Right and wrong arise only from social – or religious – definitions!
As we drove through Poes Garden yesterday, my Uber driver asked me: “Sir, do you see the irony of it all? The working class keeps slogging away harder and harder; the looting class keeps stashing away more and more and yet they get away scot-free. She (Sasikala) may have gone to jail; but our state is in the hands of her clan…so that the looting can continue and the looted treasures can be hoarded and protected. Why do wrong-doers always have it good in Life? And why do the honest always suffer?”
Although these questions have been asked with respect to the murky political scenario in Tamil Nadu – as I write this blogpost the Sasikala faction has won the Trust Vote in the State Assembly – they apply to all contexts and scenarios, to all people, in Life. Why do wrong-doers always have it good in Life? And why do the honest always suffer?
First, let us understand, there is no right or wrong in Life. On a spiritual plane, all actions are equal and are made by individuals basis what drives them, what inspires them and what possesses them at any given moment. Society, for reasons of regulating large masses of humanity, prescribes guidelines that have, over time, led to the classification of some actions as right and some as wrong. Religion has invited itself to this party and has given what it deems right, a God-stamp, a blessing; and whatever it deems wrong has been labeled sinful. So, for instance, a man having sex with a partner outside of his marriage is merely a “normal action that satisfies a physical craving in him and his partner”. But society labels this very basic, physical, need as wrong, brings in a definition of polygamy, prescribes punishment by way of social ostracism and religion labels it adulterous and, therefore, as sinful, punishable in the “eyes of God”. So, right and wrong arise only from social – and, if you will, religious – definitions. In Life, everything, when viewed objectively, dispassionately, is only an action.
Now, let’s get back to my cabbie’s questions. If you look at those that are pissing on democracy in their lust for power, you will realize that they are doing it only because they are very clear this is what they want out of Life. They want money. They want property. They want control. They want position. And they see nothing wrong with the means they have chosen because it is the end, and only the end, that matters to them. The conscientious common folk though want governance, want basic needs met, want some money to eke a livelihood, want peace of mind and, basically, a good night’s sleep. They see their righteousness alone as right and everything else as wrong. To this class, the means is often more important, and sacrosanct, than the end. None of what the common-folk wants is causing them any misery except two things – one, a desire for good governance and two, a desire for Life to be fair to them. Now, what is the point in desiring governance while refusing to participate in the political process actively? By active participation I mean going beyond exercising your right to vote alone. I mean getting involved in the process of citizen activism, contributing to the political process and to democracy as an institution. I mean that just as once upon a time, families sent their children to serve the country through the armed forces, the time has come for us to groom our children to be national leaders and honest politicians. The second desire to want Life to be fair just because you are a class of sloggers, good natured, ethical, humans, is misplaced. Life never promised anything to anyone. Life just keeps on happening. You bring in an expectation of fair-play and so you are responsible for inviting suffering into your Life. Bottom-line: on both counts, you have an option to end your suffering. Just drop this right or wrong debate. If you want to fix the system that is holding you to ransom, go down to work on it. Your suffering, and your ranting about it, is not going to fix any system!
Here’s the nub: those that lack scruples are clear that values don’t matter to them. It is only those who are scrupulous that are confused about wanting to hold on to their values and also wanting all that which comes from being unscrupulous. This confusion is what is causing all the turmoil, the suffering, in them. I sincerely believe in this – if someone can walk without any sign of remorse over being self-obsessed, why shouldn’t the self-righteous walk equally freely – with their head held high? They surely can – if they can resolve the conflicts in them by choosing to be non-suffering!