Life is Time

Most of us are intertwined in our day-to-day life chores, so much so that we have no time to even pause and absorb the experience of life itself, ‘running on a hamster wheel’ they say. There is so much pressure to perform. Pressure from our own selves, from family or near- dear ones, from society, from bosses at work or authority, from so much competition that we are asked to overcome. In this hustle and bustle we lose ourselves like the exhausted batteries. Learning to balance all aspects of life, no doubt, doesn’t come easy. It comes with experience, trial and error and more so, with time. Somedays, going through this, I encourage myself that this is after all only temporary. ‘ Just another phase of life’ I say. Thank god, its temporary. And that I shall not continue with this kind of work schedule altogether for not more than a year of my life. I have done this a number of times in life recently, when I felt tangled and trapped in this meshwork of my work duty. It surely gives me a salary, a means to live independent financially, yet fails to make me feel alive!

‘This is temporary’ phenomenon suddenly one day brought an insight to me . I realised if we think of our life as a whole, as just a temporary phenomenon, we would be living a much fulfilled life than we actually do. Just this idea that it’s all temporary- the good, the bad, the events, the people, the successes, the failures, begins to shift our focus from trivial matters to something much bigger, worthwhile and truthful. Life starts to feel too precious to be wasted on these tiny things that we hold onto, and don’t let go off. It reminds me of the important aspects like lightness, relief, compassion and surrender to life, that we have forgotten .

In astrology time is traditionally governed by the planet Saturn, that sadly gets a bad reputation for this. It is associated with fear, darkness, low self esteem, slowness, and limitations mostly. But not to forget, it also should be the one to be associated with authenticity, disciplines, honesty, organization, service and the doing more than the talking or dreaming. However, what comes out of this testing and learning phase experience is much much valuable that the planet Saturn needs to be credited for. It brings out a more mature, true, sincere practicer of wisdom. All good things need time it says before it goes.

Thank god its all temporary and changing. Life is time! This makes life all the more beautiful and unique moment to moment, and we need to embrace this, remember this and remind ourselves and others of this. The temporary principle very much applies to the death principle. It’s surprising, how death of body can bring such wisdom. I feel our fear of death comes from the non- acceptance of the temporary phenomenon that nature has held to the physical realms, it comes from this illusion of ‘ feeling vanished from reality/ end of ones existence ‘ and hence fear of letting go. Steve Jobs once beautifully described the utility of death principle to life, hence, emphasizing on the need of understanding and applying this concept of temporary, right from early in life, before time calls us to. Because, like he said, our time is limited.

Religion versus spirituality

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Our whole life experience, as perceived by the embodied soul is very limited in terms of perceptions, when based solely on the senses. Appreciating abstract concepts doesn’t come natural to many, especially to someone who restricts the view points to the foundations of only the senses. I feel this is one of the many probable reasons why so many of us fail to acknowledge and comprehend the emotions and needs of our own and others. Impressions from the past – trauma, hurts, rejections, betrayals, so on and so forth make the real picture cloudy and dark, making the visualizing of the real picture as a much difficult task. A feeling of separatedness dawns upon and hence the need of expressing the over-inflated version of the self, the Ego arises, forcing us to possess or claim the materialism, only hoping in delusions to make us feel happier.

This separatedness has grown it’s branches even in the realms of the divinity concept, as understood by humans. As I became more involved with my own spiritual journey, I began to wonder if the religion and rituals did actually serve any purpose or did the job well of getting us closer to GOD- the ultimate. Violence in the name of divinity made me wonder more on this. One fine day, I could finally come to this realization that the purpose of temples, churches, mosques or any place of worship was may be to simply remind us, the humans, limited in their sense perceptions, that GOD exists, some power which is higher, more majestic or much greater than us does exist. Let’s not forget that all the places of worship do have truly something healing about them- the vibrations of the ringing bells, or aura of the idols of worship, or tranquility of the environment, or may be the construct of building itself, whatever may be the truth.

