Why we remain strangers to ourselves …


We are often fascinated by characters depicted in novels and movies. Fans fill blogs analyzing every single dialogue spoken by fictional characters in, say, Star Wars or Harry Potter. Even if these characters are played by real actors, the personas of such actors as depicted in the media are often fictional — derived from gossip, rumors and exaggerations. For such characters, we are faceless strangers. 

Yet we remain so fascinated with them that we remain strangers to ourselves. That means we have no time to ask questions that will help us understand ourselves: What makes us tick? What makes us trip? What are the unaddressed emotions within us? What are the unhealed wounds that we are carrying with us? What do we need to do to make our life more meaningful? What things are critical for us to do before we die? 

We live with ourselves more than with anyone else; if we gain better self-understanding, we can improve our entire life. Unfortunately, our obsession with strangers keeps us strangers to ourselves. This is typical of intelligence in the mode of ignorance, which sees things inverted (Bhagavad-gita 18.32). 

Thankfully, Gita wisdom is ready to help us understand ourselves. Its wisdom can act like an inner flashlight, which shows us the various players in our inner world — such as the mind and the intelligence — and the dynamics of their interactions. And beyond these players we exist as souls who are detached observers And next to us is our Lord, the all-attractive supreme Krishna, who is the embodiment and fulfillment of all our desires. 

If we get to know ourselves and our Lord, then even if the world’s glamorized icons remain strangers to us, we will be internally fulfilled. 

One-sentence summary:

Strange is our immense interest in strangers depicted in the media while we remain strangers to ourselves.

Think it over:

  • How are we fascinated with strangers?
  • What questions can help us know ourselves better?
  • How does the Gita illuminate our inner world?

***

18.32: That understanding which considers irreligion to be religion and religion to be irreligion, under the spell of illusion and darkness, and strives always in the wrong direction, O Partha, is in the mode of ignorance.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Really loved this article Prabhu. I am seeing how the more I understand myself, the more I’m peaceful and able to move forward in life.

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  2. Keep proximity to GOD and immunity with strangers

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