Please visit Thinking Skills for the Digital Generation by Athreya and Mouza at Springer.com

Sunday, July 21, 2019

On Thinking further......


Whenever we use the terms such as “on thinking deeply” or “the truth is”, the implications are that there is an absolute truth we are aware of which the others are not and they have not reached the “truth” because they have not thought deeply enough.

I prefer to avoid these connotations and say simply, that “when I reflect further” or “when I keep thinking” I come to a new point, where I can see a different point of view, a different perspective I did not have before, a new insight, a panoramic view, an outside-in view or inside-out view or an unique view. Not anything deeper than someone else or closer to The Truth because I do not know what “deeper” means and what “Truth” we are talking about.

Why am I setting up this preamble? Because, the following thoughts are where I am now. They may change tomorrow – may be even later today “when I keep reflecting further”. What are they?

We look for permanence of life, we want to live forever even after death!

We look for permanent happiness.

Both are impossible. We are chasing wrong goals in life.

Life is impermanent. Life is a mixture of happiness and misery. It is wiser to accept these realities and live this life usefully with mindfulness, justice, compassion and charity. Future of humanity depends on  living together through communication, consensus building, compromise, and collaboration (Instead of competition and/or retreat into isolation). 

Reflecting on all this and more, my current thoughts on the welfare of humanity can be summarized as follows. One may ask why I am interested in this and what my qualification is? The answer is simple. I am a retired pediatrician, a father and grandfather and am interested in the welfare of future generations.

My Main message is a plea for Practice of Loving-kindness and compassion - unrestricted, unconditional and universal, Humility and an Open mind for differences in fellow human beings whose “blood is red and, tears are salty” just like mine and yours (as pointed out by Buddha many centuries back).

The hindrances to the practice of these virtues seem to be: Ego/self-importance, a sense of “I am right; you are wrong”; Desire – uncontrolled for more than what is needed to live,  and a desire to control others; Fear of the future, real and imagined and Unnecessary comparison and competition.  
Two other guidelines for Peaceful living I can think of are realizing that Unity of purpose and of “heart” are more important than Uniformity in external appearances as pointed out by Kanchi Periyaval and that Equality and Freedom do not go together too well as pointed out by Will and Ariel Durant.  Therefore, we must work for equality of opportunity and freedom to think and freedom of expression, for all.

1 comment:

Krishnan said...

Very aptly portrayed objectives for a meaningful living. The main obstacle to achieving this, is the "fear" that pervades. We need to consciously practice the values needed to live and prosper in harmony. This effort cannot be diluted at any time. Let us hope for this line of thinking and acting.