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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Open letter to UN and world leaders

.

Let UN declare 2015 as Year of Fight Against Terrorism.

I am writing this with a heavy heart and tears drenching my key board.

Of what use is a referee if he cannot stop violators?

The game of life as demarcated and defined by nations has appointed a referee called UN with a great consensus, greater power and huge funding.

If this international referee UN is not mandated to control and take punitive actions against violators in the form terrorist outfits irrespective of religious, national identities then we do not need such referee.

This type of frequent terrorist attacks against unarmed civilians and holding innocent children as hostage is against the rules of human life.

So UN must create a global army which must be mandated to trace the hide outs of all these terrorist outfits in any country holed up inside any place , even if it is the most revered or sacred religious place , either with or without the consent of the nations where such activities are to be taken up. Incidentally,  the whole world knows in which countries and which groups are involved in these, and wipe them off ruthlessly, unmindful of any hue and cry about human rights societies and paid media publicity supporting these terrorists.

The nations which independently take up these terrorist weeding out operations must be given assistance by UN and awarded the UN Peace Prize.

Let all nations use helicopters, missiles and drones within their own territory against these potential terrorist outfits.

Why the whole world is silent about Hafiz Saeed, Dawood Ibrahim, leaders of ISIS, Taliban, Boko Haram, Maoists in India etc?

Let UN take this activity on a war footing, empower nations to do it themselves and monitor it with its international team to ensure that those in power do not misuse these powers.
If UN wishes it can be done within a month’s time.

I think all sane leaders from all nations will join in this venture irrespective of all dynamics of international politics and treaties. It is a new crisis and requires a new approach. Greater the crisis and damage swifter must be the response.


All conferences with high flown speeches without concrete action to protect human life is a sheer waste.

Monday, December 15, 2014

TMK and his tricks

Every music season TMK decides to do something other than rendering a good , complete concert. Last year he ensured publicity through a book before December and this year 'One with Music' He desperately wants to position himself in the carnatic music space by all other means.                                  

 DR. Sunder, Anil Srinivasan, Ramji Isai Mazhai Ramji have been doing more to spread knowledge of music and for a longer period of time but  they are not cheap publicity seekers like TMK nor do they get that publicity. 

On TMK, I wish he comes out of his outdated ideological cage of left over Indian leftist group, stops desperately seeking publicity than providing something useful; talk and write less [both of which expose his half baked knowledge and full blown ignorance] and instead concentrate seriously and sincerely in music and attempt to perfect it rather than publicize his perversions. Unfortunately we are a very tolerant public and get carried away by publicity and people like TMK capitalize on that.  It is a pity people call him eccentric genius etc .  

I have had very pleasant personal experiences with some very great eccentric geniuses  like Veenai Balachander who took me to task and 
​I ​
ended up learning something very valuable. Madurai Somu , I have been a witness to one of his most remarkable extempore composition which no carnatic musician at present , except Dr. M. Balamurali Krishna can even attempt to do. 

Here are the reasons why I take on TMK 




Enemy Within

Fanatic fringes of an ideology can be your worst opponent without being a declared enemy.

1.     Though over generalization and over simplification are not good for political analysis, especially in the present day. Still, I feel, in the interest of the nation’s march towards its much promised and procrastinated [over six decades] path towards economic development, positive business promoting activities, enhancing educational opportunities and facilities [especially higher education whereby we can control huge money going out of the country to foreign universities], creating more employment, alleviating poverty etc.

2.     It would be advisable to keep all ideological affinities [especially those that are not going to contribute directly to any of the above causes] in abeyance and bring them to the limelight after we achieve at least 40% of the predominant promises and pertinent expectations.


3.     Even otherwise getting wedded to any ideology will trap us into identity cages and we will automatically slip into status quo addicts with mental fixations.


4.     At last the country is having a leader with good intentions, great dreams and a vision and we have got the nation’s image globally uplifted.

