What is not eternal is eternally inconsequential
Success in any field requires focus on the important things while putting aside the unimportant things. When we understand our eternal spiritual identity and strive to attain an eternal destination, we need to focus on the eternal and put aside whatever is non-eternal.
The Bhagavad-gita in its second chapter echoes this theme in its presentation of the path to eternity. It first (02.13) reminds us of our identity as unchanging souls within changing bodies, then (02.14) urges us to tolerate the changing, knowing it to be temporary and finally (02.15) assures that those who don’t let themselves be disturbed by the ever-changing binaries of life such as happiness and distress can attain the eternal.
To not let ourselves be disturbed doesn’t mean that we become like unfeeling robots that are de-sensitized to all ups and downs. Rather, it means that we become purposeful pursuers of the eternal who consciously keep the radar of our consciousness fixed on the eternal and evaluate everything from that perspective. Paradoxically the perspective of eternity makes our response to the temporary better, not worse. When our consciousness is caught in the temporary, then it becomes so big as to overwhelm us and induce kneejerk rush-of-blood type reactions that are usually short-sighted and counterproductive.
In contrast, when we connect with and root ourselves in the eternal by cultivating spiritual knowledge and devotional realization, we can calmly consider the situation and respond appropriately to various ups and downs.
The more we realize that what is not eternal is eternally inconsequential, the greater becomes our ability to focus on the consequential and to deal with the relatively-less consequential in a way that doesn’t backfire on us, distracting us further. By remembering the consequentiality of the eternal, we can respond maturely to the non-eternal and also progress steadily towards the eternal.
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