Let’s install antivirus in our systems, says SISTER B K SHIVANI in a conversation with SURESH OBEROI, using the computer as metaphor for our thoughts
Suresh Oberoi: Om Shanti!
Sister Shivani, how important is a belief system for happiness?
Sister Shivani: We have seen the whole process that takes place inside — where every thought that I create gives rise to a feeling and the feeling develops my attitude. The attitude comes out as action; repeated action becomes habit; habit develops my personality and my personality determines my destiny. This is the process from thought to destiny. The point is that every thought becomes very important. But what determines the quality of my thoughts? Everyone is talking about positive thinking, so why does the negative come so naturally the minute there is a stimulus or a trigger?
The factors that determine the quality of our thoughts are past experiences, and information in which we see the impact of media, early in the morning and late at night just before going to sleep. These two play a very important role in the quality of our thoughts.
The third and the most important factor is our belief system.
Our body is like a computer, the soul is the operator, and the belief system is our operating system. As will be the operating system, so will be the way the software that will run in the machine. We generally say this software will run on this particular operating system, while that one will not run on another operating system. This machine is important, the operator is important, but the operating system plays an even more important role. At times, there could be a virus in the operating system, which is also a certain belief system that may hamper the way I think and, thereby, my destiny.
Spirituality will help me install an antivirus. Many people use a computer but do not install an antivirus in the machine, so time and again the system tends to get corrupt.
SO: They also don’t see its expiry date.
SS: Yes, you need to update your operating system. What is the sign that my system crashes once in a while? Outbursts of anger, pain, or being hurt are signs of a system crash. It’s time to understand and check how often is my system crashing in the whole day.
SO: But there are so many people who are irritable throughout the day who insist that somebody else has passed the virus on to them.
SS: Even if someone passes the virus to me, it’s still my responsibility to have the antivirus. No one else is going to put the antivirus. Times are getting tougher, situations are getting challenging, people are becoming increasingly unpredictable. Suppose I have known you for years and suddenly there is a change in your temperament and your behaviour changes. I have known you to behave in a particular way and then suddenly I say, I don’t expect you to behave like this. Let’s say your nature is jovial and carefree, but suddenly you are confronted with an issue. You are going through some conflict in your life and your temperament changes. I am used to you talking to me very openly and light-heartedly. Now I can’t understand why you have withdrawn. You are not communicating properly.
SO: So what is your duty and my duty then?
SS: My duty first will be to take care of myself and not get hurt. You see that is where friendships and relationships suffer. If I get hurt first, then I am sitting and nursing my own wounds. If I am hurt because you did not talk to me properly, I cannot help you. I take it personally, and start feeling you are angry with me and you do not respect me anymore. While I am creating all this pain, I do not understand that it is not about me, but your behaviour is because you are in pain for some other reason. Since I am in pain, I will not be able to help you heal.
SO: Why is the other person’s behaviour so important for us?
SS: Public acceptance and approval from people around us matter a lot. The magnitude will vary, but acceptance and approval from people around us seem to be the foundation of our self-esteem.
Every thought I create gives rise to a feeling and the feeling develops my attitude. The attitude comes out as action; repeated action becomes habit; habit develops my personality, which determines my destiny■