5.     We must either ignore or silence anything that or anyone who causes hurdles to this i.e. delivering the preferred and prioritized agenda which has triggered the hopes of millions of our youth and on which hinges the very lives of not only many Indians but also many citizens, businessmen, traders  of many other countries.

6.     Because the trade off for promoting any ideology at the cost of all these is neither good nor must be allowed to dominate.

7.     Reality check and unbiased feedback are two most important
factors that can polish any manager or leader much more than
a team of ‘yes men’ or ‘ideologically glued bunch of operators’
and it becomes all the more important when there are leaders with
great visions, mega dreams, creative ideas and an urgency
to carry out everything with a missionary zeal.

8.     Such leaders cannot be expected to pay attention to micro details
of execution, then, they will lose lot of their focus, energy and time
in that. But, unfortunately, very often the team does not think or operate
at the same wave length as the leader. It is at such junctures that
unbiased feedback like the one last week from Arun Shourie becomes
all the more imperative.


9.     Mahatma Gandhi had enough wisdom when he suggested that Congress [old one] must be dismantled once it’s primary purpose of getting together to get freedom was achieved because he knew that a group of people will clutch on to the scaffolding even when the construction is over as they survived and gained importance only because they made the scaffolding or feel comfortable only with their position on scaffolding.

10.  Any ideology, ism or doctrine is at best a scaffolding to achieve something or enjoy or experience or enlighten life. They are the means and not the end.

11.  We can always keep the scaffolding ready for the next construction but must not be clinging onto the scaffolding without trying to get inside the building and start living.

12.  We must keep at bay all the ideological outfits and more so, its fanatic fringes out of the range or ask them to keep quiet, otherwise they can be your worst opponent without being a declared enemy.

13.  People who get wedded to any ideology suffer from certain syndromes with which they have developed a long standing relationship that they find it to be their one only comfort zone [ please note that I am not saying it is right or wrong] wish people read the  book- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Paperback – 26 Dec 2007 by Carol Dweck and very well analyzed here http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/01/29/carol-dweck-mindset/

14.  When scaffoldings become props for parasites and pests then they must be thrown away.

15.  Modern governance is too complicated to devote time and energy in entertaining sentimental attachments to ideology.

16.  We need to both carefully choose our relationships as well as know how far to get involved in any relationship based on contexts and priorities. http://contentwriteups.blogspot.in/2014/12/relationships.html

17.  A strong leader should not allow himself to be distracted by fanatical fringes of the any ideological status quo addicts or conservative crooks or self proclaimed moralists or social engineers keen on homogenizing a plural and pleasant cultural atmosphere. Then it is in no way different from a leader who was a puppet who did not have the freedom to take any decisions because in both cases it is a supra governmental authority which exercises more control over the reins of power.

18.  Using ideologically wedded crowd to come to power was an important step; it must be a step but not a stop.

19.  Everything in any process of growth is just a step, important and inevitable, but not a stop. It is so with mother’s milk [our biological aspect of life]; it is so with learning of alphabets, words and numbers [our intellectual aspect of life]; it is so with hugging, kissing and cajoling as babies [our emotional aspect of life]; it is so with our learning and understanding of different concepts [ our philosophical aspect of life]; it is so with all forms of worship, devotion and all its concomitant rituals and religious practices [ our spiritual life] and so on. This is the inherent wisdom. A normal human being has to go through a process to grow in everything or into something but ultimately grow out of it. [http://contentwriteups.blogspot.in/2010/02/sanathana-dharma.html]


20.  After all everything has an expiry date, including our mortal life.


Parenting

My reaction to the FB post below.


Parenting involves too many things with too much of involvement. Many of which are contradictions, blatant manifestations of hypocrisy etc. Still, they all work together with too many strong ,personal , interpersonal emotions like care, concern, some amount of possessiveness, obsessive protectionism, sentimentalism, indescribable love which does not seek reciprocation, being and wanting to be physically and mentally available , wanting and willing to eagerly participate in the growth and evolution of the children etc. All of these can be realized only when one is a parent.

