People generally rate the quality of their life with the amount of professional ‘success’ they achieved, the wealth they amassed, the power and fame they gained and so on. Concepts such as good, bad, rich, poor, successful, unsuccessful, beautiful, ugly, etc. are relative. They are relative to one’s own perception and to that of a society or micro society of which they are a part. The reference points in classifying things as good or bad are based on one’s own knowledge, understanding, exposure and experience.
Heaven and hell have been vividly described in the scriptures of Abrahamic religions. Heaven is described to be a place with rivers of wine and milk, abundant food, fruit, poultry, angels, lovely women, gold, jewellery, precious stones, perfumes, etc. Whatever is mentioned in those books is not beyond the scope of human knowledge or imagination. This can be compared to the perception of ‘success’ in life that most people are after. What many people actually try to do is to become like someone else or to be better than them. Hence, all that people usually dream, imagine, visualise, aspire for and work
towards, are only those that exist within the limitations of their own imagination. They go for those goals, which they believe, are possible for them to achieve because that is what their experience and society taught them to believe. Such a limitation in imagination and defining what is possible and not, is the result of the collective knowledge level of the society they live in which also tells them what being successful or unsuccessful is.
Another example is that of people serving long periods of incarceration. Since those prisoners know for sure that getting out of jail is out of the question, most of them do not waste their time and energy on imagining escaping from prison or dreaming of things that would make no sense to them in jail. What these people do is to find ways to make their life in jail as ‘comfortable’ as possible. However, whatever they do is within the limitations set by the law of the land they live in, as well as the conditions imposed by their prison authorities. A prison has an entire parallel economy running within its walls. Prisoners join groups of powerful and dangerous ‘senior’ prisoners, be subservient to them and also do personal favours for jail officials. Whatever they do has a primary goal which is to achieve at least basic comforts in their life as a jailbird.
People usually imagine, dream of and strive to achieve ONLY the things in life that they have come across based on their exposure, education, economic and social status, and from the influences of the society they live in. In short, people desire things that can make them happy at a given point of time in a particular set of conditions. Therefore what some people perceive as success, richness, fame, power, etc., can be absolutely irrelevant to others who find themselves in entirely different situations. All people live in their own microcosms although they are parts of larger societies. Some people are jealous because their colleagues earn a couple of hundred Euro more than them but then why are they not affected by the large amounts of wealth owned by millionaires and billionaires? That is because of the borders they have set around their mind and the standard they have rated themselves to belong to which makes them believe to be a part of a certain economical group which is much lower than the league of the super rich. It is only because of the way they perceive wealth and themselves.
What one person perceives as success or wealth could be of no value to someone else. It is good to be inspired by the stories of successful people but the achievements of one can never be compared with those of others because everyone’s life is as per the individual’s respective stage in the Karmic journey towards the Ultimate Goal.
Worldly riches can only provide temporary pleasure in life which is so uncertain and they certainly make no difference to a dying or a dead person. It is the wealth of knowledge that guarantees permanent bliss through Karmic advancement towards the final destination.
Everyone is equally divine but the problem is that many either don’t know it or simply refuse to know it.