Life Is An Echo

mountain, echo, coniferous trees, digital, astitva

These four words, often read and heard, have the gist of human wisdom in them. Whosoever has searched for meaning in life has ultimately discovered them. Krishna’s theory of Karmavada or Mahavir’s concept of Kashaya, Buddha’s analysis of thoughts or Christian and Islamic idea of heaven and hell, philosophical debate on cause and effect binary or Newton’s law of action Vs reaction, all of them point to the same truth. They suggest that from matter to mind everything is governed by the law of echo.
            What is this law of echo? In the simplest terms, it means: what we give finally returns to us. Our lives are shaped the way we want them to be shaped. What we have – pain or pleasure – we must have asked for it; we may not recall when and how; but we must have sown the seed. At gross level, we know this to be true, i.e. a bad routine can ruin our health. But at deeper, mental level, the equation becomes subtle and complex. For example, it is hard to see how arrogance drains away tender feelings or ambitions crush sensitivity, which finally turns one’s life sour.
            All self-help books draw on the law of echo. Rhonda Bryne’s The Secret, Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, Shiv Khera’s You Can Win, Dale Carnegie literature and scores of such books attempt to illustrate the way the law functions. These authors argue that our thinking determines the course of our life. We become what we think. Hence their emphasis on positive thinking. Such thinking, they believe, can bring positive results.
            For this plethora of self-help guides, people still seem to be helpless. They cannot get over everyday cares and worries. Where does the fault lie? To be sure, in the positive thinking itself. Let’s try to probe into it. The need for positive thinking arises out of failures. Then after each failure, we are prescribed a dose of positive thinking, a panacea, that is going to cure all our ills. We often forget to diagnose the problem. Ask yourself: Were my efforts sincere and well-organized? Did I devote enough time to the task? Was my approach practical? Was my goal within my reach? Without this introspection, positive thinking is a dud. Further, the harder we try to be keep up our spirits, the worse it gets because beneath the surface negativity is always at work. Our so-called positive thinking is a feeble defense against this overpowering negative force. As a result, we give out unfriendly vibes that echo through the universe.
            Positive thinking is tricky in another way. Just think what happens when there are mishaps. We complain and grumble. And when we have let off the steam, we begin to “look at the bright side”. First, we curse the half-empty glass, then we thank god for its being half-filled, expecting that our acceptance will fill up the glass. Obviously, there is a hidden reluctance in it (Osho), which simply means rejection. And when we reject life, life rejects us.
Positive thinking implies a sort of escapism. It asserts that life must be a bed of roses. But how is it possible? Roses and thorns go hand in hand. They complement each other. The worth of one is measured against the other. I do not mean one should interrupt the smooth flow of things. However, if there come up some troubles on the way, they should be accepted happily, not in the hope of some future joys. The philosophy of positive thinking stands against it. Therefore, it should be replaced with conscious living.
            Conscious living is seeing life as it is, in its totality. It is accepting both sides of the coin. We should learn to love darkness for its own sake; light will come on its own. Pain is an essential part of human existence. We grow through it. Troubles certainly make us strong. Welcome them with patience and endurance. When joys come, enjoy them also with your whole being.
            Once we are conscious of life, it will respond to all our calls with deep compassion. Accept life in all its colours, then you will know what it is to be loved and looked after by the whole existence. Thinking, whether positive or negative, always separates us from life, conscious living unites with it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *