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
He continued,” And in ordinary existence, ego rules over us. Our every action is guided by ego. Have you noticed how our mind get stuck to negative situation of life...anything where we felt that we have got unfair treatment, have been hurt or insulted. The hilarious thing is that mind only starts these kinds of thinking and then sustains it by self-perpetuating process. It goes on debating, judging and resisting whatever is the situation. And we go on to be tormented by our very own thoughts. Our emotions don’t stay far behind. They act as a catalyst and this self sustained reaction continues. In fact, it doesn’t stop at that, it spills over other situation. It tends to judge other situations, other people also through the lens of negativity. And then the vicious cycle of thought and self inflicted pain goes on. The amazing thing is that ego never considers itself at fault, it always blame other people or situations. It simply throws responsibility on others. It considers everyone to be its enemy, it projects enemy. And when you throw responsibility on others, there remains no scope for improvement. In essence, mind is our own enemy if we cannot understand it. Irony is that we don’t even realize and stay in the prison of our self created misery.”
“But it’s not that we always have negative thoughts. We do have moments of pleasure when we are happy. There are times when life looks hunky dory and we feel ourselves at the top of the world. We feel that life is very beautiful. Everything looks so exciting. We don’t complain anymore .Whatever we want in life is being fulfilled and we look forward to future for achieving more.” I intervened. “You are right Doctor, that’s very true. In fact that’s what life is, the mix of everything, happiness and sadness. Life is never constant, everything keeps moving. Happiness is very good because we are happy we become creative, we become more loving, we become hopeful, and we enjoy the life to its maximum. But here is the catch, we get identified to our happiness also as we get identified to our pains. And we get attached to pleasure even more than our pains. And mind is so full of desires that we are never satisfied. No amount of pleasure is enough for our ego to be satisfied. But in real life, nothing lasts forever. Happiness and sadness are both states of mind as there are states of any matter, liquid, solid and gas.
And as matter tend to change their states, mind also changes states. It’s like night is bound to be followed by day and vice-versa. Anything which has an inherent property to change can never remain same, how much we want. We cannot remain happy or sad forever, irrespective of external circumstances. Though we don’t realize, happiness or sadness comes from within, from our own thoughts. Nothing from outside makes us happy or sad; it is how we perceive any situation. But because we get identified with our happiness as well, we suffer when the circumstances which made us happy are not there anymore. Our mind desperately clings to the same situations which made us happy and suffer in the process.” Arvind reciprocated.
“But isn’t it human to desire happiness in life?” I questioned again. “Yes, very human! But that’s not what we are here for. We need to go beyond that. We need to go beyond the state of thoughts, beyond our identification with our thoughts. We need to wake up from the state of our dreams. Only then we can remain separate from the relentless drama of our life which results from our incessant thinking. And if we can be successful in detaching ourselves from our thoughts, emotions and feelings, we can remain unaffected by any situation, good or bad.” Arvind answered in a manner which conveyed his deep understanding as well as the reason for his joyful existence.
“Why we just can’t live in the moment, whatever it is?” My search for peace and contentment was inevitably making me implacable. Arvind smiled. He never looked impatient or irritated with my questions. I again admired his calmness and serenity. “Yes Doctor, you are right indeed! This is again one of the properties of ego; not to live in present moment. I would like to make you understand scientifically; when you are in the present moment, you are not having any ego and when you are not, you are living through your ego. The present moment and ego are contradictory to each other. This makes it easier to understand doctor, the moment you realise that you are not present; understand that your life is being controlled by ego. When you live totally in present moment, you honour your real self, your soul. It’s only when you are visiting past in your head or thinking about future, you are not in touch with your soul. Ego doesn’t know the concept of ‘here and now’. It’s always fixed in past or future.” Arvind tried to make me understand the concept of ‘being present to the moment’. But I was not able to convince myself that anyone can live without thinking about past or future.
~To be continued