The two Ways of achieving Material Wealth in life!

I have been studying the lives of all mystics ever since I first became interested in mysticism years ago. One of the things that I observed is that a lot of these saints and mystics have never had a problem as far as fulfilling their material needs are concerned. In fact, a lot of these spiritual gurus have especially in recent times have had a lot of material wealth.

We all at some point have wondered what made them so stable financially. The usual conclusion is that perhaps they have been deceiving people. Spiritual gurus have been considered to be the world’s greatest con men. I am not saying that that isn’t true because most of these spiritual gurus are conmen, but I am specifically referring to mystics.

One thing that I’ve noticed is that none of them had to ever bother about the food they ate, the clothes they wore, or the shelter in which they lived. I mean, do these people not have bills to pay? How do they manage to survive when their entire focus seems to be towards God?

I always wondered this, but then, as I began to understand and apply certain spiritual insights into my own life, I then realised a few things which I’d like to discuss in today’s topic.

So what are the two ways of Achieving material wealth in life?

  • Strive Hard Towards Achieving Material Wealth:

This is one of the most common ways of achieving material wealth. The entire world follows this concept. One of the advantages of following this method of achieving material wealth is that it gives you a great deal of security in life. the fact that you are working towards achieving material wealth assures you that you wouldn’t have to roam around the streets begging.

There is absolute security. This is why most people choose to live the worldly life. Besides the security, the other thing is that you will meet a lot of like-minded people who think just like you.

When you are out there in the world trying to achieve your financial goals, you will receive a tremendous amount of encouragement from others because everybody is trying to achieve the same thing that you are.

You end up making a lot of friends and your life become very comfortable. There is no risk involved. Yes, you may face a few problems here and there, but ultimately, you will feel a deep sense of security knowing that you do not have to worry about tomorrow.

Hence, the first way of achieving material wealth is to directly work towards it.

  • Strive Hard Towards Attaining Spiritual Insight:

This is the second way of achieving material wealth. All mystics have followed this path. They have renounced everything that the world has to offer and put their entire focus towards achieving the higher goals of life.

It is strange that no mystic has worked towards achieving material wealth and yet, not a single one of them in the world has been left unsatisfied.

You never hear Jesus working for a nine-to-five job. You never hear Buddha running a successful business. How do these people survive then?

One of the things that I have noticed after studying the lives of all these mystics is their ability to trust the divine.

I guess this is the only quality that the ordinary world lacks when compared to a mystic. A mystic is a person whose trust in life is total. Because his trust in life is total, he has no worry about the fulfilment of his material needs.

  • The Basic Law of Life:

Life operates based on certain fixed laws. A mystic lives his life in accordance with these laws. He does not go against them, and perhaps that is the reason why he is not afraid. Perhaps, this is the reason for his immense trust in existence.

The laws that are made by human beings are temporary. Today, there is a certain law, and tomorrow it is no more there. Hence, from another perspective, there is no guarantee or security. In fact, all security is simply a deception.

A mystic has no deceptions. He sees things the way they are clearly. Looking at the transitory nature of the laws created by man, a mystic lets go of all security that the world has to offer and takes refuge in life itself. From that day onwards, his entire life and all its needs are taken care of by the ultimate law of life which is eternal and cannot fail. Anybody who follows the laws of nature never leaves this earth hungry, disappointed or unfulfilled in any way.

  • Final Words:

In life, we all have a choice to either chase our dreams or struggle or work hard for wealth, and security. My intention with writing this article was not for you to leave the world and follow God. The message I was trying to put across is that in this life, always strive towards achieving things which will make your life meaningful.

Never compromise on your hearts desires for a few goodies that the world has to offer to you in terms of money, food or shelter. Our purpose in life is to always search and seek higher peaks. In that very longing to reach higher peaks, you will find that every lower need is somehow taken care of by this vast existence that has nurtured all of mankind including the birds, trees and animals.

Love at First Sight – Does it Exist?

Most of us have often wondered or perhaps, have been asked whether love at first sight exists. Years ago, I never had an answer to that question, neither do I have an answer to it today. What I do have though is a perspective which I’d like to share.

There are certain things in life which cannot be understood directly. Moreover, a lot of questions do not have direct answers. This question about love is one such question. Whether Love at first sight exists or not cannot be answered directly.

First of all, to understand love at first sight, you need to understand what love is. To a man who has no idea of what love is, love at first sight will be nothing more than an infatuation.

  • Love does not Calculate:

The first understanding that one needs to have about love is that love does not calculate. Love is not a thing that is planned. Ordinarily, all marriages in the world are arranged marriages. Even a love marriage is nothing but a sophisticated version of an arranged marriage.

In an arranged marriage, the parents arrange the marriage, whereas, in love marriages, two lovers arrange the marriage.

What does it mean to arrange a marriage? To arrange means to calculate. To arrange means to look for the pros and cons of marrying a person. It means to look for every detail of a person who somehow fits your idea of what an ideal marriage or a love affair should look like.

Therefore, for a person who is very calculative in terms of love, understanding the real meaning of love is very difficult.

  • Love Happens:

love at first sight is a sudden happening. It is a sort of instant communication between two people on a very subtle level. When two lover’s meet something instantly clicks. To the rest of the world it may seem like just pure infatuation, but only the two lovers know what has happened.

As I see it, love at first sight is the only love that exists purely because of its innocence. When you suddenly fall in love with someone it is not something planned. It is not two people trying to arrange something. It is not two people trying to be “Just friends” and then seeing where the “just friends” relationship takes them.

The very fact that you want to be just friends, or get to know someone better and then decide whether you love the person shows that you are calculating.

  • Love is Like Intuition:

Love does not calculate in any way. It is instant. Love is like intuition. In fact, love can happen only to people who are intuitive. Intuitive people live from the heart. Ordinary, so-called lovers live from the head.

For ordinary lovers, only tomorrow exists, whereas, for the intuitive person; for the person who lives from the heart, only today exists.

This is why, for the rest of the world, a person who has fallen in love with somebody at first sight may seem crazy. It may seem like infatuation, but the person who has fallen in love does not know what has happened. He or she wasn’t expecting to fall in love.

