Grasp the Context First

One of the calamities happening in communication is to jump on to conclusions without due analysis and to start analysis without understanding the context first. Be it personal, professional or understanding sublime scriptures, reading Gurus or listening to them. Mystics lived a fascinating and extraordinarily humane life but sometimes we entangle ourselves in what they taught. Got attached to particular set of dogmas, beliefs, principles without any deep contemplation, experimentation and integration in our lives. Issues is – the more we are attached to an idea the less we understand it.

A person suffering from attachment to ideas and beliefs exhibits certain signs  –

  • Compulsive behavior – over convincing others
  • Arguments in defense
  • Gets hurt when challenged
  • Remain closed to other viewpoints
  • Disrespect to others’ ideas or faith

Failing to understand context means, no possibility of internalization of knowledge, which then becomes a useless psychological burden. Such failures combined with wrong intentions breeds the tendency to go overboard convincing others to believe in their faith/ideas. As the believers count grows so the conglomerated ego but individuality and it’s uniqueness crumbles. Ability to grasp fresh ideas and adopt them also gets hampered.

Intention and clarity are key constituents of super learning and personal growth.

In reality, knowledge when understood and absorbed becomes wisdom, which further matures to love and service. One who has achieved state of pure love and selfless service  becomes inspiration for others. That is why when we see works of great masters, pioneers, artists we feel moved and they never tried anything to influence us. They were deeply involved in process and changes were sometimes spontaneous in lives of many.

This depth can come in our lives too by paying attention to finer details – one of which is to be clear on context.

Zoom in on Context

  • Understand the background, intention of ideas presented.
  • Timelessness and scope – some ideas are very local to current times and some are applicable timelessly which we should value more.
  • Look within for faults to eliminate – The key place of experiment and faults elimination is self and self only, not others. For example if we read about the value of non-judgment and stopping on the habit of finger pointing then faces of relatives and friends appear in our mind as examples suffering from this tendency, we rarely look at ourselves, which is missing the context totally. Such insights are for self to observe anything of that sort in our life and not in others.
  • Another example for missed right context – whenever in relations like teacher-student, husband-wife, if some scriptures have glorified the roles of teacher and husband, there seems to be a reason for it. Students should nurture deep respect for teachers so that acceptance of teachings becomes quick and easy. It was not for teacher to be arrogant about his/her role in character building, because arrogance becomes greatest hurdle in meaningful learning & teaching. And similar explanation goes for pati parmeshwar ( common term for deep respect from wife to husband), that is aimed for love and respect wives hold in hearts for their hubbies and not for husband to demand or expect such a kind of respect. Same statement could be medicine for someone and poison for another – all depends upon our understanding it in right context.
  • Misunderstandings of detachment – Detachment and renunciation are often misunderstood as giving up the comforts and interactions with relations. And a detached life is often seen as dry, bitter and with hopelessness in day to day experiences. That is a dangerous myth which kept us away from beauty and real meaning of detachment. We got to detach from overindulgence in pleasures which turns invariably into pains; it means shifting back to center – our home – for energy, inspiration and clarity. It is one of my fascinations to be expert in detaching and attaching at will.
  • Similarly Renunciation means discarding ways which are not working, foolishness, mistake repetition and attachment to outcomes. Is sleep possible without detachment? No. Detachment to relations actually means writing off rights but performing duties lovingly. Rights creates fights and duties permeates peace and love in family. Not expecting anything in return of good Karma is detachment from results but accepting gracefully when cross our way is appreciation. Detachment and renunciation safeguards inherent qualities of our soul like self-healing, focus, love and appreciation.Similar misunderstandings are prevalent around enlightenment, which we will gradually uncover in future posts.
  • Live recordings  – Lectures are sometimes given little spin intelligently by speakers as per audience. Content varies, angles changed but priority is to address the need of audience / questioner. Some questions are deep and genuine, some are shallow, some are to show smartness of questioner, some are to evaluate the speaker. Speaker handles this variety wittingly and now suppose same recording without review and editing is spread wide across – that could be dangerous if not understood contextually.

If you are hungry for continual learning  then look for context, relevance, feasibility before letting it enter in your brain and heart.

Key disadvantages of missing on context 

  • We miss on all benefits wisdom uncovers in life – fearlessness, freedom, being normal and natural, coolness of mind to mention a few.
  • Develop arrogance and attachment around gathered knowledge which spawns next line of issues – conflicts, arguments, approvals, justifications and mistaking our foolery as intellectual property.
  • Confusion, discomfort, burdensome attitude in learning and accepting fresh ideas.
  • Succumbing to comfort zone of rotten but familiar dogmas nurtured in past years.
  • Such a confused and entangled life broadcasts negative impressions on others for concepts and faith followed because others too can see the mismatch.
  • Last but not least, communication gaps between persons holding good intention for each other. We don’t hesitate to judge mystics and saints when we don’t follow  their compassionate hearts and enlightened minds. I myself struggled with this issue in past years and gradually learned to align and grasp the context before jumping into conclusions.

Context setting and getting – both are crucial to continual learning and sharing.

Building mindsets and habits for continual learning and wholehearted living

Here are the ones proving easy and helpful to me.

  • Look within and not outside for faults and issues.
  • I found books, articles quite helpful and easy to decipher context, to  select what-to-apply pieces.
  • Audios along with questions proved more helpful, particularly the one point agenda recordings with in depth coverage and some questions on same context. It’s great device to focus – do not start second thread before we are deeply clear on first in contemplation, discussion or in meetings. Stick to one or else we will get nowhere. Sticking to context and one topic helps in focus and deep dive into the subject.
  • Long conversations with close connections. Brainstorming ideas and concepts relating to our life’s common problems.
  • Deep reflections in silence sometimes gives clear and detached viewpoints.
  • Writing down my mental thread dumps helps me clarify  my thinking – what I really really want from life and what is my responsibility.
  • Parking habit – Have habituated to park quickly for later contemplation whenever there is slight dilemma or difficulty in grasping the context, one of the reason why I stick “Absorb the best and park the rest” statement in the end of my post sometimes. With time certain doubts get clear effortlessly. More importantly I firmly believe that working through and through on totally clear items is perfect recipe for steady personal growth.
  • Respect torch light principle – Avoid overdose of quotes, readings and listening. Take wisdom in small chunks – sip it with straw of contemplation. Energy and time are limited, so spend more of it in internalization. Whatever crystal clear we know already, can be good starting point. As torch lightens up to some meters ahead and light moves further as we move, similarly life will enlighten our path to success as we move forward.

Best wishes for moving courageously ever forward with torch of your own wisdom,



4 Replies to “Grasp the Context First”

  1. Nangs
    Nicely crafted. Opening the thoughts to the fullest ,closing and giving the practical touch through experience . Nicely done.

    There is abundance of knowledge all around .i think taking small doses and absorbing them to the deepest level is key.

    Would appreciate if you can summarise the key doable things at the last.

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