By Suma Varughese
Through The Art Of Extrapolation One Discovers Universal Laws And Principles
If there is one quality I possess that enabled me to have a spiritual awakening, it is the art of extrapolation. By this I mean the ability to use what works in one situation in every situation.I got my awakening many years back when a relationship broke apart, and through its debris, I formed a decision that I would focus on the happiness of that person, no matter at what cost. When his actions hurt or angered me, I would tell myself, “It’s his happiness that matters, not mine.” And behold, my anger would fall away and I could be peaceful.It was an amazing experience and once I got the hang of it, I began trying it in every situation and with every person. The words became like a mantra to me: “It’s their happiness, not mine,” I would say, and instantly my ego would drop and I would be able to look at the situation with detachment and equanimity. This power to slip out of the ego stayed with me for a good year, when I relinquished it because I wanted to find a method to naturally be in that frame of mind, instead of making myself get into it.
But that is besides the point. What is important is that had I not used that mantra in every situation, I would not have achieved my breakthrough experience. Since then, I have placed a high value on extrapolation.
Most of us do not extrapolate. We use techniques or processes for singular occasions, and do not take them forward to try if they will work in other situations. However, it is only when we do this that we discover the laws and principles that life is based on. For instance, you may find that on one occasion when you and your husband were having an argument about where to go for dinner, you suddenly decided to let him have his way, not out of defeat or resignation, but out of a moment of genuine acceptance. Most likely, he would then have backed down and insisted on going to the restaurant of your choice. This is a Eureka moment if you know how to extrapolate, for it illustrates the law of acceptance. When you stop resisting and allow the other to have his way genuinely, he too drops his defences and wants to allow you to have your way. The beauty is that this law is manipulation-proof. If you decide, for instance, that you will pretend to let him have his way so he will let you have yours, you will get nowhere. Both your barriers will still be up. It is only genuine acceptance or surrender that is capable of melting the barriers and allowing a free flow of energy.
It is the nature of universal laws and principles that they can be extrapolated into every situation. If you have stumbled on a technique that cannot be extrapolated, then it is not a universal principle, and its relevance is therefore limited. Taking responsibility for one’s thoughts, words, actions and needs is another universal principle that we would do well to extrapolate to all situations. We feel hurt when someone close to us speaks roughly or has acted without any consideration for our feelings. Perhaps we sulk, or throw a tantrum or act roughly back. Eventually, the interaction collapses and we refuse to make up unless the other makes the first move. We do this all the time, and the result is pain and suffering. It also puts us in the power of the other, for they hold the key to our happiness. When we learn to take responsibility for our feelings, we will no longer expect the other to take responsibility for making the hurt go away or for healing the relationship. Instead, we accept our feelings, and manage our hurt. The freedom we get out of this will enable us to express our feelings calmly and without reaction, therefore enabling the other too to respond in the same way, and resolve the issue. This works all the time and in every situation. It has to. It is a universal law.
On a lighter vein, I use extrapolation very successfully when cooking. If one recipe works for one vegetable, why not with others? I like to think I have stretched the art of cooking just that little bit further with my extrapolative prowess!
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