However, the following advice brings some sanity to otherwise too involved parenting. " When you parent, it’s crucial you realize you aren’t raising a ‘mini me’ but a spirit throbbing with its own Signtaure"- Dr. Shefali Tsabary. This is nothing but what JK used to say as 'allowing the inward flowering'.

Parenting very often does not know to differentiate between involvement and intrusion.

All said and done life is best ensconced only in the warmth of parental love which can be taken for granted at any circumstance.

When people whose parents are no more alive think of them fond memories cascade down the spine and fine feelings gush up the spine and both together flood the heart and choke the throat. We all need to relish with love the relationship of our parents for whatever they did or did not or could not do and as parents let us do whatever we can to our children with love.





Sunday, December 14, 2014

Dance and the spirit of wanting to dance

Dance is more to do with the spirit of the soul than physical flexibility or fitness.

To all those who fret, fume and fuss about dancing as if it is something very difficult bla bla.

Here are two pieces. One I have already shared and now the latest one my daughter mailed me today.
All you need to dance is interest, involvement, practice, training and less about how others judge you and where you perform and for whom or for how much you perform etc.

Both these are extremes. One performing in a very advanced age and another with a very disadvantageous situation.

Both these prove that it has more to do with the spirit of the soul than physical flexibility or fitness, though they are very important.

First the latest

 Second one here in this link



Friday, December 12, 2014

Reality and Illusion

The Ashtavakra Gita the great link between philosophy, metaphysics and physics. I hope you remember the story of Ashtavakra that we used to read in amar chitra katha as a great scholar cursed by his own father for questioning certain established philosophical and religious dogmas and also giving a very convining explanation.  I have always held this Gita as the most abstract metaphysical and philosophical text as well as the most advanced prompt for later day scientific research in physics.

Here is an excellent but brief explanation of just one of his sloka
Severing All Illusions
By: DHRUVA BHARGAVA on Oct 04, 2014
What we see separates us from Supreme reality, says DHRUVA BHARGAVA

When the formless, undivided, infinite oneness, Self, the pure ‘knowing’ gets embodied, it becomes finite — the perceived. With perception arises the appearance of reality and with that, our experiences.However, the appearance of reality is not reality itself but merely an appearance caused by our perception of it.The reality remains beyond our percept and knowing. The entire appearance of our perception is composed of diverse emergent qualities that are illusory; therefore, any appearance too,is illusory.This does not mean that existence is illusory; it means,we experience the appearance of reality only in terms of qualities produced within us by the act of perception and not by reality itself.

The Ashtavakra Gita (2.9) clearly states:“The mirage of universe appears in me/ As silver appears in mother-of-pearl/ As snake appears in a rope/ As water appears on a desert horizon.” However, the problem ensues when the illusory appearance is mistaken for reality itself.The emergent qualities of varied colours and sounds, temperature ranges, hardness, size and volume that compose the appearance of reality,are otherwise absent in reality.The consequential confusion of mistaking their appearance for reality itself is a delusion that misleads the perceiver into an illusory state from where his subsequent actions and attachments emanate.This confusion and delusion is the root cause of all misery and sufferings. The Ashtavakra Gita (2.16) elaborates,“ Looking at One and seeing many/ Is the cause of all misery.The only cure is to realise/ What is seen is not there./ I am One — aware, blissful, immaculate.” There are only two modes of perception — sensory and cognitive.

In sensory perception, inputs received through scanning of the physical environment by our senses are presented to our consciousness. These sensory inputs are polarized around a point of perception, such as heat-cold, light-darkness, hardsoft or rough-smooth.This point of perception lies on a wide range,relative to the perceiver, to which his physical body adapts.Thus,a human being as perceiver,may find 30-degree centigrade temperature tolerable, but an organism living in a deep sea region near an underwater volcano, where temperature ranges between 100-200 degrees,may find 30 degree centigrade intolerable. In cognitive perception, inputs received from mental concepts — that of imagination, thinking, and memories are presented to consciousness in a dualistic way, such as like-dislike and favourable-unfavourable.

