Are you living a hollow life?

If reading the very title of this post makes you sad, the answer for you is yes! Well, I keep on thinking over this particular question many times. For me, nothing is worse than living a hollow life. Living a bit harsher life is better, I would say, than living a hollow life.

What I keep on wondering about is, how can you define the term ‘hollow life’? Is there any fixed, concrete definition of this term? Or, is it a very dynamic term, changing as per the age, occupation and types of people around us? In this case, how can we define it for so many different kinds of people?WP_20140329_001

Apart from all this philosophical discussions, how should one find out if he is living a hollow life or not? If yes, how to make it meaningful and full of substance?

How to define ‘Hollow Life’ ?

As I have already said, the term is very dynamic, changing almost person to person. I would also like to clarify that all the points which I am making here, are my personal thoughts, which can be wrong and challenged by the readers. I am open to discuss the same and change my opinion.

In order to define this term, I would chalk down some indicators which indicate that something is going wrong and needs attention.

1. Having no time for yourself

If you cannot spare some time for yourself, there are very high chances that you are living a hollow life. Finding time for yourself does not mean caring too much for oneself. It also does not mean spending time (solely) on superficial transformation- like buying good clothes, working on one’s appearance etc.

When I say spare some time for yourself, I want you to communicate with yourself. How many of us communicate with ourselves? Do we ask ourselves if we like the way we are living life? It is very sad to find that in this well connected world, no one is really connected with himself or herself. We can create substance in our life only when we know what matters for us. Though we have to many things to do, some portion of our time (may be as small as ten minutes) should be kept aside for ourselves.

2. Doing things for someone else

I remember my discussion with a junior student from my college. His first year of engineering was descent and the grades were quite good. In second year, he stopped attending classes and ended up with having 4 backlogs. In our casual discussion, I humbly asked him what was the problem he was facing. I got a very cold reply from him, saying that he never liked engineering. I had another obvious but humble question for him, “Why did you opt for it then?”

Very proudly he said, “Engineers are respected in my town. People in my town treat you very differently if you are an engineer and also, your status gets elevated”

If you are living your life to please people from your town and are not wise enough to think about what you like, you are living a hollow life. We can find so many people around; someone doing MBBS as her mother wants her to be a doctor, someone not marrying the girl he likes as family members will be furious. At the end, people who live their life to fulfill expectations of others end up blaming those people. Instead, why one should not find out what he likes and take the complete responsibility of his own life?

3. Afraid of being alone

Though this does not apply every time, most of the times, it does. If someone is dependent on others- friends, colleagues, family etc. something is wrong. Many of us are afraid of being alone. They need someone to talk to. They even cannot imagine their life without these people. As Osho has often said, there is a difference between loneliness and  being alone. When you are alone, you encounter yourself. You dig within yourself. Most of the times, we are afraid of doing this. Hence, we keep on finding company of people. This may be a very bold statement, but people who live a hollow life will always try to not to be alone. They will keep talking without any purpose for hours, after that they will go for shopping, then a hair cut,  then again a different group, then drinks and over…If this your typical day, something is certainly wrong.

The list is literally unending. But, If someone starts working on these three focus points, he will find out the way ahead for himself. The most important thing is taking out time for oneself. When we spend some time with ourselves, the hollow life comes to an end with happiness and creativity overflowing from it.

mysticism osho philosophy Random

Do you want to sustain?

When someone from completely different field enters some other field, he looks at the things in a totally different perspective. I am in somewhat similar position. I never took efforts to read typical corporate literature. Somehow, I am trying to make myself comfortable with all these terms. The result is, I end up interpreting the established proverbs and statements in a completely different way.

Today, I came across one line, which is very attractive and at the same time very important for those who are in corporate world. The line is something like this-

If you do yesterday’s things today, you won’t be able to survive tomorrow.

This line is so true, if you look at it from the view of normal life. By normal life I mean all the things which normal human beings like us do. It holds true on all the walks of life, equally applicable to students, managers, entrepreneurs, businessmen etc. In today’s world, as we know it very well, one has to move ahead of time, innovating new things. To be honest, it is difficult to survive today if you do today’s things today. One always has to keep on doing new things, new experiments, new products, new services and new thoughts.

