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.
The urge to exit starts at the start of the journey and stays with you till the very end! Then it doesn’t matter whether you are peaking in your career graph and making millions or struggling to make ends meet. The urge to exit could suddenly take precedence, make your past journey meaningless, future uncertain. It is potent. As potent as the urge to start something new. In fact the two are not distinct. The urge to exit is the cause and effect of the urge to start something new. It’s a thought that can trigger an irreversible action. It is driven by the desire to be in a new state as the old gets boring, starts rotting and becomes redundant. The curiosity of experiencing the unseen is powerful enough to let people shed away the old and the beloved. What is once accomplished becomes worthless. To a lot of people, quitting is a taboo. It is linked to running away from your duties and responsibilities. But to people who are actually doing it, it’s freedom, a state of trance, even though they don’t realize it’s short lived. Leaving one thing will simply lead you to starting another. You free yourself from one bond and you will attach yourself to another. The freedom will be gone in a flash. Life and death works in exactly the same way just that we give it way too much importance maybe because it lasts longer and is most visible to us. We are living and dying every single moment. You breath in, you live. You breath out, you die. In between the two breaths is a fraction of a microsecond when you are actually free. That state of freedom between life and death is the real freedom. But it doesn’t last long. The urge to exit is like that breath that wants to leave your body. It’s not abnormal and it shouldn’t be seen with suspicion. It is as important as the breath that enters your body. In a single life, you live many lives. Which means that you will also die as many times. It’s like the brackets in a computer program [ ]. You can keep opening new brackets but eventually you will have to keep closing each one of them else the program will not run. The rule is that the most recent one must close first and the first bracket that opened must close last. The problem occurs when you mix up the brackets and start closing the wrong bracket first and keep opening new ones without a track of the old ones. Life will certainly hang up just like the computer program will. And it will stay in this hung up stage till you close the right brackets. While you don’t have to be guilty about shutting a door in your life, be sure that you are only shutting what you opened and that you shut all the doors that you opened after opening the main door. Otherwise, the exit will not be whole and complete. And the new start will not be as exciting and uplifting as you thought it would be.