Treat life like a movie that you don’t have to always watch
Suppose we were watching a movie and suddenly discovered that it is a horror movie filled with ghastly scenes. We would naturally stop watching it.
Can we do something similar when life takes a nasty turn? The idea that our present life might be like a movie or more precisely a virtual reality has gained cultural currency through movies such as Matrix. However, we often treat this idea as a quirky notion that might titillate intellectually but doesn’t apply practically – the world is way too real for us; we have to really confront its problems.
Paradoxically, this idea can help us tackle life’s real problems better. Gita wisdom explains that we are at our core souls distinct from the material bodies we presently occupy. Correspondingly, distinct from our present material life, we have a spiritual life: a life of eternal love for the supreme spiritual reality, Krishna. Both our bodies and our souls are real, so our present existence is two-dimensional, being distributed over both the material and the spiritual levels of reality.
When we mistake the material level to be the only real level, we tend to obsess and fret over problems. By such fretting, we often end up enlarging the problems and diminishing our capacity to deal with them. Thus, we unwittingly make life’s horror movie more horrible than it needs to be.
By regular yoga practice, we can raise our consciousness and experience spiritual reality. Thereafter, when problems threaten to overwhelm us, we can temporarily stop watching life’s movie by seeking shelter at the spiritual level. The Bhagavad-gita (05.20) indicates that those fixed in spiritual reality can take life’s dualities calmly. By relishing the security and strength coming from relishing our unchanging core, we can re-emerge calmer to deal with problems more wisely and effectively.
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