Ajanatah, insensitivity, is the birthplace of unconsciousness and complacency with regard to both terrestrial and spiritual life, acting as a deterrent to a dharmic lifestyle based in righteousness. In fact, it constitutes the faint echo of primal ignorance from early on in the process of embodiment and represents its residue in later stages of incarnation. One should do everything possible to restrict its entrance into the human heart, mind and life and remain on guard against its intrusion throughout. The effects of insensitivity are like flies. If one enters a house it will not be long before many of the pests are flying free causing illness and aggravation. Uncontrolled mind and senses, then, are the very beginnings of violence due to loss of concern for the well-being of all the many living hosts of Consciousness, who are none other than God in human form.
On the positive side, one notes that it is a wonder to see or meet a person who is sensitive. Such an event sticks in the mind and causes the world to seem a better place. Therefore, transforming oneself into an image of divinity brings more than personal benefit; it benefits the entire world. On the very basic level, words, deeds and, especially how one acts in front of others and during leisure time, adds to this positive vibration. On a more subtle plane, the various mysteries of life, mind and Reality Itself open to a person who is willing to dive deep and discover that which is not on the surface to see.
As the tendency of insensitivity makes its way into the human mind, forming habits there, a very pervasive sense of ignorance begins to manifest. Vyutthana-chitta means the mind that is involved habitually in the ordinary events of daily life to the exclusion of anything profound or inherently meaningful. This is noted as “worldliness” in spiritual circles, and is a crippling tendency in human nature which is duly recognized by spiritual aspirants and luminaries but which, ironically enough, remains undetected to the worldly-minded themselves. Among members of the intelligencia, for instance, most, if they even recognize a difference, fail or choose not to make a distinction between the sacred and the secular, instead clinging to conventional wisdom and thereby giving mundane pursuits precedence over the pursuit of spirituality in the minds of all — a tendency that now pervades daily existence to the detriment of humanity at large. Part of the fact that India gave birth to unique and abundant sacred scriptures possessed of incredible purity and longevity is due to the society of the time recognizing and supporting renunciates — holy beings detached from relative existence who thereby maintained a firm mental and emotional grasp of Reality for all the masses. Checking in with their holy sages and seers constantly, beings kept abreast of emerging mental, spiritual, and emotional problems and the special techniques (sadhanas) by which to rid life and mind of them.
Worldliness, as a prevalent negative influence on society and religion in this age, was recognized and pointed out by Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, who indicated its main constituency as being kama-kanchana — lust and greed. These are two great barriers to Self-realization which flourish in the untended soil of insensitivity, worldliness, and jadedness.
Two other notable cohorts of all the above listed negative tendencies are fear and complacency. Fear, at least at the individual and collective level, is based upon insecurity, while complacency is founded on weakness and laziness. The solution to fear is exposure to nondual Truth utilizing love and compassion. The solution to weakness and laziness is exposure to Truth via holy company and the inspiration it provides which rekindles individual aspiration. As fear dies and courage takes its place, wholehearted exploration of the heretofore hidden expanse of wisdom can now be engaged in without self-imposed obstacles, all accomplished through gratitude — which itself is a remedy for insensitivity. When complacency dies, weakness and laziness are replaced by strength and personal incentive accomplished through the welcome relief from brooding and remorse.
The problem of jadedness is worse than the two stupifactions already discussed. Whereas insensitivity is just a precursor to the loss of true knowledge, right action and heartfelt love for God, and worldliness is just a reversible symptom of this unfortunate loss setting in by degrees, jadedness represents a succumbing to this misfortune in toto without much hope of return. Tendencies that are habitual in worldly beings have become compounded and fixed in the callous, indurate and uncaring individual and lead to rebellion against the divine laws of dharmic existence. Further fomentation of this contumacious condition manifests in ugly ways in those who shun dharma, reject their divine nature, and who precipitantly lift the misguided ego onto a pedestal, making it lord over all and willing to stoop to violence and injustice to maintain its chaotic rule. Here is the wealthy tyrant, the political oppressor, the war-mongerer — those who enter onto the path of arrogation and callously tread beings and whole nations under foot. They are the pestiferous enemies of world peace, but thankfully can do nothing to harm the abiding essence existing eternally in the human Soul.