Holistic Living - The direction of your life
by Life Positive
I read a couple of paragraphs, and them came upon this: "A man wished another man to kill him. Naturally he wished this for everyone else, since he was a 'good' man. The 'good' man is, of course, the man who wants for others what he wants for himself. The single problem of this is that what he wants is often the last thing that he needs."
The key to understanding this apparently statement is that 'want' is a conscious expression of what we think will satisfy or help us. That it does not is apparent from the high levels of stress and psychological illness among the so-called achievers. "Achievers" of what? What goals did they set out to achieve? Have their souls, given them what they need? Or have hey ended up serving some machine which has a logic all its own, and satisfies nobody but itself, some hidden dark force propelling them towards an orgy of consumption, stress and alienation?
So much for the 'logic' of goal-setting and achieving. Time for magic. Go back to the first paragraph—the book happened to be there; I allowed the pages to fall open, and there was the quote I needed. I did precious little, in the rational, goal-setting, objective-oriented ways of the world. It happens often. 'Opening' is the crucial word. Opening the book, opening yourself, opening your mind. Strange things start to happen-writer without a lead finds a clue, a traveler without a map finds a cairn.
Your question is obvious; in a world driven by objectives and plans, how can I abandon myself to such a haphazard approach to life? One answer is that life itself is haphazard, your own life is a story of coincidences—the family into which you happened to be born; the friends you made who happened to live next door, or go to the same school; your life partner who happened to be a friend of a friend or relative...
The fact is that the only certainly in life exists when you inhale—and that is that the breath you have taken in will certainly leave your body. At my most trusting moments, I like to look upon life as movie. I happen to have been cast in it, but my main role is as member of the audience. Just as a movie only be experienced if one adopts a "willing suspension of disbelief", so too the joy of life, of maya (illusion), comes from abandoning oneself to its ups and downs, to its leela (play).
Does that mean that one sits in a comfortable, reclining chair, and gobbles popcorn all one's life? Well, if you were cast as a cinema critic, go right ahead. Throw yourself into your role. Attend film school, get yourself a library of books on cinema, travel to Cannes, acquire directors' cuts of famous films, teach yourself to write engagingly, and argue convincingly. Learn to 'see' through a camera lens, and to understand light, composition movement.
But all the while, remember Lao Tzu's admonition:
Plans are everything; Planning is everything.
Meaning that, when you go down to the snack counter to replenish your popcorn, and an angel smiles at you and beckons with her eyes, follows her out into the darkened streets, and throw yourself into the new role central casting has assigned you.
Till then, enjoy the movies.
Mohit Satyanand, India
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