Jiddu Krishnamurthy once said - It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
When I first read this statement, I did not immediately realize the profound influence of this statement, on me. Nor did I realize the extent to which I had already held this belief and will continue to hold for a long time to come.
As I was growing up, I never considered myself "well adjusted". I liked to be with myself and keep myself engaged in activities that I find useful to do. And I never really understood, let alone appreciate the concept of being part of the "gang".
It was only recently after having read this statement that I started exploring what this really meant for me.
Of all the people I have known in life, I noticed one thing in common amongst them - absolutely common amongst ALL of them - irrespective of age, religion, caste, creed, economic status or any other demographic classification - their ability, willingness as well as taken for granted way of classifying things as right or wrong.
Of course, there were differences between people who very strongly and rigidly considered their rights from wrongs and people who vehemently claimed they did not consider anything as right or wrong and just accepted things. Also, there is a wide range of varieties of people in between these extremes.
The thing I noticed about the people who decidedly NOT categorized things as right and wrong was the amount of effort they put into NOT categorizing. This itself is indicative of their belief in the existence of this concept which they were trying to avoid (move away from).
When I noticed this thing in common, I wondered what are my own beliefs.
And frankly drew a complete blank for a long long time......
I was perplexed. Why can't I get any thoughts about what my own beliefs are regarding the right and the wrong? For a very long time....
And as I kept asking, I started noticing and examining the usefulness of beliefs. Slowly I started forming a better understanding of my own thought processes and I started wondering....
Why is it that people categorize things into right and wrong? Why dont people consider what is it that is useful and what it is that is NOT useful?
And for the things that are useful - when & where are those useful as against when & where they are NOT useful; for whom are those useful and for whom NOT useful?
Similarly for the things initially considered as NOT useful - are there times & places when/where these are useful, people for whom it is useful?
I realized that significant parts of my life - and especially those which have been most productive for me to achieve the goals I had set, are periods where I have consistently evaluated the usefulness of things as against the rights from the wrong.
Not surprisingly then those are also the times when my approach has had a conflict with somebody's concept of right and wrong. For during those circumstances, while I did something useful to achieve my goal - it was considered as a wrong by someone. And the things I did not do - were considered by some, to be the right thing that should have been done.
To them I have a question to ask - WHAT IS RIGHT? To continue to NOT do the wrong and NOT achieve the goals?
Or to expand the flexibility of thoughts and allow the suspicion of doubt regarding what they considered wrong could actually be useful and hence, not wrong?
But then - THEY believe it to be wrong. So how can it ever be useful? And so what if it is useful and achieves goals for some. If it is wrong - it is wrong. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!!
And this leads me back to the question - HOW IS IT ANY MEASURE OF HEALTH TO BE WELL ADJUSTED TO A PROFOUNDLY SICK SOCIETY?