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Is philosophy better than being practical? – Part 3

Seeking substance to develop our inner lives

The more things change in this world, the more we need to embrace the changeless within- there’s something that doesn’t deteriorate with time. Attentive reading or listening to insightful books of yore help us connect to an unearthly dimension of our lives- an existence beyond the mortal body and mind, and all of its various complications. A peaceful state of awareness, which is our real, enduring Self, beacons us to live beyond the vicissitudes of this world.

While we worry about how ancient teachings are relevant today, we miss recognizing that there’s a truth beyond me which would remain forever unrelated to the fleeting issues of this world. That’s the expanse of metaphysical substance. While innovation- in our thinking and presentation helps us stay relevant, it’s the tradition- of philosophical writings that offers us perception beyond this world. It’s an ingredient beyond our head that provides strength and hope to us.

When we live only in the ‘I’ turf- where life revolves around ‘my’ problems, my needs, and my difficulties, we fail to see the beauty beyond our muddled grey matter.

To live triumphantly, we surely need to consider our goals, vision and wants. But when we simultaneously explore a world beyond my ordinary obligations, we connect to a deep voice that’s clearer than the noise of our brainbox.

Two ways of connecting to God   

Most religions present the Lord in relation to our body and mental faculties. ‘Father give us our daily bread’ or ‘I will get virgins to enjoy in heaven’ are indicative of this ethos. The unspoken message is: The creator exists because of ‘me.’ I have needs, and He better takes care of me. Only then is he all powerful!

A religious tradition called the Gaudiya- Vaishnava branch of Hinduism, developed in Eastern India during the late fifteenth century offers a refreshingly different perspective on the Supreme Being: He exists independent of me. He ‘enjoys’ in the spiritual world and has loving reciprocations with His devotees. Whether I lose my job here in this world or if my spouse leaves me crestfallen, He continues to perform His never-ending pastimes.

At first, these explanations may appear irrelevant to our situations. However, on closer examination, we are introduced to a personality who is Superlative and is beyond me. The Vedic texts thus provoke a reader to raise his consciousness- to consider the insignificance of his material life and know there are opportunities to go beyond this world of limitations. While we endeavor to improve the experience in this world, we also know there is hope beyond all the imperfections of this world.

To be continued..

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