Friday, 10 February 2012

Self Knowledge, Beliefs, Habits

Cognitive knowledge does not depend on play of emotions or lack of emotions. Cognitive knowledge depends only on the conditions of knowledge - e.g. seeing involves eyes, the power of seeing, the light conditions, distance from the object, size and nature of the object, corrective lenses etc. Emotions interfere when our beliefs and perceptions are contradictory. If you see a perso...n who is alive but whom you believe to be dead, it is difficult to believe what you see, right? Vichaara is when you verify what you see and resolve the contradiction. Either the person is really dead and you are seeing a twin person, or the person is really alive and your belief is a mistake.

A different form of emotional interference is when you know and see that a person is no more, but find it difficult to accept the fact. Here the mind is holding on to the past and is unwilling to let go of it. Reality requires a strong heart to stomach, and requires an reorientation period to get completely used to. Usually this period can vary from a few days to a few years, depending on how much we have been holding on to. Willingness to confront reality, awareness of the present, emotional healing practices, spiritual awareness, counseling etc. an all help.

In Vedanta, the truth is tough to digest because it is so different from all our experiences. Whereas our happiness and sadness depend on conditions internal and external, the freedom of Self is unconditional. It takes both verification (vichaara) as well as reorientation (nidhidhyaasana) for us to accept the truth logically as well as emotionally. It is difficult to believe that our worst fears about self is unfounded and based on wrong understanding. Vedanta reeds to be reviewed repeatedly in order that the truth sinks in fully into our conscious and subconscious minds.

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