  • The Search of A Lover:

A lover does not expect, seek, or search for his beloved but simply stumbles upon the beloved. Even if a lover seeks for his beloved, the seeking is something deep. It is not the ordinary search of a man or a woman trying to find a perfect mate whom they could live with forever, happily ever after.

The search of a lover is like the search of the divine. The lover searches for the beloved in the same way that the divine searches for that one sheep that has gone astray. Therefore, when an individual searches for his beloved, in his heart, there is no anguish. There is no pain, sadness or tears. Even if there are tears, the tears are not tears of anguish or mourning. The tears are tears of joy.

Only such a person who has understood this kind of love knows exactly what love at first sight is.

  • For Love at First Sight to Happen…:

For love at first sight, to happen, you first need to be a lover yourself. You need to have the qualities of a lover in you. You need to have spent years loving your own self. Only then, you will come across another soul that is just as loving as you are.

When two loving souls meet for the first time, their hearts are immensely synchronous with each other. There is no question of whether love exists or not. For them, love simply is. Everything else is non-existent except for love.

That is why, love, at first sight, happens very rarely. Just a few blessed people in the world are fortunate enough to experience this deep connection that is beyond all intellect and reason.

  • Love at First Sight is mutual:

Another thing to understand about love at first sight is that it is mutual. If you have simply fallen in love with somebody without them feeling the same for you, then it cannot be love at first sight. Love is a dialogue. It is a communion that happens between two people.

Hence, a love that is one sided cannot be love at first sight. Therefore, people should avoid watching movies, because the makers of a movie themselves do not know what love is. I have seen so many movies where the actor is madly in love with the actress. The entire film consists of the actor chasing after the actress and then finally, even the actress feels bad. Just to not come off as arrogant or self-obsessed, the actress says yes, and the movie is over.

All love stories end where marriage begins, because if the reality is shown, then the movie won’t be successful.

  • Get Out of Your Fantasies:

If you really want to understand love at first sight, you first need to get out of all kinds of fantasies. We all have had that one friend who would fall in love with a new girl every day. Now, this is not love at first sight. This is simply your hormones playing jumping jacks inside your system.

The moment your hormones stop going crazy, your love at first sight will completely disappear. Most people who say they believe in love at first sight are simply horny. Love at first sight happens in a state of complete relaxation. When there is no hurry to find the lover, when your desire for passion is not active, but just passive; when there is no desire but just a deep longing to become one with someone, only then you will know what love at first sight is.

  • Final Words:

Love at first sight does not necessarily mean that a relationship has to end in romance. Love at first sight simply means that a certain person struck a chord inside your heart ever since the first day you saw them, or communicated with them. Just the presence of a particular person gives you a certain feeling of coming home. Just being there with someone makes you feel comfortable and at ease. The other person feels the same too.

You have just met a person and yet, words cannot describe how you feel about them. Therefore, love at first sight has a lot of aspects to it which you may not understand. Love at first sight does not mean that you immediately fall in love. No, that is not what I mean when I say love at first sight. When I say love at first sight I basically mean that at first glance, or the first time you meet a person, something transpired between the two of you.

That connection may not be something which you may be able to interpret in the beginning, but eventually, as time goes by, if it culminates into love, you would know, that it was indeed love at first sight.

Is Being Sentimental same as Being in Love?

I recently came across a small excerpt from one of J Krishnamurti’s books which spoke about being sentimental in love. It was hardly a paragraph long and yet so insightful. I too have been in that place where I had become sentimental in love.

We all have, at some point, been in that place where we developed intense emotions towards a certain person. Those emotions, and sentiments which we felt for that person is what we misinterpreted as love.

Love is beautiful when we understand it for what it is. The moment we misunderstand love and start giving it our own meanings, love becomes toxic. In fact, there can be nothing more toxic in the world than love that is misunderstood.

All of this makes us wonder: what does it then mean to be in love. Because we have only understood love through our state of being emotional and sentimental, we do not know what it feels like to just be in love.

  • Falling in Love:

There are two ways in which people prefer to express their love. The first way is to fall. A majority of the people in the world fall in love. If your entire standpoint in life is based on emotions and sentiments, then your love will be expressed to another by falling for them.

In fact, that is the only way in which you can express your love – by falling. Let us try to understand what it means to fall. A man or a woman who is emotional or sentimental constantly feel as though they are going to lose something. They are constantly on guard. There is no relaxation for them because the moment they relax, who knows, the thing which they long for can be taken away from them.

These are what sentiments and emotions are like. They make you feel down. They make you feel tense, tired and exhausted. Now all of these feelings take control of every aspect of your life in subtle ways. Love is also included in it.

Therefore, the moment you see a beautiful man, or a woman you immediately fall. Something in the man or woman has triggered a certain emotion or sentiment inside of you. Now, you do everything you can in order to satisfy those emotions and sentiments. You start doing all sorts of crazy things. Have you watched how the actor in a movie does crazy things when he falls in love with the actress?

You go to the theatre and watch these people and say to yourself, “Wow! I wish I could have a man like that” Such crazy men and women only look good on the screen. The moment you experience one of these clowns in real life, then you will know the wrath of love.

  • Being in Love:

This is the second way of expressing your love. In fact, it would be wrong to say that it is the second way. In fact, it is the only way. The first kind of love only appears to be love, but it isn’t. Just as a plastic flower appears to be beautiful from a distance, in the same way, false love as well appears beautiful from a distance. In fact, false love can be more beautiful than real love sometimes.

The flowers made out of synthetic material can be made the way you want them to be made. You can give them whatever colour you want. You can take away their thorns. you can surround them with beautiful lighting and so on. False love can be made beautiful in every way because it has no beauty of its own.

Love that is authentic is beautiful in itself. Its beauty need not be enhanced by making amendments to it. A mystic is a person who understands this kind of love.

In understanding this authentic nature of love, he simply dwells in it. He doesn’t try to mould, fix or enhance love in any way. This is what it means to be in love. To be in love is the only right way of expressing love, because, in being, your ego does not interfere with love. It allows love to be exactly the way it is.

