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Wheel of Life

We run in countless spinning circles. Living for money, loving for company, performing for a raise, stealing for an opportunity, and dying for approval. We are hungry to fill an ever deepening void. We seem to be what Charles Darwin warned us to be – just highly evolved animals from lowly origins. Animals who wear suites to impress and drive Bentleys so others can obsess, but then we turn and defend our share by reassuring ourselves that people are merely envious by nature, but we fail to see our own selfish intention. I am guilty of such illusions, but I fear they are imprinted on my inherited genetics.

I am a hamster in someone’s cage, and to preoccupy myself I run in circles everyday. I’m not going to lie, I believe I’m getting ahead. This may sound crazy coming from a hamster, but I am arrogant as well. I am going somewhere far with a worthy cause. I do understand that this is a small cage with no escape, but I continue to run and collect “respect” on my wheel.

Its commonsense that nothing shall go when my time is up, but what is the use to sit and sulk so I continue to run on my wheel. As I run in circles, I forget about the cage and my looming predicament. My imagination comes alive and in some distant world, I have respect and wealth. Some “spiritual” hamsters call my dreams Maya, but it’s my only escape from this cage, so I continue to run after fame. Somehow I believe when I get there everything will be okay, but then I recall spinning on a wheel in place.

Running is draining and I know it will soon end, but whats the hurry to get ahead. I begin to slow down, and then I remember my situation at hand. I am a prisoner bound by evolution to a screwed up system. Although I understand that there will never be an end, I find satisfaction in running ahead. My dreams are back.

As humans bound to this dimension of reality, we must understand that the daily duties we perform are done to preoccupy our minds and quinch our thirst for the time being. The endless running and dying for wealth, fortune, and fame is not an option for alternatives are not offered in a cage. We are but hamsters fed to entertain.

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“People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered; forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies; succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you; be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight; create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous; be happy anyway.

The good you do today will often be forgotten; do good anyway

Give the best you have, and it may never be enough; give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.”

~ Mother Teresa

My older sister read me this quote by Mother Teresa a few days back, and I was just thinking about it this morning. If there is any purpose in life worthy of living, it is to live a life as prescribed above. Every action a reflection of compassion formulated through forgiveness. All religions preach the same message and all purposes lead down this path of humility. What others think is important to society, but what we do when no one is watching is what makes the greatest difference between oneself and God. The thoughts, actions, motives, and desires which may be hidden from you or me, are very real and visible to the One who has created all. Without trust in ourselves, there is no need to look for success for even amidst mounds of wealth, sorrow and insecurity will devour one’s mind.

-GOD BLESS

stephen-covey-7-habits-of-highly-effective-people

I highly recommend this book to everyone and anyone who wants to make a better change in their life. It is a beautifully written book with years of research, experience, and intelligence wrapped into seven intensive habits for living a more effective life. I will be rereading Stephen Covey’s book many times over in my life to make sure that I remember my commitment to myself and those around me.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Private Victory

Habit 1 : Be Proactive

Habit 2 : Begin with the End in Mind

Habit 3 : Put First Things First

Public Victory

Habit 4 : Think Win/ Win

Habit 5 : Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

Habit 6 : Synergize

Renewal

Habit 7 : Sharpen the Saw

The book is a must for those looking for an understanding of how to structure one’s perception of a effective life. Most importantly this book is not a quick fix that will change your life in minutes. It takes years to master and learn all there is to learn in this book. It opens new avenues and alleys in the structure of perspective to ensure growth in all dimensions as a person. Books offer a fresh view on things that seem understood and dull, hence opening windows to the soul. Read this book to understand and grow as a person, and I promise you this will be worth the money spent.

As I reread this book, I will be expanding on each habit based on my own experiences and how these habits unfold in my life. The difficulties with some habits, and the pressures that make them so difficult to follow. A disciplined life takes energy and devotion to follow compared to one where nothing seems to matter. I decide to follow the path of discipline myself, and I love to soak up  as much knowledge and support that I possibly can when the path seems too straining to stay upon.

(“Sansar Samundey Taar Gobindey” – Please carry me across the world-ocean, O Lord of the Universe – Kirtan sung by Bhai Manpreet Singh.)

Man runs into many walls in the worldly nature of society. We are continuously stabbed and pinched by the jagged wrath of society judging, sneering, and gossiping our every move. The experiences of life and the way in which it substantially molds our perspectives strengthens the notion that life is not easy. There are many struggles and too many dead ends. When the road finally straightens and all seems serene, right then life surfaces and reminds man that nothing here is pure bliss. Beyond our control or liking, life continues to happen. Some may call this destiny, kismaat, or others may believe that our decisions lead us to our goals. Neither is known for certain, but one thing that remains unquestioned is that life is not a script written by us. We did not choose our birth nor our inevitable death; hence, we have control over very minimal attributes in life itself.

