(Image from pixabay.com)
These are basic skills, are they not? Yet, are we sure we are good at it? Do we accord both the right emphasis?
Well, I must admit that the title is misleading as it is metaphorical, but clarity will come as you read on. Success, as we see it, is largely a matter of (quantum of) addition – adding to the bank balance, adding skills, adding more friends (on social media and in real-life), adding to places travelled, adding business contacts, adding to gadgets owned, adding property, and so many other things. In fact it is addition which preys on our mind all the mind. Success in the world view is all about addition! In fact our self esteem depends totally on our ability to add! Happiness in the view of many is addition at a steady and never ending pace.
There are rare cases when subtraction surfaces in our thoughts, but gains priority only if it threatens to take away something from us. A case in point is weight – there are many who take up weight reduction once it is clear that it could impact health or self esteem. Weight, as in turns out is not the only thing we need to think of subtracting. Subtraction lends balance and true purpose to our lives.
Subtracting a little of our bank balance for charity helps others and provides great satisfaction. Subtracting from our pride helps us understand others. Subtracting our stereotypes and biases helps us see the world as it is, instead of our warped view of it. Subtracting our sense of uniqueness allows us to see the essential oneness of everything in the universe. Subtracting meaningless effort allows time for reflection and creativity.
If we subtract the past pains and future fears from our thoughts, we are in the “now” - truly living the present moment. There are a number of other things we need to work on subtracting as well – stereotypes, biases, overindulgence, false sense of identity, overconfidence, pleasure seeking frenzy, and others.
Enlightenment is a demolition project. It simply shows you that everything you ever believed was true isn’t.
“If the past was the age of adding to one's mind, now is the age of subtracting what is in his mind. A person who subtracts his minds in this time will recover his original nature.”
― Woo Myung,
You have probably been asking yourself every day “What did I add today?”. Don't you think you should also be asking “What did I subtract today?”.