Understanding Disorder

The Great Psychological Crisis

There is a huge problem of disorder in us. Psychologically, we are all in deep disorder. What is the nature of this disorder and how can we be in order, let’s discuss it. 

The Contradictory Nature of Mind

There’s a great problem which all of us face—the contradictory nature of mind. You see, we often know what is right for us, yet we do the opposite; we know what to do, yet we don’t do it; we think we will not do a particular thing, but we anyway do it; we think something, but we do something else…like these. There are innumerable contradictions within our minds. Out of these contradictions, a lot of internal clashes arise: confusion, indecisiveness, fear, anxiety, guilt etc. We dissipate a lot of mental energy to tackle all these, and as a result, we become mentally taxed. This feeling robs us of our mental peace and happiness, and a general sense of suffering pervades our life. Do all these things not happen? 

I think, it’s a tremendous problem. Even after having all the right knowledge and guidance, we often go astray and do all the wrong things, which eventually makes us suffer. Has this not happened with you? Sometimes, mind just doesn’t co-operate. It does its own things. What does this tell us? This tells us that we are not coherent beings. We lack harmony or order within us. And out of this disharmony or disorder, all the suffering comes into being. 

The Truth of Disorder

Just realise this great problem. I am calling it ‘great’ because it is so. We are disorderly beings—both inwardly and outwardly. But it’s the inward disorder that is the mother of the outside disorder, isn’t it? Because the outside scenario is nothing but our reaction to our inward world. If we behave with someone angrily, it is because of our inward anger that we react in that way in the outside. This is quite obvious. So, the inward disharmony fuels the outside chaos. The world is what it is—yes, there are natural and environmental factors which are contributing to the global disorder, like climate change and natural disasters, but how we are dealing with these—is completely our response; and our response is influenced by our collective inward disorder. First we have to settle our minds. If we do that, the world will be settled as a consequence of it. 

"If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place."

—Lao Tzu

Why are our minds in disorder? Why is there no coherence? Is this a trait we’re born with, or is it our doing? Anyway, whatever that may be, what’s the way out? How to put our minds in order? 

"In the denial of disorder there is order."

—J. Krishnamurti.

As long as there is this disorder, conflicts and clashes will keep troubling us. Internally, we will always be restless, not at peace. To simply put up with it, as we normally tend to do, is not an option. It’s a compromise. The more we compromise, the more we’re putting ourselves at odds. Living like this is not only undesirable but unhealthy. We have to find a way out. Now, is it possible to completely settle this great disorder within us? Then we have to understand why disorder comes into being in the first place. If we understand that, order will come. 

The Nature of Disorder

Now, do you understand the nature of disorder? It means, we are fragmented inside, we are not whole. We are not holistic beings. Inside we are fragmented in numberless ways. We think one way, but we act quite another way. We have love in our hearts, yet there is also hate side by side. We have lofty ideals to achieve, but petty tendencies which disintegrate the whole thing. We are one thing inside, and quite different in the outside. Do you not see this fragmentation? Why are we like this? Why can’t we be a holistic being? 

To be a holistic being means to have no fragmentation, no division within us. Our whole being should be a continuous movement, not diverged in different directions. 

Division is the origin of disorder.

As long as there is any kind of division within us, there will be disorder, and as long as there is disorder, there will be chaos—both inside and outside. Period. Get that vey clearly. 

Factors of Division

So, really, the investigation should be into the phenomenon of division. Why we become divided? Aren’t we divided in million different ways? It’s true both in the outside world and in the inner world. WE ARE DIVIDED! What fuels this division? What are the factors that contribute? Let’s look at it patiently. 

The first factor is undoubtedly the outside world. The moment nwe’re born into this world, we’re born into a world of divisions. At the very moment of our birth, we’re divided by birth: I’m Hindu, you are a Christian; I’m a Brahmin, you are a Shudra; You’re American, I am an Indian. The dividing game begins from day 1 itself. Then as we grow up, our education, social structures, belief-systems, religious doctrines, political affiliations, gender, caste, creed, ethnic and economic background further broaden this division. Our whole life is a divisive process. We are not only divided by borders, we are divided on every ground—what we eat, what we wear, what language we speak, what our complexion is…and, gosh, what not! 

We live in this terribly divided world, and we talk and preach about unity and peace in international conferences! This seems silky. I fully agree that we have to come together, we must live together in peace, but why then we do not put an end to this whole divisive process? First we divide, and then we talk about universal harmony,—really fantastic! I know, it’s not that it is happening for the first time, that it’s a new phenomenon. Human beings have lived divided for as long as one can remember. It is going on for thousands of years. And it will go on…

Be The Change

Yes, I know, it will go on…because until and unless we end all the divisions inside, these outside divisions will be there, always. Now it seems mission impossible! Right? Because this is a mass problem, and you cannot change the entire mass. So, what to do now? What can we, individual people, do? Well, the problem is great, but the solution is counter-intuituvely very simple. Transform yourself. Be the change. Start with yourself first. Will you? 

[Note: The world is the first factor in this divisive process. But there is a whole world of internal divisions. Discussing it will be a separate post altogether. I am leaving it for now. But, remember, this is where the revolution must take place.]

Mahatma Gandhi said:

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

This is all we can do. And this is the least we absolutely have to do. Don’t give excuses to yourself and others. If you’re not changing yourself, you are directly or indirectly contributing to this great divisive process. Yes, you have to take responsibility of it. You cannot say, “I am not creating this mess; so why should I be responsible?” No, you cannot say that. If you say that, it means, you don’t care whatever the hell happens to the world, you just want your life to be fine. That’s it. This is not a human thing to say, my friend. If we were born as any other creature, nobody would expect you to be inclusive. You see, animals are not inclusive creatures. Yes, they live in groups, in herds, but not out of any inclusive feeling, but for basic survival. Living in groups heightens the chances of survival—that’s plain common sense. But even after being born as a ‘human being’, if you don’t take responsibility, if you don’t become inclusive, you are not fit to be called a human being, rather a human animal you will be. 


P.S: Do share your thoughts on this. Thank you for your patience. May harmony come in every heart. With Love, Alok 🍁

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