Profile Pictures, Makeup and Detachment!

Facebook has a tradition-people tend to like profile pictures more than anything else you share. I have experimented with sharing jokes, videos, maxims, news natural sceneries and trivia. But whenever I share my selfie-which is relatively rarer compared to most of my Facebook friends–I get a lot of likes. It’s not just me–whenever other friends share their selfies–more people tend to like it than anything else. Religious idols, messages of patriotism, kindness and shocking truths get lesser likes than selfies. “Why is it so?” I asked myself.

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I feel people connect more with what they think ‘is’ you more than anything you ‘think’ you ‘are’ or you ‘do.’  This is a material realm so unless you’re special in some way(a celebrity or a politician) for public–you are your body more or less. Particularly your face is you. We all have such a high degree of attachment with our body images that we not only value it for ourselves but obviously consider it to be true for most others we interact with in our day-to-day lives. In order to show their support for you people who are there in your friend list on Facebook like your profile picture more than anything else you share. They think they’re supporting you as a friend. On the other hand it’s a type of subconscious reinforcement–you should pay special attention to your body and images of it because they are what is liked most.

What hurts you most? Is it when someone makes a comment about your physique? Or is it when someone says that you are a moron? Or is it when someone says that you’re not loyal to your family? Is it when they say you have a loose moral character or when they say you’re a pervert and a racist? Do you get hurt when they call your family members by name or insult your country? Or when they refute your arguments?

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This is a realm where frequency of vibration is so low that body is valued most highly. Most people in the world get hurt when they feel their body image has been hurt. When people say you are beautiful-you immediately feel good. There has been a message circulating on social media about an experiment where a photographer compared pictures of many people before and after telling them that they were beautiful and results were consistently suggestive of the fact that people showed their best selves on camera via facial expressions when they thought that someone considered them beautiful. So when someone says you look like a dog-you immediately get hurt. Because you’ve been investing so much in body image. Generally speaking beauty is associated with health-physical, mental and spiritual. Healthy people look good. But it need not be so in all cases. But  people invest more in appearing beautiful than in staying healthy. Makeup is all about showing what you don’t have. Grey hairs must be died, dark circles must be hidden, glasses should be removed and clothes should be worn in such a way that you don’t appear fat. Why so much trouble? Because we think we are body.

Some people don’t pay much attention to body but they pay a great deal of attention to mind. It’s not necessarily awareness or higher mind but rather intellect. They think that reason is the only thing worth being considered important. These people invest a great deal in staying ahead as far as information acquiring is considered and keep sharpening their intelligence. They’re fond of debates and losing a debate is equivalent to dying for them. Their whole life is put as a bet when they put forth an argument–if you dare put an opinion which is not similar to theirs or opposes theirs–they will hunt all your ideas like a hound and put forth hair-splitting arguments about why they are right about everything. Why so much trouble? Because some of us think we are minds.

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Some people don’t pay much attention to body or intellect but they are very much invested in being good. Character is everything for them. They’re kind and assume responsibility in almost every situation where they can. These people take a great pride in being good. Though kindness goes hand in hand with humility–truly kind persons are those where flowering of consciousness has become complete–in some people a subtle pride develops. If you insult such people and criticize their character they get extremely offended. They might try to prove that they’re selfless and good. Why so much trouble? Because some of us think that we are sum of some good habits.

Some of us take great pride into what we do. We can’t take any criticism of anything we accomplish. Our alter egos are so valuable that anyone finding fault in our works is taken to be an enemy by default. Why so much trouble? Because we think we are what we do.

There are many umbrellas under which we live. As civilization has kept evolving we have come up with myriads of names and labels for ourselves. Some people get offended if you say something bad about their country because they consider themselves to be patriotic. Some other get offended if you call them patriotic–because as liberal cosmopolitan they consider themselves agents of chaos and universal citizens. Why so much trouble? Because we deeply believe that we must assume some label or the other to live and to function in the society.

Detachment or Vairagya isn’t possible until there remains attachment to anything gross or subtle. Detachment and Self-knowledge go hand-in-hand. Without being aware of self it’s impossible to be completely detached and without being detached it’s impossible to have self-knowledge. That’s why knowledge as well as detachment come under six fold opulence of supreme personality of godhead-Bhagwan. Maybe you don’t get hurt when people call you a dog but when they call you a moron. Maybe you don’t get hurt when people call you a selfish person but when they say you have a bad character–you can’t bear it. Sages are those who don’t get hurt–not because they’re insensitive to pain but because their extreme sensitivity and awareness makes them transcend dualities. When self is no more there is no good or bad.

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35 thoughts on “Profile Pictures, Makeup and Detachment!

  1. This is very thought provoking. It appears that the more we are able to live in the seat of our consciousness the less we are affected by opinions about ourselves. It is not that opinions don’t matter because one is self centered. But viewed from this seat of enlightenment one does not hold on to these opinions. We hear and release. The observer (soul) is separate from the conscious mind that seeks to defend or is puffed up with self. And by not holding onto the opinion none of its energy is stored in the mind or body. From the place of the observer the soul is all love and love is perfect

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Terrific post, Anand. Especially loved so unless you’re special in some way(a celebrity or a politician) for public–you are your body more or less. If I had to guess I’d say we don’t hardly know anyone we see on the internet only. We’re all hiding behind something.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed reading this, as usual very well written ❤
    I left fb or the circus as I like to call it few years ago, I got bored with it and all the people wants to invade your privacy there.
    If you place a picture of your toe in a fb it will get more likes than any post that you have wrote, for me it shows how much shallow people are.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. LOL “toe”; gross, but true:p This is a very great post, Anand, and I hate to admit that I read Vairagya as Viagra at first so I had to re-track what I just read LOL So sorry, since I work in healthcare I am used to seeing names of medications:p

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I am on FB, but not a part. The number of friends I have there is minimal. Most of my friends and family do not wish to use it. I do not blame them. I have a certain measure of detachment, Yet, I do not live in a cave. I practise my meditations and it fills me up. As Lai Tse says. “Opinion is the easiest thing to give”. Generally speaking, for me, water off a duck’s back. I believe in free speech. So one has to take the rough with the smooth. Am I going to change because of criticism? Maybe? One should always listen and take it to account. If the critique is valid it behooves us to listen and change. Cheers Jamie.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. To a large extent, I have ceased to be bothered over what people think I look like or what I am like because the most important person who knows me is me. I am more focused on treating people fairly and kindly. Of maintaining my integrity and peace and all other things are secondary. Good post.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. There was a time when the opinion of others concerned me a great deal. That is in the past. I have learned that the opinion of others has nothing to do with me at all. I am who I am. I am not my body, my eye color or my hair. I am a being living a physical life learning the lesons I need to learn.

    Liked by 2 people

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