Branding is the opposite of meditation

In branding, we use the mind to mind the mind. In meditation, we use the mind to lose the mind. There is another way to look at this. They are sides of the same coin. They underline the duality of life. The mind is a hungry wolf that can gorge on anything that comes its way. It doesn’t know when or how to say no. In a way, it’s powerful as it can be inspired to create but it’s also quite helpless as it absorbs a lot of garbage and it can be inspired to destroy. Religions, multinational brands, influential personalities, best selling books and the people close to us; they all try to impress upon the mind a philosophy, a story, a promise, a dream and ironically even peace of mind. Does peace belong to the mind? Can the mind be ever peaceful? Should it be peace without mind or peace of mind or mind without peace? A peaceful mind is an oxymoron and a mind without peace overstates the same fact with additional words. The fact that there exists mind, there can’t be peace. It is this vulnerability of the human mind which brands exploit to build their equity. Some brands identify permeable gaps and use persistent communication to go and position themselves deeper into the mind. Some brands rely on creating experiences and outcomes to influence the mind into taking actions that benefit them. Yours truly is guilty of practicing this art as a profession with the same vigor and intensity that I have used to pen this article. Does this article sound anti branding? Or is the perception of meditation better than the perception of branding? Is one side of the coin shinier than the other? The answer may lie somewhere in the thought that the branding of meditation may be better than the branding of branding. So in a way, branding isn’t too bad, it actually helps in branding meditation. What? Did I say branding meditation? Does it mean anything? How do you create a bias for something that is supposed to kill all biases? Meditation is supposed to destroy biases and thoughts where as branding survives and thrives on triggering new thoughts and activating new biases. The role of meditation is to destroy all thoughts and then destroy the receiver and the sender of all thoughts, the mind itself. Meditation puts the mind to rest. Branding puts the mind on top, makes it the king, the great leader and creator of thoughts that are limited to and by the thoughts the mind has been exposed to. This vicious circle is insidious. Let’s look at some other polarities of life and see if we can find some respite to this dilemma. It is said that you feel good only in the presence of evil. You feel satiated only when you have been hungry. You can be happy only when you have experienced sadness. Is one condition a pre-requisite for the other and vice versa? Or, are both conditions perfect equals and mirror image of each other? In our context, is meditation possible only when branding exists? In other words, you can lose the mind only if you have it. Otherwise there is nothing really to lose. As per the second hypothesis, branding should be an equivalent of meditation, a mirror image of each other or a polar opposite. Is the mirror line the separation where branding stops and meditation begins? Or are we referring to the same thing with different words. When you look yourself in the mirror, whom do you find staring back at you? Are you happy with that image? You may be happy with yourself but not so happy with the image you see in the mirror. So what will you change? Will you change yourself to see a better image or will you replace the mirror with a one that shows a better image? In majority of the cases, the effort goes into replacing the mirror or changing the lens or transforming the point of view in order to change the image. A miniscule few make an effort to change the person who is staring at the mirror, trying to build consistency and coherence between the identity and the image irrespective of which mirror comes in between. And this is when branding becomes meditation and meditation becomes branding and the two are perfect opposites and yet they are perfect equals. They are equal and opposite just like the reaction from Newton’s third law of motion.

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