This is the Ef Zin insight on Ideals that you practice and experience in the program “How to Energize Your Ideals“.
More often than not, the word “reality” carries a negative tone. Reality is a cold stark truth; filled with hardship, disappointment, and unfulfilled potential. And although we are intrinsically lead by our ideas and hopes for something better, we are taught to adopt a “realistic” perspective of life. We become skeptic of dreams and a vision for the future and even more so of ideals. How are we to find inspiration when we feel the starkness of reality so deeply? How do we find what drives us forward? Ignites our purpose? Gives us the energy we need to create a meaningful life?
We tend to draw a line between realism and idealism when, in actuality, they are one. Whilst reality may describe our material experience of life, it is our immaterial ideals that give it direction and purpose. Together, the material and immaterial feed one another, propelling each other forward; creating meaning in the process. We practice principles in our actions, we develop values with our behaviors and we build ideas through our experiences. These ideals, in return, help us create a reality of value. They become our source of energy (energia, “ενέργεια”) for movement and positive change. In the way honor encourages you to take ownership of your mistakes or true love empowers you in the face of hardship and human connection makes the darkest place feel infinitely bright. Recognize these ideals between the threads of your reality, and choose to energize them in your everyday.
“It is in the course of reasoning, if at all, that the soul gets a clear view of reality. […] Do we recognize such a thing as justice itself? And beauty itself and goodness too? [...] Have you ever seen any of these things with your eyes?” Plato
Our decision to practice values and ideals is a conscious one as a result of our reasoning. Society introduces us to vague ideas of justice, love, respect, or trust, but it is our individual choice to define and actualize them. To explore, by our own volition, what it means to be just or to truly love. Through trial and error, we learn how to express and energize our ideals or values. Learning how to love because of failed relationships, how to maintain dignity because of corrupt environments or how to truly connect because of a global pandemic. We learn how to be compassionate from our friends, learn the power of imagination from our predecessors or learn how to fight for freedom because of our community.
It is these intangible learnings from tangible teachings that help us build and rebuild our reality. They give the experience of living substance and purpose.
When we choose to perceive and practice our ideals, we unlock an infinite and stable cycle of energy. Our experiences energize our values and our values energize our experiences. Most importantly, you are the center of gravity for this cycle – and no external force can shake you. Although your ideals and values may evolve, their essence is fixed and never-changing; long lasting in the way they persevere throughout time. Whilst the outside world around you changes and shifts – clothes come in and out of fashion, economies rise and drop, people come and go – these ideals, these values, keep you in place. These non-tangible human principles become the unwavering and strong roots that keep you grounded amidst the storm, giving you the energy to progress and grow. It is your ideals that shift your perspective on life and have the power to change your experience of reality.
Reality is not a dry tangible experience, it overflows with quality and substance for us to perceive and interact with, to fuel our emotions and stimulate our minds, to build a promise for growth and self-fulfillment.
The experience of living is full of meaning, joy, light and reason for celebration when your ideals energize your reality.
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