As it can be clearly seen, many companies are investing their huge cash reserves to invent and realize tomorrow’s products. There is no final destination as we are moving ahead very rapidly. As I said earlier, this is true for ‘normal humans’. Are their any dimensions of our life where this line is not applicable?

Yes, there are many. One of the most striking example is that of music. Of course, musicians are creative and they keep on doing new things. But, the fact which one should keep in his mind is, they never run behind creating new things. They are effortlessly creative. That creativity does not have any purpose. I am not at all comparing which one is good and which one is bad; they are just different ways of different fields. In classical music, we have many great artists and musicians who just focused on understanding their master’s knowledge. In that complete surrender, many creative compositions came out.

One more walk of life, where I think this line would not be applicable is meditation. In meditation, the meditation is old, ancient; the experiences are new and unique. It wont make any sense doing new new meditations each day, for being creative. You have to do the same, yesterday’s meditation every day. In case of human consciousness, we run to new things not out of creativity but to escape the old things. In meditation, there is no escape. You cannot run away, you have to face same things, the same ‘you’ everyday.

I guess, here the ‘MadhyamMarga’ mentioned by Lord Buddha or the concept of ‘Zorba the Buddha’ coined by Osho comes into picture. Is it possible to survive in both material and spiritual world together? One step ahead, does the word ‘survival’ has meaning in spirituality?

At this stage, I am asking myself, ‘Do you want to sustain?’


mysticism Society

Fearless lives the life

Many a times, we realize that we are not living life, but just surviving. Or to be more precise, we just vegetate.  What makes he difference between living and surviving? What distinguishes these two things? Or are they just same? I think it is basically the ability to be fearless which determines if you are living or just surviving.

A person who remains under fear can never live life. His fears design his life, they govern it. He is not having anything of his own in his lie. It is designed and decided by the persons of which this man is afraid of.  Those who in true sense lived their life were always fearless.

An authentic person is always going to be different from the society. So, he will be opposed by society always. Such a person will always be troubled by society. Society will always try threaten such persons. So, you need to be fearless. You should be courageous enough to face them all, you should be bold enough to tackle them all.

To be fearless is the key for living life. Those who are under fear, just survive. Be fearless and live the life.


Desire never fills the glass

If we go on filling something in a glass, the glass will soon be filled completely and we would not be able to add more. In other words, any glass has its capacity. Once it is filled up to that capacity, you cannot fill it more.

This law does not hold true for one particular glass; the glass of desire. Desire is like fire; you go on putting anything, however large it may be, desire will burn it out. If we look at our behavior, not a single desire is fulfilled though we are trying to fulfill it for years. And, if it appears that some desire if fulfilled, then we should not one point- that desire has changed its form. It is now converted into some other desire.

Long ago, when we were children, we had desires which suited that age. We had desire to collect large number of playing pebbles. Now, that desire is transformed onto desire of collecting clothes, mobile handsets, books etc. The point is, this glass of desire is never filled to the brim. The reason for unending desire is, Whenever you add something to the glass of desire, it is not that the glass is filled. The glass becomes bigger instead.


The courage of being alone

Humans cannot live if they are left alone. A person cannot imagine his life if he is allowed to live alone, without any one with him. Man forms a delicate bond with everyone around him or rather everything around him. It has been very often found that people who do not have people to be attached with, attach themselves with the things! Attachment with vehicles, house is very common. One thing is for sure- man fears to live alone.

We are all living a dummy life because we fear to live alone. In all our behavior, we take care that no one is hurt by us; not because we do not want to hurt but because we fear to live alone. The person can leave me if I hurt him or her. So, we go away from our reality. We go away from our nature, our Swadharma. A man who is not courageous enough to live alone cannot walk the path of truth. This sounds cruel, but this is a fact. You have to walk the way alone.

The other important thing is that, if you are truthful, people will not want to be there with you. People want fake consolations rather than stringent truth. So, if you go on speaking truth in a company of your friends, soon, you will find yourself alone,  not surrounded by anyone. Soon you will find yourself detached from this big world. And, generally, we love to be with people, to be surrounded by people. So, the way of truth is left away. Fake smiles come on the faces, fake justifications are invented.

