A story for a peek inside a different paradigm

The other moment i was speaking to a friend of mine. He shared with me that he was most likely going to get married soon. I inquired about it and found out that it was an arranged marriage like normal here in India. Of course my curious mind wanted to explore what that is like from their paradigm. See, no matter who i speak to about something like this in America, the first thing they do is express their judgement from their own bias or perception and that only comes from the cultural paradigm that they are from. This is my point of this entire post. Unfortunately I am not going to type out the entire conversation but to share the main points instead because i figured it would be a peek into a different paradigm.

I asked my friend, explaining that i only know what marriage is to an American, if he could explain what all of it means to him, what excites him about it, how he feels, anything he could say about it. I explained that in America people express, without thinking, that they could never do that and that this and that that…. blah blah blah.. I explained that from a Western paradigm they cannot fathom an arranged marriage and all I have even heard back from Americans is judgement of it.

He replied that it is very normal here. I asked him what emotions he has about never meeting this girl before. He looked at me for a second as if i had asked him a question that stumped him. he said, “you know, I told my parents i wanted to meet her and her family for a few times prior. I told them that tradition is tradition but things have changed and that it is his right.” He said, “I want to make sure she wants to get married and is not being forced into it.” This is all he wanted, was to make sure she wanted to get married. i thought this said volumes.

In our conversation, i asked him about being attracted to her and if he has any worry if it might be a problem like if he didn’t find her attractive. I felt like a stupid American for asking it as I don’t even worry about such things but the American paradigm this is the most important thing. He explained that marriage here is not like that at all. I just saw this as more of the advanced culture that they are or were and what is being lost as they try to be like America in so many ways. All of this said so much, why relations are sacred here and are not in the west. the family dynamic is so much of a foundational focus here as the entire family lives together and that is considered absurd in America. Our children fly the coop when they are 18 and go off to start a new life where as here they stay with family unless the jobs of today take them away.

To me this is incredibly insightful to the different paradigm, the heritage and the ethics that India comes from. I am not going to go into what all of it means but i am hoping you do. I am hoping this stimulates your thinking and allows you to see for a moment the deep biases we have as culture created. This is just a glimpse into understanding a paradigm from where all of the vedic sciences come from. A glimpse into their true depth, not a westernized take of it from some book by a guy trying to make it understandable to a western mind. This speaks to yoga as well and what it really is in its purity and where it comes from. It is a far cry from a westernized version of exercise classes and 200 hr courses for becoming a teacher. It is from a different paradigm where the rules of being a human being are quite different from the start.

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