Saturday, August 03, 2013

It was time, part 3

Parts 1 and 2.

The earnest man pondered over the last utterance of the Master.  He wondered, whether success in this world was secondary to a blissful state of mind.

As the bus in which he was traveling passed through a busy market, an billboard caught his attention.  It was an advertisement for a life insurance policy.  The billboard proclaimed: "Your family is happy now.  Guarantee their happiness forever!"

It was then he suddenly realized that worry in the present was the emotional cost of happiness in the future.  That happiness was an effect, a state dependent on feeling safe, well-fed and cared for.  That spiritualists who asked you to be happy regardless, were asking you to steal something for nothing.  They were telling you that the universe was somehow obligated to keep you happy, that happiness was your "natural state", and that any departure from a state of happiness was therefore a step in the wrong direction.

He then wondered, if happiness was the natural state of man, or whether it was suffering.  After a great deal of mental twists and turns, he came to the conclusion that such universal platitudes were for simpletons.  That this was a false choice.  That life was a mixture of both joys and sorrows and anyone who claimed that life was only one was somehow not ready to accept the measure of sorrow that his life contained.

That while other animals had their strengths, a man had only his mind.  And the fundamental quality of mind, which also was its burden, was its ability to remember, foresee and think.  That without these qualities, one would be in "the moment" but not be fully human.

He leaned back in relaxation, having resolved this philosophical conundrum on his own.  The bus was close to his home now.  He was also not a little sad, and knew that he owed his daughter an apology for asking her to live in the present and to not worry.

As he was getting down from the bus, in his self-satisfaction he did not see where he was going and hit his head at the door and immediately cursed out loud.  

That's when he also realized that to be "in the present" meant not just happiness, but unhappiness as well.  That the state of an infant wasn't a happy state, it was more like a mindless state.  A man who committed suicide because he felt, at that moment, that life was worthless, was living in that moment.  Or rather, dying in that moment.

It was time to put all these thoughts behind him, as he saw the smiling faces of his wife and daughter at his home.  He lifted his giggling daughter into his arms, and whispered into her ear:

"Papa has a present for you.  Your future."


Anonymous said...

Well, live in present doesn't mean we should rule out future existence or past's more about not worrying too much in present for them... A worried mind can not apply past leanings and prepare for future.. However, people who preach many such quotes should also give complete explanation / meaning , as human mind comprehend things as per their ease/ capacity....

One such saying which I never understood is " whatever happened , happened for good" ...ahh!! Really?

Anonymous said...

You are right. Most of the explanations regarding "present moment" are not practical and misleading.

What is missing in those explanations is the importance of being aware of thoughts, aware of intentions behind those thoughts and to be aware of cunningness of mind when psyche is concerned.

Just being aware of workings of ones own mind would eliminate most of the thoughts, hence living in "present moment" most of the time.