A rigid structure may not work for us, but without a structure, we may not work

We all have various structures that bring order to our daily life. Such structures include rules, customs, routines, schedules and obligations. We may sometimes find such structures restrictive. 

While structures can be limiting, they can also be liberating. Suppose we want to travel somewhere. For getting there, a supportive structure is a road: it liberates us from all the worries of going cross country. Such worries may include: Will the terrain ahead be navigable? Are we on the right track? But that same road can limit us if it gets blocked due to heavy traffic or a landslide. Then, we may be better off going cross country. 

The various structures in our life are meant to serve as roads for our life-journey. Life can become unlimitedly complex, burdening us with hundreds of choices, right from what time we wake up, what we eat, what we wear and so forth. And as if the complexity of life were not bad enough, our mind complicates even simple things, making us agonize over straightforward choices. That’s why we all need some supportive structure to simplify our life. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita stresses that if we wish to control our mind, we absolutely need a supportive structure, that is, an appropriate process (06.36) 

Of course, depending on our nature and situations, some structures can become more restrictive than supportive. When some structures start working against us instead of for us, we may need to re-evaluate them, either reforming them or repositioning our relationship with them. But we needn’t reject all structures as undesirable. 

By focusing on our essential purpose — to better manage our mind and life, and to fulfill our various potentials, material and spiritual — we can judiciously adopt the structures that enable us to manifest our best.  


Think it over:

  • How can structures be liberating?
  • When do structures become limiting?
  • List three prominent structures in your life. Contemplate how you can ensure that they work for you instead of against you.



06.36 For one whose mind is unbridled, self-realization is difficult work. But he whose mind is controlled and who strives by appropriate means is assured of success. That is My opinion.

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