When I survey my life it seems to me to be a useless one, devoted to impossible ideals. My activities continue from force of habit and in the company of others. I forget the despair which underlies my daily pursuits and pleasure. But when I am alone and idle, I cannot conceal from myself that my life has no purpose and that I know of no new purpose in which to devote my remaining years.
Failure in life is not final defeat. Failure means that a man has failed in achieving the first choice but he still has the second choice. For example, consider someone who is a voracious reader and by his/her own confession their study was done out of habit. Habit is a recurrent unconscious pattern of behaviour that is acquired. That becomes their weakness. . They studied a lot but merely out of habit, rather than the way of conscious planning. If you do something as a matter of conscious planning it will make you mind creative. But if you do something out as a habit then it will not develop creative thinking.
Doing something as a result of conscious planning develops a person’s mind and leads to creative thinking. A creative mind is a live mind which is in a position to take new decisions every moment. Experience shows that people generally lack creative thinking. The reason for this is that people mostly do not consciously plan their activities instead they work out of habit. Such people achieve nothing but force of habit. Conscious planning of life makes a person to achieve the goal and develop creative thinking.
Habit is a general term. It covers almost all human activities from becoming addicted to alcohol to being part of politics, everything comes under it purview. Those who do things by way of conscious planning can never become a victim of frustration.
Cleaning homes during festivals is common and we indulge in disposing unwanted things and give a good look by arranging the new order. Sweeping, cleaning and washing is part of clean up activity, so also we must clean our consciousness and internalise the outward process. We have heard it said that “Cleanliness is Godliness”. In cleanliness we feel happy and energetic. Cleanliness is an eternal process. When we go to bed, we clean our bed.
We are constantly gathering information. We need to stop and do some spring cleaning here. There are three types of dust that we gather within ourselves. One is our own negativity. We think negatively, act and perceive negatively. This accumulates inside of us, changing our responses. Secondly, we gather negative influences from our surrounding, from the people we meet and pick up negative vibrations from them. Sometime, we let ourselves slip into unethical activities because we have cluttered our lives. Hence, we need to clear the clutter and confusion to be able to think and act with a clear conscience. The third type of dust is perhaps the hardest to get rid of which is the misuse of power vested in us.
We use our senses to fulfil our instant pleasures. We know it is wrong but we seek immediate gratification for selfish ends. In this manner, we cause greater injury not just to ourselves but to all of society. We have tremendous potential within us. We have allowed soot and dust to accumulate inside and that is obstructing us from experiencing the divinity within. The first step is to be aware that we need to initiate the cleaning process. A selfless attitude is helpful in cleaning out the consciousness. Human progress takes place when the consciousness is clean and disciplined.
Don’t let the ones who like to circumscribe you, define you. If you allow them to do that, they will reduce you and you work to zilch- as if what you are and what you have achieved don’t count at all. If we are fooled into accepting their definition of us, we would be found wanting definitely. Not just materially and intellectually but emotionally as well. If we remain calm observers of ourselves, we could see ourselves in a far more positive light. It is an external processing exercise with splendid external results that can boost your self esteem. Henceforth, what people say and think becomes less important to us.
What our inner voice says becomes significant. If we look inside objectively, we see the whole picture not fragments stitched together by those who are inimical to us. Small action and behaviour patterns become understandable when we widen our perspective. That is when we see that those who dismissed us as useless and not up to it and not satisfactory, did so from a very narrow perspective. What is important for us is to engage in an exercise of self assessment, a kind of taking stock.
It is just so that we don’t get misled into believing the poor report of those who cannot see our potential and our good qualities. So why not do some moral boosting? It is a great way to get energised and set about exploring the treasure trove tucked away inside. These definitions are sometimes so powerful that they influence our notions of good and bad. This does not mean we have to be dishonest with ourselves and only indulge in self praise. Oh no. Let us do a reality check for who knows me better than yours truly.
