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Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Spiritual Pyramid

This morning, for absolutely no reason I was jolted from sleep and reminded how life had taken over and spirituality taken a backseat. I stayed awake for a good portion of the dawn mulling things over.

It seemed to me that perhaps death is only around the corner. This seems like a gnawing recurring suspicion (not a certainty my friends - just a suspicion) as a friend of mine was recently diagnosed with cancer - too young to die - and is currently living through the last few weeks. I have strangely developed an apathy towards this friend - and want things to transpire and be done with. I have developed not so much compassion but have rebelled against this person and want the memory purged. I want no part of anything - feel betrayed for having this friend leave. I wonder what is going through but also have a sense of relief for my friend that someone gets to actually move on, and not have to go through the agony of the inconsequential acts that the day to day living demands from us.

I wonder how I would handle this all? I would just pack my bags and spend the rest of the time in seclusion in search of spirituality? I met this guy in my neighborhood - a senior - and he has already given up on this life. Wants to come back in the next life and find that spiritual truth that he has been reading about and sometimes seeking.

In my somber mood, it dawned upon me that there were a few basic things that have been driving me. And the human needs pyramid has been drilled into gory details, but this is my simplified view.

The years that led into the teens- the lust after toys and comforts of life dominated my thought patterns. That led the desire for $$, to compete, and parents fed into it by driving me to some form of success. The teenage years was a pent up sexual fury - waiting to be unleashed. From this the deep need for love emerged- pure blissful love - dominated the thought patterns. And, as I joined the corporate world, the need to be recognized, praised and perceived as successful took over. And recently, this blog is an example of self -actualization took over. Hard to explain self-actualization - but this is driven by a very ulterior need within our selves - the need to do something and leave our mark behind, perhaps in the community, perhaps in the world...the world being with a million variables, but me picking a particular task to focus upon - as that leads me to the hidden self-actualization that I am seeking.

And finally, spirituality.

And someone who is homeless, is just stuck in the lower rung of the pyramid. Someone who is a big business-man from Masjid bunder is too stuck in the lowest rung - as perhaps intellectually he has not transgressed the boundaries. Some body like Bill Gates or Larry Ellison can have it all - but not have the topmost spiritual triangle and that too is a life not lived to the extent possible. Someone like Marilyn Monroe can have it all she wants - yet miss out on something - that forces her over the brink. Kurt Cobain had it all too and had it too early I suppose.

Myself - I have dipped into them all - with iota of successes in them all - there is some variance in each variable of this equation that defines me. But it still leads to an incomplete me - as I have gratitude at times and absolute unabashed rebellion at other times. To some extent, each variable takes over at different states of my life. Today, I know what dominates me and I have seemingly temporarily discarded the spiritual track. But it only sits in the back-burner. One day, I will turn that on too and focus upon it. But looks like that will have to wait - for better times.

So what do you think of the human needs pyramid? Elementary my Watson?


  1. This post is more somber than your earlier commentaries. Sometimes events in life have the power to change your whole outlook. I gather from your post that you have things going on, but I HOPE that you do not completely set aside your spirituality for a later time.

    Spirituality is an ongoing process...a process that only gets stronger when you are faced with challenges in life. When things seem as if they are going in 100 different directions, the one constant is Shiva. While all of us have (unfortunately) put spirituality on the back-burner at some point, Shiva has never put us on his back-burner. Just know that he is always with you. I hope that your friend has peace and our thoughts are with him. Just remember, there is no better time to have faith than now.

  2. Very well said indeed...
    Shivness is a constant.

    Well...my problems today revolve around hectic work schedules and the demands it has imposed. I am actually enjoying it as I try my hand at something slightly alien to what I have been doing. I do believe I have faith, but life has thrown something at me - and I am doing my best to do justice to it.

    Certainly appreciate your kind sentiment


Welcome to the spirituality blog

This blog is an offshoot of a website that I had conceived as a result of the spiritual grace and resultant inspiration during Shivaratri Y2K (http://www.jyotirlinga.com) on the joy of Shiva Bhakti and my quest for spiritual progress. Not finding the time (yep, bad excuse!), this blog suits me fine in quickly adding content... my spiritual forays and thoughts - helps log them too. My spiritual journey started with Hinduism and it's simple stories/ teachings as far back as when I was a 2nd grader, with Lord Shiva and has now found convergence with Advaitism / Duality. The Advaitism gurus like Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi, Nisargadatta Maharaj; they have provided that spiritual boost of energy in many lagging moments and have tremendously influenced me ... little baby steps at a time... that will hopefully all lead upto a final crescendo. The merits of satsangh are many!

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