Don’t try to make sense of Life. But, yes, you can be sensible with Life. At least, with your Life.
Yesterday I delivered my signature Fall Like A Rose Petal Talk to members of TiE, Chennai. A young member of the audience, over coffee, wanted to know if there was a thing called destiny and if karma played a role in shaping our lives.
I asked the young man, in return, a few questions. What is the point in trying to know of something when you can’t do anything about it? Just by knowing that your Life is pre-ordained can you change anything? Just by confounding yourself with issues like impact of a past Life, assuming that you give the karma theory full credence and want to believe it, on this lifetime, how do you think you can live your Life any better? So, I advised him to live with what is, working on changing it if he didn’t like it, but learning to do it peacefully, happily. This process of learning, which involves continuous unlearning and relearning, often takes an entire lifetime. Which is why Life has to be gone through with Faith and Patience.
However, in a way, so that we all appreciate Life better, I will use a contemporary analogy here. We are all like pre-paid SIM cards, launched into this world with a pre-ordained set of features and an intelligent design that we are not aware of. It is when we try to seek certain features that we are not designed with that we suffer. Without realizing the pre-paid nature of our existence, we punish ourselves by cursing our fate or we try to unravel the destiny or karma theories or we blame (a) God for being partisan or even non-existent. We also suffer endlessly because we compare ourselves with the features endowed in other creations. Just as a pre-paid SIM card can be recharged or re-equipped only if the Operator allows it to be, and never by the customer alone desiring it, so it is with Life. We will do well to embrace, appreciate, celebrate and internalize this truth.
To me, personally, Life is the Higher Energy that powers this Universe, Life is my teacher, Life is my God, the cosmic network Operator, if you like!
You and I are just a part of a larger, inscrutable cosmic design. Our roles are both inconsequential and crucial at the same time. This paradox is again part of Life’s mysterious design. At one level, we cause nothing to happen on this planet, because we are pre-ordained to live in a certain way. Yet, we are part of whatever happens, to us, around us, in our lifetime – be it success or failure. We also have a huge responsibility towards (our) Life. Which is toward action, toward doing what we can, in any given situation, dutifully. It is, for all these reasons, and more, as the Bhagavad Gita reminds us, we must stay detached from the outcomes while willing to be accountable on our actions. Again paradoxical. But such is Life. Revisiting this truism on a daily basis, helps us stay anchored and humble.
Life is the way it is with a reason. If you realize what the reason is, it will cease to be a mystery. So don’t go after Life, don’t try to find the reason – you simply can’t. Instead just be. Live with what is. If you want to change your current reality, first accept what is, then go to work on it happily. Keep the faith and be patient with Life. This, interestingly, is the only sensible way to live a Life that you can’t ever make sense of!