This courage is the most important thing for a seeker. The courage of being alone is the basic requirement of spiritual journey.


We love our sorrows

Life is as we say, full of sorrows. Life, as we all say, has mountains of sorrows in it. Life, as we all say, is cruel. Life, as we all say, is biased. The statement with which everyone is in agreement is, life is full of sorrow. Everyone agrees with this at a particular moment in his life. But, I oppose. Life is not cruel, we are cruel to us. Life does not create sorrows, we create them. Life is not biased, but we are not total.

To be honest, we all love our sorrows; we all love our world of sorrows. We do not want to leave it. May be, sorrow gives a sort of comfort. May be, sorrow soothes our ego.

I have heard,

Ten laborer women were boasting about how much their husbands beat them, how cruelly husbands beat them.

A famous actor was telling with pride how he used to meet his days and night with a piece of bread.

Sorrow in life is most of the times self created. I will not say that accidents and earthquakes are self created. But, I would dare to say that affected people escaped from such calamities, love to live in the sorrow of the calamity. As far as all our relations are concerned, we create the sorrow. We love to live in the shell of sorrow. I say very firmly, if all the provisions are made to take care that a person is always happy, the person will die woth sorrow, tears in his eyes……….



The thought problem

It seems quite weird someone calling thought as a problem. Thought is considered as one of the greatest boons as far as human beings are concerned. It is said that thought is the basic force which drives all the human beings. It is a common observation that the person who thinks more, is always ahead in the life that the one who does not.

Is thought then really a problem? yes, we can say so. This article and next few articles will be talking in detail about the thought and its limitations. One of the most basic problem about the thought is that, it gives no room for the insight. As famous quantum physicist David Bohm says, thought is much a different concept from the thinking. In other words, if we follow a pattern of thinking for a long time, it becomes a thought and then we react to even new things according to this old pattern. It has been found that if we give an ill person along with medicine some sugar coated tablets, after some days his thought process cannot distinguish between actual drug and the tablet and hence, he can be treated even with the help of sugar tablets also.

Thus, if we follow a pattern of thinking for a long, it just forms a mechanism inside us. This mechanism will respond to things on itself in an old way without leaving any scope for consciousness, awareness and insight.


Snake- Thread delusion: The game of Maya

The whole Hindu religion is based on the concept that, this world is Maya i.e. a delusion. To support this argument an example of thread-snake delusion was given. Suppose if a thread is there on the ground without ample lighting. In this case there will be delusion of what we call as Maya. You were deluded by the thread. So, these people say that whole world is like this delusion. The world is nothing but Maya or delusion.


I will like to put forward just one question- I agree that there was no snake, that it was a delusion; but what about the rope? It is there actually, in a real sense. Here, we should stop a while and find out what Maya actually means.

The world is not Maya. This world is not delusion. But yes, our mind creates the delusion. This mind is Maya. Our mind can never see the world the way it is. It sees the world the way it wants it to be. This creates the delusion, this creates the Maya. The world is real but it is our mind which draws out convenient meanings out of it. What is happening in the world is happening in the real sense, but mind creates delusion. It wants everything to happen according to its wishes, which is almost impossible. So, we try to project our wills on whatever is happening. This creates the delusion, this creates the Maya.

Snake- Thread delusion cannot be solved by saying that snake and thread are false or Maya. What is needed is to burn a candle and see the reality.

mysticism Society

Nature of Mind and Thought

Mind of a human being is the driving force behind all of his actions. This mind controls the wills and the wishes of the person. All the noble things that happen under this sun are an outcome of this mind and at the same time each and every sin being committed, is committed under the influence of the mind. Many researchers have worked a lot to find out how mind works. Indian mystics and philosophers also, have contemplated much on this mind. The key fact is that, knowing the working of mind as it is described in Indian mystics, much within a human can be changed. So, here I will like to discuss some very striking insights about Thoughts, Mind and how they work.

