February 25, 2014

Consort of our ego

We can't all be right and wrong at the same time. It doesn’t require an Einstein’s mind to figure that out. Then why do we seem to always be struggling to convince others of our view to be correct? Obviously there has to be a reason and that relates to the realm of our ego. The strength of it is determined by the degree to which we attempt to have our way. What makes us feel what we say is right is our ego. The ego never likes to lose. So even at the expense of deceit it would attempt to convince the other soul wrong.

But how can we all be right just as we cannot all be wrong while on the same subject? But we do go on this vain attempt time and time again for the gain the ego is destined to have. Actually our ego is what others see as our personality or individuality. The ego's rise to its prominence in each one of us is at a high point when we have become an adult. But of course this soul-scorching path of the ego can continue as it gets bloated over time as our lives show us ever higher paths to wealth, position and authority. Thus, as we move ahead in these departments of life, only very few of us find the salvage of modesty that can subvert the expanding ego.

The path to spiritual development of any human being is possible only when we can give a deaf ear to our ego. Yes, true, as long as we remain human we cannot do away with our ego altogether. But we can surely learn not to listen to it and be servant to it by heeding its constant prodding. And how do we do that? Simply put -- by being a good listener; listening to what the other person has to say for what it might be worth, and not negating right away another’s opinion even though he or she might be less endowed with worldly power than we think we may be. Such habitual practice will slowly translate into the behavior of respect for the other person and an awareness that we can indeed defer in difference without falling out with each other.
But the pull of the ego is so strong especially when there is wealth and power on which we stand, and more of it beckoning us from the finish line so to say, and most of us are swayed beyond control falling headlong into the web of hedonism that the ego has laid out for us, from which it is very difficult to extricate - come only a tragic calamity as wake up call.

We all want peace and harmony in our little corner of the world in Maldives. But for bloated egos, this can be possible. We can be still be human if we prefer, and enjoy the fun of this world as long as we live, but really only if we can choose not to go overboard as the consort of our ego.  

February 18, 2014

Get-rich-quick cannot be our national solution

We all yearn to be well-off for having a comfortable life. In the past this was achieved through time and toil. Now there is a major shift towards getting rich fast. This is a necessary consequence of the industrial revolution where the prevailing ethos was production without conscience -- with no thought as to whether there was a social necessity for all that production. Proponents would argue that the more that is produced the more the have-nots will have. Opponents would argue that it is not true -- the trickle-down theory is not valid; and the industrialists' concern remains the bottom line. At the end of the day the motive is to have the maximum income.

Thus in this rush for production and wealth generation through the market mechanism that panders to the ego of the human being, we lose sight of the old adage "necessity is the mother of invention" perhaps this has its vestiges still relevant but with the invention of the capitalist model it has always been about maximizing profit and getting rich quickly -- by selling the products to those who don't really need these. The marketing profession has made it their perfected art to sell to the gullible customer, by the sweetness of their marketing jargon and images, what we don’t need. We witness this everyday on television, on bill boards and social events and now splashed too on social media. Who really needs the killer cigarettes or the expensive coffees and cars or the designer clothes?  What would happen to us if we don't have them? Certainly we will be healthier in mind and body! But the ego within us doesn't listen to that. It makes us believe that the competitive spirit within us is legitimate and good for us. With such an inflated false-self dominating us, the little voice inside us of the primeval conscience we were born with has the "chance of a snowball in hell", which means absolutely no chance at all!
So the advert on television wins our hearts. We want to be the Marlboro man or take that exotic trip on the Camel to our death. How foolish we are is realized only too late when death and destruction meet us in the end.

So this desire to get rich for the wrong purpose is the source of the evil that we see in our world. It has made us upset the benevolent equilibrium Providence has bestowed on us for living our lives in harmony and we are seeking to blindly find our balance again but not finding it in this turbulent sea of materialism, selfishness and greed. We yearn to get rich quick and then hope to live the rest of our lives in hedonism. What is then the future of the next generation?  Will we give it space for it to grow in sustainable ways or will we strengthen our selfish vantage further? If we seek to go on with abandon along this our chosen path, should we not feel the piercing guilt of betraying the trust we assume from our unborn children by our decision to have borrowed this moment from them, to create mischief on earth?

Our nation Maldives has been thrust into this tumult headlong, and as a small nation of people these new ideals catch on like wild fire and it will burn our house down only too fast to be aware of what is happening. That sinister process is happening even as we sit ensconced in our momentary luxury and social inebriation to these vibrations that are growing. 

February 7, 2014

Impatience is the driver of selfishness.

When one is satisfied, and as they say in the flow of life, there is no need for impatience. This emotion of impatience in us whenever it arises indicates that we are not satisfied and are not in harmony with the vibrations of the universal mind. And that is the discomfort we feel when we are in the lap of impatience. When we are with our loved ones, and true like-minded friends we don't seem to want to be in a hurry. Thus there is something about impatience that must tell us we are exercising the sprouting of selfishness in us. This is the spiritual truth.

We all have experienced being in a line waiting for a movie ticket, at the groceries, at a self-service restaurant, at the airport immigration counter or in lines for the receipt of free-bees; or even in virtual lines created for the hand-outs of community housing, flats, or even tourist resorts. The anxiety of impatience can be felt when we are in a hurry, or in the throes of selfish emotions that arise because of the lack of supply which might run out by the time the line reaches our turn. Selfish motives inevitably move to shunt the line and get what we want out-of-turn. So increasingly in our societies, as greed and avarice take hold, many jump the line only too frequently revealing that selfish desire to have us serviced with favor. And sure as day, those who harbor such selfishness will use that approach to full advantage when they do have the categorical power to do so, to the extent of implying to others that such considered impunity may not be impunity for them after all. 

Nothing is as insidious as the feeling of impatience if allowed to grow. It will consume us, a community, and even a whole nation before we know it, for this feeling grows ever so deceptively indeed. That is why we need to actively learn to be patient. Communities that learn to be patient will thrive as safe, secure, caring and loving societies. And that must surely be the purpose of good governance and good nationhood. That is why our good Book in Soorah Al-Asr exhorts us to patience so pointedly.

February 2, 2014

Empowering democracy

Democracy is not about giving things but giving people the dignity that will enable them to hold their heads high. Democracy is about empowerment and freedom. In a crooked sort of way, giving money to people is empowerment. Of course even the job we work at gives us our pay check at the end of the month and it empowers us to live that month through. So why should we not accept money from those who offer it to us without us having to work so hard. 

The difference of course is the sale of our value as opposed to our vice. By earning a fair days work and getting paid for it for the sweat on our brow liberates us, while the taking of money as a commission for immoral services pits us as accomplices in unfair dealings we call criminal and thus imprisons us. So it becomes a curious anomaly that we are swept into such bondage of crime as we attempt to practice this blessing of Democracy. 
My dear reader and fellow citizen of our country and the world, we need to redeem the morality that is our human essence if our world is to survive. Such greed is the basis of physical destruction we see in global warming and our social atmosphere too is melting fast of its accumulated morality like the arctic ice; Just like the physical destruction ravaged by the Asian tsunami, social tsunamis too are sweeping our communities like never before as avarice and greed take their macabre hold.  

We cannot go on fooling ourselves with our heads in the sand like the proverbial ostrich thinking that the day of retribution will never come -- here or in the hereafter!