Logic proves that we seem to have a primary choice – to be happy or not. If one has to wait for circumstances to allow oneself to be happy, then again experience and logic will show that there can always be found something which prevents one from truly being happy i.e., the glass can be 10% empty and that can make one not happy. However it also becomes logically evident that optimism or an optimistic dream of the world does not also allow one to be happy as sooner or later, the opposite reaction also arises i.e. the dream crumbles and reality makes one unhappy.
Thus almost by pure logic, one can arrive at a stage of ‘despair’, i.e. there seems no solution till one raises above circumstances, life and most importantly the Mind’s reactions and imperfections to allow one to taste happiness. Thus the ‘Joy of Being’ is forced on one unless one willingly embraces the same out of free choice. Till that state is reached the Mind has to be one’s ally and logic and a calm rational observation will only hasten one to arrive at ‘Being’ as the ultimate solution.
Once that choice is made, then one can experience a few glimpses of how wonderful the state of ‘Being’ can be. Then logic gets proven by experience. Till that time, the other faculties like Faith, Trust etc have to be used as crutches. Again experience will show that unfortunately there seems no easy path to reach the state of ‘Being’. The real need is to make a choice and be committed to that choice. There cannot and should not be any wavering in that resolve. This becomes the primary and most important decision one needs to take, i.e. to choose to pursue ‘Happiness in itself’ at all times and not search for the same in circumstances. The question then arises why the confusion and as we saw that is His play on Himself for Himself to experience and enjoy. Sri Aurobindo beautifully expounds this again in the Savitri (Book 3, Canto 4 – The Vision and the Boon):
“He has forgotten why he has come and whence;
His spirit and his members are at war”.
This is the confusion at its height where the Truth is denied and fought by the Mind and the Desire.
“A strange antinomy is his nature’s rule.
A riddle of opposites is made his field;
Freedom he asks but needs to live in bonds,
He has need of darkness to perceive some light
And need of grief to feel a little bliss”
This is the reason why the opposites have been created i.e. to enableone experience the difference.
“His life is a blind-man’s-buff, a hide and seek;
He seeks himself and from himself he runs”
This is the ignorance we speak of - maybe the height of it! Even when we experience happiness, we attribute circumstances as having caused it and chase a different set of circumstances to make one happy or happier! But the real reason is
“He is compelled to be what he is not;
He obeys the Inconscience he has come to rule”
Thus Man obeys mutely the rules of Nature and does not realize who he is in Reality. The path is long and strenuous because
“He fabricates the signs of the Real in Ignorance;
He has hitched his mortal error to Truth’s star”.
But there is nothing to worry or despair about, only to choose Happiness and follow Him.
“His failure is not failure whom God leads”
Where will all this end?
“It knows its steps, Its way is inevitable;
And how shall the end be in vain when God is guide?
However Man’s mind may tire or fail his flesh,
A will prevails cancelling his conscious choice:
When he pursues the path of Happiness what happens?
“His barriers cede beneath the Infinites tread”
Then the glimpses of Truth start arising.
“Beauty surrounds Him for a magic hour,
He has visits of a large revealing joy,
Brief widenesses release him from himself,
Enticing towards a glory ever in front
Hopes of a deathless sweetness lure and leave.
His mind is crossed by strange discovering fires,
Rare intimations lift his stumbling speech
To a moment’s kinship with the eternal Word;
A masque of wisdom circles through his brain
Perturbing him with glimpses half-divine.
He lays his hands sometimes on the Unknown;
He communes sometimes with Eternity.”
Typically when one reads the above, the thought that then arises is first – does it mean one has no choice? No, every minute one has to make a choice , i.e., one wants only happiness. Then the next choice is that one will not allow external circumstances or one’s reaction to external circumstances to determine whether one is going to be happy or not. The third and final choice is a single minded effort to pursue happiness at all costs, i.e., even when one slips into past habits of depending on circumstances to make one happy one will wake up and want only to move inward and forward in the path.
To be continued…
(This is the second part of the four-part series titled ‘The Final Goal’.)
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(The writer is the Joint Managing Director of TVS & Sons Ltd., and MD, TVS Logistics)