Do you feel INSECURE?
“Did you never feel insecurity or fear of being unsuccessful? From the post, it appears that you went by your gut feeling to do what you loved. How did you overcome the feeling of insecurity?” asked a gentleman Satish K D after reading my article (“How to be a billionaire? The easiest way!”)
“I have not experienced insecurity in my life. I never had a feeling of security too…” I replied to him. I really do not know the real meaning of “security” in life.
If I want to feel insecure, I need to have a concept or definition of security.
Many people asked me about insecurity in life. But they had different meaning – insecurity in life, life-style, job, business, finance, and health….the list in end-less…But mostly the word security is used in relation with a job, career or profession and finance.
The cosmic or nature force (God, divine energy or Brahman, whatever) has stored your food as mother’s breast milk, even before you are born. The nature is so caring and meticulous. Still you are feeling insecure! If you can experience the presence of that GOD (“Do you believe in GOD?”), how come you feel insecure and unsafe?
While we were doing our PUC, my college mate Roy Kurien asked me: “How can you live without a secure government job? You will have to take care of a family in the future…”
His concern was that I have not registered my name in the state government’s employment exchange…A government job was considered as the biggest achievement in life then…I was the only person in my batch who didn’t go for registration. I have never ever applied or tried for a government job. Coming to that, I have not tried for a regular or permanent job anywhere.
I met him recently after so many years – he became a senior gazetted officer in the local government administration. Meeting old buddies always gives immense pleasure. He welcomed me whole heartedly and expressed his genuine concern: “Uday, you are still a rolling stone….I used to enquire about you and heard lot of conflicting reports on your jobs…”
“Yes Roy….I was not able to stick anywhere…I wanted to experience the new experiences”
“I am not saying a government job is great. It is so monotonous and honest people cannot make money too…But it gives you a feel of security in life” Roy is an earnest and ardent Christian, who believes in humility, simplicity and love.
“It depends Roy, depends upon how do you define security of life”, I said
“Are you not feeling insecure Uday? Now, you have a family to take care… and you still don’t have a permanent job…you have declined job offers from abroad too…don’t you think it is ahankara and will get punished later….?”
“I do not know Roy. As long as my brain works and hand moves, I can make a comfortable living out of it…if I cannot move – well, what would you do if you cannot move? The result is the same for both of us – irrespective of the jobs that we do…”
“You were a job-hopper worked in more than 15 companies in a short span of 20 years, that’s what Viswesh (another friend of us) told me!”
“18 to be precise…” I smiled.
“See, see… you are not yet very serious about life…you are still not matured. You began your career as a general reporter, and then turned into film journalism and then technology, right?”
“Oh, I am a financial journalist now…” I was working in an investment publication then.
“Had you at least stick to one field in journalism, you would have established and excelled in that field…I know your talent”
“Roy, I don’t want to rest in my own laurel. I do not want to get established in any field. My understanding of life is that it is all about struggling. So I am trying the best I can, within the bandwidth limit that I have. The struggle for ethical survival in life is my karma. This struggle gives me immense happiness. If I stop struggling, I do not know what else I would do”
“A rolling stone gathers no moss…” he warned.
“Such a stone remains free, clean and unadorned” I said.
“You are still nuts…People always want to get established themselves in a career and you are doing just the opposite…”
“So I experience more, I am becoming richer everyday…If there is no struggle, what is there in life to be amused about?” I asked….”I am ready to work till my brain and hands work, after that, I do not know. And I don’t want to worry about something that I do not know”
“But you have to earn money for your family. Or they will starve. When you don’t have money, nobody is going to help you…” Roy said. I know that’s a statement of fact in today’s society.
Money is very important. But it is not everything. A person who works hard can still manage to live in this world. I might need money till I die. But there is a limit for everything. Money has value. But, if you don’t spend more, why do you need more money? If it is not useful, what’s the value of currency notes? Not even scrap value.
Parents of my parents were rich. But alas, my parents didn’t get anything as inheritance. They worked hard, lived a contented life. I work hard, I am contended. Tomorrow my kids will work hard and I would like to see them contended, but that’s not in my hands. Currently, the social life is being defined by advertising agencies and media. They expand your ego. So there are equal chances that kids may get attracted to the superficial world.
“Roy, I do not want to give my kids wealth as inheritance. Prepare them to create wealth when in need in an ethical way without hurting others. Prepare them to be happy and cheerful human being, not a depressed, perverted moron with inherited -freely got – wealth. Roy, I know you are saving for your kids compromising your needs. My parents did the same. But I feel you are doing injustice to yourself and your family and the society…”I said.
“That’s a rubbish way of thinking Uday. Kids would need something to start with. A seed capital for their life…” Roy said.
“If they have proper health and education and a good mind to work hard, why should they need money? Why should you keep separate ghee if you have butter with you?” I asked.
Roy’s wife, an Insurance agent came in, with hot coffee. She is also earning – working an LIC agent. She sells life insurance policy.
