Relationship

I have south node in the 7th house which also receives a beneficial 5th aspect from Jupiter. What does it mean? It means it makes me a good marriage/relationship counselor. The testimony to this reading is the fact that, over the years, I’ve counseled many of my friends who have been having issues with their spouses. It never occurred to me that I was becoming a marriage counselor!

All these years, I’ve been reiterating just one thing which I strongly believe is important for good relationships. Expect little to avoid a big disappointment (which is not easy). However, today I realized something more important, a conclusion to this short statement here.

This is again not easy, unless one is ready to bring about a shift in their perception. So, logically that’s the first thing to do: Change the perception.. let’s see how I can explain it without digressing further..

One of the recurring problems that I’ve seen in relationships is the frustration bordering on depression for one’s inability to adjust with the spouse’s/partner’s behavior. Further, one desires a change in the spouse’s behavior that matches with one’s expectation of what is right or wrong. Inability to bring about this change results in needless quarrels, and a lot of misunderstandings, and the couple is usually locked in this state on irresolution for a really long time (forever).

I do not promote a change in behavior as a resolution to this problem. Usually, at this stage, when you talk to the partners, both are defiant and already playing the blame game to the best of their abilities. Both think they are correct from the way they perceive the situation. The fact is both are right!

I strongly believe that a change in behavior is not possible at all. A person is born with a package of qualities that are unfolded at different stages of the person’s life. There is no way you can change those qualities unless one is subjected to a strong conditioning exercise (even then it may not work). That is you cannot force a person to change. Therefore, the only solution that works here is a change in one’s perception and to accept the person for what he/she is. (This applies to both partners). This reiterates the first statement: Expect little. That is, do not expect the person will change. Do not even keep any false hopes that the person will change to a pattern of your liking.

The next thing to do, and this is important, is to accept that your partner is behaving in exactly a way that is useful for his/her personal development, as well as your growth on every level. Maybe the partner’s stubbornness and anger is necessary for him to develop his confidence; maybe her carelessness is a way of responding to a change, so that it does not affect her emotionally; maybe her refusal to be responsible is a deep seated fear, that she will gradually come to terms with; maybe her refusal to interact or socialize is necessary for spiritual development, maybe his naivety is necessary to add joy to his life….how many more examples can I give?

The best thing is that all this is making the other partner a better human being.

You are growing in ways you never realized was possible. A relationship is the best way to learn everything about human nature, provided you have the correct way of perceiving the lessons. Just branding a partner as careless, quarrelsome, angry, or irresponsible, is not teaching you anything, (and believe me, they are not that at all; your partner is simply a gift, and you need to decide what you want to do with them) or even adding value to your life. The real learning happens when you start analyzing the effects that the relationship causes. This will automatically bring about the required change in the partners and they will learn to respond with care, admiration, fun and love! What each partner needs is an acceptance of their true self.

Inability to accept someone fully is therefore, the main reason of disappointment.

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Are You Ready?

Some of us often need things for which we are not ready yet, or in some cases, not required at all. As human beings, we are primarily created to satisfy our desires. That’s what we do all life. The moment a desire enters our mind, we start planning about how best we could achieve it. If the desire is fulfilled at once, we are happy. But if the desire is not fulfilled, it leads to agony and depression. However, I have noticed that when a desire is not fulfilled, it is due to one of the following reasons:

  1. The person is not ready to handle the satisfaction of the desire
  2. The person does not need it for his soul path

The person is not ready. He does not understand that maybe he needs to take a little more effort and maybe give more time, till he becomes worthy of that achievement. Effort and time can even consume years and sometimes we give up, and therefore the agony.

Soul path is an interesting theory. Sometimes, a person is consistently deprived of a certain thing, only to understand that it is not required for his spiritual development. (After all, we are all fulfilling our desires so that we could enjoy it, experience it, and then put an end to it and finally grow towards detachment). So, say, if a person is deprived of ‘love’, he’s often mistaken that he would find it one day when he meets the right person. The right person never crosses his path. If the person is ready to understand the message that is being given in this process, then he would learn to detach himself from the feeling of love as he understands it, and convert it to a spiritual blessing (an example would be to use sublimation as the defence mechanism and make peace with life). Once a person starts thinking along those lines, he’s said to be living according to the principles of the Universe. It is called profound living.

