Socrates believed that the wise person would instinctively lead a frugal life. He himself would not even wear shoes; yet he constantly fell under the spell of the marketplace and would go there often to look at all the wares on display.

When one of his friends asked why, Socrates said, “I love to go there and discover how many things I am perfectly happy without.”

Needbase Life

Who have guessed what may be in Socrates mind before reading Socrates reply. We only guess or think about what we are. We cannot wait for other person’s reply. Immediately our mind will start giving you reply.

Remember that mind is ahead of you. He is ahead of you because you are unconscious of yourself. You are not alert of yourself. Till the time we will not be aware of ourselves we will be after the desire. We cannot know what is our needbase life.

From your own life recollect that when you have decided to wake up early in the morning regularly immediately you will schedule your sleeping time also. This is your need to wake up early in the morning. But if someone else asks you to wake up early in the morning you will not schedule your sleeping time but everyday you will find reason why you couldn’t wake up early.

You can live needbase life only if you decide for yourself to become aware. If you say that I will live needbase life without becoming aware of yourself then that needbase will be desirebase and not needbase. If you decide to be aware of yourself then it will be needbase life.

I will explain to you when you decide to be aware of yourself and without aware of yourself – what difference it will be in needbase base life.

If your focus is that of awareness then you will see right now for your actions what is requirements from the objective world, you will not follow someone’s ideology to renounce anything and all the time feel that because you have renounce certain things you are not able to take responsibility for your actions. Say for example reading after this story you also decide that I will not wear the shoes. You are sportsman. So you need shoes while playing your game. But if you are following Socrates after reading the story then it will create trouble for you to play your sports. Then you will find difficulty in living your routine life. But if you decide that I will be aware of each of my actions then when you need the shoes you will select shoes which is required for you. You will not overspend or underspend for your shoes. This is needbase life. If you become a follower then it is desirebase life.

Socrates when going to the market and look at all the wares on display, he will remind himself happiness is in the needbase life and misery is in desirebase life. If we follow him and go to the market we will look at all the wares our thoughts will be whether new wares are more comfortable or not? We follow sometimes because we cannot afford that kind of money to spend. To protect our identity we will show that we are living Frugal Life.

When you live needbase life what Buddha has called Be In Middle – you will be able to live that way. You will understand what Buddha meant by Be In Middle. It will become your knowing and not Buddha’s words.

Learning from the story Frugal Life: Needbase Life

Experience Learning

Always remember that need can be fulfilled not desire. Desires are endless and it’s against the life. As because of the desire we forget that what we need to act, think, in this moment. Our whole energy is to fulfill our desire. Desire means certainty. Life means uncertainty.

When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life. It means fear is no longer a dominant factor in what you do and no longer prevents you from taking action to initiate change. The Roman philosopher Tacitus rightly observed that ‘the desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.’ If uncertainty is unacceptable to you, it turns into fear. If it is perfectly acceptable, it turns into aliveness, alertness and creativity.

Needbase life means uncertainty. Because for the needbase life first quality is required to wait and watch, first you will find out whether what you want is your need or desire. Once you will become watchful regarding your desire, desire will start disappearing. When you start thinking this way you will feel calmness in you. Calmness cannot get from outside circumstances but it arises in you if you become aware of yourself.

As awareness grows some people begin to think they’re “getting worse,” so to speak, but they’re simply becoming more conscious of what has already been there for many years. People will often feel they are “getting worse” because they can still detect dysfunctional or reactive patterns within themselves. It’s not as if those patterns will simply disappear as awareness grows; you’ll just be more aware of them.

Ultimately as you become more aware of reactive patterns, you can see them whereas before you were them. There’s a huge difference between seeing a pattern inside yourself and being the pattern—or being used by it, merging with it, or acting it out totally.

Conditioned patterns—or egoic behaviors, one could say—don’t go away immediately as you become present. They have their momentum—especially patterns associated with emotional residues we call “pain-body.” They may act out for quite a while, even as presence is arising.

Usually the sequence is that after a person experiences anger—or any unconscious reaction related to the emotional body or to certain mind patterns—awareness comes in later, after the energy of the pain-body attack has subsided. This can be a while for some people; it could be an hour, two hours, three hours before you wake up and say, “what was all that?”

Fortunately, the time gap between the actual event and the return of awareness tends to get shorter as you become more present—and eventually it will arise immediately after it’s happened, or even while the energy is still there but no longer at its highest—at that point you’re already aware of what’s happening. And then the great step forward is when in the middle of it you become aware.

In the middle of it, there’s already an awareness while it’s still happening. The awareness is there just at the moment the anger, for example, comes in; and just before it externalizes itself and expresses itself. When the impulse comes to be angry, the awareness is there; and at that moment then, you will have a choice in how to express it—not to keep it down—but to take one conscious breath, or walk somewhere, or simply be there as the presence and let it pass through you.

Then after that, you may find the impulse is not as strong as before and you notice it just as it comes in—and immediately you’re there as the presence. And the impulse meets the light of presence and it melts. So be patient with yourself!

So, whenever you discover a dysfunctional, unconscious pattern in yourself, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed; it means you’re there. It’s always a great thing to see it in yourself.


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