Explore a certain dimension, and be sure there are many more underneath.
Here’s a funny story. There was a child named Jack. His mother used to tell him never to flush the toilet while he was sitting on it because “ he might catch a cold in his tush”!!! Trusting his mother’s advice, Jack was always careful not to flush imprudently and he successfully evaded the dreaded tush cold. One day when Jack was 30 yrs old, accidentally he flushed the toilet while he was still sitting on it. And hell what it was? He did not catch a cold in his tush!!! And then it dawned upon him and he thought would he really catch a cold in his tush. In fact he did not even knew what a cold in tush was. Finally Jack flushed and did not catch cold, which helped him, go off a long held program for him for years, without even thinking about it.
As little children, most of us regarded our parents as gods. They were bigger than we were and they gave us valuable advices which helped us navigate our world. Our tiny minds at that stage were unable to discern illusion from truth. As we grow older, we develop ability to analyze the rights and wrongs. Slowly our minds try to come out of the traps and we start interpreting and understanding situations, circumstances and issues according to our own thinking pattern.
Each one of us develops a different kind of thinking pattern, which is unique in its own way. It depends on a variety of factors including our upbringing, social traits, schooling, personality type, temperament, emotional intelligence etc. Here some of us associate with issues on logigal ground, some on emotional ground, some on factual ground etc. Usually at this stage our thought process is biased and unbalanced. It’s a bit difficult to analyze both sides of the coin because either our mind or our heart agrees with one of the sides more than the other.
This stage itself is the initial catch. It is for us to come out of our illusions in which our minds get trapped whenever it comes across some issue. So, the first step is whenever we confront an issue, we should try to find its as many consequences as the number of prospects, our minds can think of, and vice versa. There is a negative to every positive and unless we are aware of both, we cannot produce a balanced opinion. And for all this we need to acquire more and more information from various sources. Though it needs rigorous training since bringing structural alterations in the basic thought process is tough, but it can change us as a person.
After this training, we can proceed to the next level. Here we have to start associating an issue with various dimensions of worldly affairs. Since now we are able to analyze the positives and negatives quickly, it is easier for us to think about the impact of a particular issue on society, economy, current day scenario, ecology, administration, judiciary and many more. Not just impact but its long term and short term implications too. We need to develop ability where our mind can start associating a particular issue with all kinds of possible threads. If we can refer to relevant examples, it will enrich our opinion in an even better way.
To develop our abilities at this stage, we need to read and read a lot. Magazines, Newspapers, Journals, Books, Websites etc. Listening to All India Radio and watching relevant shows on Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV helps in developing opinions. We should keep searching for our topics in all these fodder sources. The deeper we dig inside an issue, the easier it is for us to form comprehensive opinions.
This is exactly what is called MULTI DIMENSIONAL thinking. It might sound a bit complex and tough, and yes it is because, coming out of our old mindsets and programmed thinking is not an easy task. But would it be even called a task if it was not tough? And what did we expect of ourselves when we decided to become Civil Servants? A biased, stubborn and mindless social baggage or a balanced, mature, responsible and well opinionated bureaucrat? Like I said in my last article, UPSC is not something we can buy at a nearby shopping mall at 50% flat discount. We got to earn it.
Our psyche is like an iceberg, a tiny portion of which is apparent, and most of which lies below the surface of our awareness. The belief systems we adopted as children can control our entire lives unless we call them to consciousness. If we have the courage to question what we have always accepted, we may discover that we have been living out on very limited views and even false beliefs. If we dare to live the answers we discover, we will find unprecedented freedom in thoughts and expressions. As for me, I’ll say “Keep Reading, Keep thinking”.
“Help me to release all the past beliefs, illusions and march forward in the light of my own wisdom.”