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Detached but not disengaged

"One believes he is the slayer, another believes he is the slain. Both are ignorant; there is neither slayer nor slain. You were never born; you will never die. You have never changed; you can never change. Unborn, eternal, immutable, immemorial, you do not die when the body dies. Realizing that which is indestructible, eternal, unborn, and unchanging, how can you slay or cause another to slay?"
- Bhagavad Gita

When we watch a movie or read a book, we attach ourselves to the protagonist. The mark of a good story teller is to get us to do this. Then, as the story progresses, we feel happy when the protagonist is happy and we feel sad when the protagonist is down and faces challenges and obstacles. This is why we like stories with a happy ending. We exit the story on a happy note. 

And then we move on with our lives. 

But what is our lives but another story? Only in our lives, we are the protagonists. The lives we live are the stories that we tell ourselves. Stories centered around us. Stories where we are the protagonists. 

Sometimes, we see ourselves as slayers. And often, we see ourselves as the slain. In both cases, we are merely telling ourselves a story centered around us.

The best way to not be bogged down or overjoyed by what we face and instead achieve a zen-like state of mind is by practising detachment. When we detach ourselves from the stories that we tell, we see them for what they are - mere stories. And we will find ways to change elements of the story or introduce new elements altogether to take in a direction we wish. 

But we can only do this when we are engaged. 

Detached doesn't mean that we are mere spectators as the stories unfold. We are active participants in setting the direction. But irrespective of how the stories unfold, we are not attached to one outcome or another. 

We are always ready to move on. 

Both from failures and successes. 

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