The life we have been given is a chance beyond that of impossible, so I call it a miracle. No two men are handed the same fate at birth. Some are born to families where loving parents honor parenthood, others are given a meager life of survival. Some are born to the riches of an empire of kings and queens, others are born in shanties of poverty and starvation. Some are born to the whims of prosperous times, others are born to die in the hands of tyranny, genocide, and evil. Some are always thinking of ways to help others, while others are always plotting the destruction of foes. Countless are given a healthy body that functions to do work, others are born vulnerable to handicaps and death. Countless are seeking God in caves, statues, books, and churches. Countless diminish the power of God and drown themselves in their own egos. However, throughout all of these infinite differences one component is universal and that is the pursuit of happiness. Every single soul on Earth seeks happiness, but the way to achieve it is perceived by each man separately. No two people on Earth share the same thinking, because each has unique experiences that have sculpted their minds. The perceptions begin setting in stone and begin crystallizing over the years. Whether the crystallization of ideals hardening into stone helps man or hinders him depends on the quality of life experienced and the thoughts materialized thereof.

“dukh daaru sukh roag paaya jaa sukh taam naa hoi” (Pain became the medicine, and happiness the illness).” In the Rehras Sahib, a Sikh prayer, the Guru warns that pain is a vital component in remembering God. Man begins to drown in his own fallacies if the pain and sorrow of living never existed. There would be no betterment of the spirit as the Earth would become the ultimate Heaven of bliss. Pain and suffering bring man to his knees, and he silently begins to surrender as he realizes that his place in the universal power of God is very small and minute. I never understood and I still have a hard time fully understanding how man can be so arrogant and egocentric when he is but an atom in the size of infinity. However, our existence has a purpose; no matter how small our effect on the universe. The life we lead day in and day out is lived for a reason, because our desire to keep on moving through even the worst proves that we are not ready for the final transition – the transition of death.

“Nanak dukhiya sabh sansaar (Guru Nanak, a man of such high spirituality and Godliness was not spared from pain and suffering and neither is the rest of the world).” Life keeps us on our toes. We somehow believe that our future is still in our own hands endowing ourselves with power and authority. However, what stops a car from ramming you on the highway on the way home? What stops a close member in your family from getting an illness that proves fatal? What stops the wildfire behind your home just a few feet away? It just happens faster than a blink of an eye – life. Some were lucky enough to question how they survived, others had no opportunity to ask as they were swiftly taken. Appreciate your transient senses in the present moment with all there is to be thankful for. Plan for the future and make proper precautions, but never forget that at the end of the day, life does not wait. No one is ever ready to battle the stringent winters and cold throws of despair. God becomes the hand, man so desperately seeks, for guidance across the massive ocean of mental and worldly gaps. We will never truly know everything or become perfect, so we merely surrender and pray for His mercy.

The Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book, continually warns man not to leave the world behind to find happiness. A man will not find happiness away from the world in which he lives. Running to remote caves, islands, and other areas will not help man find peace and content. He should live a balanced and disciplined life with God always on his lips and mind. I had at one point decided that I would lead my own life, and leave the people around me far away. I somehow believed that I was more righteous than them. The whole time I forgot that everyone has the God of light within, and every positive thing I do for someone else I am doing for God. Positive energy reciprocates into a positive lifestyle that sheds all the vices that make us so cruel and human. Actions speak louder than words, and positive actions are the real visible products of a pure soul. I decided that each man and woman on Earth was going to be a family member. I will respect every soul, because hatred will only cause me to hate myself. I will grow infinitely as a person accepting and loving all. Words hurt a lot less, because I smile a lot more. Backstabbing still pinches nerves, but no longer leaves me on the floor with blood squirting out of my heart. Like a bullet proof vest of love, I ward off the negative energy of the world and continue walking down the universal path of God.

In a recent movie called, Into the Wild, a young man leaves his seemingly perfect life in the pursuit of freedom and happiness away from the people he grew up with. He gets into Harvard and on the surface he has a perfect family life. However, he has grown up through rough times. He drives his new car for hours into the desert until he runs out of gas. He then burns his car and his wallet, leaving his identity and life behind. He was sick of the world, and how it so fatally butchered happiness. There was more to life than materialistic fulfillment, because the void within is so much deeper. He runs in countless circles on his voyage to the wilderness of Alaska. When he finally makes it, he starts going through depression and aimlessness. Life just becomes primitive and alone. There is no one else just him and nature. One day he accidentally eats a poisonous herb and begins to slowly die as his stomach and digestive system stop functioning. Too far from civilization, he stays in his shelter. In his notebook in his final days he wrote, “There is no happiness alone, it only exists in the company of others.” The movie was based on a true story. Life is meant to share, explore, and sail through in the company of fellow men dealing with the same journey in different ways.

