True, we have created an ecosystem of unending work coupled with intermittent entertainment pampering our senses while we are seated in the lap of luxury—but does that give us sufficient peace of mind? Do you feel like a victim of your own conditioning? Is the constant stress from unnecessarily enforced competition at each step of life beneficial or is just complicating things even further to a worse effect? Do you take time out of your busy schedule to sit back think about the simpler and innocent times of your childhood when things weren’t so chaotic or fast-paced, and you had the time to take a moment to appreciate the finer things in life and count your blessings?
If the answer to most of the
Destiny could also be considered our conditioned setup, most of it getting inculcated at a younger age when we are not too conscious of how we are being molded. Once we are set one certain course, we just follow it like a stone thrown into the air, whose trajectory has been set at an angle and speed to the ground, traveling a path which can be easily calculated. It is, of course, impacted by the wind and other external influences, but these can also be calculated by an able scientist, and we can know far in advance where it will land.
Now once we set a human being along a certain trajectory from birth, why do we believe otherwise? Is it because we’re certain that the person has some free will to change his or her trajectory, and hence, unlike a stone, we cannot say what next step he or she may take? But is that really true? We believe our thoughts and our views about things are free. But look again—are they really? Most thoughts have been established within us through this unending flow of information from friends, family, the TV and most importantly social media. Are these thought forces any different than those of the wind on the stone? These may look different, but they are not.
So, are we saying that we are destined to follow a certain trajectory much like the stone and reach where we have landed in life? In that case, we may never be able to step out of the highly materialistic, competitive structure we have created for ourself, which was highlighted in the first paragraph. But this is not true, because we are not like a stone; we have human potentiality expressed through our consciousness. The more conscious we become—and consciousness is not thoughts, which are nothing other than dead recordings of the past—the more alive we are in the moment and the more capable we become to change our
Rather than looking outward, it is time we looked inward. It is the inside which changes the outside and not the other way around. True help lies within, but this journey can be sparked by the right input from outside. There are too many external influences in today’s world dominated by the unending trivia of social media. Focusing on the right input is very important. Pertinent, meaningful books are one. Books which encourage us to step back, question and become more conscious of our own conditioning will really help along this path. Building up a regular habit of reading a physical book, which is less distracting versus reading something on your mobile phone or tablet—and regularly reflecting on it—is probably the most important change agent. No wonder the age-old adage:“Books, like friends, should be few and well chosen.” A useful book is more beneficial than a hundred friends.