Real Independence

Dear readers,

It is a pleasure to be able to share with you all today yet another blog. I hope you all are faring well.

Today I would like to share a few points with you all on a very important topic that we all are quite familiar with. The issue of independence is one we all are conversant with and many of us would like to believe that we are independent in our lives to some extent. Independence can be viewed in many perspectives and light and to various people, it means something different. To a country, it may mean being free from colonizers or people who oppressed them, to a race it could mean emancipation from things that enslave them, and to individuals, it could mean being free to act in a way they like, how they like and when they like.

The nature of independence in this material world is actually not as we would like it to be, because the very moment we think we are independent, material nature has a way of reminding us that we aren’t. It is not unusual that we all crave to be independent in some way or fashion because that is the nature of the soul. The soul is full of knowledge, bliss and it is eternal. It is part and parcel of the Supreme Being and as such has the qualities of the Supreme in minute portions. Thus it is qualitatively one but quantitatively different from the Lord, and as such it exhibits some of its qualities from time to time. The major reason why the soul cannot fully express itself is due to the fact that it is covered by a material body; which is subject to many defects and constraints. The souls being a spiritual spark when placed inside the gross body, is limited in what it can and cannot do.

This limitation is something that can be surmounted if we understand our real constitutional position of being souls and not just material bodies. The material body we have is subject to birth, growth, disease, old age and finally death. Hence there is no question of real independence for something that has so many constraints placed on it. The soul, on the other hand, is not subject to any of these factors and is superior to the body. When we express a need or desire to be independent, it could come either as a genuine urge to be free from the clutches of material nature or as a misdirected use of our free will as living entities. What do I mean? As living entities, despite being part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, we are free to act as we please and do as we choose. However, we are not free from the consequences of such actions or choices. We are responsible and must take into account whatever we do.

One type of independence which I’ll like to refer to as pseudo-independence is to try to Lord over material nature. We all are practically guilty of this, and we strive daily to lord over the material energy in one way, form, or another. Trying to better the living conditions of the material body with the hope of living longer or even forever is an illusion which is born from a misdirected quality of the soul. When we think we can create a safe haven in this world, free from anxiety or lamentation, we are again buying into a false hope. This is because this world is a temporary place and no matter how safe we try to make it, time will eventually take it away from us or us away from it. Without sounding too much like a fatalist, the basic idea is that we genuinely have the ability to desire, and even become truly independent, if we actually understand what real independence is. So what is real independence?

Real independence is knowing first and foremost who we are and then seeking out what our real duty in life is. Sounds simple right? well, in theory, yes, in practice not so much. In theory, many of us may understand that we are not this material body and we are part of a higher self which isn’t subjected to the dictates of this plane. So, if we know that we are actually part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, then the next question is what is our duty? Before looking at what our duty is, it is worthy to note that, when something is described as a part of another thing, it means that both are meant to exist together for them to be fully functional. In this scenario, we the living entities are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, meaning that for us to be fully functional we have to remain in our original state; place, service, etc. The Supreme Lord being self-sufficient doesn’t need us to be complete, rather we need him to be. Since we are distinct individual souls, we are free to act as we please and disregard this basic principle and try to seek happiness and independence on our own, separate from the Lord.

This is one of the reasons why we are on this sojourn in the material world in the first place. On the other hand, should we recognize that our attempt at being independent is bringing us nothing but more entanglement, then we begin to trace our steps back to our original position. In our original state as souls, free from the constraints of this world, our duty is to serve the Lord. Serving the Lord is where our real happiness lies and where our real independence is. No matter how much we try to finesse the situations here, there will always be something to remind us that we are not in our original state. Our present independence away from the Supreme Being can be likened to a fish out of water in a big palace, with lots of money, fine women and wine. As wonderful as all these things are, a fish can only survive perfectly when it is in water. In water, it doesn’t need all these things to be happy and that is where it belongs.

So to experience true independence we all need to engage ourselves in our original duty of service to the Lord in our constitutional position as spirit souls.  I hope this helps someone today. Till next week, read, share and follow for more. 

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