Why do we feel Miserable??
You failed in your examinations, your girlfriend decides to call it quits to your 5 year old relationship, your marriage or engagement is called off on the penultimate day, your employer offers you a pink slip on a sunny friday, you lose a business contract that was to decide whether life would continue. What would be your normal reaction to any of the above situations? You are shattered, you are in tears, agony, you feel like broken from within into a thousands pieces, you feel like a loser (depression as per the modern day psychologists). Suddenly life loses all its charm, life seems meaningless, your feel miserable – isn’t it? This is the situation that almost every human being is in. We have all been taught to live life this way and unfortunately we also strongly believe that this is the only way too. We have been conditioned to live life through a set of proven and established patterns which ultimately becomes our attitude in life. Our self experiences, the lessons taught by our parents, teachers, religious priests have all solidified as a hard mass which performs the role of a database for our mind. So every situation that confronts you is evaluated and reacted to, from this database. We fail to look beyond this database. Is an alternative response possible? The answer is always a definite NO. We prefer to continue reacting in life and not responding. Response is a conscious effort, reaction is an unconscious action.
Understand that every time you feel miserable or depressed, a dark cloud of negativity engulfs you (you may call it an aura – that’s fine). So naturally when a trying situation confronts you, your reaction is almost a universal reaction – to revolt. You are at war with this situation now, anger overpowers you and dark negative clouds swallow you into its belly. Scientifically you might ask for a proof for this dark cloud effect and you may upfront deny this fact, but understand that this denial is also from your limited database, your fragile ego that you have built on few borrowed worldly knowledge. Understand that every denial is in a way negative and it comes from the ego. The atheist denies the existence of god; he denies it from his ego, nothing else. The believer denies the atheist; again that denial is from his ego. If you ask a Buddha, is there god? You will be surprised with his response. A Buddha will not deny the existence of a god, neither will he say that there is god, he will just say – I don’t know, I have not experienced god yet. There may be, there may not be – I am yet to experience.
Why do you feel very low after you return from a burial ceremony? Why do you feel elated and fresh when you meet your beloved? It is nothing but the effect of external negative and positive clouds over your inner being. Several people mourning together will create an intense negative atmosphere and vice versa. Your success in life, the quality of your life, your reappearance on this planet, will all depend on how long you have been able to maintain the positive clouds around you. How intensely conscious were you to avoid these dark clouds invade you? How creative were you to consciously shift your focus from problems to possibilities.
Imagine 5 men trying to fight and win against 100 strong men. Your ordinary response would be to avoid such a fight or withdraw your decision to fight since a defeat is inevitable. But a creative mind will go beyond his limited database and explore the vast unlimited possibilities available for a possible victory from a positive mindset. Krishna’s life history offers several such examples of exemplary creative thinking and positively looking forward to infinite possibilities to a finite problem.
You wouldn’t have been reading this article if it was not for the creative thinking of Charles Babbage to invent computing machines. Perhaps Babbage could not proceed in his project and taste success since his project called for large and complex computing. His project was stuck, he had reached a dead end, and the computations that his project demanded would take him hundreds of year to complete. I am sure that he would not have sobbed over the roadblocks, instead he would have shifted his focus from the roadblock into a positive world of creative possibilities and solutions. He went on to create a machine that would do the task in a few seconds which otherwise would have taken him decades to solve.
This is the positive cloud I am talking about – Being in search of a positive possibility, being creative.
I am reminded of a Zen story: Long ago there were three Chinese mystics; nobody knew them by their names. They were known as the ‘Three Laughing angels’ or some even called them the Laughing Buddha’s. They never did anything else; they simply laughed. They used to move from one town to another, laughing. They would stand in the market place and have a good belly laugh. The entire markets attention would be drawn by them. People would gather around them, the shopkeepers, the buyers, everyone would come to have a glimpse of them. The market people would get so engrossed in their laugh that they would even forget the reason they came to the market for. Their laugh was so infectious that the entire environment of the market would light up with laughter. A few minutes before this same market was an ugly place full of people with greed, jealousy and money hungry beasts. Suddenly their laughter would wash away this environment with a fresh fragrance. For a few moments, the market would look like a heaven on earth, laughter everywhere.
They practiced this everywhere they went. Every market, every home, every village they visited would be infected by their laughter. One day while staying in a village it suddenly happened that one among the three Laughing Buddha’s died. The whole village gathered and they were eagerly waiting to see the response of the other two. Some even discussed that all these years these three angels have been spreading laughter everywhere, not lets see how they laugh. Their friend has died, now they should weep. But when the two angels came, they were laughing away to glory, they were dancing and they were celebrating his death. Now this was too much, how can someone be so disrespectful, this is insanity – the villagers yelled. Suddenly one of the laughing Buddha paused his laughter and said, hey listen – you all do not know what has really happened. All throughout our association, we often discussed who would die first. Today this man has won and we are defeated. Our whole life we have laughed with him, how can we ever think of sending him off without laughter? This is the least we can do for a man who has laughed and celebrated his whole life and if we do not laugh, this man in all possibilities will reappear to us and mock over us and say – You idiots! You have again fallen into the trap? Do you know who was he? He was no body, he was life, he was laughter, he was celebration. How can laughter ever die? No impossible. The story goes on, however what is of importance is about their approach towards death. Ordinarily death is considered to be a negative event, when someone dies, one has to cry, weep and mourn over it. This has been followed by humanity for millions of years now. Strangely these three laughing angels opened a whole new world of possibility – celebrating death. In a way they are absolutely true, No death is death, every death opens a new door, a new beginning. Life never ends, it is a continuous process, a new beginning. So one can stop looking at the problem and in turn shift his focus on the opportunity and this is what is called creativity.
Existence has gifted you with the divine ability to create. So everything that happens to you in your life is just an output of your creations – mind it. You have to accept it and be responsible for it. Nobody else can be held responsible for it, not even your god. Negative clouds are your creation; positive clouds are also your creation. Negative clouds will always attract similar charged clouds. Have you ever observed that a gossip can happen only when two negative minds meet each other? Even if one mind is positive and engulfed with white clouds – gossip can never exist in such a milieu. Anger, lust, obsession, greed, jealousy, exploitation, desire, craving, hankerings are all harbingers of the dark negative clouds. Your success in any dimension of life solely depends on the clouds that engulfs you and remember that the clouds are all your creations. I am not talking about any monitory success; the success I am talking about is your inner success, the success of developing a clear consciousness. If you enter into a relationship with suspicion, that relationship will never bloom. If you enter into a venture or a task or even a job with a sceptical mindset, there is all possibility that you will not succeed and the same applies to every other aspect of life.
Remember that every time you feel miserable; don’t panic, do not weep or moan, try to respond to life from a conscious approach. Be in search of a positive possibility, be creative, create possibilities. Your partner dumping you or your employer firing you is not the end of the world, infact it could be the beginning of a new life and new beginning.
When someone leaves you, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of your story. It just means that their chapter is over and you need to start a fresh chapter of the book called life.
Your approach towards life, your experiences in life can turn upside down in a moment, just by creatively shifting your focus from a problem to a range of possibilities. Sporadically, you will then find instances in your life where your mind expands to see more possibilities of what could be for your life. More possibilities to meet new people, make more money, discover new paths, etc. This kind of ability, of seeing more of what could be, despite the current situation is so the key to a successful life.
Welcome to the world of unlimited possibilities. A day for a night, a life for every death, a valley for every mountain, so is the rule of nature. It’s all about living and experiencing them consciously by creating and attracting positive clouds around you.