In life, we take birth, we struggle and, eventually, we die.
Struggle is the essence of life.
The entire act of life’s conception, per se, is full of struggle. Millions of sperms struggle to unite with the female egg. Mother, the carrier of this life, struggles to protect the life in her womb. The life struggles to come out of the womb.
And starts an unfinished relay race of human struggle. One struggle passes the baton to another struggle.
Struggle to open tiny eyes. Struggle with the light. The cold. The visuals. the noise. Struggle for milk – the food. After this sensory struggle, the baton is passed on to our struggle to communicate. To walk. To be independent.
Once we learn to walk, talk and rock, we become officially independent. And thus begins a new struggle to be dependent. Dependent on work, money, partner and society. We spend all our life being dependent.
We struggle to gain weight, lose weight, throw around weight, shun weight.
We struggle to dream, to actualise the dream, to protect ourselves from the failure of the dream.
We struggle with our body, our mind and our heart. We struggle to be happy. Once happy, we struggle to sustain it. Once the happiness is gone, which it must, we struggle to repeat it.
Sex is struggle. Money is struggle. Power is struggle. If you have one or all of these then, their possession is a struggle.
Success is a struggle. Unsuccess is a struggle.
A relationship comes with struggle. It survives on struggle. Marriage is struggle. Children make us struggle.
Winter makes us struggle, so does summer.
Whether we travel in mountains, oceans, rivers, forests, desserts or plains, all terrains introduce us to another kind of struggle.
Materialism and denouncement both are struggles of polarised kinds. Any desire to attain something is rooted in struggle. Indifference and detachment are struggles to escape struggle. We call it higher kind of struggle. The moment we attach levels to anything, it becomes a struggle.
If you look around minutely and try to understand calmly, you shall end up discovering that there is nothing that touches us and doesn’t trigger off another struggle.
When breathing becomes a struggle, its called Asthama. When existence becomes a struggle, its called Life.
One may call life by any other name like dynamics, motion, change, unknown… but in its heart its only struggle. Its composition, its nature, its behaviour and its outcome are all enveloped in a struggle.
Humankind has explored life, tried to analyse and understand it through science, metaphysics, abstract, religion and many allied instruments. We have been able to discover, invent, innovate, create means, tools and techniques to make our lives better and with each betterment we added another collection of struggles.
We invented a wheel. Wheel struggled to fit into a bike which struggled to transform into a car which struggled to become an aircraft and so on. We have reached the Mars in a rocket yet we struggle to move on in life. We are still there where we started from. The birth and the Death. In between we still struggle to love, feel and survive.
I am not one of the kinds who blame technology or internet for social struggle. Or emotional struggle. If you start reading from the first text, ever written, to 140 character literature of Twitter, you will find that despite the dominance of the theory of change, human struggle remains exactly where it started from.
Hindus and Buddhists professed the practice of meditation and detachment to rid us of this struggle. But if meditation and detachment are born out of struggle they will end up in struggle. Like drug induced sleep isn’t temporary nirvana, meditation isn’t an escape from struggle. Meditation is seeing the internal struggle. Meditation is a struggle to not see the external struggle. But struggle it is.
Happiness, pleasure, joy, success, richness, knowledge, wisdom, beliefs, opinions, rationale, freedom, liberty etc are all important ideas which are worn like articles of fashion and for precisely the same reason articles of fashion are worn, which is to make the wearer look better and to feel à la mode.
If everyone and everything is struggling, then why should we have hierarchies, levels, positions, statuses or classes? Aren’t we all equal in the sports of life? Aren’t we all in the same pool, unclothed?
If all life is driven by a common struggle then what is the purpose of this life? Why do we exist so haplessly? Can’t we do anything to be evacuated from this rubble? If struggle controls us then what is the purpose of a mind? More struggle?
I think Mother Nature after having given us the gift of struggle, as a fulcrum of our lives, also gave us the power of ‘creative thinking’ like a steering wheel.
Creative thinking or imagination helps us looking at this struggle from our point of view (POV), which makes it unique. Our POV of life and its struggle is as unique as our passport no. or our fingerprints. Even if any other POV comes close to it, it will always be an approximation of our unique POV. Never the same. This is the strongest reason that we have a unique worldview. We are the owners of this POV. And that is our space in this infinite universe. Not the land, house, city, nation, earth. Our space is our POV. It’s this POV that makes us ride through this struggle. Imagine to live your life with someone else’s POV and what do you find? More struggle. Because window shopping is a struggle of desire. Life’s struggle, when seen through someone else’s eyes, induces more pain, more fear and more distress to our lives. Like a compromise with our Unique ID puts us in logistical trouble and sometimes in jail, any compromise with our unique POV lands us in a kaleidoscopical illusion and vulnerable to be victimised by organised religion. Our unique POV is our biggest strength. Our oxygen. We may have 20/20 eyes but this POV gives them vision.
Secondly, ‘Creative thinking’ gives us power to channelise this struggle in whichever direction we want. The course of this struggle is derived out of this unique POV. Imagine this struggle as a forceful, violent river. It has the strength and force to take with it forests, cities and populations. When this river is channelised, its tamed and becomes productive and useful to humankind by producing electricity, fertiling the land, quenching hamlets and adds up to aesthetics. Similarly, once channelised with the creative thinking, same struggle produces incomprehensible energy, unlimited force and gives a meaning to this struggle.
Body, heart and mind, in unison, produce struggle. Once steered by ‘creative thinking, same body, heart and mind engineer a ‘Buddha’ state of mind. Where we become Buddha.
I have come to understand that creative thinking helps us find our inner Buddha.
This is the first part of a blog-series on ‘creative thinking’.