Listen to episode 353 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Understanding the Great Secret of Life. Edited and adapted from a lecture by Swami Vivekananda.
Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: If we examine our own lives, we find that the greatest cause of sorrow is this: we take up something and put our whole energy on it — perhaps it is a failure, and yet we cannot give it up. We know that it is hurting us, that any further clinging to it is simply bringing misery on us. Still, we cannot tear ourselves away from it.
The bee came to sip the honey, but its feet stuck to the honey-pot and it could not get away. Again and again, we are finding ourselves in that state. That is the whole secret of existence. Why are we here? We came here to sip the honey, and we find our hands and feet sticking to it.
We are caught, though we came to catch. We came to rule; we are being ruled. We came to work; we are being worked. All the time, we find that. And this comes into every detail of our life. We are being worked upon by other minds, and we are always struggling to work on other minds.
We want to enjoy the pleasures of life; and they eat into our vitals. We want to get everything from nature, but we find in the long run that nature takes everything from us, depletes us, and casts us aside. That is the one cause of misery: we are attached, we are being caught.
Thus we must work constantly; work, but be not attached; be not caught. Reserve unto yourself the power of detaching yourself from everything, however beloved, however much the soul might yearn for it, however great the pangs of misery you feel if you were going to leave it; still, reserve the power of leaving it whenever you want.