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Learning From The Blows

There was no period in human history when peace and tranquility was not disturbed by war, aggression, or exploitation. The same is the case today and the similar situation would prevail in future as well. It is futile to expect otherwise. At the same time, the past, the present, and the future would continue to produce men and women of exalted character who would keep the flame of empathy, compassion, and love alive.

The lost equilibrium which is responsible for this manifest world will continue to try to regain its balance through such contradictory facts. Day and night, life and death, love and hatred, pleasure and pain, war and peace are but two sides of the same coin. Accordingly the mind also experiences and exhibits dual emotions of joy and sorrow, elation and depression. This is a continuous process. A person expresses a particular reaction depending on his/her station on the path of this eternal -- almost unending -- journey.

This world is like a dog's tail, always curled. Try as one may, it does not become straight. In the task of 'improving the world', the blows we receive make us realize the truth of the nature of the world: deceptive and teasingly shadowy. With all sincerity and efforts we embrace or cling to 'our near and dear ones' and 'our values'. But how tragic it is to see the end of all aspirations, hopes, and dreams with one cruel blow of death! This blow may come from anywhere and anytime. This is the only certainty after birth. But still, like the cat, we drink the milk of ambitions and desires, with closed eyes, in the hope that we shall not be caught in this futile attempt to escape from the harsh truth of impermanence of life. This, indeed, is one of the greatest wonders in this world.

Some do realize that a stitch here would always cause a tear somewhere else. A wonderfully prosperous nation today has to coexist with pathetic poverty of the other. A mighty military organization and suffering refugee crisis is a truth, which cannot be otherwise. Whom to blame and whom to praise? Both are equally correct in perceiving the world from their respective point of views. If the result is a clash of opinions and thence to a clash of swords, birth of two warring groups is inevitable. In the attempt to straighten this curled tail a large amount of energy is wasted. For a while it appears that one has succeeded in his attempt! But a bit of laxity and the tail regains its original curve.

Then what should one do? Run away! No. There is no escape as such. If today you are unaffected and can be witness to a tragic or comic situation tomorrow it will be your turn to get involved. Escape no one can.

The best way is to learn from the past and present experiences involving you and others. That person is wise who learns from the experiences of others as well. It is not necessary for everyone to go through the grinding mill of crushing contradictions. One should learn to see through the flimsy excuses which the mind creates to satisfy its desires. One can understand that the war and crime, in the last analysis, satisfy the crooked desires of body-mind complex. The ego satisfaction is the goal of every action, whether the action is individual or collective.

The actions spring from our incomplete comprehension of the Truth, and hence there is waywardness and one-sidedness to our priority and emphasis. The actions spring from the ignorance about the totality of Reality. The actions spring because of adhering to lower or partial truths.

The remedy lies in remaining unattached to the results of our actions. The best way is 'conscious and deliberate' attempt to realize our true nature and to progress from lower truths to higher truth. To understand that we are more than mere body-mind complexes, to realize the limitations of human mind, reason and ego, and to attempt to rise above the human plane to divine plane of consciousness is real action. To comprehend that the mind is a faulty instrument to understand the nature of Reality is the beginning of wisdom. Attempt to transcend the stranglehold of ego to realize the Truth is the beginning of religion. To understand, experience, and manifest our inner divinity, which is our true nature, is the goal and destiny of every human being.
C S Shah
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