Human beings on this planet are unaware of how much they burden their minds unnecessarily in the process of growing up. It is good to wake up to this unfortunate situation and release oneself from the burden to move towards a peaceful life. We then add a certain sacredness to our life from which all other holistic things follow.
If we observe ourselves and others, we see that human minds are burdened with a number of items that erode away the freshness of life. Some of these are of immediate practical importance and so cannot be avoided. However, they are not the true reasons for the self-imposed suffering in life. The gradual poison in the form of mental heaviness comes from the thought-created image about oneself. That image develops all the self-importance responsible for the burden. It works in such a surreptitious way over the years that it tricks us into taking a mirage to be true waters. Only sincere interest in releasing oneself from it can help us. All it needs is patient application of self-awareness.
As we grow in age, we fall into the psychological habit of fostering the thought-created image of ourselves based on the bodily form and the mental attributes. This image, which is the essence of the ego, is under constant pressure of chasing something that will give it satisfaction and security. Its chasing is what causes the unnecessary burden that we carry all through life. So, the simple question is: Can the image undergo dissolution so it will let us live? The answer is ‘yes’ but it is easier said than done.
We have to note an important issue here. If the question is ‘How can one dissolve the image?’, then we are introducing a new burden to the already heavy ones! It can be tricky and we may fall into a new pattern of loading ourselves in the process. It is enough to be aware that the thief may enter through the back door while we are tightening the front!
We see that the systems offering help, such as those from religion and meditation, can help a little but they cannot go very far because they themselves depend on DOs and DON’Ts which add further burden. So we come to the point of understanding that no conventional way can relieve us from the self-imposed load we carry. This understanding brings us a relief as we don’t have to do anything to dissolve the image but be quietly watchful of it as it deals out its mischief. That is how the shedding of the burden begins right away. Once we understand the greatness of quiet self-awareness, we feel relaxed and so the image becomes less rattling in its impositions. Thus, a kind of peace begins to settle in us right from the beginning.
In the process of the above exploration, we see the power of inner silence and its ability to usher in a fundamental transformation in us. Simultaneously, we find compassion flowing out from us towards all, irrespective of what religion or nationality one may belong to. Thus, we have no enemies in any sphere of life. That itself takes away a lot of our self-imposed burden. In fact, we then meet the animal and insect world too with that compassion so we do not perpetrate any suffering on them. In the Bhagawad Gita, Krishna talks about non-action as different from inaction. The non-action refers to the inward quietude while inaction is associated with shirking one’s responsibilities. Krishna says, “While action is superior to inaction, non-action transcends action in its ability to bring about transformation.” There is a similar statement in the Chinese philosophy of ‘Tao Te Ching’ which is translated as below (Wikipedia):
"The Valley Spirit never dies. It is named the Mysterious. And the doorway of the Mysterious Female Is the base from which Heaven and Earth sprang. It is there within us all the while; draw upon it as you will, it never runs dry."
Shedding the burden through peaceful self-awareness that brings in the necessary patience is augmented by our understanding of the difference between ‘desire’ and ‘aspiration’. In short, ego plays a major role in desires while the deeper being is involved in aspirations. These verbal explanations cannot go very far. The eagerness to understand the difference between them creates the necessary state of mind to make the intuitive power in us spell out the difference non-verbally. Once we taste the beauty of this, we bring in that mental atmosphere to touch all things of life non-verbally. This takes us to the point of paying more attention to aspirations than to desires. Life begins to move along calm and stable rails and the items of unnecessary mental burden are shed effortlessly.
The above disposition is reinforced by the messages of those who go through a near death experience (NDE) or similar paranormal phenomena. They make us look at life from a very wide perspective that helps us understand the impropriety behind carrying the rejectable mental loads. Messages from the Masters like J. Krishnamurti, Eckhart Tolle and Nisargadatta Maharaj can be very helpful. Each one of us moves along this trail in one’s own way. There are no standard methods to shed the mental burden as such methods will have to depend on DOs and DON’Ts and so will inevitably introduce additional burden.
Have a nice journey of exploration in the above direction! Related items are mentioned in the website http://spirituality.yolasite.com on spirituality.
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Gopalakrishnan T. Chandrasekaran received his doctoral degree in Coastal Engineering from the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA in 1978. He served on the research and teaching faculty of universities in India, the US and Kuwait. His book "In Quest of the Deeper Self" is the outcome of his philosophic reflections and his wish to share the outcome with others. He is a member of the International Association for Near Death Studies, Durham, NC, USA; lives in Kodaikanal, a hill town in South India. Blog: http://nde-thedeeperself.blogspot.com