POSITIVE PERCEPTIONS

POSITIVE PERCEPTIONS: Key to Peaceful Progress

The whole of mankind constantly strives to achieve life’s two commonest goals of the higher kind – one being progress, the other one inevitably being peace. These two cut a common level-playing field amongst all, irrespective of one’s caste, creed, race, nationality, age, gender and generations.

In the quest of attaining progress, people often oversee the primordial key to their well-being i.e., peace. Many a time, progress is linked to attaining worldly pursuits and professional satisfaction. Peace, on the other hand, is intertwined with spiritual and godly pursuits. Both are placed poles apart in contrast as the never -ever meeting two faces of the same coin called “LIFE”.

But in reality, can progress and peace never coexist and cohabit? This is the fundamental question kindling one’s mind. Why do we need to beget one at the cost of another? Can we succeed or in the least, initiate a common line of ground connecting peace and progress which would then result in ultimate bliss? At present, we are battling with ourselves by forsaking the fundamentals of life for mere progress. This is exactly where positive perceptions come into the picture.

A positive perception is an undertaking of a holistic approach towards life. It is not to be misconstrued as conceiving and hoping for a positive outcome in every sphere of life – an impracticality, no doubt. On the other hand, it is nullifying the ill wills, the badness, and solely preoccupied with the goodness of life’s situations.

Positive perceptions are the most needed as a remedy to existential crises experienced by the current generation. In general, perception connotes the nature of understanding, attitude, and the way we perceive emotions, situations, and people. The upheavals in our lives can be dealt with smoothly with such a kind of perception. Here, we shift and sift the good, rather than constantly bickering about the bad. Overlooking the negatives would lead to such a nature of understanding gradually turning a constant habit in our lives. This in turn, makes progress easy and also leads us towards peace.

The reconciliation of both progress and peace would create a satiated and successful living. This everlasting and ever blissful state of well-being can be attained by a conscious modification in our way of understanding life and its unpredictable concoctions. Nurturing positive perceptions as a habit endeavors us through to lead a wholesome life. Nevertheless, it would surely prepare us for a guiltless savoring of both the icing and the cake!


SCIENTIFIC SPIRITUALITY IN THE WAKE OF COVID-19


Ever since the modern era dawned, spirituality and science have struggled to outdo one another and build their imperishable empire in the world. This resulted in the creation of a major division among mankind – followers of spirituality, believers of modern science, those either adhering to both in equal measure or denying them totally. Hailed as the country known for it’s rich spiritual and cultural heritage, India takes pride in standing apart from the rest of the world. Though massively influenced by the West, India has still retained its effervescent essence of spirituality successfully till date.

In the wake of World Health Organization declaring Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) as pandemic on 11 March 2020, India spruced up its response measures to fight and nullify the hazardous effect of the deadly virus. According to the statistics, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt of India, its efforts have resulted in a total of 12380 active cases including 72 foreign nationals, 1489 cured and discharged patients, 1 migrated and 414 deaths as on 16 April 2020. Compared to the European regions like Spain (180659), Italy (16155), Germany (134753),France (106206), UK (98456) and specific regions of America such as USA (644798) and Canada (15806), India has fared considerably well in curbing the spread of this pandemic disease. Also, as per ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) reports, death rates in India are the least among the major Asian countries.

There lies no doubt about the Government’s brisk intervention, comprehensive evaluation and decisive response by the citizens in aiding its country to emerge out of the corona outbreak. Yet, in these deepest dark hours, embracing our core virtues of spirituality accompanied with the practical advisory inputs from the scientific world is a sure shot way to eliminate the present crisis and ensure normalcy in our lives. This is where the concept of ‘Scientific spirituality’ – the integration of modern sciences and ancient spirituality, comes into picture. Spirituality and science go hand in hand because of their intertwined characteristics – Experimentation and experience. Without rejecting spiritual faith blindly, its wise to experiment and experience the truth and imbibe it in our lives.

The whole Universe represents an ocean with the combined effects of electromagnetic and conscious energy waves. In modern science, the scientific applications involving advanced instruments illustrate the importance of the energy waves being the cause for inducing the expected outcome, rather than solely the device itself. Likewise, the power of thoughts, vibrations, prayers and blessings empower one’s body and mind in preventing and tackling such dangers along with practical self-care measures, adequate personal protective equipment for healthcare workers and upgrading healthcare infrastructure in such times of distress.

On the other hand, it is to be noted that misunderstanding and misinformation, be it regarding science or religion should be shunned by the Govt, media so that the public wisely inculcates both these sources of knowledge and wisdom. India’s religious and cultural tradition of communal celebrations and social indicators like poor sanitary conditions, clustered living must be dealt with utmost caution to encourage segregation. Religion withdrawn from science turns out to be a mere superstition, science misled by spirituality embarks futility as is endorsed by the great 20th century scientist Albert Einstein, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind”.

