A Different Way of Living
Have you ever pondered over how you are living? And have you ever asked—is there any other way to live? The second question, perhaps, is a complete stranger to us. And I am not in wonder. Even the first question is very remote to us, no? I don’t know about you, but I’m always at this question. When I see the total movement of my life, it seems quite meaningless. But then again, I’m not particularly after any meaning either. Meaning is Mind’s inability to see, as I said yesterday. Talking of meaning, here’s yesterday’s poem—The Meaning. Okay, where was I? Yes, the silliness of it all is quite overwhelming, if you deeply see. And then this question comes quite inevitably, as if Life is trying to humor you! To be honest, I am also greatly amused and dumbfounded at the same time.
Now, it’s a very personal question. But, you know what, our lives are not fundamentally different. Through this question, I’m able to see the ‘human life’ actually. And since most people never bother to ask such silly (!) questions like me, and since I have asked myself, I want to give you this gift of question. Whether you keep it, look at it often, go into it even, or throw it into the dustbin—is entirely up to you. And I promise I won’t take any offense. But if you take the pain of nurturing this question, let me warn you, you must be prepared to see all your confidence in life shattering before your eyes! That’s the danger of asking fundamental questions. You must be daring to venture into Life’s mysteries. This is not a sport, but a suicide mission! Okay, I think I have scared you enough.
Well, I wouldn’t have written this piece if the second question didn’t come to me. And, right now, I’m having a faint insight about it. It’ll take some more time to mature in me. But, I thought, why not share it anyway. Well, the two premises that are at the root of this philosophical enquiry are—first, the way we are living is a blind’s way, and second, there is another way to live.
Now, why is it a blind’s way? I’ll explain this statement with the concept of marriage. Let me ask you, why do we marry? The whole idea behind marriage, is it not, is to have a partner so that our mutual desires are fulfilled, and there’s also the nature-driven urge to propagate our lineage. That’s why we marry, no? You may have a love marriage, that is, you may marry someone because you are in love. But, love is not the reason really, is it? Behind love, there is a longing. There is desire. And this is why, every other idea is just fantasy! You are making it up. But, don’t we have and live by innumerable illusions regarding marriage and family life? Haven’t we given a completely unjustified importance to the family way of living? It has its own place, importance and beauty, surely, but haven’t we sacrificed everything for this way of life? And that’s why I think we are being blind. Our whole world begins and ends with samsar! We never think anything beyond this samsarik way of living. Our mornings start with the thought of samsar and our nights follow the suit. No? And I ask you fervently, is this the only way to live? Well, please don’t get me wrong in thinking that I’m in any way against this way of living. It’s just that we’ve heavily deluded ourselves with this samsar. We’ve given it far more importance than what it actually deserves. It has become so big in our lives that it is a complete universe by itself! And that’s our blindness.
You see, samsar—and by samsar I don’t only mean family—is built upon desire. Desire gives birth to samsar! One who has understood the nature and reality of desire, samsar has no meaning to him. Minus desire, there is no samsar. So, one who doesn’t have the urge, for example, to have a companion, why should s/he get married? Why have we made marriage a ‘social prescription’, which if not followed, is a great breach in our eyes! I am questioning this whole mentality. Unfortunately, we’ve made some delusional ideas the foundations of our life.
Now, when you realize the stupidity of it all, you inevitably ask: is there any other way to live? I’ll go into it tomorrow. If you’re still not bored with me, we’ll meet the next day. Until then, keep this gift of question with you.