Last week I happened to attend a 4 days session by a famous spiritual organization. I brought back great learning’s from that discourse. The facilitator was highly influential and a great orator. Besides being humorous, he was a blissful singer as well. Although he was singing devotional songs he had more power than any Rock band can infuse in a concert.
I have been searching for that connecting string which explains everything about life. The journey is still on but I am hopeful to find it before my bodily organs deteriorate and cease to work. Following words belong to him; also interspersed is my own interpretation juggled between.
There are billions of galaxies in this universe; “Milky Way” is the one which belongs to us. In Milky Way there are billions of stars, Sun is one of them. Nine planets revolve around the Sun. The third planet is called the Earth. On this planet earth over 6 billion people live as of today. Who are these creatures after all? Yes they include you and me. Besides human beings, there are many other species which also live on this planet and fight for their survival. But let us focus on the most important specie for the time being from our perspective ‘the human being’.
Whole universe is made up of 5 basic elements earth, water, air, fire, sky [citation required*]. The entire galaxy stars & planets are made up of these five elements, so is everything on these planets including human beings everything is composed of basic atomic structure. If we drill down to microscopic details we would find there is empty space between these subatomic parts as well. Everything might appear like an organic structure of chemistry where energy is continuously flowing from higher point to a relatively lower energy point.
Get out of this microscope and let us again look at what appears to us with our naked eyes. Each human has a life, on an average a human lives for 70 years (despite of medical progress). We often say one human life is determined by how we live in that time duration. This is biggest illusion of our life that we are living in time. Time doesn’t exist at all. It is just the change of space; earth revolves around its axis which makes a day or night. We have made numerous gadgets which sync with that rotation and call it time. Time has always been in “now”. Everything is now, this very moment. You sit in front of this screen reading this page; imagine yourself sitting here as day changes into night and day again. Nothing would change for you. Space may change but life is at this moment and what actions we do. So instead of dividing life on a time axis we better split into events that happen with us. A famous quote we often read and say goes like ‘ Life is not counted by the moments we breathe but by the moments that take our breath away’. It is indeed so very true.
Now some more gyan on humans and how do they operate. We can split world into two parts. What we see outside of us and another inside us, our head, our brain, our virtual world which we have created with our experiences. The outer world consists of people, places and things. Each of these items has an impact on how a human being would take an action. On the inner side, we have mind (mann), brain (logical decision maker), memories and ego [citation needed*].
During college, in our ethics subject, i had read our motives are biased towards happiness. Every action has a means to an end. When one gains happiness, everything stops. If you ask anybody in belabored manner of why he is doing a particular task it will end at peace, contentment or happiness. So we can sing “everything I do… I do for my happiness…. search your heart … search your soul…till you find nothing anymore….” May sound selfish but this is truth.
[Branching thoughts] What really is happiness? Is everything we do just for our happiness? Sometimes people love others more than themselves (case of intimate lovers). There is an emotional part which stops the logic to function. Now the question arises so as to why we do those things? Is there an inherent happiness lying in there? People love each other and produce their future species (this process has a physical happiness associated with it). Is happiness just an illusion like anything else? When somebody hits us with a stick why don’t we feel happy at that time contrary to something known as pain and pleasure? Is there an inherent program in our subconscious mind which drives what is happiness and what is not? Are we just programmed robots?
Back again. Previous paragraph was a little brainstorming for me; please avoid it until you complete this version. Now our mind has four functions viz. use our sensory organs to feel the emotions from the outer world into the inner world. (As I write this I am just imagining if Osho would have been alive today – he would have said “Stop this divisional nonsense”. There are no two worlds; everything is your creation. Stop all thoughts and be here in now”, but he is not alive in human anatomical form so I don’t care). Back again, so it’s all these five senses which connect us with the outer world. For illustration, imagine somebody cursing you but suddenly you lose the sense of hearing. You cannot hear anything he is saying to you. Will it impact you in anyway except his facial expression which will give your eyes a suggestion of what he is conveying. There is no way. So our five senses are bridges used by our mind. Mind can be controlled to ignore these signals if practiced.
