Saturday, August 25, 2012
Life is like standing on an existential anxiety plank
I think I have spent the last two years spending a lot of time reading and seeing many 'spiritual' lectures which has produced a series of thought processes, that now I am beginning to wonder I might be a victim of existential anxiety! Existential anxiety is dreading and worrying about life questions, such as "What is the meaning of my life?", "Who am I?", "Do I have a soul?", etc. It has been a year since I came to the United States in search of fulfillment of my spiritual goals - peace of mind away from dysfunction, making a difference in this world, mindful awareness and non-attachment to certain worldly emotions.
Adi Shankaracharya said, "The jiva continues in Samsara (cycle of birth and death) only as long as it retains attachment due to ignorance or Maya". Now talk about the other meaning of samsara (family/marital life) - Lately, I have started realizing that spiritual goals take a backseat when you get bound into a family. Transcending jealousy, possessiveness, fear of losing the one you love, all seem like a far-off dream...You are actually more likely to hold on to youth and the thoughts of "I wish I look pretty for my husband even when I am 50". The need for approval and fulfilment of emotional cravings shoot up!
Maybe, the feelings of having a purposeful, meaningful life is all an illusion filled deep-seeded thought process. Maybe, there is nothing deeper to life. Or maybe, descending into the Himalayas is the only way out!
Sometimes I wonder, whether wanting to attain spiritual goals is a selfish act in itself. At the end of the day, arent we hoping to find the enlightenment that Buddha got or a shift in consciousness in order to lead a happier life? So doesnt that actually make us get attached to a goal and thereby collapse the arguement of leading a non-attached life?
A question that is haunting me from a few days as I embark on a new phase of my life soon - Is it really possible to find a balance between relationships and current and former spiritual goals? I use the word 'former' here, because I have already forsaken a lot of my previous objectives with the hope that someday I will revive them.
Being an impermanent human, is it wrong to hold on to relationships knowing that inherently it is so unpredictable and transitory? Is it wrong to live in fear that love in a marriage might one day disappear or hope that my husband wont change? Is it wrong to expect your children to stay cute and loving forever? Is it wrong to want your mother to live forever?
Most importantly, is non-attachment even real? How do I not slip into existential anxiety and miss out on the happiness that marriage will bring in?