Take a fish out of the water, and give him the best cigar. Give him designer clothes and a million dollars. The fish will not be happy. A fish will only be satisfied when placed in its natural environment, the water. Why do we work so hard all our lives for various material things? We want to secure our happiness. But everything we own and see around us is temporary – even the Sun is not eternal, what to speak of our bodies. Anything temporary cannot secure happiness. There will be losses. The Vedas teach that if the central element of our existence is missing, we cannot be satisfied, no matter what external arrangements are made. Just as a fish needs water, we need our original spiritual consciousness.
The actual identity of a living being, the atma, is distinct from the machine of the body. But when the atma identifies with the material body, he tries to enjoy life. But as the song goes, “I can’t get no satisfaction”. This is an age-old truth; a spiritual being requires spiritual things, experiences and feelings to become satisfied. And those can be acquired simply by a change in consciousness, by developing higher consciousness (Krishna consciousness). Then everything will fall in place.
Then you don’t need to work so hard for so many things. You can live a simple, peaceful life, ideally producing your own food and having access to all other basic needs in your local community. But simple living can start today, by skipping the movie and instead going through your stuff and recycling unnecessary clothes, toys and furniture. Simple living can mean sitting down and reading nourishing books instead of going shopping.
Be creative, live simple and you will have time to think, and fulfill the purpose the Vedas give to human life: to inquire into the meaning of life, and re-awaken the dormant spiritual consciousness.
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