Today we had a presentation on different themes of Indian Philosophy and somebody was explaining about Nirvana (etymologically it means blowing off) in Buddhism. It seems there is an Indian tradition where any person, before going to Vanaprasta(stage of renunciation) blow off the candles; it is a sign of blowing off the candles of this world and opening oneself to the divine light. Surely Buddhists understand it slightly differently. The mystical tradition of Christianity and other religions speak of different stages in the spiritual growth of a person. Definitely rules apply at each phase of life. Each stage/context has its own rules and dynamics; when we make a journey, we have to keep these aspects in mind.
Just as each country has its own rules, each religion has its own traditions, each of us have our context and life-situations, and meanings of any particular event is dependent on these aspects. Does it mean it is relativistic? Does it mean my rules are only dependent on me and I can do anything. I don’t think so, as human being is a social animal. The meanings and rules are the result of one’s context, cultures and religions, which are all shared realities. Just as each one of the human is unique, the meanings too are unique. But it is not 100% different from others, just as it is not 100% same.
Since meanings given are different/unique, can we live together? One point is that there is enough of commonality along with the differences. When Jesus chose his disciples, he didn’t choose 12 same characters, but such varied characters. They were significantly different, but they could build the church. Well established research groups look for varied talents, so that their output is maximum. How could we use the diversity/uniqueness to the advantage of humanity? What are the qualities required for the diversities to be tapped in a group?
- Self Esteem/good self image. Somebody doing good in something shouldn’t affect me negatively.
- Synthesis of the uniqueness needn’t & shouldn’t happen in one particular way, but newer models of synthesis opens up newer solutions to older and newer problems.
Science is a good model to follow here. We had great scientists like Newton, Einstein who has individually contributed to the field of science. Today such individual scientific contributions are there (but less known or they are not enough for today’s issues). Larger scientific groups collaborate to do research and experiments. When the God particle was officially detected and confirmed, the experiments were arranged and done with the help of research groups all around the world. It is high time we have the creative synthesis of the unique personal/cultural potentials to solve the problems of inequality, poverty, war, violence rather than relying on yesterday’s solutions.
(I know it is very easy to lecture about; our egos (mine specially) are too big that it is difficult to collaborate. But necessity is the mother of invention. Today’s necessity invites and forces us to collaborate.)