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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Weather and Climate

by Kaivalyam
Almost all of us show varied degrees of interest in the weather news. Some of us show interest in it only when an interesting event like a snowstorm, hurricane, rain or cold/heat wave appears either in our hometown or elsewhere, whereas others pay attention to it almost daily even when nothing of unusual consequence is happening (or predicted to happen). These weather conditions, based on their intensity, influence living beings and economies all over the world - from simple changes in planning one's schedule to very dramatic and tragic destruction of life and property.

These weather patterns studied over some years or decades constitute what is called a climate of the place: e.g. what would be the seasons in a year, what the weather in each season usually is, etc. Unlike the changes in weather, the changes in climate appear to be less dramatic as their time-scale is much larger. However, effects of human actions like deforestation, pollution, green-house gas emissions leading to recession of glaciers etc. influence the weather patterns, and if these effects persist for a significant amount of time they lead to climatic changes affecting the ecosystem.

It is interesting to note that two similar phenomena of different time-scales are seen internally in a person also. A person's thoughts, emotions and actions constitute the weather-like time-scale, whereas a person's character (also technically called "samskaras" or tendencies) constitute the climate-like larger time-scale.  The thoughts, emotions and actions vary dramatically within a few moments in a person, whereas the overall underlying current of character of the person is relatively stable within that time-frame. Just like climate, a person's character is nothing but an aggregate of these weather-like thoughts, emotions or actions over longer time-scale. Akin to the external human intervention influencing the weather patterns and possibly inducing climatic changes, sustained concerted human efforts in directing the weather-like thoughts, emotions and actions over long periods of time can induce changes in climate-like character.

In case of the external weather/climate, a few meteorologists can analyze the various parameters and let the common folk know their conclusions, but an individual must do the analysis oneself in the case of internal weather/climate and arrive at conclusions suitably to direct the efforts for one's own good. A meteorologist has to be well qualified to study the external phenomena and so also an individual must be well qualified to study one's own internal phenomena. This expertise in internal study entails dissociating oneself from one's own mind and observing it objectively, just as a meteorologist would do. The surprising (or maybe not) feature is that most of us hardly give any attention to the internal phenomena, whereas we spend a good amount of time in knowing the external ones. Much more care and attention must be paid to this internal weather/climate since it is always directing our life, and thereby makes us mentally peaceful or otherwise, unlike the external ones that influence us only sporadically and that too supe

1 comment:

  1. The analogy between the weather/climate and actions-emotions/character is beautifully presented. Nice. One very imp difference, I feel is: we have no way to change the weather/climate at a place. We may be able to predict it with some accuracy but will not bbe able to change it. But behavior and emotions and thereby character can be changed by conscious & conscientious efforts towards betterment; in the absence of such efforts, character degenerates automatically. Vivekananda's Karma-Yoga book gives great lesson in this matter. s.chaitanya