Jina Kurien, his wife, explained the benefits of certain insurance policies. “You will get one crore rupees in the unfortunate event of your death…”
“Oh Jina, what will I do with the one crore after my death. I cannot carry it with me, right?”
“Cut the joke Uday, it is for your family…”Roy said.
“Do I have a family after death?” I asked.
“You really mean to say that you are not worried about what would happen to your family in the unfortunate event of your death?”
“Jina, what’s your birth year?”
“Don’t ask females about their birth year…”Roy said.
“No problem, it is our Uday, na…It is 1969…”
“In 1965, your parents faced a great trouble in their life…were you worried about it?” I asked.
“How can she? She was not even in the planning stage…”Roy laughed.
“Let Jina answer…were you worried about your parents before 1969?”
“No…I was not even born that time, so why should I?”
“Then why would you worry about something that might happen to your children or family after your death?” I asked her.
“You won’t change….Kutharka…”Roy cursed me
“On the contrary, I am changing… I don’t have even a permanent opinion about anything…I keep on evolving…Roy, my understanding is that, we have to provide our family whatever essential for the life. Not luxury. Not huge savings. Instead we should give them love and make them understand the values in life….Tell them to take care of body and mind – Ayur-arogya-soukya. Let them focus on education and art. That’s all we can do for the kids. If they follow our advice, they would live happily. If not, well, it is not my head-ache then…that’s what our ancestors taught us. They didn’t give wealth in money. They enriched us with value-systems”
“You mean to say we should not help our children…”
I told him this story: A man saw a butterfly struggled for several hours to force itself through the tiny hole of its cocoon. Seeing its struggle in the adversity, the man decided to help the butterfly out of the cocoon. He snipped the remaining bit of the cocoon with scissors, and the butterfly emerged effortlessly.
But the butterfly had a swollen body, and its wings were shriveled. The man watched closely, expecting that the wings would enlarge and expand to support the body, which would contract in time. Nothing happened. The butterfly spent the rest of its life-time crawling around with a swollen body and deformed wings. It was never able to fly.
The man acted in kindness. But he did not understand that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the small opening of the cocoon are God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready to fly once it has achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
“Aren’t we pampering our children in the name of parenting? Especially when you have one or half child now-a-days? We do not teach them any values. We teach them superstitions. We do not make them struggle in life. And tomorrow they become worthless. And we cry in our olden days!” I asked him.
“But kids won’t understand these things. They are living in an ambience where parents do even their homework”
“Roy, I have never helped my kids in their learning process. I asked them to find their own answers. My daughter is trying to get internship in any good IT company near to our place as part of her BTech curriculum. Her friend asked me: “Uncle, you have been among the first IT journalist in India who travelled all over the world. You have even attended a press briefing with Steve Jobs. Still you are not helping your daughter?” I said: “I love her, so I want to see her struggle and achieve on her own merits…”
“You are nuts. You are not fit enough to live in this world…”Jina said.
I understand this condition so perfectly. I had phobia – White-coated hypertension. I was seriously a hypochondriac. I suffered a lot in life – so I can very well understand this situation.
During teen-age I was a health freak – I did exercise yoga and pranayama. Later, I realized that these things can help you up to a certain level only.
Generally speaking, if you are taking care of your health, you can be healthy. But a lot depends upon your DNA codes, life style and external factors like adulterated food, polluted air and contaminated water.
Still, the cosmic has provided us with a combination of free-will and destiny.
For instance, if you have a tendency to get diabetes at the age of 40, by your sedentary life style you can fasten it up and pre-pone it to 30. Or if you are careful about diet and exercise, you may be able to post-pone it up to 50. This is the bandwidth that cosmic has given us.
My friends used to say: “You are a pure vegetarian and never drinks and smokes, so you should be healthy…”
In today’s world, you are a vegetarian doesn’t mean you are healthy. Today you won’t get any pure vegetables or fruits in the market – those are loaded with overdose of pesticides, fertilizers and coloring chemicals. These vegetables and fruits will make you a potential candidate for cancer or any such serious diseases, nothing else.
The extensive use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides in farming has not only converted our country to a huge market for cancer and other drugs but damaged the entire eco-system. India’s underground water and soil have been contaminated to an alarming level. We are eating nothing but poison.
I have spent one whole day in Bangalore in search of open-pollinated seeds for my terrace garden. To my shock, the entire market is dominated by foreign hybrid seeds. In five years down the line, we will have to import the complete range of agro-produce.
And everything around you is getting polluted day by day, thanks to our greed and fascination to unessential things in life. Air, water and mind already contaminated and polluted.
What are we going to give to our children? Currency notes, bank deposit receipts and gold to eat? Do you really think our children will get food and drinking water tomorrow?
We have to be concerned about the health of the country. Health-check is needed for the society not for individual. Hence, health security is just a misnomer. Do you really think that your health is secured with greedy doctors?
Once I had an argument with my friend – Aravind – about insecurity in life and fear of death.
