What is it that makes perfectly sane and intelligent people do things that they know are not to be done? Or not do things that they know ought to be done?
Genetics? Indiscipline? Lack of Willpower? Motivation? Habits? Integrity? Values? Short-termism? Incentives?
Most people have a good sense of right and wrong, good and bad.
“In theory I know the importance of saving and investing, food and exercise” Swami told me and Jigneshbhai.
“But greed and fear come in the way” Jigneshbhai chuckled.
“And taste and laziness” Swami added.
Is it just about willpower, motivation or discipline? It is the nature of what we are, as I learnt recently.
“You have a three level existence; body, mind and consciousness” Gyani Baba had told Swami, as Jigneshbhai and I looked on during last weekend’s class.
He further explained with modern day examples.
“Things happen at the bodily level like the hardware of a computer – you see, hear things like a mouse or microphone or keyboard. But they are processed at the mind level like the software of a computer – based on how it is programmed to process the inputs. Funnily though, the experience of good or bad is based on the user like the end-user of the system” he had explained.
Gyani Baba was indeed a modern age spiritual master, Jigneshbhai and I had thought, and Swami had revelled at his awesomeness.
“Therefore, your experience is largely dictated by your consciousness and your mind, irrespective of what happens” Gyani Baba had reminded us.
“There is an enemy within, the mind which spurs you. Neglect him and he will become your friend” he had ended that day’s lecture with this truism.
There it was. That was the reason.
That is why sane intelligent people do what should not be done, and don’t do what should be done.
It is why the same thing is experienced differently and elicits a different response from different people.
It is the enemy within. If only we could make him a friend.