Regrettably many of us are not scientists. We neither have the patience to make unbiased observations, nor the humility to check our theories. We also lack the courage to abandon our beliefs if we find evidence contrary to our ideas. Instead, we’re likely to resort to confirmation bias – to seek evidence that justifies our preconceptions.

The first step therefore, is to become an honest spiritual scientist, one who decides to embark on an inner journey by first observing his or her own life. There are examples of scientists who have overlooked evidences contrary to their theories and held on to their own flawed assumptions. Similarly we might have made conclusions about so many things, without a scientific approach.

Let’s re-examine them! Let’s not see the world through our glasses! Rather let’s see our own lenses! The world outside can wait, it’s been going on for millennia without our valuation. Instead let’s focus on observation of both the external and our inner world – our own values, judgements and beliefs. In theHound of the Baskervilles, Sherlock Holmes says these famous words; “the world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”

Practising Observation

Once riding in an Uber cab I was reeling in stress. I had spent the last two days in intense meetings. There was constant judgement and anger seething inside of me. I was upset with some members of the ashram; I strongly disapproved with the decisions taken and was mentally clogged. I needed a break!

Just then I felt inspired to see the city from my little cab. I decided to stop my judgements and only observe for the next ten minutes.

I began the inner ride even as the taxi honked and sped in the Mumbai traffic, emitting more fumes and adding to the polluted biosphere.

I saw a couple ride on a bike that sped furiously and honked loud and swirled dangerously in the busy Mumbai road, keeping pace with my speeding cab. Instantly I judged the young man driving the bike as irresponsible and crazy and I feared for their safety. Then my thoughts raced through many subjects: a distant relative who died in motorbike crash years ago, my academic achievements, my proud parents, envious friends and even my cousin’s marble stone business.To be continued…

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