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October 03, 2015 Saturday 05:21:13 PM IST

Synergize your freedom

Creative Living

Should we call 15th of August the “Independence Day” of India? Or is there a more meaningful name to describe the day?

In the famous midnight speech on 14th of August 1947 (“Tryst with Destiny”) Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, declared:


“The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye… Those dreams are for India, but they are also for the world, for all the nations and peoples are too closely knit together today for anyone of them to imagine that it can live apart”.


Nehru did not declare India “Independent” at the midnight of August 14, 1947! Instead he declared India “Interdependent” with the whole world! He alludes to the responsibility associated with the self-rule, to work together with all other nations and to realize a noble and challenging dream, namely “to wipe every tear from every eye”!


Shall we not call August 15th “Interdependence Day”, a “Day of Greater Synergy of India with the Whole World”?


Meaning of Freedom


In the development of an individual, one may identify three critical phases: 1) Phase of Dependence: Childhood – when one is rather completely dependent on the other for existence. 2) Phase of Independence: Adolescence- when one begins to assert one’s independence, free thinking and decision-making, facilitating development of the unique traits and features that distinguish an individual. 3) Phase of Interdependence: Adulthood – when one also supports, nourishes and nurtures the freedom of the other along with preserving own independence.


If freedom of a person remains at the level of independence, it gets frozen up. The natural growth-line of freedom is from dependence to interdependence, via independence. The quest for freedom has to reach the level of interdependence, where the freedom of one individual cross-fertilizes with the freedom of the other, mutually enhancing and enriching them.


“Freedom” of matter


Material things are generally considered inert and deterministic. They need to be acted upon by a force, to be taken through predictable trajectories. Newton’s Laws of Motion summarize this fact.


The First Law, the so called Law of Inertia, speaks about the inability of matter to change its state on its own. It needs an external force to accelerate it. If not, it remains inert.


The Second Law describes the acceleration of a material body, which is directly proportional to, and in the same direction as the force acting on it.


The Third Law is popularly stated as: “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction”.


Everything is fixed and determined in the Newtonian world. Matter is not free! It is doomed to dance to the tune of the external forces acting on it.


However, matter is not that deterministic according to modern science! It sometimes behaves as if it were “free”!


Nano-science tells us that nano-particles defy determinism to a certain extent. For example, they exhibit size-dependent properties. Differently-sized nanoparticles are observed to exhibit different colours depending on the size of the particle. Gold has golden color only as a bulk. If its particle size is reduced to10-20 nanometers, it looks red in colour. As the particle diameter increases from 10-20nm its colour changes through darker shades of red to purple and then to blue-grey for particles up to about 80-100 nm. There is no fixed colour for gold. Gold glitters in many colours!


Freedom of Mind


Mind is considered free. Freedom is understood as the intrinsic property of mind. It defines a person: A person is one who possesses a free mind. An individual without free mind cannot be called a person!


However, it will be a mistake to consider every human mind to be free.


Some consider it convenient to be in slavery. Thereby they could shift the burden of decision making and responsibility to their masters. Such people are most wanted by the unscrupulous bosses. In fact, it is the slave power that was expended in the erection of many world-famous historical monuments. The history of slavery also evidences collusion between masters and slaves who stayed peacefully together!


Others prefer to be slaves rather than masters of their own mind. Their actions are dictated by the involuntary scripts of their unconscious minds. They take refuge in the dictates of “fate”, “karma”, “stars”, “ideology” and allow their minds to be subdued by them. They fall prey to their own attitudes, drives, religion, ideology, etc.


A few others freely commit their own mind to greater revelations, extending it to newer and wider horizons. They are open to dictates from heaven but remain responsible to what is revealed. They do not transfer responsibilities. They call themselves differently “believers”, “seers”, “rshis”, etc.


Freedom: The First Law of Creativeness


Freedom of mind is a pre-requisite of creativeness.


A fearful mind is slavish. It is too impotent to create. It is contented with the given. It shuns progress and pretends to be the guardian of yesterdays. Old is for it gold! It does not seek to find, knock to open or ask to receive. It lives a world of pseudo-satisfaction. It develops large intellectual inertia, which keeps it inert in all respects.


Synergy: The Second Law of Creativeness


The Greek word “sunergia” derives from the verb “sunergos” meaning “work together”. Synergy hence means “cooperation”, “cross-fertilization”, etc. Synergy actually happens when the interaction of two processes brings about a combined effect which is greater than the sum of their individual effects. It is a “1 + 1 > 2” situation. It defies the rules of ordinary arithmetic. It happens in all win win collaborations! It is a situation of mutual enriching, mutual benefit, far greater than the sum of their individual contributions.


