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When reality is restricted by identity and rationality is relegated, then, sobriety is causality and moderation is a mute spectator

Balyogi Venkataraman

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Impact matters-a definite yes, in all spheres of activity.

But allowing oneself to get overly impacted or influenced by any particular thought, idea, ideology, philosophy, concept, culture, stream or subject of pursuit , pursuing what one likes innately, what appeals one’s emotions, intellect, what gives pleasure to one’s senses, trying to have a go at what titillates one’s sensitivities, scrupulously subjecting oneself to social expectations of various hues and colors, following certain religious edicts and so on are the many aspects of life of human beings.

What one chooses to carry along with or decides to dump is again interconnected with many of the influences of the above.

Sometimes, when one is grown up mentally or intellectually, the tendency is to evaluate with conscious awareness. Then, these influences set in as a broad outlines of one’s prejudices, identities, perspectives, attitudes, frames of reference with which one  likely to evaluate and to perceive many things around to choose and decide.

Sometimes, when one is not that grown up mentally or intellectually, then there seeps in subconsciously similar outlines set in. “All of us have our own inner fears, beliefs, opinions. These inner assumptions rule and govern our lives. A suggestion has no power in and of itself. Its power arises from the fact that you accept it mentally.” – Joseph Murphy, the Power of Your Subconscious Mind.

Therefore, the so-called broader outlines, whether subconsciously seeping in or embedded or consciously chosen, are not actually broad, however well ensconced they may be in appealing terminologies or appalling justifications.

The fact is none of them i.e. the outlines are all inclusive or completely pervasive or a please all factor or panacea or Omni-appealing or Omni-acceptable factor for human species as a whole or for every individual or for any group.

So, based on what we have chosen to like or get addicted to or made to follow we end up forming our notions of reality, ultimate truth and many other lofty terminologies. Some of us make a living in the process; some also use them as crutches to lead a life; a few also have the privilege of or choose to live their life as well either with these so-called broad outlines and lucky enough also by moving between, beyond and besides these outlines.

In this process life swings as a pendulum between many inevitable and inherent polarities.

However, life predominantly deals through many aspects of life and relates with almost all aspects of living with two predominant extremes- which are contradictions and which manifest in vast varieties, different degrees, and innumerable intensities as multiple psychological actions or reactions- namely, Love and Fear.

That’s why whatever be the area of life be it in religion, politics, technology, social sciences, for everything, we come across strong supporters in the form of inspiring initiators, mighty motivators, powerful preachers and powerful protestors in the form of diligent dissenters and aggressive opponents.

Obviously moderation takes a back seat. However, every human being has also a natural instinct to aspire for a secure, safe, peaceful, calm, happy environment to live.

So, who, what and how is this going to emerge out of the very bases which contribute to make life and living less happy and less peaceful in the first place?

Any operation or process that emanates from the bases cited in the forgoing paragraphs is not going to bring in any moderation.

However, for at least a moderate level of calm or peaceful social life and cohabitation certain amount of moderation or moderating elements must evolve away from the bases- which seem at best a utopia or an outright illusion.

Having said all these, there is also the thing called the natural species’ instinct for survival, more so a better, calm, comfortable and more secure level of survival persists.

Human beings, as a species have evolved certain time tested qualities for a better state of living.

In some people these qualities are natural attributes; in some others they are nurtured as a part of their socio-cultural milieu; and in certain cases they have to be enforced by various rules and regulations.

These qualities are again too many to list out. However, for the sake of brevity, we may broadly term them as tolerance, forgiveness, non-violence etc.

These qualities by themselves my not contribute to happiness, peace and calm but they will ensure to provide at least a conducive environment to enable happiness, peace and joy to happen.

Balance is all about creating such an atmosphere.

