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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Real scholarship

Real scholarship which requires constant learning it would be better the eject all forms of hidden agenda and preconception.

Nothing wrong in any agenda driven approach but then it dents the thought process, dictates frames of reference, designs the perception and delves more on the outcome rather than the developing an outlook based on unbiased observation and broad perspective.

This type of approach devoid of or away from one's entrenched and often internalised preferences, perspectives and prejudices is difficult.

However, if we can manage such an approach it will pleasantly surprise us with an ability to grasp even subjects of which we may have hardly any prior knowledge.

This approach may produce scholars with humility and compassion rather than mere academic experts.

The first few steps of scholarly approaches are childlike curiosity, unbiased observation, extended reflection, perusing whether what is observed can be empirically tested, safely adopted and meaningfully used with optimum user-friendly application to enhance life in as many of its aspects  for as many human beings as possible without harming other species to the maximum 8extent possible.

Once these preliminary steps are followed and then during extended reflection one can calmly evaluate the contextual relevance of or utility of whatever is observed and steadily study the concepts and philosophies that offer synergy with what one has observed.

Then there emerges a real scholar or scholarly writer who is one humble, curious and unbiased observer of synergy and synthesis, either occurring as an aspect of evolution or consciously effected through a culture of compassion, that enable to understand better the inter connectivity, interrelatedness and interdependence of life as a whole.

Why politicians and business promoters are more popular and important?

Why politicians and business promoters are more popular and important?

Political leaders and business promoters in general [not all] fearlessly create new ecosystems or boldly adopt social inventions to provide better living conditions.

Both provide the necessary and vital value addition [vital to any product or state of of anything] to society, probably in some cases the trade off [this is where we  distinguish between better and bad politician or business person] they extract or take away for doing this may be too much or too disproportionate. 

What makes political leaders and practical clever business promoters to be seen as more successful, prosperous and vested with powers to decide many things than scientists, sports persons, artists, bureaucrats etc?

What makes them a cut above the rest, I mean other professionals?

While all professionals are part of or participate in some existing eco system or institution:- if someone is a teacher that person  works in a school, a doctor either in hospital or has his/her own clinic, a lawyer plays his/her part in a court, a farmer in his/her field, a sports person in his/her sports etc.

Along with the necessity for certain ecosystems emerged the necessity of some fearless leaders and intelligent people to create such eco systems.

Political leaders and business promoters are those fearless leaders who create such ecosystems and that’s why they are important.

The world has undergone drastic and dramatic changes in almost all realms.

When it is so, to remain fatalistic and idle, thinking that things will work out for good or benefit all without making any effort to ensure to make things happen will be just hypocritical and hallow claim.
Everything that is easy, favorable and positive to us need not be always the best for all and it may not even happen.

Most bureaucrats are struck in old school of thinking that things will and must go according to their script or existing templates, it need not and won’t in most cases.

Drivers think only like drivers; professionals think only like professionals [respective professionals, be they in finance, in law, in marketing etc].

Progress, expertise and updating are not in merely focusing on old templates and getting fettered or getting frozen in perspectives that are out of tune with the developments all around and not factoring in overall scheme of multitude of things that are interconnected, interrelated and inter dependent.
While everyone is entitled to and may be right in their own way to whatever view they have, those views need not necessarily be correct or in the interest of growth .

Social systems have gone through a sea change due to various factors: - predominant among them being economic activities [I am not even saying developmental activities] and use of user friendly technology.

These two have a huge impact on both the individual as well as society.

Some examples;-

Initially, a farmer was tilling the soil for feeding himself and then to feed his family, then he tagged a price when he gave the produce to others so that he could use that money to buy his clothes and furniture etc.

However, these types of slow and very gradual incremental growth could not enhance wealth or welfare of either the individual or the society.

This involved multiple experiments in social engineering using the wisdom of religious leaders, philosophers, and real scholars, lessons from history, scientific study and optimum and newer forms of utilization of natural resources, use of technology from ploughs to planes or from mowers to mobile phones.

At individual level the aspirations of everyone grew to make life more comfortable and pleasurable but everyone did not have the luxury or the capability to have access to most of the comforts of life that technology provided.

So, a system of lending and borrowing evolved at individual level to buy things that made a person’s life more comfortable like buying bikes, cars to television sets to houses and apartments through loans which enabled one to enjoy the benefits of most comforts with deferred payment options for those comforts in installments to lenders; similarly business houses had to resort to borrowing to scale up their operations and services with deferred payment options.