  • Love Makes a man Holy, not sentimental:

Out of this beingness of love, every action taken becomes full of love. Every gesture, every move, every expression becomes full of life. When a human being comes to this state we refer to him as a God, although he is not anybody special. The only difference between a man who falls in love and a man who is love is that the former has his love expressing itself through his sentimental nature, whereas, the latter is expressing love without any filter.

This is what I call mystic love. The mystic way of love is the only authentic expression of love. The love of Jesus Christ, the compassion of Buddha, or the beauty of Krishna arises out of being in love. We call these people holy men, but we do not see that we too have the same possibility to be holy.

To be holy is to BE in love. To be unholy is to fall in love. If this simple yet basic truth is understood, then everything falls into place.

  • Final Words:

A man should do all he can to annihilate sentiments and emotions. We come across various situations in life which trigger certain emotions in us. There is no need to fight with these emotions or sentiments. All you need to do is simply watch and recognise them for what they are.

Once you have recognised a stone as a stone, there is no need to carry it anymore, simply drop it. In fact, even that would be a lot of effort. You would not even have to drop the stone if you recognise it as a stone. The mere recognition of the stone loosens your grip with no effort on your part and the stone falls to the ground.

Your sentiments and emotions are like stones which you are carrying. Understanding them will help you to drop them. The stones are then no more. You then have the privilege to be the proud owner of love.

The Ego, and how it Prevents Love from Coming to You!

We all desperately wish to have certain things in our life and yet there is a part of ourselves which resists that thing no matter how much we need it. We feel as though it is impossible to get some of these things which are nothing but basic needs. Love is one of those needs. Love is not just any kind of need, but one of the most basic needs of a human being. The mind desires, but the heart longs, and it longs for love. It longs to become one with another human being, but there seems to be a great difficulty. The hearts longings can be fulfilled, but unfortunately, the ego is something that always gets in the way.

I want to discuss a little about how the ego functions as a barrier in one of the most important areas of our life which is finding love.

I would like to discuss this topic in two parts. In the first part, I’ll talk about the ego and what exactly it is. In this way, it will become easier for you to understand the ways in which the ego blocks love out of our lives. Once you have understood this, then finding love will not be as difficult as you think – this I will talk about in the second part.

PART 1: UNDERSTANDING THE EGO

  • The Ego is Subtle:

A lot of us may think that it is very easy to detect the ego, but trust me; it is not as easy as you think. The reason is that the ego as what we understand it to be and the way it appears are two completely different things. The ego is very subtle. It tries to find every way to somehow show up without us being aware of it.

If the ego was not as subtle as it is, the world would not have been suffering as much as it is. The reason why people suffer is because of the subtle nature of the egoistic self. So what exactly is this ego and how do we identify it?

  • What is the Ego?

First of all, you need to understand that the ego appears in different forms depending on the situation in life you’re going through. Although, essentially, its core aim is to sabotage your life in every way possible.

A human being is divided against himself. The reason that life is so full of stress, anxiety, and anguish is because we are not one. There is a part of us that is continuously seeking growth, and then there is the other part which is trying to block this growth in every way possible. This part which is trying to block goodness in our life is what the ego is.

The problem is that we identify ourselves with that part which is trying to block goodness into our lives. We think that we are the egoistic self. That is why it then becomes very difficult to get rid of it. If you are convinced that your enemy is your friend, then no matter what anybody does to explain to you that your enemy is against you, you wouldn’t believe them.

All mystics have tried their best to help liberate mankind from the ego, but yet, we do not listen. The reason is that we have lived with the enemy for so long, that the enemy looks almost like a friend.

  • The Ego is the devil:

I do not believe in the existence of a God or Devil. In fact, I do not believe in anything at all. I either know a certain thing or I do not.

I was born in a Christian family and Christianity continuously emphasizes on how the devil tempts a person. Now if you take this literally, you will go insane because you will not find the devil anywhere. As far as my understanding goes, the devil that Christianity refers to is actually the ego which always tempts a man to do wrong.

Now, there is no such thing as right or wrong. Wrong simply means that action, which has been taken by listening to the ego. Similarly, right simply means that action, which has been taken by listening to one’s nature. This is the simplest explanation that I can give to you to help you understand the way in which the egoist functions.

Once you have understood this, there is no need to beat your head on the wall. Simply follow your nature, and the false self will automatically move aside. It all depends on your understanding.

PART 2: HOW THE EGO PREVENTS LOVE FROM COMING TO YOU

Now that you have a little bit of understanding of what the ego is, it will become easier for you to understand how it prevents love.

  • The Heart and the Ego:

The ego is always in conflict with the heart because the victory of the heart is the dissolution of the ego. Therefore, it tries in every way to protect itself. The other thing to understand is that the ego does not have any existence of its own. The ego is like darkness. Just as darkness disappears in the presence of light, similarly the ego disappears in presence of the heart.

It depends on what you’re giving more attention to. If you are centered in your heart, then the ego does not exist for you. If you are centered in the ego, the heart does not exist. So, ultimately, although the egoistic self does not have a reality, it still can appear to be just as real as the heart if all your attention is more focused on it as opposed to the heart.

  • The Heart is always the Boss:

A question may arise in your mind that if the heart is always the boss then why is it that the egoistic self always seems to win in most cases?

The problem is that the heart is not assertive. The ego, on the other hand, is very assertive. You must have heard a saying, “Empty vessels make more noise”. The ego is like the empty vessel. The heart, on the other hand, is full.

Always remember that the truth never tries to prove itself in any way because it already knows itself. It is always the wrong that tries to prove itself. The non-existent always tries to prove its existence. The existent is already exists, so what is the need for proof?

  • Final Words:

Always remember that in life, love is always just around the corner. The heart always pulls the beloved towards itself. Just as the nectar of a flower attracts the bees, so does the fragrance of love brings forth the beloved. Attracting love in your life is as simple as getting rid of your false egoistic self.

A simple understanding of how this ego works is enough for you to let go of it without any struggle. The reason you are struggling with the ego is because you do not understand its functioning.

Once you have understood its functioning, you immediately become centered at the heart. Once you are centered at the heart, you will find that the beloved was always there.

