Please answer the following questions ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
- Are you open to experience? That is, if a new and possibly strange experience comes along, instead of getting frightened or depressed or awful… do you try to learn a lesson from the experience?
- Do you impose preconceived meanings to your experiences?
- Do you make your own choice when in confusion instead of relying on readymade answers given by systems like religion, tradition, science…?
- Do you try to contribute a new solution, a new suggestion, or a judgment based entirely on your own understanding when faced with a dilemma or difficult situation?
- Instead of looking for happiness, contentment, security and such things, do you live a life that is exciting, challenging, and meaningful on your own terms?
- Are you willing to oppose the teachings of parents, teachers, science, religion, established authorities, etc if you find such teachings are against your own convictions and principles?
- Are you more interested in material comforts and rewards than in the creation of an egalitarian society?
- Do you make a contribution to the society in unostentatious ways? For example, by doing your work in an exemplary manner that will inspire others, or by practising certain values – without being moralistic or preachy?
- Do you distrust dogmas including the kind of science and scientific thinking that produce a technology which exploits and harms nature and people?
- Do you trust your own experience and have a profound distrust of all external authority?
If your answer is ‘yes’ to all questions except 2 and 7, you are what psychologist Ryckman calls (after Carl Rogers who coined the phrase) ‘a fully functioning person.’
What prompted me to put this up here is an article by one Prof B M Hegde in today’s Hindu [June 17]. ‘Is science another of those fanatical religions?’ asks the Prof. The way science is functioning today has made it look like a fanatical religion. Scientists today have vested interests. They are not serving science and truth; they are after material benefits, awards and rewards.
This is not a surprising allegation from a person who is a medical practitioner. Medical science today is one of the most corrupt forms of science. Because the practitioners are corrupt.
It is not science that is at fault. It is the scientists who misuse it.
That’s true of most systems. It is not religion that is at fault, it is the practitioners of religion who misuse it.
The problem with most of us, human beings, is that we are not so much concerned about truth, benevolence, and other good qualities as about what we can benefit by being truthful, benevolent…
If we can raise ourselves beyond those selfish motives, if we can rise to a higher level of consciousness, we will discover a new meaning in life, a meaning that is more resplendent than we imagine!