Wednesday, April 17, 2013

the elephant in the room

Verse 2.60: The senses are so strong and impetuous, O Arjuna, that they forcibly carry away the mind even of a man of discrimination who is endeavoring to control them.

Have you ever heard this saying before? It's an English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that is either being ignored or going unaddressed. This expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss (credit: Wikipedia)

Today's verse is addressing the elephant in the room. The fact that the senses are so strong and overwhelming that even the most sane and discriminatory of persons can get carried away by them. Just ask any person who has ever had to study for an exam. Even the most studious and serious of individuals have given in to the senses which demand some stimulation (as a side note, normally this ends up being some combination of eating, sleeping or commiserating with others over how tiring it is to study! :D). So why does no one do anything about this? Why isn't sense control addressed in schools? Oh no... instead of recognizing that this is an inherent problem, this very challenge that most of us face is exploited to to rake in billions upon billions of dollars daily.

Just look around. Everywhere there is something prompting you to buy something, wear something, crave something or eat something. The entire material world is one big billboard that is screaming "You can't be happy without x, y, z item, person or thing!!!"

Further discussion on the process by which we can transform our senses is yet to come...but today I'd like to ask you to contemplate this elephant in the room. After all, it's only natural that once we ignore something so consistently and constantly that we actually forget about it. Please take the time today to take note of if and when your senses take over your intelligence. It could be that extra piece of chocolate that you really don't need or that hour wasted away in front of your tv.

An important point to remember though: this is not an exercise in judgement but one in observation. After all, acceptance and acknowledgement of the challenge is the first step on the path to sense control recovery!

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