Dr. Shankar: "Decisions"
‘Decisions, decisions, decisions! What a burden it is to have make decisions in life!’ Such is the cry of almost every man and woman. And - ‘Why does life have to be so difficult?’
‘How glorious it would be if life just happened!’
It would indeed.
‘Why can we not just watch – and enjoy, perhaps – life unfolding?’
Why not, indeed?
Every man believes right decisions have to be made by him or her in order to survive. On the other hand, every man also believes that wrong decisions should not be made, so as to avoid unwanted consequences.
Nevertheless, man makes both the right and the wrong decisions. Paradoxically, he finds his decision has been wrong only if his expectations are not met, and never before. He is, therefore, never certain if the decision made is right. It appears right until it turns out not to be.
The point is - when did man begin to decide? Irrespective of when he began to decide, it appears that he has not learnt how to make the right decision every time he makes them, no matter how knowledgeable he or she is.
Man has many beliefs within his mind. He did not decide to have them, did he? Having had them, he cannot decide what to have or what not to have, can he? He should be able to if he can decide what to do and what not to do.
Did the first man on earth decide to be born? Even in the present day, does any man or woman decide to be born? No, he or she does not decide to be born. They come to know that they are born only after they are born - without any decision.
So too with death: man can decide to die, but he can never determine the exact moment of his death or birth. Birth happens, and so too death, in a moment that has no time within it or decision. The entire cosmos happened spontaneously, and so too man, and his decisions happen spontaneously, whether he likes it or not.
Does man have to decide to breathe so that he may live? Does he have to decide to see and hear so that he may see and hear? Does he have to decide to smell, taste and touch so that he may smell, taste and touch? He does not, for these things happen to man if they are meant to happen, whether he decides or not.
Likewise, life will happen to man whether he decides or not. It will happen in only one way and not the way he decides. Decisions are a delay in life and not an actuality.
However, man cannot decide in the moment in which he or she lives, for he has not made the moment and neither can he decide in a moment for, in a moment, time nor thought exist. If he could make the moment, he would not make the moment he will die, would he?
The moment was already present before the first man came to live in it. To decide, time is required, and time does not exist in a moment, while life happens within it spontaneously.
Decisions that are meant to happen will happen and no force on earth can stop them from happening. Decisions that are not meant to happen will not happen, and no force on earth can make them happen.
Considerable frustration and criticism may well be experienced when there seems to be indecision. They do happen and man is unable to decide not to experience them. If he or she could decide, this would be an important decision to make. Frustration and criticism, like decision, are illusory for they all are felt in the mind and not in life.
Life does not depend upon man’s decisions for a direction. If life did depend upon that, it would be confused, for there are as many decisions as there are minds. There would be utter chaos every other moment if life were to listen to man’s decisions.
Life would never flow, for life would have to wait for a decision to be made by man, since every man would expect and want his decision to be followed by life. Man would argue over decisions and life would have to wait for man to decide. In that case, life would not happen until a decision was made and, if life were not to happen, man and life would end.
Life does not wait for man’s decisions; it unfolds eternally, spontaneously, uncontrollably and unpredictably. Decisions happen in time in the mind and not in life. Life flows like a river and a river does not decide whether to flow or not.
Life is a singular flow of optical and auditory illusions of light and sound, and the flow of life does not depend on man’s decisions.
Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar © Copyright V.S. Shankar 2011