Sunday, February 16, 2014

while (1);

I heard the last few minutes of a talk in IIT about the central being (or column) around which ones life may be built. I really did resonate with that. Sharing some further thoughts (of mine) along that line here.

  1. Life vision is the central column of the mental being
  2. Breath is the central column of the physiological being
  3. Spine is the central column of the physical being

The above three parts are highly interconnected but it is also useful to see it as three different parts. Regular and appropriate asana practice works on the spine and makes it strong and flexible. The entire body gets nicely organised around this. Likewise, regular and appropriate pranayama practice works on the breath (and the slightly more esoteric nadis) to make the entire physiological body revolve around the breath.

When one practices this regularly, ones approach to life dramatically changes. When there is a situation in ones life which one is not able to stand, one quickly retreats into another mental state which acts as a refuge. We regularly see this in movies. When the heroine rejects / cheats the hero, the heros attitude in life changes - either they start blaming women or they withdraw into themselves and get into depression. This is a reaction in their mind as the original event was too stressful for their mind to handle. This reaction becomes a refuge. But when ones spine becomes the central column and has developed strength and flexibility, one develops the ability to face touch situations actually without running away into a refuge.

When ones breath becomes the central column of the physiological being, many physiological processes and in particular respiration, digestion and excretion become very efficient. Thus, we are left with lot of surplus energy to face life.

When one is able to face problems in life and that too with surplus energy, then chances are that one will deal with situations skilfully and successfully. Thus, staying ahead of the curve becomes effortless. Only when this happens, one is able to question how the world is and how ones life is. This will lead us to explore deeper questions in life and create a vision for oneself. Gradually developing such a central column for ones life will lead to a fulfilling and meaningful life which is away from social programming and other meaningless affairs. Lives that are not organised this way tend to be involve themselves in activities that are mostly devoid of meaning or at least such lives will not be developed to their fullest potential. The movie 'Shawshank Redepmtion' talks about how jail lives can be utterly boring and monotonous. Furthermore, it goes on to show how in order to avoid the insanity arising out of this boredom, inmates develop some mostly meaningless habits so that their minds can be occupied. This is not significantly different from how we fill most of our waking lives with activities. This is described fairly accurately by the following statement from the C programming language
while (1);

For those who are not acquainted, the above statement will get the computer to continuously do work but effectively nothing of significance gets done! How many parts of our lives are like this? Do we have the strength and motivation to do so? If not, what is it that saps all the available energy?

No comments: