The mind makes us serious about the frivolous and frivolous about the serious
Our mind often skews our sense of perspective – it makes us serious about the frivolous and frivolous about the serious.
Serious about the frivolous: A common example of this is sports mania. Playing sports for exercise or watching sports for recreation has been a part of human culture. But nowadays some people’s minds gets so hooked on to sports that if their favorite team loses, they feel as if they have lost their life. In fact, some people literally lose their life, as happens when rioting breaks out after a match or when some sports fans commit suicide. We may not be manic about sports, but if we take stock of our own life, we will probably find something frivolous that we take inordinately seriously.
Frivolous about the serious: Contemporary culture has witnessed an alarming erosion of seriousness in our commitments. We take our professional commitments seriously because we know it’s a matter of our livelihood. But we often take our commitments in our relationships quite nonchalantly, almost frivolously. Such casualness makes our relationships into casualties.
And this casualness-to-casualty happens most prominently in our relationship with Krishna, especially because we can’t see him and can’t see his pleasure or displeasure directly.
Nonetheless, his displeasure is real and has real consequences – it manifests as our loss of taste in devotional activities, which makes us even more vulnerable to the mind’s priority-distorting machinations.
Thankfully, we all have been given our intelligence, which is higher than our mind and which can counter the mind’s perceptions. And Gita study strengthens our intelligence by rooting our consciousness in the ultimate reality, Krishna. The Bhagavad-gita urges us to elevate ourselves with the mind and not degrade ourselves (06.05). With such intellectual reinforcement, we can keep casual things casual and take serious things seriously.
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