The Illusion of respectability

We crave for VIP’s halo and status. Being a commoner and a loner is an appalling idea.

Published: 18th December 2013 08:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th December 2013 08:49 AM   |  A+A-


We crave for VIP’s halo and status. Being a commoner and a loner is an appalling idea. Conditioned to become a ‘Significant Somebody’, we strive to be an important individual worthy of attention and acclaim. Being the accursed ‘nobody’ tremors the heart. That is why we sedulously strive to attain materially such standard of living that ensures us the preconceived respectability rather than comfortability. Thus each of these things becomes a source of elation when acquired and then source of elation when acquired and then source of dejection when outclassed by others’ similar possessions. Getting outdated, these things cease to cater to our sense of respectability. Same is the fate of our appeal and appearance when they are deemed unfashionable.

And intellectually we get attached to some philosophy of life, or to some service organization, or to some cultural or spiritual movement, in order to ensure our respectability rather than a pursuit of its values for a fulfilling compassionate life. Fashion rather than passion marks our motives behind these pursuits. We became ‘dislodged’ and disoriented when these ideas are denigrated or debunked.

Our respectability based on the things and the ideas remains  myth under constant threat of exposure. This craze for such illusory respectability, more oftan arousing envy in others than evoking their genuine respect, is a major factor of the messiness of our kind.  Unable to stand alone, our ego seeks psychic support from others through mutual identification. Although socio-economic equality is usually the basis for such identification,our ego craves company of such important individuals whose camaraderie enhances our sense of respectability. We insensitively spurn the offer of respect and love of non elite individuals. We deject them by rejecting their implicit offer, and in turn get rejected by the elite in our milieu.

We dont realize that the elite we court seek the company of their elite. They are as weak as we are. Though we need them, they dont need us, as they dont stand a gain in terms of respectability. In fact, our moves of seeking their friendship will be deemed as cheeku as they consider that our self enrolled membership of their group diminishes their respectability.

At the most, they may feign or condescend to be our friends. And we delude ourselves and believe that to be real. They do to us what we do to others. Our mind is their’s and their’s is our’s.

Though the identification is psychological, it has to be substained phsysically by our standard of living comparable to that of enviable elite.

The process of approximating to such level are so complex and complicated that we cant avoind deficiencies in some aspect or the other. Meterially and financially we may succeed in attaining the standards, but culturally we may not catch up. Or it could be the reverse. Every such deficiency ends up as a source of stress adding to the disorder in the mind. So, seeking security through the persons is as much a mirage as through the things and ideas.

This is why such mirage chasing of security by our mind is termed as MAYA (sheer illusion) in the Hindu Scriptures.

Realisation of this truth will constitute the core of wisdom. This truth stands vindicated in the finding of survey on happiness by the London School of Economics that ‘the money could by anything but not happiness’.

The transient or fleeting pleasure of a person, thing or idea catering to our sense of security is the potential pain because of their undependability and impermanence.

The article has been taken from the book ‘The Art of Being and The Art of Being’ by Captain KV Reddy

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