By Suma Varughese
Life is a creation. But are we merely playing the role already created for us, or can we create our own pages in any chapter of life?
REALIZE YOUR INFINITE POTENTIAL
1. Sit in a quiet room.
2. Calm your mind and body.
3. Release whatever message you may have for your subconscious. There are certain rules that you must follow:
a) Phrase the commands in present tense. If you wish to develop a better memory, assert: ‘My memory is perfect.’
b) Phrase your commands positively. ‘My memory is perfect’ is better than saying, ‘I don’t have a bad memory.’ The reason is simple. The mind only accepts positive commands.
c) Be specific and cover every aspect of life.
4. Affirm your messages with confidence and belief. Your subconscious is programmed to receive and act on your commands.
5. Visualize the result. See yourself in various situations. Think of the positive changes in your life. Imagination is the propeller of all, and when you combine it with feeling, results come faster.
BECOME AWARE OF THE ROLE OF DESTINY IN YOUR LIFE
1. Become aware of coincidences. Nothing is accidental.
2. Every incident of your life is meant to happen. Ask yourself what you are supposed to learn from them.
3. Know yourself. The more you are aware of yourself, and the more you accept yourself, the more you become yourself. This will direct the forces of destiny into your life.
4. Live according to the spiritual laws of life. This will align you to the forces of life.
5. Develop your power of intuition. Learn to make decisions on the basis of your inner response rather than on facts or logic.
6. Become aware of the intertwining forces of fate operating in your life. Ask yourself what you are meant to do. Often, it is a grand synthesis of all your varied experiences.
7. Live in gratitude. It is a powerful force.
8. Try to surrender yourself to the Higher Power.
9. Question yourself: ‘Why?’
Opinions differ. Emerson, an American thinker, says: ‘The great oversoul has need of an organ where I am, else I would not be here.’ Flip back to the primal Vedas, and bask in the bliss of cosmic oneness. ‘In that which is the subtle essence all that exists has its self. That is the truth, that is the self, and thou art that,’ says the Chandogya Upanishad. We are God. Free will and destiny telescope into the vastness that is us.
Close to our time, much is said about the glories of free will. The masters of personal growth and self-help rhapsodize about the endless potential of man. Jose Silva, founder of the Silva method of mind control says: ‘Mind expansion, self-knowledge and helping others through Mind Control are only limited by your own limitations. Anything is possible.’
With the introduction of human psychology, the matter went inwards. For Sigmund Freud, father of modern psychoanalysis, the determinants of life were our dark primal needs, and the way we learnt to control them. Humanist thinkers, C.G. Jung and Abraham Maslow, were more positive. Jung postulated the concept of Pneuma, a spiritual component of the psyche. Maslow opined that man’s destiny depended on how far he managed to rise from primal needs to the meta need of transcendence.
On the other hand, Transactional Analysis (TA) proponent Eric Berne, author of What Do You Say After You Say Hello? says that genes, parental programming and external conditioning decide the courses of our lives.
The question, however, remains—how much of our lives can we actually control?
If you think it is chance that governs our lives and that what happens to us is not only beyond our control, then that is your reality. Every seer, from Jesus Christ to the Buddha asserted that we make our own reality. Which means that we have the free will to believe in destiny!
Even this is simplistic. There are certain patterns and leitmotifs that recur in the broad spectrum of human life. These give insight into the possible scenario of life’s plan. Step back and watch the curtain rise.
ACT I, SCENE I
A Hindu child is born—Laxmi. Her father is a manager in an engineering firm. Her mother is a teacher. She has an elder brother—Hari. Laxmi is an adorable baby with large liquid eyes, curls of black hair and a golden complexion.
Who determined Laxmi’s birth into these circumstances? Who decided her physical characteristics? From the viewpoint of this lifetime, no philosopher has been able to answer the first question adequately. But if looked at from the infinite span of reincarnation, determinism takes a back seat and karma steps forward.
ACT I, SCENE II
As Laxmi grows into an adult, her free will expands. She decides when to eat and sleep, how to spend her time, and what beliefs to uphold. In all this, parental programming will influence her decisions. Laxmi freewheels through life, unaware of the genesis of her choices. Ask her what determines her life and she is at a loss. Since she has not seen the uncompromising face of life, she is inclined to favor free will.
