2.04.2006

The Flock



There is a common perception that we are creatures of free will and independent thought. A careful look at almost any human behavior shows this is not the case. At birth our will is guided by the worldview of those around us, taking shape within the vessel of the language or languages spoken by those that live near us and live within our family. Many people are unaware that entire concepts exist within certain languages and that languages themselves limit the scope of the human reach of understanding (at the dualistic level). We are conditioned creatures.

Ivan Pavlov, in the 1890's, studied the salivary gland in dogs. What Pavlov discovered was a sort of "conditional reflex" in which the dogs would begin to salivate even before the food was introduced. Food need not be present, only the thought. That is a very important point. Pavlov would have been interested in a certain pharmacy of which I was employed.

The Free Range

One group of employees work in the pharmacy itself, in a large, open warehouse with no internal walls. The employees freely walk from workstation to workstation as work demand changes and carry on conversation over the noise of the conveyor belt and machines. Though the rows of certain workstations act as a sort of wall, one may only look between shelves to catch a quick word from a fellow employee. The mood is relaxed, friendly, and jovial.

The Coup

The other set of employees work in the cubicle area. Each cubicle area is subdivided into departments. Talking is discouraged with frowns and glares. Talking is only possible if an employee exits their workstation and stands in clear view. Though the cubicle area is built within the same setup as the pharmacy area, it has been converted into departments which are sheltered and cut off from each other. There is little noise or activity to be seen.

The Lunch Room

The conditioning of the work environment is all too clear during the lunch period. The free range group come together at noon and sit in one or two close groups, talking together. They talk freely, loudly, and openly. When someone has a birthday, there is a cake, food and gifts. When someone is leaving the company, there is cake, food and gifts.

The coup group enter as the free range group leave on a somber note. Each employee sits as far from the other, picking one or two trusted friends to eat with, sharing their meal in hushed conversation. There is no large table of people. When there is a birthday, there is no cake. When someone is leaving the company, they just leave.

We are conditioned creatures. Our worldview, our experiences, our language, our expectations, our understanding, our hopes, and our desires frame our responses. These are manipulated by our environment, which includes people, places, and these days, many, many things. In the modern world, many religions have lost touched with the original concept of transcendence. Jesus went into the desert and fasted and meditated. Buddha sat under the tree and fasted and meditated. Mohammed sat in the cave and fasted and meditated. At one point the mind transcended the base, impure, defiled and conditioned mind and distilled to something far beyond our understanding. That is why we write about them now. It is absurd to think that we can understand their ways and their thought from this conditioned mind. The people of the Book, Christian, Muslim, Jew, must retouch that lost tradition of meditation and fasting and learn to transcend the conditioned mind and touch what it truly holy. At that place, there are no mistranslations, divisions, or separations. The unity of awareness is awakened.

This path isn't easy, but in this world of decline in virtue and reason, where man believes he gets closer to "playing god", we must do our part to preserve the tradition and maintain the path. Started out one would not think they would be on their knees picking weeds, but that is the spiritual life. The path must be lived, preserved, and maintained. If you become lost in your own reflection, forge your own path and when you are ready to come back home, when will keep the lantern lit.

3 Comments:

At 11:56 PM, Blogger Badri Narayanan said...

Very nice and true on the conditioning of the human mind.

listening to one's heart
bringing the inner self in forefront and letting mind slip &
operating from awakened being and being able to behold it in every moment can happen in mysterious of ways but it starts from sincerity and unfortunately that doesnt come from any such practice ..after many searches ..dropping it and looking beyond techniques with an heart and letting it smile is a beginning

 
At 8:17 AM, Blogger Sundar said...

when the unity of awareness is awakened.....beyond words, beyond concepts...in personal authentication...see'k'ers become seers...

 
At 11:33 PM, Blogger Ambhoja said...

well said. The great barrier... those that reach beyond cannot tell us, for our medium of expression is like one grain of sand on the beach. Like you said.. personal authentication.

 

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