Discussion in 'Spiritual Forum' started by garry420, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. garry420

    garry420 Well-Known Member

    The whole idea of success is built around getting what we want. In our culture “being a success” is incredibly important and is considered to be the only way to be happy within ourselves. If we achieve popularity and fame we want, if we acquire the physical possessions we what and if we attain the power and status we want we will feel that we are “a success”. We hope that with such success under our belt we can feel happy, secure and peaceful WITHIN ourselves. This means we TAKE TO BE TRUE the notion that getting what we want is the way to happiness, peace and security.

    Any honest examination of our lives we will see that when we fail in activities that are important to us we can feel like a “loser”. This is the habitual conclusion we tend to make about ourselves we fail to get what we want. When this notion turns into the experience of our selves it is marked by intense emotional pain followed by strivings to move away from being “a loser” to the much cherished notion of being “a winner”.

    It is easy to lose in the popularity stakes, the money making stakes, the love life stakes, the being the best stakes and all the other various other stakes. What is at stake in this being a winner by getting what we want? We feel what is at stake is our security, peace and contentment. This is why we are such hard players in the success versus failure game.

    Just so we are clear we are not talking about being successful in our activities. This we need to be. We are rather talking about trying to be “a success” in our own eyes and the eyes of others and avoiding being a “loser” in the eyes of ourselves and others. One is an ego inflating notion and the other is an ego deflating notion. This means that all being “a winner” consists of is a gratifying IDEA about ourselves, a notional fiction that assumes a cherished importance in our own eyes. Conversely the notion of being “a loser” is nothing more than a self-depreciating NOTION about ourselves which we take to be the truth of ourselves.

    If we quack all day it does not make us a duck. If we perform well does this make us “a winner”? No it just makes us a person who has performed well. This is the objective fact. Actions don’t and can’t make us into anything. The actions can be successful but they don’t make us “a success” the action we take can fail to produce the expected result but this does not make us into “a loser”

    So does all this mean the whole idea of BEING A SUCCESS is wrong? Well not according to Swami Dayananda. His only point is that BEING A SUCCESS is not found in the direction of fulfilling your likes and dislikes.
    Swami Dayananda Quote in parenthesis (caps mine)

    “There are likes and dislikes in the mind of everybody. They are the desire to acquire and retain the pleasant, and get rid of and avoid the unpleasant. IF YOU WANT TO SUCCEED BY FULFILLING ALL YOUR LIKES AND DISIRES, YOU ARE GOING TO BE A FAILURE. Unfulfilled desires WILL NOT keep you at peace with yourself”.

    He is not saying don’t try to fulfill your desires. It is good to satisfy desires that don’t harm yourself and others. Swamiji is talking about wanting to succeed, to be a success by the means of satisfying desires. He is saying that this is impossible because many of them won’t and can’t be satisfied. What he is saying is that this attempt to BE A SUCCESS by trying to satisfy desires is a futile exercise. But he does not finish it there. He goes on to say what BEING A SUCCESS really means. He points to where real and true success is to be found.


    Now this gives a real and practical direction. The problem is no longer being a “winner” versus being a “loser”. It is rather the DISCOVERY of what it means to be simply ourselves. And this is what Vedanta is all about. A “being at home with ourselves” that is not dependent on the fulfillment of our likes and dislikes. Unshakeable self-satisfaction through being ourselves is the direction that this study takes us in.

    “You need not fulfill ALL your likes and dislikes. Just by learning to manage them you can enjoy the same ease”

    Quoted from the Blue Book Vol 1 page 207

    This means that the ease with ourselves, the feeling of being at home with ourselves remains the same no matter what the results are in terms of action. These results no longer determine how we are in ourselves. Wonderful thing really and this is what in Vedanta is meant by BEING A SUCCESS.

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