Lao Tzu was well aware of the difference between flow and joining the ratrace when de devised as follows “Act without expectation. No seeking, not expecting. Be present, welcome all things. Those who flow with Life flows know they need no other force. Nature doesn’t hurry, yet everything is accomplished. Be still, just remain in the centre, watching; and then forget you are there. Stillness reveals the secret of eternity.”
And what about this quote (source unknown): “I am in competition with no one. I run my own race. I have no desire to play the game of being better than anyone, in any way, shape, or form. I just aim to improve, to be better than I was before. That’s me and I’m free”.
So stop Chasing Illusions! Rat race competition is no good for humanity, only makes things worse. Cooperation is much better. Slow down the rat race and start enjoying the ride. You can think of enjoying this ride using metaphors.
Metaphor 1 (ratrace) is: always take the ‘next moment’ rat race rollercoaster, embrace the carrot/stick illusion, work harder for more money and fake happiness, get more greedy and work even harder and finally find out it doesn’t bring you real happiness, only more worries. You are constantly looking forward to the next moment of (illusionary) happiness, and constantly looking around you what your competitors are doing. There is no time for quietness, relaxation, real happiness.
Metaphor 2 (flow) is: you can ride the ‘now moment’ rollercoaster and enjoy the ‘now’ ride. You forget about having to race with your competitors. Because you know competing is in fact a dumb action, a waste of time and in the end only leads to greediness. So it’s up to you to decide which rollercoaster to take.
Business is in fact a funny word. Wikipedia says: “the etymology of “business” relates to the state of being busy either as an individual or society as a whole, doing commercially viable and profitable work.” So the state of doing business seems to be in essence about being busy? But why on earth should you wanna be busy in doing viable and profitable work? Suppose you could do viable and profitable work by not being busy (or at least not busy all the time). Would you favor it? Ofcourse you would. Because it’s much nicer to go with the flow of the moment than to ignore the flow. Going faster when the context demands it. Going slower when the context allows.
But it still seems our society doesn’t allow us to slow down when we are “in Business”. It’s some sort of taboo. We have to remain busy otherwise we condemn each other for not making Business. But isn’t it a flawed concept? Based on fear of not being able to explain why you’re not busy all the time? I recommend also reading this article which explains Busy-ness from a different point-of-view: “Much of our busy-ness comes from fear that we should be doing more, that we might be missing out, that we aren’t enough already. But we are enough, and we don’t need more, and we aren’t missing out. So we can let go of a lot of unnecessary activity, and just focus on doing what we love, and give ourselves the space to enjoy a contented life.” Happy slowing down (when your context allows it!).
The tweet from Jan Bommerez “A problem is an emotionalized situation. The situation is outside you, the problem resides inside you” inspired me to write this blog. You could also say that a problem is in fact an illusion, until we attach our own emotions to it. Then suddenly it becomes something real. So in fact we create our own problems. And by doing this, we create our own world, full of problems. And then we act frustrated because there are so many problems in our world. But we tend to forget we created them ourselves.
So what should we do if we want to have less frustrations or less problems? Well, quite easy. First, recognize the illusion. For example, look at the below figure. If you look at it from one viewpoint, you can see an old, ugly woman’s face, grey-haired, looking in south-west direction. But you can also see a young lady in it, with brown hair and a grey veil, looking to the north-west. So it’s just a matter of perception.
Next thing you do is follow Adi Da Samray’s advice “RELAX. Nothing is under control.” and make it part of our daily mindset.
And finally, add to that a “good=good enough” mindset, and you will see your problems vanish bit by bit. And you will be starting to get more and more into flow. And replace your previous frustrations with happiness. Now who wouldn’t want that?