Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Know thyself

Friends many of you know this short story and yet I would start my topic for today with this one. Many of you who know can skip the next two paragraphs but some of you who don’t may find this a good read. On a Sunday noon, father was busy reading his newspaper but was constantly disturbed by his restless son. His son was happy that his father is at home and would just go on questioning him on many things that came to his mind. So, his father thought for a moment and then a smile ran on his face. He took supplements of the newspaper and showed him the world map and then challenged him that he will tear the paper in many parts and he has to play the jigsaw game to arrange the paper in original form to get the world map. The son was amused by this challenge. Father tore the paper in pieces and then was relieved that he can spend rest of the noon peacefully and can probably have a siesta. After 7 minutes, the son proudly came to his father and to his amazement the boy had indeed arranged the jigsaw of torn papers. The world map was perfectly arranged! Quite taken back and with surprised expression he asked how the hell he could do it so fast like a pro. The son replied “its so simple pa! All I had to do was to turn the page and on back side there was a large photograph of man, I first arranged the man’s face and then just turned the paper to get your world map!” On one side we see a face and on other world! Well, that was a story. But when it comes to real life how many of us actually know ourselves? Solitude is a great company! Being alone and being lonely are different things. When I reflect the story that you’ve read I don’t understand it only as a story but I related this to Jesus Christ, Gautama Buddha, Laotzu and to many extent material many artists, poets, actors too. I am told that in bible there is a period in Jesus life when nobody knew where he went, what he did, where did he wander? When I read Buddha and then imagine his life and times there is a period where nobody saw of him, where he went? Consider some of the greatest thinkers, achievers in history and you will know that there is a certain phase in their life where nobody knows where they went. I understand Jesus Christ, Buddha when I see them as mere human beings. Because I think they were in first place human beings in flesh and blood. They had their own flaws too. And that’s great! What’s the point am I making now? Well come to think of it we all want to become what we really want to become but we don’t become what we want to become because of many impediments both psychological and material. When I read Jesus or Buddha I find that they spend great deal of time to understand themselves first and when they could understand the basics they went away to another place. In stories you will find that they went to forests. And it may be true. Why they went? Do they have “God” waiting for them there? Hell no! Never! They went there because they were Imperfect. They went away from their world to another world. Inner world. They were imperfect and they knew it. They knew it that they are not ready for the world. They knew it that they don’t know themselves. They knew it that psychologically they had many flaws. They knew it that they have many vices; they knew it that they have many emotions that are at extreme level and they have to balance it. You may be laughing while reading this but it may be true that if they felt like crying, they would not cry in society. If they felt like singing they would not sing in streets, if they felt like laughing they would not laugh and they could do all aforesaid when they are out of society. Who would watch them in jungles? Who would disturb them when they want to cry their heart out? When they want to howl and cry so much that no tear is left? Who will disturb them when they want to sing and laugh their heart out so much that no energy is left to do anything more? They laughed when they wanted to and they cried when they wanted to, they went into their past when they wanted to and they could live all those emotions all over again to satisfy or quench it so much that there was no thought left. There was no emotion left either good or bad. And they dropped their minds. They dropped their egos. Lord Mahavir has even termed karmas as material force. Imagine Lord Mahavir as human emptying his karmas in his solitude. What am I trying to say? That we all have to go to jungles? No…the real fact is I don’t know any human being who does not want to improve his or her life. Everyone wants to improve their standard of life but the kind of upbringing and conditioning that one has had over the years has given them deep-rooted psychological “knots” in their psyche. And one cannot improve if one does not become self-aware and remove the psychological knots. One cannot be knowing oneself if one does not know their vices, limitations, shortcomings and negative attitudes. In the world where everything happens over a click of mouse, are we getting so much material that we do not spend time to reflect who we are? We attend seminars on personality development and self-improvement to make us better human beings but in first place do those personality trainers who claim to make a better world fill a glass full of water? Nope. Real personality development will start when the layer of knots is removed and the glass is empty to be filled with positivism. Somebody ask Buddha what is knowledge? And he simply replied “that which comes handy” the same person asked him what is right knowledge? And he said “knowledge of self” Be your own Buddha! Know thyself.