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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What does it mean to Live a Rational Life?

Mundane definitions are predictable and fit into societal norms; the esoteric definition of rational living is something altogether different.

“Rationality is one of the faculties that develops when people persevere on the path of aspiration and striving….People lose their power of rationality when they lose the power of perseverance. They begin to act in a way in which you cannot see in them any rationality. Their actions and thoughts lose the path of reason, and irrationality controls them.” (Initiation,the Path of Living Service by Torkom Saraydarian, p. 19.)

Rational living means to make choices in our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual life that have positive, healthy, vibrant results. It means that our life choices are based on cause and effect and we see that whatever happens in our life is no accident, it has a cause somewhere and some place in time.

Desire rules most of our life. We can make list upon list of what we desire. Desire in itself does not produce results, so we cannot think that by virtue of desire, we have all that we want fulfilled.

When we put our heart into a desire, it means we are aspiring, we are actually moving toward taking some action that will result in an outcome that we want. So, for example, we have a desire to have a healthy and slim body. We can sit and desire it all we want but this will not give us a healthy and slim body. When we aspire to have a healthy and slim body, we start to search and learn how to bring about a healthy and slim body. We look into diets, exercise, join the gym, watch health shows on TV, and read the latest articles on health and wellness.

But, we still need to take another step. In order to have the kind of body we want, we need to do something about it, take action and this is called striving. We go to the gym on a regular basis. We follow the right diet for our bodies and lifestyle. We take appropriate supplements. We remove harmful foods and drink and become more conscious about our relationship with food. We observe what is making us better and what is still hindering the process. We become rational; our life makes sense, our decisions are based on evidence that is observable and provable by our life results. We also stop making excuses and silly remarks about our body that is counter-productive.

There is yet another step to becoming rational: help others to achieve the same results that you are striving toward. Work with someone else who has the same desires and help her or him to achieve the same rationality that you have found. Mentor, teach, write, post findings on your social sites. When we teach and mentor, when we better ourselves along with others, we achieve a community of rational people rather than a community of whiners. Even more importantly, we learn valuable life lessons.

When we become rational, our daily rhythm flows naturally and rhythmically with our life’s desires. We are not pulling in one direction, and breaking it down in the next. We are not up one day and down the next. We are not making all kinds of promises and show-off statements only to forget them the next. We are serene and healthy and mentally clear consistently.

Why do we need to strive to become a rational person? Being rational means we are dependable, stable, and healthy. We follow through with our promises. We think before we speak. We take into account a larger picture of life before we make decisions. We have a long range view of life. We are sane and balanced and a joy to be with. Think of people in your life who are sane and rational and those who are not. Whom do you prefer to be with? Whom do you prefer to employ? Whom do you prefer to work with, or partner with? A rational person is much preferred company than an irrational person.

The result is a healthy life, healthy emotions, sane mind, dependable relations and friendships, and integrity. Rational people make better leaders, parents, friends, spouses and so on. Irrational people are negative, sick, hurtful, and separative and are always moving from one desire to the next; such people are selfish, easily wounded, and reactive.

Esoterically, what happens to an irrational person? Patches of desires and wishes and dreams all accumulate on the person’s subtle mechanisms and clog his paths. Think of lists upon lists of desires floating around your body. If the person accumulates and accumulates information to feed his or her desires, this information also becomes patches of undigested materials. The person becomes “thick” and unresponsive. Nothing gets through and desires do not become reality; there are too many blockages.

Although being a rational person may not seem to be a “spiritually sexy” way to be, it is the only way to become a real person, a way by which others can achieve, a way to be in the vanguard in moving the hearts and thoughts of humanity toward the betterment of life.

Being a truly rational person does not mean we buy into the meaning of rationality from fleeting cultural norms. Rationality in a materialistic society means to buy into the illusions of marketing and artificially created values and desires. Smart marketing gimmicks compel us to spend our money, time, creative talents to fulfill the financial desires of corporations. Twisted rationality becomes conformity to the norms imposed on us. Whereas a truly rational person is the opposite.

Ask questions, think, ponder, consider cause and effect, consider what values and principles are at the root of anything that you desire, aspire toward, strive to have, and work to increase in the world. When you take the time to go through this process, you can become a truly gifted and rational person.

- Torkom Saraydarian.

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