Anything incomplete is dangerous. And the horrible truth is we are all leading incomplete lives.
Check it out for yourself. Are you saying what you really want to say in all your relationships? Are you doing what you love doing all the time? Are you feeling comfortable in all contexts of your Life? If you answered ‘no’ or ‘not quite’ for any of those questions (and these are not the only ones) then you are, your Life is, incomplete.
At the core of your unhappiness__both stated and unstated but felt__with your Life lies your incompleteness.
You hate your job. But you go on doing it because it ‘provides’ for your family’s upkeep and maintenance. You are incomplete. Your don’t relate to your spouse anymore. But you go on suffering in that relationship because you don’t know how__or want__to get out of it. You are incomplete. You don’t like what someone in your family is saying or doing. You hesitate to speak your mind because you don’t want to sound rude. But you squirm in the person’s presence. You are again incomplete.
Your incompleteness helps no one. Least of all you! German philospoher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844~1900) memorably said, “Life is not a dress rehearsal.” So it is! In a preparatory Life you can afford to rehearse, put off your best act for the final performance. But what is the point in living an incomplete Life when this is it! When this is the only Life you have?
Life is not an examination. It requires no preparation. It requires living. Living completely requires spontaneity. When you see a beautiful sunrise or a flower dance in the breeze or a child smile, you ideally don’t think of anything else – you just soak in the beauty of that moment. The moment you think of something else, you miss the moment itself! Then you are not being. You are not present. You are physically there. But mentally lost in worry, anxiety, guilt, anger, sorrow __ whatever. Bottomline: you have missed that moment! You have missed living it!
This is how we remain incomplete. This is how we miss living. Missing moment after moment after moment __ and often an entire lifetime! All our lives we prepare for a tomorrow and then for another one and then another. Or all our lives we cling on to a dead past, a memory, a guilt, a pain __ and we suffer endlessly.
I have nothing against theorists. But people who talk of karma and say that everything is ordained are encouraging, perhaps inadvertently and unintentionally, us to give up on living fully. Perhaps indeed everything is ordained. But to live the Life that is given, and not to suffer it, is still an intelligent choice we may like to exercise. You can’t be living in fear all the time. Then you are not living. You are dying. Of course, we all have to die one day when our physical presence ceases on this planet. But why die suffering a Life that has been given to us to enjoy, to live?
Here’s a simple perspective. Easy to understand. Simpler to practice. The reason we fear Life is because we have been taught to fear it. If you don’t study, you will fail. Fear. If you don’t go to work, you will lose your job, lose your income stream. Fear. If you don’t be loyal, you will lose the trust of people around you. Fear. Every action is being driven by fear of a consequence. That explains why we have not learned love to Life! If we were told to love learning, love knowledge, than merely get grades, we would have no fear. Then we would have been better at learning! If we were encouraged to love creating value, making a difference, work would become play. Then we would not fear or loathe work. If we were taught that loving is what living is all about relationships would have been far more meaningful and would not mean simply conforming to societal norms and frameworks.
To be sure, we complicate a rather simple Life by thinking too much, by whining, worrying, strategizing and analyzing. All this analysis creates paralysis, crippling us far more gruesomely than we even realize. That’s why we don’t see the beauty and magic in each moment, in each day. The moment we stop being incomplete and start living spontaneously, we will live and love__and not fear or hate__the Life we have been given!