Universe, World And The Self

This essay arose of a conversation that remained incomplete, largely because of the apparent unfamiliarity my interlocutor had with the subject, which factor lent an air of abstraction to the matter despite it being so obvious and close a phenomenon to ourself. The difficulty at the core of its seeming obtruseness was two-fold : one, the meaning we carry of the terms are so very formal that they remain distant from ourself, compared to the carnal and electronic objects that readily engage the youth of our day; and two, any attempt to segregate the entities, and their phenomenal effervescence in our mind, fails to start because we ourself are too caught up in the mix to lay out the categories at play separately, sequentially and seamlessly between the universe yonder, our world at hand, and the heady couldron of vitality playing things up as feelings, emotions and thoughts in our mind.

Universe, World And The Self

The Terms

The universe is the endless expanse, the mother set, containing all the astronomical and heavenly bodies, visible and invisible, known and mysterious. It includes our world and our self within it.

The world about us reduces to “our” world for all practical purposes, with objects that actually occupy our memory and mind more or less, in some way or other. The entities come in all shape and form, state of animation and consciousness, nature and character, and value to ourself in the long and short term.

The self — our self — is the being we are, the person who decides the right and wrong for ourself, who is curious and who engages with the objects in our world, who notices the feeling and identifies with the prevailing will and emotion, happy or sad, enthused or indifferent.

The Personal Phenomena

Our individual being involves our world and our self, with all the objects and entities about us, which we live in the midst of and value, positively and negatively, often in the same single thing, person or being. There is a wider world out there, distinct from our world, that we are either not intimately aware of or to which we are indifferent because it does not touch us, that does not engage us in the least for now. But our living being is restricted to all that affects us, physically or by their presence in our memory, in the way it makes our vitality rise and ebb, outward to action or inward to feeling quickened or depressed, draws our emotion to flare with a will of its own, triggers our thought stream hither and thither, making our desire next sprout or dry, and leads our self through an experience memorable or forgettable.

Our experience of life, and indeed our life itself, is an endless train of such streaming consciousness constituted of this mix : feelings and emotions, will and thought, desire and knowledge, memory and more, with the self — the sense we have of ourself — often helpless like a ball ricocheting  from the walls upon a momentum imparted in unknown past or an oarless boat in the middle of  flowing waters. What we gather along the journey in life, through our growing up years, is knowledge and memory of the character or nature of things, person or individual beings, usually in binary terms : happy, or not. Each encounter or recall of this summary sense, as it happens, brings in its trail the emotion and will that our psychological or attitudinal behaviour, caution or enthusiasm and more extreme expressions at the juncture. And thus life continues to happen : happy or sad, or in the pall of any other shade in between.

The Exploring And Analysing Self

There are several reasons why we wake up to need of reviewing the momentum of the personal phenomena upon which we are carried, and to the burning will to intervene. Often it is the consequences, material and mental, that leave us dissatisfied, inadequate, delinquent or destitute. Or, usually in comparison with our peers or with inspiration from other people’s lives past or present, there is a sense of not doing justice to what we have and what more we could do with greater control over our phenomenal being, with empowering our psychological self at making the most of our situation, spotting opportunities and playing up to our strengths. Too, it is extremely deflating to our self-esteem to realise that we are living the animal way, to our lowest nature, or are being merely passive or reactive to our happennings. And lastly, we might discover that the unexamined knowledge we have gathered is mostly untrue, that we need to revisit each as they come and bring our conclusion up to date. Whatever the cause, we then want to put an end to our self-cipher outside-in existence and steel ourself to imposing our will inside-out, to being what and how we want ourself to be and experiencing a life by our own choices than by what fate or our world has thus far deemed it to be.

A true awakening is more a phase than a moment : outwardly langorous and dilated but hyperactive inwardly. In that state of concentrated awareness, we refuse to be moved even as we go through the motions and insist on observing and knowing the details of our personal phenomena as it occurs : the feeling caused by an object on our world, the emotion representative of our reaction to it, our will that automatically presents itself … that jucture when we can choose to react or contemplate the pros and cons of alternate courses, the thoughts at reviewing the object, the feeling and the emotion, the will we were ready to commit ourself to, and the state of our own being, the quality of our self … We hold ourself at it, intending to exhaust the fulness of one series : object, feeling, emotion to the object and to the feeling it causes, the will and the choices, the doubts, the light on ourself, and the values we hold to ourself in the shadows of our each thought and glance at the categories and their possibilities thus laid out.

