Friday 27 May 2016

Learning from 'The bowl of milk....'

Can we think of some more learning from it? Can it be applied to the society where we live in?

We come across so many misfits all around -  misfits in family, in monasteries, in various institutions, in society. We come across people who are unable to integrate themselves into the group they are supposed to be a part of. They are sugar all right, but something has gone wrong with that sugar. It has got covered with an impervious, insoluble layer of fear, suspicion, hatred, jealousy, unexamined biases and prejudices, distorted understanding of oneself, and so on by one or more or all of these. This is what makes integration difficult.

For integration to be possible, it naturally follows that the insoluble incrustation must be somehow got rid of. Examining oneself and one's life, one's priorities and one's needs, with a calm, peaceful, concentrated mind is usually sufficient to liberate the trapped sugar and hasten the dissolving process. In some cases, external help may be necessary. Parents and teachers can do a lot to help the growing child integrate well with its surroundings. People who remain alienated, unconnected, unintegrated as adults have usually been just that even as little children. The upbringing and training in one's childhood play a big part in the kind of life an adult lives.

How can I be sure I won't lose myself totally by getting dissolved in a group? Will there be any 'I' left or will it be subsumed totally by the 'we'? Do I have to lose my personal freedom in order to taste collective freedom? These questions naturally come up and must be answered" What we need to know, in effect, is whether we can be 'I' and 'we' at the same time.

Vedanta says yes, we can be both 'I' in my essential nature, 'we' in my apparent nature. Essentially, I am spirit eternal and free, birthless and deathless, blissful and perfect. I can remain that way, no matter what group I am a part of. Nothing can
take away or reduce or change my true nature, even though I may not have realized it fully yet.

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