I am writing this when most of the world is in lockdown owing to Covid-19. And while this quote would seem so much true right now, it was not written for these times.
Most of what we do now a days is to be - not alone. Many of us cannot live without checking our phone every few minutes and get anxious if no one has pinged us in a while. We never just do nothing and just be.
We have to be doing something - talking to someone, watching endless stream of videos on netflix, youtube etc, picking fights on whatsapp, commenting, liking, sharing or expecting comments, likes and shares.
Not just in lockdown but otherwise also every day seems like the same. We cannot distinguish between today and yesterday. We have to think a lot when we try to remember what we ate yesterday.
Even when we are alone we are not really alone. We cannot stand it. We cannot tolerate being alone with our thoughts, because more often than not the thoughts we have are detrimental to our mental peace.
Expectations, hopes and dreams that we might have not lived up to or worries about the future, thoughts about pending items to be done are the first string of thoughts and we cannot handle them.
The idea of being alone, truly alone and reflecting on ourselves, our actions and looking inside absolutely freaks us out and so instead - we keep ourselves busy with some external stimulation
The reason why most of us like reading about meditation and its benefits but cannot meditate is because meditation requires us to be still, focus inward, let go of external stimulation and most importantly just be in the current moment and DO NOTHING.
But why really bother? Why get out of this busy routine? Well the biggest killer of your time is your routine.
If you did the same thing for years without reflecting on a single day, week, month or an year - they would fly past you without you ever realizing them.
The reason why most of us feel “Wasn’t I 25 just a few days ago when we are nearing 40 or 50” is because we have spent time doing the same thing over and over again. So much so that we cannot differentiate one year from another.
And if you cannot remember and feel what you did for years together - what’s the point of having lived them?
Think about that - Try to sit alone in a room and really reflect on you- It’s going to scare you - that’s ok - at least you’ll remember this day.
Today’s quote is attributed to Blaise Pascal. Most of us have heard of Pascal for his contributions to Physics and Mathematics. He also invented the mechanical calculator. The unit of pressure is named Pascal in his honor.
But Pascal was also a philosopher and this quote comes from his masterpiece Pensées (translation: thoughts). This quote is about 350 years old and it’s probably as true now as it was then.
And for the picture - it’s a human face pictured on Mars. It’s not - It’s a small pebble I came across and the street lights illuminated it such that it seemed like someone gazing at the camera from far far away !
We have gone far far away from ourselves too. We need to come back - be alone with ourselves. Because, after all - All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.
What do you think?