In cognitive perception, the mind itself provides inputs for perception which are rebounded within.This rebounding of inputs has no limits as they are not grounded in the physical environment like sensory inputs. In the realm of cognitive perception, one can, therefore,limitlessly think,imagine, fantasise and conceptualise. Thus,cognitive percept can be infinitely reproduced and built over and over again as the uninterrupted source of inputs lies within.

This creates an entangling cognitive loop due to rebounding of inner inputs and percept. In fact, perception ‘dualises’ the otherwise Oneness-Self into Self and the other. Our self concept, the self as we see ourselves,is a ‘dualised’separate self and a product of cognitive perception. It always perceives itself as separate from the other. It’s built on our memories,imaginations,fantasies, thinking,and feelings,but appears real. All misery and suffering ensue when we own and accept this separate illusory self-concept as real. Once this illusory self is accepted and identified with, all its associated illusory suffering and misery that follow appear real too.

link to above article is here

and surprisingly today this appeared along with another latest development and discussion in the world of physics

http://www.speakingtree.in/spiritual-slideshow/seekers/science-of-spirituality/how-god-particle-can-destroy-the-universe/190144


Happiness, Reality,Evaluations, Perception and Gadgets

Here, your write up throws up four or five main issues for which or through which or to grasp the relevance or relationship of these things life churns up its experiences and encounters. These things are not necessary in this order but 1. What is happiness or what factors lead to real happiness?  2. What is reality or have we realized the truth of what is reality to declare with axiomatic certitude that something is reality and something is happiness etc? 3. How we perceive things, i.e. what is perception? 4. Evaluation, what is it and how do we evaluate anything or anyone and how can we be sure that our method of evaluation is the best one? 5. What is the role, relationship, relevance and our interaction viz à viz gadgets?
Before we get into explaining all these we must accept a broad premise, that is , we can neither defy nor deny the importance, relevance or existence of anything or anyone .Everyone and everything is a piece in the jigsaw puzzle called life . Life is not a mere biological accident. It is boon to be enjoyed, enriched, experienced and enlightened by every individual with a sense of gratitude for everything that happens and towards everyone that we encounter.

I am flooding you with some very lengthy materials with lots of links but I can assure you that all these will be inspiring and instigating the thought process.
1.       On reality





2.       Evaluations

Coming to the aspect of evaluation, how to normally encounter and evaluate any subject or topic?

It is preferable to  immerse  any topic or subject matter, primarily and basically with its intrinsic elements/components/aspects/attributes intact, into a cauldron which has  a mixture of all these- knowledge based analysis, limited perception based on frames of reference and scales of observation, skepticism , criticism, intellectual scrutiny, compassionate emotionalism, humane socialism, rational thinking, contextual relevance [ which includes too many components] , traditions, practical viability, psychological comfort, aesthetic sensitivity, scientific scrutiny etc and  churn the cauldron without clinging on to any particular restrictive social, cultural or political or religious identity.

This process inevitably will bring out lot of outputs. We can exercise our freedom and sometimes select and choose some of the outputs. Sometimes the outputs will draw us. Sometimes away from all or any of our intended searches and seeking, outside the circle of these known paradigms, almost tangentially serendipity will drag us to an oasis of serene clarity.

At all costs the intrinsic attributes must be the predominant factor. So that, whatever is thrown into the cauldron and however it is churned, the ultimate output must include those attributes to ensure that our evaluation is not distorted or desperately doctored to fit into any predefined and expected outcome.
So, what pans out ultimately depends on various factors and aspects some of which are explainable within the ken of logical and rational thinking but some are beyond these.
We can also observe uneasily how the human intellect polished by a rare faculty [compared to other species] of conscious awareness, capacity to think, store the knowledge, retrieve it for reference etc, is mostly, unwilling to take the risk of accepting the uncertain; the intellectually undecipherable and the inexplicable outcomes, even if such acceptance is branded, extolled and promoted as virtues of humility or modesty.
For example if one is evaluating music, one must ensure that music quality/musicality as an intrinsic aspect must be highlighted and then evaluate the other extraneous factors like who renders it, how it is rendered, who is the composer, what is the composition, what is the lyrics, how is the acoustic quality, how the person who is rendering it is dressed, how was the ambiance of the place where it was rendered etc.

