When negativity takes over our enlightened souls

We all are familiar with James Bond. All generations know that name and that type and even desire the James Bond factor. The other day while waiting for my coffee at the café, I overheard a couple of teenagers talking at a nearby table. The girl said to her friend, “You are a real James Bond!” I could not hear his response, but his friend across the table said with a grin, “Yaar mein bhi James Bond banna chahta hoon!”

So what is it about James Bond that has withstood time and age? For me, it was a handsome person with charisma and personality; someone always ready to defend good over evil. One with the initiative to show his might and draw his gun when challenged. And if he had no gun, he had an arsenal of hidden weapons at his disposal! All this he did with ease and a boyish charm! Now to me, that was a warrior who looked so unruffled throughout the fight. Most importantly, he ‘did’ things.

Which is why I think we all possess the James Bond factor, don’t we? We are born into this world in blazing colours of glory. Now I might think I am not good looking, balding, short or plump, but that’s through the prism of my insecurities. I have such an armoury of weapons at my disposal, but do I use them? I have the power of initiative, generosity, clarity, perseverance, wisdom and conscience, and everyday is a battle of action over inaction. Correct over incorrect. Generosity of spirit over meanness and jealousy. Good habits over bad habits.

As I grow older, I realise in the earlier days, I would drift with the stream, but now I aim to improve the quality of my life. I am at least aware of the fact that great souls are those who inspire, revive and strengthen the world around them, including their community, families and society.

For me, Nelson Mandela had the James Bond factor. It does not matter that our values differ from other people at different stages of spiritual growth, but for the sake of yourself, you must never compromise with what you think is wrong. He may have been imprisoned (such men will always be), but he did so with a quiet dignity like a handsome gladiator. Sin is nothing other than refusing to live up to the enlightenment we possess. Look at that gift from god. The enlightenment that we come with gets clouded over by our own negativity. It’s like covering the rays of the sun with a blanket of dark clouds that create the darkness.

Let me give you small examples. Hating, judging and condemning others are part of those dark clouds that cover the light. Condemning and criticising others is such a grave mistake, because it poisons relationships. It is an evil that recoils upon itself.

Prayer is not sitting in a mandir, church or mosque for hours. The intensity of prayer is not measured by time, but with the awareness that we are one with god, with the universe. Now I see that prayer is not influencing the gods, rather it is an awareness that he exists in all things living and nonliving. And so the Buddha said, “You must choose to be aware. Choose to live with compassion, with courage, with wisdom and strength.” Yet he says do not be blind to your weakness or wickedness or to that of others. Learn to look at it as a limitation of birth and circumstance and workings of your karma. Now it’s time to change that karma, to rise above it. To change the script you were born with, become the director of a new script. Become that James Bond fighting for his place in the sun — one that everyone wants to emulate!

(The writer is a theatre director and novelist)

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