How can the beloved be far away? It is impossible. Always remember that in life, nothing is ever found because to find something, you need to run from one place to another, constantly seeking and in tension.

To run simply shows that the thing you are searching for is separate from you. Nothing in life is ever separate. Oneness is the nature of life. To come in union with this oneness is what love is.

How Can You Become Silent without Meditation?

A lot of people do not like to meditate which is very unfortunate because meditation seems almost like an uphill task. Meditation is a very simple practice. It is just a method of becoming silent, but because we are so used to activity and chaos, meditation becomes difficult.

Silence and meditation are almost synonymous. If the idea of sitting down with closed eyes for even twenty minutes seems impossible to you, then perhaps being silent should work. I say “should” not because I’m not sure of what I’m saying. The reason I say that silence “should” work is because of the way we are brought up.

Very few children are raised to understand what silence is. All the things that we learn in school are simply ways of becoming noisier. We then go to college where again we are taught to run from here to there, get this degree, get that certificate, apply for that job and in all of this we lose a part of ourselves that is very important.

Therefore, I say, for those who do not like to meditate, silence may perhaps be the solution, because meditation and silence are not against each other. By being silent, you will automatically become meditative and vice-versa.

In today’s article I just want to discuss the various ways in which you can become silent without meditating.

  • Getting rid of Unessential Activities:

One of the main reasons why you find it difficult to be silent is because you continuously indulge yourself in unessential activities. If you make a list of all the things you do throughout the day, you will find that a majority of the activities that you perform are unessential to your growth.

How much time do you waste on gossip, binge watching television shows and YouTube videos, staring at your phone for hours and things similar to these? If you calculate the number of hours you waste in all of these activities, you will understand exactly why your mind is in such chaos.

Focus only on the things in life that are important. Life is too short. A human being hardly lives for about seventy or eighty years. With the kind of health problems that we face, even living up to the age of sixty is a huge achievement. In such a short period of time, there are so many things in life which you need to achieve as far as your own personal growth is concerned.

Utilise your time in performing activities that are essential to your growth and you will find that your thoughts have reduced to a significant extent. The disappearance of thoughts is the appearance of silence.

  • Get rid of Negative emotions to become Silent:

When I say that you need to get rid of negative emotions, I do not mean that you need to start thinking positive. Whether your thoughts are positive or negative does not matter, because ultimately the goal is to get rid thoughts.

When I say that you need to get rid of negative emotions what I mean is that you need to stop giving energy to the things in life that bring anger, jealousy, hatred, and sorrow. The reason why people cannot get rid of negative emotions is because they feel that they will somehow be able to change the situation by feeling negative emotions.

For example, when you are angry at someone, you feel that your anger will somehow change the other person. Or say that you are feeling sad about something. You think that by feeling sad, you are going to overcome the negative situation, but life does not work that way.

Once you understand that negative emotions are not going to serve you in any way, it will become easy for you to get rid of them. Right now, it is difficult. The reason is that you subconsciously think that negative emotions serve you.

  • Negative Emotions Feed your Ego:

Why are so many people in the world frustrated, angry and sad? Have you ever wondered? The reason is because these emotions feed your ego.

People cannot give up being sad because in being sad they receive sympathy from others. Sympathy gives the ego a major boost. You start to feel important. You feel that people care about you, but they really don’t. In fact, the people who are sympathetic towards you can never love you. You are indirectly forcing them to be nice to you. If they are not nice to you, they feel as though they are being rude to you, when really, they’re not. It is you who is being rude to them but in a very subtle and indirect way.

Similarly, anger does not help anybody, but why do people get angry? People get angry because anger makes them feel strong. They use anger as a means to dominate another person. What they do not realise is that their anger is something that destroys them and not the other person as much.

Once you have understood that negative emotions do not serve you, you will immediately get rid of them. You will not even have to think twice before you give up being angry or sad. Once you give up negative emotions, you will feel as though a huge load has been taken off from your shoulders. Silence will automatically follow as a result of this light feeling.

  • Being aware of your physical activities:

You can even call this being mindful of your physical activities. In fact, mindfulness is the right term to describe awareness of oneself. You do not need to do anything special here. You do not need to sit in a certain posture or close your eyes to be mindful. All you need to do is become aware of your bodily movements.

In the midst of any activity simply be aware of what you’re doing. You can start off by being aware of simple activities. For example, while sitting, be aware that you are sitting. The natural inclination is to forget oneself. Have you observed how while doing anything, you immediately forget yourself.

Forgetting yourself makes you mechanical. When you become mindful of your actions, you suddenly become separate from the action. To be separate from the action is to not be identified with it. In this way you suddenly become aware of a part of yourself that is beyond the body – this is what the goal of mindfulness is.

  • Being Aware of Your Thoughts:

Once you become a little accustomed to being mindful of your bodily movements, you can then move on to your thoughts. It is a little difficult, although there is no harm in trying it. Whenever a thought arises in your mind be aware of it. Observe the thought. Don’t get identified by it. In this way you will notice that the thought immediately disappears. The moment you are aware of a certain thought, it immediately disappears. This can be very helpful when you’re having a continuous stream of negative thoughts.

Rather than getting identified with those thoughts simply watch them, and do not judge. When you judge your thoughts you start thinking in terms of positive and negative thoughts. Both are hindrances to silence. You simply watch your thoughts, and slowly they will disappear – this disappearance will give you a clue that you are not your thoughts either.

The understanding that no thought belongs to you brings a profound silence to your being. Suddenly you will start to feel blissful knowing that you are more than what you think you are.

This does not mean that you will stop thinking completely or lose your mind. This only means that you will no longer be identified with your thoughts like you were before.

  • Being Aware of Your Emotions:

I spoke earlier about how you can get rid of your negative emotions by simply understanding the futility of them. This is yet another method to get rid of negative emotions, but a little more difficult. The reason that it is difficult is because the usual impulse is to immediately react.

For example, the moment anger arises in you; your hand immediately moves to attack the other person. If you are a little civilised, you will probably attack the other person with your words. If you are even more civilised, you will probably just be quiet while on the inside the anger will be boiling. It is almost like a volcano ready to erupt any moment.

