Who we are vs who we want to be

Dear Readers,

Welcome to another exciting week of inspirational discussions on various metaphysical topics. Before delving into our topic for this week, I’ll like to once again remind you all of my upcoming book on Juvenile Delinquency. In a short while I’ll make available a link where you can have a preview and together we can make the publication a reality, and you can have early orders. Stay tuned.

The topic at hand today is one that each and every one of us has an internal ordeal about, and often times many people get confused or carried away by the delicate nature of this tussle. There is always the dilemma of how to strike a balance between the person we are and the person we want or would like to become, whether in our spiritual quest, Education, Finance etc. I’ll like to pay a little more attention as how this concept affects the spiritual practitioner. For those who are gaudiya vaisnava’s we may classify ourselves externally as Celibate (brahmacaris), Householder (grhasthas), Retirees (vanaprasthas) and Renunciates (sanyasis). In the social ladder we may be Teachers, Administrators, Merchants or Labourers. Externally it is easy to identify with one or more of these classifications however internally there is always the thoughts that bug us; “are we really ideal grhasthas? Are we doing our dharma as we should?” etc.

Once in Europe I was asked a rather delicate question by a Lady who had a friend who was in some dilemma concerning marriage and intimacy. Her friend was in a relationship and her partner was quite open and honest about his preference when it came to intimacy. He had made it clear from the onset that he wasn’t on the platform of having an intercourse just for procreation yet, and it would take him some time to get there.

Read: He would like to have intimate moments with her regularly when they were married as opposed to just when they wanted to have kids.

She on the other hand was not so interested in having regular intercourse and felt she could very bring it down to just for the sole purpose of having kids. Now her question was whether she could proceed or not with the relationship. I made it clear that I wasn’t in anyway asking her to quit or stay put however there were certain facts that we couldn’t ignore. One is they both had a very diverse approach to sexual intimacy and this may put a strain on the relationship. Second is that if they were to neglect this difference and try to “force” their way through with the relationship then sooner or later one of them would feel either neglected or feel ashamed of their “level of desire”.

The beautiful twist in this incident is that sometimes many of us are like the lady in question except that we actually put up an image of the “person” we are trying to become and forget about who we really are. If we fail to acknowledge our real state and try to artificially promote ourselves to a level that we are not actually on, then we will definitely encounter issues, setbacks, internal turmoil’s and eventually frustration. The ability to accept who we are is called Sincerity, and until we embrace real sincerity, progress is difficult. In our spiritual practices, many of us would like to sleep less like the Gosvamis of Vrndavan, Eat little like them, read more like they did and minimize our sensory demands and impulses especially that of the genitals to the barest minimum. This is whom we want to be.

The reality is that we actually sleep a lot more than we probably should, we eat a lot more than our bodies can take, and we have huge difficulty controlling our genitals. In fact one of the biggest problems we face as Humans is the urge of the genitals; How to manage them. This is who we are.

If we artificially start acting like the Gosvamis and deny ourselves of our real level of advancement and try to present ourselves as the versions of ourselves that we would love to become rather than who we really are, then we may confuse people, deceive ourselves, and create a lot of internal disturbances for our already troubled minds. I’ll personally love to chant 1 lakh (100,000) of God’s names every day, this is whom I’ll like to be, reality is I am not there yet so what would be the ideal thing to do? Create a system that I am my own police (that I do self-check, with little or no external influence) and gradually work myself up to 100,000 names a day.  Pretending that I chant that much or making a show as if I chant that much, or trying to act as if I chant that much wouldn’t help me or anyone who believes that I do. This is where most of us struggle.

In the quest to become the person we would like to be, we deny ourselves the gradual growth which is very essential to our solid development and then put ourselves in difficulty when we can no longer keep up the image. This principle applies to any other area we are trying to work on. Now some people may ask “isn’t it actually beneficial if we start acting as the person we want to become rather than acting as we are now, which may not be the best version of ourselves?”

It is true that putting ourselves in the mood of whom we want to become we can gradually get to that platform, however the key word is; aspiring to be rather than acting as. If I want to be someone who has total control on his mantra medition or japa, the process is to gradually yet constantly work myself to that point rather than “act” as if I already did have that control. If we are sincere enough to look at ourselves in the mirror and say “Hey dear me, listen up, it is nice that you want to be this very exalted person, however if we want to really get to that position we have to go about this in a manner that is consistent and diligent. We have to move up at a pace that doesn’t throw us off course, and most importantly we are doing it for our own good and not to impress anyone.” When we adopt this mindset, we can immediately see that the internal noise “quiets down”.

Thank you for your continued support, till next week do read, share and follow for more.

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