A. Why do you think we have so much inertia in our life? Have you ever regretted that by not taking an action in time on an issue of significant social importance, you lost a bit of your self-respect? If yes, illustrate
B. Is it necessary that people should have big goals in life? What is wrong with ordinary aspirations, average expectations and live life as it comes?
C. What really is the source of fortitude in life? How does it originate and how does one sustain it?
D. Have you learned anything striking, innovative or transformative from someone you didn’t expect?
E. What will this experience of in-course add to your life? What special skill, insights, or ideas will you like to contribute?
F. Pl describe your qualification, learning, future directions, and journey so far in maximum 150 words.
After answering above self searching question, I got opportunity to attend 10 hours un-course-‘Art of Knowing, Feeling and Doing’
We live in noise and clutter of day to day life. We are always immersed in our own thoughts and many personal or work related problems. Hundreds of thought enter and leave our brain. This habit pattern has disabled inherent sense to hear sounds in nature and to realize natural activities going around. Professor gives his own example, ‘While I walk towards classrooms every day, I can see the weeds or plants growing gradually behind the trees. I can understand what is going on among the group of sparrows those start chirping in garden besides house.” So, it’s true that, those who have least seem to care most! Similarly, We look at so many things, but we don’t’ see them. So, seeing does not always believing. But beliefs can influence what we see. What we think we should see, but we don’t. We can trigger our knowing by our feeling”
There is a famous story in Mahabharata. Guru Dronacharya took test of archery in his class. Pointing towards a tree, he asked his disciples, “Answer me, what can you see?”
Yudhishtir answered, “I can see whole cosmos! I see trees, sky and everything surrounded by it.”
Few other disciples answered that they look at many different things.
When Arjuna’s turn came, he said, “I can see only the eye of that bird. I can see nothing apart from that.”
How did it happen that same thing is observed differently by different disciples. Arjuna did task of focusing his mind towards the bird. If we asked who do you want to become between Arjuna and Yudhishtir. Most of us wanted to become Arjuna. Why do we need Yudhishtirs then? People like him are required to look at bigger picture, wider perspectives and connections between different facts.
Sometime in past, group of people in a congregation have been asked how much experience do they have. Many answered having experience of 10 years, 20 years of doing x. Do you believe 10 years experience of an adult is more is always more worthwhile than 3 years experience by young student? No. Most of the time, we have much experience of doing things slowly.
There is a concept called, ‘Reverse mentoring’. Philosophers searching for right answer, ask their questions to children. Children react in a very naïve manner. Answers come from them will not be interrupted by any kind of feeling or distractions. Children also have ability to please their parents to get what they wanted. They can manipulate their parents through jibes, dramas or acting.
Heuristics are principles or thumb rules that will not require complete and clear understanding but these are thumb rule that will serve your purpose. For example, when you are walking in a hazy atmosphere and unable to see what is ahead of 2 feet distance. You want to reach mountain top. If you take steps upward and forward, you will for sure reach top once. Similar kind of heuristics is simple but very strong and robust.
When kids are nurtured in our culture, what do we do? From time when children become able to understand, we want them to imitate our gestures as quickly as possible. We wish them to affirm what we do. Then children make different kinds of faces thinking people around will become happy. How ironic it’s that we groom kids to imitate and do not allow them to innovate.
When human being takes birth, first sense or feeing any human being understand is a touch. It senses a touch and then feels it. Touch is very primordial and fundamental feeling. Touch is so true feeling that it is sensed by all millions of species observed during birth.
We started discovering knowledge from an early stage. It has actually impacted our understanding. There are many activities, movements are happening in nature, but we do not have instinct to realize them. Two month baby can distinguish between touch of a mother from that of other. That baby can understand if it in the lap or cradle within fractions. How could it possible for 2 month baby? Similar instinct also exists in birds and animals. When any snake or an enemy tries to approach flock of birds, all birds fly away together. This happens as soon as any single bird senses pray approaching the group. We lose instinct that comes endowed with us from birth? As we grow physically, we have lose most our abilities, senses that we are endowed with us on the moment of birth. Instinct is present in not only humans but also all other live species. Looking at the evolution mankind, if we draw a map of human body in which – Size of each part of body will be in proportion of number of signal brain receives from it.
In the above map, we see size of hand much bigger. It means, from the evolution of mankind, human brain has received maximum signals received in life were from hands. Legs are smaller because it has been used just to walk or kick. Hands were rigorously used in different activities and workout. That is why human hands have been evolved at much higher level. First humanoid was evolved around 7000 years back. First human ancestors used to utilize all four limbs for walking, but later started usage of front limbs for doing work.
Take for example, men whose work involved activities of hands have developed much higher level of thinking. JRD Tata, Saint Thomas both were carpenter. Great saint Kabir was weaver. When they wrote poems while working, their couple of lines was very rich in meaning. They could summarize great wisdom in few words.
If we look at culture in last 3 thousand years, dress that women wear doesn’t have packets. But male dress has packets. It’s an indication that women were doing work all the time such as weaving, breaking seeds, cooking, and all other home chores. So, we conclude that instinct of woman has been developed to much higher level than that of men. Women sense and feel much quickly and intuitively.
Knowing-Feeling and doing need not be in this order. Children or women feel first and then understand it. What matters whether we take action after we knowing and feeling. Lack of action has developed so much inertia in our life. We do not take action over things that really matters to us. Yess. That’s true!
But why don’t we take actions?
This session has helped to understand why we have so much inertia in life. If you are told to list down 10 things that you will complete in a day, it will happen few of these will not be started at all. Even if these matter most to you, you will find reasons to avoid them. You have defined your goals, tasks. But you still don’t execute. So, there must be some reason behind this inertia, which prevents me from taking an action.
