HOW CAN I BE WRONG?
By Varun Genius
No, you can’t be! You are never wrong, you never were and you never will be! Why am I saying this? Because this is the truth! When do you consider yourself wrong? Is it when you do or say something that hurts others or is it when you hurt yourself! When you make a decision, you think…..think…think a lot…why? Just to make sure that you are not making any wrong decision. But are you ever really wrong? I say NO. It is actually your own realization that makes you think you are wrong, but you are not! Let’s take an example.
Suppose you have to make a decision between attending a friend’s wedding and going on a trip with your family. Also, suppose that there’s no alternative than to choose one out of these two options. Now, you start thinking……a lot of thinking and ask questions to yourself, “what if I go and enjoy with my family, but then my friend will be upset…!” or “what if I go to my friend’s wedding, but then I’ll miss the fun trip with my family..!” After all these self-questioning and long discussions, you finally come to a conclusion – a decision. Whatever it may be, but it is clear that you have to choose just one and skip or reject the other. But after making the decision, you start regretting for making that decision. Why? Weren’t you aware of the fact that you have to choose just one and ignore the other? Yes, you were aware. This means you were WRONG even before making that decision. You knew that you are going to make wrong decision. But this is not true!
You are WRONG when you THINK you are wrong! That’s right! Our parents, society, elders and other people that we meet, keep us aware about things that are right and things that are wrong. But that is their perspective. How can you say that something that is right for one can be right for the other(s) too or something that is wrong for one can be wrong for the other(s) too! We all are different, unique personalities; we have different preferences, different likes and dislikes, different tastes, different perspectives, different opinions, different beliefs; then how can ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ be common to all? If your friend likes ice-cream, then it’s not necessary that you like it too or you HAVE TO like it too. If being a ‘non-vegetarian’ is wrong for you, then it’s not necessary that it’s wrong for others too. If it were, then there would be no ‘non-vegetarians’. So, how will you know if you are wrong or right?
You are right when you are TRUE and you are TRUE when you believe you are! When you make a decision on the basis of truth, you are right. Truth never hurts – neither you nor someone else; truth only gives you realization which is sometimes difficult to achieve or accept but not impossible. But when your decisions are based on excuses or lies, then you are WRONG. This is because we believe that making excuses or telling lies is WRONG; as it gives nothing other than more excuses or more lies. And anything that depends on excuses or lies must be wrong too. But what’s more important is what you actually BELIEVE. If you believe that hurting someone with your decisions makes you wrong, then you are WRONG. But if you believe that every decision that you make will not hurt you or someone else, you are never wrong. Wrongness of a decision lies only in imagination to cover and mystify the truth that lies underneath. If you look deep within and try to uncover the imaginary layers of wrong beliefs, you will find TRUTH…..which is always right!
So, ask yourself, “Can I be wrong?” If your beliefs are based on truth, you are never wrong…otherwise you are!!!
©Varun K. Sharma
I’ve shared this on another blog, but want to share it here, as well. Thanks for posting, and thanks for listening. Please bear with me.
If I were to attempt a summary of the piece, it would that “perception is everything, and everything is perception.”
There is no question but a mature sense of self is held captive by the rights and wrongs, shoulds and shouldn’ts of society, family, religion, etc. We pass through and beyond concrete thinking, and, if we’re fortunate, we move out of the collective prison of guilt and shame.
Having said that, however, I feel the need to offer another word here. If my perception is everything, we’re all in deep trouble. The self is not only the residence of truth; it also the home of self-deception and great evil. Hitler lives out his truth. Idi Amin acted on his own perceptions of himself and the world around him. Bermie Madoff did the same. None of us is a Hitler, an Amin, or a Madoff, but they serve the point. For most of us the choices seem more personal – I prefer Crest to Colgate; you prefer Colgate; neither one is right or wrong. We’re just different. The are no consequences. or the repercussions are minimal in such matters. But, it seems to me, that we are increasingly shaped, unwittingly, by consumer capitalism where the world and life itself are reduced to shopping for what one wants or thinks one needs. Any sense of ethics – any sense that something may actually be wrong – is swept aside as a matter or consumer choice. Don’t indulge in buyer’s remorse, just move down the aisle, or go to a different store according to my own truth, no matter who else may be hurt. If they’re hurt, it’s their problem.