All of these ways are not going to help you in any way. Instead, simply be mindful. When you feel anger, do not react. Do not start judging. Simply observe the anger that has arisen. Notice how I mentioned that the anger has arisen in you. By this, it becomes clear that you are not the one who is angry, but anger is something separate from you.

That is why whenever you feel anger, never say, “I am angry”. Simply say, “Anger has arisen in me”. In this way you have made a clear separation between yourself and the anger. Suddenly you will realise that you are no longer angry.

The reason why you feel anger is because you think that “you are angry”. The moment you realise this, you will immediately become peaceful and silence will follow on its own accord.

  • Final Words:

In the outside world, silence simply means absence of sound or noise. In the spiritual world, silence has deeper implications. Silence is not just an absence of something, but also a presence. It is the presence of a certain peace inside of you. You cannot see it, but it still is.

This is the entire art of mysticism. A person who has learnt to organise his or her life in this way has understood mysticism. Such a person is a mystic. A mystic is a person who is silent and yet his silence is something very alive.

The silence of a mystic can be compared with the silence that exists between two lovers. When two lovers are sitting next to each other doing nothing but just sitting together, gazing into each other’s eyes, or holding hands, you will notice a certain silence. This silence is not dead. It is not an absence of noise. It is the presence of a lot of things. This silence is the presence of love, compassion and bliss.

This is the entire art of being silent. You can either become silent by meditating, or you can become silent by just performing your daily activities with awareness.

Choosing what you love to do over Survival!

I read an article recently on a blog which talked about getting a break from your life and work. It talked about how individuals should make time for themselves, meditate, love and pray so that they can get rid of stress and anxiety. When we make time for ourselves, we can then be productive at work.

Anybody who reads something like that would find that to be pretty decent advice. In my opinion, the person who had written it had no insight into life at all.

I want to discuss the entire concept of stress, anxiety and how it relates to the work that we do.

  • The material and Spiritual World:

Always remember that life and work are not separate. The reason why people become stressed out and develop anxiety is because they have divided life into two parts: Spiritual and Material.

Certainly, there is a visible and an invisible aspect of life, but they are not in division in any way. In fact, the material world is simply and extension of the spiritual world. The spiritual world as well is an extension of the material world.

Because we have divided the material world and spiritual world, therefore we have also divided various things in existence. Certain things are categorized under spirituality, whereas others are simply material.

If life is lived in this way then stress and anxiety will be the norm.

  • Life and Work are one:

I look back at the last three years of my life and I do not recall a single moment where I was stressed. My friends think I’m a little crazy because I do not join them for any outings, trips or night-outs. They have always invited me to join them for a picnic or an international trip and I have always declined the offer by saying that I didn’t have the money.

At times, even I would find it strange that I never used to get stressed. Later, I realized that I have not created any sort of a division between work and play. To me, both work and play had almost become synonymous. Therefore, taking a break wasn’t necessary at all.

Unfortunately, for most people, play is just a preparation to get ready for work. Even when people play, their intention behind play is not the playing itself. Their playing has a goal in it. They play just so that they can come back to sanity. Once they have come to sanity, they get back to work and become insane again. Then again, they go out to play.

Work as well is not done for its own joy. People don’t work for the sake of work. People work just to gather enough stress which can then be released on the weekend.

  • Life is a vicious circle:

Life is nothing but a vicious circle. Nothing is done as an end. Every action that we do is with a motive to achieve a certain goal. You work for five days, just so that you can get wasted on the weekend.

I have seen my own friends who do this. They get so tired of working that they apply for leaves. Sometimes, if your boss is generous, you may get a leave for a month. Now most people would get very excited the moment they get a one month leave, but just a single week of vacation and they are already sick of it. Now they are hoping to get back to work.

This is how your life becomes a constant conflict between joy and anxiety. People say that they would like to be happy, but it is not true. The moment they become happy, they find ways to again drown themselves into unhappiness. This is why I say that life is just a vicious circle. People have simply become puppets in the hands of some unknown forces.

We have no clue where we are going, what we’re doing, and why we’re doing. We just go on and on forever without stopping to think for a moment.

  • Man is a Mechanism:

If you just observe the way certain people behave, you will find it impossible to believe that these people have souls at all. Man is basically a mechanism. Very rarely, once in a while you will come across a person who is really blissful.

More than ninety percent of the world is almost a mechanism. People are not living, they are simply operating. My own experiences in life have taught me a very important lesson that unless you start doing what you love it is impossible to be human.

  • Choose something you Love to do:

A lot of people choose their careers based on the amount of money that they’re going to make and this is where all problems begin. The moment you give money more importance in your life, then your work becomes a responsibility and not a play anymore.

My own point of view is that if an individual can choose to do a particular thing that he loves to do, then money will come as a consequence. In life, you can choose to either have money or the thing which you love to do. If you choose the former, you will never be able to enjoy your work. If you choose the latter, then even if you don’t earn money, you will still be happy.

What I have noticed is that people do not want to take that kind of a risk. They would rather choose to survive than to live a life of risk.

  • Choosing to do what you love is a risk:

Choosing to do what you love is a risk, because love does not bother about survival. Love is blind in the sense that it does not see the consequences. Love is spontaneous. A person who chooses to do what he loves does not bother about money because his work gives him enough contentment.

There is a beautiful saying of Jesus which has inspired me and will continue to inspire me for the rest of my life. Jesus says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and everything else shall be added unto you”. What Jesus is basically saying is that a man has not to choose the mundane things in life. He has to put his focus on the highest goal of life which is God. God is the ultimate goal of life.

A man who lives his life in search of God will have every other need taken care of.

When you choose to do something that you love, you have indirectly chosen God because God is always found in things which you love.

On the other hand, if you do not choose to do what you love and get involved with mundane things in life, then God is unconcerned about you.

  • It is God’s job to take care of your Survival:

Always remember that in life your survival is not in your hands. Right now you may say that you are breathing, but that is not the case. It is not you who is breathing. Breathing happens without you wanting to breathe. Someday if God decides to stop breathing inside of you, you will die.

If a complex process of survival such as breathing is taken care of by God, then why can’t God take care of your finances? The problem is that man wants to conquer. Having money gives you power, but power will not give you food. If you were on the deathbed and you had to choose between a piece of bread and power, what would you choose?

