Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Do not ignore your Hunch, Intuition or Gut feelings!

Phenomenology is the basis for knowledge, of a feeling or state of consciousness resulting from emotions. Intuitions are the ability to acquire knowledge without inference of analysis or reason. All these whether it is gut, feeling, hunch or intuition are perceptions or strong signals from our unconscious minds. All creatures, man, animals, cats, experience it, and there is no difference and these feelings are as dear to mute animals as it is to man. There is a misconception that only a higher evolved species can experience insight, noesis or spirituality. This faulty logic is arrived upon as these are subjective feelings, and we think only humans can translate it into the rich experience with prose. According to neurologists the most primitive portions of our brain- happen to be the spiritual and this hold true for all creatures. All sentient/ insentient beings have the ability and in some cases intuition is honed to a fine art. These are powerful signals telling us to avoid certain things or do some things. Transcendent feelings, intuition, insight, awareness or spiritual experience cannot be explained in language or words. It is a sort of meditation, finding your inner axis of the self and it plugs you into the universe enhancing one’s awareness and sphere of observation takes on a loftier realm. Some times instinct works and sometimes it goes terribly wrong. These are the primitive, dormant areas of yours unconscious mind- that have been unused for centuries. All animals and creature have similar mystical experiences, comparable to humans. –Vinay-

Mental Exile and a Partial Recall.

We are all prone to have reminiscences where certain incidents in our past stand out starkly amongst our youthful memory blocks. These memories are rather real, universal in a sense even though time has wrapped them in sepia tints textures. Memory isn’t a dream, it’s part of our past human experience which sometimes embraces us like a passing cloud. During my youth while growing into adolescence, I used to be very nervous before I made love– but when it was actually happening I enjoyed it. After the act was over I would almost collapse and feel a wee bit disappointed and wonder what happened. I had thought it would be more exotic ….. I felt let down. There was a mellow, elegiac quality in the life of the sixties and seventies – a period that has since been forgotten. People were always trying to find hidden meanings in their lives and would prod me to seek answers. If one finds out the meanings they would not be mysterious anymore. Ah! The sweet mystery of life. People try hard to find answers – even religion cannot answer these questions. Life itself is unstable and by its very nature mysterious. I am very happy with the way things are and do not want to find answers. It is more alluring and delicious that everything remains clouded in a cloak of intrigue. Who am I? Why am I here? What is my real purpose? Salvation/ redemption, how do we translate this into our daily experience? In the next world you will be on your own. –Vinay-

Lights Action Camera! Life is a Cameo.

The story of our lives from birth to death is like the invisible images of a movie, portraying the transitional desert in everyone’s life. Nothing is forever yet; you can somehow make things seem better than they truly are. Tired and disillusioned as we are by lost wars, revolution, and inflation, the atmosphere vitiated by our dreadful history. Traumatic events pile on to the next one, driven by what you gain. Broken honor, you came and you went, the journey disrupted by your destiny. We try to cherish ideas worth cherishing and to question ideas that need questioning. It’s hard, to know a little about this life and how it will end, we forget the meaning of genuine human kindness, but realize shortly before the end of our own tenure, that humanity is the most important part of life. We are just another crack in the wall, here with no love lost. We struggle in search of meaning from sunrise as the bright rays of the sun like a beam of light explores the earth, yet cannot throw light on our doubts, finally we end up watching the orange sunset that defines the end of existence and we understand that everything is ephemeral and this irony is understood only when we rest in the zone of eternal silence. –Vinay-

Rhythm of Life.

As long as the mind broods over material pleasures which it is not experiencing, renunciation is hypocritical. But if one is living life to the fullest, almost sucking the marrow out of life yet, defining his relationships with the material world, then we understand life and its limits. Attachment is a mode of exaggeration and destroys the harmony of life. Accept whatever happens to you and maintain a detached impersonal attitude. I am so engrossed in my worldly life and caught up in my work, passions and hobbies that I don’t feel the pressures of the world of Maya. Evolution is a natural process for plant, animal and humans, you are going to reach the ultimate point of evolution but it will take thousands of years. If we have the patience to wait then spirituality is not necessary – but man is impatient and wants to speed up things and arrive at the final point of his spiritual relationship with the universe. People have their own spiritual, religious or non religious attitude do not try to convert them. Everyone must follow their own beliefs and lifestyles and adjust to their own rhythms. Nature teaches us to appreciate the beauty of life, watch the stars, clouds trees, mountains, oceans and stop hurrying. Existence is joyful.

Crime does pay.

Thought it has been drilled in our head that the wages of sin are death and crime does not pay, in real life it is exactly the opposite. Recently in India Bhanot who was charged with corruption and siphoning money was appointed as the chief of the Indian Olympic committee. So too, many ministers’, politicians who were embroiled in corruption. There is a pervasive spiritual vacuity that has covered our nation with a blanket of moral blankness. Self deception and corruption are the ladders to success by which we mean wealth. All our institutions allow shareholders to enjoy the wealth which can only be created by unfair and corrupt means. Even ordinary mortals are caught in this vicious web and there is a moral decline due to our greed for profit. Every successful company has a scam in its cupboard, which is the quintessential yardstick of success -rich dividends and bonuses are the result of this theme. CEO’s are supposed to generate profit by hook or by crook. This is evident from the moneyed sleazy milieu of politicians, fat cat bankers and big businessmen all colored by then own caustic, corruptible, sensibilities. Just before the crash and recession the wave of money making touched all sorts of people and it combusted itself as conspicuously as possible, pouring into champagne filled parties in yachts, villas with Jacuzzis, taking flight in private Lear jets and helicopters with a complete loss of one’s moral compass. Being fair, ethical, charitable and humane prevented one from being rich. The God Mammon favored the sinner. In philosophical retrospect the saints will have a lot of disappointments, devastation and depression. Sometimes wonderful things do happen when you don’t get what you want if you were ethical.

Good, Bad and Destiny.

There has always been a widespread belief in fate, destiny or karma, the eternal inscrutable power which apportions definitive ends to both individuals and narratives. It is noticeable that sometimes the saint or good man fails and the sinner or unscrupulous man prospers – a fact which seems to put all moral maxims to the ultimate test. As the good results of righteousness are not rewarded but the unjust prosper. Thus a good man or woman is overcome with calamity. If the good Lord cannot be a knower how can he be a giver? Life is a great school for the development of character and all through strife and struggle – vice, virtue; success and failure are but the learning lessons of wisdom. Life is riddled with the fear of the unknown, constant transition and illusion. Our egos only help in giving vent to the stress of daily life. Prayer cannot change anything except make it a blessed sadness of misery. Accept whatever happens to you and maintain a detached impersonal attitude.The real salvation is from solitary intimacy with our inner selves that can extrapolate our destiny. So it is the change within that brings change without. Spirituality allows us to be more resilient to the stress of our times and not worry about the things we can’t control and live a life of harmony, a sort of training for the ultimate end- to leave the world with dignity, grace and at peace with ourselves.- Vinay

La Dolce Vita.

We all have aspirations, money is life, and the power to spend money is the power to live ……………those who lack the power to spend money become literally faceless. The glamour of those who have and can acquire anything they wish cannot exist without personal social envy being – a common and widespread emotion. Everyone is in pursuit of the good life, but what does it constitute of? Luxury yachts, Mansions, B M W’s, designer clothes, a beautiful partner etc -may bring joy ephemerally; but doesn’t make one contented and lead a fulfilling life? Happiness isn’t about money or success alone. Ignoring life’s myriad experiences is bereft of philosophical depth and material possessions will only succeed in lulling the soul into a forgetful sleep. People who enjoy close ties with friends and family are happier and more resilient to anxiety and cope with setbacks far better. Material possessions are not the only way to happiness. The intimacies shared with our closest companions keep us anchored vital, and alive. Like calories, friendships keep us warm, and serve as a badge of contentment; it’s the elixir of a happy life.One has to fully engage in life, not wasting time on stressful situations, doing all things that make you happy. It’s about living life on your own terms, not permitting external confirmation or perception to dictate your happiness. Do not bother about the things you can’t control, keep it simple, and seek calming pleasures to enjoy the present. Luxuriate in the hypnotic grandeur of nature. There is no time to lose, and no time to despair. So drink the nectar of experiences to the fullest which is what life is all about.

