We go on with the dreary course of daily life without much enchantment about the way of the world. Then all of a sudden, you are struck with a realization; an enormous epiphany that can change who you are and where you will go.
“Change is the only constant” and these startling changes can redefine your reality!
1. You are not what you think
“Cogito ergo sum” is a Latin philosophical dictum by René Descartes, loosely translated into English as “I think, therefore I am“. We believe this is true because our thoughts influence us the most. But have you ever paused and pondered over this idea? If you did, you will realize in no time that your thoughts are not different from the sights and sounds that make up your days. It may seem that the chaos in your head is all that you are, but this happens when you are aware. What about the times you are not? Who are you in those moments? If you can observe your thoughts, like all other experiences, then who is doing the observing? Life is a web of experiences that are fleeting and so are thoughts. Contemplate and do not rush into a conclusion. This question is the crux of several spiritual traditions.
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2. Life unfolds only in moments
You live in moments and not in memory. How many of you have tried solving the entire puzzle of life? It is time to accept that it is impossible. And yes, you may ask ‘Why’. It is because life can only unfold in moments. Carpe Diem or “seize the day”. You must have the courage to deal with the “now”, simply because what is done cannot be undone and what is about to happen can only be determined by what you do in the moment. The past and the future exist in the “magic cirque of memory” and the never-ending anxieties. It is the present that you have. Be aware and take control of your life.
3. You are not what happens to you
You may have prayed for good things to happen, but can there be a rainbow without a little rain? The philosophy of jovial agnosticism seems to be the truth of life – it is impossible for us to comprehend the complexities of life and thus we must embrace everything that happens, good or bad. The will to master adversities will get you through tough times and it is the true sign of wisdom. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, be brave.
4. Most of life is imaginary
Is your mind ever really blank? We are always thinking and sometimes the things we perceive to be real, never really happened. What I am trying to say is that we see the world through our tinted glasses of beliefs, convictions, interests and prejudices. We simply do not see things as they are. This is the main reason why our observations are muddled with our thoughts about it. This makes our experiences imaginary. The only cure is mindfulness.
5. Human beings have evolved to suffer, and we are better at suffering than anything else
We have all wondered why we have to endure suffering. What have we done wrong? But trying to change our predicament and wanting to escape are the forces that make us improve our lives. It is a simple survival mechanism that keeps us alive. If you think about it, the realization is not that pessimistic, but it actually is quite liberating.
It means: 1 – suffering does not ensure that my life has gone astray, 2 – how much I suffer is in my hands and my decision will determine my destiny, and 3 – all problems come with a solution, we just have to find them.
6. Emotions exist to make us biased
We all believe that emotions are indicators of where we stand in life. However, emotions can be overwhelming and it may tend to drag you down at times. They also teach you what you cannot let go and what you easily can. They serve a dual purpose of making us biased and weak, at the same time making us strong and invincible – it is really how you look at it that matters.
7. The main driving forces of life: Escapism and Ambition
Our lives are either driven by the motivation to achieve our ambitions or by the overwhelming desire to escape reality. We are all the same. There is no good and bad, it is all about how we react to a given situation. Understanding this will destroy your thoughts about morality and justice.
8. Beliefs are nothing to be proud of
All of us are made to believe that beliefs are an integral part of our existence. If we do not have beliefs, we are actually supporting anarchy. That is completely wrong. Beliefs are just opinions that we don’t reconsider, they only chain us. The more we hold on to our beliefs, the more we retain ourselves from learning new things. Once the belief becomes a part of your ego, you think others have to agree with it. You dismiss anyone who tries to oppose you, without even thinking. Don’t take your beliefs so seriously, scrutinize them with honesty and never be afraid to lose them. Strive to broaden the horizon of your thoughts.
9. Objectivity is subjective
Life is a subjective experience. There are no two persons who will react to the same situation in the same manner. We all are playing the same game of life but slightly different versions. Player A cannot tell player B how to go about the game because everyone needs to experience it themselves. Also, if we think about it, how objective can we be?
Your understanding of the world is made entirely by you and you are the result of the books you read, the places you visit, the people you meet and so on. This basically proves that you and I cannot see the same world, but we see different versions of the same reality. So, do not let anyone tell you how to live your life. Subjectivity is primary experience whereas objectivity builds on top of it in our minds, like an afterthought. This reality can re-determine the role of religion and science in society.