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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Memory


Memory, like excessive affection, is a double edged sword.

It can be a cure as well as a curse.

Memory can supply sweet solace or suck us into sadness and sorrowful moments or crowd us with excess of garbage.

Life is in our mind space.

Our main choices and decisions must be on what we need to prioritize to occupy that space.
Of course, while doing so, we need to factor in certain basic values and consciously chosen individual as well as social responsibilities without sacrificing compassion and gratitude for the sake of gratification of any kind.

If we are able to keep these in balance when we relate with others or things then we may not even require most of much hyped, contextually irrelevant and outdated  socio-religious morals based on ideologies, doctrines and even scriptures.




Sunday, November 18, 2018

Affinity and identity



Everyone gets hooked on to SOMETHING that binds them through generations of active involvement ingrained in their genes or something internalized through:- imitation or interest or impulse or intellectual analysis or instantaneous emotional appeal or that creates some innate connection etc.


That SOMETHING could be any sort of affinity for or fervent and fond fixation avidly pursued which may lead to some identity.


That SOMETHING could be some art, belief, culture, cult, doctrine, dogma, faith, idea, personality, religion, political ideology, sports, music, science, technology, thirst for knowledge, keenness to understand life in depth through some search, helping others in multiple ways, making money, accumulating wealth, involvement in a profession or job, devotion, love of one's family or one's nation etc.


Therefore, everyone is at liberty to choose and claim affinity for any one or some of these SOMETHINGS.


So, those who find fault with a national identity manifesting as nationalism, would they be willing to give up their affinity for money, family, profession or their religious beliefs and practices.


However, the manifestation of one's fond affinity must not generate hate towards that of another or injure others or cause damage to the environment.


So, the ways of expressing or exhibiting one's fondness for a particular SOMETHING must not be too violent or exhibit any extremism.

Fanaticism and Nationalism

Fanaticism and Nationalism

Fanatics cannot fight a foreign funded fool.
He has been made to know what he is doing.
Being foreign funded fool with an idiotic and skewed mentality to extrapolate everything to some predetermined ideology he knows only to carry on doing what he does.


Fanatics carry their liking to lunatic levels in any field and exhibit hatred through hyper hysterical reactions.


In some cases, actually ignoring or being indifferent can yield better results.


The  ideology which secretes such chaps petrifies sense by freezing the perception into rock solid fixation; putrefies everything through their perspective and pollutes everything through a puerile extrapolation of the ideology that excreted them on everything from physical to psychological to cultural contexts.


Only thing that this ideology secretion industry has not secreted is anatomy specialists.

Otherwise, such an anatomist would in his  hyped sense of concern for equality may say ( either for or without Magsaysay award), 'why only cover vital organs- aren't then eyes, nose , mouth etc vital. If so cover everything and suffocate or leave everything naked'.


Nationhood is a creation for facilitating cohabitation based on  shared identity -oriented unification with common and collective aspirations and not mere imagination.



Countries are geographical classifications with real estate boundaries but nationhood is a common identity.


Whether all these are necessary or correct or justifiable are all debatable.



But to resort to over philosophizing with over generalization and over simplification is merely idealistic and doing it selectively only to nationalism is hypocritical.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

How do we talk to ourselves when no one is listening?


Slowly and surely emerging inevitable trends and terms of life may have to necessarily become comprehensive and more inclusive.

Besides, certain aspects of all the following domains economics, religions, castes, races , politics may be required to either totally shed or reduce the degree of intensity with which those aspects are insisted upon or enforced.

This is required as an inevitable process of sophistication or progressive civilization enabling happy and peaceful cohabitation of human beings and other species.

  How do we talk to ourselves when no one is listening? 

Are our words kind, patient, compassionate and accepting? 

If this is not how we speak to our self,  we are doing a disservice. 

Remember the loudest and most important voice is our own: it is the closest to our ear emerging from the pectoral palace [heart] . 



