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Simona Rich

Self Improvement Blogger, Simona Rich

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Does living in harmony with nature make you grow as a person?

When I lived in UK I met many creative people interested in self improvement, spirituality and natural living. They were people from the cities, either London or cities abroad.

When I moved to India, I witnessed some breath-taking locations untouched by the Westernization bug. However in those locations people were all about blindly following religion and culture, without much independent thought.

Even to this day I wonder why generally people who are most in touch with nature are least interested in spiritual and mental growth.

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  • Aug 1 2013: I do not see living in harmony with nature as something that makes you grow as a person.

    I do think it helps you find peace in life.

    For some, increased personal and spiritual growth comes from study, communication, and meditation. However, one of the things they often seek, or that drives them to pursue answers, is the search for inner peace with life as they know it.

    Perhaps the folks that you came across in India were at peace with life as they know it, which includes living in harmony with nature.
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      Aug 2 2013: Hi Robert,

      Thank you for your response. Yes, some people were at peace, some were not, but due to their culture couldn't do anything about their situation. There are many rules and restrictions in traditional Hindu families and thus sometimes personal growth is very hard to achieve. The family always comes first, individual - second.
      • Aug 2 2013: "They were all about blindly following religion and culture, without any independent thought."

        Growing up in a deeply religious culture can retard your true personal growth as a result of being brainwashed at such an early age. The doctrine, practices, rules and restrictions become intertwined in your learning, your value system, and your personal moral code. You almost have to reject things from the start, or eventually rise above these restrictions to develop your own philosophy on life. Not all societies permit such an evolution to occur as the religious communities see it as a loss of power and control, therefore this way of thinking becomes a threat. Blind acceptance is desired, and through doctrine and teachings, interwoven with the definitions of 'right' and 'good', thus effecting how a person might feel about themselves should they choose to rebel with independent thought IN THIS AREA. Consequently, I agree with your statement about personal growth being hard to achieve in these societies, but I think I would be careful about an assumption about these folks being incapable of independent thought, even in the areas of religion and culture. If the controls of a religion or culture are set too tightly, there will be rebellion, defection, and emigration to other places where less control is being exerted.

        Selfless behavior, putting family ahead of self, or as Spock said "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one", is not necessarily a bad way to approach life provided it is balanced with your needs. Do not lose yourself in the process. You need to be in touch with what makes you and individual and your own personal philosophy of life to find personal happiness, which after survival, should be a high priority goal. You may choose to give up some of this happiness by adopting the values of others, but you need to always know the direction of happiness in order to be able to pursue it.
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          Aug 3 2013: What a beautiful answer. I would have to still affirm that people don't think independently in India. Yes, it might be that they are capable of thought outside of their culture, but then they are afraid to express such thoughts.

          Whenever I talk to anyone in India from lower or middle-class families, the questions are always the same. I'm sure many people who visited India even once can agree with this. And the questions that may be a bit different (like Indian women complaining about their husbands) are pointless because if you answer them in a way that doesn't agree with the culture, your answer will not register.

          I met one Indian girl (she was from a high caste family) that definitely thought independently. However she was unhappy because as a result of her independent outlook she had no friends and the family disowned her.

          I visited meditation places and ashrams where I witnessed some of the most brainwashed people I've ever come across. Blind following of leaders is definitely encouraged in India.

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