Taking Time Off for Inner Wellbeing
The very purpose why individual people, societies and nations work towards affluence is so that they have freedom of choice in their life. When human beings find something worthwhile in their life, they must be able to adjust the course of their life accordingly. If you find something very significant, is it not important that you must be able to change direction? But unfortunately, most affluent societies in the world have structured their lives in such a way that they cannot.
Spiritual possibilities have been ruined for people quite permanently, simply because they could not change the direction of their lives the way they wished. The only problem which restrains a person from being a true seeker is that whenever it comes close, he or she resists. Every day, I see any number of people coming close and then resisting because they have a thirty-year house mortgage. Especially in the United States, but others are quickly picking this up – they are planning their lives as if they are going to be here for a thousand years. Suppose you encounter the divine tomorrow morning, but you cannot change the direction of your life because you have a student loan, a house loan and a forty-five year healthcare plan. It has all been planned by the insurance company, the bank and the government and everybody put together, and you will not change the plan. But the Creator’s plan for you is that you must become a full-fledged life. What the source of Creation intends for this piece of life that you are is the only plan that matters. We may subscribe to the plans that your insurance company offers here and there, if it works for us. But if your entire life is planned only on the basis of your fear as to “What will happen to me? What will happen to me?” this is a tragedy.
However much insurance you have, you could fall dead tomorrow morning. It is a possibility. To constantly be conscious that, “I am a mortal. This is not a permanent engagement,” is tremendous freedom. I am conscious of every moment that passes by, and I know how many more moments are there – they are not limitless, but limited. I want you to count your own, how many more you have. If you do not factor in time for what you wish to do, if your life is only about paying up the mortgage, then your mortality may come sooner than your mortgage is over. Then you made it like “The Death of a Salesman.” You think you really outsmarted them because they can't collect mortgage from the dead.
How much of your life is going, in terms of time and energy, doing things which will not truly add value to you? This is something you must look at daily and keep accounts. It is very important, otherwise you may go on doing something, and after twenty-five years see that it is a mess. A mess does not mean something has gotten derailed. When that happens, of course you will wake up. If something seriously goes wrong, you will sit up and watch what is happening. A true mess is when nothing goes wrong – when everything just went by like that, but the only thing is life did not happen. You should not let this tragedy happen to you. Tragedy does not happen like a bang of a bomb. It happens quietly. Whether you are busy or you are bored, both ways life just bypasses you. If a bus came and hit you, that is not a tragedy but just an accident because you became so super alert once a few bones are broken. You start looking at “What’s all this life about?” But if as you sit here, life just slips by, that’s a tragedy.
Right now, commercial forces are deciding the quality of people’s lives. Those who are selling a cruise say, “You have to go on this cruise, fifty percent discount this year!” Those who are selling clothes tell you, “You got to buy this, it’s ninety percent discount!” At least you must understand ninety percent discount means it is a con job!
How you invest your money is up to you, but how you invest your life should not be decided by commercial forces, isn’t it? Because life is economics of time; it is slipping away. How well this moment is harnessed for our wellbeing, is all it is. Money will come and go, this and that will come and go. Time is the one thing which is only going, never coming at you. So something that is always going away, if you don’t keep track of it, then it will be gone before you realize.
So you must invest some amount of time on your inner wellbeing. If you can sit here as a complete life by yourself, this is wellbeing. What you do, and what you do not do, is the next thing. When we are well, whatever is the highest possibility we will shoot for it. When we are ill, we usually shoot for the lowest thing, which we can do without too much risk. So isn’t it your business, that the first and foremost business in your life is that you are truly well? “Well” not just about health. “Well” means you are not a struggle, you are not an issue in your life. Other issues are there in the world; we will deal with them to the extent we are capable of. But you should never be an issue. If that has to happen, there needs to be an investment. You must take time off, which is just for that. Either you do it in your home if it is possible, or spend some time in the ashram where facilities have been built for this purpose. If you can organize it by yourself, fine. If you need organization, it is available. But you must invest time for your inner wellbeing. Otherwise it won’t pay off. No investment, no dividend.