Ultimate Fulfillment?

by Christopher Lovejoy on July 24, 2011

The other day, I took some time out to engage my spirit in a brisk walk.

After walking for nearly an hour under the late afternoon (hot) sun, I arrived home and carved up some chilled citrus fruit for dinner.

As I placed my peeled citrus pieces into a white porcelain bowl, I caved in to the temptation of putting one of them into my mouth.

My tongue tingled exquisitely.

In one sitting, I quenched my thirst and sated my hunger.

I felt completely satisfied, like I believed I would be.

Promise and Possibility

As simple as this story looks and sounds, it has enough illustrative power for me to begin a process of articulating the nature, meaning, and realization of ultimate fulfillment.

Within a field of infinite possibilities, or, if you prefer, within a field of possibilities galore, lies two areas of possibility for me, with no overlap, where one (#1) is surrounded by the other (#2), like a donut in a sea of possibilities:

  1. what I know is possible for me (which involves my soul)
  2. what I believe is possible for me (which engages my spirit)

I knew it was possible for me to prepare some chilled citrus fruit when I returned home from my walk. I had no reasonable doubts in my mind that I would return home in one piece and that I would retrieve the citrus fruit from my fridge and prepare it without incident, but I could only believe that it was possible for me to quench my thirst and sate my hunger with the amount of citrus fruit that I had prepared for myself.

What I knew was possible for me was more secure for my intention (to prepare the fruit) than my expectation (that I would be satisfied) based on what I believed was possible for me. I felt more secure in knowing that I could prepare and chow down on my chilled citrus fruit than merely believing that the fruit I selected would be enough to quench my thirst and sate my hunger.

In my heart and mind, promise and possibility are linked, irrevocably. What this means is that my promise as a person of significance and my possibilities as a person of consequence are intimately held and invariably tied to the promise and possibilities of what I seek to keep or gain, retain or obtain, maintain or attract, preserve or acquire.

At the center of what I know or believe is promising or possible for me within a field of infinite possibilities lies a presence, which I identify as my presence, that can appreciate motives and reasons for intending or expecting … something. If this is so, wherein lies my source for intending that I conform, commit, or perform? In a space where I hold my promise – my soul, a soul of promise. And wherein lies my source for expecting that I improve, succeed, or excel? In a space where I carry possibility – my spirit, a spirit of possibility.

What (Really, Truly) Matters to Me?

In One Soul, One Spirit, I touched on this question in some depth.

Under the heading, The Soul Contains a Sense of Promise, I explored the heart of what matters, of what really matters, of what truly matters, and of what really and truly matters.

In each of these areas of promise, I have five categorical quantities from which to choose:

  1. nothing
  2. one thing
  3. some things
  4. many things
  5. everything

This is not mere wordplay. The quality and course of my life are affected by my answers.

For example …

What matters to me (casually)? Everything.

What really matters to me (formally)? Many things.

What truly matters to me (intimately)? Some things.

What really and truly matters to me (especially)? One thing.

For each of these questions, I could have said “nothing”, knowing that nothing today could quickly or easily or spontaneously turn into, or be turned into, one thing, some things, many things, or everything tomorrow.

Likewise, these answers could change, and change slowly or quickly, depending on where I am, how motivated or inspired I feel, the situations in which I find myself, the things I have (or don’t have), et cetera.

Consider this section a friendly nudge to explore and discover what (really, truly) matters to you.

Biases and Prejudices

Another consideration of ultimacy, where personal fulfillment is concerned, is the biases of the thinker who would presume to articulate ultimate fulfillment for everyone. For anyone seeking to articulate a universal platform that would serve to realize a continuity of promise and possibility in everyday life for everyone, a number of apparent limits present themselves. Such a thinker would be faced with apparent limits conditioned by culture, customs, language, personal and experimental biases, as well as theoretical assumptions initially conceived.

In a push for universality, it’s not enough for would-be articulators to sequester their feelings to prevent bias or prejudice in their thinking.  Their feelings would inevitably arise and play a key role in their formulations, regardless of how objective or universal they strive to be, especially when the subject matter is personal fulfillment. They would need high emotional intelligence and high empathy and would be well served by striking a dynamic yet stable balance between letting themselves be informed and letting themselves be inspired.

Ultimate fulfillment for everyone. It’s an ideal that sounds too good to be true. Regardless, if it’s theoretically possible for any one person to articulate it, I for one would like to know if it is, and if it is, to be that person.

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