The Nature of mind and thought

What is a thought? In general, thought can be of two types-

1.    General thought- This thought just comes and goes, without leaving behind any impression on the mind. Suppose, a person having no interest in automobiles, finds a very wonderful car while he is on the road. Now, this thought will not have any influence on this person because, it has nothing to do with the interests of the person. The person at max will exclaim, “A wonderful car!” and leave. This thought will not have any influence over the person’s action.

2.  Influential thought- Now imagine the same incidence discussed above with the only difference that the person is crazy about cars. Now, the person will attach himself with his thought. All of his later actions will be dependent upon this thought. Perhaps he may forget his work and go behind the car or chase it, or he may even sell his house to have this car in his porch

General thought has hardly any influence on human life. The whole human life is governed by the influential thought. Indian mystics have dealt very wonderfully with this concept of influential thought. There are two ways in general which describe relation between mind, thought and human nature-

1.    The way of Mystic Tilopa-

Tilopa  has been one of the contemplative mystics. In his Master piece, known as The Song of Mahamudra, Tilopa says that mind is like the sky and thoughts are like the clouds. Thoughts simply come and go but space is not at all affected by them. If white cloud comes, space appears white and if dark cloud comes, it appears dark; but in the reality, space has no colour of its own. This is the darkness or ignorance about the nature of mind and that’s why, we attach ourselves with thoughts. To know that mind is nothing but colourless and form less space and thoughts come and go without even touching it is the true understanding of the nature of the mind.

So, according to Tilopa, mind should be untouched by the thoughts. They should come and go; but mind must not identify itself with any of these thoughts.

2.    Thoughtlessness-

This is the way used by almost all the other mystics. Even, Zen sect has its prime focus on this Thoughtlessness state. This way simply stops all the thoughts. It has been said that thoughts are like waves in a pond. They distort the rays of light coming in. In the same way, thoughts are the waves in our perception. They alter the way things are received. So, main focus of this way lies on completely stopping the thoughts, which will lead us to a clear vision of world as it is in reality. In other words, to attain a thoughtlessness state.This thoughtlessness makes the mind as still as a pond, whose bottom can be seen very easily, without any distortion.

3.  No- Mind State-

No Mind state is very similar to the way of Tilopa. In this state, you just drop your mind. In other words, you pay no heed to your mind. If a baby falls down while playing, it cries only when someone is looking at it. If no one is there, it simply gets up and starts playing again. We should treat mind the same way. We should not at all pay any heed to what goes on in mind. As a result, the process of thought formation will stop automatically, because when no one is noticing, mind, just like a baby, stops producing thoughts.

All of these ways, though they appear quite different at surface, work on the same principle- Keep a safe distance. My opinion is that, we should have mind like a knife in the pocket. We are not at all slave of it. We will not be used by it; on the other hand, we can use it for self protection whenever needed. If humans are able to deal with their thoughts without being attached to them, I think all the problems that stand in front of society today, will drop down.


Thoughts and Mind- A deeper Look

Many of the readers of my blog were much more confused than before after reading an articles about the functioning of  mind. So I am rather writing a new post to describe how mind actually works. The original article is –

Thoughts in the mind- Clouds in the Sky

The article says that thought are nothing but the clouds coming in the sky. They come and go. Just as sky is not affected by the clouds, neither it holds the colour of the clouds, mind should also must not attach itself with the thoughts.

Readers say that thoughts originate from the mind. So, how mind can be indifferent from the thoughts? My question is, there come thousands of thoughts in our mind. They come and go. Only those thoughts which are related to our mind are dealt with mind specially. It is said that human ,mind produces 22,000 thoughts per day. We even do not notice atleast 20, 000 thoughts. We notice other and unify our mind with thoughts it means, we are unable to maintain distance. Readers say that it is very basic nature of mind to be attached with the thoughts. Then mind should attach itself with all those 22, 000 thoughts. But it does not happens so. This means mind also has an ability of keeping distance. And what Tilopa says is, just as you maintain distance from thoughts which does not touch you, in the same way, you should be able to maintain distance from thoughts along with which you attach your mind.

More Philosophy articles-

Death- the seed of life

Joy is inside you