Spritual Inertia

tree and branches, swing in the park, digital, astitva

It is said that the first step taken is half the battle won. These simple words carry a profound meaning, because it is always the beginning of anything that is the most challenging part. Beginning means leaving the old and familiar and entering into the new and unfamiliar. Anything new creates fear because with the old we are safe. This is why we go on dreaming. But to actually start a thing needs real courage. Secondly, with the old and familiar, we can remain unconscious. We don’t have to make a conscious effort with the old, with the familiar, with the known. For example, when we start learning a vehicle, in the beginning we are very conscious: we are aware of the movement of the body, we are aware of the movement of the vehicle. We are so cautious. We feel everything: the pressure on the accelerator, the pressure on the break, everything. We are so alert. Because there might be an accident. But as the time passes the same vehicle becomes familiar to us. We get used to it and once we get used, we fall asleep. How many of us ever realize, ever feel that we are actually driving? The whole process of driving becomes so mechanical.
We all love to be asleep because to be conscious is an effort.
Now, if we look at our spiritual life, we see that it is very dull. It is almost dead. For most of us it is not even alive. The reason is inertia. We are caught in an inertia. We do not want movement. Inertia, scientifically speaking, is a property that makes a thing stay still or if it is in motion it simply goes on, it cannot stop.
If we apply this principle to our own lives, we will see that inertia causes stagnation in our lives. This inertia is present in all the dimensions of our lives. We are inert physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Starting with physical inertia, most of us realize that we need to be very conscious of our own bodies. We have to take good care of our bodies, that we must have proper physical activity, workout, some kind of exercise, yoga, some kind of physical labour to keep the body fit and fine. Most of us suffer from diseases that demand that we take our lifestyle very seriously, that we live consciously. There are people suffering from BP, diabetes, and endless diseases. They are advised to get up early in the morning, to go for a walk, to eat proper food, to sit properly, to sleep properly. But they go on overlooking these very important advises. We are so good at making excuses. We go on planning: “Maybe I will start from June, maybe I will start from the summer. Oh! Let the summer pass, let the winter come. The winter is the best season for exercise.” And in winter it is too cold to go out! It is too hard to get out of the bed. Then rainy season. Sometimes there are rains, so we cannot get out; sometimes it is cloudy, sometimes it is very humid…And we go on making these excuses.
These excuses come from inertia. We have become so used to a certain pattern of living. We have created such habits that those do not allow us to see that immediate changes are required. We go on wandering that we take resolutions, we promise ourselves, we make commitments to ourselves. And everything fails, nothing ever works. The reason is stagnation, inertia. If you have not run for a long time and if you try running, say, two kilometers or three kilometers, what happens? You feel pain all over your body because the muscles and the joints had forgotten to run. They had, kind of, rusted. This rusting causes all the pain because then your limbs, your muscles, your joints, they have to leave the old and the familiar and they have to enter into the new. When you don’t do stretching and bending on a daily basis, and then one day suddenly when you try this, you are going to suffer. It is very obvious. And once you suffer, you start feeling that it is better to be what you are. You start believing that all the changes cause problem. It is not the change that causes problem, it is inertia. Over a period of time your body had lost all kinds of movement, so all of a sudden it cannot recover. It needs time. I have seen many obese people. They know obesity is going to cause them serious problems but they just can’t help it. They have means, they have time, and they have need, above all, for a good workout. They just can’t help it. Inertia is the root.
Further, even mentally we are stagnant. We have got some sets of beliefs, some ideas about one thing or the other, and we go on living with those ideas forever. We follow one political party or the other, we belong to one society or the other, we are the followers of one religion or the other. All this gives us a certain set of ideas and we cling to them at the cost of worst suffering. In fact, this suffering caused by mental inertia, by the non- acceptance of the change is extolled as sacrifice. We believe we are sacrificing ourselves for a good cause. So we just try to console ourselves by this labeling, by cheating ourselves, by calling our suffering sacrifice. And it is not only about institutions, about communities, but our opinions about people also hardly ever change. If we have got a certain idea of somebody, most often we never change that. This is also a form of inertia.
Mental inertia is more harmful than physical inertia. Because with physical inertia at least we realize that we have to make certain changes. Because with the physical inertia it is not a matter of pride, it is not a matter of ego. We do realize that our laziness has made us pay dearly. Like, we can easily observe that unhealthy food causes diseases and those diseases at least warn us that we have to make changes. Physical diseases are apparent. But mental diseases are hardly noticeable. By mental diseases, I do not mean psychological diseases; I am talking about ideological diseases, ideological problems. We are not aware how this ideological inertia is harming us.
When we move to spiritual inertia things become more stagnant because they are more abstract. So much so that we sometimes doubt whether there is something called spiritual dimension or not. We start denying its very existence. And spiritual dimension is the most vital aspect of human existence. So with the mind at least you know that you have got some idea about one thing or the other, you belong to one political party or the other and you can become conscious, you can at least start contemplating, reflecting. But when it comes to spiritual aspect we don’t have even a distant idea what it is. There are people who call that we are made of matter only, there is nothing spiritual. All spirituality is just theological nonsense at worst or mere speculation at best. So how can we enter into something whose existence itself is in doubt? As a result, we feel that it is just a waste of time talking about spiritualism, talking about those mysterious truths, talking about those ultimate elements of human or universal reality.
And it is better if we reject the whole idea of spirituality, so that at least we get rid of it. But the problem comes when we accept also but we do not want to experience it. The worst pain in human life is that you know something can give you joy, you know something can give you peace, but you cannot try that. This is the worst thing. That is why truly materialistic people are happier than fake spiritualists. Because materialists have rejected spirituality, they don’t miss it, they don’t feel the lack. But the false spiritualists who just talk, who just dream, who just plan, who do not want to enter into the spiritual dimension, they do not want to dive into the spiritual river, they just go on standing on the bank and just planning that one fine day they would jump into the river. This is the greatest suffering because you know there is something there in the depths of the river but you do not want to enter it.
There are people who have been asking me questions about life, about love, about death and so many things and for years they have been asking. They just love words. They do not want experience. Yes, questions are good. At least one who asks questions is curious and curiosity is a sign of liveliness. At least a questioner is better than those who are gullible, credulous, who accept everything without any thought at all. So questioning is good. But it is not everything. Questioning is the beginning, it is not the end; experience is the end. But very few people ever want to experience things. They just love wordplay and this wordplay is also a product of inertia because we are familiar with the language, we are familiar with words, we don’t know silence. With the language we feel safe. With silence there may be trouble. So we do not want to enter into silence. Too many questions are simply a device to avoid silence. Existence is all the time making us aware, supplying us the things that we need on the spiritual path. We are getting opportunities, but because of our inertia we lose them.
Inertia is a kind of blindness. We fail to see things. They are there, just there. Inertia is a kind of blindfold that we put on our own eyes. Remember, spiritual journey is a journey of awakening, it is a journey of consciousness, of being aware. And the first thing that we all need to be aware of, the very first thing, is that we are spiritually inert, passive, and we have to get out of it. We have to break out of this passivity, this cage of passivity.
All changes in life come from only one thing: Awareness. Once you are aware, you are ready to learn. Spiritual beauty is incomparable, but it is indescribable too. It is a path, it is a dimension full of uncertainty. Nothing can be predicted, nothing can be forecast about the spiritual weather. You have to take courage. After all it is your own life, after all you have to make life meaningful because a meaningless life is no better than death. This meaninglessness comes because of spiritual coma. Be conscious. Come out of this coma and you will see how much there is to live, how much there is to experience. And all those beautiful experiences can be lived only when we are conscious.

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