Nature lives on synergy. It is evidenced by the mutual attraction, fascination, interdependence, harmony of species in the ecosystem. Bio-synergy is ubiquitous in nature.


Some scientists (e.g. Peter Corning) even consider synergy as the true driver of the evolution process. Synergy between species, not the competition between them, enables them to adapt better and survive together. It is the fittest survives; but the fittest are those who are living in synergy with the other species.


Animals and plants sustain and thrive through adaptation and cooperation. The most prolific life forms on the planet are those that keep social collaboration. United the species thrive; divided they perish!


Synergy is a wellspring of biological creativity. Male and female species generally share millions of bodily processes. Very few of them are different. However, through the interaction of these differences an offspring is born. Synergy catalyzes creativeness!


Synergy is an important ingredient of human creativeness. Truly creative people are those in best synergy with nature. Some of them were absorbed into the rhythm of nature to create music. Some of them were soaked in the manifold colours of one nature and the mind to create art. Some of them delved into the meaning of the existence to create poetry, theatre etc. Some of them touched the core of reality and became mystics. Yet a few of them analysed the patterns and principles of nature to establish science.


Freedom and Synergy: The Role of Sacrifice


Freedom and synergy are necessary requisites for creativeness. However, they often cross swords. They appear to be dialectical in nature: bosom enemies of each other. Absolute freedom cannot be guaranteed in a synergic situation. Synergy necessitates sacrifice of individual freedom. Synergy constitutes a win-win situation, but is characterized by individual losses – a loss that is transformed into mutual gain. Such sacrifice-for-mutual-gain alone ensures individual and collective survival and sustainability!


Creative minds have undertaken great personal sacrifices to preserve their creativeness: they have suffered hunger, loneliness, diseases, hatred, rejection,  hate, envy, and death. They took upon themselves these disadvantages, fully aware that they were “creating something totally new”. That awareness rendered them the necessary perseverance.


Their suffering compares with the suffering a woman undergoes during birth pangs. The pain leaves no scar in her mind, as she knows that only through such pain could she gift the world a new person, totally fresh and ineffable. Sacrifice for the sake of creation is driven by LOVE.


This fact is best evidenced in adolescent friendships. An adolescent will go to any extent to protect his/her individual freedom: they rebel against their parents, teachers, and elders and against everybody who pose the threat of curtailing their freedom. However, they are ready to sacrifice all this hard-won freedom for the sake of pals. This is promoted by friendship, which is compatible with their taste. Hence parents are often advised to be friends of their adolescent children to be able to influence them.


Freedom and synergy are not mutually exclusive principles of creativeness. They are rather complementary. A creative mind shall enjoy full freedom, with no inhibitions that colours perception of reality. It shall also be open to synergic interactions with nature and other free minds, knowing that the pain involved in every creative process will be eventually transformed into lasting joy.


Synergize Your Freedom!


It is high time that we trained ourselves to synergize our freedom.


If freedom is practised as sheer independence, it only creates monsters. If freedom of one is incompatible with that of another, it turns to be a burden. If the freedom fails to cross-fertilize, it becomes unproductive. If freedom is taken as independence, democracy would encounter a deadlock. It creates problem nations, where citizens fight for individual/ethnical/provincial rights, completely neglecting the individual/ethnical/provincial rights of others. There will have no provision for common good. Unity in diversity will be in danger.


Independence is only an adolescent version of freedom. It is not mature. Freedom could be seen as spender of “fundamental rights” to an individual, until it touches the freedom of the other. From that moment freedom incorporates “fundamental duties” towards the other. Matured freedom consists of both “individual rights” and “individual duties”. Freedom will be corrupted in a democracy, where people are just aware of their “civil rights” and do not bother about their “civil duties”.


Democracy survives only if the freedom of the citizens cross-fertilizes. If the freedom of an individual is only curtailed or blocked by the freedom of another, democracy becomes a suppressive principle. If the freedom of an individual annihilates freedom of the other, democracy will become untenable. Democracy should be transformed into a system that synergizes individual freedom. If democracy creates only anergy (useless energy), rather than exergy (useful energy), it will become inert, redundant and even harmful to the citizens. If democracy is maligned by evils like nepotism, corruption and inefficiency, it develops disgust in the citizens. Such a system is on the verge of collapse. It is doomed to fail in the course of time.


The role of the new -generation world leaders is to make sure that modern democracies generate more exergy than anergy, facilitated by synergy of freedom of individuals. Let the freedom of one citizen facilitate, reinforce and multiply the freedom of another citizen based on the principles of synergy.

To this end the democratic republic of India needs more interdependence than independence, as Nehru once visualized. INDIA SEEKS SYNERGY.

Dr. Varghese Panthalookaran

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