When acknowledging our insignificance is good and when it isn’t
When we understand the hugeness of the world, such revelations are meant to bring some humility within us. Such thinking is meant to prevent us from being too full of ourselves, and to not let our world be defined solely by our problems and our passions.
However, feelings of insignificance may have a negative effect if they lead to irresponsibility. But if we let such a vision make us irresponsible, by thinking, “What I do doesn’t matter; then why should I do anything at all?” then we are becoming our own enemies. In the framework of cosmic space and time, our actions may not matter. But in our functional frame of space and time, they do matter. If we don’t do our part, we can’t contribute to society; far from it, we end up harming others. If everyone became irresponsible, society would collapse and things would become far worse than what they are right now.
The way to reconcile our insignificance with a sense of responsibility is to take responsibility for some purpose or cause bigger than ourselves. When we act to purify ourselves, knowing that we all are parts of the Divine (Bhagavad-gita 15.07) and work for the most auspicious cause — to be an instrument of the wisdom and compassion of the Divine — then we acknowledge that, though we ourselves may be insignificant, significant things can be done through us by him. When we encounter the hugeness of the universe, that encounter shouldn’t lead to discounting our existence. The fact that we exist means that our existence has some purpose. Rather than it being a lucky accident, it is a purposeful miracle and we can strive to discover and pursue our purpose confidently, thereby doing our part responsibly.
Acknowledge our insignificance to foster humility, not to justify irresponsibility,
Think it over:
- When is acknowledging our insignificance healthy?
- When is acknowledging our insignificance unhealthy?
- While acknowledging our insignificance, how can we be responsible?
15.07: The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.