Friday, January 11, 2008

A painting of perspective

One day I was thinking of drawing a picture that I have deep in my thoughts about many around me. Each individual, as you know, comes with a unique personality and thought process. Now, have you thought why a person you know thinks so differently from you? As science says, it has something to do with genetics and something to do with how the bringing up was. But, I somehow it's about a 'well' that the individual lives in that shapes the perspective. Here is the picture...

Imagine a waterwell not-too-deep, round, without water, hardened soil floor wide enough to live and move around. Some grass on the edges, some chips coming off the wall and some moss on the rims. But, once you go down, it gets better...well-maintained walls, painted, decoration, mirrors, furnitures, tv, kitchen, view of the sky, temperature controlled, views of the well. Inside sitting a person. Very happy. Feeling accomplished. Feeling lucky. Feeling free. Lost in own world. No stairs to go up. Many more sitting in nearby wells. All happy. All they see is their world. One of them one day puts two pipes together and makes a periscope, long enough to see outside. It was green outside. Birds chirping. Sun overhead. People working hard in the fields. Living simple life. Sometimes in pain. Sometimes in misery. But, happy from inside. With lunch breaks with their wives who bring fresh warm food to the fields. They look around. They are satisfied. Why is it not down here? Why did the person think he had everything? Is it possible to have misery and peace together outside? Sleep well and work hard next day. What could be possibly in other wells? Why is the neighbor not doing the same thing?

Perspectives differ. The awakening requires a periscope into a totally different world. It's very difficult to get the idea of making one. Second is to get the angles right in its construction so we see the right target. But, it's always easy to not have one and enjoy our own perspective because change is against human instinct and desires, but remember this...Change is the law of nature. Everything changes easily besides your own perspective. Your perspective is attached to the inner self and its conditioning. You cannot easily shake your inner self and change the scene in front of you. It requires tremedous effort and the deeper your ego, the harder is the change of perspective.

I will give you a very beautiful quote from lord Buddha...If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change. He says, don't just see the flower. See the miracle that this flower is. See its beauty, its power, its birth and the whole life behind it. And, by seeing, you explore and pay attention .

Perspectives involve a lot of things - your thoughts, wisdom, genetics and your experiences. These keep getting chiseled and take a shape as time goes. The intelligence is in knowing that there is no end. As George Lichtenberg said, One's first step in wisdom is to question everything - and one's last is to come to terms with everything. See around and you will see it everywhere.

I believe that the real insights come not from chasing the ideas, dreams, people or notions, but from searching within. Just like the slow process of evolution, perspectives do change, but they change slowly under the slow heat of experiences and intricate chemistry of thought processes. It is almost genious to be putting oneself away from the 'well' and see where you were to begin with. But, the true reformers of oneself are rare because we don't often see things as they are, we see them as we are.

This painting has so much truth into it that it comes lively as we start to think about it. But, that's how it will always be. Not each one will get the perspective right. Not each one will get awakened. Not each one will be willing to try. Not each one will know to try. All this picture says is...

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." -- Marcel Proust

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