If you have watched the movie “A Beautiful Mind”, you will recall that social gathering, where every person is figuring out their own market value and the likelihood of reciprocation of love, from who they like. So, one starts being realistic, making compromises and they settle for someone who will possibly accept them as a partner. In the process of this trial and error, we end up being in relationships that are not made in heaven, but played in the cold reality of earth, and thus are not prefect at all.

After a while, everyone figures out that the notion of love is totally different between the two players. By this time, one may already have had kids. So, by necessity, historically we keep playing the game of family-life to cause least distress to the young ones, and more often than not, there are now large, large voids in our hearts that are never going to be filled up by our partners.

So, what do we do?

Change our environment?

More one looks at the world around as half-empty, and seeks refuge in daydreaming, more intolerable the world will feel, through no fault of people around them. Instead, if a person looks at the same world as half-full and see the positive sides of people, then their shortcomings will tend to haunt less. And, less s/he will want to run away to an alternate reality and hide in there, less disturbing it will feel to continue living the life s/he is handed out. The journey will seem more bearable, it will cause less pain.

However, some of us are adamant and believe that there is one perfect person, a soul-mate, a match made in heaven, just for them. Unfortunately, they never study probability theory and don’t see the impossibility of materialising this belief in the real life. So, they will seek a refuge in real life, elsewhere, by finding a new partner, new friends, new job, new locality, and yes, even a new country, if possible. The irony is even though a change in the environment will offer a larger set of opportunity to live life in a different way, it won’t change our outlooks, our attitudes, our beliefs and our behaviours. Such changes ought to come from within! Now, as a groundbreaking discovery requires Himalayan level of dedication in science and research, in general, similarly, making a change in our core personality is a truly difficult task.


In the modern world, there is potentially another pathway to solve life’s problem: escapism.

In 2000, I saw the beginnings of virtual reality products – use of 3-D glasses, haptic sensors while visiting CSIRO, Bangalore in India. The research was to make one feel immersed in a virtual world and use the technology starting from remote surgery to remote gaming. Fast forward to 2022– now I hear of virtual real estates! People are already buying virtual real estates for their kids as futuristic investments in virtual, web platforms. Welcome to the world of Metaverse!

It bothers me. One’s inability to deal with one’s real existence will give rise to parallel virtual lives. We don’t need to be scared of AI and machines controlling our lives. It already does so in so many shapes and forms that we are not even mindful about! But, building an alternative reality and immersing in that as an escape route does not feel right to me. Do we want to go back hundred years and live a simpler life? Answer is a hesitant may-be! But, I’m quite sure that within a few decades or so, our kids are going to witness throngs of people acting like entities in Matrix (the movie) living dual lives.

Ask for guidance?

Traditionally, one seeks help for sorting such conflicts regarding the peace of mind, with the help of a Guru! As doctors are sought to keep us physically healthy, in today’s complex world, where stress and competition are abound even in small children, what can one do if not asking for help in a flourishing industry of self-help guides? I am neither disapproving their endeavour to help people, nor invalidating the life-experiences they share with their followers and guide them. I just feel slightly thwarted when I see all those signs of business world in such endeavours, and there are lot of such gurus and guides, who drop their other jobs and paths, and dive into this lucrative area where there is so much visible need of millions of seeking, confused, pained individuals.

Where there is need, there must be help! Now, the question is how much the help should cost and how much profit the gurus/guides should be making! Is it even ethical to define spiritual help as a service and charge for it like any other service, e.g., medical ones? Should this be covered by medical insurance? Who is to define my spiritual needs? How does this get clinically proven and what is the authenticity requirements for these guides or gurus, so that they are certified and can charge for providing those services?

Evidently, there are no good answers for the above questions yet! And, rightfully, spiritual help is not even registered as services in the yellow pages. On the other hand, these guides or gurus usually appear with a lineage history of ancient spiritual knowledge as a certificate for their knowledge and practice. They offer to share their insights into deep depths of our consciousness for a service fee. They share the age-old wisdom of living that many of us will grow to learn and many won’t, through story-telling, scriptures, mantras, music, audio-books, rituals and so on.

Some times, a guru can be so charismatic, he (males dominate in this area, as in science and technology) can be followed and sought, as if it’s a cult. The words from guru’s mouth can feel like the holy grail. He may feel like the goodness incarnate and feel like living incarnation of the truth and wisdom. But, don’t let get yourself dazzled by the beauty of his soul and offer yourself as a servant to him. Don’t be mesmerised by him and forget your journey. Don’t build a castle in the air thinking of your guru. Don’t culminate your unrequited love onto the feet of your guru and think that was your destiny!

Only if the guru is real and honest, then learn from his words and experiences and find your own truth, because the same truth appears in as many forms as the number of people that ever walked this planet. We ought to discover our own truth that’s right for us, as Siddharth said in a book authored by Hermann Hesse.

In other words, don’t try to feel your void with the words from your guru only, and think that sublimating your needs for love to guru-worshipping (may as well be hero-worshipping) be your ticket to freedom from all the suffering.

In many cases, the disciples wilfully get themselves completely blinded by sublimating their need for love into the devotion for guru, and then serve the guru instead of finding their own truth or following the path that the guru shows. This is definitely better than the misery one encounters by living with a heart full of void, but may not be the real holy grail of enlightenment.

So, keeping an open mind helps, even better if it’s an empty mind!

Only problem is that the path is simple, but truly difficult . We’ve all heard about some of the theory of how to make the journey. Now, we need an enormous strength of will to make that journey, steadily and consistently, ourselves –  to discover our own truth!