Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Life's Problem Statement

"What's the purpose of living? I can't simply turn a blind eye to these questions and live like a robot, or have this herd mentality: everyone is simply living and so should I. I can't follow the patterns everyone else is: go to school, find a job, get married, have kids, work some more, retire, and then finally die. All this for what? Most people don't even ask this question. They simply live their lives like cattle in a herd and follow the norms of the world and do what everyone else is doing.
Don't people ever wonder what they are living for? The biggest wake-up call is death. But by then it's too late to aim for self-realization. If, having seen someone die, one doesn't start living, he or she has missed the opportunity of a lifetime. There are so many depressed people and so much sickness and suffering. Is it just me, or are most people unhappy? Are people only feigning happiness? That superficial happiness evaporates very quickly when faced with a problem, to be replaced with sadness or anger. Most people go through this yo-yo of happiness and sadness all their lives, never attaining equilibrium.

The whole world has dried up around me. The only oasis is the lectures I attend given by Swami-ji at the local monastery. In the Bhagavad Gita class today, we learned that there will be misery, sickness, death, and other problems. It is the nature of the world. It is the nature of the body and mind. While the mind is going through this duality of happiness/sadness, anger/attraction, we need to remain aware of our Eternal Self, which is untouched. And while the body may be going through the opposites of health/sickness, youth/aging, we need to be aware that we are not the body but the Eternal Self, that is untouched. Hmmm…It sounds good but hard to practice."

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