God’s definition of us is of course the best of all. He called us “daughters and Sons” and made in his own image and likeness. With this definition before us, we become self-respecting, dignified and are able to walk with confidence. When the path becomes slippery, He holds our hands. When our steps falter, He steadies us. When we begin to become negative about ourselves, His grace fills us with reassurance.
Each human being is a fascinating combination of Devine and Demonic qualities. We all have the devil in us, something that makes us pursue self-destructive ways. Yet, even the worst amongst us have extraordinary Devine traits. Our success depends on how well we are able to operate out of our own goodness and marginalise the demonic qualities. Some Devine qualities listed are fearlessness, purity of heart and Charity.
Those two turn spiritual are driven by fear or retribution. Worship must be backed by love not fear. Purity of heart comes with freedom from selfishness and desire. Charity comes from recognising the infinite benevolence of nature. Yet people visit places of worship only to ask for more. True prayer is acknowledgement of what you already have and the desire to share, serve and contribute to the less privileged. You become rich by what you give. The difference between Devine and Demonic is knowledge. The Devine have access to higher knowledge, while the Demonic, deluded by greed, lust and ego are ignorant of their potential.
We are a combination of matter and spirit. You know only matter. You have no inkling of the spirit in you. Yet, spirit being our original nature, it makes its presence felt. Thus, you attribute the glory, magnificence and grandeur of spirit to your individual personality. The way out is knowledge of the distinction between matter and spirit. Then there is no more confusion. Misery and grief vanish and you get established in happiness.
You have to free yourselves from the gates of darkness, desire, anger and greed. Anger and greed are mutation of desire. So it is desire that needs to be combated and overcome. Yet desire is encouraged, fanned and promoted. The doors to your soul are kept shut and you live and die without even a glimpse of your own power and magnificence. If you follow your Devine nature, you do yourself good and uplift others as well. You live a life of success and happiness and eventually transcend the world to attain liberation.
Everyone knows how to earn money but few know how to spend. This is the most common experience in every society. A wise person is one who discovers this fact and plans his life taking a lesson from it. Money may prove to be a source of strength. It is its use that makes it good or bad for a human being.
People earn money by applying their wisdom but when it comes to the use of money, people can be remarkably stupid. If you spend your money for some constructive purpose that is very good, but if you spend it on ostentations then it is bad. It requires great wisdom and hard labour to acquire money. It is strange then that one chooses to be stupid when it comes to spending that hard earned money. It is good to have money but if it makes you arrogant then it is worse than poison. If on the other hand money makes you modest it is a great source of your personal development. If money makes you your sole concern in life, it means you are under utilising yourself.
Money is of course a necessity but its acquisition is not to be your sole purpose of life. Money is a risky form of capital for you can lose it through an unexpected event. But learning is a permanent asset. Knowledge is also appreciable and permanent. In brief, it is humbleness that stands you in good stead.
Generation gap is a gap of communication that leads to misunderstanding and disharmony. It refers to the gap between young and old. It is about mindsets and methods and it is not one sided. Youth is full of passion and drive and is risk friendly. The old have wisdom and experience and they are risk averse. Just passion and risk taking are not enough, neither are experience and wisdom because we live in a dynamic world. Strategies have to change and for this we need understanding and flexibility.
The older and younger generation need to communicate, synergise and draw the best from each other. A friendly dialogue and conversation is essential to bridge the gap. Use both head and heart. Harmonise both male and female energies in you and that integration will guide you to deal with situation. Advise children without seeming to be interfering. Present your viewpoint in a friendly manner without being autocratic. Ensure also that children are receptive so that they listen when you advise them.
Parents should understand that more than the words they utter it is their being and intention which get communicated. Use the power of love and then you will know how to deal with the people. Learn to enjoy dealing with them. They are going through transition and so help them to cross the barrier. Don’t use too much of logic, just show love.
One has to be friendly, frank, flexible and fair. Young people may feel discipline is snatching their freedom. This is not true. Bringing up children involves education. It takes time but you should be an empowering parent. The world has good and bad to offer. We must choose what is good for us and that is the message parents should impart to the children.