August 28, 2007
August 18, 2007
"Some men see things as they are, and say, 'Why?'
I dream of things that never were, and say, 'Why not?' "
- George Bernard Shaw
"The important thing is not to stop questioning.Curiousity has it's own reason for existing.One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of teh marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiousity."
- Albert Einstein
August 10, 2007
August 06, 2007
Thus, no matter who you are or what you do, there is a common force that is driving you, that shapes your emotions and your basic behaviour. It determines how you live, the quality of life and ultimately your destiny.
This universal force is the human need. Irrespective of where you are in the world, what culture you are from, what colour, status, background, we are universally driven by our human needs. They are fundamental and unconscious needs that automatically drive us.
We can break it down to 6 areas of human needs.
An awareness of the nature of the mind and it’s fundamental motivations is the key to opening a million locks within us; we are able to navigate better through the myriad challenges and power games that life throws in front of us incessantly.
Powers within us get unleashed better and more effectively with a better understanding of our key drivers at any given point in our lives.
Decisive people are more successful and decision making is a factor of “need”. The universe naturally responds and assists pro-actively a state of need within a human. It is the dynamic presence of this need which distinguishes a successful person from a rank commoner or a failure.
Let us explore the world of the mind and it’s needs and co-relate it to our own life situations. A basic observance is that at any given moment in time, the mind is under the influence of two of these needs, prime-moving life at that instant. Each of these needs is a critical requirement of the human mind and is the feedline for it’s sustenance and survival.
The first of these needs is CERTAINTY.
The mind craves for a sense of security, a sense of stability. A fulfillment of this need brings a certain order, certain predictability to life which releases one momentarily from the vulnerability of drifting. It gives an illusionary sense of being in control over various aspects of our lives.
The positive aspect of this need is the sense of orderliness and discipline it brings about to our routine chores, a great advantage towards successful implementation of our functional routines and endeavours.An eg could be the need of a person to travel from Chennai to Delhi. This needs a certain degree of certainty to enable optimized travel scheduling and planning. Certainty and a sense of purpose gives direction and focus to the objective of travel and reduces unnecessary stress, conserving and releasing creative intelligences into the fundamental objective of travel. Else, a lot of energy is dissipated in administrative and travel related conflicts. Such certainty is an essential ingredient of success.
On the other hand, the need for CERTAINTY when it acquires POSITIONALITY can be a burden. A stickler for time management and punctuality more often than not spends more time ruing the loss of time that a missed appointment has caused him. There is a tendency to let the moment expand; he is unable to move on; he is stuck in the concept; the concept of CERTAINTY has ceased being a means to an end; it acquires the hue of an end in itself. Such a person is readily disturbed by any deviance from his “projected ideal” of how things should be and this often paralyzes him into inaction. He magnetizes situations that he resents and most of his time and energies are spent in indulging his resentments. Such a pattern can lead to failure.
The second need is the need for VARIETY.
It has been said that variety is the spice of life. The mind needs different toys at different moments. Irrespective of the content or the nature of the experience, the mind gets bored after a while. It seeks something different, something new. Be it surfing across television channels or across the worldwide web, be it the need for different styles of clothing or hair grooming, the mind constantly seeks change.
Contrary to popular belief, choices are not indicative of true freedom. Choices can make us go berserk, creating conflicts out of the smallest and most insignificant of events in our lives. People go mad trying to decide what clothes or footwear to wear to their next party.
While one is still within the confines of the mind, moderation is the key to sanity in addressing this need.
The third need is the need for SIGNIFICANCE.
Deep down, all of us know that we are nobody and nothing. Yet, the mind constantly strives to prove that it is somebody or something. We want to be recognized, want to be acknowledged. we constantly seek re-inforcement of our “selves”.
This need is a positive motivator in regular realms of existence, it makes a person strive for success in his endeavours.It is what drives a person to stand first in school or college , make a person to aspire to be the CEO of a company and so on.
