Conscious learning from crisis
Sowing Seeds of sensitivity
Deep down in my heart
No matter where life plants me
Srijan will spring up from my soul!
Srijan means creative capacity.
I was sharing these deeply felt lines to myself. These lines emanated from core of conscience, the conscience that gained momentum by a conversation with nature around me, simultaneously the part of my mind was thinking about the enduring ways to sustain the struggle for survival in this tensed time of crisis. I was asking myself, what I can contribute as an individual in this struggle. I was engrossed in sowing seeds of sugarcane on our farm; it was simple state of karma-yoga, was doing an act (karma) with dedication making it an active meditation.
Since outbreak and disastrous consequences of this pandemic which has brought unforeseen cosmic pause on this planet; I have consciously observed people, things and nature around, their responses to such crisis and trying to learn lessons from this crisis to sense its hidden message. Instead of only questioning and complaining, what is happening? We need to deliberate upon deeper aspects of- Why such crisis has emerged? How can we unite and work to eliminate root cause of crisis in a longer run? Why are we not able to build and strengthen required medical infrastructure? How can we make ourselves better prepared for such unforeseen crisis? How to overcome and strive for sustainable living or lifestyle? What are the eye opening lessons we humans must learn from this crisis? Are we going to genuinely learn lessons and adopt accordingly to make this world the worth place for meaningful existence? What is our individual and collective responsibility towards this nature as abode of all and the human society as a whole? We need to introspect and transform our individual and collective attitude.
This extensive time of lockdown which I perceive as form of cosmic pause is a chance to rethink and reshape very form of our existence; it is very important time to re-channelise thinking capacity of humans. In the world where even intelligence is becoming artificial and in coming decade we will be pervasively driven by AI; I think it is very essential to remain human and retain our humane instinct. Life is all about choices we make, the choice we make for ourselves and people around us, either consciously or unconsciously. More unconscious we are in making our choices certainly more uncontrolled, haphazard and unsustainable we will be. The cause and effect relation of every choice we are making must be understood before we chose to live in a certain way otherwise dynamic forces around us may it be social force, political force and market force (economic force) etc. may drive our choices. In this process we may lose our locus of control and with such external locus of control life becomes miserable. Therefore we have to be very much alert and informed about the choices we make. The present status of human society needs microscopic mindful transformation this can be achieved by learning lessons from this crisis.
Among the many, few such inevitable lessons to be emphasised are; dire need to transform our lifestyle to make it more sustainable, focus on practice of minimalism to ensure efficient use of resources, to live in utmost coexistence with nature, wherever possible reduce mechanisation of life and make it worth natural, understand own place in the natural processes/outfit and thereby realise that we humans are not masters of this planet rather we are very tiny particles in this cosmos, realise own individual-collective responsibility not only towards fellow humans but also towards nature, evolve and practice viable methods to promote coexistence, abide civic duty to cooperate and constructively check Governance activities in order to make it more welfare oriented, inculcate sense of dharma to think and act positively about well being of all irrespective of any human made walls, etc. are some such lessons. I know, each one of these will take time to percolate down into our habits and living, nevertheless, such transformations are inevitable and surest way out to healthy, contained and evolutionary future of all.
It is a high time to broaden our horizon while thinking and acting for better prospects of survival. It seems that due to excessively mechanised lifestyle and in the run of market-driven society human values, morals and sense of mutual trust got stifled and the mediums of reinventing these are also manipulated. The mediums to awaken human conscience, generate sense of responsibility and make existence meaningful exist around us. We just need to utilise this cosmic pause to re-construct our existence, we must sense and listen to the rhythm of consciousness. This we can accomplish by combination of time tested transformative practice of yoga (method to bring harmony between mind and body), dhyana (meditation- process/path to properly think or reflect), kala (practice of art form), adhyatma (discipline that leads to the realisation of one’s true nature), nisvartha prem (selfless unconditional love) and sevabhav (sense of service) are universally accepted methods. Even advanced science recognised the priceless worth of these practices. Now it's our dharma (duty) to sensitize people about inclusion of these mediums in routine life. The formal and informal institutions, mainly, educational, social, religious, political institutions etc. need overhaul in order to adopt the changes induced by this crisis.
The experts across domains must share their ideas on public platforms to create positive and inclusive frame of the world aftermath of this crisis. Few positive instances are coming up, we need more such catalysts. It is really good sign that some of us are trying to think and act beyond time and limits of self in quest of ameliorated future, this is what we call, hope! Present and future of humanity will be grateful to such catalysts. On the other side, in recent past, specifically since lockdown some very unfortunate incidents and disturbing social behaviour patterns have escalated the pressure on our authorities, specifically health-care services, police and other forces, etc. Instead of limiting our vision in such critical time of crisis, instead of being unscrupulously suspicious about steps taken by any of our authorities, instead of blaming specific group of humans for certain negative actions, instead of spreading unverified content/information thereby escalating panic like conditions, instead of targeting life in a heat of passion, instead of being self-centred, instead of closing eyes and pulling veil of ignorance; at such tipping point we must come out of these sort of behavioural-attitudinal negativities.
We must abstain from throwing our minds into the cages of - vested interests, resource nationalism, divisiveness, prejudiced choices, ill-informed opinions and short-sighted socio-political discourse. With the help of social solidarity, transformative education, transparently executed welfare-oriented policies and inclusive self-reliant democracy we can break the door of maaya (ignorance). Long ignorance has brought world at standstill, it's high time to act righteously.
We must cultivate and cherish positive emotions and to do this abovementioned time tested practice of yoga, dhyana, kala, adhyatma, nisvartha prem and sevabhav are best way forward. When individual capability is shaped and harnessed in this manner, ultimately the social fabric, economy, science, art and spirituality will flourish. The distinguished Professor of Psychology and Social Scientist Barbara L. Fredrickson emphasised on role of positive emotions in social transformation through her 'Broaden and Build Theory'. As these positive emotions accumulate and compound, they pave the sustainable path to explore meaningful life: to become healthier (mentally and physically), more knowledgeable, more resilient, and more socially integrated versions of homo-sapiens. In the present day world where everything looks blurred, the lens of positive emotions will surely help us to magnify our vision and have an eye of equanimity.
सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः, सर्वे संतु निरामयाः
(May all sentient beings be at peace, may no one suffer from illness...)
Excellent & timely article by You,Ajay Ji....Positive introspection & outlook in crisis time open up opportunities for better, sustainable,cohesive & humane líving .Rightly emphasised minimalism & sustainable life style ensures peace & happiness .Being Agriculture Economist I appreciate all the more,the relevance & importance of such psycho- socio-guidence in the farmers' life & activity in remote rural Bharat...Do write many more such useful articles ...Congratulations to you & Psychologs for pioneer work in positive overcoming of psycho- eco crisis times..! Dr.Deepak Gaikwad
nice viewpoint....some very interesting takeaways