Doing Vs. Being

Being matters more than doing

We all have this urge to keep doing something or the other. We cannot stay in one place without doing something. We are restless. We need something to do. Our minds don’t know rest. It doesn’t know how to simply be. It’s always active, always conniving new things. Even in dreams. 

Doing absolutely nothing is very difficult actually. It may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s true. Even if you claim to be one of the greatest lazy heads, try to sit in one place without doing anything. Thinking nothing. Thinking is also an act. If you are sitting, but you are thinking all the while, you are not simply sitting. You are very much active. That’s not non-doing!

Doing nothing is harder than it sounds. If you are a meditator, you’d know how difficult it is. We don’t know how to be at ease, how to just sit and do nothing! This is a very great urge. We feel if we don’t do something, we’ll not be okay. If we don’t talk to people, don’t hang out, don’t engage in activities, we feel lost. FOMO works in us. We feel left out, alone. Such a mind is a slave to the external world. Such a mind cannot know peace. 

How we are inside matters much much more than what we do. Doing is secondary. First, we need to establish our being. If we are settled within, then we can do whatever is needed in the world. But, we have given much importance to doing, as if doing will solve all our problems. Has it? It can’t. If your ‘being’ is shaky, your actions will also be unstable. No? 

Can you just sit and do nothing? Absolutely nothing! If you can, my hats to you! Doing is unavoidable. We have to do our jobs, fulfil our responsibilities, pay our bills and taxes. All that is fine. But I am talking about the compulsive preoccupation of our minds. All the time we’re occupied in our heads. Aren’t we? With something or other? We don’t know how to be at ease, neither with others nor with ourselves. We must develop this capacity to sit still, doing nothing. 

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone”, said French philosopher Blaise Pascal. How right he was! Why is it so hard? Why can’t we sit alone, with ourselves? Is there something wrong with us? Well, in the medical sense, no. But, in the psychological sense, yes. We are all terribly alone inside. We don’t know how to handle that loneliness. So, we always go out in the world and try to keep ourselves busy. It helps us to forget our loneliness. We feel secure. But, obviously, all this is still useless. Loneliness doesn’t go anywhere. It’s there, in our hearts. Always we choose to look away. We all behave like the ostrich who puts its head under the sand thinking that the danger has vanished! 

That’s why just being with ourselves alone is so difficult for us. We have to face a deep, dark void of loneliness inside. It requires deep courage and strength to face this void. But we must face it. How long will we escape? Our so-called engagements are all escapes from this inner reality. From this fact that we are all existentially alone. It’s not just a psychological feeling, you see. This is an existential feeling. How will we ignore an existential truth? We should not. 

I am not saying be alone. No problem in being with others, in being engaged. All I am saying—also have the strength to sit alone. To be alone. What’ll it do? You’ll develop a strength currently unknown to you. This strength is necessary especially if you are a spiritual seeker. For a seeker, the ability to walk alone is a must to have. Unless we develop that strength, we’d suffer a lot in the spiritual path. 

A flower doesn’t do anything. It just is. It’s presence does all the thing. Be like flower. 

First, be. Then do. Establish your being. Doing will happen according to that. 

My wishes are with you.

Thank you.
Image Credit: Pexels.

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Alok Singha

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