On the other hand, it has the ability to create an Osama Bin Laden, the 25th child of his family who has gone to very desperate lengths to make his presence felt in the world.
The fourth need is the need to love, be loved and to feel a sense of connectedness.
The human mind has a need to feel needed. A sense of security is felt when we perceive the other’s need of us. Thus, an employee is thrilled when the boss finds him indispensable; the relationship between spouses thrives on this delicate balance. We are constantly striving to increase our utility or attraction quotient in the other’s life. A mature understanding of this need can lead to intelligent relationships in our functional areas. While addressing our needs, it makes us sensitively respond to the need of others. Colloquial relationships become less abusive and more accepting in such awareness.
When we see ourselves as incessant beggars for love and recognition, it paves the path for our discovery for higher realms of unconditional love.
The fifth need is the need for GROWTH.
Growth is an intrinsic need of the human mind. A mind which is not growing only decays to perish. Stagnation is death. Growth is an essential in all aspects of our lives. We cannot grow in our jobs while letting our relationships decay within the family. Every aspect of our lives should nourish and aid the growth process. While success at work is important, it is equally important for our relationship with spouse and our parents and children to grow with each passing day. We often skew ourselves in one aspect at the expense of other aspects. Such growth is not holistic, it is not nourishing and empowering. A weak tree trunk cannot bear huge fruit. Growth needs to be a conscious, incessant endeavor in whatever we do. Growth is a timeless journey; there is always scope for improvement in the domain of unlimited potentials that we all are parts of.
The sixth need is the need for CONTRIBUTION.
Growth and contribution are intrinsically connected. We grow as we contribute to the lives of those around us. We grow in self-esteem as our contributions are recognized and valued. A home-maker feels neglected if nobody appreciates her efforts in the kitchen or at home. She sees it as a thankless job and soon loses interest and motivation. It is the same at the workplace or even in voluntary aspects such as the Dharma. Each of us likes to see ourselves as significant and meaningful contributors to larger than life visions. We find anchor there and our life maps often find a sense of direction here.
We grow even as we contribute…….
While each of these needs are critical requirements of the mind, a dynamic drive emerging from 2 or 3 of the needs can create a reasonably successful life. When the addressal of these needs is impeded or crushed, it creates a failure.
A sick trunk or a branch can kill the whole tree. So can a leaf, a flower or a fruit. Each of these is critically important for the well-being of the tree.
Let us look at a practical everyday example applying the above concepts in a fundamental life situation. In evaluating what you are providing, look at if you are fulfilling any of these human needs and especially if you are able to meet at least 2 to 3 of the 6 at a high level. That is when you have a compelling story or offer that fulfils a person's strongest desire.
Look at how they market a high end car like a BMW. You are sold on just how great the engineering of the car and how its handling gives you unsurpassed confidence (CERTAINTY) in any condition on the road. It’s safety features protect you (CERTAINTY) like none other. Its various controls, gadgets and funky designs allows you to change your experience (VARIETY) whilst you are driving. The name of a BMW says something about you being an owner and driver who is discerning (SIGNIFICANCE) and accords you with some stature. You will be part of a BMW Club (CONNECTION) where you get to meet other owners and go on driving trips or specially, exclusive invited events (SIGNIFICANCE).
Another message that is put forward "By buying a BMW, you are actually doing yourself and your family a great favour by providing them the best technology and safety for their transport" (Contribution and Certainty). If you want to upgrade your skills as a driver, you can be provided a special free pass to BMW Driving School (Growth). They have showroom with high class touches like a private cafe and lounge (Significance) where staff greet you by name and cater to you one on one.
A successful strategy which delivers…a classic eg of mind management.
But nature also carries within itself the seeds of a divine conspiracy. Failure can in itself be the doorway to a greater success, if it enables an experience of the suffocation of the prison, be it of wood, iron or gold. It is an experience of this suffocation that sows the seed of genuine freedom in us. The mind is a wonderful faculty when we are able to drive it; when it is driven from the ancient realms of the unconscious; we are imprisoned, deeply entrapped in the snares of our blueprints.
