A machine always performs exactly the same type of function; a cutter machine will cut and a grinder will grind; they are designed that way. If our mind always gets angry, reacts specifically to a particular type of situation, then it is no different than a machine. A machine is manipulated by someone who operates it; it has no volition. Similarly, a mechanical mind operates routinely according to external stimuli. Hence our moods, feelings and actions are in the hands of others and externalities. We don’t let the Self within to have a say.Some mechanical actions are inevitable. When we are hungry, we eat; when we are thirsty, we drink. Beyond this, we could be inspired to show generosity, kindness and compassion. Then, along with mechanical bodily functions, we could direct our thoughts and actions in a life-affirming manner. Human nature ‘to be happy’ leads us to search for peace outside and within, and it may take us to the spiritual path.To satisfy our physical needs together with our mental desires and ego, is our interpretation of life and we are living with that. Basic human physical needs can be satisfied with food, clothing and shelter.What really aggravates most of us is the psychological need. Even when conditions promote happiness, we are not fully satisfied. We want more because we have unlimited desires based on imagination. Kabir had said: ‘Physical hunger is very less which can be satisfied with very few eatables. However, psychological hunger is great, where hills and mountains may be immersed.’ Instead of understanding this, we are running here and there, seeking mental pleasure. The mind’s thirst can never be quenched, because those needs are imaginary. Also, the mind can only think from experience and from field of the known.Apart from physical and imaginary hunger, the third is spiritual hunger: the desire to be desire-less, that is beyond physical and mental planes. This path will help us overcome our mechanical nature, and live life with utmost satisfaction.By Durga Charan Mishra
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