Restless

I did nothing this weekend, by which I mean, I did nothing productive this weekend (other than writing this post), and it has left me with an overpowering sense of uselessness and thoughts of an aimless existence. But on the other hand, I needed a break because I have been working really very hard the past week almost to the point of exhaustion. This has made me wonder how do I achieve a balance between these two states of being.

And then I realized I would never be able to feel really comfortable with what I’m doing. By being comfortable I do not mean happy nor do I want to derive a purpose from my activity or feel proud of it. Being comfortable simply means to want to attain the mechanical state of doing without any emotional attachment to the actions.

As I was absorbed thinking along these lines, I made an amazing discovery. Let me share it with you..

We will never feel comfortable with what we are doing because at the subtlest level, the idea of work is related to matter and to achieve any kind of sense from it is the work of the ego. The main reason we feel uncomfortable is because matter changes constantly and the ego derives meaning from matter. This means that if we align more with the ego, we are going to derive meaning, aim, purpose, everything from the matter that is constantly shape shifting. This is bound to keep us in a restless state of existence, which may be perceived as unstable and not something to look forward to (the best example is how we tend to find stability and security in every damned thing on this planet!).

But if we align ourselves with the soul which is eternal and unchanging, we may not feel ‘uncomfortable’. The real difficulty is to make this journey from matter to soul, and it happens when you start living in the present and become an observer, not only of everything around you, but also of yourself, of the matter that you are made of!

 

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Need

This world needs you. This world, made up of little people with lofty ambitions, needs you as you are. You have come to this planet with a simple mission; and that is to be and live as you are.

What hinders us from perceiving this reality is our illusions about life and living. Let me tell you how I arrived at this beautiful conclusion. I was sitting all alone in my room, watching the beautiful sunset far away in the distance, absorbing the last golden rays, the vestiges of a beautiful day, feeling nostalgic and sad for unknown reasons. I would have been preoccupied further in the same way, when my smartphone suddenly beeped signaling the arrival of a chat message. When I took a look at my phone unwillingly, I saw a teary emoji and a message asking me for help. The warrior spirit took over me and forgetting myself for a moment, I began soothing my friend who was in distress. It was a silly reason over which she was unhappy, but her inability to have a clear perspective increased her confusion and dismay and left her with no sight of hope. All that she was seeking was a shoulder to cry upon, a willing ear to listen and a nurturing heart to care.

When I think about this incident, I have to admit that, the fact that my friend chose me in her hour of need defines my purpose in this life more clearly than anything else.

We all need people and things to make us feel sufficient and satisfied with our existence. In the same way, there are people and things that need us. You play an important as well as a trivial part in the life of all the people that you come across. As a child you delight your parents and guardians. As an adult you delight your friends and relatives. As a parent you support your children. As an employee you participate in a small but significant way in building the economy of your country. And believe me, if you are troublesome and wicked, you may be notorious and treated as an example of what not to be!

So, how can you feel worthless even for a moment? You must be thinking what my purpose was in writing this post. This post is for people who feel they are unwanted, unloved and who feel unsatisfied with their existence. I have met a lot of people who want to change their present state of life. They keep thinking that unless they achieve something, love someone, have something, be someone, they are not going to be satisfied. They look up to a ‘successful’ person and nurture an ambition to be like them. They compare themselves with others and feel miserable. They play with their own complexes and lose the game. And then they feel their existence is meaningless. A supreme illusion!

But then they forget, there are people who need them. They forget their purpose. I read about a recent divorce case of a celebrity which was making headlines for a few weeks on every TV channel and all the newspapers. Clearly, his commitment to his fans overrode all of his personal obligations. According to me, a celebrity has a noble purpose which is to put a smile on a million faces. The world needs them as much as it needs you. And that is because each is unique in his role and his purpose in serving the people around. And likewise every single thing that exists in this world has its purpose…Just like that one sunset which served its purpose by allowing me to wallow in melancholy…

 

The Tree

As a person who loves travelling, reading, learning about the world that surrounds me, the one thing that I pitied most of my adolescent life was the supposedly inanimate tree that stands mutely before my house. No, it was not mutilated, withered or infertile. In fact, Spring brought forth its beauty and splendour every year and afforded me the most beautiful sight I could find in a city. What my restless mind pitied was the fact that the tree had to stand in its place every moment of its life, witnessing the same sights day and night, quietly shedding its old parts and donning new ones year after year. The maddeningly repetitive acts were a sheer torture as I imagined myself in its stead. What if I was stuck in one place unable to move, bear wind, sun and rain unflinchingly, just forced to accumulate experiences without being able to exorcise them in any way?

The perception of this dichotomy gradually dissolved and as I actually accumulated and shed experiences, I found that just one particular object in nature had so much to teach me.

What I perceived as movement in my existence, was actually so limited to one small part of the Earth, that it did not really mean movement from a higher plane. I cannot escape this planet after all. However, trotting the globe would also have been a welcome respite. But my life was restricted to very few repetitive acts I performed year after year. And that is when I realized I was so much like the tree that stood just a few feet away from me, doing nothing much than patiently welcoming the change in the external conditions and experiencing the same seasons over and over again.

And the more I contemplated about the tree, the further I learned about the secrets of life. The simplest fact that it taught me was that I could cultivate the ability to tolerate the changes that the external conditions impinge upon my self. And if I refuse to welcome those changes, I’d still have to tolerate them anyway. Nature is much larger and pretty ruthless than you’d like to believe.

And once I cultivated the patience, it also taught me that there is nothing wrong in being stationary. The perception that it is dreadful to be stuck at one place was so limiting. The tree as a stationary object of nature was serving so many purposes, as a source of livelihood and beauty! Why couldn’t my adolescent eyes understand such simple fact of life? And then I could at once understand the concept of sacrifice and love that issued from the twisted branches in front of me. From a pulseless object, the tree had now transformed into a source of wisdom and knowledge for me. How could I have ever undermined its existence? Or dared to pity it even for a moment?

Now, if just one lone object in nature is filled with so much purpose and service for other creatures surrounding it, how much more are we human beings capable of, if we consider ourselves on an elevated position compared to that tree? How can I find my existence without purpose? And likewise can’t I be a source of beauty, happiness and livelihood to others?

Wouldn’t that align me with the true order of the Universe, or the Nature?