Swimming Against the Current

… and flow gently with life?

Photograph by Author: Brighton, with Love and Waves

We, humans, are thinking machines or thinking beings. Indeed, most of us carry our thoughts with us from the moment we get out of bed to the second we place our heads on our pillows. Many of us suffer from many nights of poor quality sleep and wake up exhausted. No wonder the sleep industry was valued at $432 billion in 2019, with the sleeping aids market alone expected to be worth $114 billion by 2025. How did the most natural, pleasurable, and easiest thing in the World become an industry? Would it be a belligerent thing to say but to blame ourselves and our thinking minds? Effectively, has our natural propensity of thinking go into overdrive into overthinking. Hence my point: has swimming against the current become the natural thing to do in our evolution as hard-working thinkers? Or could it be that as society has evolved into a competition machine, flowing gently with life may be deemed to be lazy and procrastinating?

Our religious beliefs often stem from wars: War of Good versus Evil, War on ourselves into adhering to a ‘religious diktat’, and the fervent and stringent belief of God. Many scriptures emphasise the dangers of falling into the dark abyss of Evil. As we evolve and as we develop, humanity at large follows the righteous and the path of gentle living. However, often religious studies teach us about the consequences of choosing the wrong paths, with punishments and the threat of Hell. Would it be more spiritual and perhaps wiser to teach us about the importance of going with the flow of life rather than living life in martyrdom. Is martyrdom swimming against the current of living in the realm of love? God, the Divine is love, and we are all connected to the Divine in a space of love. So why swim against the current?

Has making life difficult become the essence of modern life? We wake up with a sense of unease as we remind ourselves that life is not easy. Why? It is a question I ask, as humbly I have no answers. It almost feels that it is a construct imposed by ancestral beliefs that life is never meant to easy, that life is cruel, that life equates strive. I would put this out there just for gentle reflection and not for thinking. Empty our minds, make ourselves void of thoughts and narratives. Life is not martyrdom and swimming against the current is perhaps not the norm for thinking beings. What if we did swim against the current to stop overthinking and allow life to flow in Oneness and connecting us with the Divine? Would this shift in paradigm trigger the evolution of us Humans to progress in joy and contentment rather than strife and toil?

In Meditation, we are encouraged to identify with our thoughts, to become aware of them, and let them go. Like my Tween wisely once said: take the negative thoughts and gently release it back to the Universe, to bring more positivity into us. Emptying ourselves, emptying our minds, emptying our thoughts, releasing ourselves from the shackles of overthinking… Yes, sounds like this would be a classic definition of swimming against the current. But would it also mean a flow of gentle living?

If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.’ Rene Descartes

Rene Descartes famously said Cogito, ergo sum meaning “I think, therefore I am”. Of course, this was in the context of attaining knowledge, the knowledge of physical things, the knowledge of God, and perfection. And yes, agreed we all need to go through our moments of doubt in our search for the truth. Perhaps, that in itself is found as we become empty of thoughts and live life in the flow of observation and non-attachment. We let go of the doubts in our quest to finding our Truths.

Photograph by Author: Heaven in Mauritius

Perhaps my interpretation of ‘Swimming Against the Current’ would not be a marketing tag line for the booming sleep industry. But in a world where mental health has taken its toll on society, I would perhaps encourage each and one of us to quieten our minds and switch off the noisy thoughts. Life can be easier, life should be joyful and not martyrdom. Only in stillness, we can face our discomfort to truly know who we are and where we are, in sheer bliss and joy.

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