July 31, 2012

What nature intended

The purpose of life? My young friend says it is to be happy. I thought it was a good answer. Yet, I prod further and he blurts out that he felt happy when he had the most recent gadgets. That the latest peripheral “for humans” that Samsung had out was something he was itching to lay his hands on – if he had the money. I could not blame him for that response for it is indeed what the whole world is clamoring for and what the media in whatever form is splashing about. I knew that if I prodded further, he would say the purpose of life was to make money and get rich. So I let him be, and since I didn’t ask any more questions, he quickly proceeded to log on to Facebook to chat with his friends.

We are all mired in a world created by the industrial revolution. The mass production and marketing savvy that the world has got used to over these centuries has left us entrenched in this reality that we perceive. If we look back further – most of us don’t want to look back to the past, and that is sometimes good also, but that is another story -- we find that there is an evolutionary hitch here. Getting rich is a way to get lazy – predominantly. And nature did not intend that for us. When we have money, we get other people to do the work for us that we would otherwise do that would require movement and the expenditure of energy, both of which help us to be physically fit and healthy. While some of the rich may lean to compensate for their less than physically active lifestyle by their visits to expensive gyms or enrolling in exotic diet and exercise programs, most sit back and relax in the sedentary comfort that money buys. Children too, although instinctively lively and full of frolic, now become couch-bound with their video games and laptops and ipads. Nature did not intend for us to be inactive. We were meant to walk, run, jump, climb, stretch and then also rest. Our muscles, organs, and mind all function better when we are physically active and then get the right kind of rest. Yes, even the mind. You may ask any doctor, or if you like, even Google.  

So in a sense, one important purpose in our life is to keep ourselves healthy so that we can pursue the higher callings of our life – that of seeking spiritual bliss and contentment. Keeping healthy is, to the chagrin of the comfort seekers, nothing short of keeping active physically and mentally. Being healthy tells us that we are in alignment with nature. In the more traditional methods of health care, for instance, the main principle observed was to see that our body humor was aligned with nature’s humor. An easy way to know whether we are aligned is to visualize how we lived with nature during our primitive times and observe the degree to which we have given up these ways. That erstwhile simplicity is what nature intended. How closely do we emulate it? While some compromises must be made for using some comforts in life, it is our indulgence that makes us lazy and ultimately unhealthy. What we eat or drink, and how we behave, when not agreeable to nature’s intentions, make us sick. Eating excess of loaded fatty foods, not getting enough exercise, and engaging in harmful lifestyles all put us out of sync with nature’s vibrations.

Prevention is always better than cure. A body well looked after the first half of life, will take it upon itself to look after you the second half of your life. 

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