Awakin.org

Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Privacy Is Not Possible

--by Vimala Thakar (Jun 15, 2015)


Traditionally, the investigating of psychological weaknesses in relation to social action has been taboo, not acceptable. As long as a social activist provided service to others, it was considered irrelevant whether he or she suffered from greed, jealousy, anger or fear. "It's my personal business, not yours," has been the attitude.

In truth, the inner life or the psychological life is not a private or a personal thing, it's very much a social issue. The mind is a result of collective human effort. There is not your mind and my mind, it's a human mind. It's a collective human mind, organized and standardized through centuries. The values, the norms, the criteria are patterns of behavior organized by collective groups. There is nothing personal or private about them. There is nothing that could be a source of pride or embarrassment.

Privacy in personal life is not possible. This statement may seem shocking, but please do realize that thought is very subtle matter that emanates from each of us. The moment a thought is born, whether it is expressed or not, it emanates in the form of a wave, and floats in space. We may close the doors to our rooms, and feel that nobody knows our thoughts, but what we do in so-called privacy affects the life around us. If we spend our days victimized by negative energies, negative thoughts, if we yield to depression, melancholia, bitterness, these energies pollute the atmosphere. Where then is privacy?

We need to learn as a social responsibility to look at the mind as something that has been created collectively, and to recognize that our individual expressions are expressions of the human mind. Our thoughts, feelings and emotions are all a playback of the memory contained in us. What we each call "my response" is really a response of the collective.

Vimala Thakar was an Indian spiritual teacher who was deeply influenced by the teachings of Gandhi and Krishnamurti. Her life embodied the essence of enlightened consciousness and social responsibility, combining two seemingly divergent streams into one whole life.

Add Your Reflection:

Send me an email when another comment is posted on this passage.
Name: Email:

11 Previous Reflections:

 
On Jun 18, 2015 Geri wrote:

 This article sums up why it's so important to have healthy life-affirming ways of dealing with moods such as depression, and the thoughts that can feed it. Personally, I've tried various tools used by teachers and authors who advocate a positive-only approach, and have found them moderately helpful but incomplete. Grief, sorrow disappointment and loss are part of life. In my job I help people deal with these every day. While I'd love to believe in the message advocated by books like The Secret, I just don't, and I've stopped lying to myself about it. For myself, I've found that life works better if I complement positive-thinking tactics with soulful ways of acknowledging and dealing with "negative" emotions. Several of Thomas Moore's books, including Dark Night of the Soul, have been very helpful with this. So has an old favorite of mine, Women Who Run With the Wolves and a few of life coach Martha Beck's and artist Julia Cameron's books. All of them sug  See full.

 This article sums up why it's so important to have healthy life-affirming ways of dealing with moods such as depression, and the thoughts that can feed it. Personally, I've tried various tools used by teachers and authors who advocate a positive-only approach, and have found them moderately helpful but incomplete. Grief, sorrow disappointment and loss are part of life. In my job I help people deal with these every day.

While I'd love to believe in the message advocated by books like The Secret, I just don't, and I've stopped lying to myself about it. For myself, I've found that life works better if I complement positive-thinking tactics with soulful ways of acknowledging and dealing with "negative" emotions. Several of Thomas Moore's books, including Dark Night of the Soul, have been very helpful with this. So has an old favorite of mine, Women Who Run With the Wolves and a few of life coach Martha Beck's and artist Julia Cameron's books. All of them suggest ways to create psychological containers, safe places, for working through heavy emotions.

Hide full comment.

On Jun 17, 2015 Anonymous wrote:

 True....the gradual realization that what I consider my 'unique' experience is actually felt by everyone in different nuances and shades....and this is a shared journey of Humanity itself :)



On Jun 16, 2015 Regina wrote:

 Very thought provoking and well written article. I believe that "no privacy of thought" will be all the way true at some point in human/spiritual evolution. "I think" :) the ability to read and know another's thoughts and read their corresponding emotions will be the way of the future for the the human spirit. Notwithstanding, at this point and time it is almost a necessary "protection" that we have a space for privacy for many reasons , mainly having  to do with the present "State of the human collective" in general. The one thing I would have liked to see different in the article is wrapped up in this one sentence : "If we spend our days victimized by negative energies, negative thoughts, if we yield to depression, melancholia, bitterness, these energies pollute the atmosphere." Considering the fact that in our modern world so many people, even children, communities, nations are victimized by other's thoughts of greed, lust for power and domination, revenge, superiority,  See full.

 Very thought provoking and well written article. I believe that "no privacy of thought" will be all the way true at some point in human/spiritual evolution. "I think" :) the ability to read and know another's thoughts and read their corresponding emotions will be the way of the future for the the human spirit. Notwithstanding, at this point and time it is almost a necessary "protection" that we have a space for privacy for many reasons , mainly having  to do with the present "State of the human collective" in general. The one thing I would have liked to see different in the article is wrapped up in this one sentence : "If we spend our days victimized by negative energies, negative thoughts, if we yield to depression, melancholia, bitterness, these energies pollute the atmosphere." Considering the fact that in our modern world so many people, even children, communities, nations are victimized by other's thoughts of greed, lust for power and domination, revenge, superiority, violence and even sexual exploitation of all kinds, and the result being that numerous people often end up struggling from depression, mental illness and melancholia, I don't see this as a helpful statement.  Those struggling with depression for example were often  victimized as children or just early in life. PTSD for example changes the brain chemistry causing things like depression and melancholia. People living in war zones, especially children born into them, often don't have the ability to "just change their thoughts to be more positive. It's a lot more complicated than that.  Try meditating when you are starving or living in constant physical trauma towards self and/or others. What is considered  "positive" or "negative" is also  quiet relative. But if those of us on this planet, aware and able to focus our thoughts and meditation and prayers on improving our thought life with thoughts of empathy, love and integrity - while at the same time challenging every thought of war, violence, self absorption, exploitation of others etc - then we can be of help changing the world. At least that's what "I think". Namaste.

