Thinking that thinking is troublesome, is troublesome
Some people avoid thinking about life’s big questions such as: “What is life meant for? What happens after death? What really counts?” They deem such thinking ultimately inconclusive, confusing and troublesome.
However, the results of not thinking are also troublesome, unavoidably troublesome. Whatever else we think and work for in our lives, we will lose all of that at the time of death.
Some people may object, “Why lose the opportunity to enjoy life now by thinking about things like death that can anyway not be avoided?”
However, we humans can’t really enjoy life without having a deep purpose. Animals can live driven by survival instinct. But if we live only for survival and for the associated drives of eating, sleeping, mating and defending, then we end up degenerating toward a life of ennui, depression, addiction, and self-destruction. Without a higher purpose, we don’t just hurt ourselves and live miserably; we also bring out our worst and hurt others too. For example, the earth’s ecological future is endangered largely by us humans, not by any other species. Our human search for enjoyment has led to indiscriminate exploitation and the concomitant unintended disruption of delicate balances in our biosphere.
Thinking deeply to discover a sublime purpose infuses our life even in this world with meaning and fulfillment. Living as if life has a higher non-material purpose benefits us even in this life, leave alone in the next. For discovering such purpose, Gita wisdom stands ready as a time-tested guidebook.
Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (13.12) declares philosophical inquiry to explore life’s spiritual side to be the concluding characteristic of knowledge. When we reject the preconception that deep thinking is troublesome, we discover that deep thinking guards us against acting in ways that become troublesome for ourselves and for others too.
Think it over:
- How is not thinking troublesome?
- How does thinking benefit us in this world?
- Plan how you can devote quality time to think about life’s big questions and orient your life accordingly.
13.12 Humility; pridelessness; nonviolence; tolerance; simplicity; approaching a bona ﬁde spiritual master; cleanliness; steadiness; self-control; … [ – all these I declare to be knowledge].
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