This blog posting delves rather deep into the process of evaluation



If you have enough time you may go through this as well.


3.       Happiness



4.       Perception



5.       Gadgets

But for spectacles most of us would all be grouping about with defective vision. Without microscope we would have never known the microbes or molecules. So every garget also is born to fulfill a specific need. Without recording devices we would have lost lot of great music etc
Gadgets are semi gods, if not gods.
 I wish all of you read the wonderful book by Thomas Crump ‘A brief history of science as seen through the development of scientific instruments’ to get an idea as to how these inventions have shaped our lives in many ways.

6.       Gather knowledge from as many sources as possible



“All of us have our own inner fears, beliefs, opinions. These inner assumptions rule and govern our lives. A suggestion has no power in and of itself. Its power arises from the fact that you accept it mentally.” 
― Joseph Murphy, The Power of Your Subconscious Mind

We must realize that the subconscious mind is the law of action and always expresses what the conscious mind has impressed on it. What we regularly entertain in our mind creates a conception of self. What we conceive ourselves to be, we become.” Grace Speare.


Humans and Robots


I have my own confidence that such a scenario can never arise because human beings have many peculiar components/facets which combine with inherent attributes, intelligent attitude​s​, interrelations , interactions and handle everything aptly with conscious awareness and relate with everything based on that . So robots can never take on all these multiple factors, master them and beat humans. Of  course, they can operate with greater speed and accuracy in the domain of mechanical operations. Not life as a whole.

Relationships

I feel in the ultimate analysis everything is about how we relate with others, with things, with ideologies, with various identities, with the whole environment etc that is going to determine our role and relevance in the world and in our own life. 

It is preferable to immerse any topic or subject matter, primarily and basically with its intrinsic elements/components/aspects/attributes intact, into a cauldron which has a mixture of all these- knowledge based analysis, limited perception based on frames of reference and scales of observation, skepticism , criticism, intellectual scrutiny, compassionate emotionalism, humane socialism, rational thinking, contextual relevance [ which includes too many components] , traditions, practical viability, psychological comfort, aesthetic sensitivity, scientific scrutiny etc and churn the cauldron without clinging on to any particular restrictive social, cultural or political or religious identity.

This process inevitably will bring out lot of outputs. We can exercise our freedom and sometimes select and choose some of the outputs. Sometimes the outputs will draw us. Sometimes away from all or any of our intended searches and seeking, outside the circle of these known paradigms, almost tangentially serendipity will drag us to an oasis of serene clarity.

At all costs the intrinsic attributes must be the predominant factor so that whatever is thrown into the cauldron and however it is churned, the ultimate output must include those attributes so that evaluation is not distorted or desperately doctored to fit into any predefined and expected outcome.
So what pans out ultimately depends on various factors and aspects some of which are explainable within the ken of logical and rational thinking but some are beyond these.

We can also observe uneasily how the human intellect polished by a rare faculty [compared to other species] of conscious awareness, capacity to think, store the knowledge, retrieve it for reference etc, is mostly, unwilling to take the risk of accepting the uncertain; the intellectually undecipherable and the inexplicable outcomes, even if such acceptance is branded, extolled and promoted as virtues of humility or modesty.





Thursday, December 11, 2014

Retirement blues and ‘the importance of doing everything’!

Retirement blues and ‘the importance of doing everything’!

1.   What is of vital importance is that individuals at all levels must think of adding value to their life and that of others around, let me refrain from  using big terms like ‘giving back to the society’ etc.

2.   People who have been in position of authority/ holding important port folios/handled important issues and difficult situations would have undoubtedly a very important aspect of knowledge gained through those field experiences.


