Urgent Food for Thought: Boxes!


In a society that is screaming for everyone to think out of the box, paradoxically, individually and collectively, we are most comfortable with boxing ourselves in! Our need to belong is possibly, the cause for it and the “family” is our first box and this box instills in us a need for boxes.

The more we perceive a need for freedom the more boxes we create. Culture, Race, Colour, Gender, Religion, Sexual Orientation, Relationships, Economic Status, Castes, Introverted, Extroverted, Gen Z to Baby Boomers, Continents, Countries, States…to the family of course, schools and colleges, sports teams, music bands, political groups are all little boxes and this list is endless! We take pride in the number of boxes we fit ourselves into.

In the Hindu tradition, we talk about “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” which literally translates to “Earth is  family” which means the entire Earth is one family with the concept of Yours and Mine being non existent or base! It is mentioned in the Samaveda. This doesn’t mean everybody has to follow the faith. In fact, Hinduism does not have the concept of converting anybody because Hinduism isn’t a “religion” but a way of life. Whatever you see in strict temples and the rule positions are all manmade not the Higher Power’s ideas. In the past, privileged men have made rules that served them forcing the illiterate and underprivileged lot to conform. The same is true for all religions. Jesus Christ taught, the Prophet taught, all the deities in all religions did not create their religion- they just gave pearls of wisdom to liberate the confused and suffering lot. It was powerful men that in the name of those very Gods made all the uncomfortable, dogmatic, “only this way” kind of rules and over centuries using fear they have boxed us in. We find great solace being in these boxes. We feel exposed and vulnerable if we are out alone. We have transferred the faith, that we ought to have in ourselves and to the God that resides within us, to boxes which are nothing but illusions of safety.

Look at what is happening in the 21st century! A full-fledged war between the all-powerful Russia and Ukraine, a country that is winning hearts by their patriotism. Russia believes Ukraine could prove a threat in the future if it joins with EU and/or NATO blocking its access to the Black Sea and begins an unprovoked attack. Why? The Russian Box is threatened. Every country that is with Ukraine or Russia or is staying neutral is actually worried about their own box (country). They all want the war to stop. Who can afford a war in this day and age and it is not as if we have recovered economically after the pandemic! What do you do if one of the strongest boxes feels threatened?

It all boils down to limited identity. Despite all the language we use when the lights are on us about how we are all equal and how we respect and accept one another, the truth is we operate from an innate fear that we will be singled out and killed and so we are comfortable with those exactly like us. We are unable to see the similarity in all of us- that we are born of the soil and we will go right back into the soil. We have no idea when, but our species will surely go extinct someday. Knowing the truth of the impermanence of life, do we still want to have a toxic, warring, unaccepting, fearful world?

The term Limited Identity came into my life when I stumbled upon a brilliant two-hour interview by Lewis Howes and the speaker was none other than Sadhguru Vasudev Jaggi (of which I watched only 51 minutes, for I needed to assimilate what I heard, vowing to go back there later) and it was very powerful. If you have some time to spare, it will be worth your while to watch it. I will try and put a link here (it usually spoils my margin and I have no idea how to rectify it) for those of you who might like to read it. It is quite an eye opener.

I pray for all the brave people in Ukraine that they may get back to normalcy soon putting an end to their pain, suffering and losses and for those in Russia who are fighting their own, hoping to stop the war, and for those Russians at war, that they put away their fear-based thinking and find peace so that they may put their effort into their economy. I pray for the rest of the world so that people and governments the world over, stop their need to be the strongest, to be super powers and work with what they have to make this a better world striving for equality and not just lip service. It might take decades and more but if we stop slipping back into hostilities, small scale or big, equality has a chance or else it is just going to be an unattainable and elusive dream.

One thing to take from this blog is to promise to not taint our children and try teaching them to be accepting of all. We have to do nothing really. Most of the kids, left to themselves are sorted. Technology is uniting them through gaming, if nothing else and that is a great first step. I am guilty myself of strong opinions when I hear certain News tidbits (which is why I usually abstain from it) because I know these affect kids. Sometimes adults don’t even mean things they say as deeply as they convey it, in the heat of the moment, but kids especially the young ones are like sponges, so do stop yourselves in front of them.

Let them and us identify as one with the world- the all-encompassing Human Race: just another happy species of the Animal kingdom on Earth (that is still a box but hopefully, the only one).

The link: https://youtu.be/xK67fAV3zLs


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