Pic.: Malabika Ganguly
After reading my last Post – ‘YOU ANT, MAKE THE ELEPHANT DANCE TO YOUR TUNE’, Anuprita*, who lives in the US, wrote to me this:
Hi Gerry. I have not been in touch for many weeks now with you, but I continue reading your posts. Life has become a little more challenging lately. That's the nature of life, isn't it? Along with challenges, there has been fulfilling moments too. For that, I am thankful.
I wanted to share that the ant-and-elephant blog-piece was very interesting. That analogy is also true in situations where we have to do the ‘right thing’. I am currently feeling burdened from realizing that I have not, always, done the right thing in life situations that needed me to overcome my fears, anxieties and unwillingness to take the difficult route and do the right thing. And when you cannot turn back the clock, that's a difficult truth to make peace with.
Thought I can share with you and, perhaps, share my burden.
I replied, this way:
Hi Anuprita, , felt nice to read from you after a long time. Reminding oneself with the words - "THIS, TOO, SHALL PASS' is the best way to keep our inner peace... In life, nothing stays long, neither happiness, nor sadness... Peace lies in seeing this fact. Don't keep regrets, grudges, or any sort to self-imprisoning chains... Feel the freedom; your children, husband, parents are all taken care of... You have to take care of yourself first. That's fundamental to live sanely in this world. Stress is the result of the ‘story’ we make in our minds, and the way we believe in those stories. Don’t worry, Life is full of buzz there… Enjoy. Love
After sending my reply to Anuprita, a question popped in my mind: Is there such thing as doing ‘right thing’ in life? If so, how are we supposed to know it is ‘the right thing’?
I reflected upon some of my own life-events and decisions… When I did them, did I know – and was I dead sure – that I was doing the ‘right thing’?
I found myself smiling and shaking my head…
No matter how ‘enlightened’ I, sometimes, seem to be – which I am not – all that I can look back and discover is this: I only did according to the wisdom and awareness I was blessed with at the particular point of my life… Even if I wanted to do anything else, I just couldn't… because, that’s what seemed ‘right’ in the light of my awareness at that stage of my life…
For all of us, the humans, our wisdom is the only guiding light… and, the wisdom comes by living life fully, with all its hues, fragrances and beats…
It is said, “Life is what happens to us when we are busy making our other plans.”
How true it is!
Well, let us go back to the fable – ‘The Ant and the Elephant’. The ant is our conscious mind… the mindful mind… the one of awareness, wisdom and understanding. We are told that this mind processes about two-thousand neurons every second. The elephant is our subconscious mind… the unmindful mind, buried deep, deep down under the weight of years and years of regrets, guilts, fears, anxieties, false beliefs, biases. We are told that this mind processes about four-billion neurons every second!
Just note the ratio… It is mind-blowing!
So, even though we know that we should get in touch with our subconscious mind and make it come in line with our conscious mind, how can we ever complete the task? How can we ever bridge the gap?
Probably, this is the way: Convince oneself that I did the best I could… and, that is the ‘right’ thing I did… and, whatever the consequences of it, I am ready to face it… For, they are there for my own good, for my own growth…
Did Adam and Eve do the ‘right thing’ by eating the forbidden fruit? If ‘No’, I ask this: Did God – with all His wisdom – do the ‘right thing’ by creating them?
Why did He create Adam and Eve, in the first place, if He ‘knew’ they would disobey Him? Why He had to go through such a frustrating mission called ‘REDEMPTION’…’the “MOKSHA’?
So, take heart Anuprita: If God did the right thing by creating us, his children, who are we to argue that we should, always, do only the’ right things’?