“We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war.”
—Tyler Durden in the movie Fight Club (1999)
What is spirituality?
Yoda, Gandalf, Master Shifu, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Kahlil Gibran, Eckhart Tolle… there’s a long, probably endless, list of gurus. We love gurus. We love the idea of a wise person leading us through difficult times. And all of us go through difficult times. (The good times are easy. Rationality gets us through and we don’t need much help.)
But why did Luke need Yoda? Why did Po need Shifu? Because all of Luke’s and Po’s knowledge and experience was incapable of taking them through the challenge that lay ahead. All of us need to develop our inner strength and inner peace (which is what the various gurus ultimately represent) in order to balance our emotions and help us through challenges. Rationality just isn’t enough. We need more. Which is where spirituality comes in and helps us live simpler, happier and more fulfilled lives.
We can almost hear you groaning. But there’s no sermon ahead. We aren’t going to delve into religion and the philosophical and scientific debates on the nature of the human soul. Those are separate, vast discussions.
Spirituality means different things to different people. But in a broad sense, we can say it involves acknowledging that there exists an inner self—you could call it a soul, perhaps—separate from the material or the physical one. Spirituality then is not a specific practice, but rather a way of looking at things that can form the basis of a way of life.
Again, this is a highly personal outlook, but we are believers in spirituality and its connection with simplicity. So, in this post we simply discuss our experiences, the practices we’ve built on the back of our version of spirituality and what works for us—and hopefully help you too.
Balancing the emotional and the rational
In business and in investing, we have to make decisions and choices from a sea of possibilities. To make these decisions, we usually have information and data on hand to analyse and consider. And then we have to make a probabilistic call about the future which is as much emotional as it is rational.
It is impossible to make a decision which is just based on numbers because for tomorrow’s world we have no numbers, no “future facts”. Our decisions, therefore, have to balance the emotional and the rational.
For example, when you see the sunset from a beach shack in Goa, part of you absorbs the facts regarding the natural phenomenon (time, temperature, etc.).