One of the more common pieces of spiritual ‘wisdom’ is that “life is short”. Life is short, the idea being that you only live once and that it is very brief - so make the most of it and get active. Do what you love, leave no stone unturned, etc.
Personally, it’s one I have never really understood. Maybe it’s just me - but only living once seems kind of depressing. And if I only lived once, why would I bother trying to be a good person? Why not live just for me? Why not squeeze as much joy as possible without paying heed to the future at all? Why meditate and do spiritual work if the subtle activies do not carry on lifetime to lifetime? Why care about other people?
Thankfully, life is long. In fact, life is infinite. And, because it’s infinite, and every single breath, thought, and emotion is recorded, I simply need to make some good decisions every day and slowly evolve. There is no need to rush. At the same time, apathy and mindlessness must be avoided. Otherwise, I would be apathetic and mindless for eternity.
Life is short kind of implies there is no accountability. But imagine if, at the end of your life, all of your actions were toted up (not in a judgemental, punishment way), which would determine your route in the next life. And that this process would go on forever until you started to observe the relationship between your internal activities and the outward manifestations. In this case, you would get your shit together extremely quickly.
What I’m saying is that life is short is the worst piece of self-development advice you will ever hear. It encourages apathy for 95% of people. It serves to motivate the other 5%, who go on to proclaim that everyone should get active because life is short. But they’re wrong.
One thing I have found extremely helpful in the past decade is to reassure myself that I have a million years to master any given activity. Whenever I get a little stressed about the various philosophies, meditations, pranayamas, downloads, chakras, lucid dreaming, and thousands of other self-development essentials, I remind myself that I am interminable. It’s extremely therapeutic, and I suggest you remind yourself of this fact every single day.
As long as you are doing a meditation or some kind of spiritual activity every day, then you’re on the right path, and will get to your destination(s). There is no rush, given that you are eternal and immortal.
The slow road to mastery is not just the most enjoyable one.
It’s the only One.