Once the food, water and basic requirements are covered, the reason most people strive and work their fingers to the bone is to be able to attain and maintain some personal space. The way it appears to work is the more money you have to throw at it, the more space you get.
If, assuming you’re not using your own private jet, and you spend £6000 you get to and fro between London and LA with relatively more space than if you spend £4000 on business, £1400 on premium economy or £700 on economy, for instance. Of course with the extra space you get, you are also accorded an extra degree of status but it’s the space you pay for. It’s the same with homes. People want to feel they own their own universe and so inevitably want the universe they own to be as large as possible otherwise it doesn’t feel much like a universe.
This tendency to want to shut yourself away in your own private, controlled universe, incidentally, arises from the yin energy within – that which makes you want to seek permanent structure to give you the illusion of being safe and sound amidst an ever-changing and potentially dangerous world. The necessity of reaching out beyond the confines of your constructed universe, on the other hand, in order to engage in commerce and social connection with others, is a product of the yang energy within, that which urges you to thrust forth.
And it actually doesn’t matter how tightly you construct your personal universe, nor how much money you invest in its construction, ultimately you are part of a continuum that actually knows no boundaries and the more you surrender to this fact, the more connected you know yourself to all existence, the less you feel the need to construct illusions of separateness, which can save you inordinate amounts of money and stress. In fact the more you know yourself as an indivisible aspect of an indivisible universe and the more comfortable you become with that over time, the more you realise that the entire universe is your personal universe – you own it all – as much as anyone else does. And though of course you’re still likely to arrive more rested off a long haul flight the more legroom and shoulder width you’ve paid for, the actual quality of experience is by no means determined in this way.
Quality of experience is determined solely by your internal response to external conditions. For forsooth, you can fly 1st class all the way and still be suffering the pains of existential ennui or anguish, just as you can travel all cramped in your seat and enjoy a transcendent interlude of unparalleled scope. Either way it’s quicker than walking and you’ll get there the same whichever end of the plane you sit or lie down in.
They key to attaining space lies in developing space within, or more precisely developing awareness of the space that’s already within via meditation on a daily basis and if you’re plumping for that approach, there’s no better style of meditating than the Taoist, as far as I can tell after decades of exploration.
May you feel so much natural 1st class internal spaciousness today and tonight you feel the whole world could fit on the end of your little finger.