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Arguing for change

Every realised spiritual master has said that intellectual scriptural knowledge is at best a stepping stone. Therefore there is no scope for feelings of accomplishment or pride, after reading many spiritual books or writing a blog about it. This is because reading/writing/speaking and actually transforming oneself are two very different things. We know from experience that implementing change in our lives is next to impossible, unless life itself forces such a change upon us. Paradoxically, the best of change comes in the worst of times.

Intellectually, we know now we are not the body, but the soul. But is that how we experience our lives daily? There is still plenty of me, my and I. So of what use would this knowledge be? All is not in vain. Objective valuation (which we touched upon here) will help us see the world as it is – filled with pairs of opposites like pain/pleasure, day/night, good/bad etc. And that it is ephemeral and largely inexplicable.

More importantly, the biggest leaps in spiritual (and material) growth occur when we accept and focus on changing ourselves instead of the people around us. It is impossible to get along with everyone for everything, because everyone is entitled to their own views. It’s not just the varying views of others, but we ourselves may hold differing beliefs and perspectives at different points of time in our lives. The questions we can ask ourselves in times of conflict is, “Does this really matter to me? What will change if the sofa is placed there than here? What will change if the car color is white than black? What will change if I agree to do it my boss’ way rather than mine? What will change if we go for dinner where my spouse wants to go rather than where I want to go?” Hopefully, the answer will be ‘no’ or ‘nothing’.

One can argue that being docile all the time will only lead people to take us for granted, and that is absolutely true. But we must pick the battles we fight, without losing (sight of) the war. In most cases, keeping the relationship, the job and the peace of mind is infinitely more important and beneficial than losing the TV channel, working an occasional weekend and constantly trying to prove a point.

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