In the physical realm of life, all our endeavors are directed towards experiencing happiness, fulfillment, and success. And yet, we haven’t been able to raise our lives to the sublime heights, where there is eternal joy and contentment.
Our being is an intersection of the materialistic world around us and a subtle world within. The inner world manifests itself when we dream in our sleep. We see with closed eyes, travel with still legs, and plan with a resting intellect. This establishes that there is indeed a separate world that exists within us, which is unique and personal to each individual.
The two components of this inner world are Mind and Intellect.
- The mind is an engine that constantly generates thoughts and creates desires. It is like the heart that never stops beating.
- The intellect, on the other hand, is a faculty of discrimination that controls the mind and make decisions.
Some of us might argue this statement does not hold under all circumstances, and that it is not possible to always control the mind with intellect.
Let us consider the example of a little girl who passes by a bakery on her way to school. The sumptuous aroma of freshly baked cookies fills her heart. As she proceeds towards the shop, she realizes she did not get her pocket money today. She thinks of picking up a cookie from the large tray on the counter but knows that it was wrong. The small child thinks better of it and moves ahead.
A young boy is writing his exam on a window desk in a classroom. His mind does not wander towards all the commotion in the football ground because his intellect has decided upon the importance of the test. So if our intellect can make a firm decision our mind will immediately come into focus.
The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
Here we need to answer a fundamental question — What is it that fuels our mind and intellect? The answer is Desire. We are nothing but mortal beings making consistent efforts to fulfill our desires.
These desires stem from “Attachments”.
Watch this interesting video by Swami Mukundananda –
What is then, the cause of attachment? Repeated contemplation of happiness in a person or object leads to attachment. Our intellect strongly decides that a particular object or person will provide me immense happiness, so it instructs the mind to produce desires towards that object or person.
Our mind can never stop contemplating happiness and hence we will never cease to create desires.
Now let’s put into action the most wonderful virtue of the human race — Utilising the ‘givens’ to our advantage.
The first step is to constantly think of happiness in the cause where you want to channel your desires; decide what you cherish, wish to become, and hold in esteem. It might be regular exercise, healthy eating, attaining spiritual awareness, or elevating your conscience.
Awaken the power of your intellect and use it to steer the mind towards happiness and fulfillment.
Contemplation of happiness → Attachment → Intense desire → Determined resolve → Persistent efforts → So will you become.