It does not need the intelligence of a Cronin or the wisdom of a Bhagavad Gita to comprehend that winning over one’s base instincts would be a giant leap towards self improvement and obtaining rewards of a fulfilled life.
However, before analysing on where and how to begin the path to “victory over oneself”, it would be necessary to understand the implications of this term for each particular aspirant.
Be it a stoic, recluse or hermit, be it one given to rightly enjoying even sensual pleasures available in this mundane world or be it an eager aspirant, who, in view of constraints and responsibilities, has to make compromises — there is a pathway available for all, as long as wish power and intelligence mark their approach.
Each has to chart a way specifically applicable, basing on the individual make up of his personality. In short, there can be no strict rules or ‘dos and don’ts’, which would be universally applicable.
Nevertheless, certain basic issues could form the base, which could serve as the launching pad for all types of persons, who seek a meaningful life. Certain self-searching questions, as below, could serve as guiding reminders.
Are your urges, instincts and impulses regulated and guided by all considered wisdom, clarity and precision? During decision-making or difficult situations, are all related aspects considered well, with the needed poise and presence of mind? Not influenced by fear, anxieties or others’ priorities nor acting from a position of weakness, do you also refrain from domineering over anyone?
Not stung easily by criticism, do you also ensure you don’t air your piece of mind, thereby disturbing your own or others’ peace of mind too? Eliminating the needless in speech, thought and action (even if these be correct), where these would not contribute to any good purpose, do you channel energies for the common good and fairly?
Are your habits guided by your actual need and not by cravings or instincts to escapism? Is aimless drift reversed through conscious awareness, needed discipline and effectiveness?
Indeed, various other ingredients would also constitute progress towards “victory over oneself”. Depending on his own personality, the intelligent seeker would divine the base and the starting points, as specifically applicable to himself. Promise and potential would, then, indeed, be immense!
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