Being Simple In This Complex World
We live in this world which is terribly competitive, violent and constantly changing. As a result, we’ve become extremely complex beings. Our whole life has become an insanely complex affair. Being simple in this tremendously complex world seems next to impossible! That’s why all the stress, anxiety, fear and mental upheavals. How to be simple? How to live a life which is free from all these complexities? Do you not want to live a simple and peaceful life?
What It Means To Be Simple
Life is complex—that’s a fact. And we are all crazy! Aren’t we? Despite being the most intelligent being on this planet, have we reached that place where we can live a simple and happy life? It seems, on the contrary, our intelligence is creating all this mess. All other lives live simply, except us. Actually other creatures conduct their lives—at least the basic processes of life—way better than us. We do everything with lots of confusion and suffering.
Now, to lead a simple life means to be free from all this confusion and mess, and live with a sense of peace and happiness. Is that possible? It’s a huge challenge, no doubt about that. But, yes, it’s possible. And if with all our intelligence and ingenuity, we can’t live a simple and happy life, what the heck then! Our riches, our so-called achievements, our relationships don’t mean anything! All our lives we will try to live, but at the end, will die miserably. We must find a way to live a simple life.
Why Are We So Complex?
The world is just a reflection of how we are, isn’t that a fact? The world is complex only because we are complex in the first place. Aren’t we complex? Don’t we complicate everything we touch? Tell me one thing which is simple in our lives. Is our love simple? Our jobs? Our relations? Our problems? Tell me just one thing which we do simply. We don’t even know how to smile back at someone simply. Our smiles are also complex. We can’t sit, listen or think simply. Our emotions are roller-coaster rides. Our expectations are driving us crazy! So, why are we so complex? It’s very important to go into this.
One would say, because of the world! But that’s a lie. Yes, there are outside forces which govern our lives—like government policies, the world’s economic engine, marketing machinery, widespread consumerism and mass rush for wild enjoyment. We are carried away in all these. But, all these are our making, isn’t it? It’s our collective expression which has contributed to this great messy life. The world is made of individual people. There is no world without us—without you and me. If we are complex, the world is automatically complex. It’s that simple.
Now, back to the question: why are we so complex? What is the source of this enormous complexity? It is a great enquiry in itself. But I will cut the story short for you.
It’s our desires that have made our lives so complex.
Desires are the source of this great complexity. Our desires are not simple, are they? This is the reason other creatures live so simply: they don’t have complex desires. If their stomach is full, their life is pretty complete. But for us, survival is not enough. We want more from life. We are creatures of desire. There’s no end to our desires. That’s why our lives are not simple.
More desires means more struggle to fulfill them. And more struggle means more strife in life. That’s a pretty simple equation. Why don’t we get it?
That’s why, wise souls throughout history have advised us to have fewer and simpler desires. It’s an endless rush to quench our desires. One ends, the other comes.
A Tantrik Legend
In the tantrik myth, Goddess Kali killed the demon Raktabeej. ‘Rakta’ is ‘blood’ and ‘beej’ means ‘seed’. Everytime Devi slashed his head, thousands of his replicas would emerge from every drop of his blood. His blood-drops acted like seeds of his life. It was impossible to kill him. Devi then changed Her method. She slashed his head once again and this time drank all the blood, didn’t let a single drop to fall on the ground. Raktabeej was finally subdued.
Now, this tantrik legend has a very important message to us. Raktabeej represents our carnal desires. No matter how much we kill our desires, they again manifest in other ways. Simply because, the seeds are still there in our minds. The only way to annihilate all our desires is to destroy all the ‘seeds’ that are within. If seeds remain, desires will spring up again. Devi destroyed all the seeds.
Our lives are complex because we harbour complex desires within us. If our desires were simple, our lives would also be simple. To live a simple and happy life, we must understand our desires and instead of desires dragging us behind them, we should be able to wisely craft our desires in a way that we can live happily and peacefully.
Desire is the demon. Devi is the Awareness. Destroy all life-inimical desires with your awareness!