16.16 – Are possibilities paralyzing us?
Our culture offers us so many possibilities for life’s trivialities that choosing among them often swallows much of our energy and emotion. For example, TV offers so many channels that just surfing channels to find the best often becomes a fussy issue. The same consuming spectrum of choice confronts us for almost everything from tooth-pastes to clothes.
Despite this fuss over possibilities, even the best possibility usually turns out to be anticlimactic. The possibilities allure far more than they deliver; that’s why channel-surfing is often more interesting than channel-watching.
Moreover, this fuss over possibilities misdirects our energy and emotion from the consequential to the inconsequential. The decision about which channel we watch will most likely be inconsequential after a month – or even a week. On the other hand, the decision to invest that same time in gaining spiritual insight and relishing devotional joy will be consequential for all of eternity. But when we are hyper-stimulated materially, we become paralyzed spiritually. When our energy and emotion are consumed with multiple material possibilities, a scenario that the Bhagavad-gita (16.16) describes as aneka citta-vibhranta, then we have practically no energy and emotion left for connecting with Krishna. When our connection with Krishna is thus disrupted, we soon find Krishna consciousness tasteless.
Thus our infatuation with material possibilities extracts a double toll: material dissatisfaction and spiritual disaffection. Sober contemplation on this dual loss will help us realize that material possibilities are not worth so much of our time and thought. This will inspire us to muster the willpower to disentangle our energy and emotion from material infatuation. When we invest our thus-freed energy and emotion in enhancing our Krishna consciousness, then we will experience as reality the fulfillment that always remained just a possibility in material life.