Pleasure and Pain

By Dr. K S Radhakrishnan on 28-06-2011

The Big World of  Maya (XXIV)

            The most
important philosophical dimension of the concept ‘maya’ is that he who is placed between dualities cannot be able to
know reality. For ex. One who is trapped in between reason and passion cannot
enjoy happiness. This factor has been admitted by philosophers of the Greek
tradition as well as the oriental heritage. Plato specifically said that
happiness can be attained only by one who is completely controlled by reason
and he must be free from even the shadows of passion. Again, when Bertrand
Russell defined ideal life as one that is being guided by knowledge and ruled
by love, he also endorses the view that happiness can be attained by someone
who is able to get over the riddles of binaries. The problems of binaries have
been really created by maya, because maya has got a dual functioning of
‘concealing the real’ and ‘projecting the unreal’.

            Market economy,
on the contrary says that man is a creature of contradictions in the market and
it propagates that man is able to attain happiness when he makes an adjustment
with profit and loss. The market mechanism specifically admits that a man is
simultaneously a profit seeking and loss enduring being, because the market
gives everyone the opportunity to bargain for one’s profit. That is, a person
who gets more profit curtails the profit of the other which may amount to loss.
Since one and the same person has to play the dual role of the buyer and the
seller, he has to bear with profit and loss. A man who constantly bears with
profit and loss will never be able to enjoy happiness permanently. Here, he
acts as a pendulum swinging in between pleasure and pain. Again, since market
never keeps stability, it always throws man into a state of uncertainty, which
creates anxiety and its’ consequences. Therefore, the market mechanism can be
attributed to be creating problems of anxiety at individual and societal
levels. An important problem to be solved in all life saving mechanisms created
by humans at various levels is to find a solution to the anxieties created by
the market economy. Anxiety, when it crosses the normal limit, turns to
neurosis and neurotics take refuge in black magic and illogical faith
mechanisms. 

About The Author

Dr. K S Radhakrishnan

Dr. K S Radhakrishnan (formerly Vice-Chancellor of Sri Sankaracharya University and Chairman, Kerala Public Service Commission) is a learned scholar who has been earnestly trying to revive the ancient knowledge in Indian culture. He worked as a lecturer early in his life and now lives an eloquent advocate of social and cultural causes.