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Why I Hate Posts About LEARNING During Lockdown

Posted: April 1, 2020

Let us take cue from the situation and slow down. Why this rush to ‘learn’ and ‘update’ oneself? Why can’t we just BE for once?

The world has been steadily moving away from balance to extreme. Take the relationship of humankind to nature, for instance. Or the balance of ‘purush’- the divine masculine, to ‘prakriti’- the divine feminine.

Globally, economics and social structures steadily grew lop-sided. People would worship testosterone-laced machismo (watch just half an episode of Vikings on Prime to know what I mean).

But today, I want to talk about a different imbalance.

We worshipped achievement orientation

There are three forms of energy mentioned in the ancient science of health, Ayurveda. ‘Rajas’ is the passionate energy, ‘Tamas’ is inertia and ‘Sattva’ is the loving, peaceful energy. Ayurveda says these three energies are always in flux, or rising and falling. Their balance supports goodness and health.

Today, adulation is reserved for achievement, goal-orientation, being passionate, living it up! This is all rajas energy. Rajas shows up as an addiction to coffee, always moving, feeling restless, and having high achievement orientation. I know- these are all the things we hold holy! Which is why rajas has taken over the world.

Well, almost.

But, in this lockdown…

Then came the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent need for lockdown. Just like that, Life on Earth pressed ‘force quit’ on rajas.

For a couple of days, humankind experienced hightened ‘tamas’- fear, confusion, lethargy. Then Facebook lit up with emotional odes to the beauty of nature sans humans. The dolphins in Italy, the spotted civet in India. People started writing sublime poems, as sattva energy rose.

But soon enough, emails and whatsapp got inundated with ‘resources for learning’. Don’t waste this time, keep kids learning, the headlines screamed. Everyone from schools to parents started feverishly making and sharing e-learning options. Logiqids, google classroom, udemy, Big Life journal, Facebook Live workshops, even Amar Chitra Katha, Audible and Tinkle started churning out books, courses, worksheets, videos, activities and more. And once again, humankind’s love for rajas overran the beauty and power of balance.

Afraid to slow down?

Why are we so afraid to slow down? Why can’t we live with more sattva (love, beauty and awe) and even tamas (like sleeping longer, having unstructured days, being in ‘flow’)? Must we ruin Nature’s last-ditch attempt to recover from excess rajas? And not to strike fear in your heart, but, what will Nature resort to if we still don’t learn.

As Saint Kabir said centuries ago-
Duniya badi banwari patthar poojne jaye.
Ghar ki chakki koi na pooje, jiska peesa khaye
(In this crazed world people travel far to worship stone idols. Yet no one worships the grindstone at home which puts food on the table).

You would think that maybe now we would notice the nurturing power of the humdrum, everyday domesticity. We literally only need to sit still with ourselves and our loved ones for this pandemic to pass, and balance to be restored.

Image source: shutterstock

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Garima is a psychologist, mind-body wellness coach, holistic weight-loss specialist, and author of

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