The Roman god Janus is a mysterious fellow and it doesn’t come as a surprise that experts debate his role in the divine scheme. The main consensus: He presides over gates and transitions.
The fact that Roman priests invoked him before every ceremony and sacrifice shows his archaic importance. In the context of enlightenment cosmology, Janus represents the dualism of existence. Existence is polar – hot and cold, high and low, happy and unhappy, heaven and earth, past and future. Ancient ceremonies invoked forces (gods). Ceremonial priests had to manage the ambivalence of the forces they invoked. Janus is the cosmic balancer – karma that is.
You are a little Janus too. You look in two directions – the external and internal world. You are the dweller on that threshold. You are a focus in which the external and internal world produce the splendor of human experience. You dwell where the rubber meets the road.
The external world is a severe world. If you miss by an inch you miss. A wrong move can cost you your life. A Billion dollars can’t buy a nanosecond. In the external world, we are takers, survivors, and competitors. There, the end justifies the means. Karma – the law of action and response – rules the external world. We are used to adversity. “We suffer the external world,” Buddha said, and he meant that we suffer both good and bad experiences.
In our internal world, we fantasize, dream, and meditate. It is a merciful place. If you miss the mark you can try again as often as you like. Inside, we love, behold beauty, find purpose, and can be happy. And we can get enlightened there. In the internal world, we are souls in a paradise of our own making.
Can you see why relationships are so rewarding? They allow us to share our internal worlds.
The external world hurts the internal world mends. Dan Gilbert, the author of Stumbling on Happiness, challenges the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want. Here is his TED talk about the psychological immune system that lets us feel happy even when things don’t go as planned:
The Surprising Science of Happiness
Modern lifestyle distracts from the internal world. Technology has put external experiences and pleasures on new levels. Nothing wrong with pleasure per se, but external experiences are ghostly. If you want to be happy (as a state of mind) you need to look inside.
Naturally, the external and internal world are in conflict. A few times a day, we decide which one to prioritize.
When we let the external world get to us, disappointment, anxieties, anger, cynicism, shame, and depression may seep into our internal world.
Enlightenment reverses that. It externalizes our inner values. Empowered by Esprit, we expel negativity and project love, beauty, happiness, and purpose into the external world.
Long term, the inner world always prevails. Why? Because we, souls, come from a higher dimension. We are natural-born rulers. It is just a matter of time until we figure out how things work. And it is just a matter of time until we get tired of our negativities and repent.
Societies prove the superiority of the internal world. Society is the collective means through which mankind manifests love, happiness, purpose, and beauty in the external world. We paint and carve statues. We write beautiful stories. We build machines to humanitize survival. We make rules that protect souls. We donate to charity. We forgive each other. We save each other.
We need both worlds. If we ignore the internal world we reduce ourselves to smart monkeys looking for the next banana. Without the external world, we don’t have adventures. We need it to learn – souls don’t evolve in paradise. Last but not least, the external provides a platform where we can connect and collaborate with other souls.Heed both calls, the call of the valley of experience and the call of the mountain of enlightenment. Click To Tweet
One way to overcome the conflict between the external and internal world is the pursuit of the heart’s desire. It means to live your life from the inside out. Barter your email address to join the workshop and watch the video course on holistic self-realization in the member section.
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