Q: If you are caught in a trap, what’s the one thing you have to do before you can escape?
A: You have to realise that you have been caught in a trap.
Until you realize you’ve been caught in a trap, you’re very unlikely to get out of it. But once you know about the trap, and you can see how it works, then escape is pretty straightforward. Especially if other people have escaped from the same trap, and can show you how.
It may be that we are all in some trap or the other. Unless we are enlightened – whatever that means.
What do I mean by this? We all live life in a certain way and we think that certain things are important and that things should happen in a certain way, we should do things in a certain way. There is no wrong in doing that, for otherwise given our current state of being, we cannot live.
But sometimes, there is a nudge from somewhere, a poem, a passage in a book, something we hear, a video or some inner realisation or something else that triggers something, makes us feel that things are not what it should be and that there is something better…like, we realise that there is more to life that the daily routine….that we can live in a more harmonious way….or like the person who has been shut in a room all his life and he glimpses sunlight… and maybe, what a fish felt when it wanted to be a frog…a bird…a monkey…a man….
Realising that we are in a trap inspires us to get out of it. The search begins and the student seek knowledge…and when we find somebody else had done something similar…we follow them…and then the process starts to flower…..
This is not only in what we call the spiritual realm….for example, the teachings of the Buddha have been instrumental to get many people out of the material trap….but also in other realms, physical, emotional, mental, intellectual…. Like Buffet, who got out of one trap when he read Graham, and then got out of Graham, when he met Charlie Munger…
Getting out a trap may not mean that you become completely free. It may mean that you just getter into a trap that is less constrictive…and the process has to evolve over a long time before total freedom is obtained….but may happen any instant.
What this means for our lives, is that we should first live with awareness…the awareness that is open and free from conditioning by your past and the influences….one way to become free is to expose yourself to different influences with total openness..and you will feel something is right…then you explore that further…in this way, we gradually become aware of traps that exist in our lives. Once we realise the trap, out nature will be to get out of it and for that you need aspiration and hard work and surrender. Teachers appear, guides guide and the traps become lighter.
The traps will then gradually fall, and what we become and where we go in the process is the unspeakable mystery of what life is all about.