Post By: Vishwanath Iyer Published on: December 19, 2016 Reading time: 6 minutes
Example: We all watch movies. Whenever we go with friends or family, each person has a different view on how the movie was, whether he liked it, which his or her favourite character was and why. This is because; the movie impacts each of our svadharmas differently. This happens in difficult situations also, which is why, the impact of stress on each of us is different, which makes it very personal.
How stress impacts us can be gauged from the impact the stimulus has on the hierarchy of needs as propounded by Abraham Maslow as explained in an earlier blog. Safety and security issues generally take priority over social issues.
Assume the following events occur simultaneously – the landlord serves you with an eviction notice, your child suddenly develops fever, the cooking stove breaks down, your neighbour complains that your dog bit her cat, your favourite dress disappears and finally a wild-looking man, breaks into the house and threatens you with a gun.
Until the wild-looking man is diffused, you will never be able to do anything else. The man affects your safety and he is completely out of your control. After he leaves, you will try to get the child to the doctor. However, the car is required for this, so you will try to fix that. The child is a responsibility, it has no control over its ill-health and potentially affects your feeling of security. Finally, you would try to diffuse the neighbour because it affects your social needs, before leaving for the doctor. Everything else would be tackled later.
When we in multiple situations, we try to prioritise. Imagine if in the example above, the parent was to mix up priorities and start searching for the missing dress. There would be chaos and confusion, if not disaster.
It is the here and now requirement that grabs precedence. Our ability to remain in the present and be able to recognize the priority of reality is key to our ability to manage stress.
The best way to deal with change is to manage the experience as it unfolds. Once the coping action is managed in accordance with our conditioning or svadharma, there is an experience of harmony or homeostasis which is a feeling of peace or shanti.
Example: The death of a close relative is more difficult to handle than an argument at a traffic signal. War is more difficult to handle than the discomfort like missing a meal or your favourite dish.
There are four levels of awareness (prajñā) in the path of situational awareness.
The three states will manifest as shown in the matrix. These are nine combinations of awareness which can be evaluated in a matrix shown above. The first name decides which level predominates.
(Wikipedia extract) Rosa Parks, an African America boarded a bus on 1 December 1955, in Montgomery, USA. She paid her fare and sat in the first row of seats reserved for blacks. As the bus travelled along, all the white-only seats in the bus filled up. At one stop, several white passengers boarded.
Since 1900, Montgomery had a city ordinance segregating passengers by race. Conductors could assign seats to accomplish this. Therefore, the bus driver, seeing that the front of the bus had filled and that two or three whites were standing, demanded that Rosa Parks and other black people give up their seats. Rosa Parks refused. The driver called the police.
Thereafter, Rosa Parks was arrested and jailed for not giving up her seat.
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