To achieve fulfillment in life, synchronicity is needed between mind, body and thoughts.
For the body, we have the right diet and exercise, but the mind is more complex. Carl Jung tells us that our mind is so powerful, we can bring within our grasp, any human being or circumstance. Destiny only plays a part when we are born, but the mind, with conviction, can change our destiny. Our mind also has the power of choice, which brings conflicts, and makes us yearn for solutions. This life of dichotomies and unfulfillment is referred to by Hindu Philosophy as ‘Maya,’ or delusion. To still our ego and achieve balance in life, we must turn to the Yogic Paths—Karma yoga, or selfless actions, and Bhakti yoga, or life dedicated to serving others. As the Bible says, “Man does not live by bread alone,” it tells us that our intellect is too superior to give up or renounce the world, as is being taught by some religious or spiritual center. According to the Vedas, following the process of Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha, will lead us to a life of harmony and worthy living. …
For years, I have been studying how to achieve balance in my life (i.e. living in tune with body, mind and spirit). The study of the body has taught me that the ultimate truth is death. We have to, in life, feed our bodies well by proper diet and supplements, exercise and positive thoughts. The purpose of this is not to live long, but to live well, and follow the popular saying “Healthy, wealthy and wise,” in that same order.
The mind, though a part of the body, is more complex, with the simple connotation, “You are what you think.” As Dr. Carl Jung elaborates in one of his articles on synchronicity and the power of circumstance, “Your mind is so powerful, with any strong conviction, you may bring any human or circumstance within your reach, thereby reducing the effect of destiny.” Destiny plays a role only at the time of your birth. Your mind, however, through its power of imagination and degree of conviction, can change your destiny.
Moreover, our strength lies not in our emotions, which are tied to past and future experiences, but in the calmness of our intuitions, with a strong awareness of ‘now,’ the present, taking us to a level of purity and creativity. Our mind has also been endowed with the power of choice, a blessing but also a curse, as this becomes the source of all conflicts. An animal, not having this power, lives in accordance with its natural instincts, whereas our power to choose and discriminate makes us feel temporarily happy or sad. Therefore, we always feel inadequate and unfulfilled, yearning for a solution to the eternal questions—who am I? What do I want? and What is the purpose of my life?
Hindu philosophy, for this very reason, treats human life as ‘maya,’ meaning delusion; living in a false world, wanting freedom from sorrow, fear and death. We think we know the whole world, but remain ignorant about our own selves. The main reason for such delusion is that our lives are dependent on relativity, or opposites. For instance, to understand good or bad, we need to relate it to something; without the idea of death, there can be no life or truth. We live in a world of duality, which is constantly changing vis-à-vis our choices and comparisons. Therefore, nothing is good or bad, but thinking relatively, makes it so. One cannot consider oneself poor unless one realizes someone else is richer. Thinking in dichotomies makes our life incomplete and delusional.
Thirdly, study of the soul, the higher self, spiritualism, or whatever it may be referred to as, ultimately means to control your mind or thoughts to achieve peace and tranquillity. You may be influenced by self-improvement books and spiritual guidance of gurus, but your own inner journey of priorities and balance in life is essential to attain peace from conflicts created by you. Each of us is unique, and these teachings are general.
Knowledge by itself may be supreme, but your ego remains to continually trouble you and keep you away from balance.
Similarly, Karma yoga, meaning selfless actions or not being concerned about results, is fine. However, you cannot isolate yourself from the ‘you,’ as an intrinsic part of any action places the ‘you’ in it, unless you have exceptional qualities of achieving your karma with an attitude of selfless offering, and accepting the results, whatever they may be.
Then there is Bhakti yoga, considered to be the ultimate yoga, where the ‘you’ is embedded into dedication and devotion in serving others. We as individuals, have to choose our own journey in life, whether to follow Karma or Bhakti yoga, or keep pursuing an endless path of seeking comforts through choices that lead to pleasure or pain, as the case may be.
As the Bible says, “Man shall not live by bread alone,” it tells us we human beings are too superior in intellect and creativity to give up or renounce the world, as preached by some spiritual or religious centre.
Therefore, as long as our aspirations are not given recognition, we will always try to excel in our field. Let us be aware of the present moment and place our priorities well.
I find great harmony in the purusharthas, or requisites laid down by Vedas, for understanding purpose and fulfilment in one’s life. Through the process of dharma, artha, kama and moksha, one’s own values of righteousness can secure one’s financial position, to fulfil worldly and sensual desires, thereby culminating in the path of spiritual realization.