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Inside Out: Alternative Means Of Perceiving Reality

3373 words - 13 pages

When struck by adversity in all the creative forms it can manifest itself, we often find ourselves reacting in one of two ways: we either resist our situation, push against it, and struggle to come out as winners of an exasperating emotional battle, or we adopt an attitude of fatalism or submissiveness to our circumstances, designating it as our “lot in life” to have to suffer the way we do. Whatever our take on this issue, most of us carry on doing what we have always done and hope, somehow, that things will fall into place.
What I am eager to explore is an alternative means of perceiving reality. I would like to argue that individuals, by virtue of the thought processes and emotional standpoints they adopt, construct the narrative of their existence. They thus possess the ability to maneuver their physical trails by grappling with their individuality and tapping into the potential that lies within them, rather than looking for validation in and identifying with structures and labels that lie outside of who they are. I will analyze a gamut of modern and traditional Vietnamese and Burmese texts to understand how this notion finds expression within the realm of Buddhist philosophy and/ or in relation to the norms of Southeast Asian society. The texts I will use to augment my analysis are The Novice by Thich Nhat Hanh, Harp Of Burma by Michio Takeyama, Not Out of Hate by Ma Lay Lay and Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell. Each text uniquely delves into the psyche and behavioral patterns of the respective protagonists and the scope of actions they take as a consequence of the same, thereby implicitly underlining how one’s attitude to life governs the quality of their life. I will also refer to the self-help book Ask and It is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires by New Thought authors Esther and Jerry Hicks that expounds on the mechanisms of out time/space reality in relation to the “Law of Attraction.” This text offers a broader, metaphysical perspective into the ways our lives unfold as a result of our emotional and vibrational patterns. It emphasizes that at each moment one is given the choice to either operate on the scale of love and desire or operate on the scale of fear and victimization. Depending on how we choose to operate, we will create a sequence of events, experiences and interactions with other forms of being that reflect the emotional quality of our thoughts and perceptions.
I will also be referring to the articles A balanced psychology and a full life by Martin E. P. Seligman, Acacia C. Parks and Tracy Steen and On the Power of Being Positive: The Benefits of Being Optimistic by Michael F Scheier and Charles S. Carver that offer a psychological evaluation of the correlation between mind and matter and stress on the significance of this interplay when delving into all aspects of human consciousness. They advocate a nurturing of one’s talents, virtues and intrinsic positive qualities rather than the process of merely focusing...

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