Political leaders, most of whom have natural knack of quick and intuitive decision making, boldly created conducive systems and structures to cater to these new financial requirements and started working on social welfare beyond and besides religious dictates and traditions and all other forms of conservative caves and started prioritizing  economics as a vital tool of social engineering and to do these an army business leaders and entrepreneurs took calculated risks to reap certain and also pass on the benefits to larger segments of humanity.

Otherwise, humanity steeped in conservative caves and being aware of all the luxuries of life in the world outside would have plunged into chaos and criminal activities.

That’s why chaos and crimes are relatively more in those countries which are economically backward and also in places where the disparity deprives many of even the basic necessities of life.

Friday, March 1, 2019


Unfortunately, sometimes some emotions  seep in and get embedded deep into our psyche and stick there refusing to move. 

However, sometimes such simple methods can be tried and if they work out, and mostly they may work out for some emotional issues which are not so deep , through verbalising or intellectualising etc as suggested by the speaker above.
If we notice, what happens is that we transfer and transport the emotions into a different dimension ( without diluting their importance or denying their existence) and when this happens our perspective and response too get shifted because our consciousness is often brittle and bendable. 
These exercises indicate all experiences can be manifested and expressed in multiple ways.


It is really a wonderful write up on cobra effect.
“People lose their way when they lose their why”.- Michael Hyatt

While one can prepare for the inevitable no one can prepare for the unpredictable, though some allowances are always provided visualizing the eventuality of the some unexpected changes occurring.
But present day politics and trends change so fast and are impacted by a multitude of factors.
Whether we like it or not, economics, especially as a blue print of material well being and social development is one of the most vital aspect of human life and therefore, inevitable has to be prioritized as a primary factor in social engineering aimed by any institution or ideology or realm be it politics or religion.
Many aspects [should I say verticals] of economics fail to factor in the various dimensions, dynamics of each dimension and the inter relatedness, interactions and inter dependence of these various dimensions and the sea change that the dynamics of of each dimension is likely to undergo during the process of interactions.
Some sites offer a discussion into wide range of issues connected with modern economics which spell the imperatives to go beyond and look beside all existing structures, methods and processes and if necessary, totally even ignore certain long established conservative approaches. [because in any domain sometimes excessive and obsessive conservatism spiced up with some perversion can be counterproductive as in the recent Kumbh where in everything has been so well organized and services done beyond even any imaginable extent that hardly any scope for anyone to complain or criticize but a few Naga sadhus moving naked with an additional bell hung on and some westerners ringing them has left a very bad taste]  
One such site is
and some books long ago have imitated  thinking on these  lines like
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt  (Author), Stephen J. Dubner  (Author, Contributor)
SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance by Steven D. Levitt  (Author), Stephen J. Dubner  (Author)
Modern economics is so intricate and interwoven with too many aspects.
A welcome new trend has emerged called 360 degree view of most subjects.
Dressing up the menu with spices

1. HORNGREN’S OBSERVATION: Among economists, the real world is often  a special case.

2. BUCHWALD’S LAW: As the economy gets better, everything else gets worse.

3. KAMIN’S SIXTH LAW: When attempting to predict and forecast macro-economic moves of economic legislation by a politician, never be misled by what he says; instead-watch what he does. 

Word usage

Words in all languages, at many places, in various contexts and on several topics are cleverly used  and misused to set a narrative or inject a particular idea or extrapolate an ideology.

This is the reason words wind through myriad paths and acquire a huge carapace of connotations at every juncture. 
However, fortunately or unfortunately,  words are impregnated with not only meanings but move with masks of many intentions.
It is very unfortunate , if we extricate words out of context and the specific cultural milieu in which they have evolved and try to use them superficially and carelessly to refer to something either over generalized or over simplified.
Most words are unfortunately misused like this.
Telesis [n. the intelligent direction of effort toward the achievement of an end] decides the curve of articulation and the nature of vocabulary used.


No search can ever be divorced from our narrow walls of perception. It could be to go beyond that or confirm that and consciously try with the help of perception to search for something that can/may enlighten us or take us to a new realm of joy or happiness that may put a stop to our mortal cravings or revelation of some stark reality that can open our conscious awareness to a different facet of life.

The search could also be to find solution for many things that we are not satisfied with and we want to change.

So in a way every search is motivated by our craving for something else, a wished for change and mostly emanates from our perception of existing state to migrate to experience another state of life and living.

