Be reflective, not reflexive (Gita Daily)

Published on Mar 19, 2014

Based on Bhagavad Gita Chapter 14, Text 22
By Caitanya Carana Prabhu

Our physical reflexes often protect us from danger — if we unconsciously place our hand on something hot, it recoils from that object even before we consciously recognize what’s happening. That’s reflex action, an inbuilt biological survival mechanism.

But when it comes to our mental life, our reflexes don’t serve us so well. Our instinctive inner reactions, which we can refer to as our mental reflexes, often take us towards trouble instead of away from it.

For example, when something troubles us mentally, often we reflexively go towards it instead of away from it. We start obsessing over the problem, worrying about its various complications and ramifications, frequently working ourselves into a state of acute anxiety, even nervous breakdown.

Certainly, we can’t neglect the problem; we do need to attend to them. But our attention and subsequent action should ameliorate, not aggravate, the problem. We can remedy situations only when we are calm enough to observe and analyze them without getting overwhelmed by them.

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