Tuesday, May 28, 2013

what colour glasses are you wearing?

Verse 3.16: My dear Arjuna, one who does not follow in human life the cycle of sacrifice thus established by the Vedas certainly leads a life full of sin. Living only for the satisfaction of the senses, such a person lives in vain.

Ever heard of the saying "viewing the world through rose coloured glasses"? For those who may be familiar, it means seeing the world in a very positive and optimistic attitude.

To a great extent, I believe that all of us not only view the world but also different experiences, persons and even words through different coloured glasses. For example, I have no doubt that for some, the word "sin" in this verse may not sit well. I've noticed that there are various other words that people, including myself, almost hesitate to use nowadays. Those other words include (but are not limited to): God, religion, faith and spirituality.

Why is that? Although there may be numerous reasons, the one that keeps coming up is the fact that we view the world by the experiences we've all individually be exposed to. Whether we were brought up with a spiritual practice, or any activity for that matter, our perception of those activities are a direct reflection of what type of emotions we experienced.

If we were hurt or disappointed in a situation earlier on in our lives, then naturally our mindset when exposed to it later on will be coloured by those feelings. Conversely, if we experienced great love and care then we'll feel enthusiastic and inspired.

The thing is, it's hard to erase any type of impression that has become engrained within us. The only practical solution any of us can turn to is honesty. If we face a situation or perhaps even a word which immediately causes us to shut down, it's only fair to introspect and find out why. That's honesty. By looking deeper, there's a greater probability that we will be able to pin point a root cause and that in turn can help us become more broad minded and open.

It's also important to realize that sometimes our understanding of a situation, person or a word is not complete. In those circumstances, rather than shy away, it's important to take the opportunity to clarify and understand the full picture. Not doing so can prevent us from moving forward and taking advantage of opportunities.

So the next time you encounter this type of situation, ask yourself "What coloured glasses am I wearing?" And remember - not everything is as it appears at face value.


  1. Vinodini,

    I have been on this journey for a while now. Although I am able to recognize the colored glasses, the root cause, taking off the glasses and seeing the real issue seems to be the most difficult part. For more often than not when we try to take off our glasses (which in itself demands a lot of clarity in thinking) we find that there is another layer of colored glasses. In other words our interpretation of our issue is through the eyes of a body of knowledge which is gathered from various sources most often from phychologists' theories. Life becomes a journey of peeling off layer after layer in the hope that someday I will see through my own eyes without the distortion of glasses. So I ask myself the question 'What colored glasses am I wearing now?"

    I could go on...but I have to rush to work...maybe I'll pour more of my thoughts into words on some other occassion.

    Have a nice day! God Bless!

  2. To stop and think about what colored glasses we are wearing when confronted with a situation which is either comfortable or uncomfortable? Yes! So necessary for spiritual growth and understanding of ourselves and others. This is not always easy; in fact, it's downright hard! We so want others to see the world as we see it instead of doing the work it takes to be empathetic to their viewpoints and needs.
    Absolutely beautiful, Vrndavana!