Do our perceptions and/or thoughts, feelings, knowledge etc influence our experience or our experiences influence our perceptions and/or thoughts, feelings, knowledge etc?

If we know already why must we search for it at all? “Why search anymore? The whole universe has come together to make your existence possible. There is nothing that is not you. The kingdom of God, the Pure land, nirvana, happiness and liberation are all you”, Thich Nhat Hanh

On the contrary how can we search for something that we do not know anything about, just because someone says that you must search for it, try to experience it, try to realize it etc? So we embark on a journey full of doubts, vagueness, fuzziness etc.

“The search ends with the realization that there is no such thing as enlightenment. By searching, you want to be free from the Self, but whatever you are doing to free yourself from the Self is the Self”, U.G.Krishnamurthy.

Search for Reality need not proceed from any presumptive goal then it ceases to be search, it is merely an attempt to achieve a goal. The very adventure is the uncertainty and vagueness. But at the same time because of this inevitable contradiction, on may wonder, then, why any search at all? Of course, there are motivations and that is at least attempting to try to dispel our lingering doubts and longing to know the permanent and look out for possibilities to seek security for at least our temporal life.

Therefore, we are not necessarily seeking any enlightenment, or any vision of either any God or any favors from any God. Who knows serendipity has secrets up her sleeve that she may startle us with sweet surprises. The famous Sufi saying,” I searched for God and found only myself. I searched for myself and found only God”.

Or as ‘Sailor’ Bob Adamson says, “The reflection is not in the mirror but of the mirror”.

So, nothing is needed to prevent us from the journey of searches but the vehicles used are

I would like the search also to be more exploratory, not dogmatic, open-minded, deeply passionate, and perceptive to the appeals of rationalization, but, in due course, also acknowledge without prejudice and becoming sensitive to the deeper stirrings and movements that are beyond and beneath rationalization.

More or newer doubts popping up due to the constant curiosity etc as William Lyon Phelps  puts it, One of our secrets of life is to keep our intellectual curiosity acute”. “Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and whatever abysses nature leads, or you will learn nothing.”-Thomas H. Huxley

All these not necessarily following any particular sequence but at random because we don’t have either a map and therefore no GPRS and all the routes around seem to have everything:- beauty, blessings, bumps, boisterousness, barricades, beasts, boons etc with lots of twists and turns with only constant factor being change.

All these probably chosen as preferable options going by observations like this one by H.P. Lovecraft, in  The Call of Cthulhu  “The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.”

As Sascha Vongehr  mentions in ‘Science As Rationalization And Ultimate Religion

By’  “Every adaptive system has what can be called a perception apparatus and information processing structures and so forth. Science is part of the perception/thinking of social systems. All perception has its “blind spot”. Perception is ignorant of everything except for a tiny slice that it evolved to select and focus attention on. Thinking is there to interpret in a certain evolved way. Humans, being parts as well as environment of social systems, cannot grasp the perceived world of social systems, let alone map out their blind spots. Scientists are especially suspect when it comes to judging the blind spots of science.” 

“I presume it is the same with many people who sincerely seek intrinsically valuable answers to many aspects of life, nothing kicks off without doubts, questions, arguments, contradictions, confusing contemplations etc. Invariably when we doubt, we enter into real search and enquiry. When in doubt, of course, nowadays we resort to google which throws up lots of material good, bad, ugly, authentic and unauthenticated etc. When we seek answers and solutions to many of our intellectually and emotionally incomprehensible and unjustifiable happenings and events surprisingly we somehow get lots of answers from multiple sources. Only thing is we must frankly ask all sorts of questions and fearlessly put forth our doubts. Fear masquerading as hesitation can and does play havoc in many things

The scope of our view, purview, perception, concern etc are determined by various factors and aspects like our unbiased observations [if at all that is possible], frames of reference, tools of perception,   focus of attention, fathom of intentions, intensity of involvement and interest, sensibility and sensitivity of our selections, clarity and conviction of our choices.

Intellectual perceptions tended to become barriers but I have enjoyed and accept happily and humbly, as even the great Poet Shakespeare once said “I have bought golden opinions from all sorts of people”.

On a social level we search for these

Sometimes we goof up our searches through our predetermined or preconditioned belief systems through which tend to justify everything rather than merely observe them as they are and deal with them either by accepting, appreciating and adopting or rejecting.

I have a written a lot about searching for in my blog post given below and most of what I have indicated have been taken out from that

Taste and uniqueness of cultures

This is where I hate the types of visaka hari stuff. Why we need to justify our culture or tradition with some reference point which has hardly anything to do with our culture.

