The world is in the throes of the pandemic, and we are witnessing exemplary collective efforts to save lives and help one another. But, in the midst of all this, some instances of opportunistic behaviour driven by greed also have surfaced. The current situation may be seen as evidence that even if a miniscule number of people amongst the ones, who are trusted by society to save lives, go astray, the trust of humanity suffers. It suffers because our consciousness is collective. It’s collective because, essentially, it’s one, though it manifests through all of us individually. That’s why even if a single individual excels in something, the whole of humanity feels elevated and celebrates it.
Therefore, to keep the viveka (sense of balance), individuals and communities both need immunity and the power not to get affected by adverse incidents. This immunity is accessed by invoking the spiritual strength lying dormant within as the upholding of spiritual values alone has the potential to unite all of us irrespective of the differences. Diversity is necessary for our flourishing.
Figuratively speaking, the vaccines of rules and regulations are necessary to govern ourselves as a local and global civil society, but these are insufficient to guard our conscience (Viveka) against the virus of greed and insensitivity. Where will we place the instances of sporadic crimes committed by individuals, attacks by terrorist groups, and nations’ attempts to encroach other nations’ territory? All these instances show that the virus of losing the sense of balance hasn’t been eradicated from the face of humanity altogether. Undoubtedly, there is immense room for self-improvement to live more consciously, caringly and compassionately by seeing deeper dimensions of the truth within.
Yet, despite all our shortcomings, human beings will still be classified as much more evolved (vivek-vaan?) than any other species on the face of the earth. That’s really good news.
And, it’s not the genetic inheritance alone that makes us ‘who and how we are. There are many things that make human beings stand out among all other species. For example, our capacity to communicate and perceive one another with patience, perseverance and composure stand out as one such trait clearly.
This trait plays a vital role in our survival as a species and in our evolution to become capable of ‘influencing the environment favourably’ more than any other species can.
But, unfortunately, we can influence the environment adversely; also, that would be our aviveka (losing the sense of balance).
Therefore, it depends on humanity’s discernment of what kind of choices it makes as individuals and groups.
Because, despite deep differences in many of our endeavours, it’s our capacity to think, communicate and collaborate across the globe on matters of survival and progress that facilitates our evolution and survival in a better way.
Therefore, the importance of samvaad (continuous dialogue) with ourselves can’t be exaggerated. And, Samvaad (Communication) is an incessant process as it requires assertion, reiteration and acknowledgement of our constant perception about ourselves.
It is an incessant process because our collective perception about ourselves keeps changing with the changes brought about by the researches, discoveries, inventions, innovations, patterns of distribution and consumption, equations of power, technology etc.
Our choices and taste play a very important role in this process of evolution. These define that cosmic constant that differentiates the spiritual from the material.
Viveka (awakening) decides our choice, and we cultivate our taste according to our Viveka (wisdom), but, in the long run, our choice and taste help shape up our Viveka (Discernment). Thus, in the spiritual journey, satsang, viveka, ishta (choice) and suruchi (taste), all travel together and can mutate as well as transform into one another at some point.
It’s not the genetic inheritance alone that makes us ‘who and how we are. There are many things that make human beings stand out among all other species. For example, our capacity to communicate and perceive one another with patience, perseverance and composure stand out as one such trait clearly
The richness that the spiritual treasure within bestows on the seeker can be experienced by the ones who have realised the value of being on a spiritual journey traversing through a spiritual path with a guide by the side all the while.
Being on a path and travelling along itself begins to bring about richness while arriving at the destination is liberation. It begins to bring richness during the journey itself because, like the journey, the treasure too is within; it’s not outside. Is the liberation/destination outside? Well, none has asked that to me so far!
(The writer is the propounder of Sahaj Smriti Yog System of Self Realisation and founder of Darpan Foundation and Darpan Ashram)