Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.acadun.com
23th February 2014
What does life flows mean?
The word man or woman is singular and so is the word life. This would imply that life is singular and not plural, and man knows too that he does not live multiple lives, but just a singular life. The plural for men or women are the words ‘our lives’. But still to each man or woman life is singular.
Man’s life is, however, made up of multiple events and he knows that each event is separate from the other. So, when man says ‘my life flows’, it should mean to him he realises that in his life nothing is separate from anything, In the same way, there is no separation between any parts of a river from another part as the river flows. So it would be difficult for man to understand that life is a flow, as he sees every event is separate from the next. It would be simple for man to realise that life is a flow if every event were not separate from the next. But it is obvious to man that every event in his life is separate from the next. Hence, it would be extremely difficult for him to say that his life flows. But yet, sometimes the answer man gives to an enquiry ‘how is your life?’ is ‘Oh! It flows’. He means to suggest that everything is fine for him since what he wants or expects is being done by him or for him by others.
Man believes that he can do and knows what he should not do. He has not understood as yet that the body is an optical illusion of light and that words and thoughts are auditory illusions of sound. If he had, he would understand that words and thoughts follow the movement of body, as light is followed by sound, for example, just as lightning in the sky is followed by thunder.
Man would then realise that the mind is a delay in life, and it cannot possibly control the body, as the body is always ahead of the mind, but believes it does. Even if he does understand that the mind does not control the body, how would he be able to understand that life is a flow? When man understands that cause and effect is illusory, and not an actuality, and life is precise, it will help. This would help man understand that everything is meant to be where it is meant to be every moment.
This includes every movement, every word and every thought as they all happen to man. The mind, however, is made to believe that man is the doer, speaker and thinker. He would realise that, just as every drop of water is in its place that makes a river flow. Every man’s movements, speech and thoughts are in their place that make his life flow like a river. The mind, however, is made to believe that movements, speech and thoughts happen because of cause and effect and life just cannot be a flow. This belief creates the drama of life.
An enlightened one however realises that, in life, cause or effect is illusory as time is illusory. To him life flows but appears that it does not to the mind as events are separate from each other. He understands that the separation between events is illusory and not real.
So what does life flows mean? It means life is like a river. The flow cannot be determined.
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2013
Dutch translator’s note:
This article is a spark which ignites the enquiry into the flow of life and invites us to think deeply about the question whether time, cause and effect and events really excist. This is not easy for a mind which has been convinced of their existence for a very long time. The metaphor of the flowing river remembers us of the continuous movement, the unity and elusiveness of water, which so often has fascinated us as a child. This offers us a glimpse of what the flow of life really means and an understanding on how superficial our observations of life have been until now.
Paula Smit, The Netherlands