On what basis or with what reference point in the whole world of culture can we explain  the most exquisite and easiest form creative art through kolam or rangoli. Why should we?

How can we explain to someone that Morekuzhambu is a diary product.?

How can We convince anyone in the world that we use all stages/ states of mango  from maavadu to ripe mango, the only fruit that manifests all 6 tastes known  to human tongue.
called as arusuvai in Tamil with the 4 famous ‘Ss’ of which one is missing in this article and which is predominant in Indian curries, though for want of appropriate vocabulary in English, the native English speakers use adjectives like pungent, acerbic, astringent etc though they could have coined an adjective out of these two major chemicals whose presence mainly contribute to those sensations namely ascorbic acid and Capsaicin.

So, tastes are basically six with the four Ss-Sweet, salty, sour and spicy along with  bitter and umami, though initially humans labeled it as only four leaving out umami and spicy.

There are innumerable factors that go to make taste and honestly even to restrict it to 6 is doing injustice to human biological sensations and psychological sensitivity.

On most topics of science I refer to the great writer who incidentally was not an academically anointed evolutionary biologist but a professional pilot. However his works are one of the best in evolutionary biology which every student, teacher and writer must read namely Guy Murchie, especially his work ‘THE SEVEN MYSTERIES OF LIFE’. In this work he writes about taste in chapter 8

Taste is basically like smell except that it is less sensitive, requiring about 25,000 times as many molecules to elicit a sensation because it deals primarily with molecules in solid and liquid form rather than gaseous”

Chapter 8

“ Twenty-one Senses of Chemistry, Mind and Spirit

SO WE ARRIVE at what are often called the visceral or chemical senses, meaning those that enunciate the appetites for food, drink and, in some cases, physical love. And right off we encounter smell and taste, which work chemically and are thought to be the most experienced of all senses. If this is true, it is presumably because chemistry deals primarily with molecules, which are the material units composing the world, including all its organisms, and which therefore interact with creatures directly rather than indirectly through waves of radiation or compression, as in the cases of vision and hearing. Thus when organized life evolved on Earth several billion years ago, the first way it could sense anything almost inevitably had to be through direct contact, naturally at the molecular level, as earthly life had not yet organized larger units except such structures as crystals which, if they are definable as alive, may also be regarded as molecules or more accurately, supermolecules.

So did smell and taste (originally one sense) come into our world. At first the smell-taste organ (if it could be considered such) must have occupied practically the whole body, making the viruslike creature in effect a living nose or tongue. Then, as macroscopic life appeared, the organ retained its central forward position at the business end of its owner, while the snout took shape and, doing so, started to create the face.


Taste is basically like smell except that it is less sensitive, requiring about 25,000 times as many molecules to elicit a sensation because it deals primarily with molecules in solid and liquid form rather than gaseous. And the primary tastes are but four in number: sweet, bitter, salty and sour; each key taste molecule having its own lock receptacle in what is called a taste bud on the human tongue, palate or throat. This means that each primary taste is tastable only in its own location: sweet at the tip of the tongue, bitter at the back, salty on the sides around the tip and in the throat, sour on the sides of the tongue farther back. Like smell, taste is very ancient and fundamental, and I feel no doubt that, when we know more about molecular structure, we will see geometric reasons why applesauce tastes good with pork, mint with lamb, cranberries with turkey, ketchup with baked beans and so on.

In the meantime the study of taste is increasingly bewildering. A couple of sample findings of research in the chemical senses indicate that the flavor of a common brand of coffee is a synthesis of about four hundred compounds (most of which are smelled more than tasted) while the formula for a different and more sophisticated artificial flavor "requires as many as 20,000 separate pieces of information." And this no doubt throws light on why man has been able to invent cameras, phonographs and associated techniques to record, amplify and transmit sights and sounds but has not yet devised any comparable method of recording, amplifying or transmitting a single smell or taste.