Miss Universe 2000 Lara Dutta declares her belief in free will that has got her the beauty pageant title. On the other hand, an accountant in a small time company confesses his inability to straddle the forces of life and lead them in the direction of his desires.
At this stage, there are two distinctive voices—winners and losers. In effect, the relationship between free will and destiny, at this point, seems to depend solely on a person’s frame of mind—if you triumph over the adverse circumstances of your life, you believe in free will; if not, destiny. Here destiny is seen as static, the sum total of one’s genes, parental conditioning and external circumstances.
Laxmi is now 23 and employed in a reputed computer firm. Although she enjoys her job, an indefinable sense of inadequacy grips her. There would be promotions, marriage and family. But is that enough? To find the answer, she registers herself for a personal growth workshop. She is made to see that whatever we experience is only our perception of life. Once again life becomes exciting. Destiny? No way! She is in charge.
The quality of life is in the mind. The day you realize that, you become the navigator of your own life. There is just you, and how you choose to make your life. At this stage, free will is absolute. Destiny appears to be feeble in comparison with powers of the mind.
Laxmi’s life is pelting forward. At work, her remarkable energy, creativity and adaptability are bringing her into the spotlight. Her relationships are thriving. And then it happens. A depression settles upon her. Try as she might, it does not go. However, she is astonished to find that despite doing little at work, her job continues to be secure. Increasingly, she gets the feeling of being looked after. Certainly, she is in control of her actions and reactions, but there is a wider relationship between her and the larger forces of life.
In his book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra, the celebrity New Age guru, writes: ‘Human beings are made of body, mind and spirit. Of these, spirit is primary, for it connects us to the source of everything. The more connected we are, the more we will enjoy the abundance of the universe, which has been organized to fulfill our wishes…’
In other words, destiny is an elastic fluid, an ever-changing force that works in tandem with us. It manifests only when we are conscious of it. Thereafter, it works with an ever-increasing speed and strength. Neither is it rigid, for it gives us room to exercise our free will.
Meera Kotak, an Indian reiki practitioner, says: ‘There are many paths that are open to us at any point. Which one we decide to take unfolds further choice. The sum total of the path and the choice decides our destiny.’
At this stage there is an active cooperation between the larger forces of life and oneself. One is in harmony with life and lives by its laws. The result: an increasing sense of joy and satisfaction, of peace and integration both within and without.
We catch up with Laxmi ten years later. The intervening years have been successful. Now she develops a sense of settling accounts with the material part of life. Increasingly, it is the spiritual part that beckons her. Her focus on the welfare of others is almost absolute. Material ambitions have virtually left her. She feels that nothing but the moment is hers. This inclines her towards living in the present. What is the point of worrying over things that are beyond her control? Obviously, she is not the controller of her life. She realizes: ‘There is no one but God, there never was. Free will was an illusion. It was always his will.’
In his book Krishna:The Man and His Philosophy, controversial spiritual guru Osho says: ‘The very understanding of life and its ways will tell you nothing is in your hands. Neither do you decide to be born nor do you decide to die. Neither you breathe of your own volition, nor do you have a hand in the circulation of your blood through the body.’
Is there a contradiction between the heady sense of being in control over yourself and the knowledge that nothing is in your hands? At the highest level of Advaita (monism) where you die to your ego to crest into the limitless realm of Self, you no longer identify with the concept of free will, since there is no individual ‘you’ to enforce it.
Does going beyond the concept of free will make you a victim of circumstances? Seers would dispute this vigorously. Beyond free will lies God’s will. You become an instrument for the Highest Power.
Osho says: ‘You are utterly mistaken if you think you are the doer; you are merely an instrument in the hands of the divine. Let it do what it wants to be done through you, and let go of yourself.’ We return to where we began: destiny rules. But how different is the perspective here! As instruments of the Higher Will we live not for ourselves but for others. Free of fear, doubt or desire, we are established in equilibrium, resisting nothing and accepting everything. Curtains down. The play is over. We are home and free.
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