In praise of idleness

January 16, 2016

Nothing is more abhorrent to the modern age than idleness. Even should we take a holiday…it is NEVER to rest in the true sense of the word. Rather it is done solely in the hope and belief, when we return from our vacation…we would be in a better frame of mind to be more effective and efficient workers.

Can you see the irony….even when we think of taking a break from work, it is done with the specific intention to return as better workers.

Mankind’s infantile fetish with work and regarding it as the outer personification of his ego has transformed work into a veritable religion….in doing so….we have become the architects of our own imprisonment.

How very stupid!’

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‘For me one of the hardest programs to erase from my daily regimen was the idea of waking up early. It didn’t really matter what time I went to bed….I had through the years convinced myself into seeing thru this ridiculous idea….I have to always wake up at this time!

If I don’t then…I am lazy…a good for nothing..a poor example to others….indiscipline…..unworthy….half man…etc etc.

Without realizing it then, by investing so much of my self worth, identity and ego into this ridiculous ritual….I had painted myself into a corner.

It was only when I began to live in a tribal society deep in the jungle that I was able to witness first hand how crazy this imposition really was….how senseless it really was and most importantly how damaging it is to one’s physical and mental well being, if it was allowed to persist.

I began to grow conscious of my ridiculous daily ritual only because no one in the tribal setting could understand why I had a habit of waking up so early, despite having so little sleep!….you see in tribal societies, there is absolutely no guilt associated with sleeping in….none whatsoever – to people untouched by the corrupt hand of civilization….sleep is the most needful and natural thing that one should rightly prioritize above all else. Only after this basic life need has been meet 100% should one consider doing other things.

At first I found it quiet impossible to switch off this program in my head – Every time I rested on the straw mat when I was supposed to be working…I felt a profound sense of guilt along with feeling unworthy and shameful as if by just heeding the call of my body and mind to rest – I was some how guilty of some sacrilegious crime!

It took me many years to undo this program – as the conditioning must have been imprinted so deeply into my psyche.

Even today there is still a residue of that corrosive programming somewhere in my head – it may only be a faint watermark now, but nonetheless it’s there.

As despite my best efforts. I haven’t been able to wipe out this destructive programming completely and whenever I find myself sleeping longer than I think I should or deserve too – I will automatically feel guilty and shameful…..only these days since I am conscious there is such a destructive program lurking somewhere in my head that influences and modulates my thoughts concerning rest. At least I am able to make a conscious effort to override it…..even today, it’s an act that involves considerable effort and dedication.

This just goes to illustrate how so many of our behavioral scripting and conditioning are often so well and truly embedded in our thinking and at times intractable – that one has to really make an effort to reclaim the self.

Today I am not so sure that I am completely free from guilt and shame whenever I over sleep or sleep in – but at least these days, I have learnt to be kinder to myself by setting aside these feelings by assuring myself – I have to first be attentive to the needs of my body and mind and not be too bothered by some stupid scripting that has managed to encrust itself into my thinking like barnacles on a hull of ship.’

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