3.   Unfortunately these cannot be found in Google search.

4.   Nowadays there are many avenues like websites, blogs, FB groups etc. So, these retired souls, if they feel like or want to, can share their experiences or give their views [even unsolicited ones] using any or all of those avenues. Otherwise this space is used by opinion wielding/judge all experts with half baked knowledge and full blown ignorance parading as TV anchors and news reporters both in print and audio-visual media.


5.   For example a particular ex- bureaucrat who has worked in a particular state ministry/department, say irrigation department of Tamilnadu can start a blog, website or FB group with the name Irrigation in TN/Water problems in TN etc and write all his experiences including all that he wished to do but did not or could not because of many impediments as that will set the ball rolling.

6.   In addition, sharing such experience -based knowledge relevant to the field can even get a well paying part time consultancy job with private corporate houses or at least make the news reporters scurrying to contact you when there is either crisis or corruption in irrigation department or water crisis.


7.   Small tip, make sure that the information you share initially in such avenues must lure others’ interests towards you. So it must be presented like a lady in a swimming suit what it reveals may be interesting but what it conceals must be vital so that people flock to you for advice or further clarification.

8.   Otherwise if you do not want a price tag to sharing all your experiences and expertise [I doubt people who have served the government in any capacity would belong to such extinct species] then you may share everything including additional ideas that would have dawned to you after you have retired.


9.   Also understand and make it a point to change gears to nurture family relationships with investing more time, leisure, co-operation, participation etc with all the rest with whom you would have missed spending enough time, especially your spouse and children as soon as you can and as much as you can, before either you or your spouse become too weak to even move around and your children become too busy to even say hi dad or hi mom even on Whatsup or skype.

10.                   Of course, there is nothing like relaxing and enjoying reading, spending time with your children or grand children and learning a lot in many fields of life etc.




11.                   Caring and sharing should dominate your life which must have been too preoccupied with career compulsions earlier.

12.Pursue your hobbies and abilities with greater intensity, involvement and increased investment of your time and energy.

13.Take greater care about your body and mind and if you believe, your soul too.


14.Most importantly shed all inhibitions, complexes, pursue passions, use compassion and never bother about the chronology of life, instead enjoy and live every moment of life.

15.The bio-chemical frame in which our life moves around physically is bound to decay or die one day. So stop reading obituaries, instead try to recollect the good things, thoughts and times that those who are no more have provided to you or to humanity.

http://gfilesindia.com/frmArticleDetails.aspx?id=1084&Name=Cover%20story

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Epics.Mahabharatha


Every event, issue, personality as portrayed in many epics have depicted the historical contexts, authors’ imaginations, intellectual interpretations of human activities, character analysis, psychological reactions, general human gullibility, prevailing socio- cultural tradition of the region and predominant ideologies etc.


Mahabharatha has a few more unique components. Besides all the above referred portrayals, it also sandwiches many high philosophical concepts and esoteric truths among its many events or slides them through the characters. In addition to the contextually relevant /justifiable activities it also has universally applicable principles and eternally valuable lessons for life in general rather than specific contexts alone. These I feel are the superiority of Mahabahartham and Ramayanam and therefore are subjected to multiple methods of intellectual analysis.


Of course some areas may have hyper exaggerations whose veracity cannot be established because of the sheer antiquity of the events, lack of documentary evidence; In some cases even lack of historical proof and predominance of metaphysics rather than advanced  science of physics etc.

You may choose and follow this link to listen to many discourses https://www.mediafire.com/folder/t8z2owv6mcsmc/Pravachananams

and also this young chap Dushyanth Sridhar who speaks really very well https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9D946503A1511A96

and on many Vaishnanava literature by Zakir Hussein another youngster and a student of chitra vishweswaran , in fact, krishna gana sabha organizes one month long pravachanams by him every year.


Besides, of course, the interpretations of many aspects of mahabharatham by Chinmayananda, sri aurobindo, Osho, sivananda,Rohit Metha [lessor known but great personality whom I had the fortune of meeting in person and talking on several issues because he was the heady mix of two ideological extremes of the pendulum , for, he a Founder of the Socialist party of India and Secretary of the International Theosophical Society and not only that he could correlate many philosophical interpretations with his extraordinary memory] he delves into  the esoteric aspects of Gita etc.

