Privacy and Secrecy
Often I found that there is confusion between privacy & secrecy among the people. I decided to deeply contemplate on this subject to find my own clarity on it – which I am sharing here with you all.
Privacy is about you alone seeing & fully knowing all about your action –ie- how & where it is being performed and when. Easiest example is, attending to the calls of nature like a going to a toilette for a Loo or WC. There is no secrecy about this –ie- you have no problem letting others know about “what” the action is, but it is about not letting others know “how” you do it –OR- how you “look” while doing it. The paradox about this whole thing is – mostly everyone does it the same way – but no one would like others to know exactly how you look at that time. The urge for privacy is more with female gender than the male for historical reasons of evolution.
Like all existence, the urge for privacy is very personal and varies from person to person – in relation to the other persons. Peculiarly – the intensity of urge for privacy progressively gets decreased with growing intimacy between people – but increases phenomenally with estrangement. We can often see this happening at homes between parents & children, among the siblings, even among the friends & colleagues etc.
Secrecy is about not letting others know as to “why, what, when, where, who & how” about the … thought, word and action. Secrecy is about total blackout of any possible information what so ever. This phenomenon of secrecy extends from individuals to families to groups to societies to nations … to … finally mankind itself. Interestingly, privacy is an integral part of secrecy as otherwise a secret will never remain a secret!
Privacy is also connected with social morality. Intruding into the privacy of any person is considered immoral, indecent & indignity. Social etiquette demands highest levels of respect for some one’s need for privacy. Privacy is also about providing mental comfort to the concerned individual to perform his/her task unnoticed and hence uninhibited.
To summarize, privacy is primarily about isolating & barricading the physical space – while secrecy is about isolating & barricading the physical as well as mental space altogether.
After all that is said above, “Veda” defines “the secret” very differently. According to Veda, secret is not what is hidden (as it will one day come out anyway) – but what is extremely difficult to understand even when revealed, simplified or elucidated.
For example the revelation of “Aham Brahmasmi” by Adi Shankaracharya – though dilated upon in volumes by scholars all along – hardly any one realizes it even today ‼!