Monday, April 25, 2022

UnChained / UnMachined

Heart does what the heart does. How many of us believe in this ? Well, whether you believe or not, your actions which involve your heart are always fulfilling.

But, in today’s world we are moving in a direction in which everything we do is becoming more and more machine like, monitored, controlled, patterned, and life itself is becoming a mechanical process.

Right from the time we wake up in morning till we fall asleep, we are not driven by the desires of heart but by the monotonicity of the day. In the humdrum of life we are ever forgetting what really our heart wants? We never ask that question!!

As soon as we open our eyes to a new and wonderful day, instead of appreciating and thanking our life, we mechanically scroll through our mobile screens, do our morning chores in anxiety- to which we are used to, we gobble down our breakfast and travel the traffic filled crowded roads to reach offices just in time. We work all day, return home exhausted, have dinner and go back to bed, lying on bed till our eyes are heavy after being glued to mobile screens and.... we finally fall asleep, only to follow the same schedule the next day, the day after and so on…

Then one day we realize that we have stressed ourselves too much and our health as well as mental peace is deteriorating, so in a state of panic we devise a plan which involves a gym membership, or physical exercises, diet plans, yoga and meditation classes and may be a quick vacation.

Now, when you go to gym, the trainer guides you to do so and so exercise counted to a specific number of sets so that your these/those muscles would be built. Eat these many calories and burn these many calories to keep your body the way you want to... he says! Yoga guru would say -  Do  mediation/yoga and you should feel such and such feelings. You start doing all this with diligence as a strict pupil!

And after few days, this all again becomes mechanical. We find ourselves going in circles not reaching anywhere and ever dissatisfied...

Corona changed the perception, though not permanently but at least it gave us enough time to sit and think who we really are. The Great Resignation was one of the effects - when people realized the difference between their wants and needs. They got a glimpse of life they actually desired for!

Buddha was disillusioned by pain in life, so he left, in search of Nirvana, spent many years in asceticism, trained to control physical and mental desires. He kept himself so hungry that he felt emancipated. Then one day while he was meditating under a tree, a woman came to him with rice and milk pudding dish, locally known as ‘kheer’. Buddha had the kheer and just then a profound thought struck him. He abandoned asceticism then and there, his whole thought process changed... which then lead to the development of “Middle Path/ Middle Way” and his “Enlightenment”.


Source: Unsplash

Initially, Buddha might have thought that by strictly controlling his mental and physical desires, he could attain Nirvana, but as destiny would have it, he realized that neither a life of excesses nor of strict penance is the right way, which means it may be good to not give in to all what your heart desires. Sometimes you also have to let yourself be... and when you do this you start living a life that is un-machined / unchained and you may attain the right balance you are looking for in life.

“Some people will follow their minds without listening to their hearts, and others will follow their hearts without listening to their minds. This is why reason exists, for there to be balance between the heart and mind. We were not meant to follow the mind and ignore the heart. Instead, we were meant to follow the heart over the mind, but without completely abandoning logic. The middle way is the preferred way, and this path simply means to allow your heart to drive you, but do not forget to balance reason with your conscience.”
― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

This is a guest post by a very good friend of mine, Syed Shahnawaz Ali who writes amazing quotes and poetry. Check out his Instagram page where he writes - @shz_is_here and show some 💗

I am participating in Blogging from A-Z challenge 2022  and this is my Day 21 - 'U' post.


  1. So true! We really are becoming machine like. I especially agree with what you said about the gym- "eat this and burn these many calories" is not at all the right mantra for health.

  2. You raise a very pertinent point. Are we becoming robots? Sometimes I think we are. I see a lot of youngsters around me - and I see quite a lot of them since I am a teacher - who don't even bother to look around themselves. They're so engrossed with their phones. And their heart is not in anything of what they do, not even in the chats. They seem to be doing things just mechanically.

  3. I agree that it's important to be mindful and in the moment. Even exercise is more effective, they say, if you think about which muscles you're moving.

  4. Hi Afshan,
    What we need is a state of nothingness -- a moment of stillness -- where we do nothing and just let our minds wander.

    Beautiful post on the most pressing issues in the current times.