The Silence and Solitude of the Mountains.

We are all immersed in a common chaos of signs, gadgets, gizmos and sensational events, yet somehow detached from it also. We are all soulless in the Wall Street way, all victims of greed, social media, consumerism and cultural anesthesia. This consumer attitude suggests a certain materialistic destiny, which explains why so many intellectuals are exploring spirituality and philanthropy. Perhaps that is why the sages retreated to the silence of the mountains, far away from the maddening crowd. Yet even if contemplative solitude gave them a glimpse of the sublime, questions arise, what now? What is the purpose of this solitude? We try to entertain the illusion of controlling the fires of sensuous desire that consume us. To take oneself out into the wilderness as part of the spiritual quest is one thing, but to remain there in a kind of barren ecstasy is another. In aloneness we can hear ourselves more clearly, but how much goes on in that quiet universe of which we know so little. Solitude can enliven a new sense of what companionship with the universe means. We must consummate the desire to temper the passion that devours us. It is one of the great paradoxes of solitude, that it offers us not an escape, not a paradise, not a dwelling place where we can haughtily maintain our integrity by ignoring vicious and corrupt social world, but a way back to that world, and a motive for being there. The silence of our traumas and chaos, the world reminds us by its fragile beauty – of our limitations and our ultimate demise. –Vinay-

Forever Amber.

The years and time goes by like mournful relics of misspent youth the Neanderthals in planes do fly the passage of time bringing its own distress lost hours we try to recover with endless stress you walked out of this world of mine daily contending betwixt pride and melancholy tired of life it’s the same old story the diamond ring with all the hope losing control I wish I could cope a strange power in this intimacy – life in death reflecting on a past folly – love lingers the malady of unrequited love – like strangers take me in your bosom sweetheart I don’t know what’s right anymore my love like an incomplete canvas wants to grow Perhaps I’ve had a little too much to drink memento mori a stage in life’s abysmal brink when I said I’d never leave you what I hoped was – that you never would …

You Have the Power!

The Bhagavad-Gita states that by fulfilling one’s duty and detaching oneself from the fruits of action, one is liberated from the cycle of birth and rebirth – and ascends to the indestructible state that is free from all bonds. Since we largely remain unconscious of the laws of life, we resent what is meted out by nature which errs not. Deeper understanding of cause and effect enables inner introspection and peace of mind – a precondition for spirituality. Vedanta is an ancient philosophy in India and long before other religious teachings got their act together, though not a religion but a way of life – it was the first to institutionalize the concept of justice “dharma’ and compassion. Unlike other religions Vedanta did not have any bitter clash with the theory of evolution. It teaches us to be rational and practical to understand the self as part of a larger scheme of things. Selfless service, guidance of the wise, self introspection and sadhana are the pillars resting on the benevolence of the cosmic power that abounds in the Universe

Ego a necessary Evil? . The ego is not a by product of arrogance, or self, aggrandizement normally, but it has a tendency to insidiously prevent humility from integrating with it. First you have to comprehend what ego is – when you are born you first become aware of your mother as she feeds and sustains you. Thereafter you begin to recognize parents, and others as you evolve, then you become aware of your self, realize you have significance and that you are valuable – this is the genesis of ego.Ego is a need, social phenomena, a reflection of what others think of you, it is the order of existence – the centre of you that flowers as you evolve. It is difficult to see one’s own ego. Ego is also the means to find access to our inner core and creativity, the centre of our being- the domain of our individuality, which can transform you in your own individual style.You cannot subdue the ego and create your own destiny. Ego is required like a ladder of inspiration to achieve the higher realm, perk you up, and expand the horizons of your mind to achieve the success you desire. It is a motivator par excellence and adds a special glow to your personality and is your strength. Killing the ego is counter productive and can result in an inferiority complex- if you merge your individuality like sheep to the army of believers, it can lead to superstition, anxiety and loss of identity.

Ego a necessary Evil? . The ego is not a by product of arrogance, or self, aggrandizement normally, but it has a tendency to insidiously prevent humility from integrating with it. First you have to comprehend what ego is – when you are born you first become aware of your mother as she feeds and sustains you. Thereafter you begin to recognize parents, and others as you evolve, then you become aware of your self, realize you have significance and that you are valuable – this is the genesis of ego.Ego is a need, social phenomena, a reflection of what others think of you, it is the order of existence – the centre of you that flowers as you evolve. It is difficult to see one’s own ego. Ego is also the means to find access to our inner core and creativity, the centre of our being- the domain of our individuality, which can transform you in your own individual style.You cannot subdue the ego and create your own destiny. Ego is required like a ladder of inspiration to achieve the higher realm, perk you up, and expand the horizons of your mind to achieve the success you desire. It is a motivator par excellence and adds a special glow to your personality and is your strength. Killing the ego is counter productive and can result in an inferiority complex- if you merge your individuality like sheep to the army of believers, it can lead to superstition, anxiety and loss of identity.

A Cosmic Mystery.

Neurologists have opened up the biological analysis of higher mental functions like neuro-recognition. Science tells us we are merely beasts, but we don’t feel like that. We feel like angels trapped inside the bodies of beasts, forever craving transcendence. This is the human predicament; creation is too profound for the human intellect. The question of ultimate origins will always remain with us, no matter how deeply we understand the brain and the cosmic that it creates. Cosmology, which studies the history and structure of the universe, is considered by many to be the closest science has ever come to religion. It digs deep and delves into contemplations of how and why the universe came into being, where it’s headed and what might be the final outcome in the end. And although it provides answers that don’t always have a religious resonance; they are sufficiently mysterious in their own way. At the same time modern cosmology is also considered by many to be the biggest threat faced by religion since the Origin of Species.Science demands diligent and questioning minds,but not chaste morals,it’s one of the things that make it move.Religion on the other hand wants unwavering faith which is a stumbling block.

Long Live Rain King …

Henderson hallowed be… Thy name is love Rain clouds gather in the sky Soil proclaims the fragrance of earth droplets fall like soft kisses aspens shiver in cluster of promises in shallow grave of soil or mud flowers ,petals all glisten breaking silent vows to listen behold a gale wind blows grove of trees dance with their boughs longing of the branches as water fills the trenches chipmunks scurry across the park like mysterious lovers in the dark courtyard is filled with mud in the shade a blossom of buds rains recedes with a bow as the sun blazes down below on top of the world and shanty town concealed love we try to confine for the broken heart to pine the weather has its change of season healing wounds on the altar of reason nostalgia comes with the rain we know perhaps it rains on the other side of my heart love needs no reason it blossoms in all seasons winter fulless in the heart that tore my love apart

Mind your destiny.

The Vedas extol us not to be satisfied with myths and religious stories that may have worked for others. It wants us to create our own Bibles and unfold our myths. By contemplation one can avoid the rifts arising from attachments that impact the psyche as they tend to acquire physical manifestation. Vedas helps us to break down these blockages in our minds and experience our full consciousness, when this gets internalized we become free of encumbrances. We have various roles in life from student to householder and there is partitions in our minds, we live with this in our lives – a divider between own true self and that which we portray to the world. Our actual role sincerely transforms us and leads us to ethereal joy. We are often exiled by our own shadow which leads to black moods, melancholia, gloom and doom. The shadow impacts the persona we put forth to the world. Vedas simplify a bigger truth. Vedas draw their thematic essence from nature and spirituality – traditionally as part of an Indic ritual with their meditative significance, leading to the ultimate yoga of realization.

Reboot and Rejuvenate your Mind.

Stress is the most ubiquitous problem in today’s world. When wresting with self esteem you are vulnerable to depression and anxiety. Many of us turn inward to, tide over personal issues.Learning not to have any expectations or desire inevitably leads to disillusionment. To naturally ease stress we must relax our minds and wear the amour of spirituality to protect ourselves from mental disturbance. The root cause of anxiety is lack of confidence, so we must develop the trait of self acceptance. Spiritual energy helps you to remain equipoised to success or failure. Hinduism advocates “indifference “to everything, since all temporal power and glory are fleeting.This will help you embrace change and stabilize a sense of self worth. In every person there is a part of the mind, which is not contaminated by anxious thoughts. You can actually conquer the emotions embedded in your mind, and one can overcome fears. Since this capacity exists, one does not get affected by the adverse effects of emotion. You can control suicidal thoughts or schizophrenia. The loss of courage makes a person emotionally unstable and thereby vulnerable to anxiety and depression.