Let us pay attention to our whispers; they will manifest in our life. Become our biggest cheerleader or catalytic agent or catastrophic chemical.

Whether we call it inner voice or manifestation of  internalized responses to life outside based on our own acquired and assiduously developed WRAP.

Ways of 
Relating with things and persons based on our 
Attitudes and
Perspectives

This is precisely the reason why we must carefully cultivate our attitudes and perspectives  purely based on rationalism and humanitarianism because the aspects of life that we can tune in and control are only through them, even our emotions are vulnerable.



All other faculties like ability to tune in with intuition, esoteric and spiritual dimensions seem fuzzy and/ or imaginary purely because they are beyond the realm of most of our common modes of perception;  Besides they elude radar of universally comprehensible mode of communication.

Probably some of us either knowingly or unknowingly may be graced with such faculties which are a great boon or bonus, albeit not accepted and much less understood by others.

Those  who have such advanced faculties have another difficulty that they cannot easily convey or communicate their unique or not- so- common- faculty- based perceptions through existing methods of communication that the human brain can process.

This is the case  even with some emotions wherein we fail to tune in to the relevant or correct frequencies and contexts hence end up failing to understand others' feelings and end up with lack of compatibility.

These are labeled in various ways like the vociferous minority and the voiceless majority bla bla. 

"There are two kinds of people who monopolize conversation: those who like the sound of their own voice and those who don't know how their voice sounds like"-G.K.Chesterton


With all due respects to great authors like G.K.C again their pun, pessimism, perspective, perception, prescription are all addressed to externalities like conversation and communication which are mere manifestation of comprehension.

Whereas, the compatibility that we need must be preferably based on such a comprehension without even a necessity of any communication.


This is called as communion in certain domains considered as lofty and at mundane life as compatibility or understanding. 

It is like when a baby is either whimpering in a muted tone or crying loud we must attend to it to know what the discomfort or demand or protest that the baby wants to convey.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Biographies and travelogues.

                Biographies and travelogues.

Beethoven was a phenomenon as I came to know only through Sullivan's biography of him.

So were Saint Purandara dasa and Saint Thyagaraja.

It is unfortunate that  Indians have not bothered to respect , to relate with and relish properly the great souls.

Navin Sullivan has written, because of his understanding, an excellent biography of ‘Beethovan'- a great genius.

This was not only an eye opener for me to understand better Beethovan but also to approach biographies better.

This motivated me to try my hand at small biographical sketches of great souls.


I have read some excellent biographies and travelogues.


They have enabled me to relate better in people and places.



Calm observation



                             Calm observation

We all need at least once a day ( preferably in the early morning before our routines and reminders occupy our mind space) a calm observation of our consciousness and a conscious observation of our inner self to freely flow into the ocean of unbiased attention.


Then, gradually we must practice to fine tune our internal PA ( Perspective and Attitude) and encounter with conscious awareness the external world with an intention to create a synergy among various frequencies and vibrations to generate a vibration of harmony.


This  process must be carried out with total intensity and intense totality ( durations and narrations do not matter much then).


We may call it meditation, prayer, or self appraisal or attempt to understand our significant contribution for the day or we may call it by whatever terminology that appeal to us.


But one thing is clear that this activity refreshes us psychologically.


All may not have the luxury of relaxing in calmness in the morning.


It does not matter when we slip into that calmness, but it is preferable that we do so any time of the day at least for a brief duration.

I wrote an article for World Peace Foundation in Australia some 12 years back which got published in some journals and they also gave me some certificates etc and asked me to verbally and visually present it in a single slide for pre college students and they followed it by asking me to write about unity.


Then I put forth the practical hurdles involved in creating unity and the myriad manifestations and inherent hindrances or factors which prevent a conducive atmosphere for unity, harmony and peace.




Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Learning the art and science of Learning


Learning the art and science of Learning
A westerner asked me once why you Indians celebrate too many festivals.

