Feeling Grateful

One of the most common problems of human life is our tendency to focus on our deficiencies. I’m not wealthy enough, I’m not beautiful enough, I don’t have a great career, and my child is not strong enough! I wouldn’t say it is wrong to focus on those areas, but then we tend to define ourselves by such standards. This, according to me, is the only reason why we feel so miserable. We obsess about the deficiencies in our life.

After obsessing a great deal, some people turn towards spirituality or religion to eliminate the pain they experience. However, religion and spirituality are arduous practices and many a times, when people don’t get the desired result, they feel more miserable. And this is how some claim that they do not believe in a god at all, or spirituality is a sham.

If you observe yourselves, anything that you firmly believe is the result of deep conditioning that has been happening to you since birth. Your elders tell you pray to god and god will help you. You believe that and continue believing it as you grow older. The elders stop teaching you as you grow old or they keep saying the same thing that they did when you were a child.

What they fail to realize is that, the study of spirituality has to deepen and grow more complex as the child progresses from one grade to another.  It is a subject just like any other subject at school. But we drill the same thing year after year into the minds of our children and there is no progress for generations. Left to fend for ourselves, we fall prey to bogus gurus who prey on our ignorance.

Then, there are people who think spirituality is escapism. (Who wouldn’t, considering the potent ecstasy that you experience!) Again, this is a bias. Spirituality is nothing but a way of life and it does not mean that you have to give up on your materialistic desires. But again, spirituality is not a way to further your materialistic ambitions. “We humans are more concerned with having than with being.” (LUCY)

Spirituality is just a way to tell you that you should be concerned only with ‘being’. And one way it does that, is by making you grateful. ‘Being grateful’ like spirituality is also a way of living—an attitude that you will or you won’t cultivate. If you think you are spiritual, you will gradually realize that you feel more grateful about different aspects of your life. This is the only way to measure your spiritual progress.

You will no longer focus on the deficiencies in your life. This is the greatest benefit of spirituality. It changes your attitude towards life. No human being is completely miserable or completely contented, unless he believes so. ‘Being grateful’ doesn’t mean that you live a lie or you ignore the ‘difficult’ things in your life. It only means that you need to appreciate the ‘good’ things in your life more often. You’d be amazed how contented you’d begin to feel, in spite of all the difficulties that you face.

This attitude may gradually develop as you accept spirituality as a way of life. But, sometimes you may need to learn it and practice it more often.

 

 

 

 

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The Colours of Navratri

Navratri is as much a festival of reflection as it is of music and merriment. For those whose energies reverberate on a higher plane, it is also a festival to experience the intensity of energies that surround them for the nine days. For the pious ones, who experience God through rituals, it is a festival of re-living the myths and inviting the blessings of deities. And then for others, it is just dressing up and flaunting their traditional dresses on these nine days.

The tradition of wearing a different colour everyday, is the first thing that attracts us to this festival, if, of course, one does not have a family tradition of engaging in the elaborate worshipping procedures. And just like all festivals, the merriment and apparently mindless rituals are just a way by which an uninitiate is directed towards the path of enlightenment. That is the beauty of rituals.

However, what usually happens is that the devotee or the fanatic becomes so obsessed with the rituals, that he cannot see the bigger picture and the destination where his actions are supposed to lead him to. Navratri, is much more than the colours that we adorn or what the eye beholds. In fact, the colours correspond to the energy centers in our bodies and are supposed to make us focus on different areas of our life. These nine days have been given to us to reflect deeply about our life, cultivate spirituality, and grow an inch closer to goodness and love.

But then, it is easily said than done. Given our busy schedules, I know it well enough that it is not possible to engage in spiritual activities in the middle of office work and deadlines. So this is what one can do.

The sole aim of every colour that we adorn is to bring about a balance in our life by healing the energy center that the colour represents. This year, the first colour was Red which represents the root chakra located at the base of the spine. This area represents the issues of safety, security and stability in our life. So as a reflective exercise, one can think what do I need to feel safe, secure and stable in my life. How am I going to achieve that? What changes do I need to make in my life to feel secure? Though apparently the questions look simple, one can arrive at the most profound realisations by honestly reflecting on such questions.

In fact, a true self-assessment in this way, can actually tell us what are we missing and what we actually ought to do in our life. So similarly, the rest of the colours deal with different areas of our life.

Indigo/Blue: Can I differentiate between reality and illusion? Do I have a tendency to escape in my dream world? Do I have escapist tendencies, how can I control them?
Yellow: How do I feel about myself, my appearance, my self-esteem? Do I fear rejection? Why?
Green: How open I am to give and receive love? Can I feel love for others? Why do I fear loneliness, why do I feel jealous?
Grey/Black: is the unknown, mysterious elements in our life. What role such elements play in our life?
Orange: What do I need to experience pleasure, what are my desires? How are my sexual needs expressed/met, or how can I express them effectively?
White: Does my life have an element of purity, of spirituality, what can I do to feel enlightened, awakened to the source energy?
Pink/Purple/Violet: Do I have self-knowledge? What is Self? Who am I?
Sky Blue: How do I get my message across to someone? Why do I feel shy? Do I need to improve the way I express myself?

