I have always wondered how some people can take life as it comes, and I am not talking about the saintly people, and others don’t. In our everyday lives, we come across people who just glide thru life. In strictly worldly parameters, they may or may not be successful but there is an easiness about them.
At times, the so-called “bad” people lead an easier, smoother life than the so-called “good” ones. People speaking ill of others, shouting, fighting with others enjoy a good night’s sleep. Nice people – well mannered, well meaning, well spoken, do-gooders suffer from insomnia. Of course, I am not claiming that all ‘bad’ people enjoy a good night’s sleep; I am talking about those few who do.
One wonders then, is being “good” or being “bad” got anything do with living a peaceful, contented life. One wonders, why be “good” at all. If being “good” doesn’t guarantee peace of mind, if it doesn’t guarantee an ‘ease’ in life, then why do “good” deeds? Why not be a “bad” person and enjoy life, do whatever pleases?
Here is a framework that attempts at explaining why there is an ‘ease’ in life of a few and not so much much in others.
In any act, there are three aspects involved – mind, heart, and the act itself. For clarity, let’s define these three.
Mind – all memories; intellect; ability to make judgments, weigh in the pros and cons of the situation and decide what I should do.
Heart – all memories that involve emotions; all feelings, which sometimes defy rationality.
Act – all that I speak, see and do.
I will have an ‘uneasy’ experience of life in the following scenarios –
- The mind and heart are not in agreement. For example – the mind says it’s ok to tell a white lie and make a profit as long as no one else is harmed, but the heart says lying is wrong.
- What the mind decides and what I do are not the same. For example – the mind decides that I should wake up at 4:30am but I keep hitting the snooze button.
- What the heart feels and what I do are not the same. For example – it feels wrong to bitch about anyone, but I still enjoy the satisfaction of talking ill of my manager at work.
- The mind decides something, the heart feels something different, and I do something totally different. Ah – this is where one has the most trouble – when the mind gives more than one right options, the heart gives multiple right options, many such options contradict each other but neither the mind nor the heart can decide on one. Obviously, the act itself will be different from the mind and the heart when there is no clarity. For example – when one has to choose between two close friends or two factions of family relatives.
I will have an ‘easy’ experience of life in the following scenarios –
- What the mind decides I should do is what the heart feels is right is what I do. In such experiences of life, life flows. I sometimes lose myself. There is an ‘ease’ to life that can’t be explained; it is just experienced.
So, you see, it’s not about ‘good’ or ‘bad’ deeds, ‘good’ or ‘bad’ people. For that matter, who knows what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in absolute terms. The uneasiness of life is in the dissonance in mind, heart and action.
The real question then is – Can I do anything to bring the mind, heart and action in harmony? I don’t know. I haven’t contemplated on it enough. We’ll explore this sometime later.