Ownership is not our natural state. Then why fuss over anything now?
Referring to my blogpost yesterday, on the spiritual lesson I took away from the Ilayaraaja-SPB issue, a reader asked me if I was asking people not to claim ownership. I told him that at a deeply spiritual level any form of ownership is irrelevant. But we live in real world. Where money is an object – and an important one at that. So, it is indeed appropriate to protect your ownership of things – your material or intellectual assets. There surely is a need to take credit, accept a byline, display authorship for any of your work and possess a title deed for patents, property or such assets in your name. And if anyone infringes or encroaches on your ownership, you must firmly request them to step back. So, I am not saying ownership is irrelevant at an operational, everyday living level.
But when what you possess, starts possessing you, well, then you have lost the plot. Then you have lost the game of Life. Then suffering sets in.
Any art form which is universally acclaimed and loved by people, for the joy they experience in immersing themselves in that art, belongs not just to its creator. It belongs to the creator’s admirers as well. Now, a Raja Ravi Varma original must not be copied. That would be infringement. But in today’s digital world, so many image copies are floating all over the net. People admire them. They view them. Trying to control such action will be impossible. And if you try to, you will only lose your inner peace. So it is with Ilayaraaja’s music. This perspective I offer from a purely, practical, real-world, point of view.
On a spiritual plane, all ownership is irrelevant. Your own Life is given to you and will be taken back without your permission. (Even if you execute a suicide, by the law of Karma, it is still per a grand cosmic design.) What ownership do you want to control when you can’t even own or control your own Life? Yet, I believe in the principle of tying your camel. Trust in God But Tie Your Camel is an Arab proverb. One day Prophet Mohammed noticed a Bedouin leaving his camel without tying it. He asked the Bedouin, “Why don’t you tie down your camel?” The Bedouin answered, “I placed my trust in Allah.” At that, Mohammed said, “Tie your camel and place your trust in Allah.” Which means you have to do what you have to do, but don’t get attached to your action, don’t get bound by it, don’t expect a result that you want, simply trust the process of Life.
There was a time in my Life when I tried to protect everything and control everyone around me. I sweated – actually lost sleep literally – a lot over what we believed were our intellectual property rights. I fought rabidly over my opinions and ideas. But then I was so unhappy doing all that. And then everything I owned or thought I controlled was taken away. (Read more here: Fall Like A Rose Petal.) When I introspected I realized ownership is a not our natural state. We came wearing nothing. It doesn’t matter what we are wearing when we depart. When in our natural state we own nothing, why fuss over anything now?
So, I have this simple principle – enjoy expressing yourself. Offer whatever you have to the Universe, with a lot of love, selflessly. Tie your camel, but be easy with your possessions – surely don’t let them possess you!