Archive for the ‘i_THINK_therefore_i_am’ Category

There has to be a synchronicity and perfect peace if things are actually happening as they are meant to be. Uneasiness, unhappiness, dissatisfaction, low productivity, stress at work, tension at home, etc. should all dissolve away if things are in perfect balance. This is in line with the law of nature and the resultant bliss is the ultimate aim. This can’t be compromised for long. If you are continuously not happy with one thing or another, think again! Something needs to be changed to find this tranquil harmony and reach that ecstatic state. Keep looking!

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“Never permit a dichotomy to rule your life, a dichotomy in which you hate what you do so you can have pleasure in your spare time. Look for a situation in which your work will give you as much happiness as your spare time.” – Pablo Picasso

‘One should do (work) what he really loves to do’
This we have heard very often… but the thing is that we love so many things. So, how to be sure of what we actually love and what we would actually love to do?

I have read many pointers on arriving at the answer. Just sharing few of them.
1) What things would you do if you have billions of dollars?
2) What things would you do if you know that you wouldn’t fail?
3) Listen to your heart. (This one is a bit ambiguous)

Now, I have been through these pointers couple of times and they are helpful. I would like to add a few practical ones to the list to add the confusion 😉

4) What takes you to the flow state (‘Flow’ psychology – where a person gets intensely immersed into the work at hand and loses the sense of space and time. People can work for long hours in this state)
5) What are the things you would love to learn more and more about. Things that you want to learn all by yourself and keep improving. In such things you are very positively involved out of your own interest. In such things you take all the feedback and comments sportingly and want to improve with every given opportunity.

Last two must be doing rounds but I somehow couldn’t find them when I needed. And I feel that they are really important and practical pointers. At least I found my affirmations using them.

Find out that one thing and strive for excellence! Success ensues!

This is part-II of the series ‘The Quest’. First part can be accessed here (Part I)

In earlier post I tried to show the complex side of ‘The Quest’ – Search of the meaning, in this post I am making a humble attempt to see the simpler side (though through a bit complex explanation).

At the grassroot, it is somewhat apparent that the ultimate aim (as stated in religious scriptures, Vedanta, philosophy, etc.) is the state of bliss! Absolute happiness!

If you refuse to believe what you have not seen and experienced yourself, you should dwelve into your past experiences and see what has brought you a good amount of happiness if not absolute bliss. And how can you identify such experiences than other infinite experiences you have had – It’s by observing emotions. Such moments evoke extreme emotions within. You would still remember them vividly, no matter when they actually happened.

If I were to list some such experiences (purely personal view based on my personal experiences):
1. Extreme performances by others in sports, arts, music, work, etc. – Kind of things that touch your heart within, where it is apparent that nothing better could have been achieved and when personal excellence and divinity manifests in person through his act.
2. Perfection at work – when you have performed to best of your capabilities and are convinced that it’s the best that you have achieved. When output is beyond any compromise.
3. Acts of humanity and selfless service – When you get touched by sincere concerns of people around. When you see people helping others selflessly. When you see/read in Schindler’s list that ‘He who saves a single life, saves the entire world’.
4. Acts and examples of grit, determination – When you set a clear goal and failures after failures you still continue to pursue that and eventually you achieve it.
5. Sudden relief of prolonged stress – Mostly happens when you have lot at stake and when you want something from deep within (passion) like positive examination result where you have prepared for years, successful surgery in case of complicated medical condition
6. When you enter into the ‘flow’ psychological state – When you are absolutely absorbed in activity at hand and loose sense of time and space like playing video games, painting, arts, etc. (Wiki: Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity)

Well, I can list few more but don’t think it’s needed any more, as I can now clearly see the pattern emerging.