Relativity is another factor that makes smell and taste hard to comprehend. If, for example, you put on one side of your tongue a salt solution too dilute to taste noticeably salty but then add a little sugar on the other side, you will instantly begin to taste the salt along with the sugar. The opposite happens when you start with dilute, tasteless sugar on one side and add salt on the other. Furthermore, to most humans, a salt solution will begin to taste sweet when diluted down to .03 parts per million, particularly if it is cool, the amount of dilution needed to make this happen being roughly proportional to the temperature. On the other hand, although Epsom salts taste salty on the front of your tongue, they turn bitter when pushed back to the hind buds. And if you try many kinds of chemically graded salt, you will notice them tasting progressively bitterer as you get to salts of heavier molecular weight. The taste of salt of course is largely electrical (due to ionization of its constitutent atoms) and every sort of electric current has its own flavor: a gentle direct current savoring subtly sour when the positive terminal touches the tongue but "like burnt soap" when the flow is reversed, while an alternating current that smacks of astringent sourness at 50 cycles turns steadily more and more bitter as it escalates toward 1000 cycles.

Such relativity is not merely mental but rather an objective part of the natural and paradoxically complex simplicity of the chemical senses which, unlike senses that become electrical only in the final transmission of messages to the brain, may function electrically all the way from their first contact with whatever they perceive.

This is not to say that there aren't real differences of taste between individuals, for we all know such differences exist. Ordinary sugar, for example, is tasteless to a small percentage of children while saccharin tastes bitter to a few yet sweet to their brothers and sisters.

And there is a synthetic chemical called PTC (for phenyl-thio-carbamide) that tastes intensely bitter to an average of two people out of three all over the world but utterly tasteless to the third person. And the common food preservative sodium benzoate tastes like almost anything or nothing, depending on who tries it. But there is such conclusive evidence that these phenomena are objective that a chemist named Arthur L. Fox has formulated a genetic theory of taste on his finding that 26 percent of people consider PTC bitter but sodium benzoate salty and like almost every kind of food, while 17 percent with different taste genes register both these chemicals as bitter and dislike most sorts of food.

Indeed, of the four primary tastes, bitterness turns out to be the easiest for a human to detect, perhaps because it signals danger in the form of poison. But there always seem to be a few unlucky people who just can't taste anything at all, and them I would call "smumb." They aren't necessarily the same ones as those who are smuff and their deficiency is more serious - but fortunately medical researchers have discovered that most of them, even those who've been stone smumb for years, can be cured within a few days by taking small doses
of the trace metal zinc.

Animals naturally vary in sensitivity to taste, some insects going so far as to walk on their "tongues" and to taste with their feet.

Other creatures, notably fish, may be trillions of times more sensitive than man with taste buds so densely distributed over their body surfaces that they literally swim in a sapid sea. There is the uncanny account of a coho salmon raised in a California hatchery who, when a year old, was dumped into a strange stream several miles away and allowed to migrate with his fellows down to the ocean. But at spawning time the next year he appeared back in his original tank, having followed the familiar flavor into his home stream, threaded a particular culvert under U.S. Highway 101 which enabled him to enter the hatchery's flume and storm sewer, from which he finally wriggled up a four-inch drainpipe past 900 elbows, climactically knocking off its wire cap and even leaping over the screen
that surrounded the drain!
Close cousins of taste of course are the twin senses of hunger and thirst. Hunger has long been known to be turned on by rhythmic contractions of the empty stomach and, more recently, by a decline in the sugar content of the blood. Indeed a transfusion of low-sugar blood from a starving dog into a well-fed one will make the latter hungry for the same reason that high-sugar blood from a satiated dog will ease the pangs of a hungry one, Yet hunger can hardly be as simple as this. In fact certain researchers have recently found that the ratio of ions in the brain may regulate hunger and specifically that rats who have eaten to satiation can be induced to resume eating voraciously by injections of calcium ions in the cerebrum. Others predict that, when we fully understand it, hunger will turn out to involve a "hunger hormone," conveyable, if not normally from organism to organism, perhaps in some degree from organ to organ through lymph and blood.

Thirst is about equally mysterious but obviously different from hunger and much more compelling, at least to a water-dependent creature like man, as is proven by the fact that a man can live more than a year without food but, to the best of my knowledge, seventeen days is his world record without water. This record was made in 1821 when a prominent Frenchman named Antonio Viterbi committed suicide by refusing to drink, but of course he may have taken in a significant amount of moisture in whatever he ate. Doctors now say he probably would have survived if he had accepted water on the fourteenth or fifteenth day, but by the sixteenth it was almost certainly too late. There are cases on record of castaways deprived of fresh water for two weeks who were rescued just in time and managed to survive. Presumably all these sufferers were in humid environments, did not sweat and kept evaporation from their bodies to a minimum.