Coming back to mahabharatha, bhawad geetha with its distilled wisdom of many philosophical concepts, like a breezy knock by Vivian Richards masking the great innings of Greenidge or Desmond Haynes, relegates the many other parts of mahabharatha into relatively lesser significance.
I read 12 commentaries on bhawad geetha by these stalwarts and thought a better way to convey them would be through a very brief account of the essence of philosophy contained in Bhagawad geetha here [ not what I follow or fully accept as a reference manual for my life but what the text revealed to me as it is]
and some others like




Arun Shourie

This man, Arun Shourie, never minces his words or proceeds with preconceptions but analysis everything and everyone purely on merits based on facts and never bothers about making bold statements. A rare journalist different from all the  paid media personnel and low profile politician who does not prioritize  making politically correct statement​s over what is essential and important for the economic development of the society.

​Read his interview and every statement of his is very correct may be inconvenient to many and spilling unpleasant truths.​

We need such critical analysts who analyze issues profoundly rather than give opinions to merely please the bosses or pander to an ideology or perch on a particular position.

Reality check and unbiased feedback are two most important factors that can polish any manager or leader much more than a team of ‘yes men’ or ‘ideologically glued bunch of operators’ and it becomes all the more important when there are leaders with great visions, mega dreams, creative ideas and an urgency to carry out everything with a missionary zeal.

Such leaders cannot be expected to pay attention to micro details of execution because then they will lose lot of their focus, energy and time in that. But, unfortunately, very often the team does not think or operate at the same wave length as the leader. It is at such junctures that unbiased feedback like this one from Arun Shourie becomes all the more imperative.

 http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/modi-may-be-an-agent-of-change-but-he-has-to-reshape-an-entire-ocean/#sthash.zWfyLXvL.dpuf

Friday, December 5, 2014

Astrology, Evaluation, Economics

"In the final analysis, to my mind there is no argument against
granting Ph.D.s in astrology merely on the grounds that it has no
predictive value.  After all, one can still get a Ph.D. in economics,
right?"
Dr. M. Vidyasagar has a question for economists

I feel the above referred statement  must deal with two subjects whose bandwidth is too vast, depth is too deep and acceptance is very often ambivalent based on our situation and belief. Both can be termed, based on certain parameters as pseudo science [for want of empirical reference and review with specific given situations/probabilities]. I am not referring to astrology and economics, but to astrology and our process of evaluation of the subject.

First we need to be clear about how we proceed to evaluate any subject. In fact, yesterday I wrote this in my FB for some person who was making a very prejudiced observation with sweeping generalizations about certain relationships. However, here I am pushing process of evaluation to the second position and deal with astrology first.
As for economics is concerned, it is the most misused subject for various political and commercial reason with multiple theories. A much maligned subject as you would know if you read Freakonomics and Super Freakonomics.

1.    Astrology

This science by itself is embedded with wide scope for multiple interpretations, further explorations etc without claiming anything with any axiomatic certitude.  The people who are even a little conversant with astrology know that there is neither unique proposition nor final position. They are many steps for further synthesis in endless steps for the truth and can't be grasped all at one go, especially not by the mind we are equipped with which seeks mostly specific outcomes. It delves into several details sincerely trying to extend the boundaries of our own mind or perception of our position viz à viz other planets and the effect of their vibrations on life of beings on earth, and even out of this, to be more precise, about  one particular species called human beings.
In the process astrology has set certain theories based on observations of certain combinations. Regarding this itself there is still multitude of unending academic as well as biased debates that is going on endlessly.

Is astrology all about only some chart drafted or delineated based on time and place of birth? What is to be determined as time of birth? When the fetus is exposed to the outside world from the mother’s womb? Or when the conception starts taking place in the womb? If it were so, how are we going to decide when the conception took place? Did it start when the lucky sperm and ovum fused together? Or did start when a strong sperm cell formed in the human body to push away other cells and gate crashed to become a fertile egg?

