Saturday, June 11, 2011

Moving On

Moving On.

One of the hallmarks of evolution has been the increase in the ability of the progressively evolved forms to move. Beginning from the single celled amoeba, which has very restricted motility, creation has ‘moved’ a long way in bestowing speed and agility to its descendants. One of the reasons for this mutative upgrade was to access a wider range of resources like food and water. Restricted motility puts immense strain on the limited resources in an area. When the particular life form moved on, it sought out newer pastures, water holes, and, possibly, a more varied genetic material to conjugate with. The ability to move on became a condition for survival. Movement assumed even greater significance as the various forms started depending on one another for their survival. The agility and speed settings of the predator and the prey having been set very precisely, both were given equal opportunity for survival. Life seemed to be measured by the ability to move.
‘Moving on’ is as critical to our own survival in today’s day and age. . However, man’s obsession with permanence tends to become the source of inertia that resists his ability to move on. An ever-looming uncertainty adds to this very strong desire to cling to the known and the familiar. . The ability to deal with change and adapting to it becomes a tool for survival. . Life , people and circumstances are as ephemeral as the designs in a kaleidoscope. We might love a particular design immensely but all that is needed is just a tap and the design changes, never to be the same ever again. Being emotionally mobile or in other words being able to move on could help us reach out to greener pastures. “ and to tap into better resources within ourselves.
Being constantly aware of change is best illustrated by the fable of this King. He was perpetually facing trying situations and hence consulted a learned sage about how he could deal with his problemsThe sage gave the King a piece of paper and asked him to open it and read the contents only if he was in the midst of an insurmountable difficulty.
As the days passed, there came many a moment when the King was tempted to open the paper but he desisted . Eventually, one day, when he was on the verge of ending his life because of a situation he was in, he finally opened the paper. In it was written, “This too shall pass”. If one doesn’t choose to move on, life anyway does. So our attempts to keep trying holding on to are also futile. As futile as probably scooping up water from the river and believing one has held it. Reluctance to move on makes us susceptible to predation by despair, despondence and pain. These are the emotional predators, that don’t deliver the killing bite. They just gorge on the vitality and render the victim helpless and incapacitated. Moving on assumes life- sustaining importance. If moving on is so crucial, we must find joy in the movement, which is very dynamic and therefore, refreshing. Movement is redemption. If inevitable, then it cannot be wrong. Evolution triggers changes that are meant for the betterment of the race and form.
If evolution demands movement, it must pave the road for our betterment. Perhaps, moving on is the prerequisite for transcending our consciousness to the next level. To realise and identify ourselves as being that which does not change, “the observer”.
Dr Deepak M. Ranade

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Internal Jury

Despair and dejection are among the most common negative emotions that we have to deal with in our daily lives. . These emotions arise as a result of our own judgemental approach. We all have an in-built judicial system that conducts its own trials. The act of prosecution begins as soon as something unfavourable happens or when our ego gets hurt. There are usually one of four verdicts that are passed.
1) I am ok, you are not ok
2) I am not ok, you are ok
3) I am not ok and you are not ok either
4) I am ok, you are ok.

The ‘you’ in this verdict could be a person, a situation, an event, the planetary position, practically just anything outside of the self.

The people whose internal jury deliver the first verdict are typically egoistic, not introspective, rigid, and also slow learners. They are very confident but largely self indulgent and not easily amenable to suggestions. They may also be control freaks and are invariably complaining about most issues and people. They can be intimidating at times and very haughty. They are quite creative and innovative and they remain in a positive state of mind even after an occasional setback.
The individuals whose internal jury deliver the second verdict are the ones who are low on self-confidence. They are the ones who will introspect for hours, and are often more inclined toward some kind of persecution mania. They will learn from their mistakes as they have the sincere desire to learn. However, they are very prone to having bouts of despair and depression and take much longer to recover from a setback.
The ones in the third category are the pessimists, whose criticism can be annoying to those who are at the receiving end of it. . They just do not seem to find anything right. They could be among the nagging sorts and, often, non-creative. They are the least likely to venture out of their comfort zones for any reason and prefer the confines of whatever security is afforded by their reluctant, self- imposed contentment.
The last category are the ‘Edison’ category. These will never reprimand either themselves or anyone for their failures. They have an indomitable spirit and are very adventurous. They seem to have an inexhaustible appetite for life and could be very creative. They are incredibly positive and are extremely perseverant. However, they can become very egoistic when successful because, innately, they have a very high opinion of themselves.
The most advanced and philosophical are the ones that rise above this fourth category. They are the enlightened ones who never have an internal jury. The internal jury is replaced by an observer who merely observes without getting involved. They are the ones who do not believe in having any ‘doership’. Doership not as in ability to do or act. Doership is the conviction of having the wherewithal to effect the desired outcome of ones action.
Actions are most often directed towards a prefixed objective; the commonest being gratification of the senses or of the ego in some way or the other. The last category comprises of those who are less self-indulgent, more selfless. They set out doing what they have to but accept the outcome without any grudge or judgement irrespective of whether they sought the gratification or did not.
This intrinsic contentment is a state of realisation. Living life without passing a verdict of any sort either on people, circumstances or the self is deliverance from unhappiness and despair.
(This is not meant to be a verdict by the author)
Dr Deepak M Ranade
(The author is a consultant Neurosurgeon-