Why is it that people who seem to have “everything” suffer from depression, loneliness, and misery? Why do they feel so unworthy? Why are they so unstable? How is that they feel so empty inside despite the fact that they have fame and fortune?
The media is fixated on gossip of the rich and famous. In recent months, we have been inundated with headlines of Owen Wilson, Anna Nicole Smith, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, David Hasselhoff, Mark Foley, Michael Vick, Larry Craig, pastors, and clergymen who have succumbed to depression and temptation.
People’s immediate reaction is to say that money is bad, power is evil, money doesn’t buy happiness, you pay a price for fame, success, and so on.
Actually money, power and fame are nothing more than exchanges of energy. It is only when there is an imbalance that it becomes problematic.
A stable table requires four legs of equal length to support whatever is placed upon it. So if we think of our life as a table, we need four strong legs to support it, or it will collapse under the weight of challenges.
The four legs that support life are described in the schools of Vedanta, Buddhism, Jainism and Tantras as artha, kama, dharma and moksha.
· Artha from the root “arth” means “to request the sense”, but is more than wealth, and material possessions. It includes our aim and purpose in life, the economic and secular value of life.
· Kama, from the root “kam” means desire for pleasure, lust, love, power and attention.
· Dharma literally is “what holds together”. It is the moral and social order that upholds and supports our life. Dharma includes religious duty, ethical and moral conduct, spiritual depth and specific responsibility of the individual, self-regulating behavior, virtues and cosmic order.
· Moksha, from moks means “liberation and spiritual freedom”. This liberation is achieved through jnana (spiritual knowledge and wisdom), iccha (desires, will, free will) and kriya (action, exercises, movements).
It matters not how much fame, fortune or success we have. The human condition remains the same no matter who we are, where we live, what our economic and social status is, whether we are male or female, or what our religious and sexual preferences happen to be. The basic needs of humans are the same everywhere.
Human suffering is not necessary; it is a state of the mind resulting from avidya (ignorance), and lack of viveka (understanding).
When spiritual understanding is lacking we resort to addictive behavior such as drug use, alcohol, sex, food, gambling, smoking, drunk driving, lying, and other risky habits and behavior to fill the void we feel inside. Our immediate circle of companions is limited to mostly other wounded creatures we hold dear because of our shared pain. The common thread that holds us together also keeps us stuck in dysfunctional behavior, perpetuating a cycle of even more pain and suffering.
Britney Spears is an unfortunate example of what happens when someone is suffering from deep wounds. After one scandal after another, she does the most attention-grabbing thing by flashing her genitals, but what comes after that? How can that be topped? It is a frightening thought. She cannot reveal the pain in her heart, so she reveals her genitals. She cannot reveal the person she is inside because of fear, guilt and shame, and like many others, she lives a life that is inauthentic and disingenuous, artificial and superficial.
Other women may reveal their breasts in a deliberately provocative way to achieve the same result--for attention. Most men know they cannot reveal their private parts in public without being arrested so they usually will get attention through their actions--criminal activity, aggressiveness, driving under the influence, inappropriate behavior, and cussing, for example.
Of course, there are many other reasons people self-sabotage their lives, relationships and careers, but the common thread in all human dysfunctional behavior is there is an immense imbalance of body, mind and spirit.
This is what an imbalanced person’s mind and table might look like:
· Artha--“I need to acquire more than anyone else, so that I can buy more toys because in the end, the one with the most toys wins!” 36” leg
· Kama--“This is all I live for. I am starving for more attention, sex, drugs. I will do anything to get this attention--lie, steal, cheat.” 48” leg
· Dharma--“I don’t have any consciousness or awareness. I am incapable of self-regulating my thoughts or actions. I don’t know between right and wrong.” 12” leg
· Moksha--“Enlightenment? That’s the last thing on my mind!” 6” leg.

How difficult would it be to sit at this table? Could you place any treasure on it?
Maintaining a balance is essential if we want to live a harmonious and happy life. There is nothing inherently wrong with fame, money, power and a lot of activity. It just needs to be balanced with spiritual awareness, periods of stillness, gratefulness, and seva, selfless service--performing some action without expectation from the fruits of said action.

Hari Om Tat Sat. Om Namah Sivaya. AUM---

© 2007 Chandi Devi All Rights Reserved

Author's Bio: 

Chandi Devi has always been involved in the creative arts and mystic arts, which eventually led her to completely immerse herself in the study and practice of tantra. Through the tantric path, the Shakti (goddess energy) awakened in Chandi a profoundly deep and broad passion for the diversity of life's treasures, from spiritual studies to politics to tango and more. Her book, “From Om to Orgasm: The Tantra Primer for Living in Bliss” has been described as “outstanding and has full potential to become a classic reference work”.

Dubbed the “Dear Abby of Tantra”, Chandi writes a question and answer column on tantra/sexuality/spirituality called “OMG!!! to OM” for Om-Times.com and AscendingHearts.info. Additionally, she has written film and television treatments that cloak ageless wisdom under the veil of entertainment and she invites industry people to partner and manifest this vision together with her and create a new paradigm for the 21st century. She can be reached at chandi@humanityhealing.net or www.theworldoftantra.com.