Becoming a human being again
Sri Anishji entreats us to stop ‘doing’ and ‘becoming,’ and just ‘be’!
You might feel that the title is rather strange because we all are human beings already; so, where is the question of becoming human beings again?
Let’s look at it carefully. The word ‘human’ is a combination of two words: ‘homo,’ meaning ‘man,’ and ‘humus,’ meaning ‘earth.’ And the word ‘being’ is most interesting here. It could mean ‘a certain intelligence to create, to relate, to connect, to communicate’ and also ‘a certain level of wisdom, peace, and joyfulness.’ Additionally, it could mean ‘a certain state of composure, consciousness, and awareness, and a capacity to evolve further.’
Look at the above attributes of ‘being’ carefully. These are all the qualities which make us human beings, distinct and different from all other forms of life. These attributes put us in a better position to perceive the world and experience life more deeply.
But many of us are not in our natural state of ‘human beingness’ all the time. When I look around, I find most of humanity has lost human beingness and has either turned into a ‘human doing’ or a ‘human becoming.’ Let’s understand this.
Many of us are constantly engaged, or shall I say distracted, in or by some form of ‘doing.’ Many a time, we are not even mindful of our doing or the effects of that doing on our body and mind. Maybe it is because of our inability to just ‘be’ because of our super-active minds and uncontrolled thoughts. Even when we are not doing anything externally, our inner chatter is constantly active: there is a massive amount of doing that keeps happening in our mind space all the time.
We must all pause in the middle of our doing and ask ourselves, Is our doing useful or not? Does it have any positive or constructive value? Is it making our life or anybody else’s any better? If we look into these questions, we will realise that most of our doing is unmindful and has certain compulsive patterns.
Let’s see a few bizarre yet common examples of human doing:
Many times during the day, even when there is no ring or any other notification beep on our mobile phones, we still pick it up to see if there is anything there.
We go on the internet to search for something just for a minute, but then that search takes us to so many other subjects, videos, searches, etc. that we end up spending half an hour, and sometimes even more, on a subject that we were not even looking for in the first place!
We go for an evening walk and see that people are so engrossed in their thoughts that they are talking to themselves, totally oblivious of the trees, insects, people, and all the beauty around them.
Fact check: During the pandemic, people’s screen time usage has increased more than 100 per cent, and there are obvious adverse effects on their eye health as well their overall well-being due to incorrect postures and lack of physical movement, etc.
Throughout our waking hours, we act as a human doing, physically or mentally. And during our sleeping hours too, our doing keeps happening—in our dreams. Thankfully, nature has built in the mechanism of a forced, deep, dreamless sleep for all of us, which makes sure that every morning we wake up with our sanity intact.
Many of us are not satisfied with who we are; we want to become somebody else.
We are not satisfied with where we are; we want to be somewhere else. We are not satisfied with what we have; we want something else. And this chasing after something else never ends!
Again, human beings are not enjoying and not content with their beingness. We want to ‘become’ someone else. So, human beings have turned into human becomings.
In nature, if you see, a rose flower is not trying to become a jasmine flower, or an apple is not trying to become a mango, or a black horse is not trying to become a white horse. But only with human beings, do I see everyone trying to become something else.
Let me share a small story with you. Once, a disciple goes in search of a teacher. After many days of wandering, he finds a really joyous, peaceful, and fearless sage sitting under a tree. He asks the sage, “Sir, I too want to attain this supremely joyful, peaceful, and fearless state. What do you do to attain this?” The sage replies, “I eat when I’m hungry, I take rest when I’m tired, and I work in the fields when it is needed.” So, the sage is saying that he is established in his human being-ness. He is neither engaged in compulsive human doing nor entangled in human becoming.
Observe around you, and you will rarely find anybody just sitting in their peaceful and joyful inner space of beingness. In fact, to be in your real beingness is seen as sitting idle and is considered a waste of time.
We don’t realise that some moments of sitting still—in beingness—every day is in itself a deep meditation. It is extremely essential for our mental health, clarity of thought, relaxation, rejuvenation, physical well-being, and even for our work productivity and enhanced personal relations.
Our ancient wisdom says that we are already divine; we are already pure and full of light. It is not that we have to become pure or illuminated; we are already that. It is just that we have to uncover the truth of our Self. And this happens when we are not in a state of constant doing or becoming. It happens when we are fully established in our human beingness.
So, every day, for at least a few moments, drop all your human doing and the pursuit of human becoming and just come back to your ever-present, beautiful, peaceful, and joyous state of human beingness. This beingness is our real nature; it is our true home; it is the space of absolute peace and joy. And the beauty is that we don’t have to create this human beingness. We just have to come back to it.
Om Tat Sat
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