Apparitions!

Seeing or hearing things that are not there – were called “apparitions”. Until the French psychiatrist Jean Dominique gave them their current name, hallucinations. A hallucination is a strictly sensational form of consciousness, as good and true a sensation as if there were a real object there. The object happens to be not there, that is all. Unlike mental images, hallucinations do not remain obediently inside your head. They are outside of your control – projected into the world that surrounds you – which reinforces their compelling reality. They have a life of their own, breaking into your chosen biography rather than belonging to it. Nobody else can see, hear, feel, smell or taste what you are experiencing. This captures their profoundly disturbing nature, an eeriness which is not fully reflected in the definition As Raymond Tallis states -To be in the grip of such incorrigibly private experiences is to be sequestrated in the most profound solitude.There is an intuitive explanation of why perceptual loss – as in loss of some physical organ and in experimental sensory deprivation – should be associated with hallucinations: that nature, the brain, the mind, abhors a vacuum. Hallucinations betray their nature by not fitting into the seamless fabric of experience and meaning unfolding over time until they become so insistent that they have a subjective reality comparable to that of the objects that others can also see. Oliver Sacks, a psychologist immersed himself in a treatise on “megrim” and “nerve storms” and aided by drugs and amphetamines induced a state of ecstasy in which he saw “migraine shining like an archipelago of stars”. - The Principle of Psychology-

The Philosopher’s Role.

Shelly once said – “I fall upon the thorns of life but I will not bleed. All poets and philosophers have their own visions of spirituality, morality and corporeality. If one interprets their work we can literally step into their sanctum sanctorum – the inner recesses of their mystic minds. Just like everything in life philosophy and spirituality come in duality. It is the contrast that intrigues - you can comprehend some works but others confound you.Juxtaposed with their spiritual is the profane that mirrors our own urban anxiety.Spirituality unites unlike religion which divides. The so called progress brings in its wake angst for urban dwellers, the buildings, rush hour traffic, people, towers busy subways, a huge directionless wave of mankind – a regression that prevents our attempt to escape from reality.The treadmill is a metaphor for the rat race most of us are stuck in life. Silence of spirituality speaks and has a tremendous effect on the mind.Philosophy entertains, enriches and energizes. The mind transcends to a different level and forgets the self and becomes another entity.This is the basis of spirituality. The ancient Vedas touch on worldly problems and the urban anguish and enriches our minds. Deep talking to the deep, a fusion of love, romance and intrigue resounding with silent spiritual thoughts.If one can interpret it correctly – like in real life, each moment has the potential to take your breath away

Return of Dracula’s and Cult of Horror.

In the Channel 4 TV photos you see a 12 year old lost child son of the late LTTE leader shot and murdered in cold blood. This is part of the documentary “No Fire Zone” the Killing Fields of Sri Lanka. Director Callum Macrae says no one can justify this violent act carried out by a morally corrupt military culture which is beyond human comprehension. Killing even a captured POW is against the most basic tenets of the code of war and illegal – the responsibility for this monstrous act goes to the very top. How does the brutality fit into reality’s larger vision? What is the line between acceptable and unacceptable violence in life? Even by war’s standards, it is shocking capturing the murder in all its bleak sociological detail. A group of young men in New Delhi rape a young woman to death in a moving bus. What begins as roughhousing escalates to all-out sadism until an iron rod is shoved into her intestines, ending the woman’s pitiful protests for good. The wanton rape and killing in New Delhi may seem shamelessly sensationalistic, but it is embedded in a work that closely examines the corrosiveness of economic injustice and the cult of violence on human dignity.Indeed blood and gore have been bound up with the question of justice since Clytemnestra hacked her husband to death in his bath in Aeschylus' "Oresteia”. Against a seedy urban background of utter futility, the young woman’s temporary ordeal of rape is made chillingly plausible, as is the pack-like behavior of the men who torture her for perverse distraction from their aimless lives.

Burning Rage fans a Culture of Violence.

Petrol bombs in Athens, violent protests in Bulgaria, car bombs exploding in Damascus and Jihadis blast Hyderabad, India killing, maiming and injuring thousands of innocent people. Charles McNulty discusses the violence and bloodletting that is all around us. The real world being sufficiently generous when it comes to doling out violence, we find it harder in our middle years to detach blows from the physical and mental suffering they entail. Violence places keener demands on our sensibilities. The question is one of gratuitousness. The British psychoanalyst Adam Phillips has spoken of the "inured, detached horror" that comes as a result of being glutted with images of human suffering. Like Freud, Aristotle thought that repression carries more dangers than representation. Yet his theory of catharsis — for him, the raison d'ĂȘtre of tragedy — isn't unlimited. There are experiences better left undramatized. The test of an action's moral suitability, however, lies in its artistic ends, not in its inherent balefulness. Only those who are enlightened can escape the inferno of terror, violence and hate in a world full of imminent death. Neither, fire, bombs, guns, religion nor hate can destroy the spiritual fire that burns fiercely within those who have beyond the cycle of hate and violence. In the "Poetics," takes up the question of why human beings delight in contemplating objects that in reality bring them pain. Yet Aristotle doesn't claim that this instinct alone justifies the portrayal of any kind of atrocity.

Sex and Sensibility.

There is a saying in Hindi which when loosely translated states, “that you can’t be spiritual on an empty stomach”. There is no contradiction between material, sensuous needs and our spiritual needs. Tantra is an approach to spirituality through all types of sense enjoyment, even if it entails freedom that jades our senses and dulls our perception which is frowned upon by society and religion. In Tantra everything is sanctified and nothing is profane and is the answer to those who struggle with this ancient instinct. One is allowed to enjoy sensual satisfaction and in this human experience duality exists - it is considered as part of the spiritual bliss. However in the ultimate sexual experience, between a male and female intensely in love with each other, there is no consciousness of one’s separate identity. Sex is all about being here in the moment and it is the combination of multiple senses that triggers intense sensory engagement – an intimate composition of our private world. There is a total fusion of separatist consciousness in each other and only awareness of bliss remains. Sex helps heighten senses that have been dormant for a while; it can bring about a rising, above body consciousness – a sort of sacred substantial and never fading bliss. However Tantra can be grossly perverted if people are enmeshed with short sighted vision and consider only sex, lust and desire as the ultimate destination. These basic senses are only stepping stones and not an end by themselves as these elicit a joy that has no meaning and fades away quickly – a kind of desire that collapses under a weak moment of lust and longing. – Vinay-

Explore the Timeless Universe.

Travel soothes the soul, it de-stresses the mind that has been wrinkled by routine; soothing out the furrows with new sights and experiences. When you hear a song over and over again the magic fades, the melody grates. Traveling to small villages, where the vistas are new and wonderful, the air is pure and fresh, where every place has a story to tell, invigorates the soul. The colors of nature play such a vital role in uplifting our moods, the freshly rain-washed leaves, create the most amazing visuals. Walking up some mystic mountains reminds us that we are also part of this lovely universe; mountains can speak too, if one listens intently to their tales captured for posterity. The calm water of the river is a symbol of quiet strength, reminding us of the latent strength that lies within each one of us. As the river flows time swells and slows like the rhythms of our life. Stopping for an impromptu meal, capturing the sheer joy of being alive - in this beautiful natural environment, a moment under the sun is pure ecstasy. When we are uneasy in our mundane world, we can escape to this ordinary paradise where the grass is green and the stones sing. As dusk settles the streets of small towns bustle with a beehive of activity, trade in the market square, the joie de vivre of the villagers as they celebrate the simple life, the ancient buildings and houses a heritage precinct, but it is the person dwelling within the walls that brings history alive. We city folks have forgotten these reminiscent places in the rat race. Our senses are dull and cannot grasp the splendor of constant eternity. -Vinay-

Dirty Harry.