He asked me to explain in a way that he can easily understand and convey to his children too "What is Vijayadasami?“
I said it is a sort acknowledging, accepting and celebrating the 'Concept of Learning the art and science of Learning'
Learning about life in all its splendor and living a life of learning with all its aspects through various symbolic ways and different ways of worship etc.
A sort of Valentine's Day for Learning. The romance of learning.
Vijaya Dasami. I have read even one interpretation of Rigveda by a well known scientist and a great follower of Shri Aurobindo wherein he writes Saraswathi refers symbolically to the physiological flow of fluids in brain which contribute to the abilities of perception.

So, let us try to learn humbly from the works of scholars something about brain, mind and human limitation of using them and the limitations of intellect itself to understand, interpret and determine everything concerned with human life as a whole.

The greatest paradox is human mind is capable of exploring, experimenting and executing extraordinary things  and at the same time is also incapable of dealing with very ordinary thing.

The following links which I wrote and some reproduced at different times throw light on the various facets of the working of human brain.



Emerging economic perils



Emerging economic perils purveyed through perspectives based on everlasting virtues of hope, faith, love and forgiveness manifesting through passion, compassion and dispassion. "The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history."George Orwell 

I would like to add ' or by preventing them from even getting prepared to face the obvious and looming crisis as it happened in some countries in the recent past.

Modus operandi are:-

1. Making a generation get into identity less 'vacuous inanity or inane vacuum.' or pushing a generation into over emphasized cages of identity veneration.

 2. Irrelevant extrapolation of specific ideologies on multiple domains or indoctrinated fixation fettering any movement ahead.

3. There are multitude of other ways too by which majority of the population and all their energy, time, mind space get struck in a whirl pool of rigorous routine merely to survive the crisis.

4. Then, there are those perennial luddites who actually emerge with a masks of extreme right and extreme left who block many developmental activities as well progress.

These status quo addicts and vested interest lobbies through their tentacles get strength from outside funding flowing towards economically unproductive activities and while the parasites the propaganda production houses, fake news factories and industries that incite protests and opposition, namely the media, unleash all sorts of brainwashing tactics which can trap even well informed and educated folks.

What is the crisis and what different nations are doing?

The crisis is the emerging economic meltdown where things are unpredictably manifesting, unfortunately, in such a manner that a globally acceptable and beneficial standardization and uniform structure is eluding the decision makers and their advisers. However, the hope is only people with practical knowledge and hands on experience at ground level can turn around things provided they get some help from governments. "You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them" Maya Angelou. No nation can thrive on mere trading and financial ( manipulation) services without any other value addition combined with lack of rich natural resources and native skilled man power

Every nation cannot afford to import skilled man power and run their economy.


This may not be not only economically viable but politically unsustainable in the long run.


This is where some countries have moved up because of its sound manufacturing sector and well groomed skilled man power. Some emerging powerful economies too can pitch in provided there is either natural synergy based on national interest marching ahead with economic development oriented humanitarian harmony based social structure leading to a growth of civilization ( as happened in the early part of this century in some countries) or forced dissent free economic development.



I was contemplating on writing on the theme ' Fractured growth and fragile economies' with data and observation.



That is when I noticed that countries blessed with some existing natural resources and/or backed by assets, well developed infrastructure and institutions may survive better.


 At such junctures it is better to be at least informed about the macro developments and possible micro solutions and it is in this context a comprehensive knowledge of, if not all, at least various aspects of life becomes imperative.


This is when Thomax Huxley's famous following quote becomes all the more relevant today as some knowledge, data and certain amount of understanding becomes important for wading through life.


"Try to learn something about everything and everything about something". And my ever favorite quote, " “In the end nothing less than the whole of everything can be the truth of anything at all”- William James


Can any over generalization or homogenizing uniformity or over simplification bring about a common ground to enable a eco system to face such crisis?