Second function is continuously looping over a set of possible options and searching for most happiness giving action. We can term this situation when you are confused as to what to do. But then brain comes to rescue, it helps in choosing an action which will result in maximum happiness. But we don’t always do that; sometimes this connection becomes weak. Sometimes we choose what is convenient. We avoid seeing what lies far ahead in the road but look at the speed breaker ahead. It is something like kids playing a game of chess where they cannot stop from the temptation of killing the opponents’ pawn which if planned properly would have attacked a knight. So this connection with our logical part has to be strong.
The mind also makes use of a third part of inner world called memory. Memory stores emotions for future references. The quote “First impression is the last impression!” is based on this fact. Once we create an image of a person howsoever he is next time we will see his image in the [same registered way] and our senses will ignore how he or they behave in the present. This is called “conditional mind”. Some concept like cache memory or data in cache may be stale but we do not delete it easily and we keep on fetching it from cache as it is faster to access.
[Branching thought] We see this world, we try to understand it and create an image in our internal memory (cache) because it is faster in access and helps to take a decision quicker. Say you meet a new person; you tend to watch him more than taking him for granted. But once you know him and having been stored in your internal memory you can understand how the person feels at different situations, than you don’t observe the person so closely. Now imagine an experiment where there are two people; one you know and the other you are seeing for the first time. Given a set of activity our interactions with the two people will be different. At least I will be more polite with the one I don’t know and try to understand how he functions and store him in my inner memory. Am I making sense… let’s get back!
Back again. Fourth function of mind is sleep [needs citation*]. Sleep is like the restart button but for some it is hibernation where their thoughts take shape of dreams before they log into system again.
Further there were few do and don’t that we all follow in our lives. I will not put them here because we can use our logical part for that purpose. Besides, one last important point was “How do humans take actions. As this life includes the events that happens with us.” These events are functions of actions we take. Our actions or our life is influenced by following five things:
1. Food – What is the most important thing in our life? It’s our body. Can you donate you two arms or legs or eyes for anything in this world? So body comes first in priority. Body consumes energy which it derives from what we eat. Now this is like your bike.
What is the difference in bike’s performance if you put kerosene instead of unleaded petrol? So food has an impact on how we think [citation to an extent will help more]. How do you feel after taking a glass of juice contrary to a peg of vodka? There is a tremendous difference. Sometime the difference is subtle & gradual for us to distinguish. But there is something. Ding ding.
2. People – Everybody has a energy circle. What energy circle surrounds you does have an impact on you. This looks obvious. You obtain positive or negative vibes from people around you depending on the kind of people, their temperaments and situations.
3. Place – Each place has a different energy level. [Need citation here]
4. Time/Space – Some timings are best meant for certain activities. Somehow you give your best and derive the best if done during this time. Morning 4-6 a.m.is considered best time for studies. Late Mornings are activity time. Afternoons are dull and sleepy. So time has an impact on how you think or act. The way you feel in the morning is not how you feel it during daytime. [Is this just a belief or we need an experiment to prove it]
5. Actions – Actions are like chains. Next action you take has a lasting side effect of your last action as there is some stale data in your memory and you do not flush it before loading a new program.
These things affect us if we do not use our logical brain connection to distinguish what is that which brings the maximum happiness for us. So the key is watch, apply the filter of your brain and then release or pick.
I found these points convincing to help understand human behavior and mechanism. Hope it might help you in some way or at least know this perspective of looking at things. We have been in existence since millions of years. Although we say we may live for around 70 years (depending on rough life expectancy) we have been carrying our genes since pre-historic periods. This information is passed on to us from our DNA. This information has an impact on our tomorrow (chain effect). Now the question here is can we just kill that program and start a new life afresh like never being born. Good Morning!!!