In short, it would be better that as human beings we may opt for compassion sandwiched between the inevitable passion and dispassion as a moderator of life, [1] but with a rider that at the same time, anyone must have, preferably everyone is made to have complete freedom to explore, experiment and experience everything without any overbearing restrictions, identity barriers, cultural constraints or impositions from any other source.

So, by all means everyone is encouraged to listen to, to read and to learn from every source, every view without any restraint.

“Across planes of consciousness, we have to live with the paradox that opposite things can be simultaneously true.” – Ram Dass.

“Existence consists in the interplay of a plurality of elements whose true nature is indescribable and whose source is unknown. Combinations of these elements instantaneously flash into existence and instantaneously disappear, to be succeeded by new combinations of elements appearing in a strict causality.” – Earle Ernst, The Kabuki Theatre

“To make progress in understanding all this, we probably need to begin with simplified (oversimplified?) models and ignore the critics’ tirade that the real world is more complex. The real world is always more complex, which has the advantage that we shan’t run out of work.”- John Ball, 1984, Memes as Replicators, Ethology and Sociobiology, Vol. 5

After all life is a constant process of learning and adjustment wherein we can neither deny nor defy the importance of anything or anyone.

We need to adopt an attitude to gather knowledge from as many sources as possible-like a butterfly that hops from flower to flower, from all the extreme points of a spectrum ranging from what are considered as most important, vital, exalted to what are deemed as the least worthy and wasteful stuff.

In every field, the story of human evolution is nothing but the history of impacts, either positive or negative, made by people who refused to take the beaten track and no wonder that George Bernard Shaw is reported to have said, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man adapts the world to himself.

All progress depends upon the unreasonable man”.

Individual human life, after all, is a very short journey in the ocean of totality of LIFE but endowed with at least certain advantages over other species inhabiting this planet and chief among them is to a very great extent the ability to choose and to decide to create conducive conditions to lead a calm and compatible life with other human beings, other species and the whole environment.

We can observe and learn that evolution takes care of almost everything in its stride but as human beings we also have the option to learn to carefully evolve in our stride.

We must learn to make existence the essence and concepts perhaps the shell and not vice versa and allow both to grow and glow freely together as a part of evolutionary splendor.

Here in I am reminded of what Sherlock Holmes declares, “From a drop of water a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other. So, all life is a great chain, the nature of which is known whenever we are shown a link of it.”

Life’s journey is made up of evolving through multitude of passing phases of romance as links and not remorse of the past or reveries of remote future.

The series of romances knitted together: – romances of the senses, of sensible living, of sensitivity to everything and everyone around us, of joy of learning, of helping and of giving hope for all and everything to become better, enjoy whatever one prefers to enjoy without harming or injuring others and also explore possibilities of synthesis and synergy in all relationship that one has with oneself, with others, with nature, with machines, with different cultures and traditions etc.

It is only human gullibility that both the ‘pro’ and ‘anti’ brigade in any issue may be or prone to become wrong as they tend to take extreme positions.

Very often we tend to proceed from the presumptions that tastes, trends, traditions all over the world may be either similar or homogenous and worse still, sometimes presumed to be same or uniform and based on such foolish presumptions attempts are made to homogenize or over simplify or over generalize.

William James says, “In the end nothing less than the whole of everything can be the truth of anything at all”.

But even what is whole is difficult to define.

Identities of all hues while they enable creating social groups at the same time enfeeble options for universal acceptance.

I have very often held that identity, though inevitable, excessive and exclusive veneration is at the heart of many problems be it in the realm of religion, region, language, tradition, culture, nationhood and so on.

“The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as long as we live.” – Mortimer Adler

“Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.” – Albert Camus

Growth and freedom involve the broad mindedness to accept different views, perhaps all views.

‘It is better to know something about everything then everything about something’ – Blase Pascal

“When we say that a man is responsible for himself, we do not only mean that he is responsible for his own individuality, but that he is responsible for all men”-Sartre

Man exists, turns up, appears on the scene, and, only afterwards, defines himself- Sartre

Life is an unmapped atlas consisting of unexplored territories and a jig saw puzzle without even all pieces available in the box.

