|Looking through conventions
By Samanera Pajalo (Austria)
"... and there might be the truth in what the beggar is saying, and none at
all in what is said by the rich man or the man in authority."
We are educated and used to looking into the world through the coloured lens of labels and conventions. We are getting lost in the world by inflating our egos beyond what they actually are and by losing ourselves in what we have and what we think we are.
For years I have been living as a monk, without family, property, a profession and all the extreme sweet and bitter fruits which ripen through the normal life of a common man. Yet I am happy that I had tasted enough of that. One gets tired of running after this mirage made up by us and emphasized by society.
There is an advantage in having experienced life beyond the common superficial ideas and opinions. The wealthy environment of my childhood shattered the ideal that money equals happiness and freedom. Having grown up in the sceneries around "Sound of Music", it was clear to me that even the most beautiful environment cannot beautify the heart. The fact that my father is a doctor and that mother grew up in an aristocratic family, taught me that none of that is a guarantee for a fulfilling life. A closer look may even reveal the opposite. I got to know many people, who have passed through universities, but at the same time they seemed to have missed the essence of life. Having had the freedom to travel extensively throughout Europe and America I realized that feeling at home is a matter of the heart and not a particular place. Having experienced a love relationship it was clear to me, that certain movies and books, in which we love to get lost, are stories too rare to become true in our own lives.
Its only experience and wisdom that can shatter these concepts of this happy, but false world.
Lets leave aside my life and look around at this Island. What do we think about the businessman who drives his Mercedes Benz to the A/C cooled office at the World Trade Center, where he is connected with the whole world. Compare him with the farmer riding his old bicycle to the paddy field, to work in the heat of the sun, far away from any world-news. Isnt there a chance that he has a deeper understanding of reality; that he is living a more balanced, happier life. That he is more humble and wise than his fellow being who is labelled as a VIP. Might this simple man with his uncomplicated life not be the one who is more satisfied with what he has without being afraid of losing anything, including life itself. Could not he be the one who realized the deeper meaning of the Art of Living, far beyond the important and big man who is bounded by silver chains, kept in golden cages, and caught up in the city rat race?
"Since we have been in prison we got to know life", inmates of Bogambara jail once told me during one of my visits. I have a feeling that some of these so called criminals are able to face life in a more honest way than many of us outside who are hiding the ego behind all their wealth, degrees and family status.
At such a place where there is no difference between a millionaire and a beggar, where one has no attached titles, only a number for identification, where everybody is treated the same, no matter whether you are a scholar or illiterate, there is a chance to let go of all the conventions, labels and pride that are nurtured in our minds and considered important by society. Only then will we be able to see life again through the eyes of an innocent child, only then will we realize that watching a golden sunset can be more precious than having a golden coin, that a smile from the heart can be more important than a complicated degree from the university, and that the murmur of a clear spring can tell us more than empty words from an empty mind.
If we really want to learn about life and if we really want to grow up in this world, we have to be able to look straight down to the heart through all the conventions and complications in ourselves and in those around us.
|NEWS | OPINION | BUSINESS | EDITORIAL | CARTOON | SPORTS | MIDWEEK|