If we look at good executives, we will find they will really feel uneasy if actions were not performed. They understand when to intensify their feelings that will enable to take actions. Great achievers are able to generate right kind of feeling at the right moment. They can dispel wrong, evil some feeling to touch their soul.
There are nine different kinds of feelings viz. love, Anger, Hatred, compassion, fear, Comic etc. These are called Navrasas in Sanskrit.
Professor explains about Samvedana, “Samvedana is kind of feeling in which I sense the feelings of other as intense as other person feels. Then that pain doesn’t remain only his pain. It becomes my pain as well. There is no chance of having little less. Sam=equal, vedana=pain. Now, cause of problem is now also your problem. The great selfless actions and revolutions have been triggered by people who were able to sense the pain EXACTLY as suffered by others. So, the potential generated by those feelings were very high.”
HOWEVER, if any start feeling responsible for everybody and everything that is wrongs in the world, the emotions will become so much high and intolerable that person will not have single moment of peace. You will be most emotionally charged and burdened that you will no longer able to live peacefully. Person will withdraw from doing action.
This dilemma is same as faced by Arjuna before war of Mahabharata. Arjuna looked at all his family- brothers, cousins, teacher, grandfather with whom he has to fight in war. He becomes helpless and starts thinking to refrain from following his duty. This is one of the major reason that stop people from taking action. Every day, we become Arjuna inside us and we have to fight with him. It’s one of major reasons to procrastinate things and become irresponsible.
Little bit of schizophrenia is necessary in our life. Symptom is an inability to connect between real world and imaginary world. It’s an ability to disconnect you from real world for some time. It’s necessary for human being to take effective actions. Concluding, To be able to connect with action, you should also be able to disconnect. There will time come, you will need to say ‘Okay. I have done well. You are right.’
Some time, few might have responsibilities that will be so much that you have to be ruthless for not taking action over few. Human senses are like oscillations. Feelings move from one extreme to other extreme one of pendulum. Pendulum is attached in path by feelings such as attachment, responsibility, cognitive energy. There could be one moment of pendulum when ratio between feeling and lack of feeling, pendulum will move in a direction of tangent. Object will move out of orbit once, it loses its different gravitational pulls from center. The tangential moment is what we miss in life. Rocket, missile can move up in the space only after it is able to overcome material attractions in its life. This shows, when you are able to ignore material ties and pulls in life, you will move ahead and there will be no hurdle or roadblock.
Professor tells a story from a novel ‘Magnificent Obsession’ by Lloyd C. Douglas. Confused man asks a priest about relationships. When one build a house, he is required to use stone, bricks, mortar. While building a well, we put a brick over other. But while building relationship, you put one brick into other. When every time relationship breaks, part of that brick is gone. So, it’s you who have to decide how many and which people you have to build relationship. When we think so much about all the people, we end up serving no one. We lose our accountability and integrity. So, there is a famous saying ‘Choose your own bonds’. People who did well, they chose feelings, bonds wisely.
Imagine, your chariot is being pulled by number of horses, running all in different directions. Your horses are most active, strongest and hardworking, genuine, calm. Chariot will not move a single feet ahead as they are pulling in them in all 360 angles. We are prevented from doing by knowing and too much. So, it’s also required to know what NOT to know!
Beauty of flute is that what makes a difference is what is left out of it and not what is remained inside. If flute wish to accumulate air inside, music will not come out.
Consider an Air instrument such as violin or guitar. When there is too much tension in the cord, it will break. If there is no tension in the cord, it will not play.
For a beautiful sound to occur, what is required situation is ‘Middle way’. The same path has been mentioned by Buddha long ages back.
“Do not believe something just because it has been passed along and retold for many generations.
Do not believe something merely because it has become a traditional practice.
Do not believe something simply because it is well-known everywhere.
Do not believe something just because it is cited in a text.
Do not believe something solely on the grounds of logical reasoning.
Do not believe something merely because it accords with your philosophy.
Do not believe something because it appeals to ‘common sense’.
Do not believe something just because you like the idea.
Do not believe something because the speaker seems trustworthy. ’
Wisdom to take from this is that never become satisfied with what you know. Always there will be possibility of ambiguity. So we should better leave ourselves in ambiguity.
Principle of Randomness: We have played many games during childhood. Why there are many games that were based on random number, games such as snake and ladder. You become happy as move onto number 97. Now, you throw a dice and come down to 11 as snake eats you in next game. What was in your hand? We play many such games. They tell that there are fair chances of winning as well as loosing. So, there is should be no reason to worry. Our duty is to be ready for next game and try.
When a possibility to win is low, we should try. And when possibility to win is lowest, we must try. Winning and losing are part of life.
Equanimity: It’s a balanced state of mind; you are not affected by good or bad happening to you. You do not get wet even being immersed in water. Equianimate person is called as ‘SthitPradnya’ in Geeta.
There is a problem that College campus authority to solve. Security System has to be improved without hiring any new one guard. Solution would be to randomize the places of security guards. For example, security will toss a coin, if it turns head, he will move right. If it turns tails, he will move left. Such possibility will distribute level of security around the campus. Criminal will have no chance of knowing where the security guards are standing, resulting in improved efficiency.
Having Childlike curiosity and instinct:
How to have childlike curiosity and instinct?
Professor has invited Chaaya, 12 year old girl from a village near Gandhi-Nagar. We got advice and suggestion from her insights during lecture upon how could she generate curiosity to find out unsolved problem and find the solution over the same. Height of tap was higher than her height. she and many other small children had difficulty in drinking water from tap at higher height. She suggested tilting water taps pipe so that small kids can also drink water as can taller ones.
After her appreciation and taking some insights we brainstormed how could we sustain the creative and innovative instinct within us.