Dirty Harry is a 1971 American crime thriller produced and directed by Don Siegel Clint Eastwood plays the role of Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan. Harry Callahan had been the negative take on [Eastwood's] basic family-friendly spirit, a radical loner since the death of his wife, a workaholic with maybe a beer and a slice of stale pizza waiting in the fridge when he returns, late at night, to his soulless apartment. Harry is a guy who lives within the law but breaks the rules when he really has to in order to save others. True, we will never gain access to the unconscious fantasies of some seventeenth-century printer or nineteenth-century clerk. And yet the practice of close insight might bring us a bit closer to their lives, frustrations, worries, if only in a partial and incomplete way, which is still better than no way at all. "Do I feel lucky?" Well do Ya, punk? In that sense, Harry was every convenience-store clerk with no life outside his paltry job. It gave him plenty of "take this job and shove it" moments, in which he enacted the most deeply satisfying fantasy of his stuck-in-grade audience. It was Marianne Williamson who so eloquently wrote in a "Return to Love": "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness that most frightens us." we are all Eagles. Once we have really taken beautiful flight, we can never go back to live like a chicken. Every time you decide to put Love first it affects the energy of everyone and everything in your entire stratosphere. Love is not clingy, needy or controlling, it is comfort and warmth, given freely and lightly … just “be” the Love that you already are. This tells us that every moment is ephemeral and to savor and live it fully.

History Repeats Itself.

It is in Rousseau's writing above all that history begins to turn from upper-class honor to middle-class humanitarianism. Most social order is a fraud perpetrated by the rich on the poor to protect their privileges. The law, he considered, generally backs the strong over the weak; justice is largely a weapon of violence and domination, while culture, science and religion are harnessed to the task of preserving the status quo. The institution of the state has "bound new fetters on the poor and given new powers to the rich". "The human race has been subjected to labor, servitude and misery”. Universities are no longer educational in any sense of the word. Instead, they have become unabashed instruments of capital. To bow to a law one did not have a hand in creating was a recipe for tyranny. Self-determination lay at the root of all ethics and politics. Human beings might misuse their freedom, but they were not truly human without it. The democracy he cherished so dearly is under siege from corporate power and a manipulative media. Society, he thought, was a matter of common bonds, not just a commercial transaction. In true republican fashion, it was a place where men and women could flourish as ends in themselves, not as a set of devices for promoting their selfish interests.

History Repeats Itself.

It is in Rousseau's writing above all that history begins to turn from upper-class honor to middle-class humanitarianism. Most social order is a fraud perpetrated by the rich on the poor to protect their privileges. The law, he considered, generally backs the strong over the weak; justice is largely a weapon of violence and domination, while culture, science and religion are harnessed to the task of preserving the status quo. The institution of the state has "bound new fetters on the poor and given new powers to the rich". "The human race has been subjected to labor, servitude and misery”. Universities are no longer educational in any sense of the word. Instead, they have become unabashed instruments of capital. To bow to a law one did not have a hand in creating was a recipe for tyranny. Self-determination lay at the root of all ethics and politics. Human beings might misuse their freedom, but they were not truly human without it. The democracy he cherished so dearly is under siege from corporate power and a manipulative media. Society, he thought, was a matter of common bonds, not just a commercial transaction. In true republican fashion, it was a place where men and women could flourish as ends in themselves, not as a set of devices for promoting their selfish interests.

A Penny for My Thoughts!

Any good post should have the capacity to provoke thought - shake the reader from his complacency and border on the outrageous. However whenever I post a creative or outrageous thought – I am labeled as a cultural and religious provocateur, mainly since I do not follow the path or dogmas of millions of believers. Great philosophers, poets, writers have this capacity to stun us from our stupor and shock their readers; most of them were zealous and paranoid about their views, thoughts and works. Safe conventional posts or quoting some second hand wisdom and advice from scriptures is for preachers’ clergy, teachers and proselyters – who do not have any original thoughts and do not want to step out of their comfort zones- and all their posts are as dull as dishwater. Out of the box thinking and posts, presents ideas and thoughts that seemingly suspend conventional wisdom and understanding, sometimes turning it topsyturvy, it is an in your face good or bad advice from life’s bitter experiences. I agree that I am a vagabond, an aesthete, a latter-day bohemian and man of letters: but I have the courage and culture to post what moves me deeply – the kind of experience that may provide inspiration to others. Added to that the fact that I am an atheist, a non conformist and a rebel makes me an easy target to be labeled as a fake, infidel, denigrator of faiths and an abnormal person. Often these philistines with a religious disposition sit on judgment on my thoughts and posts. My thoughts are worth more than the miserable pennies they drop in the charity boxes. – Vinay-

The Silence of Animals

In his new book, The Silence of Animals, the philosopher John Gray explores why humans continue to use myth to give purpose to their lives. He sees humans as incapable of moving beyond their primordial, animalistic, selfish instincts, particularly when factors beyond their control make them fearful. There is supposed to be a kind of essence to humanity, in which humans want to shape their own lives.You begin to see that when life becomes unsettled, when there are dangers, especially that people cannot understand. It’s then that humans tend to look at solutions to these problems that typically involve restricting freedoms. In other words: when life gets rough, the need for freedom, or the impulse for freedom, which is real — it’s part of the human constitution you might say— tends very commonly to be eclipsed by other needs. Well knowledge is important. But I’m not sure if finding a true meaning is. Even Epicurus said: When we exist death is not, and when death exists we are not. What he means is, we have a different sense of time which is non-existent in other animals. If we have the idea of our mortality then we see our lives in a different way because we think we see them as a single coherent story. What distinguishes humans from animals is precisely this need to tell stories. Silence for other animals means rest. Humans are the only animals that flee internal noise. Humans, throughout pre-history, have engaged in all sorts of meditation, either to shift the way they perceive the world, or to produce in themselves, some state of silence, from which something else will come.

The Dying Art of Conversation.

With the advent of the Internet, Haimanti Mukherjee writes that conversation is a dying art. Earlier traveling by public transport was fascinating, as during a flight or train ride we would strike up conversations with total strangers and sometimes make lifelong friends. Today there is no conversation throughout even a long journey, we are all in a plugged in world of music and private thoughts, consciously avoiding eye contact with everyone. Even in cafes or amongst a peer group our eyes are glued to our phones, testing or checking Face book status. New types of engagement means we don’t converse anymore - texting is preferred to talking and crisp emails are sent to the point. Our true feelings are hidden under a mask of technology. It is a mute world where the best conversations happen within our own head – the silence is deafening and terrifying. A conversation is meant to include another person’s thoughts and views and sometimes - something meaningful comes out of these engagements that de – stress our lives. It shapes our feelings and thoughts , and lack of this compromises our ability to self – reflect ;the bedrock for development of our species. Sadly conversation is a formality these days.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Writers Block.

I always experience a sort of bliss while writing – what can be described as a near spiritual process. Entering into a state of mind or being where knowledge is available from poets, philosophers, writers, past present and future. Drawing on all sources and inputs to create a visionary thought, and I feel an urgent need to communicate primarily through my writing, no matter where my images come from, stenciling them repeatedly for the world at large.I am fascinated by the people I meet in bars, cocktail circuits and watering holes as well as work places. I am struck by the naturalism of the middle class with their aspirations and their bold new digital life style of domestic reality.I am moved by the misery and pain which most people carry silently, till it becomes unbearable. Trying to capture the darker elements of the psyche at the dawn of a new era in social realism. It is an alternate vision where the world is nebulous and abstract like a painting and not a concrete reality. The drama of decadence is also transitioned as one move from booze to drugs in search of a better reality.The fringe is unexplored territory where truth and fantasy are not disentangled but fight for supremacy. We all by to combine truth with fantasy, but when we have to choose one from the other, we choose fantasy. -Vinay-

Drink!

