Being eclectic in one’s pursuits is probably one of the most important key to peace, creativity, productivity and potency. We are most of the times in pursuits of something or the other. The pursuits might be that of friends, companionship, materials, inspiration, peace, joy, happiness, schools to study from, subjects to pursue, books to read, authors to know, languages to learn, places to visit, clothes to wear, food to eat, etc. One needs to understand that it is essential to pursue the highest. For the quality of our pursuits define our identity.
It helps to remember the the thumb-rule – ‘Give up the small for the infinite’. One needs to continuously give up the ordinary and embrace the ideal – in anything and everything. This habit ensures that one is evolving, and confirming to one’s nature of being human. For it is in the most primordial nature of man to evolve; for that matter of any living entity. The quality of our moment to moment constant companionship determines the quality of our soul. If one mourns at the loss of petty people and things in one’s life, one squanders the possibility of investing one’s time and creative efforts in the pursuits of the ideal. At times, this ideal also would need to be painstakingly discovered from the plethora of the entities around ones own self, which one might have not even noticed, in the first place. These entities might be people, processes, things or ideas – both within and outside.
Being eclectic about our pursuits brings forth focus. At the same time it helps us to avoid distractions from the ocean of noise around. This saves time, energy and efforts. It is the foundation of “Nishtha”, “Shraddha”, Perfection and Peace. That breeds productivity, quality and potency. This drives value creation – both in one’s own life and the society one belongs to.
This art of being eclectic arises from the ability to let go the mediocre. The ability of letting go, the mediocrity in people, vocation, activities, thoughts, speech and action sprouts in man only when he is pulled by the enchantments of the Ideal. This enchantments need to be continually fuelled. The practice to invoke the divine with the usage of the inspiring models, literature and art in the scriptures, pursuits of difficult disciplines of study, reading a good book, time spent in gym, yoga, running amidst nature, stroll by the side of the ocean etc are some means to maintain the eternal pull towards that Ideal. This constant pull makes this ability of letting go the mediocrity but natural.
This entire scheme can be depicted in this flow –
Step 1 – Engage in inspirational activity, thought, and speech
Step 2 – Maintain the pull towards the Ideal
Step 3 – Let go the small for the infinite
Step 4 – Let that sense of rejection from masses peel of naturally
Step 5 – Automatic setting in of a self sustaining evolution towards the Ideal
Step 6 – Spontaneous setting in of the feeling of Gratitude , Peace, Glory and Joy in the self and the chosen eclectic world around
Step 7 – Productivity and potency in one’s ideas, speech and action
Step 8 – Go to Step 1
Interestingly in the shloka 5.18, Bhagavad Gita proclaims that wise is one who sees equally the learned who is endowed with knowledge and humility, cow, elephant, dog or the most crude in the darkness of ignorance! Here the sameness of these different groups have not been proclaimed. The mere fact that they are named separately, implies that they are not same. Rather the point is that the wise is able to accept all these diversity, and has the equal sense of belonging and inclusiveness for all forms of creation. It is like having a satellite view in which one is able to see the big picture, and all-inclusive perspective, where all the aspects appear part of the whole, without any obstructions of judgement which blind us from see the person, events, situation as – is!.
So, the point is not relinquish the attitude of eclecticism. Rather, it is about develop that eclectic discernment on the foundation of compassion, inclusiveness, and love. As per the shloka, the idea is not seeing cow, dog, elephant, ignorant, and the learned in the same level. Rather it is about seeing them in a detached mode from a “bird’s eye view”, with the same “bhav” or attitude of compassion, inclusiveness and love.
The shloka goes like this –
5.18 – विद्या विनय सम्पन्ने ब्राह्मणे गवि हस्तिनि शुनि चैव श्र्वापाके च पण्डिता: समदर्शिन:
The wise sees all with the same detached attitude of compassion, love, understanding, like a ‘bird’s eye view’, no mater the entity is a learned or an ignorant. Or the entity is an elephant, dog or cow.