Friday, September 04, 2009

Sensibility... of mind... of senses... of self.

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It began as a casual discussion with an interesting friend. And as it so happens most of the times, the thoughts once started, simply refuse to stop and a whole wide avenue of new ideas opens.

The discussion began with my friend describing her experiences while watching the movie - Sense and Sensibility. As is so happens with any involuntary brain-storming sessions, a simple statement and idea initiates a turbulance which follows the butterfly effect of the Chaos Theory to result into a full-fledged cyclone. The statement made by my friend was as follows -
Everyones possess the senses, however to possess sensibilty is something different
Upon my request for further elucidation, the train started. The basic premise of the thought is that everybody possess senses. Or rather sense organs.. However, very ability to use them to their fullest may or may not be there in the possesser. Rather, it varies with the individual from extreme to null. Sometimes man simply lacks the capacity to utilize his senses to its fullest.

Sometimes, looking objectively at things has its own drawbacks. I would like to emphasize at this point is that this is not the way conversation happened. This is just the recollection of that conversation the way I saw it happening, which was partially biased and flawed.

Anyways, I put forth the example of vision as one of the senses. Ability to use this sense is present with the beholder.. but what the subject should be in front of eyes OR what inference should be concluded from the sight ahead is sensibility. This definition helped a bit towards achieiving a local-optima of the conversational graph. But the joy was short-lived, just like the local-optima.

The thought which then struck was that whether or not mind be called as sense-organ. Mind is perfectly capable of simulating experiences which, although are not physically demonstrable, are completely real. While dreaming, everything in the dream-world is real. When hungry in dreams, only the dream-food can satisfy that dream-hunger; not the real food. Of course the corollary to this statement is true as well. This however, establishes that mind is a sense organ too.

A thought, which peeped into my mind but I did not want it to influence the conversation, was the categorization of mind, intellect and ego as masters of Indriyas (organs) by Patanjali's Yogsutra. Mind although acts as the regulator of senses, also has a dual purpose role to play; that of acting as a sixth sense organ itself.

Whilst my friend did not put her arguments along these lines, the neutrality of the thought process in my mind was breached.

The concurrent question which the conversation stumbled upon was that if mind is also a sense-organ, then who determines the sensibility of this part-time sense organ. The answer given by her anthropologically denoted the segregation of mind-intellect-ego which is deeply imprinted upon Indian thought-process. She replied, it is the duty of brain to determine the sensibility of mind, when mind is acting as a sense-organ. My thoughts started running in those directions.

Modern science tends to validate the knowledge based upon direct inferences. The psyche of a scientist is towards demonstrating the effect which generates results which can be testified through the central-dogma of Sense organs to Brain. In case when sense-organs are not capable of sensing the data owing to their design limitations, we tend to invent instruments which act as an extention of our sense-organs in order to generation the organ-compatible results. For example, since we cannot see micro-organisms through naked eye, we invented microscope as the extention of our eye to demonstrate their presence.

This system works as long as mind is considered as a hypothetical entity or only a faculty of brain and the physically demonstrable entities alone are accepted as evidence in court of science. If the multiple role playing mind is accepted to be existing, this line of thinking starts showing up its fundamental flaws.

How can one claim that what I dream was false? Who determines what is true and what is not, if not the experience? Thousands of experiences, which are although highly personalized, cannot be negated as false, simply because it was beyond the domains of physical sense organs. So what is the sensibility of mind in this case. And are there in means to validate and establish at least some parameters to look at the sensibility?

The response which she gave to this line of thought was a watermark of the discussion. She replied and I quote
"It only means what is known for years now, " we never accept the posiibility of somethings existence and it keeps on reminding of its presence (in form of) dreams in this sense..there are people who say I don't dream, they deny its presence.. but they (in their heart) know it exists... while others who haven't thought of (origins/meaning of??) their dreams, continue dreaming.."
The thought of something which is signalling its existence which mankind is long denying was a very appealing idea. And it exists and its existence is felt by us in day-to-day life. Apart from science, there are mane ways of ascertaining the sensibility of mind. In our daily conversations and gossips we refer to certain individual as a sensible person. Certain other as one with no sensibility. Statements like these, or those which convey similar meaning are used everybody of us so frequently that it suggests the existence of certain set of parameters which are employed by human mind to ascertain the degree of sensibility of the mind he is interacting with.

Of course, in such case, nothing is standardized and everything is relative; but that's the beauty of nature. :-) Nature hates standardization and prefers innovation and individualism over stereotypes. The existence of sensibilities, according to us, is privilaged to certain individuals. The mental parameters of calling certain trait sensible or not, determines whether a person seems to be sensible or not. And when we look through our eyes, it seems that although everybody possess the senses, very few possess the sensibility.

And interestingly, this is exactly the sentiment conveyed by her which started the whole discussion and which I quoted at the beginning of this article. The cycle completed its revolution.

As it usually happens with any long-drawn conversations, this conversation too derailed. Its the tendency of human mind. It is creative as long as it is playing on the higher-energy level of consciousness. And the only factor which determines the longetivity of our stay in that highly creative energy level of consciousness is our grip on the present moment. The moment we loose this grip and start thinking about past and/or future, is the exact moment when we loose this creative state. Perhaps this is what Krishna implied when he asked Arjuna to perform action without thinking about the consequences. Perhaps, this exactly is Nishkam-Karmayoga.

The present is the only entity in one's hands. If possible, grasp it. And when grasped, try not to loose it.... Person happy in "the present" is person happy "for ever"....


luvurlife said...

Well written :)

Nitin said...

Nice post, could have been simpler, but makes sense..