Invariably teetotalers would pick up the most sensational parts of health books on the unreliability of safe drinking levels and the female body’s poor ability to handle or cope with alcohol. Few people know much about alcohol, what it is what are the main benefits and drawbacks, how much can one imbibe safely………………………. What happens if we drink too much? In the absence of hard information, people tend to dig their heels into a thick carpet of prejudice. The villager or rural farmer has been drinking “moonshine” almost a bottle a day since World War I and is as healthy as ever before and his liver is better than those half his age. The J-curve indicated that moderate drinkers are less likely to succumb to heart disease than heavy drinkers or teetotalers. My interest in preventing my own liver from packing up pre-maturely is so that I can continue to enjoy one of life’s greatest pleasures for as long as possible. What is certain is that we have to die of something, and for my money it might as well be something that gives me pleasure. Alcohol is the devil we know far better than as unknown devil. I remain philosophical thanks to alcohol (C2Ho5) while my upper middle class neighbors labelled me as a drunken genius. Alcohol revives a tired body and mind and makes a man richer in the gifts of life. It’s all I have left in life. –Vinay

A Farewell to Arms.

Even as President Barack Obama pushes for gun control in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting, the demand for firearms exploded in US and Wal-Mart has sold out all its stock. There is an old Russian saying “When the guns talk, the muses fall silent.” In India and Nepal there are knives used by ethnic groups like Sikhs and Gurkhas who wear an utility knife a symbolic weapon of the Nepalese army. It is called the Gurkha knife part of the Regimental weaponry and used even by Commonwealth soldiers including Merril’s Marauders, Canadian scouts and snipers of NW Europe. In September 2010, Bishnu Shrestha, a retired Indian Army Soldier alone and armed with a Kukri, defeated 25 bandits who attacked a passenger train. He killed 3 bandits wounded 8 forcing the rest to flee. All who carry Kukri strictly adhere to the inflexible warrior code of conduct: Never unsheathe the blade in vain; once bared the steel has to be quenched in blood. Weapons are not toys, and without a code, the right to bear arms morphs into a right to wage carnage. A spiritual essence runs in all great warriors who take up arms, otherwise just an infatuation with guns and hunting knives will only lead to an evisceration of humanity.

Mento memoria

One more year slips away & the loneliness grows in me as my fancies begin to rust. The spotlight shifts to the spider weaving my web of tomorrow, withered folds, arthritis of the soul, and dementia; what happens when you are no longer the cynosure of people around you, when most of your life and passions are spent? All your friends will disappear; you are alone on the return journey from the holiday of life. Time the psychological enemy of man is now waiting for you, hangs around heavily like an old friend. You nurse a drink reflect on your signature moments, hoping that time will move faster, it does not, a sense of emptiness and desolation envelopes you, suffocating you and surrounding you. You look back on your life and try to remember the past glory, the corner office, the corporate power play, the VIP lounge. Did I have too much to drink? Although my body appears in place, my consciousness is not! I try to recall my signature moments as I ride into the sunset. Can I reclaim my life? Of course I’ll find a new passion, addiction or love, indulge in it, lap it up, and go in search of adventure, gun my SUV and drive into the new horizon. -Vinay-

A Crimson Tide.

The chilly light of winter exposed the enigmas of longing and torment in a decadent society. It will have become clear to everyone now that we are heading for a great catastrophe. Quite apart from our personal situations—our literary and material existence has been wrecked—we are headed for a new war. A war against anger, rage , a festering wound created by community with its uncaring attitude towards the suffering of others till the despair turns to violence and killings. In a fit of rage, delusion and fear the Newtown killer wrecked a carnage on children and staff of Sandy Hook School before killing himself. This marks a tipping point in the powerful emotion that drove him from his mother’s dead body to massacre innocents in a tide of crimson rage. In this dastardly act he has submitted himself to the bestial law from deep within. The pain of rejection, isolation and loneliness unleashes the lower animal instinct which tries to overcome the wave of cosmic loneliness which lurks in all of us. It is not that he hated those whom he killed or the children or his mother – he hated his loneliness and as a victim he wanted to end his suffering. The higher human faculties of compassion were submerged by the ape’s sapience which brought upon a separation from the rest of humanity. His melancholy was all embracing, a forlorn cry evocative of the lengthening shadows of his tortured misery- with the rumble of thunder he embraces death as the chosen atonement for the killings and his misery a real paradox as who is the victim in this unfolding drama. He has been imploring for years, trying to adjust to the reality that as a mentally anguished person, he has no one to turn to in this cruel selfish material world. -Vinay-

Shoppers Stop!

We have all become a consumer driven society and everyone loves to shop on line, offline whatever. Ours and the young generation – defies prediction, as we hit the supermarkets and malls running. An empathetic consumerist society elbowing and kicking the old generation down the escalator on the way to buy the latest I – Phone or play station. Gangs of well heeled adolescents roam the markets with add on platinum credit cards, pampered as they did not go through the hardships of a recession hit economy like their parents. A generation obsessed with gadgets, gizmos, computer games and branded clothes. A generation, with a total vacuity of altruistic instincts. I have a I -pad, but not a Mini, those are cool! exclaimed without a twinge of guilt. They are wholly unaware of any duality of self or the misery of others, perhaps with age comes progressive individuation and maturity. There is no cause for despair, every age passes away in time and this late modernity is only an epoch. This delectable nihilism, the delicious diversions of consumption and expenditure, what the heck whip out your paychecks and set them on fire, there is still a spasm left in consumerism. Beyond a certain point, for a culture or an individual, lies only one drearily predictable terminus, which involves the ego’s traumatic emergence from the original state of blissful plenitude into the winnowing drama of depression. Victims of unseen but vigilant adversaries trapped by an illusory existence Finally cosmic despair till serenity is achieved through final detachment from the material world and realizes the certitudes of the reality of a spiritual home, beyond the glitzy lights of malls.

Honey you shrunk my Shrink!

Psychoanalysis has come a long way from the days of Sigmund Freud and his talking cures. The actual goal of psychoanalysis was the conversion of “neurotic misery into ordinary unhappiness”. It is only successful if the individual wants to change, as it is often about challenging ones existing set of beliefs and thereby one’s own self. Lori Gottilieb states that in today’s case psychotherapy has become a branding consultancy. People no longer want long drawn out sessions, but want a quick fix solution. Now the new digital media has come out with targeted sessions to deal with marital problems, grief and depressions. They are no longer called psycho therapists, the new euphemism terms them as “Life coaches” the breed who dispenses the new, don’t – worry – be happy – sessions, shrink wrapped for convenience to give you that short lived, feel good factor, like a snort of cocaine. “I do wish I could chat longer, but…. I’ m having an old friend for dinner. Bye” – Silence of the Lambs –

Cut yourself some Slack.

Everyday new research and studies topple the old truths. The latest reported by Heidi of Breines and Chen of Berkeley suggests that it is not self esteem that unlocks your true potential but “Self compassion.” This is not some drivel or new jargon but a scientific data driven conclusion. Self compassion is a willingness to look at your own mistakes and shortcomings with kindness and understanding. It reinforces the old saying by embracing the fact that “to err is indeed human.” When you are self compassionate in the face of difficulty, you neither judge yourself, nor focus on your awesome qualities this in turn leads to higher levels of personal well being and happiness. While self compassion does not mean you lower the bar by taking yourself off the hook. The spirit of self compassion is, you can make things easier for yourself if you tried a little bit of “wishful thinking” or give yourself some break. Sort of outsourcing stress and anxiety.

Fruits of Passion.

The fruit fly Drosophila melanogasters has a passion that would put many of mankind to shame. Their favorite singles bar is atop a piece of rotting fruit – their own dance club. Male fruit flies call out to the ladies milling nearby. Their attention seeking shouts – Hey! are created with their wings, a purring pulse song. How you doing?- a humming sine song, meanwhile the females send out their own “come – hither” cues in the form of a chemical signal, or a perfume – like pheromone, to the courting males, announcing their interest in sexual overtures. Fruit fly courtship and hookups depend in the ability of potential couples to “do a little dance, make a little love.” Just as KC and sunshine band crooned in the 70’s “Get Down Tonight”. When a female slows her pace, the male moves in closer and in a more intimate mood seems to say “how u doing”. If she is receptive he dances closer tapping her butt with his front leg, sniffing it with his antennae and tasting it with his proboscis and forelegs, evaluating her suitability as the object of his amorous intentions. If all goes well a one night stand ensues. Just as in our life miscommunications can create a more difficult time in winning a mate and may result in a cold shoulder. The female fly encourages advances but the male fly must be able to read the signals at the right time. From the perspective of the female, it’s like trying to have a one on one conversation with a suitor who is trying to pick up every available date in the room. In a kind of strange homage to Cyrano be Bergerac, the male fruit fly that uses his nose or sense of smell as he speaks sweet nothings is best able to woo the female. Remember what you say is an important as your moves, even across 500 million years of evolution; the drive to get the girl keeps flies and humans singing the same tune. So keep your eyes and fly open while conducting the fandango. – Biological and scientific inputs (from the science journal of Nathan Donelson

Explosive Awakening.

