Go beyond rapidity and vapidity to clarity and serenity
Our current materialistic culture impels us to lead lives characterized by rapidity and vapidity:
- Rapidity: In the rapid mode, we are in a tearing hurry to get things done, to somehow cope with the pressure of the many items that jump out at us from our to-do list.
- Vapidity: In the vapid mode, we are in a passive frenzy to get things forgotten, to somehow get away from the tiresome pressure by burying ourselves in mindless entertainment.
These two modes broadly correspond to the Bhagavad-gita’s descriptions of the modes of passion and ignorance respectively. Gita wisdom points out that our life will be more meaningful spiritually and more fruitful materially if we switch to functioning at the higher levels of goodness and transcendence.
- Clarity: Functioning in goodness, the Gita (14.11) explains, brings clarity. This clarity enables us to practically implement the time-management tips recommended by many contemporary management teachers like classifying and prioritizing our work according to urgent and non-urgent, important and non-important etc. But more significantly, this clarity empowers us to choose not just our actions, but also our desires. We realize that many of the desires induced by the consumer culture are irrelevant to us as spiritual beings. Further, we recognize our core need for a loving relationship with the Supreme. So, while taking care of our material requirements, we reorganize our life lives so as to satisfy that spiritual need.
- Serenity: When we use this clear perspective of life to streamline our desires, we transcend the material and connect with the divine, thereby relishing an unshakeable serenity. Thanks to this inner serenity, we become guided to contribute effectively as channels of divine change in the outer world.
“The manifestations of the mode of goodness can be experienced when all the gates of the body are illuminated by knowledge.”