Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD. PhD
Published on www.academy-advaita.com
The Netherlands
17th January 2010

Planning (1)

“A Must?”


Planning is a must for man. Man is tutored and advised to plan his life, without which, he is told, prosperity and happiness will be difficult to come by.  He is convinced that planning is vital to ensure a life of safety and comfort. He believes planning ensures success and the compelling evidence leaves no room for doubt.

In every aspect of life planning plays a central role. It is believed by the learned elite that it leads to sophistication and therefore is a must. The sophistication of man, town, city and nation is attributed to careful planning, and who can deny or argue with this logic?

Planning is required on a daily basis to ensure that a house, office, school, organisation, hospital, business and society operate efficiently, smoothly and productively. Man believes planning is essential to prevent chaos and confusion.

A housewife plans her monthly house-budget. A good education needs careful planning. A happy holiday requires detailed planning. A successful war needs meticulous planning. Rescue operation of any nature entails precise planning. Religious rituals, weddings, mass transportation, a nation’s budget, the safety and security of a house or a nation, all need planning - and so it appears.

Planning, if executed to perfection, produces desired results and, if it comes to naught, the outcome is disastrous. Planning, therefore, has two possibilities, success or failure. 

So, planning has no guarantee of success. Partial success is consoling and entices man to plan meticulously the next time around. Partial failure, on the other hand, encourages him to plan yet again. 

But does man plan his birth? He does not and cannot either; his arrival into the womb is a pleasant surprise more than anything else. On some occasions he plans his death, but he does not do it routinely, does he? No, he does not – nevertheless, he believes planning is essential for survival, prosperity and pension.

Man does not plan every moment of his life, neither can he. Every moment of man’s life is taken for granted that it will happen and he believes only his future requires planning.

Understand that a moment always succeeds in happening and has never encountered failure by not happening. Man certainly does not plan to make the moment happen nor does he know how it happens.  

He takes it for granted that God makes the moment, but he does not understand that God is the moment. Science too takes it for granted that the moment happens, even though it has not proven what absolute time is. 

A moment should not be confused with time. A moment is without time for time is not physical but merely a thought in the mind. Therefore, both religion and science should wonder: how could the moment happen every time without failure? 

The moment happens spontaneously without fail because it neither happens as a result of a cause nor is the moment the effect for a cause. Life is, therefore, causeless and effectless. Man’s experience teaches him that success or failure is not a guarantee - it may or it may not happen - but how could success or failure happen when any moment is without cause or effect?

Anything that is within a moment is an image, which is an optical illusion, and a series of images appear as an action that needs to be planned. 

The moment happens and so too planning, and man does not make either the moment or planning happen.  Speaking happens to man and he does not make speaking or thinking happen. Speaking and thinking are an auditory illusion of sound.

Life does not require planning to happen. Life flows in only one way for everything, including man, and that way does not require planning, for it is a singular flow of images that project an optical illusion of action. 

It is only the mind that requires planning. Planning happens to maintain the illusion that man is the doer. Man is not the doer for the simple reason that there is neither time nor mind in life. Planning merely entertains or depresses the illusory ego until it is no more. The moment understanding happens to man that he is not the doer, who can plan, he becomes the moment, which is spontaneous, uncontrollable and unpredictable.

© Copyright 2010  V. S. Shankar

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