose life once seemed so useless to Siddhartha. But he learned that simplicity was at the foundation of crossing the river several times a day and he led this life until his demise.
I read Hesse’s little book several times over the course of my own life, which has been filled with lots of adventure and accomplishment. For the last five years, it’s been my pleasure to stay at home as much as possible and enjoy the benefits of living in solitude. Of course, I have my cell phone that rings a fair amount of times per day. I use the computer to reach out to the world without having to meet people face to face. And, when my life calls for it, I go out to meetings and events, especially those that I’m involved with for musical performance.
And it is those times when I don’t want to go out at all that a light goes on. For example, last night, I went to a bowling alley to support Sharon Major-Hughes, who works with at-risk boys. It cost me $15 and I really had no desire to go out and really didn’t have an extra $15 to spend. But I went anyway. Besides being warmly greeted by Sharon and her sister Africa, I met a lovely woman Paulette, who suffered from having a knee replacement. I met an old friend, who is politically active.
Then, four of the young people that Sharon works with in her organization Princes II Kings came over to my table and personally thanked each of us for coming out to support them. This made my heart feel good and I am happy that I stepped out of my comfort zone to let my Light shine through.