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  • D. Neil Elliott

Two Important Life Questions

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

What have you learned? Whom have you helped?


As I reflect on my life and ask myself these two questions, my answers seem to be inadequate. I believe the context for the answers should be considered in the spiritual domain, the dimension from where we have come and to where we will return. The dimension of pure, unconditional love.


What have I learned? Superficially I have learned much. I have an undergrad degree, a master’s degree and up to the age of 57, when I began my spiritual journey, I had learned what I needed to help me move forward through the world: to make money, to meet my goals and to acquire more and more things.


Whom have I helped? I helped many to improve their skillsets, broaden their thinking when considering engineering solutions to a difficult issue, or be better and more collaborative with others when working as team.


But these are all centered on earthly achievements and are measured by human standards and scales; all crafted by the ego-drive.


Today my frame of reference for answering these two questions lies beyond human metrics, beyond the five senses, beyond human desires and human achievements. The frame of reference lies within the spiritual domain, the domain of pure love, unconditional love; entirely beyond the human ego.


Now, when I ask…What have I learned?

The frame of reference I use refers to the spiritual truths I have learned. Did I spend the majority of my time engrossed in creating happiness and pleasures for myself, or did I devote just as much, if not more time, for the benefit of others, uplifting and helping to improve their lives?


And when I now ask…Whom have I helped?

The context I now use is: How do I treat others, in thought, word and deed? Not only in the words that come tumbling out of my mouth and the actions I take, but more importantly, what was I really thinking and feeling at the time, even if the words and actions seem congenial and pleasant, but were, in fact, in stark contrast to my actual thoughts and feelings. (Remember what you think and feel returns to you in like experiences, causing illness and poor health – see https://www.dneilelliott.com/post/nothing-happens-by-chance)


Two examples:

When I passed a person on the street begging for money, did I smile and give them some change, with a kind word, a kind thought, and a kind feeling? Or did I ignore them, thinking (with a corresponding negative feeling) that they should get job, get some help, do something positive and productive for humanity.


When a friend or neighbor asked me to help them with an errand or task, did I drop what I was doing and help them? Or did I make my excuses because I was in the middle of something that I did not want to put on hold because it would delay my task, my work, my achievement? Was I thinking of them, or just myself?


Have you also been engrossed entirely in creating happiness and pleasures for yourself—or have you devoted time also to lifting up and improving the life of others?


How would you answer these two questions?

What have you learned?

Whom have you helped?

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