Attachment begins to recede as one embraces God and his will. Surrender breeds selflessness in His submission. The limited time I have with those I love is minimal. All too soon it will be over. The moments I share with those whom I love dearly become precious treasures in a temporary life. We are all simply guests waiting in a room questioning what is on the other side of the wall. A barrier of dimensions shall sprout when death finally comes, but it will be nothing to mourn but rather to rejoice. A life well lived is a life emerged in the light of the Lord, Waheguru. Uniting with the supreme power and energy is the last hopeful stage in the soul’s progressive journey into the infinite unknown.

Be happy this very moment. Breathe and remember how grand the gift of living is. Be thankful. Look into the sky and reflect on the stars billions of light years away, and whisper to them that this life is beautiful. Just as they radiate from the depths of darkness in space, radiate your own life in the midst of worldly coldness. Warm the cold air in which you live every moment of the day. The choice is simple, “Be the candle to guide yourself and others or be the darkness of despair?

The composition of life is the least finite and tangible experience in the human condition. Like sand, life slips through the cracks of our minds, hearts, and hands. Never can it be fully attained or appreciated. Our mind is composed of infinite memories, experiences, and emotions creating vast dunes of turbulence. The small grains that make up the desolate desert are constantly filling a deepening void within. The vastness of the empty internal desert sends us on an unfulfilled voyage in the outside world, forever seeking the oasis of pure bliss and happiness. Always empty within, we desperately try to grab as much as we can carry. The illusion of a mirage fools many, while propelling man to stumble and falter for a sip of sheer fantasy.

We wander the barren vastness seeking content and belonging. Constantly pondering about the various substances that make up the lustrous sand, man deceives himself with knowledge. The grains are much too small and unique to understand. Millions upon trillions make a single dune in the presence of many. The foot which sinks too deep will be stuck forever without direction, so we keep on moving. The minimal presence of the sun beckons light into the starch darkness, but it lasts only so long before the darkness sets in and the predators walk astray. Alone, in the still of the night, we lay cowardice to the unknown which during the day was so plain and apparent. Vulnerable we shut our eyes and pray for the light to burn ablaze for just one more day so we can seek another way. The gusting winds sting the eyes with sand, thus materializing images of the once so distant past. Each grain carries a memory lost to time and only awakens when the majestic winds wail in spite. The cycle is long, the day’s light brutal, the nights filled with fear, but we continue to strive for freedom in the midst of absolute desolation. There is hope to reach an oasis in the deceptive eyes of man, but the embedded dryness of our hands tell another story of struggle. A story where the journey prolongs until transient death; seeking until we become the sand in which we dread to stand.

We are alone. Nomads to our barren minds. Sifting through sand, making sense of what we have. Nothing makes sense, the journey is far too long, the escape always seems so near, but the scent of death makes us whimper and conceal our true desire for closure. We stumble to understand.

 

Today, many people believe that the world is black and white standing firm on a strong foundation of unequivocal scientific evidence. Science proves that life is a complex organization of interacting entities, and over time organisms have evolved to instinctively survive in any given environment. The human being miraculously developed a brain with capacities above all the rest. Humans have an intelligent conscious that differentiates right from wrong, hence instilling morals and ethics unlike other primitive species. Humans also see the past and the future as streaming mental images, and most of the time humans tend to live in either the past or the future. The past often paints a mosaic of memories and experiences that creates a wide divide between the present moment and the past. On the other hand, the continual foresight into the future fuels an anxiety of what could happen “if” that or this happens. We are separated from other species, because we do not constantly place our alert conscious in the present moment of time but rather we continuously fluctuate from different time warps simulated in the mind. Most people are rarely fully in the now, here, and present because their minds are too busy recreating the past or creating an unknown future.

For many science still deals the last and often fatal blow to faith, God, and the intangible abstract. The intangible feelings of love, anger, lust, envy, sympathy, and so on cannot be poured into a flask and tested in the lab. Surely there is a counter to this stance by the focused and often narrow-minded scientific individuals, and they would state that certain signals bind to receptors in the brain to signal certain chemical reactions that produce specific feelings. Sure this is true and observable in physiology when dealing with pharmacology and its effects, however the feelings themselves are something much greater and more apparent than any squirt of chemicals across a synapse. We are more than a myriad of physical reactions for we are beings innately gifted to question our existence. Why are we preoccupied by the notion of death, salvation, the universe, and so forth? Why are we predisposed to question our happiness in life in relation to our expectations that we created in our foresight into the future?

