You can’t apply intelligence to Life; yet it must be lived intelligently!

The truth is we know nothing about Life!

A very experienced business leader we know demanded that I tell him what plans I have to turn our business around. I gave him an outline. He then asked if I had a Plan B. I replied, “Sir, over the last 10 years, we have tried many plans. By some count this should be Plan ZA surely!” Which is true. We have been putting forth strategy after strategy, several new business plans – one after each other; so much so that we should be frustrated with our efforts because they have not yet yielded results! But we have chosen not to get bitter with the experience. In fact, we feel that trusting Life’s Master Plan, the process of Life, and choosing to remain unfrustrated with the outcome of our efforts, is a plan in itself.

But the business leader was insistent that we must have a more definitive plan of action: “You must know when all this will end. You must have the ability to forecast, to say that in such and such time, you will turn zero-debt.” Of course, none can be keener than Vaani and I to know when our crisis will end. But the truth is, we don’t know.

And this is not so much about our inscrutable situation alone. All Life is this way – impossible to predict, impossible to fit into one framework.


I rely a lot on a Zen allegory – of the apple. A man who claimed he knew everything was asked by a Zen Master how many seeds were there in an apple. The man sliced the apple, counted the seeds and reported his findings to the Master. The Master took one seed and placed it on the man’s hand and asked him how many apples there were in that seed. The man fell at the Master’s feet and sought forgiveness for his arrogance.

Such is Life. Just because we have Google, the fountainhead of all knowledge, on our fingertips, we think we know everything about everything. The truth is we know nothing about Life. We must realize that there is a huge difference between knowledge and awareness. Knowledge helps us to earn a living. Awareness helps us to live meaningfully. We can’t hope to through Life by arguing with it logically – expecting to apply our acquired intelligence to it. Even so, Life can – and must – be lived only intelligently. Living intelligently means knowing that Life cannot be deciphered, it cannot be defined, it cannot be predicted with certainty – yet it must be lived fully, without worrying, without getting frustrated when your efforts don’t add up to results and without suffering (by resisting) whatever’s happening to you!

15 years ago if you had met me, I would have told you that I have everything planned out and I knew exactly how my Life would be over time. Now, I have different take – I only know what efforts I am making, I have no idea of what results they will deliver or when. Even so, I am a lot happier and peaceful now than I ever was!