Our Self And Our ValuesSelf and Values

To fast forward, we may now observe the continuous series of categories laid out before us, connecting seamlessly the universe and the self :

[ Universe ] — [ World ] — [ Our World ] — [ Objects, Entities, Plants, Trees, Animals, People, Food, Sex, Beautiful Form, Panorama, Family, Friends…] — [ Senses : Sight, Smell, Taste, Touch, Hear ; Mind ] — [ Feeling ] — [ Emotion : Will ] — [ Thought : Doubt, Examination, Analysis, Possibility ] — [ Knowledge ] — [ Self : State, Quality, Values ]

Of  the above, we notice, animals are arrested by their emotions and accompanying will; and so are we. The only interactive behaviour that sets them to peace, and is hence both necessary and sufficient, is love. And so it with us, as far as others are involved and our interactive behaviour goes.

However, as human beings with the power to be pro-active, to change ourselves and our world about us, we need to choose our values and therefore need to know what works, which yields what and how. The knowledge and values are already indicated by our history, our myths, our texts ancient and modern, our epics, our traditions and our ways of life. It is upto each one of us to inform ourself, know and choose for ourself, and to embark upon that journey of examining and clarifying from experience that which is absolute and invariable and those that are relative and dependent upon situation and circumstance.

Some truths are universal though :

—   Feelings are nature’s means to reveal itself to us. Men do not cause feelings, our world does. We do not stop feeling except when we are literally or sort of dead.

—  Emotions are our own and arise almost always from the dark and unexamined part of our within. They are mostly wasteful except when prompted of love.

—   Our mind is a means and an instrument to feel, examine and know our world, our emotions and will, our memory and impressions from past, as also to sense the state and quality of our self and the values we associate with.

—   The values we choose and commit ourselves to provides a firm unshakeable ground to ourself; nothing else does. The self committed to values empowers the will to choose the right course of action; nothing else does.

—   There is no truth apart from our self. It is lost in the mind, in thoughts and habitual emotions, in addictive feelings, when we begin our search for our self. The process of extricating our self and living in the light of its truth is the eternal way.

Let’s walk it.

Footprints

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Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

 

MIND, KARMA AND GUNA – III

What is the most important thing about us, in the way we are ? Admittedly, it would be everything for someone or other, more or less : survival and daily ablutions, basic needs, food, sex, house, travel, car, possessions, girlfriend or wife and family, clothes and sartorial accessoties, home, friends, countryside, fishing or other hobbies, rest and leisure and, of course, money. 

There is nothing the wrong with any of it and there is nothing complete about each of them either. Every time we are fulfilled with these, the fulness lasts for a while, more or less, and recedes. The right or wrong about them lies in ourself, in the limiting manner we are held up by them or in the way we acknowledge it with gratitude and move on in our quest. It is common to begin being defined by what things comes to mean to us, in the way each one of them cyclically fulfills us in some measure, more or less, over and above their truth in the balance. We start with liking them, then are obsessed by them, which we deem as “love,” which but is nothing more than a auto-suggested habit, as it happens in case of addiction.

What would we move on to ? The wit says, self-improvement, which is a wise thing to point but needs more specific pointers to direct ourselves. Improvement along what lines ? It speaks of a more exact and real understanding, a more calm and non-violent values orientation, more moral strength to stand by one’s values, and an evolution towards obtaining a more adequate and complete understanding in truth. But, in a way, I seem to be repeating myself, for all of these are inter-related and inter-dependent. 

The picture then emerges of broadly two kinds of humans, by their spiritual make-up : one that projects and is ready for the conflict and violence and, the other, of one who is involved in examination and understanding than in projecting oneself. So, how do we distinguish them ? By naming the categories and mapping out the essentials of the human animal and the human human. It would be difficult to accept the nomenclature but it is no more than the commonly encountered attitude against admitting that one is imperfect and that one needs to improve !

