"Yep, I am going to be enlightened. Perhaps I am already enlightened.”, I thought, “That is why I see through the illusion of materialistic success so easily.”, I concluded. Almost 12 years later, I am writing this. I live in Louisville, Kentucky but spend a lot of my time traveling through Cincinnati, Ohio, Windyville, Missouri, New Bloomfield, Missouri or somewhere else in the continental United States. I travel a lot. I like it. I am happy almost all the time. I have a lot of interesting friends, some are the most intelligent people I have ever met. Some are the most loving. Some are both! I am never bored. My relationship with my parents has never been better. I am single, content, and happy. I learned to meditate and experience what is most accurately described as bliss on a daily basis.
There are people who treat me as a teacher of consciousness and I sometimes offer them beneficial and insightful ideas. Is this success?
I have more money than I need. I am happy. I enjoy a beautiful yard, great community of people, a fireplace, a bathtub, I have many nice things. I have experienced at least one great love with a woman and we are now good friends. My life seems full of opportunity.
I share 1500 acres of beautiful land in the Ozark Mountains with a wonderfully evolving community of some of the most interesting and self aware people I have ever met. I visit regularly and even lived there for two years, tending the gardens, working with the land and the animals, helping to organize classes and community gatherings sometimes with over a hundred people.
I now come in to help with events and happenings by leading crews of people, cooking sometimes all weekend, 3 meals a day over a fire with large cast iron cookware, or in the indoor kitchen, meals for over a 100 people. It is fun and I love the feeling of union and how much I learn through the work. It is a joy for me in all types of weather.
I enjoy a growing number of friends all over the world. Am I successful? I am happy most of the time. Because sometimes I am unhappy, does that mean I am unsuccessful at those times? Is happiness the measure of success. What about making a difference in the world? Money? Health? A balance of all of these perhaps? Other peoples envy?
What is success?
Well, for me, when I asked myself this question almost 12 years ago and all it did was derail me from my pleasure cruise of earthly delights and exotic experiences, and sent me on a path of learning? I don’t know at all what success is or if it exists. As long as the bliss I am enjoying continues to grow and I am able to share it with increasing numbers of people then I feel that I am content with unanswered questions. Is that success?
Some of the people around me seemed stuck in routines and likely to play out their parents ideas of a good life with little variation, innovation or surprise. Their company I often found boring, or was it me I found boring?
The future looked bright and full of possibilities I was however derailed along the path of great success as a world traveler & enjoyer of the good life. I began asking myself certain questions. Questioning many things I had never consciously questioned, and certainly never before actively sought to answer. Why was I sabotaging my pleasure cruise of an earthly experience?
True, I was bored with certain aspects of my surroundings. Many patterns had become predictable. Some of the people around me seemed stuck in routines and likely to play out their parents ideas of a good life with little variation, innovation or surprise. Their company I often found boring, or was it me I found boring? Some of my friends had already found ways to travel over seas as part of their university studies. They had fantastic and captivating stories. I asked questions and listened to them for hours, planning my future escapades as they shared their own.
Great adventures and countless exotic experiences lied in my horizon. But an order of business first: complete college. This became excruciatingly difficult. It is not that my classes had become all that much harder, I simply had changed and was not motivated to produce in the ways that had worked for me before. Success was slipping through my fingers and I no longer had the pride to do anything about it.
I had convinced myself that college was unnecessary and a part of an outdated system strangling the life out of us humans. “Nope. This is not success.”, I thought.
“Success is a state of mind”, I thought. “Being happy now, that is success.”, I thought. “Yep, that is what I will do, be happy now.”, I decided.
So, following the guidance of Timothy Leary, I dropped out. I dropped out of college, I quite playing basketball and I began the pursuit of success as I now understood it.
Editor's Note: Jesse Reece is studying and teaching intuitive development through the school of metaphysics. More information can be found out about The School of Metaphysics at www.som.org
Success: Essential or Illusion?
By: J. L. Reece
When I was twenty I realized that I was manifesting with increasing momentum a successful life. Playing basketball at a small private college in St. Louis, Missouri, I had sculpted my body over three years into something I was quite proud of, and which got me the right kind of attention from the opposite sex. This I enjoyed and found a great success. I was passing my classes with high enough scores and all though I did not know at all what I should do next with my life, I was coasting along easily enough and had learned to follow the bouncing ball within the university structure. I found time to pursue social engagements, play ball and travel with the team. I was making increasing numbers of new friends at a larger university through a weightlifting partner I had met at the gym. Some of my many friends at my university where from all over the world and I was learning so much about their cultures. Setting my self up with people and homes to visit in far off and varied foreign lands.
Shatter The Ladder believes success can only be defined by the individual. We gift a space to showcase individual experiences while providing opportunity for expansion.
The Magazine of Redefining Success