Being serious indicates a mental stance that moves us to apply ourselves earnestly to healthy and happy living. In the absence of this, negativities crop in and wholesome living becomes impossible. At the same time, in the name of being serious, if the mind is obsessed with the issues, then again the stressful mind causes negativities. To bring about a harmonious blending of seriousness and the laid-back attitude, we should look into the content of those two items so that the associated understanding can help us face the challenge squarely. This is a matter to which we should apply ourselves seriously!
One of the relevant items here is our attention to the process of an issue rather than being anxious about the results thereof. The result has its importance but the psychological disposition of being emotionally hooked on to the result is the cause of mental stress. When we realize the importance of the seriousness in applying ourselves to the process, there is a joy in that application. The result takes its rightful place in our psychology and does not engender anxiety. Whatever happens, we will be able to take it with equanimity. That is where the nonchalance comes in. Thus, a loving application to the process on hand is the secret behind combining the two gems.
The habitual ways of the mind would keep us hooked on to the result and thus sacrifice the present for the future. This habit is not easy to move away from because human beings have lived that way for centuries. Consequently, a mere doctrine that the process is more important than the result cannot bring in the harmonious blending of seriousness and nonchalance. It needs applying oneself to the matter of understanding the ways of the mind and being patient about it. This inwardly turned attention is the secret behind natural esotericism – the spirituality beyond religions. In Sanskrit, this is referred to as the ‘Vichara Marga’, the path of inquiry. It is related to self-awareness as a witness attitude. Such awareness takes us away from the ken of the conventional mind.
When we realize the need to move into expansive consciousness, attention automatically turns in and one moves into the Vichara Marga. People who are on it soon see a lot of meaning in paranormal phenomena such as the Near Death Experience (NDE). That lifts us to a different dimension of consciousness and we become curious about the esoteric side of life. It is known that the NDE people harmoniously combine seriousness and the laid-back attitude without any effort because they are able to look at life from a wider and deeper perspective. One of them says that the experience made him understand our true unity with Divinity, so much so the usual drive for possession, approval and success no longer weighs him down.
If we inculcate in our children from their young days this matter of combining seriousness with nonchalance, we would help them grow into wholesome human beings. When they grow up, they won’t even hurt an ant, let alone throw a bomb and kill innocent people. Education these days, except in some cases, is not geared to bringing up children in that manner; it encourages competition and ruthlessness rather than talk to them about the loftier purpose of life on this planet. The state of affairs can change when more and more people turn esoteric in their approach and live with inner and outer harmony.