Control vs. Harmony

A warrior or worker can be at peace with oneself in the midst of chaos

As a former industrialist, I learnt that everything we do is a process. Success comes when we have and follow good processes. When processes are unstable, outcomes are unpredictable, quality is inconsistent, and resource consumption is always excessive.

To be world class we had to exercise great control over inputs and processes. Meaning, everything happened just as it was supposed to. We devised ways and means to keep control of all processes of design, production etc. to get great results.

Sometimes we faced problems, and it frequently boiled down to one reason, the well designed and established process had gone out of control.

In the world of science and technology it is almost always possible to maintain control so that failures are extremely rare. All it requires to be in control is an understanding of processes involved, commitment and competency to deploy and discipline to maintain.

Things are a lot more challenging when we seek control of our lives, our relationships, our surroundings, and that notoriously uncontrollable phenomenon called 'the market place'.

Its difficult, if not impossible to maintain control over other individuals and groups, because by their very nature are erratic and hence unpredictable. Control is a very big deal for us, in terms of the impact it has in our lives. Everyone it seems is trying to control everyone and everything else. This is why different 'isms are born, and religions distorted, each seeking to make humans identical in thought and therefore predict and control their actions.

Man always seeks excess, where as nature seeks equilibrium.
No dogma or doctrine can last for ever. It can only guide and that too only for a while, before excesses will compel nature to consume and destroy the dogma itself.

We often fail to realise that the only person we can truly control is, ourselves. Control of oneself is the first step in having any degree of control of our lives.

What is not understood cannot be controlled. Therefore understanding the self is primarily the most important thing we need to do before all else.

Our understanding of ourselves is based primarily upon opinions given to us by by others, mostly based on their biases and demands on us. That is why its a false understanding of ourselves. To get a truer understanding, quiet time with oneself to reflect is of utmost importance for peace, happiness and success.

What does control here mean? Control of our thoughts.
Stilling the mind, brings a peace which makes most things clear to us. In fact its not even control for control demands force. In that peaceful state we achieve harmony.

When one is in harmony, then why the need for control?
A warrior or worker can be at peace with oneself in the midst of chaos, while a silent priest maybe torn apart while alone in front of an altar.

Peace can come from submission, suppression and domination or cooperation.To submit to others out of fear, is not to live at all. To suppress others one needs resources and control. This will make us live in fear of rebellion and retribution.
Both these may bring peace for a while but neither happiness nor respect.

Peace is not harmony. Peace is the lack of conflict. Harmony is the ability to live peacefully in spite of disagreement and conflict. Only mutual cooperation which comes from understanding and respect can bring harmony.

Harmony is the blending of our song with that of our world around us.
That is why I gave up seeking control in favour of seeking harmony.

Gurvinder Singh
Sept. 2018

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