There is this whole philosophical ride on the question: Who are you? What do you identify as being you? Your body? Your mind? What constitutes a mind? Your thoughts and actions? It boils down to we are our thoughts, preferences, views and actions. It is this that constitutes you. Not your physical body, not the clothes you wear or your money or status. We are our beliefs. What we believe in everyday is us.
Now there is a sense of security in being worthless. In the comfort of accepting that we can do nothing in the great scheme of the world. But if we are our thoughts and our actions, then we are the ones churning the great scheme around us. Once we see how influential we are, can we consciously analyse and refine our thoughts? Can we align our actions with our thoughts?
And if at any point we feel our egos blowing up, is death not a leveller? Death does not consider more or less brains, more or less wealth or skill or beauty. It just hits. So how do we even celebrate the grandeur of our mortal bodies. How and why do we even consider ourselves to be supreme in any way, how do we get closed up and pile up and praise and value our mortal assets. Why do we take pride in it. When we know these things can neither delay nor bargain with death. One thing we do possess that transcends death and that also is the thing that is truly us is our belief. Our thoughts, ideas and actions. We live them everyday, after we die thousands more live them over. An idea can surpass a human’s death.
For example, we need to earn lots of money and we perform this action of working to earn lots of money everyday. And hence we propagate this idea further that earning a lot of money is what we should do. We have and we will have generations slogging on to earn more money because we are doing it right now.
There was a time when earning money was not the main goal in people’s lives. We say times change, it is us who change it. All events in history were once in the present, churning on, which gave us our present world. They were churned by people. Our present is made up by actions by people. And hence our actions will make up the future.
Ideas are powerful. World we live today is shaped by ideas. We don’t see or hear about the people who designed these ideas but we are living these ideas every moment. For example, why are we using money today? It is because of certain chain of events throughout history which led us to use money today. Theses events were actions undertaken by people like you and me. We like to believe that world just happened to be like this, that isn’t true. Ideas are created by humans but are more powerful than humans because they are anonymous. When taken up by a large group and for a long time, they become a lifestyle.
An authority can be questioned because it has a face, an idea is invisible and hence difficult to question because many never see it.
How do we see an idea? By asking the question: Why does something exist? and How did it start existing? and digging into it till we have the most rudimentary reason. Answers are useless if they lie in the same zone as the question. To actually see, we need to pull out layers. Why does money exist? Since when did it exist? What was before that? What was it like? After this knowledge, we ask if this idea is acceptable to me. If not how do I change my behaviour? If yes how do I reinforce my behaviour? It is then that our actions match our thoughts and we create ripples towards change.
For the hopeless, a single particle going against the current is enough to make few think and fewer to change but it is still capable. Ideas are powerful. They need actions to realise them.
SEPTEMBER 23, 2016