De-clutching oneself from the unconscious and becoming liberated is the only solution .
De-clutching enables us to be masters of the mind, rather than the other way round.
In the words of Sri Bhagavan, “We see ourselves as spiritual beings having a human experience rather than human beings having a spiritual experience”.
To relate from the core is an action emerging from beyond mind recesses...
August 05, 2007
Many a times, in different phases of our lives when anything significant happens, the question that is uppermost in our minds is, "why me?" Why is it that I am faced with a particular set of situations in life? In particular when the situation is of negative nature the tendency of man is either to blame others or to blame God for whatever is happening. But in actuality who is responsible for what is happening to us? Are the external factors in control or are we responsible for it ourselves?
Sri Bhagavan says, "We are the architects of our life". We are completely and totally responsible for whatever is happening in our lives. Mind and matter are connected. Mind influences matter and matter influences mind. The power of mind over matter is the power of creative thought. This universe runs on certain laws and principles, which are the basis of human existence. For the external universe it is the laws of science and for life it is the laws of karma that are operational.
One of the principles of Karma says, "Yad bhavam Tad bhavathi" - (you become what you think). The world is a manifestation of our inner state. The situations we come across, the people we meet, the problems we confront, and the varieties of life experiences we have a projection of what lies with in. In other words we create our Reality. We are the architects of our Destiny. Perceptions are filters, filtering the experiences we have reality. And the perceived Reality eventually becomes a manifested Reality. You become what you think. We find what we perceived. Thought is immensely powerful. It has the power to create. Every time we perceive; harbour a thought containing a charge or emotion, the process of creation has been set into motion. An arrow has been released into the ethereal planes, the thought sphere. Once released the "law of attraction of homogeneous species" takes over. This thought attracts all similar thoughts. All the similar arrows bundle up and when the threshold is reached, the "law of Reciprocal action" is in motion. The thought you unleashed has now materialized into deed. You reap what you sow many times over. If the arrow you released was judgment, you will come across judgmental people. If it was betrayal you shall be betrayed, if it was hatred, you will be hated, if you have feared that situation will manifest and so on.
"Why did this happen to me?" is no more a paradox. You created it for yourself. We are not perceptive enough to see the relationship between the thought and deed. Perhaps the time lapse between the two is too much for us to keep a track. From thought to deed, it may take a week, a month, a year, a decade or more. As a young girl Seema always used to think that people don't realize her worth only if she falls sick or she is not around anymore. With the passage of time, as she got married those thoughts left her. But then just as the time came when she had a good life with her husband and children, she was struck down with cancer and no amount of treatment could cure her.
Constant review of our lives will help us see the connection. The speed of reciprocation depends upon the evolution of the individual. Sometimes reaching the threshold point could mean a lifetime or more. If we do not find answers to our questions even after examining our lives in the light of these cosmic principles, only the "theory of reincarnation" can explain the rest.
The whole process of the thought materializing into deed is a karmic cycle. Our life is a series of karmic cycles. An awareness of these eternal laws gives us the power to alter the course of karma but not while in the midst of a karmic cycle. We have the power of wisdom and choice of freewill to review and make changes to our life but not before the cycle comes to an end. A frog in mid air cannot alter the course of its flight. However, on landing it can choose the direction of its next leap.
When we ask the question "why is the world so bad?" the world we see is a manifestation of our negative thoughts and emotions. But then many a times we find that in spite of our best efforts to think positively, the mind tends to move towards the negative. What does one do then?
Ultimately as wise doctors always say, "Prevention is better than cure" - real prevention is possible only through true transformation or flowering of the heart. Sri Bhagavan says, "If you discover love you shall know exactly how to live". But this love is not a matter of cultivation but a happening that occurs only through the intervention of the Divine Grace. To discover love is to be enlightened.