Sentimentalism & Spiritualism

  • Are you a sentimentalist?
  • Do you cry when you see your favorite star in tears?
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  • Do the attractive young people in cheeseburger commercials lure you to the closest burger joint?
  • Don’t you fall for the idea that eating junk and staying healthy is very much possible?
  • Don’t you believe that doing well here will fetch you a place in the heaven?
  • Do you indulge in adult bullying with your sentiments gone haywire?

Sentimental Dhritarashtra

Sentimental Dhritarashtra

If your answer to the above questions is ‘yes’ then you can be called a sentimentalist. However, from the researchers’ point of view, we all are naturally sentimental.

According to them, our feelings and emotions rule over our logic.

If you are curious about how they arrived at this conclusion?
Their answer is pretty direct-that all our decisions are driven by self-interest. Hence most of our decisions are sentimental in nature.

Well, that is to do with being sentimental and decision making. Sentimentality sure does have a place in literature but do you think it stands any chance in spirituality?

There is a lot on this subject by Advaitans both in Gita and Mahabharatam(Shanti parvam). And the text’s advice is to pull the sentimental veil away and to see the world as it truly is.

If you say you would love to do that but just can’t figure out how to do it. Then their response to that is also fairly simple-that every problem has its roots in our identifications and so does this.

Even in the vyavaharika world, we say that we have a body, a mind, and an intellect.  We do not state that we are the body or the mind or the intellect. Yet, we end up identifying with all of them and inevitably their imagined problems add up as our own. But what if we identify ourselves to that Invincible Atman and believe that everything is but an explicit expression of the Atman, including the intellect, mind and the body.

Imagined Boundaries

With that knowledge, if we could discern that neither the body nor the mind or the intellect has an individual existence. They all are nothing but the self-just like how the clay pots and plates are nothing but clay.

If we could realize this then the same knowledge could be extended to other beings around us.

love-your-neighbor-sign-god

I know this whole thing sounds simple in theory but in practice, it demands all our patience and perseverance. Yet entirely doable 🙂

Srimad Bhagavad Gita:

Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ// 7,19

A man who has attained this true knowledge(knowledge of the Self/Atman) worships me as Atman. He understands that everything is Atman and there exists nothing except Atman. Such a man is extremely rare.

Pictures: Internet

 

Balance Of Intimacy and Independence

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”

This difficult balance of intimacy and independence is what the great Lebanese-American artist, poet, and philosopher Kahlil Gibran (January 6, 1883–April 10, 1931) explores with uncommon insight and poetic precision in a passage from his 1923 masterwork The Prophet

 

Credit: brainpickings