My concern with the piece is that the illustrations of decision-making have nothing to do with the big issues that face us as a society. Without that larger ethical discussion, every choice/decision is as good as another or another’s irrespective of its social consequences. Everything shrinks to the size of “me”- the size of Narcissus. If I sit alone by the pool, staring into the pool seeing nothing but my own mirror image, I will miss something much greater than my self-absorbed self. Sitting by the pool where nothing I do ever requires further reflection, or is beyond criticism, where I get to decide whatever feels like my truth in that particular moment leaves me in my world, but it also leaves me isolated from and indifferent to the worlds of others. And, ironically, it leaves Wall Street, the Pentagon, Al Qaida, the shooter in Florida, to do their thing because “perception is everything and everything is perception.”
Growing beyond the childhood stage of concrete thinking (“right/wrong” ) can lead into a swamp (the lonely pool of Narcissus, who reduces everything to the shape and size of his own mirror reflection), or it can lead a more serious, nuanced, and thoughtful kind of ethical reflection that places us in the larger community of humankind and changes the world. Seems to me that’s what love is all about.
Thanks for the opportunity to reflect out loud. All the best! Look forward to more discussion about the topic.
Interesting that you commented on Varun’s piece “perception is everything, and everything is perception.” I also posted on perception yesterday on my philosophy blog.
I tend to agree with Gordon. We must maintain forgiveness in the face of wrong. We must have compassion when confronted with mistakes. But at the end of the day the exists one Truth. If we do not move in the direction of the Truth, then we are wrong. The Truth is that we are all free to think and do whatever we wish, so long as we are not hurting anyone else in the process. That includes nature. You can be wrong if you are working against this Truth. But those who understand the Truth will still forgive those who are wrong. They may not invite them over for dinner, but they will forgive them.
There is another alternative, Gordon: See your own reflection not by looking deeply into a pool or mirror, but by looking into the other Aspects of the Greater You with whom you interact every day. A pool or mirror will only show you your skin, your costume, your outer physical self — which changes every moment, and is an illusion in the greatest sense of that word. However, the ‘mirror’ of other people will show you your INTERNAL self, via how they interact with you on an emotional or vibrational level. Your external world reflects your internal world. Narcissus was just a confused young man, who fell in love with an illusion that he thought was real.
It’s an identity issue, you see, ALL of it. Once you start to see exactly how your ‘internal’ state is reflected, either immediately or close to it (more these days), in your ‘external’ world, you will discover the key that we all possess to unlock the secrets of life mastery.
Thanks Gordon for your comment on my post! I would like to highlight a few points here. First of all, starting from “perception is everything, everything is perception”; this phrase is perfectly true but please make note that perception is not something ‘sensed’ by our physical senses. Perception is a single inner sensation that is independent of any physical part of the body. What we see is not actually what it is. We are ‘told’ or ‘taught’ that “this is a book”, so it becomes for us….and “this is a computer”, so it becomes for us…..!! To be precise, we are taught to perceive the illusion. The reality lies underneath in the hidden layers of this illusion.
Let’s make it simple. “If they’re hurt, it’s their problem.” is something that this post denies. I clearly mentioned that when you do something with truth in your mind, body and soul……you are never wrong! And to have the knowledge of truth, it must be “realized” not observed or perceived outside…..but realized within “self”. Then only you will know whether you are supporting the truth or not. Hitler was living in illusion and so was Narcissus…….they were be-fooled by their physical perceptions. They believed that what they saw was actually real, because they were getting the results of their perceptions. But in this whole process, they were so lost in this illusion that they forgot to question their direction of progress or I must say that they forgot to consider the truth, because even without considering the truth, they were entertained by their perceptions. So, this was all an illusion for them and they didn’t know it, of course!