The mapped essentials are sketched out here below :

 The Human Animal Loop

The Human Human Loop

On the whole, spiritual evolution, moral strength and values orientation are more a matter of understanding and truth, ability and skills, than God, faith and religion. It takes immense effort to understand anything material or mental, and the difficulty only increases when it comes to knowing oneself. There are so many material distractions and preoccupations to overcome, so many trapping psychological hold-ups to encounter, so much failure to persist and retain the quest in focus … When, in fact, the only obstacles are our own naturalised habits !

But the super-human arises out of this battle against oneself. The Vedas and Krishna, in Bhagwad-Gita, acknowledge : ” It’s a wonder. It’s a wonder. It’s a wonder.”

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

MIND, KARMA AND GUNA – II

https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/journal-awakening-into-the-truth-10/ … Hereon, it becomes difficult to chart the inner processes and describe nature of change they each bring about in the very nature of our mind and its consequence upon ourself… contd

Karmas are attracted by the activity of mind, ...

The mind is not in the horizontal spread of, and of the same order as, the material universe, in which the body-identified individual finds itself as one amongst trillions. The Mental Space is a vertical shift away within the self and, phenomenally speaking, is of an entirely different order. A view of one’s mind is available only to the particular individual to whom the specific mind unit belongs. So, there can be no group study, examination or observation, of the mind. 

The task is an uphill one : for, the individual-self must rise to identify with the witness consciousness peering through the buddhi or the intellect to avail of the toehold unaffected by the mind, against one’s own sensory habits anchored to material objects that, to our vitalised sensibility rooted in subconscious drives, promise what we all prefer in our experience : pleasure, joy, ecstasy and happiness. 

But that involves allowing the emotion-backed will to take over our self, consenting to the consequential intent, wading into action for specific result, and pushing ourself through hope and despair. That choice we commit ourself to, through consent and action, is our Karma; and the habitual proclivity in the nature of our mind, to act in order to avail, is a display of the dominating Guna or the Great Qualifier of each thing or being manifest, which in this instance is Rajas.

The entire creation, gross and subtle, is qualified by the three Gunas : Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Though all three Gunas are present in each being, there is predominance of one at any given point in time in accord with its Karma or the nature of choices it has habituated itself to, the general character of the species to which it belongs, and the environment it finds itself in. 

Typically, the dominance of Sattva leads one to arise and rise into more calm and peace, non-violence, quest for truth, inclination to focused contemplation and persevere at effort to gain knowledge, patience and honest conduct, freedom from envy and covetousness, and attenuation of worldly ambitions. Rajas makes one more driven to action, more given to vitality and less to self-examination, reduced scrupulousness, to more ambition for material acquisition and attachment to sensory pleasures, and to more agitated states of the mind. Tamas causes the tendency to remain in inertia and general inaction, and easy slide down into mere physical pleasure, without assuming responsibility or striving to exert.

The mind is made of wholly non-material impressions left by our Karma in the unit mind. These too determine the predominant Gunas that characterise the mind unit and qualify the “person” or the individual self attached to it. Hence, phenomenally, one with reduced residual karma would have progressively attenuated activity in Chitta and Manas, in that order. 

Theoretically, an individual without any residual karma, with his quest for knowledge and experience quenched, will not have a mind unit as the rest of us are attached to. Such a person will no longer be an “individual” but will be unified with the undifferentiated infinitude of the Causal Space, where the three gunas exist in a state of perfect balance and there are no object things or differentiated beings to observe ! 

One is then the being itself, of which all beings are manifest and de-manifest; one is then knowledge itself, of which finite knowledge forms arise and become extinct; and, one is then bliss itself, of which all transient pleasures and joys are experienced and which all beings constantly desire. One is then the Soul of the universe, pervading the Mental and Material spaces, pervading all phenomena and beings in them.

Buddha, The Conqeror

Courtesy Nicholas Roerich archives : http://www.roerich.org/wwp.html

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

MIND, KARMA AND GUNA – I

What is the mind ? Where is it located ? What is it made of; its warp and woof, so to say ?

Of what does it take on its distinct, individual character ? What is it that determines it ?

I’ve asked a couple of these questions at a time on all social media forums I frequent. Predictably, but surprising nonetheless, there wasn’t a single response, not even a tentative one. The reason however is not difficul;t to fathom : none had spent time exploring it and, therefore, had no idea to contrbute. The most the “gurus” online dish out are generic advisories, dos and dont’s, promises and dreams.

