(The first part of this post was published last week and is available here…)
Let us look at lokeshna and its relationship with individualism. I may be wrong but I am proposing that people who step-out tend to fall into the trap of lokeshna—almost unconsciously—to cope with loneliness and, of course, because of the disease inflicted by modernity—individualism. The attention one gets because of the act of stepping out can be exhilarating. And then subtly idealism and righteousness creeps in. Idealism is good as an aim to be used for course correction but idealism in “doing” or in the manifested world is false and hence problematic.
There are two realities—coexisting like two sides of the same coin. The eternal reality of “being” (है और होना) and the transient or manifested reality—in the “doing”. There is and will always be a gap between being and doing. After all they belong to different realities, different worlds—eternal and transient. The world of doing is circumstantial, is contextual, needs to change and adapt according to the times and circumstances. This is not to say that “doing” is rudderless or rootless. No, it can be anchored in the eternal but while manifesting takes into account the context. Idealism can only be in the “being”. In fact the eternal IS. There are no alternatives in the eternal, hence it is beyond comparison. Idealism has validity only when there is another possibility—not ideal. In eternal, there are no alternatives, hence there is no space for idealism. Unless we are calling the eternal or ISNESS as ideal.
In the world of doing what can and must be aimed for is that the “doing” is rooted or anchored in the eternal (Truth). But this world is changing, is transient, hence again there is no space for the ideal. What is ideal today, may not be tomorrow! Idealism is rigid in the transient. It tends to fix things. Hence in the world of “doing” Idealism is an idea, an imagination and ultimately a trap which makes us righteous (and others wrong). A trap because it can only feed the ego, it has no basis in (transient) reality.
Understanding of the eternal makes it quite clear that we are not the doers. At best we are nimitta karana (incidental in the happening). We are not the doers (upaadaan). We are a product of the opportunity (which presents itself), the circumstances and the sankalpa (decision to do/ what to do/not to do etc.). If we are not the doers then how can we take credit for what happens. We can rejoice in it but we can not take credit. The problem arises because we mistakenly start taking credit for what we “do” in stepping out. Therefore the need to refrain from both lokeshna and idealism, if one is stepping out.