But often, what I’ve seen is, people adopt one of the following ways (example – love):

  1. They get into a wrong relationship and pretend to be in love, just so that they are not ‘perceived’ to be lonely. (hypocrites)
  2. They start hunting for love desperately and fail eventually and turn bitter and hurt others. (ambitious)
  3. In extreme cases, they end their lives. (depressed)

When the desire is not fulfilled, and we do not understand why it was not fulfilled, it can lead to a great deal of negativity in life, which works against a harmonious state of our existence.

Depression is not the natural state of existence. It is the by product of our distorted thought processes.

So, whenever we feel that things are not working out, the questions that we need to ask are: Am I ready for it? Have I worked enough for it? Do I really need it? You will at once get all the answers!

 

 

 

 

 

Our World

This has been playing on my mind for quite some time now. But it was not refined enough to help me make sense of it. A week later, today, it still does not let me rest, so I’ve decided to write it down, hoping that it makes more sense.

On my road trip last week, just at the end of the monsoon season, I was filled with happiness just to look at the wild greenery that surrounded me everywhere I went. There were pretty sights of nature wherever I was going, the weather was pleasant, and my mind was at complete peace. As I was passing through one long winding valley road, which stretched almost 10 miles or so, I was especially struck by the beauty of the mountain range in the distance, the shimmering blue waters of the lake, and the bright white clouds in the equally bright blue sky.

I first began to feel gratitude towards life for allowing me to take pleasure in such beauty. Once that contemplation was over, I started clicking pictures, so that I could share them with my friends, who I knew would not visit that place anytime soon. (I was also told on the way by a local shopkeeper that this road was less frequented by travelers, and most tourists frequented the city road. So the probability of my friends taking the same route was almost zero.)

At that moment, a unique thought entered my mind. This road, these sights, the bright clouds overseeing the entire expanse of that green land, everything at that unique moment, was meant for my eyes alone. No, I’m not saying it was something special, or I’m special. There are millions of such places all over the world; what I realized was that, it was a moment given to me to contemplate beauty and what I did in that moment was all that mattered. My mind was temporarily elevated; my whole self was filled with bliss. For a brief time, I was learning something profound that could not be expressed in material terms.

That moment was a part of my life’s journey. And it was meant for me alone. It was one of the millions of experiences we have in our life, which is meant to teach us something. The quality of our life depends on how deeply we learn from what is given to us. It does not matter where you are at the moment. How intimately you interact with your environment is all that matters.

As the 13th century Persian poet and mystic, Rumi, says, ‘wherever you stand, be the soul of that place’. Never before did I understand those words better! In that unique moment, I was not only enjoying the beauty, but I was also a part of that beauty, in fact, I was beauty.

Now let me tell you something interesting. Let’s assume that none of my friends or family ever visits this place. So, that place was exclusively created for me. It was a part of a mini-world that was created only for my pleasure, or growth. In the same way, I realized, the earth is created for humans. There may or may not be any other Planet in the Universe for our existence. But we need not bother about that. All that we need to grow is already here surrounding us…Our mini-world on this earth.

Use that wisely to become a wise soul.

Imitation

I was almost heading to my bedroom, when I suddenly realized I’m happy as I just finished one of my longer projects, and I can look forward to a relaxing vacation, which I’ve decided to spend in one of the ‘hippie lands’ more about which I’ll tell you later..I’m sure I’ll have a lot to write about it, once I’m back…

So, today’s post is going to be about Imitation. Why are we so hell bent on imitating others? It is nice to be inspired by brave people, borrow and learn from their qualities, but to imitate them, try to mold ourselves just like them, how stupid could that be? Why don’t we realize that hidden within us is immense untapped potential? Why don’t we look for it instead? It’d be so much more inspiring than the idols we choose to follow! I believe each one of us is born a great artist, but we do not chisel ourselves enough. We fear to tread the deeper waters. That’s exactly what’s keeping us in our comfort zone and not letting us evolve. Why don’t we make it a habit to leave our comfort zones once in a while and try doing something different? It takes a great deal of courage.

When I quit my job to write a novel, it made me very scared. But I couldn’t control the impulse. I could almost hear by heart thudding loudly against my chest, as I was taking that life changing step. Two years later, now, I’m alright! Doing very good! Nothing (the terrible things) that I imagined happened! I did survive the ordeal. In fact, I understood the process of creation in its totality. I experienced the apprehension as well as the joy of birthing a book! I feel so confident about my creative skills that I believe I can birth a book again and again. And most of all I now know I will be alright!

Had fear consumed me, I would not have learned anything at all. I would have continued to work, cursing my wretched life, carrying the unfulfilled desire of writing a book…all life..! (Doesn’t this sound more terrible?)

