Culture is meant to channel our curiosity constructively, not destructively

To be curious is natural for us as conscious beings. Where we direct our curiosity is largely shaped by our culture; what we are exposed to determines what triggers our interest and imagination, impelling us to further exploration.

The defining challenge of humanity is to channel our curiosity constructively and prevent it from being channeled destructively. Our present existence is two-dimensional: we are spiritual beings encased in material bodies. We are parts of the highest spiritual reality, God, who is the supreme and supremely fulfilling object for our curiosity. The Bhagavad-gita (07.16) mentions curiosity as one of the factors that can bring people towards God. In fact, the Vedanta-Sutra (1.1.1) begins by exhorting all humans to become spiritually curious.

Our bodies have the natural drives to eat, sleep, mate and defend. These drives stem from functional physical needs, but when the culture unduly glamorizes the pleasures associated with these needs, our capacity for curiosity gets consumed by the craze to explore newer, supposedly better forms of sensual gratification. Such sensual exploration frequently ends in frustration when the actual pleasure turns out to be pathetically meager as compared to the hype. Despite the frustration, however, the relentless hype keeps inflaming our sensual curiosity. It makes us seek more and more depraved forms of pleasure, thereby bringing out the worst within us. Thus, contemporary culture channels our curiosity destructively.

In contrast, a culture filled with spiritual stimuli channels our curiosity constructively. A spiritual culture exposes us to saints deeply absorbed in God; seekers focused on realities beyond the mundane; devotional savants relishing fresh insights from ancient wisdom-texts. Such stimuli inspire us to explore and discover our spiritual side. Gradually, the best within manifests without – our pure potent core expresses itself in loving service to the omnipotent whole.

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1 Comment

  1. Krishna bhakti leads to nice cultural curiosity

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