In his 22nd March 2020 message, Gyani Harpreet Singh, Sikh Research Institute, explained how intellectual strength and faith in the Absolute Being complement each other in this deepening crisis. According to him, spirituality and imagination are vital sources of life. His words, “Pray as victorious people, not as defeated beings” dispelled fear and instilled hope in the hearts of many. Parallelly, the Christian community headed by the Pope, reinstated the virtues of faith and hope sided by wise action. Also, in our ancient Indian Mantra-Vignana, the supernatural effects of supersonic waves generated by Vedic chanting are found more remarkable and proved still beyond the reach of even the scientific adventures developed so far.

Rightly does Carl Sagan, an American astronomer, science communicator and author of science fiction Cosmos, opine so, “Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.” Positivity – in thoughts and action raise the present low vibrations prevalent throughout the world. To attain and retain body’s immunity power, we need to gauge and uplift our mental and emotional wellbeing. Together, for instance, forging on in a symbolic unity in turn creates high energy thoughts of health, protection, faith, power and peace and radiates these vibrations worldwide, thereby empowering the mindset of the entire mankind.

LIFE MUSINGS

THE POWER OF ‘I’: BUILDING SELF-PERSONA

Life and musing upon it have their own unknown
paths for us all to tread upon. People inevitably drawn to experience life in its myriad hues, explore their own pathways in due course of their lives. As I reached my adulthood, the journey of my life sailed me back to my past world of sweet and sour reminiscences. Though my childhood seemed care-free at a superficial level, it was intrinsically woven with bouts of loneliness and lacunae coupled with my bubbling urge to showcase the independent and free-spiritedness found hidden innately in me.

Being highly motivated by my biological parents at all levels and forms in a vast plethora and discouraged in a few others, my childhood witnessed a bountiful shower of care, love, tenderness and warmth by them indeed, but more so by my foster parents i.e., my maternal grandparents. Under their tender eye, I saw my heart sprinkled with boisterousness and hay-go-wire spirit bloom forth. As years passed by, I grew up as a girl nurturing my sweet and tender persona and gradually shedding down my tomboyish attitude.

Nevertheless, different experiences and people we come across in our daily grind, the circumstances we are exposed to at unexpected intervals of life shape us to become what we ultimately are today. No doubt, we invariably strive and build up our own self-created ‘I’ image in our lives. In due course of time, we adhere to this ‘I’ image and learn to lead our life on our own terms except with a keen eye for the goodwill of people who matter to us ever. These are the chosen few, be it through blood or by choice whom we consider ‘precious gems’ to behold on eternally.

To lead a wholesome life, we must become aware of our conscious responsibility to maintain and nurture the ‘I’ in us. The factor to be realised here is that our ‘I’ encompasses within itself our ‘WE’ i.e., the supportive circle of our chosen few people too. The reason for doing this is that when we cause a prick in their hearts, the ‘I’ also ultimately suffers. As and when we turn adamant and ignore their wailings, we subconsciously plunge into an eternal gloom despite our extrinsic sense of a “win-win” situation. Hence, we must notice that both the cause and its effect, the effort and its outcome of a situation is inextricably intertwined with our self-image. Our ‘I’ persona is our own self-willed creation no doubt, but it can never be delinked from our self-chosen ‘we’.

In this regard, the popular Japanese art of living – IKIGAI reveals that every person is innately equipped with an essence of his own, his mabui. It is synonymous to our immortal spirit and influences who we become and are in our lives. Realisation of our mabui plays a key role in determining the purpose of our birth. This mabui i.e., our individual sense of self promulgating our ‘I’ image, is an immensely powerful being in an individual’s life which etches us in others’ hearts and minds forever, never to be overlooked upon.

Another interesting concept of Japanese living is its purpose-centred MORITA THERAPY, created by indigenously well-known Zen Buddhist, psychotherapist and a contemporary of Sigmund Freud, Shoma Morita. In contrast to the Western mode of thinking wherein complete focus is on mind-control, Morita therapy is much simpler and easy to follow. It teaches us to accept our feelings as they are, without trying to control or curb them. As most of us might have experienced in some stage of our lives, merely controlling or trying to get rid of our emotions only makes it more intense. Attempting to escape from our fears and discomfort turns us pathetically obsessive and trapped in our suffering. Hence, this therapy teaches us to accept our desires, worries, fears and anxieties and later gradually letting them fleet.

A desire to live a self-driven life without creating animosity in others’ hearts is not everyone’s cup of tea. Still, it is nevertheless dismissible as totally impossible too. As an individual, I revel in the process of exploring and nourishing my mabui, not to mention though, it seems a never-ending adventurous journey indeed. The sooner we start, the better versions of ourselves we turn out to become.

Creating and nurturing an individualistic self-image renders satisfaction at a deeper level, instilling a sense of meaning to life in us. This in turn, leads us onto living a life filled with satiated success tied with a sense of goodwill and cheer. Rightly does Shoma Morita opine so in his book Morita Therapy and the True Nature of Anxiety-based Disorders, “In feelings, it is best to be wealthy and generous”.