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Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Way Things Are

Another article from the newspaper...Times of India, Bangalore, the 23rd of July, 2005. I just want to point out that a lot of these articles come from a section titled "The Speaking Tree" in this newspaper. Most of the stuff is pretty intriguing, and I try and collect those articles that I like and I find meaningful. Now, and through this blog, I have the opportunity to share them with you. Some food for thought for the weekend...soul food? More like soul-cud...no matter how much you've chewed on it and swallowed it, it keeps coming back up for another round of chewing.

Mysterious Tune Played By An Unkown Piper
by Vijay Ancheswar

What is it that we seek most in life? Advaita guru Ramesh Balsekar says that whether we acknowledge it or not, the one thing that all of us want most is to be at peace, both with ourselves and with others - including one's family, friends, colleagues - with whom we need to interact during the course of life.

Most of our dissatisfaction stems from an analysis of 'what is' to a projection of 'what should be'. The 'what is' is what life presents us with from moment-to-moment. The 'what should be' is the mischievous play of the mind, conditioned over years of dissecting issues and events of the past and projecting these into possible scenarios in the future. Unwittingly, we fall into a trap which hampers peace.

Expecting others to respond or behave in a manner we are comfortable with is the fundamental problem-creator. Thereon, inevitably, the mind gets more and more entangled, with growing expectations that include behavioural, emotional, financial and societal needs, spanning individuals, groups, nation and the world.

Gurus like Ramakrishna and Ramana Maharshi have said that in the phenomenal cycle of evolution, change, decay and regeneration, there never was or will be a time when the world or society will be totally bereft of concerns or calamities. Life necessarily involves individuals who are programmed distinctly and differently and who enact and play varied roles. Some are leaders, champion a cause, some act as disrupting influences and many are bystanders, participating and contributing to the flow of events, sometimes with success and at other times without, despite the best of efforts.

The answer is to live life fully, and do teh bet that one can in a given situation, accepting one's strengths and limitations while not being overly critical or severs on oneself and otehrs. John Lennon said: "Life is what happens to you when you were busy making plans. Indeed, life is very irreverent about our plans." There is a mystic beauty about life that beats the calculated intelligence of the human mind. Quantum physicist Stephen Hawking says, "Eevry event in life is predetermined. The die is already cast. However, there is no use in knowing or acknowledging this, because no one can predict precisely what the future will be".

This great paradox, if looked at dispassionately, is what really adds wonder and joy to life. Soemtimes outcomes give us immense pleasure. At other times, they result in disappointments. Therefore, we need to accept ourselves as we are and others as what they are, positively engaging in activity, giving it our best attention and care, but not excessively concerning ourselves with the outcomes. Albert Einstein said, "Everything is determined by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as for the star, human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust - we all dance to a mysterious tune intoned in the distance by an invisible piper".

It is good to plan, but don't forget that when good tidings come to us unexpected, they bring along tremendous joy and happiness. Trust life. For tomorrow is another day.

Couldn't have ended it better myself. I thought it was rather thought-provoking, and while it may provoke the same thoughts again and again, it's a theme that I can asociate with. For too long have I sat around and wondered about what is to come. Some call it malaise, others call it lack of will, and still others call it depression. But I call it life. This is who I am at this time. It's hard to accept it, but the sooner I do the better it is for me. Some people find it hard to accept that their lives take a dramatic turn for the worse. They blame it on bad luck, or 'bad times' and resort to 'appeasing the gods' in an emergency. But when things are well, and times are golden, people tend to name themselves as the source of their success. It's a conditioned existence that we are all a part of. We all play roles that have been defined to us by people around us, while we struggle to comprehend what is really meant by our existence. Why am I here? Where am I going? Questions like these have formed the basis of many a human lifetime. And the answers? Is it easier to accept that there might not be any answers and keep trudging along? Or is pursuit of a goal, no matter how improbable and unreachable, the ultimate source or 'drive' in this life? And why do people look down on this attitude of not interested in pursuing a goal? Why can't people just walk along and see and do what comes up as and when it does? It's like a person telling you about a movie's ending. Does that really kill the movie for you if you haven't seen it? Isn't there a lot more to appreciate in the movie the simply the end of the storyline? It's all the little intricacies and nuances that you experience during the course of a movie which adds to the experience. Maybe it's just me, but the best story tellers are those who can take an age-old tale and tell it in a captivating manner, because they love to tell the story. Love of what I do, that's another pursuit...an aim, even.

Well, the weekend is in full swing for most people. Enjoy it! Here's to working 6 days a week.
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