  5. Very important issues that we all need to think about. This post reflects one of the things I try to live by, "Everything in moderation." Of course, you developed this theme more elegantly than my few simple words.

  6. This is sadly the story of many today, Afshan. The only remedy is, a conscious disconnect with gadgets and being in a state of mindfulness, else we just exist forgetting to live!

  7. From the time I wake up in morning, I am driven by the desires of heart and it tells me to get (and enjoy) coffee! I try to consciously appreciate the little things throughout the day. An encounter, laughing with a customer, the sun peeking between the clouds.
    Every day is a gift, and we tend to forget that. Thank you for this post.

    1. I am with you Tamara, on extracting the most from life from the simplest interactions with people and nature...

  8. A very good post.
    Apt in the present scenario.
    Many are addicted to gadgets irrespective of age. Well written 👌

  9. A very good post.
    Apt for the present scenario.
    Many are addicted to gadgets without focusing on what they are doing, irrespective of age etc..
    Well written ��

  10. Sometimes I like to think, what if all these things - all the chains and machines and seeming traps - were actually set up as reminders that we don't have to fall prey to them; that we CAN be heart-led; and that we can be the wayshowers of how to do this. Then, not only do we not have to despair the way things are, we can thank them for the reminders of what we do not prefer, so we can create what we do prefer.

  11. Maybe I should be glad I'm 75 and was able to live my life outside of the machine. So sad.

  12. You made some interesting points.

  13. Good one Afshan. We are all just caught up in the rat race as it were. I am always trying to unchain myself and try to take life in my own pace.
    U = Umami

  14. Very nice Afshan. We all are just in the race.

  15. Oh we do tend to go in a loop after loop. We know we should stop, pause but somehow it happens all over again!

    Dropping by via A-Z challenge from

  16. I'm glad we don't have to do all that, Ms Afshan. Although we do have a routine, it's pretty loose most days, though.

    Ludo from Georges GP World

  17. Totally true!
    We need to understand the importance of stopping for a moment, and contemplate the day ahead and enjoy the small things, life is too fast.

  18. Interesting! Its not easy to get out of the rat race. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Have a good day!

  19. So true. I think we have to make an effort to stay true to our original self. Not easy. We see this mechanical effect children too. Does blogging get us off the mechanical track?
    and thanks for your visit.

  20. I actually took a 6 week break from Facebook and a 4 month break from blogging. It was refreshing to step away for that brief time from social media. We do seem to do a lot of scrolling on our phones, don't we?


  21. It isn't easy to let go of those phones is it? I try to give myself a minute or two when I first wake up to get settled and think for a minute before I get up and get moving. It helps center me.

  22. I was quite amused to learn the usage of term 'relationship'. Some body says I have love-hate relationship with money. Some one else something else with their Relationship with phone and so on. As I reflected more I felt there is some sense to it. In human-human relations experts suggest setting boundaries. You just can't be always available even if the other human is your sweet heart. As you nicely summarised with Buddha's story just like human-human relations we need to set boundaries in our relations with things as well. The catch with things is we don't have anyone else to blame :) I cannot say my phone is so pushy that I cannot let it go for a while :D I think Setting boundaries also help in overcoming mechanical way of living. Since we are not overdoing anything we will not feel burdened and approach it with a fresh mindset every day.

  23. Oh tell me about it! Especially the technology driven one, the rest of it - I am still OK with. I just uninstalled Instagram from my phone today, not sure if it's for a while or permanent, but I had just started so much of mindless scrolling on it - a lot of productive time gone. One more thing that bothers me with respect to losing productive time is driving to and from work. I like driving but having to do it too frequently is what annoys me. I usually use the time to make phone calls and enjoy listening to music or Audibles if I am in the mood. But anyway, I hear you. I do like the rest of the day though - but as you say I don't know what Nirvana is - am I wanting to get there though? Probably not yet.

    Check out my 2022 A-Z at FictionPies

  24. In the light of Elon Musk saying he will restore Ex-president Trump's Twitter feed, I have closed my account - there is a difference between allowing Free Speech and allowing hate speech... Anyway, one less piece of technology to be bothered by!


What do you think about this ? I always love to hear back. A comment or a brickbat boosts me to write more but the mud slinging shall be promptly vacuumed.

Thanks for your time :)

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