I was recently invited to speak at a global business conference in New Delhi, India. There I had a wonderful experience of seeing how each and everyone is busy exchanging their business cards, and once the card is handed over, the person receiving it reviews it with attention and then looks at the person as if the person is rated on the basis of his success in life! I noticed that for those who have touched some peaks in the world of business and money, they were surrounded by many people asking for a photograph with him or her.
We have accepted the business card as our identity. But we need to ask our self, is that right? Are we our educational or professional success story? Are we what people are thinking of us or are we someone who still is a stranger to our self. My assessment is most of us are a stranger to our own Self. Through our borrowed knowledge or practiced skills we may become a hero, but then how long does that last? One who is a stranger to one’s own self is a stranger to the world. One who knows not who he or she is does not know about others.
Why does the much-promised love turn into hate or indifference at the drop of a hat? Why can’t people stay together in harmony and love? It is because everyone from early childhood, and particularly, in America, is made to live an individualistic life. It is a life of competition and not cooperation. The brain is wired from early childhood to live as a fighter to win every battle irrespective of the nature of means adopted. Here nobody bothers about the other; only the winner gets the applause! So, the effort is to edge others out and move ahead. Ethics can come later. This is the mindset that has been developed from the beginning based only on the values of the peripheral life.
From our first teachers, our parents, to every teacher in the path of life, we are taught to live life on the periphery, on the plane of body-consciousness or physical identification. The wise sages of the East tell us that our fundamental ignorance is body-identification, and is the defect from which shoots all the miseries and unhappiness in life. To think, “I am my body” takes the attention from the essential reality of our Spirit consciousness to the grosser plane of ever-changing and fragile physical existence. We get so used to living on the porch that we forget there is a bedroom. We get so used to life of the peripheral distraction that we hardly can manage to get back to our inner core, our being, our Center.
Now as we all live in our individualistic life patterns, interacting from periphery to periphery, we have no touch from center to center, from soul to soul. We talk superficially of our soul connection but it is a mere word, a very temporary phase of excitement, as it adds no real value to our inner life. Let us be clear about it, that on the surface the sea or ocean is always waving; it is restless, it is ever-changing. So also at the peripheral level of existence, the gross material life, relationships that exist body to body are as unpredictable as the waves on the ocean. It is therefore hard to grow a sense of confidence, trust and love for the other person due to the changing nature of life and relationships. This is the peripheral relationship that the majority of the population of the world understands, and holds on to. It is because relationships are based on periphery to periphery that they so easily break down. The phenomenal rise in the number of separations all over the world is a testimony to this truth.
The good news is the whole world is in a process of transition of consciousness. We humans make mistakes and we learn and we grow and we evolve and we attain enlightenment. Man makes mistake hence, man can become one day a Buddha, the awakened one.
Look within! The same potential is within us too. We too are born not to die living on the porch thinking this is how the bedroom looks like. We can’t give up the most priceless gift of this physical body and the infinitely powerful mind thinking about our mistakes and our guilt, and everything that belittles us. We need to break the shackles and come out to the very essence of our existence; we are not what our business card shows that is our peripheral self. We are hiding behind that mask. We are the original one. Not a facsimile.
The way is simple; in the midst of all our daily chores we stop complaining and start living our life from inside out. We are a spiritual being living a human experience. We are not our peripheral, temporal dying self. We are the core “Beingness.” To realize who we are, we need to deny the reality we see on the surface of the waving fierce water of the sea, but just have the courage to plunge like a diver and go hardly 10 or so feet below the surface and we will see the silence, we will see a different world and we will be filled with peace and calm and utter AWE.
Our practice of sitting quietly with our body-mind-spirit and diving within is the guaranteed way to the world of our own Spirit soul. Once we embrace our soul as our true identity, we are centered and then life becomes a glorious manifestation of the One Lord of the Universe. Live life inside out! That is to be Alive!!