I see that most people around me are obsessed only with the idea of earning more wealth. The fear of losing a job is so great on their minds that they turn a cold shoulder to their dreams. I wish they’d read some D H Lawrence. But they do not have enough time for that! They are busy imitating each other…begging for approval from like-minded beings who have burnt their own dreams too. Everybody is busy killing their joy and calling it a life…

Imitation is good, it tells you how to survive, but it will not teach you how to evolve. You have to find your unique way and cultivate the courage to walk down that path.

We fear, not knowing that we are all the children of Earth, protected and cared for by the Earth herself. Just look at a bird’s nest and think how it survives a rainstorm…we are capable of so much more, than building a sturdy nest on a tiny branch! Google it, or just try to find how a North node in the ascendant affects a person, which is what made me write this small mini-rebellious post… Go, do something strange!

 

 

Success

May be it has something to do with Saturn retrograde, or maybe I’m just created with a peculiar mind. Yes, I’ve been learning Vedic astrology since a few years now, and it has been the most calming influence, so far, in my life. No, I don’t tell you where to look for money or when you are going to get hitched. I’m more interested in what you are, how you have been living your life, what patterns you follow, and what is your life purpose. I don’t have a magic potion to end your suffering. Oh my god, why am I even writing all this! This post is not about astrology.

Astrology was just one source which has led me to understand this:

We follow certain ideologies in life, which lead us to material success. If we do not play the ‘observer’ in life, these ideologies are so deeply imprinted on our selves that we refuse to look beyond these though processes. After all why would we, if they guarantee success? Why would we, if our actions fulfill our desires. Why would we, if our actions fit the norm followed by the society? Why would we, if we are surrounded by hypocrites or well-wishers, who are in awe of our achievements? So, the moment success knocks on our dead doors, we think we have achieved our life purpose. What I have realized that people have a very limited understanding of the term success. It is mostly limited to material achievements and nothing else. This makes them disregard so many other things in life, at which they are truly successful!

When I was young, the thought that I have to study so that I can use my knowledge to earn a living, was never impressed on my mind. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your world view, I was brought up differently. I was allowed to study psychology when I was fascinated by it. I was allowed to study literature when I wanted to. I was given the freedom to explore and not be bound by the rigid norms of my surroundings which at once showed shocking disappointment when I did not choose to study science, engineering or medicine!

But now that I see the entire picture, I realize, I had to choose psychology and literature so that I could share my views on this blog, so that I could understand the subconscious patterns described in astrology. So that I could help people understand why they suffer! Again, I was only following a pattern that was shaping my life purpose. Some call it destiny in a mythical sense.

Our entire life is a small part that has to fit somewhere perfectly in a puzzle. But we fail to see the whole picture and our heads are filled up with pride. Pride in our bloody existence! I do not discount that. Pride becomes a sort of defense mechanism to help us self-validate our existence and stick to our life purpose…to help us play our part perfectly and confidently in this society. After all, a doctor needs to know he is necessary for his service towards humanity, for his service towards his fellowmen!

So, as we follow these subconscious patterns, we may feel confused, if our views and actions do not lead us to material success. This limited view of material success is toxic because it tells us whatever you do, it has to fetch you materials! And things that do not bring material success are mere hobbies, to be dabbled in, in your free time. And the way we treat people, stems exactly from this thought process.

According to me, our ability to think beyond this, to understand how people are created differently and have unique life purpose will help us become more loving and friendly fellow men. In other words, success should make us better human beings…but, here’s the catch…even if it doesn’t, you are still playing your unique part…

Power

In my mid thirties, I have finally understood what power is, and what I can do with it!

I’ve always been an assertive go-getter; had the good fortune to achieve a lot of material things in my life that boosted my self-esteem and have also attained the wisdom to be grateful for it. However, until recently, I was only concerned about my reflection that I could see in others’ eyes; it had nothing to do with what I really wanted. I pretended to be ambitious because I wanted to stand amongst successful people. I pretended to be friendly because I wanted to portray a good social image. I pretended to so many other things so that I could be valued, accepted, revered! And then I pretended to be powerful!

Do you think, any of this really defined my success? I did not have any freedom as long as I was pretending to do something that I wasn’t or wasn’t interested in. Of course it elevated my self-esteem, but then I sometimes think it was an ego trip. It is too difficult to decide actually, because ego is what keeps you evolving. You are dead without your ego. Ego is always there. But then, you can always stop feeding your ego!

