Cigarettes, televisions, shoes and perhaps in some cultures dead bodies too, they all have their own boxes. Some are small, some bulky, some may be black and some white. Despite of their physical attributes, they all are boxes and they all tend to keep the things in them aloof and unharmed. And there are certain types that cannot be seen, nor do they have any colour or fixed shape and size. But they still are boxes and contain the most amazing, the consciousness of the universe – the life itself.
The eyes open for the very first time. Things are seen all around. Light carries all the images and colours, flamboyance and glitter. A glimpse of the world; magnificent and magical. Reality begins to unwrap itself. Something has begun, a new life embedded with consciousness. The nature is open; the definitions are yet to come to bind it with words and depictions. The governing principles and laws are not known, everything is free to act, unrestricted and unbounded. Time and space, they still have no meaning but soon they will emerge out and place them atop of the entire world.
Life continues to survive and flourish. At a distance something begins to built-up, unnoticeably, in a covert way. Not having fixed form and appearance, it nourishes itself and grows. First, it comes as smiles, touches, some voice and smell. A feeling grips; a sense of security, warmth, and belonging. The infinite radius of consciousness suffers contraction. Absolute reality falls behind and to fill its space there comes something different, not a bit comparable to reality. Though absurd, but it may be called the apparent reality.
The bounded space begins to fill itself. And slowly nothingness fades away. But consciousness strives for it desperately, trying to recover it. For it knows, the truth, the absolute truth, can be found not in the things around it but hidden somewhere in that nothingness. The quest is troubled and hindered as there comes the stages of social phenomena. Bodings, values, norms, cultures, religions, they all create a shield, a huge barrier. The things begin to take up the empty spaces and thus obstructing the vision to see beyond. Systems and organizations they come into the play, restricting the space even further and entangling the mind with their rules and policies. But the constant seeking is still on for the space and freedom, and the knowledge of the truth. However difficult and intricate it may appear, the mind does not give up, for it is in the search of the reality.
Complexity increases with the increasing things around. Something has to be devised in order to reduce the complexity and hence there comes the intellect. Now, it begins to judge things, segregate them in accordance to their apparent nature. Some standards are set up; good-evil, black-white, heat-cold, and so on. And all these come out not from the infinite source or the eternal space but from the things in that limited space. A demarcation is drawn for the intellect and it is forced to define and interpret taking the closed space full of things as its only reference. But no wonder, a conflict exists within the intellect itself. A dilemma: to stay in or to go out, or in other words to accept the apparent reality or to search for the ultimate truth, the absolute reality. It never seems to be easy to step out as the things carry a latent potential, a potential to fetter the intellect, a potential known as attachment.
The space vanishes as if it were never there and thus the self remains unaware of it. Realization lies very far away, but the self indulged in the petty things can barely identify the path and reach the destination. Precisely, it is a delusion, a delusion not of life but of living, living surrounded by the things. The self gets deluded thinking the reality is within the bounded space, inside the box, among the things and nothing ever exists than these. But, time and again there is an urge, a need to jump over the territory, to breathe in deep and feel it, feel the reality. Situated at the centre, the self tries to drag itself towards the edge but the fear born out of attachment fixes it at the same position never letting it go.
The all knowing conscious life gets trapped in the worldly constriction which narrows with each passing moment. The vast and infinite space becomes a myth and the closed and created space remains as a truth. A prolonged suffocation persists, and it emerges in the form of dissatisfaction, agitation and frustration. But the help is nearby, within the reach, inside each of the life form. Realizing it once out of the confinement is not that difficult. The real challenge is to walk out of it, out of the very confinement, out the box.