Stop being a pendulum

We are living in a world of opposites that help us to perceive the world around us, but if this perception is left unguarded, it will reduce us to a mere pendulum, helplessly oscillating between the dualities of the mind, resulting in distress and pain, writes APARNA KAPOOR

Aparna Kapoor | Updated on: Friday, December 06, 2019, 07:20 PM IST


The mind by nature is restless

The movement pattern of your mind is constantly moving back and forth like a pendulum between two opposites. Likes – dislikes, happiness – sadness, the list is endless. Most of the time, when your body is physically engaged into an action; your mind is wandering elsewhere. It’s like having two people within you – a ‘thinking person’ and an ‘acting person’. This leads to a lack of coordination between body and mind in all your external and internal manifestations. The efforts you make, feel half-hearted as they lack sync between the mind and body.

A task is satisfactorily accomplished when the ‘thinking’ and the ‘acting’ person in you are on the same page. Usually the pendulum of our mind sways between the past and the future or between the pleasant and unpleasant attributes. Consequently, we never live in the moment and fail to give our best to the present. While yearning for only the pleasant, we resist the unpleasant which is just the flip side.

We are partial towards ourselves

The mind sways between two extremes, influencing the emotions within. Every emotion has an opposite; and to acknowledge one, you need to experience the other. But we have a self appeasing attitude. We want to be perpetually comfortable. We stick to personal preferences, making the mind biased and resisting the sway back towards anything which is not in our ‘favourites’ list. In the world of opposites, we prefer the good side, forgetting that the world and its manifestation exists in the form of dualities; and this preference is the reason for nearly all our distress. If the so-called bad would not exist, the good may not be realised.

Moreover, the dualities of the mind are nothing but a matter of perception. In absence of accepting the dualities, one would always be in a state of resistance and denial. This situation does not allow us to grow and evolve. The soul liberates when dualities are accepted as they are, and not under the scanner of your personal preferences.

Dualities in Nature

Nature is our best teacher for life skills. Notice and realise the dualities in nature and how beautifully things around adapt to the fact. How mechanically the birds, animals and plants respond to the presence of the sun? And how they quietly rest to rejuvenate in the absence of it? How the animals hibernate in winters and squirrels stock up their food for the winter? How trees shed leaves in winters and blossom in spring? Even the fruits and vegetables grow meticulously season-wise, to provide maximum benefit to the living species in nature; in other words, adapting to the dualities of nature.

You can see a thousand such examples of nature’s adaptation to the dualities, assuring basic survival and well-being of everything related to it, including humans. We forget that we too are a part of nature and not a factory-made product. The rules of dualities apply to us as well. And since nature has been kind towards us to bless us with an intellect apart from the physical existence, our adaptations to dualities are expected go beyond the physical level also. We are expected to accept and adapt on our intellectual, emotional and spiritual levels as well.

Accept both or reject both

The key to a happy and content life lies in the realisation that the dualities cannot be isolated, they exist in pairs only. If there’s joy, there is sorrow. If there’s anger, there is peace. If there’s hatred, there is love, and so on. One cannot be biased and pick one out of the duo. If one is chosen, the other is chosen by default. So do not crib or complain when you encounter the flip side of your choice, and don’t resist the pendulum swaying towards the side which is not your choice. The way out is, however, simple.

Either accept both with open arms and adapt around them or reject both if you fear the opposites. But rejecting both is practically very difficult. So the obvious way to a blissful life with yourself is to accept both with the same gratitude and to try to adapt accordingly, maintaining the mental equipoise in both the cases. Your conscience usually knows how to deal with the dualities. The challenge is to tame the mind.

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Published on: Sunday, June 16, 2019, 06:30 AM IST