The human mind needs to metamorphose and transfigure to accept everything in totality, rather than bits and parts, writes RAVI VALLURI
Do humans live in utopian conditions where people, events and situations are exemplary and indefectible; such that no acts of omission or commission occur? Humanly impossible! As the saying goes, “to err is human but to forgive is divine.” The moot point is whether individuals are mentally prepared to accept faults in others’ personalities without being judgmental or prejudiced. This is the litmus test. Our peace of mind is inviolably dependent on how we react to such situations.
Do humans react or do they respond to an unpleasant situation? Response is a measured act, wherein we do not lose our balance; reaction on the other hand is fraught with perils. Invariably the individual loses his sanity in the bargain.
The Triple Test
The period was ancient Greece where the celebrated scholar and high priest of occidental philosophy, Socrates, was held in high esteem. It so happened that once an acquaintance of the estimable polymath philosopher mentioned, “Sire, are you aware of the innuendoes and bavardage a close friend is spreading about you?”
“Hold your breath and pause for a moment!” was the reply of the philosopher. “I insist that prior to revealing anything that my friend may have said, you cross the Rubicon. It is a plain- sailing examination called the Triple Filter Test.”
“Triple filter?” “Appropriately termed the Triple Filter Test,” Socrates continued. “Prior to mentioning anything, it might be a propitious idea to ruminate and filter what you are planning to narrate. This is the first step.”
“The first filter is authenticity and you need to be absolutely sure that whatever is revealed to me is nothing but the truth.” “Not exactly sire. It was perhaps part hearsay too.” “Never mind,” uttered the legendary philosopher. “Therefore it is proven fact that you cannot vouchsafe for the veracity of the news.”
“So I embark upon the second quintessential filter, the filter of equity and righteousness.”
Socrates enquired from the contact as to whether the source of his information was upright, a trustworthy human being or an irascible individual?” “With utmost trepidation I shudder to add that the gentleman is …,” confessed the young man. “Therefore, I surmise you intend to disclose something execrable and egregious which in reality may not be true!”
The sagacious scholar assuaged the acquaintance that he had an outside chance to qualify, as there was the last filter left. This, Socrates termed as the filter of usefulness.
Socrates added that whatever may be the postulation of the confrere about him, the kernel of the subject matter lay primarily on the efficacy and utility of the inference. In reality would disseminating the information be of any use?
“No, not really!” proffered the acquaintance. Thus it was safely concluded by Socrates, that on merit of analysis there was little of usefulness in what the acquaintance sought to convey and swiftly debunked all the claims.
Socrates was of the firm belief that the acquaintance was washed up in his dissection of the friend and he failed to accept the lineament of the person. Acceptance of a person, place, events and situations, characteristics, personality and psychology require rigorous anatomization and scrutiny.
What is acceptance?
Acceptance implies embracing what is, rather than concluding or desiring what does not exist and could be a mere chimera. Humans mentally configure images about a person or events and attempt to conjure images. It is cardinal for humans accept foibles in any individual.
Three Es for a peaceful life
Humans are at peace and able to experience life to hilt when they accept life with enormous equanimity, equipoise and equanimity. Even so, such acceptance must be guided by discernment – learning the trait to analyse the difference between what one can alter and what is well nigh impossible to transform. The human mind needs to metamorphose and transfigure to accept everything in totality, rather than bits and parts.
Acceptance of our own foibles helps to view the faults in others without being judgmental; it enables individuals to evolve into better human beings and become patient and to skirt mordacious kinds of criticism.
Further by accepting deficiencies in a person we reengineer the human mind to become brawny and robust. Paradoxically, acceptance often leads to growth because it creates a safe space for deeper insight and understanding. It creates far reaching harmony among individuals and increases the span of comfort zone.
Story of Velan
There once lived a virtuoso carpenter called Velan; extremely proficient, he soon became very prosperous. With the unexpected splurge of prosperity, Velan became extremely haughty and self-opinionated. Kuppuswamy, the family patriarch was an ace carpenter too. Velan was quite inconsiderate towards his father and could never accept him. He never lost an opportunity to pass disparaging comments, much to the chagrin of Muthuswamy, his son.
One day, Muthu poignantly observed with moist eyes his father berating the elderly one on account of all the food spilt from his plate. The enfeebled Kuppuswamy did not have the requisite beef and muscle to handle the food gracefully. The grandson carved out a fresh plate which was sturdy and large enough to accommodate all the helpings of food dumped rather inconsiderately on his plate.
Velan remonstrated his son for this act, but was taken aback when his son retorted, “Father, in time this plate will be one day be passed on to you. It will hold you in good stead.”
The remark hit Velan like a thunderbolt. He realized that he had not accepted his father and treated him with only contempt. The quintessence truth of acceptance dawned on him.
“Acceptance does not mean you agree with, condone, appreciate, or even like what has happened. Acceptance means that you know regardless of what happened that there is something higher than you at work. It also means that you know that you are OK. And that you will continue to be Ok,” writes Iyanla Yanzant, an American inspirational speaker and lawyer.