Explosive Awakening. According to tantra, every man and woman should know the basic fundamental kriyas – vajroli, sahajoli and amaroli. It should be understood by all that the ultimate purpose of sexual life is the awakening of the mooladhara of the root chakra. The momentary pleasure derived from the sexual act is just a window through which you can see beyond, though doubtless, there are many other ways for awakening the spiritual potential. You can do it through penance, fasting or pranayama, but the easiest and quickest way is through proper physical union. The experience of awakening the kundalini is unbearable. The ordinary orgasm only lasts of a few seconds, and even that short period is explosive. Imagine if it continued for 10 minutes! No one would be able to handle it. Sexual life is a preparation for this awakening. It balance emotions, calms passions, and minimises excitement of mind, so that slowly, you become more aware of inner life. Cosmic Law Withdrawal symptoms. Nature creates a strong attraction between masculine and feminine forces, this bond forces opposite to merge and give birth to a soul. This completes nature’s job and she withdraws. As she withdraws the bond among opposites fade away that’s why many feel disappointed after a torrid love session or the love evaporating from a love marriage. Love emerging out of physical attraction fades because it is the play of nature. True love is at the soul level and nature plays at a very deep subconscious level. This withdrawal of nature becomes a lifelong wound for many people: but for the enlightened ones, this is the time to start the new journey. Tantra says that even withdrawal of nature has a purpose it lets you move in the direction of your core desires.

Ego a necessary Evil.

The ego is not a by product of arrogance, or self, aggrandizement normally, but it has a tendency to insidiously prevent humility from integrating with it. First you have to comprehend what ego is – when you are born you first become aware of your mother as she feeds and sustains you. Thereafter you begin to recognize parents, and others as you evolve, then you become aware of your self, realize you have significance and that you are valuable – this is the genesis of ego.Ego is a need, social phenomena, a reflection of what others think of you, it is the order of existence – the centre of you that flowers as you evolve. It is difficult to see one’s own ego. Ego is also the means to find access to our inner core and creativity, the centre of our being- the domain of our individuality, which can transform you in your own individual style.You cannot subdue the ego and create your own destiny. Ego is required like a ladder of inspiration to achieve the higher realm, perk you up, and expand the horizons of your mind to achieve the success you desire. It is a motivator par excellence and adds a special glow to your personality and is your strength. Killing the ego is counter productive and can result in an inferiority complex- if you merge your individuality like sheep to the army of believers, it can lead to superstition, anxiety and loss of identity.

Gentrified

The word ‘gentry’ is an anachronism – it is a thing of the past. Aristocracy, landlords or landed gentry evokes a cosy genteel exclusive and somewhat smug world – in which background and family were deemed more important than sheer- wealth and individual qualities. The younger generations has declined this privilege and are scattered round the globe. In those days it was all about land, they had core values of grace, enterprise, chivalry, breeding and honor. Money and conflict were as crucial as blood and family, but character was important and this many times has caused them to lead a life of struggle in later years. A sense of order, socialibility, well being and ability were expressed through the landscape and interfolding of people. Land, animals, paddy fields, food, and old rambling mansions, all interconnected with old money and social connections. Many amassed wealth through plantations, business was looked down upon – so too jobs and politics. As the old order changed slowly, big businesses, politics and the government took over of vast tracts of land and pushed them slowly to penury. Some through their achievement, adjustment & adaptation have advanced up the ladder. The beautiful sense of community slowly disintegrated by unkindness, dominance and competition. To struggle with the new world order and corrupt politics was their waterloo. In the faint horizon we can still hear the clink of wine glasses, the clutter of Dresden crockery as the hushed low voices fill the air. Life is a struggle and community ephemeral

Rhythm of Life.

As long as the mind broods over material pleasures which it is not experiencing, renunciation is hypocritical. But if one is living life to the fullest, almost sucking the marrow out of life yet, defining his relationships with the material world, then we understand life and its limits. Attachment is a mode of exaggeration and destroys the harmony of life. Accept whatever happens to you and maintain a detached impersonal attitude. I am so engrossed in my worldly life and caught up in my work, passions and hobbies that I don’t feel the pressures of the world of Maya. Evolution is a natural process for plant, animal and humans, you are going to reach the ultimate point of evolution but it will take thousands of years. If we have the patience to wait then spirituality is not necessary – but man is impatient and wants to speed up things and arrive at the final point of his spiritual relationship with the universe. People have their own spiritual, religious or non religious attitude do not try to convert them. Everyone must follow their own beliefs and lifestyles and adjust to their own rhythms. Nature teaches us to appreciate the beauty of life, watch the stars, clouds trees, mountains, oceans and stop hurrying. Existence is joyful.

The Uncanny Vedas – Reveal Secrets of Life.

After leading normal lives for three to four decades something happens to us, suddenly we realize nothing is right in this world. Crime rate has spiraled, corruption and fraud is rampant, terrorism kills innocent people and billions wallow in poverty. The world is falling apart chaos is all around us. This spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings arouses us from the savage torpor of listless insensitiveness towards a politically corrupt society. Grief overcomes us, yet we do not want to turn our back on this world. Our blind faith is an irrational fomenting of lies, and we reluctantly have to admit religion makes nothing happen and hymns cannot cure this affliction. The literary study of the Vedas propels us into uncharted realms of our minds. Unlike the complicated densely worded holy books and scriptures which have little to do with the real world, Vedanta addresses the more sublime co-ordinates of our world. It may seem more philosophical but expresses the universal rather than the literary. What we take for granted is shattered as epiphany follows our minds. The purpose of the Vedas is to make one more sensitive to the irreducible intricacies of the real world and enable us to form informed judgments about what is right and wrong. We don’t miss the trees for the forests; flora and fauna ignite the concrete realities. The chilly light of winter exposed the enigmas of longing and torment in a decadent society. Vedas spells out the abstruse making the strange familiar, a going back into nature, it lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the universe, shocking us into awareness’ of the plight of others, the more compassion we have the more beauty we appreciate. Morality lies in our imagination, the bizarre and cryptic - like grass, the sky and stars seen as metaphors become more lucid than ever before, we learn how to cope.

I Don’t Like to Sleep Alone.

Now everyone sleeps with a Blackberry, iPad or laptop strewn across his bed. We are caught in the wonderment at the new technologies, a novel astonishment as we navigate the labyrinthine pathways of virtual reality. The question is how do we connect our minds to this enticingly bizarre world? It’s uncanny – not truth, beauty or goodness an internet, boom, boon and bane. Though I would have liked to have my mistress beside me on bed, my punishing workload meant I could not find time to make love to her. Between the last text message, e-mail, twitter and FB chats, I can’t even summon a twitter of erotic emotion. Now I realize how those celibate popes, cardinals, priests and bankers must have lived. Pitiless people who died of exhaustion caused by long hours, with recreational sex reduced to only day dreams. Philosophers are physically strong with plenty of creative sexual energy, and are susceptible to sensory stimulation and intoxication. A woman’s sensuality is so evident, so irresistible that they experience a vertiginous sensation an expression of human passion. Those who embrace celibacy finally sink into their graves with their senses and hearts unsatisfied. There is no greater disaster in the spiritual life than to be immersed in unreality, for life is maintained and nourished in us by our vital relation with realities outside and above us. When our life feeds on unreality, it must starve. For those who are chaste and try to overcome their dominant and basic instincts there is bound to be an overheating of the sexual system, which is generally sublimated in prayer. In a world full of pain and misery we must reserve some time for sensual pleasures in a world full of fine things - we must get rid of negative thoughts as there is no greater sin than denial, because then there is no light and no vision. The ability to exist in uncertainties, mysteries, and doubts is the way to love and die fully satiated like the man who loves a stiff drink and a roll in the hay.

