Lets say when you wanna start learning to code, you don't start with designing the libraries. You probably don't even do a "Hello World" application because you haven't yet decided what language to learn. So the first thing developers do is to provide the prospective users (or learners ) with some killer applications. For example, I am writing this book in an app
mdbook. This a small beautiful app in popular programming language
Rust. Using this app, I am already mulling over exploring Rust. The next step would be to open the help manual and do some quick start tutorials. May be write a "Hello Rust" app. If it sticks, I will read more. And with luck, I might become a Rust developer. Or I might go to some other language that may offer easier onboard because Rust , by design , is a very detailed language. Same goes for the for the "Actions Language" the programming platform of the [protected] knowledge. We are first given templated apps to try out the beauty of this universe. We are given a car to play with it. Start the ignition. Make some choices. Press the paddle and take a ride. If we like it, we can possibly open the hood to check if it runs on gas or on batteries. Fortunately and unfortunately, this platform is very detailed. Millions of more time than any computer language we created. Fortunately because it provides us the experience we have. Fully immersive reality. Unfortunately because it takes times to wrap our minds around it ..
"Takes time" means we need to survive till we get some insights . Insights to figure out our purpose and decide on our own
Karma and Yajna and understand to program our inner universal app -
Atma . That is the reason our brains are tuned primarily for survival, at least in the beginning. In animals, there are not enough neurons to ensure survival and then devote some to learning. Luckily we have enough. In general, we have already figured out survival (though we have put a question mark on the survival of the planet). We have risk free trials on as many cars or gadgets as we want. Unfortunately, in our case, we have so many options that we just get lost in trying out the fun part. We move from one template to another. We rarely get down to our own "Hello World" . The options that are given to us to exhibit the power of this design, turn into a trap. It is something like using Linux. When you start the first time, you wonder why there are so many text editors ! There are roughly four thousand different Linux distributions, each with its on combination of desktop and windows manager. Yes - you can change the entire look and feel of your operating system. And yes , you can launch your own distribution. While this multiplicity of choices is hard to navigate but it does allow us to fine tune what exactly we want to do. In the end this is what makes it exciting. Life is fun and finding our own zing is even more. Life is fun and finding our own zing is even more.
Okay, we get it. We understand that these options are a good starting point, then why aren't we told to move on to write something of our own when we grow up - say turn eighteen. The answer is - we are. As soon as we are sure of survival, we do want to do something unique. Something inside us drives us nuts to create our own identity. We want a unique Instagram profile. We want to look good. We want to be recognized. As said in last chapter ; we only need to resolve "Outcomes" from "Actions". That is where Gita fits in ; but let us continue on the engagement model first ..
Not only time (and basic survival skills) , we are also given curiosity. When we are born, we are made curious to search for milk for mother's milk is the first thing we need to kick start this machine. The curiosity is in built. In addition to curiosity, every aspect of the engagement is filled with pleasures. Just to keep us hooked. When we get hungry - food is a big pleasure. Water is even bigger pleasure to the thirsty. Not even talk about chilled beer :-) Even defecation is pleasurable. Talk to someone who is constipated. And then we are given the biggest pleasures of all - you guessed it - love and sex. All these just to give us a glimpse of how powerful is this language because all these pleasures need us to "act". There is nothing that can give us pleasure without doing something - except for the Netflix : - except for the Netflix :-) . So here we are with our fun filled actions language. It is definitely as good as Rust or Go :-) and is sure older than C :-) ..Don't you agree? Running , gardening, playing with the dogs, writing - all are so full of pleasures. And all these are available to us for free. Turns out most of the things where we act are kinda free even in dollar terms. No one asks yoy to pay if you wanna swim in the ocean. On the other hand, most of the things that make us sit on our backs cost a lot - well fifteen bucks for the Netflix a month. Another ten for Amazon prime to get the things shipped to your door. Isn't it crazy ? Things that takes away all the action based pleasure also cost us - at least in dollars. Another good reason to indulge in activities. I would rather tend a dog shelter than watching the movies . Wouldn't you ?
What happens if billions of us keep asking for more and more pleasurable constructs without contributing back? The system is obligated to provide us all that we want to figure out our "Hello World" . In fact it provides to all the animals and all the species who don't even have the capacity to learn or contribute. They don't even have dollars ! But they sure do have a purpose in this vast construct ( we will get back to that later).
Every time we ask for a new free ride, we are putting pressure on the resources. Every time we desire something, the universe makes attempts to fulfill as quickly as possible ; provided the expectations are legit and communicated clearly through a set of actions or a pre -existing template. If billions of us continue to do that, at some point, system would crash. As we are already seeing it with our beautiful planet. We have filled it with garbage. Burnt its natural resources. Extincted the jungles and the species that live on the jungle. Air is hard to breathe in big cities. And now we want to move to the Mars. Even that is granted, provided we start paying some dues.
Yes you did. Everything you shopped at Amazon, you paid with paper or crypto money. But does it actually pays for the all that universe provisions - including the water, air and this beautiful body itself ? In fact, money and trade is just another multi user game that we can play to consume ourselves when we are done with the high school games. Counting your beans is as pleasurable as the hitting the post in basketball. It is a game of old and sad part is older were expected to start contributing back to the actual system.