Is it so that the things that really matters (to reach that blissful state) are – humanity (pts 3 and 5 above) and personal excellence (pts 1,2,4, 5 and 6)

A. Serve humanity – selflessly – do good to others – save a life – save the world – till there is even a single being hungry in your premises, your whole religion is to feed him (Adapted from Swami Vivekananda) – Vedanta
B. Personal excellence/perfection – Achieve your highest potential – be the best you can – squeeze out all good within – be productive – don’t stop – don’t give in – don’t submit – use all your forces – be ONE with your work – to attain this you need to be loving what you are doing – so listen to your heart – give your best without any expectation – Karma yoga – Philosophy – Vedanta

Cannot we see it all emerging (and converging)? – Everything leads us towards the same pattern, doesn’t matter how we attempt to understand/explain this – bottom-up or top-down; choose what suits you best. ‘The Truth’ emerges from one source ‘the heart’ and converges into another one ‘the perfection’, ‘Perfection’ which can also be called manifestation of the Truth.

[On a side note: The aim and nature of whole existence is to move towards absolute perfection, as we can see in evolution of species, cultures, etc. (ref: ‘The powers of the mind’, Complete works of Swami Vivekananda on Wiki, a must read).]

So true, you can reach perfection only/mostly in things where you have got a lot of interest i.e. where your heart lies. In hindsight this looks so obvious.

It’s complicated yet so simple! Isn’t it!?

‘Listen to your heart!’

Keep It Simple Stupid! (KISS)

Osho says keep the question open and keep clinging to it. He says that when the answer strikes, you would know it but you would not be able to frame it or tell it to anyone. This is somewhat mystical. As such, if I am to share my experience, I would say that there are lot many things I have been reading, understanding, contemplating and writing privately (Yeah, all about meaning and philosophy of life). Things are more clear than they were some time back. These philosophies individually, makes a lot of sense. But it is at this time bit difficult for me to combine them and comprehend the whole picture. And somewhere I know that all of this connects somewhere into one single bigger thing. So, there are these pieces of philosophy (I would say truth) and experiences which make perfect sense. But where and how of the bigger picture is the question. I know it will appear to me eventually, just that it might take some time. I need to live with the question open.

And life is about that. You dwelve deeper into it and it becomes more complex and I believe it would become more and more complex. Until one day, a point will come where it will just strike as a bolt and everything will be crystal clear. Till then the aim is to see, read, percieve, believe and keep questioning whatever is coming to you. Keep the quest alive. Keep it complex stupid! (KICS!)

‘It’s not what all you accumulate during your lifetime but what you leave behind really matters’… Just a passing thought.

So, what’s up today? Just, another regular day. But, before I start my usual day… there are few things that ‘I’ need to understand. How should ‘I’ spend this day? What should ‘I’ be doing today?

Why is this ‘I’ still so predominant in life? Why? Vedanta says that we should be unattached. Mera (mine), apna (ours), main (‘I’) and aham (ego) should be given away. This is how we should be… unattached to our worldly possessions, relationships, etc. and looking at all human being and humanity as one. This state is very difficult to attain. However, not impossible and one can achieve this in this very life. Look at some examples of Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, etc for inspiration. They devoted their complete lives to one goal and that was to serve humanity. That should be the guiding reason behind everything. That alone can give us immense potential. Goal is to realize the potential within and use it for benefit and upliftment of all. This is how things should be.

Now, higher philosophy tells us not to stick to the learning alone. We have to utilize this knowledge, understand our hidden potential and should go all-out to service humanity. We should not keep learning / understanding all this and keep mum. We should in fact use all this knowledge to uplift ourselves and benefit others. Procrastination and fear are two hurdles that are to be challenged and worked upon.