Then which aspect of astrology to be given preference or predominance is it the Zodiac based on Lagna [ natal chart- position of planets] based on time of birth? Or to be interpreted based on constant movements of all planets [gochara]? Are we to go by the static chart or transitory motions?  If everything is determined by fate alone, then, what is the use of freewill? Let us churn up everything. It is an interesting exercise. Are social status and milieu in which one is born of any consequence in astrology? If natal chart is like the small hand of a clock indicating major aspects of time, freewill is like the long hand [minute hand of a clock] and combined consequences are indicated by the underlying seconds hand of a clock [In Tamil there is a verse which describes this as Vidhi, Madhi and Gadhi].

If as per gochara , i.e. transitory movements or some yoga a person is destined to encounter something either very good or very bad, what is the use if that happens when he or she is a very small child or very old and unable to enjoy the benefit or face the difficulties? Then what must be given priority in astrology? There are millions of magazines in many languages which discuss the zodiac based transition every month, every week, every day etc. with some prediction. Can we divide humanity into 12 stereotyped categories? Can all people with sun sign Libra have the same impact or effect in their life at a particular time? The sheer improbability makes us stick on to natal chart and dasa bhukthi, though maximum money is in interpreting gochara based predictions. Because in that case we can say now Saturn is moving to your 8th house so you will face such and such problems , run to astrologers, worship this or that? Do all these? Can all these stop Saturn from entering your 8th house or is it meant to not treat Saturn as a guest and ignore? Are we more powerful than planets, if we have such power then do we need  fences around our houses or do we need doors?
The problem is not with the subject but our lack of understanding, lack of data, lack of documented reference material with evidences etc. We have never bothered to fully develop it into an acceptable subject.

Here are some articles, in general about astrology written by me.

and this one by Osho

2.    Evaluation.
Coming to the aspect of evaluation, how to normally encounter and evaluate any subject or topic?

It is preferable to  immerse  any topic or subject matter, primarily and basically with its intrinsic elements/components/aspects/attributes intact, into a cauldron which has  a mixture of all these- knowledge based analysis, limited perception based on frames of reference and scales of observation, skepticism , criticism, intellectual scrutiny, compassionate emotionalism, humane socialism, rational thinking, contextual relevance [ which includes too many components] , traditions, practical viability, psychological comfort, aesthetic sensitivity, scientific scrutiny etc and  churn the cauldron without clinging on to any particular restrictive social, cultural or political or religious identity.

This process inevitably will bring out lot of outputs. We can exercise our freedom and sometimes select and choose some of the outputs. Sometimes the outputs will draw us. Sometimes away from all or any of our intended searches and seeking, outside the circle of these known paradigms, almost tangentially serendipity will drag us to an oasis of serene clarity.

At all costs the intrinsic attributes must be the predominant factor so that whatever is thrown into the cauldron and however it is churned, the ultimate output  must include those attributes so that  evaluation is not distorted or desperately doctored to fit into any predefined and expected outcome.
So what pans out ultimately depends on various factors and aspects some of which are explainable within the ken of logical and rational thinking but some are beyond these.
We can also observe uneasily how the human intellect polished by a rare faculty [ compared to other species]  of conscious awareness, capacity to think, store the knowledge, retrieve it for reference etc, is mostly, unwilling to take the risk of accepting the uncertain; the intellectually undecipherable and the inexplicable outcomes, even if such acceptance is branded, extolled and promoted as virtues of humility or modesty.
For example if one is evaluating music, one must ensure that music quality/musicality as an intrinsic aspect must be highlighted and then evaluate the other extraneous factors like who renders it, how it is rendered, who is the composer, what is the composition, what is the lyrics, how is the acoustic quality, how the person who is rendering it is dressed, how was the ambiance of the place where it was rendered etc.

This blog posting delves rather deep into the process of evaluation
If you have enough time you may go through this as well.