Sunday, June 7, 2009


The harsh reality in our life is that we do not know how to live our life by ourselves. It is the reality for almost everyone exists in this world, probably with very, very few exceptions. As a family we were guided by those who do not know to live their life by themselves. As part of a society/culture we are being guided by those who do not know to live their life by themselves. As a part of religion or sect, we are being guided by those who do not know to live their life by themselves. By belonging to a state and nation we are being administered by those who do not know to live their life by themselves. Everyone needs some ideals to follow to live their life, including the leaders. The ideal may be a person or philosophy or religion or set of moral values established by some body.

The looking for ideals starts at early ages, as soon as the quality of comparison enters into our being. Looking for ideal is a side effect of our action of comparison.

When we were young, our parents were everything for us. Without them no external activity required for our survival was possible and hence they were everything for us at that stage. Our parents become ideals for us at that young age itself, due to the protection and security they provided for us. At that age we were feeling completeness with just our parents. As we grow up, our (psychological) world starts expanding and we need more than our parents to fulfill our needs. Then, whoever fills that gap become our new ideals. For most of us, after our parents, our teachers became ideals. For those who have fewer requirements for fulfillment needs fewer ideals and for those who have more requirements for fulfillment needs more ideals. And it is possible to drag the same ideal to the direction in which we need psychological protection.

When we see that the ideals are formed at as early as few weeks or months of our existence in this world, the obvious question arises in our mind is that if it happens at that young age itself, Is it not a natural process? If it is a natural process why should we avoid ideals?

We know that survival is the basic instinct for anything exists. All the animate and inanimate beings in this world have strong desire for survival. Without that desire, nothing can exist. As a child, we also had strong desire to survive. We have a brain and hence a mind with memory. Whatever helps us to survive will enter into our memory, since we already have ego of our own – which starts registering whatever helps it to grow, into the memory. Once something is in memory, we are conditioned such a way that thought arises. This conditioning must have again started from the time of first being in this world which had brain and the process is still continuing. Due to that conditioning and due to the working of brain it appears to be a natural process. Now, when we understand the very same process is hindering our evolution, it is again natural to discard that process; because evolution is the very natural process and every animate and inanimate being are constantly working towards evolution. Hence the key point here is the understanding of requirement of ideals in our life. This has to be understood by ourselves

As adults, we start fulfilling ourselves with our activities and the achievements projected by our mind. Hence, at certain level, forming more ideals for ourselves stops at a stage where we are physically able to do whatever required for our survival. But by this time, our mind starts projecting many things out of our actions. Based on the extent of the projection of mind and based on the gap between this projection and reality, our feeling of fulfillment at psychological level will be placed. Now we are in need of ideals at another level - at psychological level, for our fulfillment. Now we consider the people who in reality are close to ourselves as projected by our mind or close to the way our mind wants us to be, as our ideals. Our mind does that projection only because it knows that somebody else is at that level. On the other hand, the projection of our mind is nothing but the result of comparison and the side effect is the formation of ideal in our mind. Once we have an ideal in our mind, we put forward all our effort to become that ideal, but it will never be possible. We cannot become somebody else. We are unique being in this world, with our own chemistry and hence our own properties. If we do not realize this, we struggle to become that ideal, which we can never become, and our life will be nothing but struggle.

In certain cases, we cannot find a live ideal or an historical ideal. In such cases certain philosophy or religion or scriptures may become the ideals. A mind with the bondage of such ideal cannot find the true meaning of any philosophy or religion or scripture. The mind translates the philosophy or religion or scripture according to its ideal, and then tries to follow that philosophy/religion/scripture. At this level of translation and following, it cannot reach anywhere else other than illusion or Maya.

A person can form ideals due to inherent limitation on doing certain things and the need for defending that limitation for the purpose of security required for the ego. For example a person working in a modern office environment and not capable of playing office politics may form an ideal such that, he/she sees a person who has some integrity with respect to office politics as the ideal. This person will start following that ideal and this following is due to the inability to play efficient office politics, but to keep the ego active, need to defend that limitation. In such cases, the irony is that this person looks for integrity where he lacks capability and he does not bother about integrity in other aspects of his life, and hence it becomes a breeding point for conflicts.

Certain other level, we take spiritual Gurus as our ideals on our search for fulfillment. When we have certain level of understanding about us and start turning inward, due to lack of energy and intensity of looking inward, we starts looking for spiritual Gurus. When the method of any spiritual Guru’s expressing themselves suit our way of thinking, they become our ideals and start following them and want to be like them or the way the Guru explain the nature of being (Not like the Guru or their explanation, but the way our mind projects them as being). We just start to follow whatever they preach and most of the cases, without proper understanding of ourselves and what we really need from the spiritual Guru. In that case, again it becomes a mere following of the Guru (as projected by our mind). Hence there is no sense on such following and we can reach nowhere with such following, since we do not know what we really needs. This does not mean we should not have a spiritual Guru. A spiritual Guru may have certain placement in our lives, but we should understand that limit and stop there. When our mind projects the Guru beyond this limit, he/she is no more a spiritual Guru – he/she becomes an ideal for us. Such Guru is just like any other image in our mind, which can do nothing but harm to our life. This is not the problem or mistake of the spiritual Guru, but our own problem – we do not know, why and where we need a spiritual Guru and the role of a spiritual Guru in our lives.

Sticking with some ideal is bondage, whatever great or noble it may be, which breeds desire, despair, incompleteness, pain and suffering, whether the ideal is a person, idea, philosophy, religion, Guru or whatever it may be. The ideal itself is the projection of our mind and it is not real. When we try to reach an ideal or try to become an ideal, we are slipping away from reality. As much distance as we are away from reality that much pain and suffering will be there in our lives.

How to transcend ideals? Like any other problem of mind, the only way out is, understanding the problem itself by ourselves. Nobody else can solve this problem for us. When we look into the ideals we are having, with enough intensity, we will understand how the ideal was formed within our mind. When we have this understanding, we will be having complete understanding about ourselves in the domain in which the ideal was formed. When we understand ourselves in certain area, all our actions in that area will reflect our understanding. Once we reach that stage, there is no more need for any ideals. We will be fulfilled with our actions and outcome of such actions, due to the fact that we have the complete understanding of ourselves in the domain of such action, and those actions will be based on what is needed for situations and for us. When our actions are based on need, there is no choice available to choose or reject such actions. When we do a choice-less action, there are no conflicts and we will be completely fulfilled in the area of such action. When we have fulfillment by ourselves in certain area of our psychology, we do not need any more ideals for that area. Hence the way for transcending the ideal is just look into the ideal – the ideal within our mind, with complete attention and energy. The ideal will be dissolved by itself. We do not need to do anything else.

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