A clear, self-verified knowledge, cutting through the mind’s inscrutability and myths alike, would be more enlightening and useful to every interested individual on the planet. For everybody has a mind in which all one’s experience is sensed, in which all reactive emotions arise with will and thoughts respective to each, and where the wilful ego takes on the colours of the moment. It’s the animal loop within us, largely characterised by auto-inputs from the subconscious.

Of course, we all have the human loop in the mind as well, starting with the triggered or imagined thought but brought over to intellect and conscious memory. It leads us to analyse, comprehend, corelate with facts in memory, conduct further research, form defining ideas, understand, contemplate, and arrive at the truth or fulness that abides. It takes effort, at times much, to direct oneself along this loop, keeping calm all the while and pushing oneself on to that peace where our understanding is complete.

This line of investigation of the mind, which can virtually contain the whole of the universe within it, brooks no presence of God, faith, religion or cleric. It is about the individual and his mind : what is it, how does it work, etc. But before one can take the inquiry any further, the reality of the mind must be acknowledged, as distinct from our material appendages such as limbs and organs. The mind seems virtual in comparison and hence comes to preoccupy few amongst us. Those who are taken up however would vouch that the mind is more real, more fundamental to being human, than the body or its parts !

The inscrutability of the mind is both a cause and a consequence of the complexity involved in our understanding of it, of perception perceiving itself : it is already defined by the very mind we seek to understand. We will need a place apart to stand on before, to paraphrase Archimedes’ famous quote, we can observe the happenings in the mind objectively. It takes a while, usually a long while, before our individual-self becomes free enough to witness the mind-field phenomena.

Once the individual-self graduates to the witness mode, he begins to observe the nature of the mind, its propensities and their root, which Vivekananda best summarises, “As pleasure and pain pass before the soul, they leave upon it different pictures, and the result of these combined impressions is what is called a person’s “character.” If you take the character of any person, it is really but the aggregate of tendencies, the sum total of the bent of the person’s mind. You will find that misery and happiness are equal factors in the formation of that character. Good and evil have an equal share in molding character, and in some instances misery is a greater teacher than happiness.”

Unlike the physical body that grows old and weak and lies forsaken, inanimate, upon its death, the mind has no such limitation of lifetime or ageing. It temporarily ceases to be during our deep sleep state; but it comes back to being with the same structure and architecture, specific tendencies and identities that it held before. It is subject to laws that are of entirely different nature than the ones that prevail in the Material Space. The space in which the individual mind exists is infinitely more subtle, such as to be invisible to the physical eye. The individual self however, being more subtle than the mind, can perceive the latter if it is lead to shed its engagement or preoccupation with gross objects, by cutting asunder the attraction they hold for our respective sense organs – smell taste, sight, hearing and touch.

The Mental Space is the transit buffer between the manifest and unmanifest universe, along both directions : projection and absorption. This domain is available to our awareness, to all beings that have a developed brain and nervous system. The unit mind is trifurcate : Chitta – Feeling and Emotion, powered into action by vitality, in which our animal will arises and most instantly overpowers the individual self; Manas – Thought and Ideas, where doubt and rationality works itself out to the contemplating self; and, Buddhi – Knowledge and Wisdom, where true witness conscious self resides and avails of long-term integration of learning impressed from past experiences in current lifetime.

Mind - Sructure


Hereon, it becomes difficult to chart the inner processes and describe nature of change they each bring about in the very nature of our mind and its consequence upon ourself.

To be continued …

English: Photo of Swami Vivekananda at Jaipur ...
Swami Vivekananda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

III             The Fact In The Way

There is no way to any absolute truth for those of us who are not taken up exclusively by the drive to know; untill then, facts would be the truth of our moments and action our refuge for what is in our desire and want or in our hatred and revulsion.

The desire to know the ” other ” drives us into subjective relationships and to objective studies along diverse disciplines : science, commerce, economics, politics, medicine, sociology, management, and the arts. Sure, we sharpen our intelligence during the course of our study in these fields. But that does not necessarily develop our intellect, our perspective and values system. The depths we illuminate in our intellect with our effort have a calming effect upon us. The process equips us with several skills to focus, study, observe and remember, analyse, concentrate, clarify and integrate… all of which come handy when we embark on an a-religious, matter-of-fact study of our self.

