Sunday, April 6, 2008
the paradox of effort
Q. It seems, universally there is an inherent urge in all human beings always to excel others, to be superior and to be significant. Since this is a universal phenomenon, there must be a valid reason for this. Is it because of the knowledge ‘Aham brahmAsmi’ though not known clearly, but available with the human beings, and because of the fact that human beings are self-conscious?
Due to beginning-less avidya the ahankara or Ego is constantly equipped with a sense of separation as a consequence of its mistaken self-identity. As a result it suffers from a feeling of incompleteness. What i am is inadequate. What i am is not acceptable to the ego. This self-non-acceptabil ity leads to a constant need for validation. This need for self-validation is what drives us to various works, to karma, to excel, to push our boundaries of effort, to reach into and test the depths of our potential, to constantly strive, to excel..only to envy... The more we achieve success the more we feel we are earning the validation of the world - be it parents, spouse,children, friends, colleagues, etc. This very need to strive for external validation betrays the fragility of the ego's bottomless structure - the pathos of its eternal dilemma - how can it ever hope to become complete by retaining its self-identity, and from engaging in a continuing, ever-futile, series of self-effort, when its real identity, though, ever available, can only be realized in the incandescence, that illumines its own annihilation.