I have also posted an article on perception on my blog. You must read it to have an idea about what I think perception actually is! Here’s the link:
To just give you a brief, in this post, I stated that perception is internally sensed and it has just one form. Not everything that you perceive is TRUE and REAL……but everything that is REAL and TRUE must be perceived and must be lived on!! That’s the true nature of LIFE…..!!!
Thanks for your comment once again! It opened up many new doors of concepts in my mind and helped me deal with this topic in more detail 🙂
I thought i was wrong once, but it turned out i was mistaken…
Marc, What a great line! Humor is always good, and this one is really good. And sometimes I’ve thought I was “right” and have been mistaken. Where Varum and i agree… think… is that “rigtht and wrong” is a “wrong” – oops – way of thinking/acting/perceiving. It’s a straitjacket built by someone else, and it divides reality into the dualism of right/wrong, good/evil. In my Judeo-Christian tradition, the “fall” – i.e. the way everything gets messed up – happens when the two earthlings in the garden paradise decide to eat of the one tree of which they must not eat: the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It’s the story of humankind – our Promethean insistence on stealing fire from the gods. The fire is division and self-righteousness, and…self-absorption. A rich life is so much more interesting and challenging. “I thought I was wrong once, but it turned out I was mistaken.” Gotta love it !!!
If I think I am never wrong than I must know everything and I don’t. Believing that I am when I am not, only proves that I’m either fooling myself or making it up.
Good discuusion here. Want to hear more opinions.
Thanks Tess for your comment! Here’s something that I have to say regarding your comment. To think that you are never wrong, is not something that must be appreciated or accepted. In order to know or check whether we are right, it must ‘feel’ right. That means you don’t just have to think, you have to actually BELIEVE……and believing is something internal. You need not know everything to see whether you are right or wrong; you just have to ‘realize’ the truth and then check whether you current belief(s) stand balanced on this truth or not. You just need to know things that are sufficient enough to help you have the realization of TRUTH. And remember, when you believe in something, you are actually creating a reality……that can never be ‘fooling yourself’. That will be real 🙂
Every decision comes with an opportunity cost because there are always alternatives and by deciding for one, you inevitable decide against something else. Follow the heart and don’t fret about should haves or could haves.
I believe the point is this: The entire concept of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ is based on three things: the illusion of separation (versus Oneness), the ‘reality’ of existing in a world of duality, and the most important aspect, RELATIVITY.
One can only be ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in relation to something. That ‘something’ is a very specific viewpoint or perception, which has as its basis very specific assumptions, and very specific ‘values’ and ‘priorities’ as well.
An example: Johnny beats up Brad at school, breaks his nose. ‘Wrong,’ right? Well, Brad has been cheating off of Johnny the whole year, and then stole his cell phone yesterday, and sexually molested his sister. Today he beat up Brad not only because of those things, but because Brad physically pushed him while in line at lunch. So now his action appears ‘right’, correct? But Johnny’s parents teach peaceful resolution of ALL problems. However, his football coach has drilled into Johnny’s head that self-defence, and physical defence of one’s family and loved ones, is perfectly OK, if not highly recommended. So, who is ‘right’ and who is ‘wrong’ here? Could it be that they are ALL ‘right’ and ALL ‘wrong’, and that everything just depends on one’s perspective, or better yet, on from WHICH viewpoint one observes the incident, and makes a judgment???
