Previous Parts: Introduction | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 |Part 14
Evening tea was being served at NGO. He offered me and I gladly accepted. He coughed twice from the time I was here and I was little alarmed. I had yet to receive his second report which would have confirmed his tuberculosis. I promised to myself that it would be first thing I would be checking tomorrow. I admired the way he had accepted his illness and didn’t complain or cribbed about anything.
“Arvind, every time I see you, one thing which always impress me is unquestioned acceptance of your situation. I fail to understand, how you can do it? I simply don’t take even a simple illness, sportingly. And always tend to question it.... ‘Why me’, compare with others or maximize it in my head.”
“It’s not you, Doctor! It’s your ego. Ego has inherent tendency of non-acceptance. Only our soul can accept, ego only knows resistance. Life is always full of dualities. Everything has two sides, light and dark, pain and pleasure, good and evil, it’s the way the universe balances. One thing is followed by other. And this cycle is not only limited to one life time, it spans several life times, till the time we realize our true existence, our self. We have to accept both, to go beyond them. It’s pre-requisite, first we have to accept, only then we can do anything about it. Acceptance stops our mind to indulge from unnecessary questioning and judgement and we can deal with the reality. If I keep questioning; how can I have AIDS, why other people are not having it, why only I have to suffer, why my parents had to die, why I can’t live like other people, why I don’t have proper home like others, I would never be able to deal with the real situation, my illness. Only when we accept anything in its totality, we can move beyond it; we can correct it, change it or simply accept it as it is. The moment you accept anything totally, it stops creating more karma. You will not make stories about it in your head, you won’t blame anyone for your problems, and you won’t judge it. And the same holds true for pleasurable things or situations in life. If you accept them totally, you will just enjoy the moment, you will not be wishing that happiness lasts forever or worry about losing it or wanting it to happen again. You just live the moment, enjoy it and let go, happiness or sadness. You don’t want to cling to it. ‘Let go’ happens spontaneously in any situation, whether its pleasure or pain. But ego can’t accept as it has inherent tendency to resist, to oppose, to argue with the reality.”
He replied. “Is it wrong to question anything? Is it wrong to seek answers for the things which my mind can’t accept?” I again interrupted. “Of course not...Choice is entirely yours! Freedom to think and create misery for ourselves is always there. What has happened is already a reality, it has materialized. You can’t do anything about it, it can’t be undone. You can only think about it and make yourself suffer in the process. Moreover it will stop taking you any corrective action because you would be so occupied with your thoughts that you would be incapable of moving forward. I am not saying that we should accept any wrong, any injustice or any other negativity but we should not get entangled in the situation itself, we should first accept it so as to make any real changes. There is nothing to be gained if we keep resisting, blaming or arguing in our head except creating more karma for us. And the responsibility lies solely with us to not to create any further karma if we want to get out of this cycle of birth and death.”
“However, we do get attached to people or things and it’s not possible to get out of that. In fact, you become possessive about them, it’s like you own them. You get attached to situations as well. You don’t want good times to finish or you keep remembering the times things were good for you. ” I always felt helpless about my attachment to my husband, my daughter, my work, anything where I thought that I am the center.
“Identification to anything causes attachment. Attachment is the property of ego, not of the soul. And because we live through our ego, we are by default attached to people or things with which we identify ourselves. We get attached because we find our ‘I’, that illusionary identity which is always insecure finds its existence through those people or things. They provide a false sense of identity to the ego. You see so many patients everyday but you don’t get troubled. You treat them, you take care of them but matter is finished there. However, if someone who is related to you, where word ‘mine’ comes into being...let’s say for example your husband or your daughter is sick, you get troubled. Only difference is of ‘someone’ or ‘mine’ and nothing else but that one difference is enough to change your view. Same happens with things or situation. They are what they are, just neutral. But just because you perceive them as belonging to you, part of your ego, your illusionary identity and you get attached. We start defining ourselves by our possessions, either living or non-living. The reasons for accumulating so much wealth, for running after name and fame, for accumulating power are just to strengthen our ego.
Ego is never satisfied because the moment it gets satisfied, it would be its death. It keeps hankering, the moment one desire is fulfilled, and ego goes after another. You simply remove the word ‘mine’ from any person, anything or any situation and see the difference in your reaction. The very thing which meant world to you because word ‘mine’ was attached to it, simply cease to have any meaning in your life. We keep searching; keep seeking ourselves in every person, thing or situations without realizing that true self...our soul... our being is always deep inside us. You search for your false self, your ego in your every relationship, every interactions and in every situation. It’s hilarious; we keep on searching our false identity when our true identity is hidden within ourselves. Even when you feel proud or happy when someone who is related to you or close to you has achieved something, it’s only because your ‘I’, your ego is embedded in that achievement.”
~To be continued