Something to consider also is that the thirst sensation is less influenced by the total amount of water in the body than by the amount of water relative to certain solids, particularly salts. And this accounts for the classic equation of thirst that assures the bartender he will sell in the end more than ten times as much in drinks as the cost of all the "free" salted pretzels, popcorn and potato chips he "gives" away to his customers to bolster their thirst. It also relates to the discovery in 1952 that a fraction of a drop of a salt solution injected into  the hypothalamus at the base of a goat's brain will immediately make the animal thirsty, which, in combination with later evidence, seems to have pretty well proved the site of thirst to be the hypothalamus. Strange as it may seem, drinking beyond a certain quantity of water hour after hour increases rather than decreases thirst because the body loses salt in urine and salt deficiency produces thirst, a kind of thirst, however, that can be relieved only by salt.

While on this subject, I should explain that the reason castaways are warned against drinking saltwater is not to deny that the watery   96.5 percent of it may immediately relieve them but only to avoid the ultimate problem of getting rid of their lethal excess of salt.

Most mammals, including man, cannot eliminate salt in urine at the rate of more than about 2 percent so, unless one can be sure of soon receiving enough fresh water to dilute one's urine that low, to drink seawater (averaging 3.5 percent salt) is to take a deadly chance.

The most dramatic thing about thirst has to be the kind of death it brings when a man is lost, say, in a hot desert, a grim dissolution witnesses describe as unfolding in five fairly distinct stages. First comes the protesting phase of increasing discomfort and querulous disbelief (with 3 to 5 percent of body water lost). Second, the feeling of having a mouth "dry as cotton," tongue sticking to teeth, a lump in the throat that no amount of swallowing can dislodge, a face tight from shrinking skin (water loss 5 to 10 percent). Third is the burning agony of having the tongue shrivel into a knot, eyelids stiffen, eyes staring as the victim irrationally tears at his clothing or scalp, bites his arm for blood or even laps up his last drops of urine (10 to 20 percent). Fourth is the stage of the skin cracking apart (more than 20 percent of water gone or too much for any chance of recovery), lymph and blood oozing out, eyes weeping blood, arms digging aimlessly into the sand. And fifth, the final or living-death stage of gentle writhing on the ground and, often, calm acceptance awaiting the end.

The third stage is usually the worst, for nature seems to have evolved pain to save life before it is too late. But after the blood begins to thicken and dry and the damage becomes irreversible, the pain eases progressively away - which suggests why those who die of thirst are so often reported to be joyous in their final hour - even as one of them was heard to murmur, "I'm melting, I'm sinking... I'm drowning in an ocean of unexplainable peace."

Courage is

Courage is neither fool hardy adventurism nor desperate fuming to fuel hatred. 

It is going about silently getting results. 

Historic blunders get corrected eventually and not through histrionic reactions.

Extreme atrocities when they reach a saturation point   get defeated. 


Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that Sanskrit is not in common use among many and hardly a handful can really claim to be masters at it because of its inherent strengths like very elaborate structure, exquisite syntax, excellent grammar and extraordinarily nuanced phonetics which are too complicated and as a result this inherent strengths by themselves became an impediment to its prevalence and use as a preferred language of ordinary communication.

Any language which skip the train to be adopted as a spoken language by both the common folks and majority of academics tends to decline in predominant usage.

Sanskrit language -Uniqueness

 Some aspect of Sanskrit language “One of the unique but mysterious features of the Sanskrit language is how many words can be used at three separate and distinct levels of thought. Even whole verses have this remarkable feature. It is one of the factors which have made translation into other languages so difficult. 

The difference presupposes three groups of people. First there is the literal meaning intended for the householder or worldly man, and a guide to better thought and action. The second is the meaning on a higher level intended for the mumukshi or hungry seeker for God. Here the same words take the reader from the mundane level to the higher level, and the implications. The third is the meaning intended for the soul who has attained or is nearly ready to attain liberation”. This literally leads to both correct, crystal clear meanings and also gives room to those who pander to chaotic and callous interpretations, more so in spiritual texts, 

I stress spiritual texts, not religious ones, wherein there are always many esoteric intrinsic meanings which unravel only to the enlightened souls and not necessarily to a linguistic scholars or academic thinkers or even intellectual giants.

Mike Magee 

 [don’t miss to see his page 

Sentiments, regulations, and scientific documentation

Sir I have read all the books of Erich von Daniken's series of ' Chariots of Gods'. I had them as cherished collection.

Some people even managed to organise a lecture of him at Sanskrit college Chennai in the early 80s which I attended with childlike curiosity and rapt attention.