Hide full comment.

On Jun 16, 2015 Mack wrote:

 Yes!  For some time now I've felt that practicing meditation is not at all for individual growth but a human responsibility, mental hygeine.    



On Jun 16, 2015 david doane wrote:

I believe the mind is the result of collective human development over centuries (or maybe millenia).  I believe the mind is not your mind or my mind but a human mind.  However, I don't believe that privacy in personal life is impossible.  My  thoughts are part of collective development or collective unconscious, and my thoughts affect the collective life I am part of, and I can keep them private.  I guess my thoughts are both private and collective.  My inner or psychological life can be kept private and is a social issue.  My cousin committed suicide last week -- I am sad about that -- he kept his thoughts private and his thoughts and action affect all of us.  That thoughts can be kept private doesn't mean that they and the action they result in don't affect all of us.   We develop awareness of how interconnected our minds are by reminding ourselves that we are one, we are expressions of one Source -- how can our minds be anything but  See full.

I believe the mind is the result of collective human development over centuries (or maybe millenia).  I believe the mind is not your mind or my mind but a human mind.  However, I don't believe that privacy in personal life is impossible.  My  thoughts are part of collective development or collective unconscious, and my thoughts affect the collective life I am part of, and I can keep them private.  I guess my thoughts are both private and collective.  My inner or psychological life can be kept private and is a social issue.  My cousin committed suicide last week -- I am sad about that -- he kept his thoughts private and his thoughts and action affect all of us.  That thoughts can be kept private doesn't mean that they and the action they result in don't affect all of us.   We develop awareness of how interconnected our minds are by reminding ourselves that we are one, we are expressions of one Source -- how can our minds be anything but interconnected?

Hide full comment.

On Jun 16, 2015 Eve wrote:

 I know that there is one place where my privacy exists and that is in the place where I am free of the thinking mind. It is also a place where I am more at one than any other place. How ironic: the true solitude of my own quiet mind at once connects me to my true individuality and also my connectedness. True privacy is the experience of oneness I have that is completely unique to me.

Unfortunately privacy in the relative world most certainly does exist: people plan horrific schemes and carry them out..in the privacy of their own minds. So I do think we need to stay grounded about the conversation.



On Jun 16, 2015 Jacqueline wrote:

Well said. Thoughts are forces and the analogy I have used for my children growing up is that these thoughts appear in space just like a cartoonist visually shows the words the character is speaking. All the thoughts have created a very dense space that many of us have been led to spiritually /energetically transform and clear the air waves, so to speak. The environmental movement is a physical manifestation of what we feel in this human "mind" consciousness.   Notice what you feel in different citiesversus being in Nature, the beauty that was Divinely  created in good thought   The density of energy will disappear as the vibration of joy and love and service to each other will transform the old negative thoughts discarded by the millions of unawakened minds just passing on generational habitual thought of opinions.  It is the journey to mastering each of our so called "minds" that this gift of "life"  is revealed in public



On Jun 16, 2015 Mish wrote:

 All for the highest good. _/\_



On Jun 12, 2015 Jagdish P Dave wrote:

 On level, we all  are one. On another level we are different from each other in many different ways. When these differences create distances and disrupt or break or damage connectedness, they become obstacles and result in me against you. My space is your space too. What I think, what I feel and how I cat not only have an impact on me but on many connected with me or even remotely connected or not connected at all.How to to transform the me space into we space is a challenge for me. Gratefully practicing mindfulness and empathy and compassion keeping my mind and heart open has been very helpful to me. It becomes effortless.We are in the being gonne.This happens in many contexts for me. When I walk in natural surroundings, when I meditate and live meditatively and when I serve  I have learned life lessons  from Mahatma Gandhi, J Krishnamurti, my parents,, my wife and from children.  I am grateful to Nipun for sharing this illuminating real life experiences.. N  See full.

 On level, we all  are one. On another level we are different from each other in many different ways. When these differences create distances and disrupt or break or damage connectedness, they become obstacles and result in me against you. My space is your space too. What I think, what I feel and how I cat not only have an impact on me but on many connected with me or even remotely connected or not connected at all.How to to transform the me space into we space is a challenge for me. Gratefully practicing mindfulness and empathy and compassion keeping my mind and heart open has been very helpful to me. It becomes effortless.We are in the being gonne.This happens in many contexts for me. When I walk in natural surroundings, when I meditate and live meditatively and when I serve 

I have learned life lessons  from Mahatma Gandhi, J Krishnamurti, my parents,, my wife and from children.  I am grateful to Nipun for sharing this illuminating real life experiences..

Namaste.

Jagdish P Dave

Hide full comment.

On Jun 12, 2015 Liz Helgesen wrote:

 
With the belief that we are all one, comes my personal responsibility to keep my thoughts, speech and actions clean and in alignment with their highest purpose.  As in this beautiful passage, when I reflect on the impact my well-being has on the rest of humanity, I am so inspired to press on and elevate my inner work.  With my thanks and love.  Liz