How Tamsik Nearly Destroyed My Life

There was a time when the only thing that I would think about was Farming.

When you spend a long period of time dedicating your waking life to a job, that occupation ceases to be simply a means to an end and surreptitiously turn into our very identity.

For many of us this is a natural part of accepting a certain line of work as ‘our lot in life’. Although this may sound like a depressing¬†premise, this doesn’t necessarily mean that we are resigning ourselves to a predictable life. Finding an occupation that we can wholeheartedly dedicate ourselves to is something that many people dream of. In our lives, we spend tens of thousands of hours working, its important that we feel that that time is not simply used up for the sole purpose of making money. In order to attain a good level of job satisfaction, we need to know that the work we perform on a daily basis is contributing to a greater purpose.

Around a year and a half ago, I’d reached a point where I felt comfortable in my new role as a land owner and farmer. Utilising the sociological lessons that I’d gleaned¬†from my research into Hindu Philosophy, I attempted to adapt my traditional Dairy farm business into a new kind of enterprise that embraced both cultures. I made the guiding principles of Sattvic the centre of my farming ethos, ensuring that my employees continuously worked with the welfare of the farm (and their own futures) in mind. I hoped that by introducing them to the Core Principles of Sattvic, Rajsik and Tamsik, their working lives would be philosophically enriched, just as mine would be.

My employees were much more receptive to this new work philosophy than I thought they would be. Mostly rural lads, in their mid to late twenties, they were excited about the notion of approaching their work from a new angle. There is a misconception that Farmers are stubborn people, resistant to change and conservative by nature. In truth the opposite could not be more true. As businessmen, we must strive to remain competitive so that we can continue to keep our holdings profitable. When we discover a new process that could help increase efficiency – we utilise it. Similarly, if we can find a new way to approach our work mentally, then it is in our nature to embrace it.

As much as the introduction of Hindu Philosophy greatly aided my employees, I was surprised by how quickly my own life had been absorbed by the Farm and its inner workings. In attempting to create a new kind of Farming lifestyle I had unintentionally lost a sense of purpose outside of my work life. My Farm remained well maintained but my home, just a short distance away, languished in filth and decay. The carpets, untouched for months, had collected a thick layer of dust that billowed from the floor each time I tramped through them. My oven, used to repeatedly reheat old meals, was coated with detritus and grease that created a rocky landscape that was rich with bacteria.

It wasn’t until I invited a couple of my employees around for some drinks after work, that I was made aware of how bad it had gotten. The lads were by no means rude, it was simply evident by the expressions on their faces. They were shocked, a stunned silence reigned for a good few minutes before I could persuade them to step inside. The next day a couple of them approached me separately to ask me if I was ‘alright’, they even offered their wives’ help to sort the place out. The message came through loud and clear, I decided to take a couple of days off to sort my life out.

In striving to teach my employees the lessons of the Hindu Philosophical trichotomy, I had neglected them myself. I had become a tamsik, shirking the responsibilities to my home and body, out of complete ignorance. With fresh eyes I could see the true state of the hovel that used to be my home – I knew that I was going to need help if I was going to restore it to its rightful state and I wasn’t about to call up my employees’ wives. A few Google searches later I’d found a man to replace my carpets, an oven cleaning franchise to sort out my cooker and a team of cleaners to hit the rest of the home.

In attempting to instil a new sense of identity and purpose in my day to day work, I’d allowed my life to be consumed by the core values of tamsik.

Now, with my house cleaned and my life slowly returning to normal, I’m hoping that I can shift my philosophical leanings towards the Sattvic and join my co-workers in creating a new kind of Farm.

Posted by: John on