It so happened, that I began contemplating and realized that I was not happy. Not happy with anything that I had in my life. Yes, I was grateful, for not being in a worse condition, which did not trap me in a depressive state. But still I was not happy and it made me miserable. I could foresee a long stretch of ennui spread before me, which told me achieving more and more is not going to be enough! I had to do something to bring the ‘real delight’ back.

The ‘eureka’ moment was long in coming. It took me more than a decade to struggle, defeat the recurring doubts and come to terms with myself. And this coming to terms with myself, is what I call my power. It took me a lot of solitary, soul-searching moments, and sometimes depression bordering on madness, till I realized what really mattered.

I decided to be honest. And at once, my inner being became completely aligned with my outer being. This I believe is power: Accepting yourself as you are.

Now, I do not worry what kind of an impression I make, where I stand in this crazy world, what I have achieved; there is no more obsessing about the things I have lost or want to attain. I feel free about expressing myself, not over-thinking if it sounds crazy or stupid. I speak honestly about the things that I really enjoy, even if it is as simple as building shapeless sand castles on the beach. I’m more delighted about my creative abilities, not worrying about chiseling it to perfection. I’m equally accepting of my inherent limitations, without feeling miserable about it.

But it is not a helpless resignation to the fact.

It is a complete acceptance of my capabilities—things which I can do and things that I cannot. You can say I’m completely true to myself without feeling the need to prove my worth or hide my imperfections.

This true or honest acceptance of your self is ‘power’ and the only thing you should use it for, is to enlighten others and help them appraise themselves honestly.

(Note: Take a journey within or without..)

Being Creative

I went out today. I traveled by a local train in the Mumbai city in the peak hours surrounded by a rush of ladies enthusiastically hoping in and out of the crowded train. Once I found myself a not so comfortable place to stand, holding one of the bench rods, my curious mind started observing the women around me. I hardly travel, because I work from home; so when I do get a chance to board a train, I’m always a little curious. Now, I’m not going to tell you about my observations; it’d be pretty boring…and people I assume are the same everywhere, except for the intensity of their emotions…

What I discovered was pretty amazing, so amazing that I decided to blog about it. If you have noticed, I usually write about spirituality and philosophy…So here I go again…what I discovered was so highly philosophical or spiritual, that it took my breath away; and in that crowded train where I was almost suffocated, perspiring profusely, as I traveled to my destination in the scorching month of May, I suddenly began to enjoy myself.

Let me tell you what I discovered!

Spirituality says that this world is an illusion, and our five senses are responsible for this delusion. In other words, it means that whatever we see is constructed by our mind, including our identity, and it does not exist at all. As humans, we know it’s very difficult to understand this because we are so caught by the fantastic sights that are presented to our sense organs. We can only call it real.

But then, let’s for a minute actually think that what we are experiencing is a delusion and a construct of our veiled mind. What would that make us? It would make us the supreme creator of this reality! How often do we think poorly of our creative skills? Because we have an ideal in our mind, to which we constantly compare it with. And we then pass a very poor judgment on our creative abilities to the point of saying we are not at all creative! How sad is that!

We are creative beings, and we create our delusions right since we are born. The way things and people make an impression on our mind, is so unique that it cannot be compared to someone else’s perception!

Right in front of me there were faces of all kinds of women, beautiful, strange, worried, sad, happy, greedy, wicked and so many more…wearing so many different shades of clothes, each different from the other!

Have you ever noticed two random people wearing a same dress…How creative our minds could be!

And as I traveled, I watched and watched and watched!

 

 

 

Love Your Neighbor

I am free today, and utilizing this freedom to pen my thoughts. I wish I could transmit my thoughts to a device the instant they occur in my head. If I have the capabilities to invent anything, it would be such a device…I know I can write at least one blog post each day, but then, I’m too busy making a living, and focus on these ‘non-material’ activities when, maybe, my subconscious takes over…

Before I forget and write something totally different than what I intend to, let me get to the point. I’ve suddenly realized how I could free myself from the web of illusions that have firmly gripped me. I wish the Bible could elucidate more on what it means by Love your Neighbour…

Some of us are atheists because most of the religious teachings are left to be understood intuitively. Interpretations by a religious leader are not enough, because the answer is only revealed or experienced in a flash, when lightning strikes down upon one of the darkest corners of our self. Lightning is dangerous; playing with it is self-immolation…Our religious leaders are in fact very kind, motherly, in their affection for us, to not allow us to play with the lightning…Why bother bringing the moon to the child, when its reflection is equally entertaining?

But then, some of us actually play with the lightning and burn ourselves in the process…some luckier ones remain alive dazed by the spectacular sight, and unable to express the experience in human terms… but having been touched by the divinity, become a mini-idol for others to be revered..but can anyone duplicate the lightning?

