Monday, August 07, 2017

CONFLICT RESOLUTION BY ACTION

At any given moment I might suffer indecision, recurring thoughts and fatigue. Here, my body is subject to many contradictory orders and my body suffers the wear and tear.

I find that close analysis helps. The example can be of a man subject to different items of information at the same time: (1) From a superior officer asking him to go on tour; (2) His relative is ill and needs attention; (3) He himself has a slight fever and headache; (4) There is a cyclone warning. He is fed up and just does not know what to do. First of all he abuses the superior officer for his heartlessness in not knowing that his relative is ill, he himself is ill, and there is to be a cyclone. Next a few side remarks are made on the relative who seems to be getting into the knack of being ill and needing attention at the wrong time. This intensifies the headache and a few curses are thrown at the heads of children who seem to be enjoying the prospect of the cyclone. Where is God! That fool arranges for a cyclone at this juncture. The whole jolly lot of them have conspired to ruin his health and smooth programmes without the least bit of concern for such an important man as himself. ‘What to do! What to do! My Fate!’, he moans.

If by some simple means he can but stop himself for a few seconds and examine the situation, he will see that this present predicament is not unique, and that he has often enacted the same drama quite a number of times in the past. This type of drama is played naturally at the cost of the body. He has been frequently ill, and also frequently used the illness as an escape from all useful work. The body is being subject to very contradictory instructions.

  1. I am on orders to go on tour tomorrow… Go!
  2. The relative is ill, must help … Don't go!
  3. I myself am going to get flu … Don't help!
  4. Must go on tour … Go!
  5. But the cyclone is coming … Don't go!
  6. I have a severe headache … Lie down!
  7. What a racket the children are raising … Better get out!
  8. Better the cyclone comes now and wipes out everybody … Come cyclone!
  9. I don’t want the roof to crash on my head … Don’t come cyclone!
And thus, this important man walks up and down wringing his hands, and all the time his body is going to dogs losing all its sensitivity.

When he says that he can do nothing, he is talking nonsense, because he's definitely doing something - walking up down wringing his hands. Only he is doing nothing constructive. If he took a piece of paper and jotted down the things which he can do, and the things which are not in his control, he could have seen:

  1. The cyclone is not in his control, and anyway it is slated for tomorrow, and it may or may not come about. Hope it won't, for it is a nuisance for many.  Electricity may go off and one can check to see if the hurricane lamps are working.
  2. The superior officer has sent an order for tour. That is his job and in any case the poor fellow is not telepathic.
  3. The train which he would have to take is slated for tomorrow afternoon, and so nothing to bother about, except packing a valise.
  4. There is a little headache now, but he is not dying.
  5. This relative is ill. All that is needed is to ring for the doctor and say a few encouraging words; and if the children are a nuisance they can be given an errand or two.
  6. He might even pray for his and other’s welfare.
  7. If all this does not help, he can swallow a sleeping tablet and stop being A nuisance to himself and others.
Whatever be the number of goals, if they are reduced to a few things that can be done, concretely done, one after another, the body can be seen to be a very precise instrument. You can train to become ill or more and more efficient.

When confronted with conflicting situations:

  1. See the concrete things to be done for each.
  2. Convert useless activity into useful activity.
  3. Take issue by issue.
  4. Take minute by minute.
(Before all this, take a piece of paper and note down the things that are in your control and things that are not; and things you must do now, and things you can hold on; tick off the list as you go through).

5. When two or more forecasts are possible about something, it is preferable to make positive wishes or none at all.

If you don't know how, then train yourself. If you wish to enjoy your martyrdom, then go ahead, though it is a misfortune for your kith and kin, and if sensible they will do something to shake you out of your miserable dramatics.

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