What to do then? What exactly should we take up as next steps? I think answer lies within each heart. All knowledge, readings, research, philosophies are just guiding maps which eventually leads you there – to your heart and soul within. As Steve Jobs said that, “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” And so, when should we do that? What is the best time – should we start doing this after attaining financial independence, after reaching some personal goals, after reaching some good position in work, etc.? What is the right time? We should do that right this moment. Though, one needs to be at certain level of understanding and consciousness to understand all this, but we can’t wait for eternity or for next month or next year. (Man can reach this state of consciousness by continuous reasoning and/or through belief/faith. Chose your calling but ‘end’ remains the same.) We should start working on things this moment. What we need to do should be done NOW itself. Close your eyes… think that in the end you are going to die… leaving behind all that is there to you, of you and with you… what is important then is to work for humanity and even if you are able to improve few lives your work is done. Touch as many lives as you can. Don’t wait! Just do a little introspection in a silent place and try to cut-off from all noise. Just you and your heart alone. There you can listen to your heart and that is when your heart can give you clues. Open up to those hints. Fear none! You are super human! You yourself are the One! You can achieve anything! Direct yourself and your energies to a cause higher than your own self. You can unlock the potential within. That alone is the purpose of life – “To unlock the highest potential within and direct it to service humanity”. Period.

Last 6 months have been very important in my life and in my understanding of life. I can clearly see that some understanding, ideas, philosophies as stand now are in complete contrast to the ones I used to hold 6 months back.

It started with an intense project with aim of starting a web based company in 90 days. In the end I could not achieve that because of some technical and financial roadblocks. Nevertheless, the project taught me great many things which are required in any business. And more than that, the greater benefit it did was to take me back onto the path of introspection. And throughout this time i.e. from end of October ‘12 till today I am into such a wonderful world of philosophy, Vedanta and life that I am much changed a person now. Standing now with more clear sense of what is important in life and which direction I should move. Though there are still many doubts and I know things would become more clear with time, but I would say that I have got the sense of which direction to take.

Some of the changed philosophies/understandings as they stand now are:

  1. It is about GIVING to ALL (karma) – your home, society, etc. (In total contrast to my previous article ‘To give or not to give’)
  2. It is about giving (karma) without attachment to result (fal/fruits) i.e. giving unconditionally.
  3. It is about giving to your best capability, giving the best you can as an individual. (So, it becomes important to find your calling, your area of interest as it is where you could most develop your skills and use it for benefit of all) – Be the best in whatever you do / choose to do.
  4. Money is not the goal. Money can’t be considered as the measure of success. (Contrast to my previous article ‘Money it’s (not) a gas’)
  5. Success (and money) can’t be pursued it ensues – Success is just a byproduct.
  6. The truth lies within. A person can by yoga (practice of either one or all – Karma, Jnana (Gyan), Bhakti, Raja) understand the ultimate truth – The oneness, The unity, The Brahman.
  7. Man is most powerful, his soul is divine and he can achieve anything. As Swami Vivekananda summarized Vedanta’s teachings:
    •  Each soul is potentially divine.
    •  The goal is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal.
    • Do this either by work, or worship, or mental discipline, or philosophy—by one, or more, or all of these—and be free.
    • This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details
  8. Man moves through various levels of consciousness (find it in four Purusharthas, Maslow’s hierarchy, or any other theory) and to understand the potential within one has to move up from level of basic needs to higher consciousness. Only then one can have the will and power to understand religion, philosophy or self-realization.
  9. If we can raise the level of consciousness of people around… if we can prepare them for self-realization – we are doing larger good. Personal salvation is great but still a selfish thought. Perfect unity can be achieved only when everyone attains self-realization. (This is what Swami Vivekananda mentions in conversation with his disciple)
  10. To sum up practical application of all these:
    • Understand where your interest lies, because that is where you are happy and can achieve your highest potential.
    • Utilize your potential to the fullest to create things, do things and help people… GIVE your best without attachment to result (name/fame/money/success)
    • Help people around to reach next level of consciousness, in any way you can – sharing wealth, sharing thoughts, creating employment, imparting skills, etc.
    • Establish a link between above three.

 

Few of the things that have helped me to get to these understandings during last 3 months (Oct – Jan) are writings and references on: Purpose of life, Vedas, Vedanta, dharmashastra, karma yoga, gyana yoga, rajas yoga, life and writings of swami vivekanand, some references to Bhagvad Gita, Viktor Frankl, various self-help articles, Hindu mythology, life and preaching of Buddha, Autobiography of mahatma Gandhi etc. to name few.