Enlightenment is nothing but an honest evaluation of your self and working on these issues. So, make use of this Navratri to reflect a little more about yourself..!

Wishing you all A Happy Navratri!!

Life as we know it

I learned about absurdism when I was in college, when I was nineteen years old. In a way, I was too young or inexperienced to understand why absurdist questions troubled some men – literary men. I was studying so that I could become educated and get myself a well paying job once I finished my education. There was meaning in what I was doing or hoping for my future. And so I understood absurdism in a very narrow-minded way. I concluded that since we are all going to die eventually, achievement is a fruitless exercise. I considered absurdism as a preoccupation with death.

But I never believed that there was no purpose to my life. After all there was a purpose why I was learning literature. But for a young adult who has been well provided for and who comprehends the privilege of a college education, the concept of existentialism is hardly going to make sense. And once I completed my graduation, and started making my mark on the world, I realized that the world is a ripe place waiting for me to savour its delights. Everywhere I looked there were objects and people who gratified my senses. Fascinated with what I saw, felt and devoured, I was convinced that life not only had a purpose but much more to offer generously to anybody who stood before it with open arms.

But then, all of a sudden, a shattering experience left an eternal emptiness in my heart which no amount of love or care could refill. And that is when I became so preoccupied with my suffering, so much, that the world became a dismal place. No amount of optimistic advice was capable of bringing me out of my despair and wretchedness. And as I deliberated upon this preoccupation with suffering, I realized that I was also unhappy about the fact that I cannot allow the world to make me happy – the same world which just a while ago stood before me with a beatific smile. No matter how much I tried, I could not fill the vacuum that was left by that experience. When I thought I’d reconciled myself to that pain, I realized it was nothing but an attempt to fill the ditch with loose earth, which gave in the moment the lightest memory of that incident stepped on it.

What was I going to do, but live with it!

This effort to struggle with the pain and anguish gradually led me to believe that there was indeed no meaning to my life. The meaninglessness stemmed from the fact that I was unable to reconcile with my pain. Had I never experienced such anguish, I’d have continued existing blissfully without a thought to absurdism.

There were limited options I could try, to continue to exist and try to rekindle the love and delight for the wide world once again. The most appealing one was to commit ‘philosophical suicide’ that is, to seek God and find a lofty purpose in the anguish I suffered. And as I started healing myself by reworking on my brain center, a new thought occurred to me. What if I encounter such pain all over again? How will I adjust to a world or this nature who grants happiness and suffering at brief intervals? I’d lost my naiveté, a belief in a utopian world, because it could not safeguard me from despair. The only comfort I could derive for myself was from an idea called God which existed outside the material world.

When I further deliberated upon the metaphysical codes, I realized that a belief in the idea of a God invalidates existence in human form. The material world is mere illusion, or we experience an illusion of matter as the scientists now call it. Then, this corroborates the absurdist claim that the attempt to find meaning in life is futile.

And this meaningless scramble will not come to light unless one experiences suffering.

Therefore, the whole purpose of our life is to learn scientifically as well as metaphysically, through extreme suffering, that this existence is non-existent!

The question is once again: Why?

Inner Voice

This piece is titled Inner Voice…the reason..it’s not me who is writing..but deep something within me, my head, my heart, my mind propels me to convey this to an unknown person or people out there, who might be waiting to receive such a message from an unknown entity…I have no idea what I would be writing..neither do I know how I started writing..maybe some elements of nature interacted with the matter that I’m made of… Funny and incredulous as it sounds, this is what I’m led to believe these days. It wasn’t long ago that the very idea of a God or a cReator created ripples of laughter and amusement in my hollow mind… it may still be hollow!! Or a Hologram.

I still haven’t figured out how people make sense of the world they live in…Like all species we love looking for easy explanations that would make us lie back in the womb comfortably. Wasnt classical physics all about this?? It still is.

But somehow people have begun realizing (and I still dont know what percentage of them) that the myths that could afford explanations and help derive meaning in life, are no longer enough.. they are completely invalidated.. New explanations are beginning to crop up to help us explain our meaning and purpose in life. “Life” a cliche! And now we call it quantum mechanics. I dont claim to have understood it either.

But it is not a term or a myth to be understood, but felt… So after all these years of learning and scientific analysis, we know that there is nothing scientific about anything, rather its metaphysical! And nobody knows why and how the pyramids were built!! Theories and theories… running pages and pages long..

Suddenly it becomes very difficult to lie back and think about these changing realities. Human beings are an amazing species. They have been granted with the wonderful defense mechanisms that take them through life comfortably. I wonder how defence mechanisms were derived! Maybe, like all other things, we should now look at it as another term for mental retardation. Thus the idea of describing an alternate reality is yet another defense mechanism to define the unknown.

New explanation for our purpose in life is also our need to help us define our purpose in life. Why? Why do we need the feel to etch something worthwhile for us for the time we are here?? Why do we need constantly to look for meanings? Why is contentment so hard to come by? We need to know nothing. We need to feel. And once we start feeling we would be led by our intuition to the truth. As Gautam Buddha says, Desire is the root of all evil.

The desire to know the truth is evil.