Quantum Leap in Understanding Self  

After some time, he could not find out who the leader was, as the creatures were moving in circles one behind the other.

Published: 04th June 2023 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st June 2023 10:02 PM   |  A+A-

A French entomologist conducted an experiment in which he used caterpillars that travel in a long line with the same pace and rhythm, giving no attention to the final destination. They are known to follow the leader. The entomologist took a giant flower pot and placed a large amount of food in its centre. Then, he placed the caterpillars onto the thin rim of the flower pot.

After some time, he could not find out who the leader was, as the creatures were moving in circles one behind the other. Even after seven days and nights, they were moving on the rim and did not break the pattern to eat the food placed in the centre of the pot. In the end, they died of starvation and exhaustion. Their source of life was visible and invisible. They could not alter their habitual and instinctive process.

This is also true with humans. We are caught in our pattern and end up without true fulfilment. Doing whatever you have done, you will continue to get what you have got. To live wisely and happily, question the way you are leading your life. Living in the fast lane, fast food has become a source of convenience. There is no time for one to look at how harmful it is because one is so busy getting what one wants. To earn money fast, one goes to any extent and thus spoils the quality of life.

The majority of arms dealing across the world is a source of making money. Some nations, to earn through it, are even involved in causing fights among other countries. To exploit rich deposits of diamonds in certain areas, particularly in the economically weaker countries, unscrupulous people create disorder among the local tribes. The infighting facilitates smuggling the precious commodity. All this is because quick money is their focus. So, one is caught in the activity without experiencing true fulfilment. Hence, learn to question your actions. Pause and take a re-look; don’t blindly follow your values or what you are doing. Do not be blindly led by others.

Also question who is the doer. Is it the self? If one sees the whole process of the ‘self’ and how it unfolds in action, then one will see it is more harmful than useful. The self wants to be better than others and, in the process, becomes bitter. This creates division, and division leads to conflict. Nations have divided themselves and in the fear of protecting themselves, they build arms to destroy each other. The urge to be secure creates more insecurity and chaos. 

If you go a little deeper, you will understand that it is nothing but your thoughts.  When there is no thought, there is no ‘self’ as in a state of deep sleep. So the ‘self’ hangs on thought. Thought is an expression of memory. Hence, for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, when memory is gone, they lose the sense of ‘self’.

Thought is not free, for it is bound by its conclusions, dogmas, opinions, likes and dislikes. This bound ‘self’ creates disorder and chaos. If one sees this totally and in a non-verbal manner, then intelligence will be born, and that will end the egoistic self.

Swami Sukhabodhananda is an international management spiritual & corporate guru (For more details on his online workshop ‘Spiritual Warrior’, starting June 12 and 26, email: support@prasannatrust.com)


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