To become broad-minded, know that reality is broader than what the mind shows
Why are some people narrow-minded? Because they are very attached to their mind. Their vision is limited to what their mind shows, and they hold on fanatically to whatever opinion their mind forms.
They divide reality into convenient categories – whatever conforms to their preconceptions, they consider that right and defend it fiercely. And whatever doesn’t conform, they consider that wrong and condemn it vehemently. The Bhagavad-gita (18.22) states that equating one fragment of reality with all of reality is typical of knowledge in the mode of ignorance. Those with such fragmented vision become irrationally attached to small things without considering the big picture.
How can the narrow-minded become broad-minded? By acknowledging that reality is bigger than the mind’s narrow conception of reality, and by not trying to retrofit reality into their mind’s tunnel vision.
Ultimately, the best way to become broad-minded is by filling our mind with the broadest reality: Krishna. When we get security and serenity in our connection with Krishna, then our sense of self-worth doesn’t rest on proving the correctness of our opinions. We can calmly distance ourselves from our mind and see the mind’s small world objectively. That is, we can observe the mind, observe reality, and observe reality as shown by the mind. By such careful observation, we can understand how our mind distorts our perception and become willing to revise our opinions when necessary.
When we are thus spiritually situated, we don’t see others’ contrary opinions as threats, but as perceptions emerging from different perspectives. Instead of rejecting those perceptions, we strive to see how those perceptions are presently connected with reality, even if remotely. With that accommodating attitude, we can not only expand our own vision of reality but also play our part in better aligning their vision with reality.
Think it over:
- What makes some people narrow-minded?
- How can we distance ourselves from our mind and its tunnel vision?
- How can we stop seeing others’ contrary opinions as threats?
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