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Conversation With Farook: Understanding The Mechanism Of Anxiety :

Author Raja Krishnamoorthy / Kitty - Mar 28, 2014

Faith, Belief & Knowledge!

I am in a highly introspective mood these days. I also converse with as many people as possible, to understand how their beliefs and judgments emerge. I spoke to around 50 people in the last 6 days extensively.

Farook was my Cabbie on 24th, to the dubbing studio at Kodambakkam. A pleasant young man of 30, we started conversing on the current election scenario, on corruption at high places, in politics, on the helplessness of the common man, on the possible trends in Tamil Nadu, on the hopes on AAP, on MJ Akbar joining BJP…and so on.

As I was reflecting on our chat, something interesting emerged on

1. The dragging, immobilizing futility of the past and

2. The hovering- illusive anxiety of the future.

If we truly understand these 2 negative forces, we will move away from wasting our time, energy & peace in getting stuck with them. We will act confidently, choose will-fully, live peacefully and joyfully- if we live in the present.

Today I will look at one of them.

FUTURE:

“Future” is an IDEA created constantly in our mind. An illusion continuously created in the PRESENT. Here, and NOW.

WE do not have a future. We have only hopes for the future. Based on assumptions, patterns, and analysis, based on PLANS. The hopes are strongly held or weakly held. High anxiety or low anxiety.

WE can only act in the present, fully, consciously. Mind fully.

(By the way, past is the counterpoint of Future, 2 sides of the same coin. But we will come to that later)

I repeat: WE can only act in the present, fully, consciously. Mind fully. By observing our mind. Focusing on what is in hand. Giving 100% to the here & Now.

If we wish to efficiently deal with the present, 2 actions are essential.

  1. Focus on data, material and capabilities as resources, so as to look at “what can be done positively, even as a small step forward, in this situation?”
  2. We need to eliminate the past IDEAS that are producing the anxiety.

Or even better: Ask this question: Is my IDEA based on

1. Faith (our surrender to or acceptance of something mysterious), 2.Belief (based on some source of credibility), or 3. Personal Knowledge (self experience/ evidence based judgment)

Let’s see these three in little more detail – especially in the context of public opinion building and electioneering.

 

Faith:

Faith needs no proof. It is there, just like that. It is our surrender to mystery. The power we grant to that mystery will determine the strength of the faith. e.g. “God will take care of me, forever”. Faith usually needs no evidence.

We pick up faith ideas largely from family, religion, and early environments. Especially from the people who provided security and love.

Here are few examples of faith:

  1. “Hey Ishwara /Hai Allah/ Hey Jesus, I am praying to you with all my heart; please save my father who is critical in the hospital….”
  1. The Hindu boy does his fasting for ekadashi. The Muslim does his namaz 5 times a day. Reason: an act of faith.
  1. When a small baby rushes to her mother seeing the mad dog on the road, it is an act of faith. The mother is as vulnerable to the dog bite but baby has faith that “My mom will take care”.
  1. Manipulative politicians – who ride on cast, creed, regional, chauvinistic, or any sectarian issue/ cause, will keep saying. “We need to take care of OUR PEOPLE, OUR INTERESTS, OUR COMMUNITY”. He is trying hard to invoke the spirit of “faith” and win hearts/votes. He is trying to become the demi-god of that focus group!

 

Belief:

This comes from credible sources providing information. Credible sources are the important people of my life, my key influencers. Often our key influencers are people who look like our well wishers, guides, support and caring people. It also is based on past experiences, (though past is not a guarantee of the future)

Examples:

  1. A 5-year-old boy, who was scared of learning swimming agrees to get into the pool when his dad says, “I will get in to the water. I am there, do not be scared”. The boy has always looked at his dad for assurance and jumps into the water.
  2. My family doctor says, “What you have is a simple flu, do not panic- it is not malaria”, I believe in him- for his professional certification and my own past experience with him.
  3. The political party leader says: “this govt. has been cheating our community for years. We need to fight to get JUSTICE!” I tend to believe him for 2 reasons. As a savior/representative of my community, I just feel he is MORE INTERESTED in me than others. Or possibly I have also seen him in being a true caring person on some context issues earlier.

Religious, political, Institutional, specific Interest focused groups strongly influence our beliefs. E.g. my religion says, “Eating meat is evil”. The politician says, “They are our enemy/ loyalists/ supporters”

Beliefs are perpetuated by Marketing. Advertising. Campaigning. That’s why those agencies do so well.

Their operation style is the same. Create an anxiety- aka- need; behave as if they have the solution or product to fulfill the need. Promise that with their product, anxiety will go away forever. Then once they BUY your idea, and convert that in to a belief, dump more of them in different variations.

Good marketing strategy always works!

Most of our politicians market hate (not love) sell anger (not acceptance /peace); peddle exclusivity (not inclusivity). You know how. They get POWER in return. Power can give all other luxuries!

But market well, if you need to survive.

 

Judgment:

This comes from OUR evidence. From demonstrated behavior, in OUR life space. From proof, that we have SEEN. We see, perceive and hence we are SURE. We know.

  1. I am told, “your neighbor is a terrible chap”. I agree; I have seen him continue to throw garbage outside his house, without a care. He has been doing that for 8 years, shamelessly.
  2.  My younger brother/ friend says, “ I want to run the Chennai marathon”. I encourage him. He is a determined guy, I KNOW.
  3. The High court says that the “accused should be set free: there is no evidence clearly brought forward”. It is a well-assessed statement. It is a clear JUDGEMENT.

In judgment there is evidence or experience. I KNOW for sure, not just, “I know about that”. “Knowing about that” is based on TV, Newspaper, campaigns that bring “breaking news/stories- imaginations, hear say, random data, convenient beliefs as if it is reliable information or KNOWLEDGE.

So now decide:

How many of the ideas that you carry in your mind are based on clear evidence, experience and decisive JUDGEMENT?

WHAT HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED PERSONALLY? TO HATE SOME  BODY, or to have anxiety about something or someone, some class, some sect, some religion, some personality, some idea, some threat, some anxiety- based ONLY on your OWN personal experience? Or someone close to you has experienced?

Or

How many of the ideas that you carry in your mind are based on

1. Beliefs & influences by others whom you tend to TRUST

2. Some unexplainable but strong Faith

Or something closer to the above two – in some combination?

Be honest. Be conscious. Be aware.

Be it about a party, a candidate, a propaganda, about a program:

A. What is your PERSONAL evidence or experience or Knowledge?

B. What is your belief?

C. What is your faith?

Spend a day with yourself, and then we are ready for a mature choice making in this election.

THEN VOTE. Consciously. Based ON Knowledge.

My Love, HUGS and tears to every anxious INDIAN!

Rajaah


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