Monday, February 16, 2009

PERSON OR OBJECT – your call

On many occasions in our life, we have a sense/craving to act in a particular way. It’s a choice we make determined by the way we conceive the other person(s) as a person or as an ‘object’.
The difference between viewing a person as a person and viewing a person as an ‘object’ is that in the former, we conceive a person to be like us, having feelings, emotions and the need to be treated alike. In the latter case, we focus our interests above everything else and treat them like 'objects' that do not need care, tenderness, warmth etc.
There are many occasions when we want to do something for someone, but in the next instance we change our minds. By doing this, we betray our true feelings and conduct. When that happens, we tend to justify our actions and this causes uneasiness in our heart and mind. This implies that our mental state is in conflict and at that state our comprehensions about a person will always be distorted.
When we betray our sense/desire to see the other as a person, we deceive ourselves. In effect, we invite the same behavior from the other person. So eventually we are reduced to ‘objects’ too. The choice is ours, in every situation we can either betray our senses/desires and be transformed to ‘objects’ ourselves or honour those desires to live with a peaceful mind/heart.
When we betray our sense/desire, we begin to justify our action. The justification is a result predominantly due to the ‘Self Justifying Images’ or masks we absorb by our experiences through our lifetime. These images are of four instances- each is a specimen of self deception.
1. I am better than the other
2. I deserve it more than the other
3. I m in less favorable setting
4. I need to be seen
Whenever we try to justify our action inverse to our true craving, we tend to mask ourselves with the above four images. This is a deception to our true self. The solution is to first recognize that we are masked and then try to uncover ourselves. For this to happen, firstly we need to get into a 'heart at peace' situation. Otherwise, this never ending loop of justifying our actions and provoking the same action from others will continue. One fundamental aspect in this approach is that the change needs to initiated within us.
Now the critical question is; how can our hearts be in peace? There are many techniques for the same, We can start by talking to someone where there is no need to justify, or think of a situation/place that makes us happy or listen to some soothing music or read some passage in a book that lifts our spirit up. Then try to ponder on the issue at hand and to perceive others as a 'person' just like us. It will be difficult to begin with, however with the passage of time; we will become more and more aware of our self justifying images and over come the urge to wear the mask.

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