As the subjective being, our self is never without an object, whether in ourself or about the other. Our being is complicatedly diffused among others-in-self and self-in-others projections in the mind, revealed in dream state, but the differentiated subject – object paradigm obviously persists. In deep sleep, the being is apparently in a state of undifferentiated “absence,” and there is no subject-object divide in awareness. There is a consciousness though that arises when we wake up with the memory of being “blissfully asleep”. 

The entire cyclic sway from differentiated to undifferentiated consciousness, and back, from all to nothing and back, is moot. It isn’t just diurnal but very exactly sums up our lifetime as well, through birth to death and back, at all kinds of entry to exit and back, and every psycho-vital experience with their respective extremities : love and hate, thirst and quench, want and meet, desire and fulfill, eat and expel, breathe and asphyxate, etc. And, I am told, the same circumscribed motion qualifies the cosmos and universal being through manifesting big bang to extinguishing big crunch and back, creation to destruction and back, magnetic pole shifts through great terrestrial flood to ice age and back, shift of solar phenomenon from our present sun to the nest one that is getting prepared, and galactic shift from Milky Way to another in its place. 

Every cyclic sway that we become aware of reveals the same flooding … growth, abundance, extinction and freeze, whereafter the cycle repeats. The sages oft declare : as within, so without; know thyself and the cosmos will be revealed. The journey however is full of unknown details, the process punctuated with inscrutable operating and decision nodes. We start with being the ” I ” in this differentiated awareness, in an indescribably extensive game of alternating between the “other” and the self, outwaiting the crowded focus till it simplifies to one object, which stays and begins to reveal itself. It shows up the attachments and anchors upon ourself as the object is brought back again and again and retained in the metal frame, untill all psycho-vital bonds of relatedness disssolve and the finitude in our knowledge of the object extends to include its being entire over all space and time. 

That about outlines the classic Raja-Yoga method to union with pure being. What remains in our perception is knowledge of the object as it is, without any taint or flaw contributed by the mind – the perceiving organ – and without any subjectivity on part of the perceiver himself. The method suggests we next take up progressively subtle objects such as a thought, concept or idea, followed by concentrating on the subject being itself. The object specific knowledge are important only for the challenges they offer : of scale over space and time and of penetration into layers of being. The capacities we broadly acquire along the way are towards attaining knowledge that is immutable and without doubt, breaking through our own limitations, our immensely arresting happiness born of the sense of fulfillment, and the singularity of doing away with the individuated sense of being we have of ourself.

The method rips us away from our dream-like everyday existence in family – work – food – sex – ablutions – relationships – thought – action routine. Withdrawn from all but a frame in the mind, it gets killingly intense at times, when however we end up learning the most. The journey we cover within us is real, with a presence that throws us off at first, perhaps for long, but intensifies and deepens with time, raising a whole gamut of rich impressions latent in our mental being, filling the psychological universe with images and drives that inexorably draws us in. No matter what the scientists say and the dialectical materialists inform, this question of how we have come to this start is shrouded in mystery and does not resolve untill the will and wilfulness gives way to thought and contemplation, to meditation, and to the vigorous urge to join in the drama in our lives ! 

Life begins to cumulatively clarify in the layered impressions of our memory of world, body, relationships, our own being qualified by its ignorance, our knowledge, want and will. The forever situation becomes here and now; the self in the experience is closely watched in the measure of its want; the hidden link of experienced quality with subconscious infiltrations is mapped in vitality; the action is truly anchored in awareness and performed with our whole heart…

But all that only enables us to expand and intensify the awareness … the results may continue to be as unsatisfactory as they’ve always been. However, the difference hereon is that nothing escapes our attention. We fail at every outlined step; but now we know : a very big deal, for we now would get up and on to doing and improve every time ! Every twig, leaf and motion is in our watch : the others and ourself are known real time and included in our thought and behaviour. There is a constant feedback loop, at times surprisingly in advance, with the body we own and owe to, the breath flowing in out, through ablutionary exercise, the things we have now also have us … We are happy with our feelings, comfortable with our relationships, watchful of subconcious interpretations, mindful of our emotions, desires, will, thought, values, actions and their consequences … These are our facts of the way. Our sight is clear on our self, afloat on a sea of subconscious impressions with an unceasing stream of desire, want, will and thought passing through it, claiming it. We compulsively make happy choices, preferring one or other, and are at ease between life and our witnessing reference. And we know every trace of that which we are bringing over from the previous moment and are not bothered : because we are happy with it.