A Heart’s Unspoken Love.

I saw her standing in the shade Fresh as a dewdrop nesting on grass on a blade Her lovely face like a mirror of the moon I caress her not lest she swoon Ethereal, surreal, a serene beauty A goddess of love, like a jewel in a crown Never seen her she must be out of town My nerves cry out to touch her elegiac heart An untouchable Madonna with only eyes that dart At that moment the bus arrives From a distance I watched her go by, Within those limpid pools A message to decipher try She looks back twice with bright blue eyes Forlorn and sad a glance or was it a cry Did she want me to follow her? The sign too shy Or was it to tell me to wait for more enduring time. I try to shake my magnificent obsession Yet it haunts my life, like an enduring chime Melancholy brought on bouts of lovelorn fever Shaped by a will which bonds me with its fragile fervor Like a flower sprinkled with divine nectar Attracted I want to follow her like a bee No desire to live far from where she may be The lovers glance meant everything Adolescent passion, a romantic dream The end of youth is inconceivable Memories haunt me forever in an undying stream A love potion it becomes a life long addiction Vague thoughts take shape in my mind As I strive to wipe my slate of dereliction Like a fine ghost lost but returns to haunt my thoughts train This is a memory to which I will return again and again Love comes from nowhere and leads nowhere …………… It is its own monument. –Vinay-

Soul Food is Home Cooked.

As infants our earliest bond with our mother is being breast fed and later eating our mothers home cooked meal. Yet as we grow we fall prey to fads, changing lifestyles and technical advances mean we eat more of processed foods which are not in the best interest of health or longevity. In combination, internet social networks and poor diets seem to be conspiring to produce a generation of pudgy, lazy mutes with short attention spans. Culture begins and ends on a plate. A proper wake is followed by good food and drink for good reason; a testament to life even without the guest of honor. We eat to live and then we live to eat. From the earliest times, food played a key role in the spiritual and literal growth of families and a larger society. Long before convenience became the buzz word our grandparents have followed a regime of healthy eating. Simple fare, with had a variety of seasonal ingredients grown locally, no heart burn or indigestion. The scientific causes for obese, dull, or obnoxious kids are partly due to poor socialization, bad nutrition, which afflicts children. The key ingredients in packaged, fast food, or take-out are: calories, fat, salt, sugar and all the chemicals required to prevent the awful from becoming inedible. An army marches on its stomach, “said Napoleon Bonaparte (C’est la soup qui fait le soldat’ or it’s the soup that makes the soldier) successful armies have always known the need to secure their kitchen supplies. Patriotism they say is the taste of food eaten in childhood. Yet despite eating home food religiously during our youth we shun it the moment we begin our career. Just like other city slickers we relish, burgers, pizza’s, taco’s and other junk food. Then when obesity and life style diseases set in we go on diets and bariatric surgery. In the animal kingdom or fauna are more attuned to nature’s circadian rhythm but as Homo sapiens evolve we tend to forget what is naturally good for us. The older generation relished the whole grain bread, stew, rice, watery veggies and lived a healthy life.

Dharma and Compassion.

In his classic teaching, Shakyamuni Buddha compares the ‘Dharma’ — the true nature of reality — to a soothing rain that nourishes all beings. Plenty of us recognize that Buddhist writings and teachings — especially in their Zen manifestation — celebrate the beauty and wisdom in the natural world. Part of this sensitivity to nature is a Buddhist grasp of suffering, whose existence constitutes the first of Buddhism's Four Noble Truths. The key teaching is ‘compassion’, which means something quite different from empathy, sympathy, doing good, being nice, or easy phrases about ‘feeling your pain’ for Buddhists there is no self in the deeper sense that no one exists as a singular, permanent structure distinct and isolated in any meaningful way from the rest of the world, in line with an evolutionary and ecological approach to our origins and our embeddedness in natural processes. The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, expressing as it does our love of the natural world and at the same time the pathos of our yearning towards transcendence. People who follow ecological thinking including rational scientists might not realize that they are also embracing an ancient spiritual tradition. No man is an island, entire of itself,’ every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes us, because we are involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for all of us-

Enter the Cyber Guru.

With the advent of the internet there is burgeoning new business that threatens to explode from a cottage industry on to the global stage. It is the new self help gurus who claim they can solve all of life’s problems from love to unemployment. Any pseudo intellectual can pitch himself as a cyber guru just change the name with a prefix like Shri, Acharya, Swami, Bodhisattva, or Lama as Jed McKenna indicts in his book “Enlightenment the Damnedest”. All these pop philosophers seek out amateur intellectuals and persuade them to entrust their deepest anxieties. Mysticism is the new mantra where spirituality is dispensed like coke – the pause that refreshes -. These Gurus never miss the opportunity of quoting the wisdom of others, which is more intriguing than what they can ever say. Every problem is addressed, how do we live with others in society? How to be successful? How to drop anxiety? How to conquer love? Those who read these types of self help spiel are better off reading “Playboy” How to be happy in love and marriage, guaranteed to stimulate, provoke, nourish and console with poetic wisdom drawing parallels between reality and quantum theory. Those with more complex neuroses are dealt with more philosophical depth towards enlightenment. Everything is wrong and lopsided, the logic, the assumptions as Jed distinguishes Satori from religiosity and mystical experiences – neither of which has anything to do with it. Self observation is an ancient practice and it has been called many names or many different things. It was advocated in the Vedas, Upanishads by the term meditation often like Buddha, Socrates, Zen Masters and even Sigmund Freud. Mashing poetry and philosophy together with self actualization is not very insightful.

THE DUALITY OF REALITY.

Reality is far too complex to be comprehended by any given mind. Religion is a mode of exaggeration draped in a veil of apocalyptic mystique to hide its deficiencies and it destroys our own self confidence, as it becomes a crutch. Regret of the past and fear of the future is the best recipe for depression. Both vice and virtue are required for success in life. Vice and virtue is also a relationship – a play between the pleasures and retribution, attachment and detachment vice should not be ignored for the sake of virtue alone and virtue should not be denounced for a life of vice. A man without vice, is like a dish without salt an unholy ghost wandering all over the place. Our visions are like maps that guide us through a tangle of bewildering complexities. Vice and virtue, have different visions and premises often implicit. These different premises are what provide consistency in our lives. Contributing to the well being of others is a summer of content and real path to progress and success. What has been deliberately termed as vice, may not be so, we confuse them with reality. Spirituality is training for death - how we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life. A twilit borderland of the mind, somewhere between fact and illusion - the haunt of great mystics, artists, poets and lunatics. It’s a spiritual paradox the desire for transcendence without transcendence to leave this world with dignity, grace and at peace with ourselves.

Another Dream

And yet again that Word – like a shadow It looms contritely a pale apology to what was once before If now I refuse to ignore This recalcitrant shadow the reason my friend are reasons that need no logic but the experience of a pain and a shadow Is never an image this but the elusive reflection of the real self revolving around the brightness of a light flickers within you and me making us

Good, Bad and Destiny

There has always been a widespread belief in fate, destiny or karma, the eternal inscrutable power which apportions definitive ends to both individuals and narratives. It is noticeable that sometimes the saint or good man fails and the sinner or unscrupulous man prospers – a fact which seems to put all moral maxims to the ultimate test. As the good results of righteousness are not rewarded but the unjust prosper. Thus a good man or woman is overcome with calamity. If the good Lord cannot be a knower how can he be a giver? Life is a great school for the development of character and all through strife and struggle – vice, virtue; success and failure are but the learning lessons of wisdom. Life is riddled with the fear of the unknown, constant transition and illusion. Our egos only help in giving vent to the stress of daily life. Prayer cannot change anything except make it a blessed sadness of misery. Accept whatever happens to you and maintain a detached impersonal attitude.The real salvation is from solitary intimacy with our inner selves that can extrapolate our destiny. So it is the change within that brings change without. Spirituality allows us to be more resilient to the stress of our times and not worry about the things we can’t control and live a life of harmony, a sort of training for the ultimate end- to leave the world with dignity, grace and at peace with ourselves.- Vinaydiv dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on">

It is a positive joy to put out the fires of hell”

“... “The unexamined life is not worth living." What Socrates failed to tell us is that the examined one isn't a whole lot better. I'd tell people straightforwardly, without irony or obfuscation, what a pathetic ruse life was. I'd tell them that living was a euphemism for dying slowly, that life was an incurable disease that was ultimately fatal. I wasn't alone in my understanding of life's meaninglessness. Did they not experience the monotony of class and lunch, class and lunch, day after day? Did they not experience recess as a sadistic lie? Sadistic because it was either too painful or too short (you pick), and a lie because it was meant to provide some respite from the monotony. Second, it taught me that I could do nothing about the suffering of the world; one could neither adequately atone for one's existence nor make a meaningful attempt to escape it.There is but one truly serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. Life is still a pathetic ruse: either too painful or too short. You pick. “He takes as a given that we live in a world that is completely indifferent to our human purposes. Life in a meaningless world was not worth living.- John Kaag Philosopher

La Dolce Vita.