I told him that the cosmic force has stored your food as mother’s breast milk, even before you are born. The cosmic is so caring and meticulously doing everything for you and still you are feeling insecure!
“This is just philosophy Uday. You know nobody can walk the talk. In the practical life when we face serious situation, we become helpless and insecure…” Aravind replied.
That’s true. The inputs to your brain (read mind) from childhood created a conditioned-self = that is you. Every human being is a conditioned program. Everybody (me and you) is a conditioned manifestation of the real self, right? So as long as we live with conditioned mind, we are unconscious and cannot get emotional insight, though we all know the philosophy and the eternal truth.
The real you is the child of creative cosmic force – it is secure and safe. It has a purpose. The conditioned you is manifestation of the real you. The manifestation will always remain insecure and selfish. That’s the trick of our mind that wants us to live in auto-pilot. The conditioned you is piloted by your mind and the real you is guided by the divine.
“Again, this is just philosophy Uday…everybody knows these things….” Aravind continued: “You mean to say you don’t have fear of death…”
“Very much. I was scared. But I overcame it…”
I have seen my mother passing away – with helplessness, numbness and a crying heart. I lighted the funeral pyre with my shaking hands. After cremation, ashes and fragments of bone are collected and eventually immersed in ocean.
After that I didn’t have the fear of death. I know my mother’s higher self is there, waiting for me to come. I know she loves me and I won’t feel any fear. I am not sure about life after death. I do not know if soul or atman – whatever – exists or just an imagination of human mind. I would experience only when I die. And I do not want to go by beliefs and concepts – I want to experience death when it comes. So I don’t fear it.
“No fear of death then?”
“No fear of death…”
“But I am afraid…” Aravind said.
“No Aravind, you are not afraid of death. How can you be afraid of the unknown? You are afraid of losing the known. If you don’t mind losing your ego, then what’s there in death? You know that you are a manifestation of the conditioned mind and ego. If you are ready to lose it, then what’s your problem? The real you is deathless, right?”
“How is it possible?”
“Did you finish the coffee?”
“Take the cup in your hand; it is made up of clay sand, right? What’s inside it?”
“Nothing, just air”
“Just like prana vayu (life-air) inside you…Now you break the cup, what will happen? It will crash into pieces, right? The air becomes part of the air in the room, and the cup changes shape. You can powder the cup pieces and throw into a river….it will still remain, but in a changed form, that’s all…”
“As simple as that?”
“Yes, when you die, the prana vayu won’t go in again and your body will be burned into ashes…as simple as that…all other things related to death are fallacies of human mind…”
“You can say big things in philosophy, but when it comes to practical life, you will get scared…”
“Could be – as long as we live as manifestation of the ego, we will be scared…you and me….” If you can realize that you are just a manifestation guided by conditioned mind, then how come fear grips you?
“Who has security in life? Open your eyes and look around you. Can’t you see it is a foolish idea?” Nothing is permanent…” I told him
“I know nothing will last forever…”Aravind said.
“Then, why do you feel so scared to accept this very simple truth of life. Everything that arises – physical forms, relationships, businesses, whatever -will subside eventually. Insecurity arises when we don’t embrace this truth.”
Everything, EVERYTHING, in this universe is perishable. Everything has life-expectancy. That includes earth, sun and universe. That’s the amazing beauty of divine. The only permanent thing in the universe is change. The only secure fact is insecurity.
“But some beliefs give you strength to overcome insecurity…”
“Let me tell you Aravind…There is no security in any concepts, any philosophy any beliefs or any human beings. There is no security in any sacred texts or gurus or god-men! You are just seeking psychological security in some or all of these things. There is no real security. If we are destined to perish, what can save us?”
“So, nothing is secure?” Aravind asked. I told him to love the insecurity. There is a beauty in insecurity.
Let me recall an incident in my life:
During our final days together, I and my love were cutting and eating fruits. She suddenly took the knife and put it on my throat.
“Uday, I am going to kill you…I am going to cut your throat…” she said.
She said: “I am serious…This is a sharp knife…”
I laughed again. She has shown gestures like having killing rage in her.
I continue laughing in such a way that the knife actually hurt the peripheral skin of the throat and a drop of blood came out. I still laughed.
“Why Uday, are you not scared of this sharp knife?” she asked.
“The knife is very sharp. But I know that those hands holding the knife are of my love. And I know you love me more than your life. With whom else can I be so fearless?”
Every situation in life (how much ever tough and terrible it appears to be) happens with the awareness of cosmic wisdom or god. The situation may appear alarming or terrible. It can create insecurity. But we should understand that the provider of the situation loves us. If you really trust in the divine love (or god), why should you feel insecure? Feeling insecure or worrying about any situation in life is equivalent to insulting god’s wisdom.
When bad things happen to good people, it is a divine sign or strong reminder to become better, not bitter.
The divine presence is always with us, within us and around us…When you have your divine father (Purusha) and mother (Prakriti) always there to take care of you, what insecurity are you worrying about?
February 17, 2010
© Uday Lal Pai. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing at firstname.lastname@example.org