Under the influence of different family background, educational background, cultural background, religious background, spirituality background, social, philosophical or political background, of all kinds of input coming from everywhere apart from the basic instinct of living beings, human minds are being conditioned to think, feel, believe, act and react or behave in certain way, conditioning the mind to analyze and judge everything based on the conditioned thinking, belief and practice about what is good or bad, right or wrong, positive or negative, happiness or unhappiness, meaningfulness or meaninglessness, appropriateness or disappropriateness, and etc, although most minds aren’t aware of it under the veil of ignorance.
When something happens, whether it’s happening onto oneself or others, autonomously, the mind will react based on the conditioned thinking, belief and practice, and would expect others would also react in the same way, and would be puzzled, disturbed, offended and annoyed by others who don’t react in the similar way as one would be reacting, because the behavior pattern of other minds are being conditioned differently under different thinking, belief and practice influenced by different types of background.
In certain society and culture, minds are being conditioned to react towards what the conditioned thinking and belief categorized as bad, wrong, terrible, painful, sad, sorrowful or undeserving, with the reaction of, “Oh no! Poor me/you.” and either feel sorry for oneself if it happens to oneself, or feel sorry for others if it happens to some others, as well as expect sympathy/empathy from others to also show similar sympathetic/empathetic reaction. But, what a mind feels and doesn’t feel, or how it perceives and reacts towards the similar happening, can be very different from one another. Something that appears to be bad and terrible for one culture might be nothing bad or terrible for some other cultures.
It’s neither right nor wrong about all kinds of different conditioned mind behavior pattern under the different thinking, belief and practice under the different societies and cultures. But most of the conditioned minds functioning under the influence of ignorance and egoism will be disturbed and puzzled by the different reactions or non-reactions of the others towards the similar happenings.
In many different society, something happen that most people would be angry about, that they think and believe that it is something that deserves the reaction of anger, or to be condemned, and they would tell themselves and others that “We should be angry and feel angry. This is bad, wrong and terrible. Why would anyone not react with anger towards something like this? One must be crazy if one doesn’t feel angry for such happening.”
That is how the so called ‘sympathetic’/’empathetic’ society comfort themselves and others about how everyone ‘should’ feel and react under such and such circumstances, and would categorize those who don’t feel or react the same as ‘lack/void of sympathy/empathy’, ‘crazy’, ‘mad’, ‘insane’, or ‘psychopath’. If that’s true, then all those past enlightened saints and sages, who renounced the world and ‘care-less’ towards the ignorance and the consequences of ignorance in the world, who remained equanimous and peaceful under any condition and situation, had their minds tamed being undetermined by ignorance and the consequences of ignorance, they all were insane and psychopath, while the worldly minded who think all their ‘reactions’ are something ‘normal’, ‘righteous’ and ‘healthy’, would perceive themselves as ‘mentally healthy’ for reacting in such and such way. Even many ‘yoga teachers’ in the world also would think and believe like that.
Everyone can feel and react as one desires, as one is, as it is everyone’s freedom on how everyone wants to feel and react towards everything, but in the path of yoga and Buddhism, those who have conquered their own mind, who are free from the influence of ignorance and egoism, have the will-power of choice towards how to feel and react, or not. It’s not about “One should autonomously feel and react in such and such way towards such and such circumstances.” That’s also how selfish greedy people in the world would manipulate people’s thinking and behavior, and make use of the ‘autonomous’ reaction of most human beings to create situations that would benefit them to get what they want.
Being undetermined by conditioned behavior pattern of the mind and being undetermined by the quality of names and forms doesn’t mean that one wouldn’t perform any necessary actions that would help and benefit others. One can be performing action selflessly and fearlessly, without being conditioned to react in certain way according to any particular thinking, belief and practice about how everyone should feel, act and react.
Yoga and Buddhism practice is about freeing the mind from ignorance and the conditioned behavior pattern of the mind. The world will have less human beings constantly feel annoyed, disturbed, offended, angered, frustrated or unhappy about this or that. There will be peace in those who are free from ignorance and the conditioned behavior pattern of the mind, who respect everyone as they are, not necessarily agreeable to one’s particular thinking and belief to analyze and judge everything, and naturally, it helps to bring more peacefulness into the world.
The important and effective practice to free the mind from being conditioned into a particular behavior pattern is non-attachment and non-identification towards one’s family, educational, cultural, religious, spiritual, social, philosophical or political background. While for the minds that feel it’s difficult to practice non-attachment and non-identification, but are still interested in transforming one’s mind, then they can practice renunciation or moving the mind away from such environment that empowers attachment and identification with all kind of qualities, names and forms.
Those who have strong foundation in non-attachment and non-identification don’t need to renounce the world of egoistic identification with all kinds of quality, name and form, and live in the world as it is, but without being influenced, affected, disturbed or determined by any qualities, names and forms.
Those who are not (really) interested in peace, they don’t have to practice yoga or anything that is about changing and transcending one’s mind behavior pattern, where it’s not about trying to control, influence and change other people’s thinking and behavior to be the way that one thinks and believes how it should be, the way that one can agree with, based on one’s particular family, educational, cultural, religious, spiritual, social, philosophical or political background.