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To Abandon Society

Alone we come into and alone we shall leave this world.

What we do in the intervening period is what we call, 'life'.

Individual life is our insignificant participation in this collective and glorious dance of the universe.

However, we who consider ourselves as an intellectually and philosophically evolved species, are unable to accept the reality, that in the larger scheme of things we are inconsequential.

Biologically speaking, the instinct of every species is to survive, find mates, procreate and ensure the healthy survival of our offspring and hence our genes. This fundamental instinct drives all our behaviour, which leads us to seek to dominate others.

To satiate our ego we manufacture all sorts of ideas and undertake numerous quests, to appear to ourselves and to others, that we do matter. That we have taken birth for a special reason and therefore acquired the right to dominate others.

We enter into society at birth but progress through it by our actions. We are constantly seeking to rise in the hierarchy of our societies. The objectives being to survive, attract the best and most suitable of mates and ensure survival of our offspring.

The individual needs society and society thrives upon the individuals who populate it. Both of whom are also intertwined in a symbiotic relationship with nature and our environment.

Cursed by modernity, we may have forgotten that we must not disrespect our symbiotic relationship with both society and nature. To respect meaning to take only what we need for our survival and needs, eventually returning back to society and nature all we have taken from them.

Eventually our spirit will abandon even our body and merge back into the ocean from which we have emerged. Before that we will consciously or unconsciously abandon all that defines us in society, our possessions, our status, our strengths, our relationships, etc.

After a brief life, each individual will one day willingly or unwillingly abandon society, meaning we will abandon society or society will abandon us.

The difference is in the former we choose, and in the latter society chooses. No matter what the story of each individual is, this end chapter is common to every life.

If we abandon society consciously we will be content and peaceful. If we cling to society, life will one day agonisingly wrench it away from us. This is the nature of existence.

Often associates, friends and relatives complain about my lack of attachment to things and relationships. But it is not deliberate or even conscious, it just is the dropping out of society. I suppose this is good because it is the gradual embracing of the inevitable, my gradual abandonment of society as I have known it.

By sharing and not bothering about receiving, I feel that the more I abandon society and material things, the greater grows my spiritual wealth. It's a strange but peaceful phase of life, where I explore and examine my learning, experiences and wonders that I have collected in my brief life.


Some additional thoughts:

  • We are driven not by needs but by wants, and we know our wants can be infinite. Spiritually speaking, we grow wealthy as our wants are extinguished, wealthier when our needs are minimised.

  • Society is abandoned, when we cease to be of any value to society, that is when we are unable to contribute to or place demands on society.

  • All attachments bring some degree of pain. Attachments can be by way of fame, notoriety, love, hate, wealth and things, status, influence etc. They are called attachments because they are what provides us with this reassuring thought that we are significant, and they make our departure from this life traumatic. This is why the Gurus, Masters, and Sages advise us to minimise our attachments.


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I agree that we get free and feel light by detachment. It becomes easier to leave the world painlessly if the attachments are minimum. It is the attachments to people, things etc. that makes parting difficult.

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