Trying is the outcome of desire and, on the surface of life, the successful acquisitions and achievements are temporary always leading on to the next desire. All this is educational but it is not fulfilling and always leaves one wanting more, something other, and ever searching for the next thing. Real fulfillment only comes when the search turns from the material to the spiritual.
For the average person, there is the desire for transitory things and this is the common lot of humanity. Often this means unnecessary acquisitions or superficial values that are in conflict with the deeper purposes of the soul. But in a life well lived, there is increasingly the sacrifice of things of lesser value for those of greater value. As response to deeper purpose increases, “things” relate more to the world of art or ideas. Ultimately, the instinct for acquisition becomes the desire for things of the soul, that is, for the skills and power to be truly helpful and creative. Acquisition to have, is supplanted by acquisition to give. Thus, the substance of mind and heart is subjected to a fiery renovation.
Fulfillment at any stage is not absolute but our cup is filled according to its size and there is complete joy. But there are no dead ends in life and we move beyond and beyond again–a motion toward the infinite.
“Seek not your own life – for that is death; but seek how you can best and most joyfully give yourself away – and every morning forever fresh life shall come to you from over the hills.” Edward Carpenter