Spiritual Insight from the Story of The Little Prince

For many of the earlier years of my life, whenever I had a decision to make about what I ought to do with my life, I sought the input of others.

Often I’d discuss and discuss the pros and cons of the various paths that lay before me, going back and forth on them, trying to feel I was doing the “right thing.”

This “right thing” almost always meant pleasing others with that I decided so I would feel liked and accepted.

Then, at one of the most crucial junctures in my life, I stopped listening to what others thought I should do.

I didn’t even seek their advice anymore. Instead I made my own choices, based on what I wanted for myself in my heart of hearts.

Since the Little Prince left his own planet and began visiting other planets—he’s now on his sixth planet, which is occupied by a geographer—he has had more than one of the characters on these planets try to get him to fit in with their plans by taking on a role that pleased them.

The king on the first planet sought to define him as a “subject.” When the Little Prince refused this definition, the king tried to make him his “ambassador,” a role the little fellow also rejected. On the second planet, the conceited man typecast the Little Prince as an “admirer.” Now, on the sixth planet, the geographer wants to cast the Little Prince in the role of an “explorer.”

Ever since most of us entered the world, someone has been trying to define us. Always “in our best interests,” you understand, they try to tell us who we should be.

They want us to fit their picture of us, live our life the way they think we should live our life. Usually the ideas they have for us reveal how little they truly know us.

If we happen to have followed the advice and chosen a role in life that someone else ascribed to us, it generally takes a midlife crisis to awaken us to our betrayal of ourselves.

You’ve seen the movies about the guy whose dad was, for example, a doctor, so he grew up to be a doctor—only to discover in midlife that he hated being a doctor and wanted to be an artist. Several good movies explore this theme.

Even if someone does have some sense of our particular bent because they know us well, just what this bent will look like in practice is going to be unique to us. This is because no one knows, or ever can know, what it’s like to be us.

So it is that the geographer happens to be somewhat correct when he describes the Little Prince as an “explorer”—at least at this particular moment in the prince’s life. He is indeed exploring. But he won’t become an explorer by profession—it isn’t what his life’s journey is about. It’s just something he’s doing for a while because of the particular quest he’s on.

The Little Prince is in fact intent on exploring very different things from what the geographer suggest he needs to explore. The geographer is concerned with mountains, for instance, because they appear pretty permanent. In contrast, the Little Prince is interested in flowers, which the geographer disdains because their existence is short-lived.

One of the greatest breakthroughs we ever make in terms of becoming a conscious person is when we stop living our life in a manner that’s geared to trying to please others.

I don’t mean we stop doing pleasurable things for others—quite the contrary. It’s lovely to be able to please someone. But we stop shaping our life and who we are to conform to what others think we should be.

There’s a vast difference between being who you are, then doing nice things for people in a manner that’s true to yourself, and defining yourself in a way that makes someone else happy.

In fact, when we define ourselves in such a way as to please others, we are no longer pleasing to ourselves, and therefore will be unable to bring true to pleasure to another person because our heart won’t be in it. We’ve detached from our heart in order to “please” someone.

The day we accept ourselves as we are and take possession of our particular personality, gifts, and interests, we take a giant leap in our consciousness.

Author's Bio: 

David Robert Ord is author of Your Forgotten Self Mirrored in Jesus the Christ and the audio book Lessons in Loving--A Journey into the Heart, both from Namaste Publishing, publishers of Eckhart Tolle and other transformational authors.

If you would like to go deeper into being your true self, powerfully present in the now, we invite you to enjoy the daily blog Consciousness Rising - http://www.namastepublishing.com/blog/author/david-robert-ord.