However, later on, I felt in the absence of ( for whatever reason) any properly and scientifically documented evidence it becomes difficult to vouch for the veracity or even probability of anything.

We as a nation of cultural entity are backed by glorious past and proud ancestry and that sustains our hope in future.

There is an inherent sense of conscious responsibility at least among majority of individuals within families in our nation and we are held more by the glue of certain value systems which have been slightly corroded here and there, but, fortunately, not fully wiped out.

We need to subtly convey the necessity for opting for sensible approaches with sense of balance rather than hyper sentimental outrages or over sermonizing social justifications.

Recently, someone gave me a very blunt and brash examples to emphasize the role of both i.e. exaggerated sentimentalism and excessive regulation.

That person said sentiment must be like underwear meant to be inside to cover or protect something more vital and it should not get exposed or start exhibiting itself too much.

On regulation, he said if the rule says that when the ball thrown by a fielder hits the stump the person outside the crease must go back to the pavilion but that cannot be applied to the umpire just because he too happens to run to avoid getting hurt and stands outside the crease.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Parenting has no prescriptions

When Pattimandram speakers resort to preachy populist rants.

Over simplified and excessively generalized sermonizing without factoring in the overall generational changes in socio-psychologiacl attitudes is per se, in my opinion, not correct and is at best a stereotyped populist rant which may be appealing to some selected audience.

Parenting is neither an issue nor an event nor a problem but it is an ever functioning personal emotional relationship which cannot be codified through any generalization or over simplification by means of any profusion of suggestions and diffusion of emotional binding.

Parenting involves too many things with too much of involvement

Parenting is an area where any particular aspect of various degrees of manifestations of love and control [ranging from pampering to over controlling] can be emphasized at the cost of another.

Almost all parents do almost many things according to circumstances social, familial, economic etc not according to any prescription.

However, it would be a good thing to listen to others, learn from many and leverage our understanding of the multiple dimensions of this nice relationship.

Wiser parenting, in my personal opinion is involving without interfering, motivating without manipulating, allowing independent and interdependent individual growth to unleash its own melodies rather than orchestrating to our tunes.

That’s why children born to and brought up the same parents in the same way act differently, perform differently and prosper differently and clearly that reveals one can neither blame nor admire the parents for the differences.

Parent child relationship is one among the many relationships that need to be experienced and enjoyed and not used as a joy stick to control the game of life.

Impersonal Universal self [with whatever nomenclature - God, Soul, and Divinity - we want to believe in or disbelieve in it totally] which operates through each body-mind organism will take care of the appropriate harmony.

Parenting and Individual human being

Every individual human being is a package by itself with a unique physical frame, psychological perspective, inherited/injected emotions, if we believe a life force or soul or whatever we wish to call it which has to blossom and experience life in its own with all its pleasures and pains which no one else can experience but at best be spectator  willingly or unwillingly.

Unfortunately what most parents do is trying to live vicariously through their children their own aspirations or a life which they wanted but could not without realizing their children have a life of their own.

So, strictly speaking parenting after donating a sperm and leasing a womb and initially taking care of the physical well being of the Child is all about weaving meaningful and mutually respectable relationships psychologically factoring in many socio-cultural changes and the generational differences. All of these are easily said than done because the emotional bonds and the innate parental expectations will mostly cloud many things and project only our interests, intentions prompted by our notions of their [our children’s] well being.
Probably our role is restricted to inculcating humane values and attitudes based on that so that there is a socio-cultural harmony in living as a species.

PARENTING FROM VARIOUS PERSPECTIVES-  with the onus of imparting values to children.

As I see it this article throws up many issues than one from a larger perspective.

    When we become parents we notice and observe more deeply and keenly, involve in everything with greater commitment, think profoundly, turn more possessive, act carefully and more importantly become too conscious of the chronology of our life etc. In a way we grow into a new human being mostly for the better. So, in a way parenting is one of the great metamorphoses of human life.

   We teach many things to children as moral correctness and morally wrong as if they are static and everlasting axiomatic certitudes. We fail to realize that morality is mostly, and rightly so, contextual rather than a set of static rules written down by scriptures, religions, cultures, society etc.  There are no perennial taboos or trends.

    Any relationship and the most important aspect of life itself is spontaneous psychological reciprocation or reaction. Deal with children with love and they will reciprocate with love and love a universal and reusable syringe through which one can inject any good value or many nice values for life.    

