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Meaning of

Conceptual Stress Dr. Shriniwas Kashalikar

Conceptual stress is not a separate entity. It is a part of over all process of stress. We can also call it intellectual chaos or stress, born out of various other causes, which may be physical, instinctual, emotional etc. In modern life where the pace of change of life has become very fast, we are unable to understand the rapidly emerging new issues in life. Our conceptual framework gets shattered and we become helpless and miserable. This state of helplessness and misery and consequent deleterious effects on individual and social life, constitute conceptual stress and it has acquired menacing dimensions! Morality, ethics, customs, traditions, conventions etc. i.e. guidelines of past in every sphere of life are being proved to a large extent; inadequate and also irrelevant.

To give a simple example, cancer phobia [excessive and unfounded fear of cancer] is nothing but a case of conceptual stress. Cancer phobia many times results from inappropriate views, feelings and actions [conceptual deficiency] about the phenomenon of cancer, its nature, its symptoms such as pain and its outcome. What are the symptoms of cancer phobia? A patient of cancer phobia may suspect that he/she has cancer, whenever he/she gets pain. If he/she gets repeated pain, in a particular organ then he/she starts suspecting cancer of that particular part! This leads to morbid fear, anxiety, worry, and sense of helplessness. Conceptual stress involves defective or deficient perception, deficient ideas, inaccurate thoughts, disproportionate

emotions, unreasonable instincts and unnatural physical needs, which are associated with abnormal electrophysiological interactions between various neurons in the brain. The secretion of different neurotransmitters, secretion of hormones and metabolic activities are abnormal and involve deleterious effects on personal and social health. Conceptual stress is minimal or absent if you are totally ignorant and adjusted to a self centered, petty, indifferent, reflexive, passive, and stereotyped life style like a lower animal. Conceptual stress is maximum; when your perspective assumes global dimension, your feelings reach out to the miseries of the millions and your thinking reaches out to the mysteries of millennia! Your conceptual stress magnifies when your heart starts bleeding for suffering in

even the remotest part of the world and even to the suffering of animals! Your conceptual stress worsens when you actually start searching for solutions as you come across conflicting opinions. This stress gets further multiplied when you start coming close to the solutions and begin to encounter difficulty in expressing them. This becomes more disturbing when you see every one turning away from you and your solutions being proved ineffective, though not inaccurate! Since you are not proved wrong, you do not find valid reason also; to abandon your views and mission! You land in an agonizing question, “Why you are ineffective if you are accurate?�

At this point the very foundation of your existence begins to shake and your existence almost gets uprooted! Then gradually if and when you begin to see increasing matching, agreement, or harmony between your life and the universe [which in most cases would constitute changes in the direction of global welfare] your conceptual stress begins to get relieved simultaneously as that of the others! It is true that we manage to ignore some questions, and rightly so e.g. mathematical problems need not as a routine, bother a biologist. Similarly, problems in one’s educational career are best dealt with in the text-books and guides of those subjects and or solved by the expert teachers in that particular field!

But there are issues which are a] unavoidable, b] are faced by most of us, c] affect our personal and family lives immensely and d] affect the well being of the society immensely. These issues produce CONCEPTUAL OR INTELLECTUAL STRESS in almost every one! One of the most practical and super-solutions provided by the seers and sages; is NAMASMARAN i.e. remembering your true self. One can give it a trial if one wishes and get the empowerment to get intellectual clarity and clues to act appropriately and satisfactorily and overcome conceptual stress.