BATURAM NAYAK advises us to strike a healthy balance between our inner and outer worlds to perceive the brightness around us

The Creator has endowed human beings with a keen mind and great intellect. Given this grace or gift, the human condition is such that men and women are always so full of questions ― and answers, too. The more we are confronted with questions, the greater is the compulsion for us to respond. In fact, this is the source of learning and development of man as an individual and as a species along the path of evolution.

Humankind has undoubtedly developed. However, despite this development, one pertinent question keeps cropping up: Why can’t we see the obvious?

To put it in another way, why is truth revealed to some but eludes others? This is an intriguing question which storms the mind when we fail to see the truth behind a situation, or when we present the truth about a situation to people who matter to us most, and they fail to understand!

The more faithfully we address this question, the better we can evolve as good-perceivers and strike a healthy balance between ourselves and the phenomenon that confronts us.

Baturam Nayak

Since time immemorial, man is confronted with this very question which has been the central theme of human ethics and religion. Inspite of all the advancements of human civilisation, the same age-old question remains enigmatic, stares at us point-blank and invites us to rise above our “ought-blindness” and be fully human!

What prevents us from seeing the obvious and when we see it, endorse the obvious? What is it that comes between man and prevents him from being fully-human? Is it the limitation of his mind or the compulsion of his narrow self-interests that restrict the possibility of his being more human?

It is said: we see what we want to see. We can perfectly see that aspect of reality which is dictated by our immediate motivation and remain oblivious to those aspects that do not concern us. We behave just like that hungry man who is more than able to see all the food that is around him and even imaginary ones which are beyond him! His motivation makes him a good perceiver in the specific aspect that only concerns his self-interest at a specific time.

In this very sense, we can say: The deficiency-motivated person can only observe, explore and identify the deficient aspect of a thing that is within him, and seek its gratification in the outer world.

In a similar way, the being-motivated person can observe, identify and explore the being aspect of the things that are within him, and seek their gratification in the outer world.

A man who can strike a healthy balance between these aspects within himself can, indeed, be a good perceiver and strike a healthy balance with the reality outside him as well.

It would be better to say, the vision of our outer-eye is guided by the vision and insight of our inner-eye; and they reinforce one another in the making and unmaking of our perception.

“What we are blind and deaf to within ourselves, we are also blind and deaf to in the outer world.” Similarly, what we are open to within our inner world, we are also open to in the outer world.

It is precisely our personal preoccupation that normally dictates us what to see. It is for this very reason that we become parochial perceivers and selective choosers. Beyond matters of our self-interest, we often fail to see the fact that confronts us and fail to respond to the fact-voice that is expected from us. And seeing things, we do not see; hearing voices we do not hear!

Truth eludes us and the obvious remains behind the veil for us. We, therefore, fail to evolve as fully functioning human beings not only at the personal level but as social entities too; even though our evolvement to that end as such is expected morally, ethically, and practically from all of us.

But, once we think a bit deeply over this, and learn to look at things and aspects in a non-interfering, Taoistic fashion, we can no doubt evolve as good perceivers and better decision makers of our existential situations. Our organs of cognitions in this very way can get cleansed and fine-tuned; and spontaneously, likewise our perception and action get cleansed.

Ultimately, it is only by striking a healthy balance between our inner and outer worlds that we can perceive the brightness all around us.

Baturam Nayak, a postgraduate in economics, joined the banking sector in 1983 and retired in June 2020. He is a firm believer in simplicity and minimalism. “My faith is Oneness, एकत्वम्; that’s the way I would express myself and live in harmony with everything,” he says.

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