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Monday, October 24, 2011

The Spiritual Way of Life

What is a self-proclaimed agnostic doing talking about spirituality? You may ask.

Just to clarify, it's one of my periodic exercises to revisit the questions: What the hell is going on? What do I want? What should I do?

Here, I will jot down my current thoughts on these fundamental questions. I will be as brief as possible. Disclaimer: It's an opinion. If you manage to read it through, please use it to trigger your own thoughts. I am not a spiritual guru for sure.

Two Stimuli. Whatever we do, we do as a reaction to two types of stimuli: External and internal. These stimuli are distinct, but they mix with each other in a complicated way. One of the important exercises of spirituality is to sort this confusion out. The spiritual way of life is strive and react to only internal stimuli.

How do I know if it's an internal stimulus. Internal stimuli lead to perpetuation of happiness. External stimuli cause temporary happiness without leading to anything perpetual.

The final destination. A state of perfect happiness and perfect harmony. And it will be characterised by complete lack of conflict. There will be no conflict between our inherent needs and wants. There will no conflict between inner and outer requirements.

In real life. Do things which are uniformly good for oneself, and for everything/everyone else. No exploitation. No sacrifices. This will lead to weeding out of conflicts both from within, and from outside. Though inner harmony is what we really want, it can't be achieved without harmony with the external world.

What causes harmony? Any act of violence leads to disharmony. Anything done with the intention of creation a global win is a step towards harmony. Winning competitions are not harmonious. Gains planned over someone's loss are disharmonious. Creating knowledge through thinking or experimentation is harmonious. Creating hope of harmony is also harmonious.

Definition of violence. Anything that causes death is not violence. Anything that seeks death, or is knowingly based on death is violence. Peace can't be achieved via acts of violence.

Seeking harmony and meaning is harmonious. Leading a life which rejects the notion is disharmonious.

There is no logical reason I can think of which can tell if trying to lead a harmonious and meaningful life is any better or worse than not doing so. I think it's a choice one has to make. I even feel that people make these choices in their mother's womb. I haven't seen people switching midway.

My life. My choice is to look for a meaning. As I said, I consider it a choice. Not a logical deduction. It's similar to choices like being good citizens. I believe that all people (myself included) can be happy. I believe that all wars (including the ones within me) can end. It doesn't make an iota of difference if these beliefs are realistic or not. Living for this unrealistic ideal is every bit more fun than resigning to a dismal fate that terms life a meaningless Brownian motion leading nowhere.

1 comment:

Pritesh Ananth Krishnan said...

Very well written. An idealistic thought of perfect harmony and happiness, but yes, I'd rather live chasing idealism than accept 'realism' and not do anything to change it at all.

After all, what is tomorrow at this moment will become today some day. So, if I don't seek a better tomorrow and work for it today, the tomorrow (when it comes) will be as dismal as this today! And the loop shall go on. A good thought..........