There is a clear choice for everybody in life. If you want to take care of your survival then do not complain about your work. Do not say that you are stressed and anxious. You do not have the right to complain if you have already made the choice to take survival in your hands.

On the flipside, if you have chosen to focus on the higher values in life, then everything that comes below it is automatically taken care of.

  • Final Words:

The money will automatically be taken care of if you can do your work with love. On the other hand, if you are doubtful and if you feel the need to take care of your survival, then your survival will be certain. In fact, not just survival, you may live in luxury, but on the inside, you will be dead.

Always remember that in life, doing what you love to do is one of the most difficult tasks because it demands a lot of courage from your side. It demands that you put your survival at stake and give all of your attention to the higher values in life. A man who can sacrifice survival for higher things in life has taken the first step towards living a meaningful life.

I recently wrote a book which talks about improving your career. I have tried to get into as much detail as possible on the entire concept of making money, doing what you love and improving your life. You can download the free ebook by signing up for my newsletter.

What are your views on this subject. Do share your opinions in the comments down below.

Why you Shouldn’t celebrate your Birthday?

Every human being has a great misunderstanding that they are born. We all celebrate our birthdays with great joy, and why not? That was the day that you were born. For many years, I have stopped celebrating my birthday. Not just that, I had also stopped wishing my friends on their birthdays.

I may seem a little crazy or who knows, I probably am. I mean how sad does your life have to be that you cannot even celebrate your own birthday? As far as my own understanding goes, birthdays are absolutely meaningless. I don’t see why anybody would want to celebrate their birthday.

People celebrate their birthdays as though they have done a huge favour to mankind by stepping onto this planet. Man is not born unless he gives birth to himself. What you call as your birthday is simply the day that a home was built for you. That home is what you call your body. Are you the home, or are you the one that lives in this home?

Of course, you can’t be the home because someday the home is going to be destroyed. Who are you then and what are you doing on this earth?

  • The one-dimensional way of Living:

You will rarely find yourself growing in life because you have already assumed that you’re already that which you’re supposed to be.  The reason why humanity has not evolved as far as the spiritual world is concerned is because our way of living is one-dimensional.

When I say one-dimensional, what I mean is that we live life completely based on our sense of seeing. Our physical senses have become the only channel through which we perceive the world. There is no problem in living like this, but always remember that the way you perceive the world is the way your life becomes.

If you think that you are nothing more than the body, the same applies to everybody around you as far as your perspective goes. That is why relationships have become so bland these days. We see people as bodies, not as souls. Obviously, if people are only bodies then how you treat them doesn’t matter.

Unless you search for life beyond your body, not just your relationships, but everything else in the world will seem bland.

  • No Joy in Life:

Your life will be miserable until the day you realise that life goes beyond the body. Unless you search for that part of yourself which was never born and which will never die, life will continue to seem meaningless.

Out of this meaningless whatever you do will just add more to your misery. Even your celebration will not bring you joy but create a deeper misery within you. That is why you would notice that you feel very sad when all of your friends have left and your birthday is over. In fact, many times, on your birthday itself you would feel a certain meaninglessness within you.

You hide this meaninglessness by trying to put on makeup, dress well, go out and party and so on, but immediately after you are done with it all, you think to yourself, “Now what?”

  • The Beginning of Transformation:

The day you stop hiding behind all of these beautiful curtains and accept that your life is indeed miserable is the beginning of all transformation. From that day on, Birthday’s no longer have any meaning to you because, for the first time, every day in your life is a challenge to find something that makes your identity as an individual even stronger.

Right now, you don’t have any identity of your own. What you call as being yourself is simply a collection of thoughts, opinions and feedback given to you by others.

Who are you and why are you here? The day you ask questions like these is when your life will begin to transform.

  • The search for the Invincible:

Life is nothing but an opportunity to search for that part of yourself which is invincible. Whether you find that part of yourself or not is not the question. The fact that you are intensely searching for it is all that matters.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. You have to at least start off by taking that first step. If you’ve not, I would urge you to do that as soon as you can.

  • Final Words:

So are you supposed to mourn on your birthdays? Are you supposed to cry your eyeballs out? Or are you supposed to torture yourself? I am not suggesting you do any of these things. All I’m saying is for you to stop creating all sorts of fallacies around you.

Yes, it is your birthday and you ought to celebrate it, but remember that someday you won’t be here on this earth to celebrate your birthday. Rather than trying to hide from reality, face it.

Once you have understood all of this, for the first time you will understand what real celebration is. The day you start to become really concerned about yourself is the day when you will become capable of celebrating every day.

Right now, even in the midst of celebration, there is a part of you that is mourning. Don’t torture yourself by trying to ignore that part of yourself which is demanding your attention.

The day you start giving attention to that part of yourself, you will notice that your life has become a joy and gratitude. Only a heart filled with gratitude knows what celebration is. A heart that mourns can celebrate on the outside, but that is nothing but a false celebration, a fallacy to hide the inner misery.

James Allen – The Unrecognised Mystic. How James Allen Helped me Think Creatively!

James Allen is not recognised as a mystic, but as far as my perspective is concerned, I consider James Allen to be nothing less than a mystic. Certainly, when compared to the mystics that were born in the east, James Allen may not stand a chance of being titled as a mystic at all, but yet James Allen is one of those few individuals in the world that had come to discover truth without a spiritual background.

I have always believed that every individual is born as a mystic, and every individual continues to be a mystic as long as he remains uncorrupted by the society in which he is raised. James Allen is one of those few men who has managed to remain uncorrupted, and that is what makes him a mystic.

Any individual who has known even a fragment of the truth is a mystic. A person may not have experienced God, enlightenment, moksha, nirvana or things similar to these, but this world is so ugly that if an individual in the midst of such profound and deep darkness can still manage to catch a small glimpse of light – this much is quite big of an achievement.

James Allen was one of those few men who not only caught a glimpse of the light but also among those rare human beings that lived the life of a mystic. He lived a life of creativity, love, joy, and purity and that is what makes him a mystic. I always say that a mystic is not necessarily an enlightened person, but a person whose heart is constantly longing to touch higher peaks of consciousness.