When I said we don't pay for all the pleasures, I was little wrong. We do pay with the pains and miseries. For every pleasure, there is pain to follow. That is what makes it cyclic. Pleasures of more money, more success are always paid back with more sorrows. For every rise, there is a fall. Richest of the rich can't escape it. Even stars go through the same fate. This is an eternal reality. The obvious solution then would be to not play the game at all. Give up everything. But here is the bigger misfortune - once you enter the game, the exit is only after solving the puzzle. There is no way to switch off this reality. Not even with death. In fact, pains are a way to let you know that you are taxing the system. It is a way to reinforce
Nishkaam - doing things without desires is the only way to peace and solve the puzzle. Whatever you do with the intent of no payback is actual contribution to the system. It could be as little as watering the plants.
If you think about of it, Pains and Pleasure are kind of balanced. We already have tremendous amount of pleasures built into us. All the things that just work to make us sense this reality. Most other things that we desire are thus need to generate pain to balance the two sides. The choice still remains with us. Do we want to accomplish pain by desiring more or do we want to do things without desires with whatever we already have. It is that simple. We already have two legs. We can walk to enjoy the nature. Or we can choose to desire a fancy car and get the associated pains. The truth is we can do a lot with whatever we have and yet we desire for more pains.
Gita, doesn't change this truth. It only gives you a path to sail through ...
Not at all. We should not conclude that this is a unfairly rigged system. We have tutorials, docs and contextual help. And if you think about it, even in our humane systems, there are penalties for not following the code of conduct. For example, lets take social media, such a beautiful thing but then people misuse it. They crave for more followers. They build bots to alter the elections. There is every type of hack in play at every level. Sometimes when the things get out of control , what does Twitter do ! .. They are forced to kill the account of most celebrated celebs.
Krishna said the same thing long before we found the Facebook terms and conditions.. He said
Yada Yada hi Dharmasya , Glanir Bhavati Barata , Abhuthanmdharmaysa , Srijamyaham Yuge Yuge.
Don't worry about the Sanskrit though it is considered to be on top of most scientifically designed languages.. At least till c was written :-) . What Krishna means here is - Whenever there is too much hacking on code of conduct, I incarnate myself as a human to clean it up .
See the fairness of the system - It provisions all the experiences but it can only act through a regular account - just like you and me. There is no deletion of data from the back end. It must instantiate itself as a human to make a change here. Yes, Krishna does has the root access, but she is still a regular human user. You and me can also get the same privileges. In fact the purpose of Krishna is to create / enable users like Arjuna to clean up the system. Just like each one of us has a purpose ..
You have probably heard about
GTD. Yes Gita is all about getting things done effectively ; but it goes a step further. The question that it addresses is of immense importance and that is...
Let us say, I figure out my actions language ? Do I still need to payback with Pain ? Is there another currency ?
So here is the kicker -
Gita says - If you focus on outcomes and figure out the detailed action plan and of course practice it rigorously, system will provision the outcomes for you. You will enjoy your success but you will again join the cycle after the effect of your
Yajnaweathers off. And it sure will no matter how big or pious your mission. If you focus only on actions, and effectively defocus the "outcomes". You will be free from pleasures and Pains. This is because pains and pleasures are means to bond you with the "outcomes". You are attached to things that give you happiness (or pleasure) and their absence or fear or their absence causes pain. This includes your body. Your home. Your kids. Your family and friends and so on. In essence, your universe is all the things that you are bonded with.
"Actions", on the other hand, only have peace and they lead to a good night (or afternoon) sleep. After you act, the sleep cycle decrypts the knowledge. Actions donot cause bondage. In fact, prospect of going through the action drill again, makes you hate the actions. But once you cross the initial barrier, the actions are source of peace. That is the reason, actions must be adopted as a ritual. If you break the ritual, chances are you will elope away from the actions.
So then what is the point - If I am not going to get any "pleasure" then why should I indulge in actions ?
Krishna says - two reasons :-
First - You can not live without actions. You will anyway be forced into them based on your
Svabhava. . And Second - the more important - Actions without Desires [AWDs] -also called
Nishkaam Karma give you bliss and peace. As you engage in [AWDs] , the [protected]knowledge starts revealing itself. You start becoming "one" with the knowledge. You become the developer or maintainer of this system. And you enjoy eternal peace and finally exit the cycle when your discovery is complete.
Feels like a good reason to try out [AWDs] , what say ?
Absolutely yes but it is not this book or Gita itself. These texts are only to give you axioms and framework. The help really is with in you.
Krishna says - your copy of [protected] knowledge is always watching you. It is a version management system that tracks every commit of your actions. As soon as you start progressing with [AWDs], the knowledge starts talking to you. It is there to hold your hands. Put you on right path. Once your actions reach a level of rigor, the knowledge starts accepting those actions as food and starts revealing itself with in you. This knowledge is your online and contextual help. It talks to your, helps you correct your course. And finally when you understood all that is there, you become one with me.
Krishna says - Now you are me. You are beyond actions because nothing in this world binds you to outcomes. You are beyond desires but you still engage in actions for greater good and to set a model code of conduct. Once you give up your body, you don't need to take a birth unless there is a need to incarnate.
As we discussed in chapter 1.2, the question of origin (or the end) is always a "chicken of egg" story. One of the way our perceptions are designed is to shift our focus to the extreme cases. Such cases are unimportant. What is important is what we feel on day to day basis - every moment of our existence. In fact we can address the extreme cases only if we are fully aware of the reality.