So why should we love the neighbor? Why don’t they tell us, it is not your neighbor, but only you? That you are going to love yourself? That your neighbor is not a neighbor but a reflection of your own self? That you are actually all alone…scary, isn’t it? The most amazing thing is that our mind is so well protected by defense mechanisms that it can convert any scary thing into totally absurd…! Then why not tell the truth? Because the result is not apparent…you give all your money to a beggar and then you are totally broke. But have you actually given all your money to a beggar? But how conveniently we believe that a neighbor is a neighbor and nothing else and he should be loved…but then you are so selfish that you cannot love him at all! You are so jealous of him, that you would kill him if you are not kept in check by the government…!

What a mess! So before I decide not to publish this, let me just hit the Publish button….

 

 

 

 

Problem

What philosophy we adopt to get by in life depends mainly on our personality, brain power, and our ability to detach ourselves from the event.

A person conditioned by materialistic values, on having come across a difficult ego-threatening issue for the first time, is not going to understand the ‘power of now’ immediately. The first challenge for this person would be to be aware that the inherent problem lies within him and not the external event. His ability to accept, understand and then work on this knowledge would determine the chances of weeding out the problem. On the other hand, the inability to recognize the root problem will provide solutions that will only tackle the problem superficially only to return after a short while. Moreover, if he is completely unaware of his intuitive abilities, or cannot access the spiritual recesses of his being, he may never be able to successfully resolve a problem and may even turn bitter towards life.

According to me, this is the real reason why we do not resolve our problems. We fail to find the culprit.

Now suppose, we successfully analyze the problem and come up with a proper solution… how often do we have the courage to accept it, implement it, and get rid of our troubles once and for all?

Your job doesn’t make you happy? Why not quit it at once? You can’t because you have responsibilities…and you have been conditioned to consider sacrifice and responsibilities nobler than your individual desires.

Now let’s suppose, we even take that great step and get rid of the trouble… again, can we completely detach ourselves from it? How often does it keep playing on our mind? All the time!

We even wish in our desperation that we had not done that! We keep looking back all the time, and are unable to see the future. Now, adding fuel to the earlier responsibility factor is the new ‘fear of the future’ factor.

So in the end, you do not get rid of the problem at all; instead you create new situations in which you feel more lost than before.

On the other hand, if you understand that the problem lies within you, can be effected only with a change in your attitude, and you are able to detach yourselves from the ‘apparently’ embarrassing or humiliating events, then you have learned to overcome the problem. Again, doing it once will not ensure that you can do it again successfully. Every time it takes great determination to do the right thing, until practice makes it occur perfectly..!

 

 

Emotions

The quality of our life depends on how intensely or deeply we experience a certain emotion. This in turn determines the kind of person we turn out to be. Emotions, and not the physical experience, determine how we develop and evolve. That is, the stimulus becomes ‘the stimulus’, only if there is an emotional reaction to it. Moreover, the intensity of the reaction determines the worth of that stimulus.

To elucidate, what one may consider a great piece of art may well be a lifeless statue for another. The sculpture in itself does not have any value unless we respond to its art and beauty. Our ability to get inspired lies not outside, but within us. This also means that no matter where you live and what you do, if you do not connect deeply with your surroundings, you will be nothing more than a rolling stone, and you know the proverb…

Now why is it so important to gather all that moss? It is to learn more about ourselves.

As human beings we love being unique and have unique experiences. But, we can never have unique experiences because we do not have any unique emotions. The emotions are all the same, experienced in the same way all over the world. How can you be differently happy or sad from someone else? The intensity of the emotion and the occasion varies considerably, but then, we do not learn from the stimulus, unless there is something within us that helps us interact with that stimulus.

In other words, a book and a film can inspire a reader and an audience respectively in exactly the same way, if they have an identical response to the stimulus. The personal/spiritual/emotional growth in these two ‘subjects’ will be exactly the same if they experience the same level or intensity of inspiration and entertainment from two completely different sources. This also applies when these two ‘subjects’ belong to completely different sections of the society or parts of the world. A happy occasion makes you happy, and an unhappy one, sad.

Therefore it applies that, it does not matter where you are, what you do, and what you have or have not. It also does not matter what stimulus you choose.

This is because our growth or evolution is not dependent just on what we are exposed to. It depends on how deeply we can connect with someone or something. And the good news is that, we have all the tools at our disposal to make this deep connection. It’s just a matter of learning to make use of these tools.