Aug 25, 2020
In the busy hustle bustle of life, everyone is racing to reach to a point where things get easier and happier. A student aims at scoring a certain percentage; a job seeker desperately wanting to get a job; a job holder waiting for holidays, break, promotion, hike or job change; a full-time employee looking for retirement, a parent waiting for the infant to grow and so on. Ultimately all aiming at a point to be relieved and relaxed from all the worries and stress. Why does it always seem at that point our lives are going to get better, simpler and easier? Why is it so innate to appreciate things that we do not possess, drive and motivate us to get that and yet not satiate the urge or happiness we had thought we would derive in achieving it?
The motivation to be better than we are springs from a lot many factors, viz. what we see around, what we have been told, what we have experienced, etc. Contradictorily, we have many proverbs hovering around that say it is wrong to be greedy or desire more, live the present moment, find happiness in all that you have etc. etc. What we know is neither of that gives the satisfaction or happiness we are all chasing after. Then what?
Narrowing it to the least, our wants and desires are influenced by two factors; the outer and the inner self. To give the simplest definition of the outer is everything not attached to our individual self. Our family, homes, neighbourhood, friends, etc. and all what we see around and come across is what influences our wants and desires from the outer self. On the other hand, what springs from within and the desire to achieve them, purely unbiased externally is from the inner self. Wanting and desiring to be better, to have more, to possess more is sometimes we are made feel guilty about. Paradoxically, we are encouraged to acquire them in all what is being told to us in the teachings or learning to attain happiness and satisfaction. This is a major conflict in every individual of what exactly to want and not want to reach the goal of happiness and satisfaction. The outer self need less emphasis as it is obvious, but the dive into inner self and its essence is simple yet complex.
As the title suggests – the inner self as a sacred arena, it is all about the sacredness of oneself. First of all it is very essential to consider oneself sacred despite any external influence in our thoughts. Our body and mind is a sacred being in itself which has an invisible and indivisible power. The walk of life is two dimensional; every distance we cover externally it is necessary to dive into self internally. Giving an example from the external self, we step out of our homes for various purposes but ultimately there is undefinable bliss when we get back home, as the common saying goes – ‘home is where the heart is’.
There is nothing wrong in wanting more, desiring more, hoping to be better than yesterday. It is nothing but a journey on the external self. But what is important is equally travelling back home – to the inner self. So the question here is how do we travel into the inner self? Every motivation, desire, aims, ambitions, wants, needs are guided by our outer self. Each time we desire or want, we must be able to reason it why do I want it? What would it cost? How would it impact me positively and negatively? What is the need of the things I want? What are the ways and means to achieve it? Does my path of achieving it cause any harm to anyone? Etc., etc.
Now reasoning all these, one would feel is a lot more time consuming and we have got better things to do in life than sit and reason all these. There is no need to take time out of the scheduled life and sit and contemplate on self but rather let the thoughts go simultaneously hand in hand. Initially, it might be a conscious effort and a little difficult but gradually, once we have mastered the art it will guide us instantly. Nature itself has taught us in every cycle that we have to restructure in order to function normally. From day and night, to rains and blooms, to changes in seasons, nature constantly restructures itself to function normally. In the long run, the best example is the pandemic we are all undergoing – accumulation would lead to a greater and even more painful restructuring process and we cannot escape. The faith and belief to whichever spirituality we hold on to, is the best guide to travel back home – to our inner self. If we have travelled too far outside, we would have to take the same amount of time travelling within, but it is essential we don’t escape because there is no escape. It takes courage to accept the choices we have made and the choices we have to make. The present makes the past and future, in reality there is no present, so the happiness which we seek in the future and the mistakes we seek to mend of the past is now. The sacred arena – our inner self is empty without us being there and none can fill the place.