I will try to write about these five things, one each day.

LOVE, LUST, LONELINESS, LONGING AND LIBERATION. I will write them to my capacity and understanding. I am in no way an expert on these. Well hardly anyone is because there is no set formula to these. And that makes us humans eager to understand and decipher.

LIBERATION

Nothing is more unbearable, once one has it, than complete freedom. Said James Baldwin, the famous American novelist, essayist and poet.

To explicate, is freedom really freedom if it works against you? Is freedom really freedom if you make yourself a slave of it. What is freedom for a man who has no control over his mental faculties? Is complete freedom good for an Addict, who at the next given chance will jump at the opportunity, one step closer to death. Is complete freedom ever a good idea.

To a slave of his own temptations and desires, is there anything called freedom at all?

But as best selling author Mark Manson said in one of his articles “that anything under the sun can be debated.”

But such questions compel one to think. If not even freedom than what will liberate us. It pushes one to seek the truth. The truth and  the understanding of truth brings one closer to liberation. Like raising the curtain off a magic trick. It all becomes clear. And even takes away the mystery part too. And may be that’s what equanimity in yogic terms mean. The closer to truth you get, the more even and unfazed you remain to joys and sorrows are and all other feelings. You can see past the curtain.

We go on with our lives, living each day. We take life for granted when we haven’t seen the worst.

For good health we only truly understand when body starts giving up and nothing seems well.  

For the value of money is only realised when nothing seems to move in its absence.  

For we only understand the comfort of true love when it is lost or gone and changes you as a person for better or worse.

For we cannot understand the awareness of being until we haven’t really gasped for air at times.

For we only understand the truth of life when life has been almost snatched out of our beings.

And time after time the question is posed, from others and from within. What is the purpose of life. Life is seldom a serene lake but mostly choppy seas.

Any conflict with our normal and natural state of being puts us in the uneasy spot. And the task at hand now is to overcome that. To end that conflict.

As a senior designer in one of my jobs I had to mentor a junior who was not very happy with her office life. She was always over burdened with pending work and hence grumpy on the verge of nervous breakdown. Analysing her situation I told her two things :

1 – Communicate very clearly what you cannot do and can do.

2 – The simple secret to being happy at work is  – What you can do, do it in time and then may be a little more. (that “little more”, brings you up)

Once many years later in a different city while me and my friend riding on a bike, me sitting behind, we were discussing life and its questions and quests. He was supposed to drop me first and then head further to his place.

So what should be done. What is the purpose of life? He asked as he dropped me.

And I said for the first time for what I had been contemplating for lately.

I think one of the purpose of life is to have lesser and lesser conflicts.

Lesser conflicts with people around you.

Not just people. Lesser conflicts with the ideas of others that you might not like. May be through understanding or communication

Lesser conflicts with our own ideas.

 Any thought, idea or action that is bothering you is a conflict within or outside. Task is to resolve it.

For simple example if I am gaining weight because of my lifestyle, there’s a voice in my head that tells me to workout but I don’t listen to that voice. And that is a conflict within.

Or for example you are doing good at your job, earning good salary and has a happy family but somewhere you are still not satisfied and feel unsettled. That’s a conflict within, may be for a for a higher purpose. May be for a spiritual calling. May be simply you are unwell on the verge of clinical depression. Task is to resolve it.

The lesser conflicts you have the more at ease you will be. The more at ease you are the more liberated you will feel.

But is liberation ever complete?

I think it is only as complete as you are!

Like a seed may feel liberated when it sprouts to life and grows to be a tree to bear fruits. And fruits further disseminate seeds. And the cycle continues.

*****

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Sartaj Saifi

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