The first two weeks in May have had us discuss two important influencers in most people’s lives – Teachers and Mothers. A lot of us are indebted to them for our foundation, our values, our thought processes, our work ethics and more. For some of us, they probably even represent(ed) our very first view of what constitutes an “Ideal person”. For some of us, our very idea of spirituality may have emerged from our association with a spiritual teacher or Guru, and in some cases, that may have coincided with a Mother or Mothering figure. But what is an “ideal” person anyway? Some dictionary definitions of ideal are
satisfying one’s conception of what is perfect…
existing only in the imagination; desirable or perfect but not likely to become a reality
representing an abstract or hypothetical optimum
If we are to adopt any one of those definitions above, the idea of an ideal person is (at least to me) a little bit intimidating, if not impractical. Perfection may be an ideal goal, but it often is unachievable. We often hear that we should strive for excellence and not perfection. The second definition implies that an ideal is not likely to become a reality. The third statement suggests that an ideal is an abstraction.
So, if we accept any of the above three definitions – that ideals are mere concepts, unlikely to become reality, represent abstractions, then what is the purpose of even having any ideal(s)? Are they even necessary? Do they set us up for (spiritual) disappointment and perhaps, even failure? Or do you have a totally different personal definition of what an ideal constitutes?
Regardless of the definition, I believe that ideals are necessary because even though they me be unlikely to become reality, they can help to fire our imagination with ideas on how to work towards making them a reality. The achievement of our Ideals can serve as our calling, the inner voice which guides and inspires us, the light which, by it’s shining, helps to steer us out of our dark moments. And, armed with actionable ideas, and a commitment to consistent action, we can move closer towards our ideals.
So, in the context of the above questions arise. What are some of your ideals? Do your ideals encourage you to explore new ideas or do they tend to suppress them? How do we overcome obstacles when holding on to our (spiritual) ideals? Are ideals even useful in today’s world? How do our ideals shape our values? Or do they?
I invite you to think about these ideas, meditate about your ideals, and share with us on Sunday May 18th at 9amET / 2pm UK / 630pm India in our weekly conversation on twitter in hashtag #SpiritChat. If you cannot make the live chat (or are reading this post after the event), please share some ideas and ideals in the comments below, for the benefit of the community. Thank you!
Full chat transcript is available at http://bit.ly/sc-tr-0518 ; Questions asked during the live chat hour are listed below…
Ready? Q1. Share with us – one (or more) over-arching IDEAL(s) in your life… #SpiritChat http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/468014411312291840
On to Q2. The realization of an #ideal faces obstacles like…? You overcome them by…? #SpiritChat http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/468015829544878080
Q3. Is the notion or idea of having ideal(s) intimidating to you? Why or why not? #SpiritChat http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/468017237446885377
Q4. What is the practical purpose/benefit of having, holding to ideal(s)? Is there any? #SpiritChat http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/468018699052789760
Q5. Ideas. Q5. Share with us – one (or more) mind-bending IDEA whose “time has come”… #SpiritChat http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/468020301784424448
Think. Q6. What new IDEAS (may) have arisen within you, in working towards your ideal(s)? #SpiritChat http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/468022348810301440
Q7. What new (and old) ideas/ideals are useful to you as ‘tools’ for spiritual growth? #SpiritChat http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/468024242450472960
Final Q8. To those looking for new ideas, new ideals, struggling with old ones, you say… #SpiritChat http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/468025662646018048
Bonus Q9 🙂 Looking for ideas to make this hour, this community better… please email/DM/FB or tweet 🙂 #SpiritChat http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/468026821456703489