What should be one’s ideal way of life? We can eat, sleep, go to work, enjoy transient pleasures and try to chart out each day as we go along. But what if it is not satisfying or there is too much of a sameness to each day that is mentally fatiguing? Trying to find new pleasures each day becomes a daunting task and eventually life falls into a rut and most people start searching for something they do not know where to look for. This generally happens in the mid-forties for my generation but it may happen later for the present generation who tend to cling to the illusion of youth for much longer. “Life begins at forty” or even later! No, it does not, your feeling young does not slow down physical aging now, anymore than it did fifty years ago. Many people might be fitter or eat more sensibly, but the years are relentless and unkind and the body only knows its physical age and runs out of resources at the same pace as ever.
Anyway, that was just an aside. My thought was that it is better to have a rough blueprint for life and divide it up into stages and realize when each stage is past and adapt myself to it.
So. I am an unashamedly religious person and a practising Hindu. I am not an atheist, I am not an agnostic, and I am not a fence-sitter who will draw inspiration from all religions. What I have learnt of Hinduism has convinced me that this is my way and at this age, I cannot afford to waste my time wandering down side-roads.
Many years ago I thought that my children would have all settled down happily by the time I reached the age of sixty. That was a cutoff age for me I imagined when I could stop worrying about each one of them and start living a life of detachment and concentrate on some kind of spiritual development and start living a life of peace and happiness. I may have been naive because I did not know what happiness was. I knew I was imagining a sort of movie ending when everybody is happy and there are no problems in anyone’s life and everybody gets what they want. There are people to whom this happens but I am not one of them.
Now I am past that cutoff age I had set for myself and I realize that I have to still follow my plan now that my children are adults and are living their own lives, because I am not going to stay at this age forever. Of course I cannot reach any spiritual goal in this lifetime unless I get some kind of epiphany but that is all right. As a Hindu I believe of course in reincarnation. So my learning will continue in other lives. At least I will have taken a few steps further down the road.
I realize I will be actually elaborating on the title in my next post. Perhaps I should just rename this as A Hindu’s Thoughts. Or, I Shall Keep To My Plan.