“How are you doing?” I asked a friend of mine whom I met after a long time.
“Fine” He said in a matter-of-the-fact tone, and for the sake of courtesy he asked me back. I, as usual said, “I am doing just great!”
His face had a grin and a raised eyebrow. “Well, even I am trying to be great. It seems it’s going to take some time.”
I was left thinking over his trailing optimism. I asked, “What do you mean you are trying. One doesn’t have to try to feel great. You just feel so.”
“Well, maybe it’s in your case. On my mind, I have got many things, which demand my constant attention and resources,” he said in a you-wouldn’t-understand manner.
I understood what his problem was; it is the same as everyone has every day. It is the problem of all those people who feel just fine and not great. It is the same tricky situation that many people find themselves lost in.
So, I said to him, “Then, why don’t you tear off the papers in your book as soon as you read them. Why do you carry the whole book with you?”
He gave me an amusing look and said, “What?”
“Well, let me explain to you clearly. Every day in your life is a page in the book called Life. This book is tied to your body and it cannot be untied. It is mandatory that you carry it with you. And unfortunately, many people carry it with them without realizing that that book is stopping them from walking fast.
Since your birth, there must have been thousands of pages added to it and the weight of the book keeps on increasing day by day. As it is tied to your body, you will not be able to run, jump, or walk fast on your Path. You get yourself set in a slow pace of life which becomes routine and dull. Even when you come across situations and experiences you want to run with excitement or jump with joy, you cannot do it due to the burden of the book.
And needless to say, the burden is just going to increase as you grow older and you will miss many opportunities to hop and jump. If by any chance you manage to take off that burden at a later stage in life, you will be upset to realize that the moments of joy have come and gone and you were just a mere spectator. Time is the most precious commodity and will not come back once you miss it.”
He was more confused by all this and asked, “What is the book and what are the pages? Can you be a bit explanatory?”
“Yes, my dear”, I said in a caring voice and continued my explanation.
“The book is your life and the pages are the experiences you have encountered thus far. And the content in those pages are the lessons that those experiences brought with them.
Now, the trap everyone falls into is that they don’t read the pages. They just carry the book as a reference guide rather than a text book. For instance, if you want to become a surgeon, you have to read some books and gain some knowledge from them. Some books are text books from which you have to learn everything before you pass the course. There are other books that work as reference guides and need not be mugged up; you can refer to them only when necessary.
Unfortunately, people handle the Book of Life as a reference book. But it is NOT! You have to read, understand, and remember the essence of every page before you go to the next one. Otherwise, you will be just carrying the every increasing burden with you. However, since it is not a book of reference, when you try to go back to some pages for seeking some solution or an answer for a question, you will find that the text seems complex and incomprehensible. It seems because you did not read the previous lesson but are trying to go randomly.
Therefore, the best thing to do is to read every day’s lesson at the end of that day and tear off that page from the book. You might argue that tearing off pages is not a good thing to do. But you need to know that such paradigms will just let you fall while carrying the burden.
Nothing in the world was given to you to be stored or saved with you. Whatever you get in life, you have to savor it for the moment, enjoy its presence, capture its essence, give it back and move on.
Every page in the Book of Life is a problematic situation. If you have solved that problem and learned the lesson it carries with it, you will not need that page again as you already have digested the spirit of that lesson.
It is very important to know that you must not carry the past memories with you; but only the lessons from them. If at any point in time, you are being haunted by any memory from past, understand that you have not enjoyed that moment in the past when you should have completely appreciated it. A memory haunts you only if you did not give it its share of attention or appreciation when you faced that situation.
The best way to walk the Path is to live in the present moment, appreciate what is in front of you, solve today’s problems today itself, learn the lessons from today, and enter tomorrow with only a rejuvenated spirit instead of a stinky, dirty, heavy baggage of old, cold, haunting lessons.
As long as you are tied to the heavy book of life with all the pages that you should have shed off, you will falter to walk with your spirits high.”
Now he understood what I was telling but he still was caught up in the pessimistic habit of escapism. He asked, “Okay, I will learn the lessons of the day that day hereafter. What about the pages that are already accumulated? I will have to carry that, what say?”
A smile came on my face knowing that at least that he is ready to take in the insights I gave him instead of striking them off as some silly stuff. So, I carried on with my analogies.
“Of course, you have already stuffed your rucksack with lots of a huge book containing lots of pages from the past. Perhaps, it’s time to stop for a while the mundane tasks of your life and complete the pending work. So that you can clear off all the worries from yesterday and enter tomorrow afresh.
It’s never too late. No matter how long you go on a wrong road, turn back. Otherwise, you are just going to end up nowhere. I suggest that you take some time off from your routine life, go on some vacation, spend some time lonely, reflect on your past, introspect in retrospection, read the pending lessons, learn them, and once you feel that the pages can be left behind, do so and come back to your routine schedule.
I guess that’s the best piece of advice I can give you. Beyond that you will have to make choices and take turns; whether it is a right turn or left one, or even a U turn.”
With that we had a good laugh and he seemed to have already shed some pages and his spirit was able to jump a little bit.
On a final note, I told him, “With spirits that are heavy you are going to crawl on the ground. With spirits that are as light as wind, you are going to fly. Make a Choice!”