18 07 2012

How many of you seriously think you are doing what you want in life?  Put in a different way, whatever you are doing and are part of in your life- your career, your hobbies, your relationships – is that what you really want? Think carefully before answering yourself. The first and the biggest hurdle is to realize what one wants; what makes one happy. The action part comes later.

We all are socially and culturally conditioned since birth and much of our thoughts and actions are shaped and determined by people and circumstances around us.  And stereotypes rule us. Amidst all this, the pursuit of one’s true self, from which one seeks satisfaction and salvation, is a challenging task at the very least. More often than not, the things we pursue are either escape routes or improper means to achieve the lofty goal of happiness.

One friend, through her recently acquired wisdom and revelations, remarked that “people do inappropriate things and wonder why the result is not what they have desired for”. Undoubtedly, being happy is the ultimate goal of each and every human being. But why only very few people could achieve it despite their best efforts? It’s because the means are wrong. Put grossly: we want to reach a destination and instead of taking the path that leads to it we deliberately or ignorantly take a different path and wonder why the destination appears forever distant.

We are so caught up by our image in and perception by the society that we tire ourselves by perpetually trying to reach or maintain it. This conscious and subconscious effort robs us off our energy and leaves us sapless to pursue more noble and fruitful goals of self-discovery and spiritual enlightenment. One reason why such discovery is essential can be comprehended from the futile ways of our normal course of life. Getting lost in the stream and going through motions never fulfills one’s soul.

One solution to lessen the negative emotions can be “to accept”. It is our expectations of people and circumstances around that cause much anguish to us when not met. If we learn to accept whatever comes our way, much of the struggle can be obviated.

And of course, the ultimate and almost magical mantra is neither a ground-breaking nor a shocking revelation: detachment. To be like a drop of water on the lotus leaf. Immersed ever so deeply in worldly pleasures and displeasures, it is easier said than done to extract oneself out of it.

These and other similar pieces of wisdom are never far away or exactly hitherto unknown. In fact, most of us know them, albeit intellectually. It is the application of that knowledge to oneself that is so rare owing to its high degree of difficulty as it involves a transformation not only consciously (intellectually), but also mentally and deep inside (subconsciously). I guess the process involves immense inner struggle – perplexing and painful – with the fruit of enlightenment dangling at the end if ever one has the perseverance to reach it.

Who am I? what do I want? I never considered these questions before and failed to recognize their significance so far. I always thought that these questions are generally pursued only by those who are deeply spiritual. But my recent reflections brought me down to these same basic questions, as I stood perplexed at the state of my life and its direction (or lack of it). I think the answering  of these soul-searching questions involves a much more deeper introspection in the light of psychology or spirituality or both. These questions and associated thoughts have been haunting me for quite sometime and at times I wonder whether I’m on a wild-goose-chase. I perceive myself to be in a conundrum trying to understand and discern those things that add meaning to my life.

Even as I was contemplating to embark on the journey of self-discovery feeling lost as to how to proceed,  I accidentally discovered an old copy of ‘An Unknown Woman” by Alice Koller a few days back in my personal collection of books and saw it as a sign. There is no time to lose; the sooner the better. And I spare no means to assimilate the needful to guide me through the labyrinth and meet the “me” inside me.




4 responses

19 07 2012


a journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step.
– chinese proverb

26 07 2012

Thanks for the encouragement. 🙂

26 07 2012

hey, I will be waiting for your review of “An unknown woman” 😀

26 07 2012

Ha! That reminds me that I should start reading it asap.

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