The Way We Perceive Life — Aweary traveller lost in the jungle one night slips and falls into an unused, dry well. During the fall he clutches to the root of the nearby banyan tree and is hanging midway. The whole night he spends in this precarious state. In the morning he begins the attempt to climb back to safety. He looks up and is terrified to find a tiger standing at the mouth of the well, looking hungrily at him.
So he decides to climb down and wait for the tiger to leave but sees a huge python at the base just coming out of hibernation and looking for something to swallow. And as his fate should have it the root of the tree which he was holding starts to snap.
In this situation he was not in a position to think clearly of what he should do. Just then a thick substance falls on to his nose and drips to his mouth. Unwittingly he licks at it and is surprised to find it very tasty and to know what that was he lifts his head. He notices a bear on the branch of the banyan tree. The bear is trying to drink the honey that was in the hive on the branch of the tree.
Now this man who thought he was in a horrible situation a moment ago is waiting for more drops of honey to fall on his nose so that he can lick and relish it. Life is almost like this situation; there are problems everywhere but it is wisdom to notice the small memorable incidences and enjoy those. Each one has a different way of perceiving life and relating to it. And this depends on inner personality, not external situations.
To make a living in this material, competitive world an individual tries to perceive life and relate to it through his ego personality that is fed by vanity. Here he might be satisfying the ego in a positive or negative way depending on the situation. He feels the need to be appreciated by others, in order to feel triumphant or superior. This is how the ego gets inflated. Once attached to his ego personality, he strives to cling to it.
A spiritual person leads life influenced by his soul, not ego. Normally a person looks at the world as a racing track and life as a marathon. His only intention is to win the race and so he is looking at the one who is catching up with him. His energy is expended in ensuring that he is not overtaken. He is hurt when his overtakes him or he is overjoyed when he touches the finish line.
However, a spiritual person accepts the world as a stage and sees himself as a performer along with others. He is supportive of others. He acts well and lets others to do their best. His energy is vibrating and gels with the other. He is neither hurt nor pampered by the line in the script.
When we allow the ego to take the place of soul, we get confused over our identity. You recognise your true identity by shunning ego and becoming a participant instead of competitor. We do justice to the role scripted by the Absolute and by so doing find that we have no anxiety in letting go when the time has come to exit from the stage of life. We do so gracefully.