I went to the seventh Young Jains convention this weekend. (17th – 19th July 2009 inclusive). On Friday I helped out but I did not have ‘the blue T shirt’ on.
Shaileen approached me and said I was a core member of the team and I should wear a blue T shirt and help where possible. It changed everything.
I didn’t realise at first, but various people were asking me questions about what would happen next, when the day would begin tomorrow and so on. I realised that it was because of the T shirt. It made all the difference.
No T shirt meant no questions
Wearing the T shirt meant I got asked about the timetable and other things. Also, when I asked delegates ‘how are you finding the convention’ some people were hesitant.
So I was honest. I explained that I wasn’t part of the team that organised it and that they didn’t need to hesitate. I also explained that I was asking how they found it because it was my first one and I just wanted to know what they thought. It’s amazing how that made some people loosen up and share without any awkwardness.
Why am I talking about this? Well it reminded me that we are ruled by our senses. The T shirt was a visual cue. It set/created an expectation which resulted in a particular behaviour in others. I guess it works the same with other things.
That person looks Jewish they must be stingy.
That person has a hoody on they must be in a gang.
That person has a sari on. They must be Indian.
That person is wearing Gucci they must be rich.
Do you follow my thinking? They are all visual cues. We make so many assumptions and perhaps finalise perceptions after gaining information from our senses.
How much are you governed by your senses?
We talked about this during the convention. Sounds strange doesn’t it? Well….most of us find our senses hard to resist. This can create a positive or negative affect. Lets look at some examples.
You see someone in football colours showing the team you support. You feel you have something in common and you want to be mates.
You see a particular insect and you may want to run away or harm it perhaps.
You smell your favourite food and suddenly, you want to eat even though you’re not hungry.
You get a whiff of a specific food whilst you’re hormonal and you heave.
You touch a material that’s smooth and it feels so good you want to buy some.
You feel someone’s stubble against your skin and you want to get away from it.
You hear the birds singing away and feel a sense of joy.
You hear techno music and you want ear plugs wondering why anyone would want to listen to it.
You have a delicious bar of chocolate and you want time to stop whilst you endure it.
You taste something that has too much salt and you’d rather go hungry than eat it.
Can you connect with any of these scenarios?
So each one has a resulting like or dislike. A resulting raag or dwesh.
Can you see how we’re a slave to our senses?