The mind consists of ideas and thoughts. If you choose ideas and thoughts of helplessness, chance, and luck – your mind will function in ways supporting those ideas undermining your potential. But if you choose thoughts of perseverance, persistence, and forethought – the mind will utilize every faculty of your body to work to its fullest potential. So, you must be very cautious with what thoughts or ideas you feed into the mind of yours, consciously as well as unconsciously.
Recently, I happened to counsel a person diagnosed with a terminal illness. Having read my books, she claimed that while she was “moved” by “the depth of wisdom” in my articles and books, she found them to be very “impractical.” Even though she knew full well that death was her ultimate destination, she was overwhelmed by the very fear of dying. “Who knows what happens after death?” she said. The idea of uncertainty after death was causing greater pain to her than the pain caused by her illness.
When people undermine your interests, that is a threat. The threat is always real. But fear is of the mind, therefore optional. If you know you are not the mind, you’d know how to handle the mind and the fear. Fear can undermine the faculties of the mind. Fear will also undermine your chances to succeed; make your life as pathetic as your mind fear it to be.
Living without desire doesn’t mean living in a despicable condition. It doesn’t even imply relinquishing everything you have and becoming hermits or mendicants; quite the contrary. Living without desire is to live in the moment. Knowing that you are neither the body nor the mind and therefore every desire, which stem from these two, too, aren’t yours. It is about relinquishing the root of desires, namely: lust, anger, greed, infatuation ego, and envy. Also known as Arishadvargas – Six Detrimental Qualities. Living detached comes with a confirmed promise of Ananda – bliss.
One of the most credible ways to destress a mind, other than distracting it momentarily, is to engage in a productive conversation with another mind that is without any trace of stress. The mind without stress is the mind that is closing in or established in wisdom. Unfortunately, such a mind is hard to find.
We often think we know what we want. Yet we forget that we’ll have more respect for something only when it’s not there or when it is lost. We are all mortal with frailties – we don’t live long enough to see the consequences of our own actions. The Mahabharata is more about exposing human weaknesses than any hagiography or glorification of mere human personalities. It shows us what our deep-seated limitations are and how to correct them, should we be willing to make the great labor to do so. Nothing in life comes easy, without examination, or without determination. Wisdom and knowledge come to those who incessantly strive to exceed their personal limitations.
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