Aeons ago in a temple of knowledge, lived a tutee under the guidance of several monks. He had been unflinchingly practising mindful-living, breathing techniques, gaining awareness and acquiring the repository of knowledge of a wide range of meditation techniques. However, his inner-self felt the learning to be a trope.
One day in a state of utter spiritual ennui he accosted his Master and remarked, “Oh Holy One, I have been diligently listening to your sermons for several years now. Unflaggingly, I have been practising the meditation and breathing techniques imparted. Yet I cannot understand basic tenets of Buddhism. Can you explain the concepts of Buddhism in one single phrase?”
The entire place reverberated with laughter, up on hearing what was perceived to be a rather frivolous query. But the perspicacious Master mused on the request for a while and remarked, “Everything changes. The only permanent thing in life is impermanence.” A stock individual, a perspicacious sage, a seeker or a savant acquires a meditative state through the practice of awareness.
However attitudes are prone to alter in dynamic circumstances. Only an enlightened one overcomes the dreary ho-hum of life and emerges verily stoic.
Unceasing change of thoughts and attitudes
Individual behavioural patterns, contours and shades of the mind, geometry and architecture of our thoughts, and feelings keep transfiguring. Humans form opinions and develop attitudes that keep changing. Thoughts, emotions and attitudes keep generating in the turbine of our minds.
The discipline and formation of attitudes
Social psychology is that discipline which examines how the environment affects you and in turn how one impacts the environment. It investigates and systematically analyses human behaviour.
Life becomes so much simpler when we stop explaining about ourselves to individuals and live and act on things which operate for us seamlessly. In reality our actions are determined by our attitudes which are formed and more than often get solidified in the alcoves of our mind when we get fazed by what others purportedly think about us. We spend, quite unnecessarily, sleepless nights on what person X or Y may have remarked about us.
We even design and formulate ways of thinking about certain topics and people based on this philosophy. This gets solidified in the amphitheatre of our minds. As social beings we incessantly develop impressions about persons and individuals we come across in our daily lives and attribute various motives to their actions and non-actions too. All these lead to enormous strain on our physical and mental system. We are not at peace or free.
Human behaviour and attitudes gets impinged and constrained by people they encounter. Attitudes get formed in the cranny corners of the febrile human mind and consciousness through our readings, visuals, perceptions, gizmos, social media, political moorings, work of NGOs among others. Certain situations trigger positive, pro-social and pro-people attitudes.
The reverse may also occur
The reverse situation could also occur when individuals may resort to mayhem and wanton acts because of what one witnesses. A human may rather tragically lose a close one in a bomb blast or in a case of rioting. And in vengeful manner the person could develop a negative attitude and pursue a violent path which is destructive.
A quick appraisal
Psychologists have zeroed-in on the fact that attitudes get established and formed and become a part of the cognitive system. These impressions are formed from a variety of subjects and topics. They may be ephemeral or may last a while. However, they are never permanent in nature.
Attitudes are formed through sequence of events, experiences and relationships and bear a muscular imprint on the mind and human consciousness. Humans are constantly on the learning curve. By and large humans form attitudes through association, punitive actions, tragic events in life, but many a times efficacious occasions too.
We may fashion our thoughts based on the success stories of talismanic figures. Human attitudes also get established through groups and cultural moorings. Individuals are also exposed to the vast vista of information through the plethora of gizmos available, associating with the family, mates, school and college environment. The pedagogy employed has a bearing on the political philosophy espoused by individuals.
Why bear the cross?
Humans can attain suzerainty over attitudes and conquer the mind. They can change the attitude through the practice of vairagya (detachment) and developing supreme faith in the superpower of divinity. Meditating on one’s inner strengths, annihilating ignorance, practising tapas by giving up sensory attachment, maintaining a daily spiritual diary (it would be prodigious to chart out our daily balance sheet) and live in the present moment.
“Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be the happiest,” said Gautama Buddha.