Spirituality is the essence, the gist, the root of all religions, rituals, the many GOD forms, all of which are in actual just the many different branches. But the root, the convergence of all these branches is the formless divinity-the essence of spirituality. It not only brings more belongingness, oneness, equanimity, compassion, for the bonding of relations with others, but also brings bliss and joy to oneself, because in spirit, we are then associating ourselves with the absolute truth.

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But for many unknown reasons, not all get to go to the roots, in fact the majority, get stuck in the branches- the diverse forms, rituals, beliefs giving birth to the misconceptions of conflicts and strifes, and hence the battles for possessing, a ‘me versus you’ or ‘ mine versus your’ situations begin to emerge. So now think carefully, the purpose of life is to evolve in spirit. Physically, we evolve in size and appearance in countable number of years, from newborn to old, likewise in the understanding of the divinity we need to evolve from ‘of form’ to ‘of no form’ or ‘formless’. We must not get stuck in the many branches, but dig and dive deep to discover the roots.

Thus, religions and rituals do have their place, a crucial place. They give us the tangible means to remind ourselves of the higher power, the Almighty. However, the real question our journey helps us embark upon is how many of us really have evolved or expanded in understanding GOD, from the tangible- the form to the non- tangible or the formless? When this happens, feel grateful, for fortunately your religion has served it’s purpose for you, for GOD is everywhere, in everyone, in everything, and we are all but one.

Living life fullest

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As a child we are almost always being prepared to live life practically. However, what I found was that most often this ‘practicality‘ of life becomes synonymous to us with some pessimism. It gives us this scope to get at least a little bit, cunning or wicked, it gives us this excuse to be selfish. But is this really what the manner of living this precious life should be? This very much gives an approximate estimate of the kind of introspective realization we have about our own lives.

Is this life we live really all or mostly about money, or achievements, or fame, or something material only? We limit ourselves to the superficialities of life. We have become resistant to the flexibility that nature wants us to have to explore each dimension of life i.e. physical, mental, emotional, social and the spiritual, which is the most core aspect of ourselves. The way to living a fulfilled life requires one to invest in self. This may cost alot of time, which brings us to the shortcomings of today’s life. Living a ‘life of instants‘ in this digitally developed world, where everyone wants to do and get things quick, investing time in self-introspection or alone time or soul searching becomes an off-grid or off-track thing. Investing in self has now to many become a waste of time. This rigidness to bending with life and nature, precludes us from discovering the possibilities of coming to authentic terms with our ownselves and hence our own lives.

Most live life as a passerby, only some invest in self and make the commitment to live a life fulfilled. Recently a famous leader in our own country died. He was a one renowned for his sacrifices offered to the county. As the soul prepared to depart, the world looked at him as this famous leader, while to himself, he could see flaws in his ownself and own life. Lying on the death bed, glancing through the glimpses and flashbacks of this lifetime, all he couldn’t help but do is question if it was worth it after all? What went wrong? What did I do wrong? What went off the balance? I was truly amazed at his honest and authentic confessions, and his courage to expose the soul’s quest and vulnerability in the death bed, something that each one of us more likely is to go through, sooner or later. He felt he invested too much in his work and, earning his fame and name, and that he didn’t do the needed justice to his family. He reminded each one that someday, at some point, when this material quest or desire race is exhausted, we will have to compulsorily, helplessly and alone, go through these questions of the other category, that for long or almost all life, we may have ignored as if it was a boring or a distracting subject. He insisted on living a life in balance. He insisted on spending time with near and dear ones and creating as many cherishable memories as possible.

Ask yourself today. Pause. Is this really the life you want to live this time? Is there more courage, or acceptance, or flexibility needed to be embraced? Have you been able to balance all the dimensions of life? Have you been doing the much required introspection? or soul searching? If not, then we better bring the necessary changes now, for it is soon going to be the time when it’s all over for us too, and then, we are left with no option but to painfully and forcefully accept of what we did wrong and what we let off the balance? Material or spiritual?