Monday, February 27, 2012

Me and the dessert.

Self control. Blech. Sounds very restricting to my freedom. Let's call it self-mastery. Ah! Sounds empowering.

Everytime I have an ice cream, I know that the moment it is taken away from me, I wont think about it. I wont crave it. In its absence, I wont mess up other things I'm doing, coz I'm thinking about that ice cream. This sounds new, almost weird. 

There's that guy you hate in your class. Everytime he's absent from class, your day goes surprisingly wonderful. Everytime you see him, his 'stupid face first thing in the morning', it bugs you to no end. "But I can hate whoever I want. I'm a free person." His presence or absence decides the course of your day. Does this sound like a free person to you?

Freedom is the opportunity to make your own choices. I'm sure everyone agrees with that. By "own choices" I mean everything that YOU think is right.
Like say, I love eating. And I do it ALL the time. I dont see anything wrong with it. And I'm not hurting anybody in the process. "I like it, toh I'll do it."(Sound familiar?)

Problem is, even when you are full, and there's dessert in front of you, your mind doesnt even have a choice. Normally, the internal dynamics must go like this:

Dessert: Im right here, waiting to be eaten.
Mind: But I'm full. And dessert isnt even that good for health. Let's skip it this time. It's not like I'll never ever have dessert again, anyway.
Dessert: But...
Mind: Nope. Sorry. Decided.

But if youre in LOVE with that particular dessert, the conversation goes a tad differently:

Dessert:  Im right here, waiting to be eaten.
Mind: Oh, I'm full. But you look tempting. I just cant seem to say no!'
Dessert: (smiles smugly)

Brahmacharya or discipline is not about celibacy or not marrying, it's about knowing that you will be happy, whether a certain thing is present or absent.
About realising that your happiness isnt in fact, a function of whether the object is there or not, but of your REACTION to its presence or absence.

After a lot of thoight, I realised that restriction isn't the opposite of freedom. Restriction is the tool used to enjoy freedom better and more fully.

Without restriction, you would have gobbled up that dessert, and probably asked for more. End of that story = toothache/stomachache.

With restriction, you'd have some of the dessert and stop. Or give up the dessert, so your system stays okay. You had the freedom of choice, and exercising restriction in this case made you healthier and happier than the 2 seconds of dessert in your mouth, and the 2 days of clutching your stomach in pain.

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea that restriction is the tool used to enjoy freedom more fully.
    Puts everything into a better perspective :)