That’s why it is better to go with the tide of the inevitable evolutionary churning process of life in all spheres of life and preferably immerse any topic or subject matter, primarily and basically with all their  intrinsic elements/components/aspects/attributes intact, into a cauldron which has a mixture of all these- knowledge based analysis; limited perception- based on frames of reference and scales of observation; skepticism; criticism; intellectual scrutiny; compassionate emotionalism; humane socialism; rational thinking- as rational approaches refine what is otherwise viewed as contrasts that divide into variations that seek synergy; contextual relevance based prioritizing [ which includes too many components] , traditions, practical viability, psychological comforts, aesthetic sensitivity, scientific scrutiny and so on, and churn the cauldron without clinging on to any particular restrictive social, cultural or political or religious identity or ideological constraint.

This process inevitably may bring out lot of outputs.

We can exercise our freedom and sometimes select and choose some of the outputs.

Sometimes the outputs will draw us.

Sometimes away from all or any of our intended searches and seeking, outside the circle of these known paradigms, almost tangentially serendipity will drag us to an oasis of serene clarity.

Ken Wilber in his work ‘ No Boundary: Eastern and Western  Approaches to Personal Growth’ like these two small pieces, “ Even to say ‘reality is no-boundary awareness’ is still to create a distinction between boundaries and no-boundary! So we have to keep in mind the great difficulty involved with dualistic language. That “reality is no-boundary” is true enough, provided we remember that no-boundary awareness is a direct, immediate, and nonverbal awareness, and not a mere philosophical theory. It is for these reasons that the mystic-sages stress that reality lies beyond names and forms, words and thoughts, divisions and boundaries. Beyond all boundaries lies the real world of Suchness, the Void, the Dharmakaya, Tao, Brahman, the Godhead. And in the world of suchness, there is neither good nor bad, saint nor sinner, birth nor death, for in the world of suchness there are no boundaries.”  And  “The ultimate metaphysical secret, if we dare to state it so simply, is that there are no boundaries in the Universe. Boundaries are illusions, products not of Reality, but of the way we map and edit Reality. And while it is fine to map out the territory, it is fatal to confuse the two.”

On a lighter vein is Reality the jigsaw puzzle involving these things: Nothing, Everything, Anything, Something.

Even as  Jarod Kintz  says, “ Nothing, Everything, Anything, Something: If you have nothing, then you have everything, because you have the freedom to do anything, without the fear of losing something.” 

We must not hesitate to analyze anything and everything in depth from as many angles as possible but also ultimately find out the points of or areas or domains of synthesis/synergy leading to harmony and unity with all variety and/or differences in tact. This is will be the automatic progression of life experience and life itself.

What is DIVISION after all, if we unwrap it in acronym as follows;-

Differences are


Variety is

Inherent and

Synergy is

Indispensable to


Nicely certain commonalities among all and everything in life…


We started with impact and here is an impactful speech


1] In ThinkEdu16 conference in concluding session Sri Sri Ravishankar answered spontaneously very well to VC of a university in very simple terms how to avoid irrational depressions due to high expectations and corresponding disappointment.

He used just three very effective words. He said you definitely need ‘Passion’ to perform effectively but ‘Dispassion’ to carry on with shortcomings and failures. He said when you succeed in Passion you enjoy, when you have this ‘Dispassion’ then you do not ‘hate yourself’ between these two if you have ‘Compassion’ then you do not hate or blame others. So he said you need Passion, Dispassion and Compassion -all the three.

I think this simple mantra can contribute enough moderation and sense of balance which is the ultimate test of a matured person.

No one starts and must not start or cannot start all aspects of life in moderation.

Aggression, passion, influence, impact, intensity are the things that spice up the adventure of life but then everyone must grow out of these experiences into a matured balanced person acting with moderation.



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