We all have aspirations, money is life, and the power to spend money is the power to live ……………those who lack the power to spend money become literally faceless. The glamour of those who have and can acquire anything they wish cannot exist without personal social envy being – a common and widespread emotion. Everyone is in pursuit of the good life, but what does it constitute of? Luxury yachts, Mansions, B M W’s, designer clothes, a beautiful partner etc -may bring joy ephemerally; but doesn’t make one contented and lead a fulfilling life? Happiness isn’t about money or success alone. Ignoring life’s myriad experiences is bereft of philosophical depth and material possessions will only succeed in lulling the soul into a forgetful sleep. People who enjoy close ties with friends and family are happier and more resilient to anxiety and cope with setbacks far better. Material possessions are not the only way to happiness. The intimacies shared with our closest companions keep us anchored vital, and alive. Like calories, friendships keep us warm, and serve as a badge of contentment; it’s the elixir of a happy life.One has to fully engage in life, not wasting time on stressful situations, doing all things that make you happy. It’s about living life on your own terms, not permitting external confirmation or perception to dictate your happiness.

The Silence and Solitude of the Mountains.

We are all immersed in a common chaos of signs, gadgets, gizmos and sensational events, yet somehow detached from it also. We are all soulless in the Wall Street way, all victims of greed, social media, consumerism and cultural anesthesia. This consumer attitude suggests a certain materialistic destiny, which explains why so many intellectuals are exploring spirituality and philanthropy. Perhaps that is why the sages retreated to the silence of the mountains, far away from the maddening crowd. Yet even if contemplative solitude gave them a glimpse of the sublime, questions arise, what now? What is the purpose of this solitude? We try to entertain the illusion of controlling the fires of sensuous desire that consume us. To take oneself out into the wilderness as part of the spiritual quest is one thing, but to remain there in a kind of barren ecstasy is another. In aloneness we can hear ourselves more clearly, but how much goes on in that quiet universe of which we know so little. Solitude can enliven a new sense of what companionship with the universe means. We must consummate the desire to temper the passion that devours us. It is one of the great paradoxes of solitude, that it offers us not an escape, not a paradise, not a dwelling place where we can haughtily maintain our integrity by ignoring vicious and corrupt social world, but a way back to that world, and a motive for being there. The silence of our traumas and chaos, the world reminds us by its fragile beauty – of our limitations and our ultimate demise. –Vinay-

Shift Gears – Revv Minds Engine.

Eastern philosophy states that creation is self organizing and all events are purposeful and not chaotic; and when the mind aligns with the macro intelligence of the Universe, the window to unlimited power opens - this is known as grace. David Rock of Neural leadership echoes this sentiment as he explores processes within the brain that influence our thoughts and impact our decisions and resilience. In Taitteriya Upanishad this is called “pancha kosa” it prepares the mind to be empty and be ready to receive change with ‘grace’. When you create a narrative of experiences you have more control and minimize threat perception, threats are bad for thinking, information, memories, emotions and imagination of all that is stored in it.Neurology also explains the phenomena of insights the conscious brain is very limited and can only solve basic problems. The unconscious brain on the other hand, has extraordinary capacity; we often miss out on the signals it is sending because of the constant noise in our minds. An insight is your unconscious mind solving complex problems for you in life. That’s why most people have their eureka moments in a bath or when their minds are quiet. A still mind, free of baggage, allows intellect to separate grain from the chaff and converge on action to resolve problems. Great music, art, literature which enriches humanity comes from this power. Meditation helps thinking about thinking – deep talking to the deep. So revv your mind’s engine and shift to overdrive.

You Have the Power!

The Bhagavad-Gita states that by fulfilling one’s duty and detaching oneself from the fruits of action, one is liberated from the cycle of birth and rebirth – and ascends to the indestructible state that is free from all bonds. Since we largely remain unconscious of the laws of life, we resent what is meted out by nature which errs not. Deeper understanding of cause and effect enables inner introspection and peace of mind – a precondition for spirituality. Vedanta is an ancient philosophy in India and long before other religious teachings got their act together, though not a religion but a way of life – it was the first to institutionalize the concept of justice “dharma’ and compassion. Unlike other religions Vedanta did not have any bitter clash with the theory of evolution. It teaches us to be rational and practical to understand the self as part of a larger scheme of things. Selfless service, guidance of the wise, self introspection and sadhana are the pillars resting on the benevolence of the cosmic power that abounds in the Universe.

The Color of Power!

No one is powerless, everyone has “power over their own selves” one must discover and convert it. India was ruled for over 600 years by various Muslim rulers then later by the British. Even after freedom all states and politicians continue to create their own dynastic rule, to cling to power. The sights, sounds and narratives of different states depicts that we have lost our self esteem and politicians act like the replaced Mughal and British rulers. Brazen law breakers become law makers making a mockery of democracy. The code of honor which our forefathers had followed has changed. In a changing world the ordinary man without wealth or connections is still powerless, trapped in a permanent state of unhappiness. The old society was based on taboos, rules, and limitations but love and forgiveness was not in short supply. A little bit of tyranny is build into every collective community of society. As Seneca put it “it is not the man who has too little power, but the man who craves for more power who is poor.” Power is a consequence, unless it is a mere attachment to authority – a mystery with a tacit dimension, wherein poverty is interpreted as contentment and inefficiency camouflaged as patience. Honor has a different connotation in the consumerist- capitalist society of today as opposed to how our forefathers interpreted it – those days every man had within himself an island on which he would not allow trespass that was his honor or oath and a way of life. Power is a neutral energy colored only by the purpose to which it is used. That is why cosmic power is colorless.

Satori!

The innermost self is “Anandamaya kosa” (bliss) which is the gateway of knowledge, joy and energy. The South Indian monk Bodhisharma in the 5th Century transmitted “Dyhana” from Sanskrit to China, from where it migrated to Japan and was called Zen. Mahayana’s teachings of Paramita are fundamentally a distillation of Vedanta which bestowed equality to women and weaker sections.The purpose was to sub vert the consensual reality and induce intuitive insight or revelation into consciousness itself. This ecstatic truth is called Satori by the Japanese. In order to preserve reality we must drop mind and body, the annihilation of all mental constructs called “Namanrupa” in Sanskrit. When absolute is added or taken away, the Absolute becomes manifest Einstein came to the same conclusion with his E =mc2, energy or matter cannot be created or destroyed at best only its form can be changed. Bhagavad Gita echoes the same sentiment; nothing exists that is not Brahman – which is limitless and infinite. Buddhist sotierology is derived from the older Santana Dharma. The human condition is an all encompassing aspect of Zen practice and you cannot separate daily life and work from it.The mind is a receptacle for the sublime, the mundane and the ungodly, treating them all with equal diffidence. To transcend the duality of pain and pleasure, one has to grasp the inherent duality of pain and pleasure; one has to grasp the inherent emptiness of form, sensation, mental formations, perceptions and emptiness of form, sensation, mental formations, perceptions and consciousness. In Zen energy every act is ritualized even if one decides to commit hara-kiri, in Vedanta it does not matter how one kills oneself, the end justices the means