ART OF KNOWING
Man is a social organism who exhibits attributes of independence, creativity, consciousness and sociability in everything he does. He builds and sustains various inter personal relationships. Often these begin with small gestures which acknowledge the presence of other co-inhabitant of the space, even if it is for a short period of time. Exchanging a quick glance, sharing a smile, nodding in agreement over some facts and similar such interchanges help in breaking that initial ice. It could happen anywhere - on a bus, waiting in a queue, on a morning walk, enjoying the vista on a pleasant day or having to share a table in a crowded restaurant. In most of the cases, such fleeting interactions get wiped out of mind quite insignificantly but in some rare cases they do ordain beginning of something bigger, longer and friendlier or otherwise. Though inconsequential, these gestures do tell something about the character and personality of a person. It may leave one with a pleasant feeling of having met some pleasing personality and it may put some on the path to curiosity as well. It is the curiosity or inquisitiveness to know more about the other person, to study his/her personality, to understand him/her better. If man is considered to be a social being, he is also believed to be a curious organism. And it is the curiosity of humans that make Newtons and Einsteins out of ordinary individuals.
It is strange but sometimes this eagerness and curiosity to know and study human behaviour puts one on a path to self realisation and don’t we all want to tread that path? One can analyse a situation and an event better if it is enacted in front of him/her rather than when one is performing in that act him(her)self. Similar is the case with our psychology, sometimes we get an opportunity to understand our own disposition and behaviour better by looking at mirror like personalities in front of us. Isn’t it said that when a parent gets to confront one’s peculiar characteristics in one’s child, then one gets to realise how difficult it is to manage the particular idiosyncrasy.
As community also we keep trying to explore the opportunities of knowing each other and working together at various fora - social, spiritual, emotional and moral. The simplest examples of the same are the practice of collective chanting, reciting and vocalising of some verses and almost all sects follow this practice in one form or the other. In Buddhism it is considered as an effort that leads one to the path of communal progress and harmony. When this happens, it leads to upliftment of the whole social setup and progress for all. Hence, the truest form of evolution happens when ‘I’ and ‘mine’ stop mattering and they get transformed into ‘we’ and ‘ours’. It is then the collective wisdom is achieved.
However, one needs to be aware at all times for a few pitfalls on this path - one’s curiosity should not become encroachment of private space for others, the outside noise should not drown the path that was supposed to lead to one’s own progress and upliftment.