Am I losing my interest in life?

A friend wrote and asked my view about a change in his evaluation regarding the inner fulfillment through different outer experiences in his life.

He wrote:
"This is the crux of the matter: I am finding more and more that I really don't want anything. The things which used to motivate me to take action, such as the desire to be recognized as a great musician, the desire to be socially and romantically successful, the desire to have particular experiences, no longer motivate me. It is not that I do not still enjoy practicing music or socializing. When I do these things, I still enjoy them about as much as I did before. But I no longer have any drive related to them. If I happen to be playing my instrument and it's going well, I enjoy that, but if I don't, I don't feel any less happy. The same is true with just about everything in my life right now. I seem to be becoming increasingly indifferent towards what happens around me in the world.

"The inner drives which so strongly compelled me to action not that long ago seem to have faded away. I'd still rather get along with people than not get along, but even if I do not go out and speak to anyone, I feel equally content.

"If anyone were to ask me right now 'What are your goals in life? What are you trying to achieve? What ends do you seek to bring about?' I would have a hard time asserting any worldly goals at all.

"I absolutely believe in the value of spiritual progress, as much as ever. Undoubtedly, there is nothing more important than following the teachings of Bhagavan. But when it comes to life in the world, I seem to have become increasingly apathetic. I don't really care what happens. I don't really care if people like me, or don't even notice me. I don't care if I have money, or survive on little. I don't care if I have exciting experiences, or just stay at home reading my book.

"It feels strange to not want anything. For most of my life, I had things I desired intensely. I had goals, objectives, drives which pushed me to and fro. I wanted certain experiences desperately. But now I find myself in strange new territory.

"I do still enjoy things - this is not the anhedonia which comes with depression, I know that well. If I go out and tell stories and converse with people, and they are laughing, and we're all having a good time, I certainly enjoy it. I still enjoy cooking a delicious dinner and serving it to my friends. My ability to experience joy from ordinary events does not seem to have diminished. But what has diminished is my drive, the inner will which compels one towards certain objectives. I find myself increasingly complacent, increasingly indifferent. I enjoy nice things when they are present, but I don't really feel any worse when they are absent. The whole inner structure of motivation seems to have collapsed."

I replied:
"You have proven in the past that you have a strong willpower and lived at times this asset very expressively with music practice and girls and other issues.

"So it feels funny when this DRIVE is no longer felt as much as before. But as you point out, this is different from a depressive state you experienced in former years.

"In your breakthroughs, you have touched real Peace in different measures and such experiences are continuously working 'underneath‘ the average mentality of the person. There is no comparison doing justice to the difference of degree of the Self to ordinary experiences and their fulfillment. Nothing, really nothing, comes even close. All worldly fulfillments are fake and grey besides the true nature of Pure Being. Only because most people are unaware of this fact, they compensate with lesser joys the fulfillment of the heart.

"The fact that you are not in depressive resistance but can still enjoy relative experiences is vital in this connection. That is why Bhagavan sometimes used the example of play-acting in the world. The body-mind will run its ordinary course but we KNOW that this is just a role we have to play through prarabdha karma.

"This is actually why I always tried to bring across that you could gain a lot when you learned to refine your sadhana. Not only this powerful but also aggressive way you lived it and had temporal success with but a smoother and more flexible way. I see this process of developing equanimity as part of this refinement. Similar to practicing your music and becoming easy and natural with a specific piece, sadhana can also be compared to acquiring the musical skill and ease inside.

"So the equanimity is the symptom of a natural vairagya-unfoldment and your striving is the gross form that can find smoother ways of expression. As you write: the yearning for spiritual engagement is still there. It is an open door- be aware of that fact and accept the changes the path brings about in your emotions. Refining the seeker is the most important outcome of genuine sadhana!

"Definitely, all is GRACE! I agree 100%.

"All the best my friend in Bhagavan, always happy to assist you when it seems useful!



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