I do not know whether James Allen ever touched the highest peak of consciousness which Jesus refers to as The Kingdom of God, or which Buddha refers to as Nirvana or which the Hindu’s refer to as Moksha; but from his writings I can clearly say that James Allen was certainly on his way towards becoming one with this entire cosmos. To me, a man who aspires to have any understanding as far as the spirituality is concerned has taken the first step towards understanding his mystic nature.

Years ago when I was first introduced to spiritual teachings, As a Man Thinketh was the first book of James Allen that I had read. Time and again, I keep coming back to re-read what I may have read hundreds of times. I was never interested in reading books until the age of twenty-four. Until the age of twenty-four, my mind was basically on autopilot. It would think whatever it wanted to and rarely did I think anything creative. Many masters say that thinking can never be creative. In fact, according to them thinking is a barrier to creativity, and they are absolutely right, but for individuals that live in the mind, the first step towards getting in touch with the being is to get the mind fixed.

It is important to understand this because when you’re on the spiritual path, a lot of people say that thinking is a barrier, and certainly thinking is a barrier but only when your thoughts are filled with garbage. When you think creatively, your mind has attained its highest peak. When you read a beautiful book, or when you listen to the words of an enlightened man – for the first time, your mind has tasted something which it has always longed for.

To help you understand this better, let me give you an analogy. Let us take the body for example. You won’t be able to meditate if you are hungry. The moment you nourish yourself with good food, your stomach feels satisfied. Now it does not bother you anymore, or at least for a couple of hours, you can continue to work creatively.

The mind is the same too. The mind as well needs food, but not any kind of food. Just like there are foods which harm the body, there are foods which harm the mind as well. You gossip with your colleagues at work, you spend time watching daily soaps, you chat with random people on social media and so on. Your mind is rarely being fed with something which can really be termed as a “treat”.

For the first time when you read a good book or do anything that provokes your thinking your mind has been treated well. When you have provided good food to the mind, it will no longer disturb you.

My mind until the age of twenty-four was basically filled with garbage. It may seem rude of me to say that my mind was full of garbage, but I have to admit the facts.

When I first read James Allen’s book it was a treat to my mind. It is a similar feeling that a beggar has when he is given food from a five-star hotel. I was basically that beggar who had been starving as far as my intellect was concerned.

Therefore, when I first read As a Man Thinketh, I couldn’t stop reading the book for days simply because my mind had never thought anything creative before. For the first time, I started to think, and not just think anything, but think about my life.

For the first time, I realised how much of my life I had wasted. Since then there was no looking back. I began reading books that helped me think better and more creatively. Nowadays! I do not read as much as I write because two years of reading has satisfied my mind in such a way that I am finally able to sit silently for hours. Yes, thoughts do arise in my mind, but rarely is my mind on autopilot.

One thing that I have learnt over the years is that until the mind has not tasted something really profound, it is almost impossible to meditate or attain any heights as far as spirituality is concerned. You will rarely come across an enlightened beggar because beggars do not read poetry, philosophy or literature. Beggars are concerned about food for the body. Therefore the mind remains almost unused for many years.

In that sense, we are all beggars because more than 70 percent or perhaps even more than 90 percent of the world is concerned only with survival. People are only bothered about their daily bread, and so they continually remain slaves of their minds. Because their minds do not get any nourishment, it is almost as though they are going insane. The more troubled they become with their thoughts, the more they seek to nourish their bodies with food.

Therefore, almost all religious traditions have made fasting a necessary aspect towards spiritual growth. There is nothing great about fasting but because man has become so obsessed with food, fasting had to be made a rule.

James Allen helped me shift my entire focus from the body to the mind. Therefore, I respect him and his work. He may not be useful to people who are already evolved spiritually, but he is certainly one of those people who can get you started on your spiritual journey.

Thinking creatively is the first step towards annihilating the mind. When your mind has had a taste of beautiful words, it can finally relax. With the mind relaxed, even you can relax – this is the first step towards meditation.

That is why James Allen to me is a mystic. Perhaps he wasn’t enlightened, but I am sure that the man, wherever he is at the moment is certainly progressing towards enlightenment. For anybody just starting out on the spiritual path, James Allen is the author that I highly recommend. I have read a few other books of James Allen and they are all profound and deeply insightful, but if you are not much of a reader, As a Man Thinketh will definitely get you started.

Do share your comments and opinions in the comment section down below. Let me know how you first got introduced to spirituality, and how has your life changed since then.

The three stages of Evolution: Curiosity, doubt, and Trust!

I wrote an article a few weeks ago related to conscious and unconscious growth and how a human being can evolve in life. In today’s article, I wanted to discuss further the process involved in the evolution of an individual.

The first thing to understand about evolution is that it is less of a collective process and more of an individual process. People have always believed that it is societies and nations that evolve, but it is not so. Societies and nations are just dead words. The real evolution has to happen in the individual.

As a result of individual evolution, certainly, societies and nations will ultimately evolve, but that evolution happens as a result of individual evolution and not the other way round.

Evolution involves three stages which I would like to discuss in detail. It is important to understand each of these aspects of evolution because they form the basis of mysticism, or what I like to call as living the mystic life.

  • Stage 1 of Evolution

  • Curiosity:

A child is born in this world with absolute curiosity. When he grows up a little and is able to speak words, he will ask a thousand and one questions. As parents, you may or may not answer all of your child’s questions, but that does not matter to your child.

A child who is asking questions is not interested in your answers. His interest and fun lies only in questioning. You answer one question and he will ask the second question even before you complete the answer to the first.

While you are answering his question, he is probably not even listening to your answer. This is the way a child is. There is nothing wrong with the child being curious. As a matter of fact, it is good that the child is curious. It shows that he has the ability to question. It doesn’t matter that he is not interested in your answer. The fact that the child has asked a question is enough proof that he has taken the first step in the process of evolution.

Therefore, it is important that you create more situations to make children curious. Let curiosity arise in a child. Do not make the child feel stupid for being curious. In fact, help the child to ask more questions. This will give his intelligence a boost.

