How does a dream/movie keep us engaged? By presenting things within it that we find enticing and interesting. If we were disinterested we would wake-up/walk-out. The same applies to Life and Maya!
Maya keeps us hooked to life through sticky substances. These sticky substances are more commonly known as attachments, desires, sense pleasures, etc. In this theory, sticky substance is a universal term for anything that keeps us hooked to the illusion called Life. These prevent us from realising the Truth or in other words from waking up. This waking up is commonly referred to as Enlightenment.
These sticky substances prevent Vairagya (detachment) from arising which is a prerequisite for Enlightenment or Self realisation. Here is something unique about these sticky substances: that which is sticky for one may not be sticky for another. For example: my wife has no problem with chocolates but I am addicted to them! One person may be indifferent towards alcohol while another’s life may be consumed by it. Some people are more emotional and hence find relationships to be sticky while others are more materialistic and hence are not so much troubled by failed relations as by lost money. In short, each individual has their own unique set of challenges. And these are the sticky substances they should be vary of. So how should one deal with these sticky substances? There are two approaches:
- If the sticky substances is necessary in your life (necessary evil) like relationships, money, etc. then you cannot avoid them and hence you must approach them with the tool of “Need vs Greed*” i.e. have a need based relationship with the said substance and be watchful and very careful that it should not turn into greed. If the latter does happen, reprimand yourself and get back to the need based stance.
- If you can live a life without the sticky substance in it then do so! For example: in my case, I have totally eliminated chocolates from my diet.
Giving up these sticky substances can seem difficult in the beginning but it is totally worth it in the end! Those who have known the bliss of Enlightenment know what I’m talking about. For the others I can say this: imagine a life without suffering, a life of freedom from all fears and worries, a life full of undisturbed peace and happiness^. That is what awaits you at the end of this difficult journey.
A short summary of the path that this essay suggests can be represented as below:
Remove/Regulate sticky substances in your lifeVairagyaEnlightenment
* For a detailed discussion on this tool please refer to the essay on this website titled “Need versus Greed”.
^ Here the words freedom, peace and happiness refer to the inner state and not necessarily the outer one.