    Parenting is an opportunity to enjoy life with a new relationship by making a matured and pleasant journey with a less aged and less matured person understanding, adjusting to his/her whims and fancies with all the parental concerns and pampering and also assuaging his/her  unhappy moments without preventing him/her  from realizing that unhappiness is also an inevitable part of life, do our best to minimize it by many means but at the same time not totally masking a factual situation or stark reality with our overbearing emotional or sentimental affection, sometimes at the cost of inconvenience to others.

    Parenting never stops in the mind of the parent: - initially it is an obsessive occupation with a combination of irritations and interesting things, and then it becomes a routine responsibility, slowly recedes into receptive spectator-ship but always remains a relationship working with renewed vigor at every juncture.

    All good values like kindness, humaneness, sharing and caring etc must be made to percolate through our actions and interactions with others because the first best means of learning for any child either verbal or action is through imitation and not through listening to preaching or teaching, though they can be used later on. I think practicing these values are more important than exposing children to any religion or ritual because living requires good qualities and values which contribute to good natural habits not necessarily socially accepted practices. This is both psychological process and sociological outcome as very well explained in Micromotives and Macrobehavior by THOMAS C. SCHELLING. He explains how most adults and the whole society actually make imitation into an almost a collective behavior.

“That kind of analysis explores the relation between the behavior characteristics of the individuals who comprise some social aggregate, and the characteristics of the aggregate…. This analysis sometimes uses what is known about individual intentions to predict the aggregates:…. People are responding to an environment that consists of other people responding to their environment, which consists of people responding to an environment of people's responses……. To make that connection we usually have to look at the system of interaction between individuals and their environment, that is, between individuals and other individuals or between individuals and the collectivity.”

    Very often parental expectations, enthusiasm, emotions etc coupled with social pressures, approvals and appreciations may end up parents not noticing the inherent attributes i.e. strengths and weaknesses of children and therefore not doing anything to promote or prevent them from manifesting as they ought to in natural course.

   Of course, no parent would like to promote or parade a child’s weakness; they may at best minimize or mitigate it. If it is physical attend to it medically and if it is psychological or emotional then at least one parent must spend time and communicate verbally/emotionally/psychologically etc with the child to gradually improve its attitude to minimize such weaknesses. For strengths expose the child to the opportunities that a parent can afford..

Therefore,  knowing the innate attributes and keying in the important attitudes are vital aspects of parenthood.

    Values of life are initially imitated then gradually get inculcated and remain inside the self and it is better that way rather than through indoctrination injected to keep intact any specific cultural, social or religious identity. Ultimately the values that are inherited through imitation initially manifest in or as habits in later years rather than whatever one learns through instruction. As Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina states, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”. I would like to state that:- All nice parents have children with nice habits; every child with a nasty habit has a nasty parent invariably.

    As they grow into adults, of course, if personal responsibility, independence, confidence, clarity of perception etc have also been aspects of value system that as parents we have followed they would know, learn or at least struggle and strive to learn to lead a life.

So, as adults our children emerge hatched once again with capabilities to lead a life and also live a life.

Most parents are keener on equipping and therefore preoccupied with the child to lead a good life in terms of the survival aspect of life, they hardly pay attention to the living aspect of living a life happily.

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 about 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,

Discipline is an inner stuff and it grows with a sense of responsibility [response-  ability] and personal experience and understanding and self realization the hard way and can never be imposed externally, at least with me it has never worked.

Above all children resort to unending unbiased unleashing of a barrage of questions, which grown up people soaked in prejudices of many meaningless traditions and rituals [which the elders /grown ups conveniently term as social values] find awkward to face. 

Children ripe apart all questionable values , hypocrisy, contradictions which may cause uneasiness to conjure up a convincing answer but clears up many blocks in our inner consciousness to help us come out of our strong fortress of identities built scrupulously over so many years. 

It is no wonder that a great poet has said, ' Child is the father of the man'. But for this to happen, a sort of reciprocal benefit to both, parents must give full freedom to children and also allow them to come up with their own way of expressing and communicating with all others around. 

However, unfortunately both the family and society, wrongly and very often do not entertain this.
Some books like the following one get skipped even by many search engines on child care and parenting, it is worth reading besides the topic, merely for its excellent presentation of various aspects like a detailed text book- it is an excellent practical book which I have read twice and strongly recommend it.
Your Growing Child: From Birth to Adolescence By David Fontana’
and another good one is

 Parenting With Love and Logic by Foster W. Cline, Jim Fay

Of course the following link gives a good selection