Chapter 1 : Venting

After four decades on the planet it is very clear to me that I don't want to be here. Sad but true. Everything and everyone I see here, I think, is at least 80 percent negative, including myself. In this pathetic state of affairs I need to survive.
I am disappointed with everyone's immoral character - their complex egos, the games they play, their nastiness; the list can be endless. Some are simply demons, and I've written them off. I mean, just look at the people in this world; in any group of ten people, eight of them will have 80 percent negative qualities. It is hard to find good values in people. The same is true for me! I am disappointed in myself; I am just a crumb on this earth. I am nowhere I aspire to be. I can't deal with people (as you can see); I am short-tempered, impatient, controlling, and more. I don't know anything. I talk too much. I am sure others have the same opinion of me that I have of them.

I am disgusted with the worst of people dominating and driving things, while the silent minority, who are good, refrain from expressing themselves and hide in a corner. Everywhere I look, whether it's the work environment or social groups, wherever there are people, negativity dominates. My spiritual master tells me that negativity is on the surface and the core is positive, like in an atom. Well, it's the negativity we have to deal with - how often do we meet someone whose purity and perfection shines through?

Negativity is so to get rid of. Past events leave an impression on my mind; if something bad happens today, I will be sulking tomorrow too. If only I could have no negative impressions about people or events, have no negative emotions poisoning my system, what a great benefit it would be. If I woke up each morning and started afresh with no negativity, no taints on my heart or mind, it would be such a relief.

The world has become a display of ego, greed, selfishness, anger, hatred, and utter ignorance. We have developed so much materially, but I feel as human beings we are degenerating. Are the standards for friendship and humanity falling with passage of time? Are we at the lowest point in humanity, and is this world close to becoming a living hell? Or is it going to get worse still? 

Look at politicians. Recently I dived deep into Indian politics and came to the conclusion that it's so bad, nothing can be done; it's simply headed toward the edge of a steep cliff. It's because the power is in the wrong hands, the worst people are running the show, too many people are immoral, and the system doesn't work. The bad people are united and the good people are divided.

I really see no reason to live. Maybe I should just go and live in some small village, where people are simple, innocent, and still have some values. At least I'll live the rest of my life peacefully - since I have to go through life anyway. The only people I truly love are my mother, my father, and my two sons, and I find them the only reason for living.

Spiritual teachers say life's purpose is self-realization, enlightenment. So what exactly is that? Yes, we have all heard it, and we just have to have faith in scriptures that it exists. But when someone attains enlightenment, what happens? Something happens to them inside, but what? A no-mind state perhaps. What exactly is that: no-mind, no ego? I've heard that enlightened people merge with cosmic consciousness. Okay, that's just too far out for me; I don't understand – or do they still human or they become ETs? Scary. Is it some psycho state? Do I really want enlightenment?

I think I was quite happy as an innocent little girl, not knowing anything. I was just happy being me, simple and natural, with no care for the world, for my little world was perfect. Isn't that Nirvana? But then it had to change. I had to grow up, become miserable, and then struggle to seek freedom from that misery. Now I'm stuck. No way out, not knowing where to go - what is the way forward? Even when I die, I will just come back here again to be miserable.

What's the purpose of living? I can't simply turn a blind eye to these questions and live like a robot, or have this herd mentality: everyone is simply living and so should I. I can't follow the patterns everyone else is: go to school, find a job, get married, have kids, work some more, retire, and then finally die. All this for what? Most people don't even ask this question. They simply live their lives like cattle in a herd and follow the norms of the world and do what everyone else is doing.

Don't people ever wonder what they are living for? The biggest wake-up call is death. But by then it's too late to aim for self-realization. If, having seen someone die, one doesn't start living, he or she has missed the opportunity of a lifetime. There are so many depressed people and so much sickness and suffering. Is it just me, or are most people unhappy? Are people only feigning happiness? That superficial happiness evaporates very quickly when faced with a problem, to be replaced with sadness or anger. Most people go through this yo-yo of happiness and sadness all their lives, never attaining equilibrium.

I am confused, and I really feel like I am at rock bottom in my life, trying to find some meaning to it. Tired of the mundane, going through the motions of life day, in and day out.
I have read so much, heard so much, and done so much, but still I am nowhere. I am supposed to be spiritual - because I need it the most I think. Look at me. I am a total failure! I still have the same problems, still crying about this and that.

The whole world has dried up around me. The only oasis is the lectures I attend given by Swami-ji[1] at the local monastery. In the Bhagavad Gita class today, we learned that there will be misery, sickness, death, and other problems. It is the nature of the world. It is the nature of the body and mind. While the mind is going through this duality of happiness/sadness, anger/attraction, we need to remain aware of our Eternal Self, which is untouched. And while the body may be going through the opposites of health/sickness, youth/aging, we need to be aware that we are not the body but the Eternal Self, that is untouched. Hmmm…It sounds good but hard to practice. Although I must admit that when I was sick yesterday and landed in the ER, I could observe the body and say, "The body is going through something" and I observed the body to see what was going on inside. So I have made some progress. But a few days ago, someone at work gave me a lot of grief and I was truly thrown off my center, lost balance, and reacted.

Why do I react? Why do I get angry? Why am I defensive when blamed and criticized? What others do is their Karma; how I react is mine. I need to detach. I need to be more aware. I need to say "No!" I need to observe my urge to react and take a deep breath. I need to be smart to tackle difficult people for my own benefit. Otherwise, it is I who gets hurt. "Having resentment is like drinking poison and thinking that it'll kill your enemy," said Nelson Mandela. Others should not be able to control me, affect my health, or disturb my mind. 

I'm tired. Oh, Krishna, please help me! Where are you? You are my only hope.
"Giridhar Gopal ne hi pyar nibhaya, kisi dosare ne naahi. 
Baki sab ka pyar badalaa, mere Giridhar ka kabhi naahi. 
Mere to Giridhar Gopal dosaro na koi." 
"Vohi mera saath nibhate, vohi meri raksha karte. 
Vohi mere Priya! Mere Paramatma! Mero pati soi."

On this darkest night of creation, where everything seems to have reached deep into the abyss of evolution, there is nothing but evil. The only option is total destruction for a fresh start. The only path is upward now. it has to be after reaching absolute bottom. Knowing that this, too, will change, knowing that this dark evil night is the climax of creation, I see a ray of hope. Without this knowing, I would be forever lost in misery. I, too, have reached the bottom, searching for a way up and out, searching for the Self. Without the desire to know "Who am I?" I would be forever stuck with the miserable "I." Still, I have a faint feeling that there is a better "I," a happier "I," that I have to get back to. When one's self-esteem is at the lowest a "knowing" has to awaken. So I tell myself, “Kesari, wake up!”.

I tread the path in search of that pure self, that awakened self. I can fall no further into that inner pit. I have to find a way out. This, too, will change; this night will be over. There will be another day whose dawn will illumine the true me. I will smile again. Where art thou, Krishna, my savior? My love for you is like nectar in this dry dusty desert. It has helped me survive. Tell me now the way forward, come to my help. Offer me some hope and knowledge, show me the way. I trust you and only you. Krishna! Krishna! Krishna!

Credits & Copyright: Radhikita Bianci

[1] Swami: Hindu monk. Literally means, established in the Self. “-ji” added for reverence like in Gandhi-ji.

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