is very difficult normally to understand the duality of existence.
Every individual has within himself or herself a “split-personality
“ so to say! Dual existence is a reality, which is unavoidable! In
fact, one may even go further and say that several personalities
co-exist within each individual.
In the normal course of
day-to-day living, we all are subjected to distinctly different
environments in rapid succession! Now let us digress a little and
try to understand what makes an environment! One could say that “a
set of values” make an environment! How is that one may
It’s like this – take for example a home. We live there
with our parents, siblings, spouse and children. Often more than one
generation live together under the same roof! Although individually
the set of values each has faith in, may vary, there would
pre-dominate in the house, “a particular set of broad based values”!
Our behavior in the house is molded or rather influenced by those
broad-based value system which by and large runs the household.
Value systems in the home are largely to do with moral aspects of
Now lets look at the work environment – here, the set
of values or the guiding principal is based on a different purpose
or goal. The workplace, which belongs to an organization, usually
has some mission that defines the set of values that rule the
behavior of the individuals there. The same holds true for children
with respect to their school.
Now, it will be clear that
work place will actually make us appear different from what we are
at home! Often, there is no resemblance to the two behaviors in the
same individual! Persons, who are amazingly tolerant at the
work-place are often extremely irritable at home. Of course, the
fact that home is a place where you want to unwind from pressure
etc., also adds to the gap in behavioral pattern but essentially the
point here is that the “same” individual “ in a different
environment appears to be different. Obviously, opinions about the
person will be different if it is solicited from individuals in the
two different areas! Where one could appear as calm, steady and
collected in one area, it could be exactly the opposite in the other
The question is not about which one is the “real”
person. The question is how to live with the two persons within
oneself! It is very difficult, to say the least! In today’s age,
individuals spend more time at their work places than at their
homes. It also means that they spend more time with their colleagues
than their own blood relatives. Opinions fly in the work places.
Each individual hears things about himself/herself and slowly but
surely begins to believe that the “real” him or “her” is the one
outside the home! This is mental baggage. It starts to influence the
individuals’ perspective about people at home, little realizing that
the others too have another personality! But then often, Man is but
a victim of circumstances and it leaves one rather flabbergasted by
the same! Confused and bewildered, its starts to form opinions about
the world from half a perspective. One says half, because as you can
see, the part which is influencing is only but a part of the whole
within the individual!
In our times, the relative existence
has had added meaning. One could almost say that in this age, it is
easier for Maya to confuse people than in any other age.
Material well being is the focus of most individuals as it
apparently appears to be essential to one’s comfortable existence.
Little does one realize that the definition of comfort changes with
time, place, age and circumstances!! For example, and I remember
reading this somewhere – “ Absence of pleasure is pain in youth and
absence of pain is pleasure in old age!!”
Duality in every
facet of life has to be faced. How one faces it determines the
extent of evolution of the individual! Since time immemorial the
ancient seers in every civilization have stressed on the need to
maintain mental equanimity. Our sages, discovered during their
contemplation that mental equilibrium is the key to fast evolution.
One may ask here as to what is meant by evolution?! Evolution merely
means the process of accumulation of knowledge and inculcating the
same within oneself, which will eradicate the rule of emotions in an
individual. Yes, ordinarily, emotions rule our actions. We rarely
act, we usually “re-act” to circumstances. (Circumstances could mean
any external stimulus-people, weather, event etc) The way to
knowledge, our Masters tell us is to try and avoid “re-acting” to
circumstances. Often it is a moment that makes or breaks us. We
should try and let it pass. Allowing ourselves time, automatically
enables us to “see” and understand situations.
In time one
realizes that everything being relative, nothing really matters in
the long run. Our small and often insignificant idiosyncrasies may
please us at that time, but if it does cause hurt to someone else,
it becomes a cause of niggling pain later on.
schools of thought proclaim” one’s life is too short to really
bother with these things”! Another school proclaims – “ Life is too
short – please bother about these things!! See – duality does not
leave us in peace anywhere!
This brings us to the original
question about the individual and one’s various personalities! Well,
to start with, since we ourselves have the split within us, the
management of “mending” should also begin within oneself! Here again
the ancient seers help us. They say that the effort has to be
multi-pronged as the personalities are also multi-farious!
To begin with, they tell us to give up ownership of all
action! This is rather difficult to understand and we will look at
it a little later. Secondly they tell us to “observe” ourselves. The
“shakshi bhav”, described by our seers is not to prompt us to be
impersonal but rather to try and understand the cause-effect
relation in any situation.
No situation is without a cause.
The cause itself has another cause and so on. Often it’s a chain of
cause and effect duality that engulfs us. This being the case, our
action is evidently effected by a cause. So how can we logically
claim effect to it! That’s one way of looking at it. There are
several other ways which are elucidated in our major reference
The observation part now – this is to be effected by
allowing one-self time before acting in any situation. One may argue
that some situations require split-second responses, but those
situations do not occur everyday and will very likely not occur if
we develop this practice of observing ourselves. This practice would
include actually seeing everything that we do or think consciously.
It does not however mean analyzing the observed actions or thoughts
either. We have to let the explanation “occur” to one. Of-course a
thought process will be put in motion at most times, but we must be
careful to let it remain a thought process and not make it a
“thinking process”. I sincerely hope here that the difference
between thoughts, which occur to us and thinking which are
inferences drawn up by us with reference to a data-base of
experience within our brain, is clear to most.
this diligently, one would in the course of time, be able to
maintain equanimity in most situations. That by itself would erase
most of the complications that arise in our day to day
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everyone in reality has a
split personality. It affects us unknowingly. some thoughts which
occured to me on this.
MANOJ BUXANI, 10
VERY TRUE INDEED! HIGH LEVEL THINKING AND A SIMPLE
SOLUTION TO A HAPPIER LIFE ...ONLY IF WE UNDERSTAND IT AND FINALLY
TRY TO FOLLOW IT.....! GOOD WORK VINAY !
SIVAGOPAL OJHA, 29 January 2006:
Jyoti Bhojwani, 28 January 2006:
Scot Savage, 28 January 2006: