Abstractions : Boon or Bane ?

What is abstraction ? In general it is the way of insulating or hiding  the one layer from its adjacent layers in a hierarchical system. Although the abstraction make more comprehensible, but it can give perspectives depending on study of different layers and sub layers. Unknowingly or knowingly, we create systems with abstractions and   deal with them many fields like technology, biology,  sociology and economics etc every day.

Let me take one example of abstraction in Computer networking field. The Computer network is divided into 7 layers as Application Layer, Presentation Layer, Session Layer, Transport Layer, Network LayerData link Layer and Physical Layer and each layer has many sub layers. All the layers have specified functionalities to meet that make the life of network Engineer easier and create so many jobs!! Let us consider one more hierarchy of Social order as ruling class, protective class, mercantile class and labor class. Even though modern man don’t want to be part of this disputable hierarchy, but this system is strongly inbuilt in society and society can’t get rid of this system.

Let us look at the pros and cons of abstraction in terms of above mentioned abstractions: Computer networking and Social order. Though abstractions make system working smoother,the former was created by man and later was created by God (or ever existing in system).  The purpose and functionality are better understood by its creator; man for the former and God for the later. But bringing God into picture is not accepted by man who caught up in layers of abstraction and could not understand the purpose. Instead of trying to fathom the purpose with limited cognitive resources,it is better to get the information from creator who is beyond the clutches of creation in which man is struggling with six anartas. The purpose is explained by Lord Sri Krishna in His divine song Bhagavad Gita as follows.

cātur-varṇyaḿ mayā sṛṣṭaḿ
tasya kartāram api māḿ
viddhy akartāram avyayam

According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me. And although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the non-doer, being unchangeable.

The divisions of the society are created by lord according to modes and work associated with that person to uplift his consciousness of serving God , but not based on his birth. Being unaware of the real facts, many generations were exploited by unscrupulous upper class who misinterpreted the social order system that eventually gave idea of abolishment of natural social order. Even though man tried to dismantle social order artificiality, the system is existing still now as : politicians for ruling class, soldiers for protecting class, business man for mercantile class, and other people are supporting or labor class.

If man understands the purpose of abstractions in the system from its creator, then abstractions will give the boon of achieving the purpose and not entangling with the intricacies or else will give bane of too much entangling with details and loosing the purpose.


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