We tend to compare everything, be it our intellectual capability, looks, situations, economic status, or even our relationships or love. In fact, everything who we think we are is an outcome of comparisons only. There is only relativity in everything. Every time we wish to improve, it is in comparison to something or someone. All our desires are also rooted in comparison. All our grief is also because of comparison. While many of us know this, it still drives us compulsively.
Your Life is Interesting, mine is not
The other day I met an old friend and got talking by sharing our life journey over the past 25 years. After I finished, when she started to share her story, the opening comment was “my life has not been as interesting as yours”. From my perspective, when she finished sharing her story, I found out that she had a caring and loving husband, 2 daughters, both studying in Ivy league colleges and she was well provided for all her life’s needs. Comparison creeps in unconsciously. It may be for a reason or without one, it does not matter. It just creeps in. Comparison is an emotional compulsion through which we try and find things about ourselves.
What makes us so compulsive that we can not stop comparing ourselves with others? When we are born, we have no idea of Who we are, where we are, the way we are and why are we here. Then starts the process of other people defining us. First we get a name, then we get the community, geographical identity, and slowly adjectives start defining us.Oh! you are so naughty or angry or shy or intelligent. Thereafter, we need to understand the meaning of these adjectives and that is answered through how naughty, how angry, how smart, how clever, how dumb, how talented, how good looking or how intelligent we are. The only way this can be answered is through reference that comes from looking at others.
The Perspective of Who I think I am is born from the comparative references.
This reference forms the perspectives. For example, if I have $1000 in my pocket and meet someone with only $100 then I am 10 times richer and if I meet someone who has $10,000 then I am 10 times poorer. My perspective of whether I am rich or poor comes from the reference points I have used. These perspectives have effectively defined everything we think, do or desire. One of the classic ways of knowing its impact is to think what to do when you’re alone with no one watching or judging you. What do you do, what do you think and what do you desire at those times? And if one remains alone for long enough, the mind starts to go in an uneasy spin.
Comparison is rooted in ignorance and is also both the cause and effect of Ignorance. As an effect, when we achieve success out of ignorance, our lives become miserable and we remain unfulfilled and incomplete. This effect then gives rise to confused desires and then one uses their mind, body and emotions to fulfil those. In effect, when those desires are accomplished, they cause greater ignorance and the vicious cycle goes on. Comparison does away with the absolute Me. The current system of education, parenting and social life thrives in comparison. Everything is comparative. Thus we are thriving in being our suffering too!
If I have $1000 then in my absolute non comparative existence, I need to be ok with that and do what is needed with that $1000. I do not need to be poorer or richer. I am fine being Who I am. The moment I am fine being Who I am, thereafter I can choose to make a million or a billion or more, without a problem.
Absolute Me is a Timeless Bliss.
Functioning through our absolute, we are complete that leads us to engage with Life in an enhanced manner. Functioning from comparison, we are always incomplete and that makes us a survivor. How can Incomplete create Completeness?