  • Stage 2 of Evolution

  • Doubt:

The second stage in the process of evolution is doubt. This is one of the most important stages because it is an intermediate stage. The doubting stage also happens to be the most difficult stage to reach.

There are many reasons why people cannot doubt. The first reason is religion. All religions talk about trust and from childhood we teach our kids to trust. Kids who are taught to trust can never grow up to be trustworthy adults. You can see the entire world around you. You will barely find a few individuals whom you can fully trust.

The reason is that these adults as children were not allowed to be curious. They were condemned for their curiosity. Because they were not allowed to express their curiosity totally, they remain stuck at the first stage all their lives.

It is strange that we always teach our children higher values in life and yet, none of these kids grow up to have any of those values which were taught to them. The reason for this is that we always condemn things in life which seem small. Curiosity may seem silly, but it is not.

If curiosity is allowed to grow completely in a child, the child then moves to the next stage and now starts to doubt.

If curiosity stimulates intelligence, doubt helps it grow. Unfortunately, very few individuals ever grow in intelligence because they continue to remain curious all their lives.

  • More on Curiosity:   

In order that you can understand doubt better, I will have to talk about both curiosity and doubt simultaneously. I mentioned earlier how a child when curious is not interested in your answers. The same thing happens to adults as well. If you ever interact with your colleagues, friends, family members or even your parents at home, you will be surprised that none of these individuals are ever interested in gaining insight into anything in life. As adults, we ask questions but we are not interested in answers. In fact, you will notice that an adult seldom goes deep into anything related to life.

Let’s take an example of religion. People blindly follow religion without any doubt. At the most they will ask you a question out of curiosity. They will ask questions such as, “What is life?” “Who is God?” “What is Karma?” Where do people go after they die?” Notice how all of these questions have nothing to do with the individual.

When a person is curious his questions are such that they have nothing to do with his own life. A person who is curious asks questions just to gather knowledge. A curious person is never interested in self-growth. He is just trying to gather answers so that if anybody questions him in the future, he can give them a readymade answer which will make them feel like he knows everything.

  • More on Doubt:

Doubt, on the other hand, is completely different. When a person begins to doubt, it is not just an answer that he is seeking. He is, in fact, seeking to understand a part of himself.

Therefore, doubt is one of the most spiritual qualities, because doubt involves questions that seek transformation. When a person doubts, he is basically in search of God. He may or may not know that, but the fact that he has a doubt and is ready to go all the way to find an answer shows that this man has substance in him.

A man of substance is rare. Substance arises only when an individual is able to doubt. Always remember that doubt is one of the most important stages in evolution because curiosity arises automatically as a result of wonder.

When you are a child, you do not need to be taught how to be curious. Curiosity is a gift of nature. Doubt is not a gift of nature. Doubt arises as a result of a deep longing to uncover this mystery that life is filled with.

  • Stage 3 of Evolution

  • Trust:

The third stage is Trust, and trust is rare. It is really very difficult to find a man who has absolute trust. How does trust arise you may wonder? Doubt seems so contradictory that it is impossible for it to turn into trust, but that is how life is.

A man who has doubted so much for his entire life comes to a point of complete saturation. A man of doubt is like a pot of boiling water. You go on boiling the water and stage comes where it is no longer possible to boil the water anymore. At exactly 100 degrees, the water turns into vapour and disappears into the sky.

Something similar happens to a man who has doubted. When a man’s doubt has become so intense, a stage comes where he can no longer doubt.

In fact, how long can a person doubt? He finally realises that this life which is a mystery cannot be doubted. Always remember that anything mysterious in life can only be lived. Life cannot be doubted because life is a mystery, but this knowing is only possible if you have doubted.

You can listen to my words and then directly jump to trust, but your trust will not be firm. In fact, a trust that is enforced upon an individual is not trust at all. It is just a cover up. Trust that arises out of doubt has a profound innocence and depth to it.

  • More on Trust:

Trust arises as a result of helplessness. When there is nowhere to go, and nothing else to doubt the individual completely surrenders himself in the hands of existence. This existence which has given birth to him for the first time becomes his abode, his solace and his strength.

This surrender itself is trust. You may have heard a saying, “Help yourself and God will help you”. When you doubt completely, you help yourself. When you have tried all possible ways and means to help yourself and all efforts turned out to be futile, suddenly, in the midst of your helplessness the entire universe embraces you. It even happened to Jesus on the cross. A point had come where Jesus doubted God. He questioned him, “Father, Have you forsaken me?”

The entire crowd was laughing at Jesus because a man who claims to be protected by God is unable to find any help when most needed. Jesus clearly saw in that moment that nothing was possible. He had almost lost the battle, but he allowed trust to engulf him in that moment and after a few moments he uttered, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”.

In that moment when Jesus left himself into the hands of God, it was almost as though the whole existence was with Jesus. Christians say that Jesus was raised from the dead which is simply symbolic. Rising from the dead is a symbol of victory. It is a moment of great celebration when a human being has evolved to his highest state of consciousness.

  • Final Words:

Trust is the fragrance of a soul that has had the courage to doubt. At the highest stage of doubt, a man even doubts God, and a man who has never been able to doubt God can never trust him either.

Is God so afraid that he cannot even let you doubt him? If that is the case, then God is not God at all.

Many times, in life you will come across people that bring doubt to your mind. You will meet people whom you can’t trust and it is good. Do not trust anybody in life. Doubt every person you come across, but do not remain stuck there. Come to a point where you can trust even your enemies because trust is one of the most valuable treasures.

A man who can trust even an enemy may be cheated and deceived in this world, but he has earned something far more valuable. Let the entire world be against you, but you always remain firm in your trust. Your trust will not only transform your life but the person who cheated or deceived you will not be able to forgive himself.

Therefore whenever you place all your trust in someone, it is almost impossible for them to deceive you, because the guilt that arises when you cheat a man of absolute trust is immense. Nobody wants to take such a risk. You can cheat a person who’s trust is false, but a person whose trust is total cannot be deceived and if he is deceived he loses nothing, but you lose everything.

Therefore, trust is the final stage in the process of evolution. A man of trust liberates himself completely from all bondage and claims the entire existence to be his own.