The best use of one’s mind.

It appears that there is no one else who can find the best use for my mind.

  • At school they taught me some decent stuff, but they also wanted me to learn wagon loads of useless stuff by heart and by mind.
  • At work, whether they paid me well or poorly, they wanted to direct my mind to wasteful activities or procedures. The one who pays the piper calls the tunes – and if they want to hear jingles, you don’t get to play symphonies or the sort of music that made the cows gather around kRSNa.
  • Out-of-work, people want to direct my mental and physical effort to the pursuit of the futile, the frustrating and the frivolous.

I think Douglas Adams spoke through Marvin, the depressed robot, when he says “A brain the size of a planet, and you want me to answer the door.”

What is the best use of a fine mind?  It would depend on the mind of course. My mind likes to understand everything and express itself. So I like using my gnyAnEndriyANi – hearing, sight, touch, taste, smell and thought to learn. What hides behind the word “like” is the word “enjoy”, “Ananda”. I like to use the karmEndriyANi – speech, limbs etc to share knowledge, love, wonder, and to play, walk, explore.

Walk on the sea-shore, play in the waves, look at the view, talk about good ideas…..

Ananda or joy, is the prime motivator of any mind, however “fine or coarse.”

Un-joy – I think I may have been compelled to do a lot of things I didn’t enjoy under the label of “duty”. It is interesting how that idea of duty was connected to the idea of the happiness of others. In that model everyone was possibly miserable trying to make everyone else happy and trying to pretend that they appreciated the efforts others were making for them.

So everyone tries to find work that they love doing with people they enjoy working with. And share a life with people they enjoy sharing a life with. Not with people they are stuck with, in a job they hate.

Newton and Darwin had inherited money, that helped.  But John Harrison and Edward Barnard inherited no money. Only responsibilities. Though they did get some help and guidance. Einstein worked in a patent office. And we all know Srinivasa Ramanujam. So being wealthy can help but is not a pre-requisite.

The important thing is to work on the problem that you want to solve and do the things you love. If you love something, you will become good at it. And of course finding what you love is something only you can do. This is one area where parents can be a hinderance, because they put their weight and support behind what they think is good for you and they are mistaken more often than not.

The best use of one’s mind leads to the best use of one’s life.

Not doing this is Atma-hAni and will lead to the dark sunless worlds…