So you see, the concept of ‘right and wrong’ is only valid within a very limited dualistic system of thought. Otherwise, it’s just a complete illusion, completely ARBITRARY, depending utterly on what one holds to be (in that moment) the highest values, or the highest goals that one seeks to achieve. Many of us have been taught and/or learned on our own the following concept: Everything is always, and in all ways, in Divine Order. Choices that lead to unpleasant results can indeed be made, of course — but maybe by making that ‘wrong’ choice, a deep life lesson is learned, and that lesson ends up enhancing the lives of many hundreds of other people in the future. You never know . . . .
It’s a choice is all. Nothing more, nothing less. Awareness of that choice, and its nature, is the key to long-term success.
Thanks for your comment, Waverider1. I appreciate your viewpoint regarding ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. You very well understood what I actually wanted to say through this post,”Whatever decision we make, it doesn’t matter what we choose, we are never wrong. Because wrongness lies only in imagination; it’s just an illusion.”
Glad to be of service.
Hi Waverider, thoughtful, interesting reflection. The story of Johnny and Brad, Johnny’s parents and football coach helps. Very few things in life are simple. Life is complex; so is decision-making. In Christian ethics this more sophisticated form of edthics is called “contextual ethics” as opposed to “rules ethics”. Ethics – the practice of reflection on decision-making that affects others – is not about right and wrong; it’s about how to love. Love is non-dualistic. Love unites; it does not divide. Yet it is by no means clear or easy oftentimes, as in the case of Johnny. “Love your neighhbor as yourself” cuts both ways.
I just looked at the clock! Gotta run to lead a Lenten program! Peace and thanks again for the thoughtful reflection.
No, it’s often neither clear, nor easy. And yes, Love comes from Unity Consciousness — the only truly ‘higher’ consciousness.
As far as I and Jesus and most other great luminaries are concerned, Love is All there IS (BTW, I come from a Christian background as well). In what are called ‘new age’ circles (spiritual, but not aligned with any particular religion), the ONLY valid question to ask regarding ‘what to do’ in any given situation, or ‘how to judge’ in the case of apparent wrongdoing, is this: ‘What would Love do?’ This is the best and highest perspective from which to make one’s choices, the solid bedrock on which to build one’s Life. Easy? No way! But long-term, is there really any other way to BE???
BINGO. Thank you for sharing. BTW, I obviously am aligned with a religion – Christianity in its Reformed tradition of rigorous theological-ethical scholarship and reflection. From my point of view, the tradition in no way limits me; it grounds me in a rich history of thoughtful reflection. However that may be, in my tradition and my life, as in yours, Waverider, Love is the graviataional center of reality. What would love do is the question. Thank you.
That is beautiful how you have apparently found the true core of your religion, and do not let dogmatism, ‘blind’ faith, and non-spiritual ‘institutional’ concerns limit your further exploration. If only all religious people were like that, including modern scientists! Thank the Source that at least a few are, and are beginning to have a greater influence in our societies. Your leadership, and those of others like you, shall soon prove important I believe.
Thajks so much. I hope you’ll take a look at two new pieces I put up this morning on the blog, one about Cuba and the U.S.; the other about the tragic killing in Florida and its link to the history of “hoods” in the American experience, a history of violence and scapegoating.
This is exactly the sort of “back and forth” that I want to see develope on this site. Together we will find the answers, by discussing the hard questions.
Indeed. This is exactly what we need, the back and forth exchanges that widen and deepen our perceptions. Alternate Economy, hope you’ll consider yeasterday’s and today’s pieces on Cuba and the U.S. economies. Love to explore more with you the history of utopian experiments iin the U.S. and around the world. “Utolpian,” as you know, is from u-topos, meaning “no place”. What is the relatoinship between a utopian idea/ideal and present reality? Is utopian hope the saving grace, the product of the deepest and most sacred human imagination? Are all utopian ideas and aspirations figments of a promethean species arrogance and doomed to fail, or are some of them the real thing toward which we strive when we are at our best?
Questions that have no ready or clear answer, I think, but that are central to the discussion of an alternate economy that is human- and Earth-friendly.