Feelings and emotions aside, sleep opens a new window of perception naturally beckoning us to a new reality where the laws of physics no longer apply. We meet people who have already passed, fuse through life and death, find ourselves immersed in unknown places, see new people and experience new events – we are real. We fear death in our dreams, and still seek worldly pleasure and acceptance. We are still completely human, but now it is our own play instead of the uncontrollable one outside our own bodies. In our dreams our senses trick us by seeming tangible; our perception is manifested as our own reality every night. Dreams may be dismissed as nothing at all, or seen as a message to think and feel beyond what we believe to be black and white. We are liberated when we close our eyes and wander to a new place without laws, regulations, society, customs, and time. Something is mystical about the whole experience as it unfolds, and in course we believe it to be so real in our dreams. We are alive and trapped in them. We “awake” to sometimes recall them in the middle of the night as sweat drenches our bodies after a terrifying incident in nothing more than a dream. After a minute or two of thinking and rationalizing after we wake, we tell ourselves that it was only a dream and we move on. We forget about the unknown world we left behind as a figment of our imagination.

However, when we wake in this new reality bound by laws, people, customs, faces, and places is it not rational to ask ourselves if this is just a fake illusion of our mind too? Is our soul sheepishly taking a physical form to test our might, morals, and faith in a world so greatly projected as a mirage of maya that we lose the essence of what our universal and infinite existence really is. This cosmic array of placing a soul in a capsule covered by flesh and bone may just be an utter illusion lasting less than a nanosecond in the grand framework of the universe. The life we lead of paying bills, taxes, raising families, and functioning in a fraudulent society based on paper currency cannot be the real backbone of what it means to be human. The fallacies and aspirations of man cannot just be a starch reminder that creation is just a pile of atoms organized into a complex form to merely evolve and survive. We are but a spec of microscopic dust in the vast complex of the universe, and for a spec of dust to have such an immense ego is the greatest fallacy of mankind.

Wake up and live above the illusion and recognize that our purpose here is to lead a truthful and righteous life above all. The physical capsule of every body shall wilt with time, and when this occurs the truth will be attained as the soul is truly awakened when it is released from illusion. I do not see life as a competition to be better than the rest or prove religious ideologies, but instead I see life as a constant force of negative entropy trying to destroy the orderly arrangement of truth and oneness in my mind. My mind is constantly being attacked by negativity (attachment, anger, lust, greed, ego, and doubt) which only widens the gap between myself and the truth.

As man wakes from dreaming in the morning, he should realize that this world in which he believes he is now “awake” and “aware” is just as big as a lie as the dream he awoke from. The laws of gravity may keep us from flying, and the skin covering our soul may keep others out, but the soul that illuminates within is the only real remnant present in the illusion known as life. We are living in a projected mirage where nothing is real, but only the intangible and unbelievable energy of God. For the Almighty is the projection, the blood, the body, the senses, and the soul. Sleeping is a lodestone to self discovery. We become humble and selfless as the world and body we call our own dissolves into a mere canvas of color and form. The vibrancy and movement of such power is only harrnassed in the uncomprehensible limitless Lord. I pray to Him to keep me alert and awake in the present moment while dismissing all the rest as attachment and ego.

Life is giving and always remembering, while taking and always forgetting. Life is splashing water all over the place making some happy and some plain furious. Life is putting on a helmet and anticipating that at any moment the sky above you is going to fall while racing down the street at a 100 miles per hour. Life is relaxing on the beach on a nice summer day when out of nowhere a tsunami hits the shore. Life is being all happy and invincible one day and down in meek darkness the next. It is such a simple thing that is composed of many intricate and complicated big and little things. People say it is important to be positive, but even when your drowning in despair? Life is littered with ideologues claiming to have the solution for ultimate bliss and happiness, but then just finding out that they are depressed money laundering hypocrites. Life is waking in the morning with dreams and sleeping with grief. It has been a journey to remember this life, but what is to come after… just boggles my existence.

I want to hold firm the hand of time and stability. I want to savor each second but then why does my mind drown in boredom if I sit idle for more than a moment. I want to be happy for the rest of my life but find it so hard to pinch sadness out. I look for the negative but I promise myself and others that it is vital to be positive. Those who lie and cover their sins make my blood boil, yet the sins that lie within myself overflow my conscious with guilt. Why must I show my weakness?

Life is paradox. Life is up and Down. Life is being popular yet so alone. Life is running with no end. Life is…this?

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