Friday, August 1, 2014

The Five Year Story

I have seen, every five years life changes.

I don't know why. Surely such a long span of time gives life enough oppotunities to focus on a single short-term goal, try out tests and come to a conclusion. Life learns from such experiments.

Maybe this is why the idea of five year plan for a country comes to fruition. Maybe the ancient statecraft artists noticed that long ago; further in the past than Chanakya or Socrates. Further in the past than Buddha.

In Suttapitaka, Buddha talked about a five year period to come to certain understandings of nature. Understandings that would lead to realization - where you become the idea.

But, why should I care for Buddha? I can dive in myself. I can see other people, around me. Our drive for self-actualization, which is stronger than libido in long-term, pushes us to reject certain things for others continuously.

Our values change, sometimes dramatically. Slowly, after five years, we come to see how we can handle previously uncontrollable situations. We become mature.

In five years, our bodies change a lot. Internally at least. We become stronger, or weaker, as we age. We become more adamant, and then flexible, as we grow. This growth sustains throughout life.

When the growth stops we become vegetable. That is worse than death. For the wise, growth never stops.

Socrates said, wisdom is alignment with the nature. I see the validity of that statement. Life is like a spring. Sometimes it recoils, again to expand. 

Our Indian philosophy called the sources sanskara. Each incident leaves impression on the body, and mind, very deeply. Sometimes we are aware of these impressions. More often we are not. Freud called the reservoir of such impressions the unconscious. Buddha believed such impressions are passed on from life to life. Buddhist meditation, Vipassana, is a psycho-physical way to bring all such impressions to the conscious level and then to get rid of them.

In five years, such impressions probably collect to an organic whole to plunge deep inside the mind - becoming almost a second instinct. They condition the mind, and the body.

I see our love for contrast, opposite situations - oppositions - is inborn. I guess, we move towards some kind of opposition after five years. Maybe to counterbalance the previous boredom. Another cycle starts.

Buddha says, the observer, the silent witness, is the blessed person - one who enjoys the play with all its ups and downs, the dramatic conflicts, as a theatre spectator.

But, I am not Buddha. I love participating in this cycle of life with all wildness. 

After five years, life is more interesting!