Life in human form is one of the most interesting and valuable gifts that we can expect to receive from the creator. The degree of freedom, potential and opportunity that we get in human form makes it nothing like anything else. At the death bed, most people perceive human life as an all alluring and irresistible possession that they wouldn’t want to let go; very much like the J R R Tolkien’ magical ring of The Lord of the Rings. In a way, it is actually “precious”.
However, during our youth and active life we ignorantly & conveniently squander away most of the precious 30,000 days that an average human being gets for him/herself on this planet. You may note that even a cheap Chinese toy worth almost nothing comes with a manual but we manage our life without any such manual or a guiding map. Isn’t that too big a risk?
While we spend our pennies & dollars so cautiously, we don’t mind spending this irrecoverable, precious resource of time in human form in the most useless and wasteful way and will probably feel guilty only when its too late.
Having read & thought about this and after a due reflection upon my own journey so far, i found that, to operate at maximum efficiency & with highest fulfilment, I need to be mindful of 3 key things/ideas.
I have etched them in my mental notes – and hope you will find them handy too. These 3 things/ideas can be very well represented by
1.) Yoda 2.) Coin 3.) Blackhole
1. Yoda: Like the old and wise character from StarWars, we all need to have a guide, mentor who can share with us the wisdom, knowledge to lead a meaningful life.
This guide or mentor can be a person or it could be a text/book or a meditative technique that parts you with valuable insights about spiritual and material aspects of our world.
Unfortunately, teachers at majority of our schools, colleges fail to fill this role and the elderly at disjointed families are struggling to connect with youth. Given the scenario it becomes even more critical and urgent for us to have a mentor, guide to help navigate our journey.
Yoda helps sharpen our consciousness and enables us to assess our real position in this boundless universe and how even with such minute presence can we make a big impact. This mentor helps us shape up our operating philosophy basis which we take key decisions in our professional, personal & social life.
However, we must be very cautious in choosing a mentor, guide. We must not just pick or follow a popular or trending cult or school of thought but carefully examine their philosophical & scientific base to assess if it can help solve both the material & spiritual concerns. A yoda should not be just a professional expert but must have adequate knowledge to improve our consciousness and to move forward on our spiritual pursuit. The other easy test is to figure out how much of what they preach, do they practice themselves.
I have found my Spiritual mentor and the ancient text of Bhagavad Gita to be my Yoda who have helped me with a context and a foundation to better my life. I hope you find yours soon if you haven’t yet.
2. Coin: Similar to a coin, our human experience & identity has 2 sides/facets to it – material & spiritual. For a long time, I was stuck with a false coin and had limited my exploration, experiences and enjoyment to only the gross, more apparent material dimension. I fear that its also the case with many more like me.
We have to be mindful of our true position: a spiritual entity with a material body as cover.
Unfortunately, since all the frenzied communication on internet, tv, print talks only of how to please and give pleasure to our body, mind, senses it’s very easy to slip into a shell and dampen our consciousness with material cover. Only a humble recognition & acceptance of our true identity has the power to complete our worldview and as soon as we become cognisant of this spiritual identity we start seeing our life, activities, relationships and role in this world in a new light.
Imagine how the idea of being immortal can suddenly change how we treat death and how the fact that our human body is just a temporary cover would suddenly render so many sensory pleasures useless. This understanding of our spiritual nature helps put a control on pursuit of unrestricted sense gratification and to retain a balance.
I believe the partial, incomplete & inaccurate understanding of our true nature was probably the biggest impediment that I experienced to leading a blissful and meaningful life.
3. Black hole: We all need a purpose, destination to direct our energies. When I thought of Blackhole as a metaphor for the all absorbing, all powerful purpose that pulls our energies, thought, actions towards itself with all its might – I was elated. It is probably one of the most powerful metaphors that I have personally experienced.
Black hole gives you a reference to identify if a thought or an objective is qualified to be THE goal of your life.
A black hole can not be seen because of the strong gravity that is pulling all of the light into the black hole’s centre. However, scientists can see the effects of its strong gravity on the stars and gases around it & study the star’s motion to find out if it is orbiting a black hole.
Just like blackhole, this purpose may not be very easy to spot and we may at times confuse it with other temporary phenomenon, interests or hobbies. We would need special instruments and indications such as help from Yoda to critically analyse our own frame of mind, emotions to see what they are attracted or attached most to.
It has to be an idea that on one hand is inspiring and on the other its magnitude should scare you, compelling you to question your abilities and potential to match its intensity, scale.
Once identified this blackhole does the magic for us – the attraction, the pull of this overarching life goal is so powerful that it directs and aligns our energies, potential towards itself. So the trick is in identifying the blackhole that will bring the best out of us.
One thing certain about this blackhole is that it can’t & will not be a very trivial pursuit – it has to be beyond money, beyond a venture to boost our own ego, or a shot at short-lived fame. To be so powerful, it has to have a higher dimension; has to be a level above the mundane.
So what is this irresistible idea, cause or goal that is capable of extracting the best out of you, 100% out of you?