RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY Movie Poster from 1962
RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY Movie Poster from 1962

I watched a lot of movies when I was younger. Many with my father who was a big fan of the old western movies. I always remember a line from a western from the 1960’s by director Sam Peckinpah.  The movie is RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY which was about 2 aging cowboys played by Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea towards the end of their acting careers.

The line comes when one of these characters says to the other in a conversation about their goals; “All I want is to enter my house justified’.

The character wanted to feel that his actions for the day were justified. What does ‘justified’ mean? He wanted to feel that his day was worthwhile, his actions had purpose. Looking at the bigger “cinematic” picture what he really wants is that his existence has purpose.

It is a fact that we all want to have this same thing: a meaningful life..  Something that justifies our existence.  Without it we are just going through the motions of surviving.

It means having  a reason to get up in the morning.  For some it’s the thought of a cup of coffee.  But what makes us continue on during the day?  Going to work day after day… or not going to work… then trying to fill our day.  What makes us continue to go to work, eat lunch, do more work, come home to a partner or not, go out or watch TV or read or whatever?

The justification we have for almost all our actions is the promise of happiness. We get up and go to work because we need money. Money to buy things that we think will make us happy. Or, work to feel some happiness from accomplishment or success. The justification for all our actions really comes down to our happiness, because on the most basic level this is what we’re really searching for.  Inherently each of us desires to be happy because it is our natural position to be happy.

Our lives can be Justified.  We can be happy.  I can be happy.  I don’t mean a superficial happiness, but a happiness that reaches to the core of my being, my spiritual essence, the person who doesn’t die when this body does. Me. I can be happy!

It is so simple.  So simple that when I was first introduced to this process of kirtan meditation I did not believe it.  “All that is needed is to sing, say or chant some sacred mantras?  Add kirtan to my life? How could that be?”

Not  until I met some people who had been practicing this for a while did I think that there may be something in this.  These people seemed different, they were happy!

Many of those people I met did not have that much materially (but some did), but they seemed very happy, happy not only within themselves but happy to share with me.  Not a forced happiness and friendship, but genuine.  So OK, I said, I’ll try this.

So now I have been practicing kirtan for some decades now. It’s a process that has been handed down for thousands of years, from teacher to student. I can say that this process brings real spiritual happiness to me, the person inside this body – a happiness that sustains me, a happiness that reaches into my heart, to the core of my existence. This is a permanent happiness that is not affected by the ups and downs of this mundane material existence of this body.

It costs nothing, and I did not need to join any organization.  But practicing kirtan yoga regularly is the reason I think of this line from RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY  often. At the end of the day I can lay my head down in the evening and feel ‘justified’.  At the end of this life I can leave this world and feel ‘justified’.





If you want to learn more about this process of meditation visit:

6 thoughts on “A ‘JUSTIFIED’ Life

  1. A very nice – and thoughtful post . It is a cool reminder for me – find my justification too. And as you write , I’ll find it when I really know who I am. Its ironic to me, the Western stories and films usually have the wide open and free spaces where you find yourself, but really it ends up being in the quiet place within each of us, our hideout from the world.

    Thanks again , and I will subscribe ASAP for more of your posts !


  2. Thank you for sharing! It is a wonderful way to see the concept of “justified” and one I would like to adopt every day.

  3. I love this post! Whenever I stop and look at the bigger picture of my life, the day after day of more of the sameness and think to myself “what the heck? What’s this about?” Its a great time to take some food for thought!

  4. Nice thanks. It’s great the way we can find messages everywhere, not just “tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones” but “good in everything ” as Shakespeare put it, so a wise person can learn even from every day events, from everything. Of course, the message in movies is put in by the director, writer and actors, so it depends what they want to say, but the good man sees always the good in all, and I think you’re a good man!

    1. Hahahah thanks Juliet, some may disagree with you that I’m ‘a good man’ but much appreciate that someone thinks I am!

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