The constant cycle of want and pleasure, joy and misery, ordeal and achievement, hope and anguish … engenders a whole range of attitude. Most people battle through life to fulfill their need and meet their want. Many forever strive to profit, deeming it all as an euphemism of life itself. Some who succeed also grow dissatisfied, tired of the status quo. They search for a way out of it. Of the last, some buy time for their leisure and self-actualisation; some despair and live in depression; others summon the will to work for the welfare of others or for causes that would herald a change. Only a scant few have the clear sight, vigour and the mental preparedness to take a turn away from it all for a time and direct their search into hitherto uncharted terrain, to the self abiding with transcending paradigms.

*  *  *

I loved these accounts from a whacky lady … http://clotildajamcracker.wordpress.com/

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

II          What is the truth ?

It is that which supports the entire tangible and intangible domain, that exists by its own potency and cannot be contradicted. It is everything material, physical, mental, psychological and spiritual … all that are perceived to exist of their own accord and power. It is existence that comes to be, whose being cannot be denied in its moment or eternity, through which it continues to be. It is the substratum with which the unmanifest subsists, of which forms are manifest, into which all being de-manifest and subside.

We could have an idea of the truth as an all-inclusive sum of facts and the history of each over time, if we knew. Whether in respect of objects, the subject, or both in their relatedness, truth is a realisation that is over and above what we know, that circumscribes and permeates all we experience and perceive, and is hence transcendental. It is inseparable from its knower, forever preceding it, constituting and illuminating it, casting its light upon the mind and all things in our sense and perception. In the absence of the knowledge of this truth, our sense of the self is without the eternity at its support and the truncated awareness remains in its individuated in-itself emptiness that we abhor or its transient for-itself preoccupations that take us through respective existential cycles of will and want, emotion and thought, idea and vitality.

An objective fact is a local truth of the moment that excludes us. Clearly, it is impossible for us to be objective about a being, person or thing, with which we already relate. If it isn’t the thing, then our subjectivity would be found in the act, the need of being objective or drive behind it. The most unrelated of facts or object is perceived with its form and nature, its causes and effects, while our attention is led to the dark domains of ignorance within us. It makes us dream of horror, romance, profit or sheer disinterest, while our perception of the image in our awareness changes in tune with frame in our dream. It might take years for the mind to clarify, and ages if the intent is to purify.

Truth arises when we are aware of being as it is, without our least interpretation of it. It may start with anything phenomenal – physical or mental, but soon extends to include our self and the universe. It takes a while, a long while from the start, before the mutating interpretations of being die down and give way to the unchanging perception. We then know the truth.

However wide its scale, the knowledge of the fact remains formal, leaving the knowledge we have of ourself untouched and instead prompts us with emotions and drives that lead us to action, with a profit in view. It doesn’t become intimate and informal until our enquiry expands to discover how the fact, its sources and effects, subserve our environment near or far, or directly impact our body, senses, mind and being. Inclusive extension and interpretive absence – nothingness, if we will – transports awareness past the veils of ignorance upon it … when there is no distance or separation, and cognitive mediate, between ourself and the truth : we then know ourself as the truth and the truth as our self, and find in ourself the capacity for perspective that includes both the fact of being and the being in truth. As a corollary, we then assign to the object being the same importance we reserve for ourself, and every fact is owned subjectively with the same regard as the body-mind bing assumes in our sense.

All existence, beings and things, including our body and thought, are matters of fact. The material ones are gross; the mental forms we sense are subtle. We may have a degree of intimacy with our material possessions and with bodies that please us, that we use frequently or sensually interact with, but the sense of that intimacy is subtle, within us, as a form of mind-stuff = feeling or emotion, thought or knowledge. The sense we have for each object is a historical reduction of experience subtly impressed upon our mental being, as a drive of one kind or other – desire or revulsion, hatred or want, or any other in between.

Infrequently, in evolved minds, the urge would transcend the desire – hate spectrum of vitality and will, and lead to curiosity, awareness of a gap in our knowledge that bothers, causing an irrepressible need to know. It is the hallmark of a refined human being.