It seems more of a utopia rather than a practical solution because whenever a nation or a business or a particular stream of economic ideology is a beneficiary of any global standardization or structure then it is propagated, publicized and even pronounced as a panacea but when the same nation, business etc become a victim then they start dumping the same standardization and structures as unfavorably balanced or unduly favoring some.

 “Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope.
Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith.

Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we must be saved by love.
No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.” ― Reinhold Niebuhr, The Irony of American History.

Hope, faith, love and forgiveness - all the four words are used to express multitude of emotions sometimes relevantly and at times irrelevantly.

However, the very emotions, ideas that these words conjure up hold great influence and impact on how we relate with people, things, situations and issues.

These four require a composite mixture of passion, compassion and dispassion,


I would like to share an anecdotal reference here . It was during ThinkEdu16 conference in concluding session Sri Sri Ravishankar answered spontaneously very well to Vice Chancellor of a university in very simple terms how to avoid irrational depressions due to high expectations and corresponding disappointment.
He used just three very effective words.

 “He said you definitely need 'Passion' to perform effectively but 'Dispassion' to carry on with shortcomings and failures. He said when you succeed in Passion you enjoy, when you have this 'Dispassion' then you do not 'hate yourself' between these two if you have 'Compassion' then you do not hate or blame others. So, he said you need Passion, Dispassion and Compassion -all the three.”







Joy of living consists in wholesome package of life


But it depends a lot on what parameters and factors the survey uses.

Life is not only about jobs, comforts, money.

Joy of living, the pleasure of leisure, enormous freedom of expression and freedom to pursue any activity not necessarily illegal or immoral but beyond the purview of legal frame work, enough people around to interact without inhibitions, common cultural bonds, happy moments, good and varieties of climatic conditions, less monitoring and less policing, healthy competition and some space for dissent, devoid of suffocating controls, affordable cost of living and available means of living for people from various strata of population  etc.

I think we cannot talk high of a country which is a well constructed glorified mall with some specified animal and bird zones like zoos and bird parks, shopping centers, recreation parks with only a port, trading and high value financial institutions alone.

Often some of these data are interesting, useful and worth comparing to improve on certain aspects.

However,  often these statistics are also like a lady in a swimming suit what they reveal may be interesting but they conceal may be vital.

For example in the name of  security one cannot individual liberty to do what he wants when he wants without harming others and carrying with joy the happiness the way he wants.

Hyper reactive, hyper sensitive and paranoid prevention of certain activities is pathetic. For example one nation a father or mother cannot bathe his or her own child of 4 years. another nation you cannot use mixies to grind anything inside your house ( where the nearest neighbor is 300 meters away) after 6 p.m. So, you cannot have sabhjis and chutni, another country you cannot look into the eyes of a person and talk, another country one cannot eat during a particular month during day time.



Macro impacts micro responses


Macro impacts and impositions can be muted through multitude of  micro responses and vice versa- a sort of logical obverse.


Passive fatalistic acceptance or excessive pessimism are infectious diseases which cause more harm.

Evolutionary aspects emerge irrespective of anything anyone may wish or do or do not do.

However, there are also human interventions and participations.

They manifest in the form of discoveries, inventions, philosophical questioning, debates, rational evaluations and a host of other responses, reactions, renewed volitions, re-volitions etc.

Incidentally, the age of mass violent revolutions have gradually reduced.

The world, as it is today, has enabled more number of people to participate actively and respond ( whether reasonable or not is relative) due to fast transmission of more information and data, thanks to affordable and user- friendly technologies.

Resorting to over philosophizing generalizations or passive fatalistic acceptance that things will eventually even out are tantamount to recoiling into noncommittal cautiousness or a manifestation of a tentativeness bordering on excessive pessimistic dismissal of every change.

This will only embolden the peddlers of misinformation and perpetuate lies and lawlessness or in some cases, petrify the status quo.

Issues no more have just two sides but a multitude of options besides, beyond, above and away from those two sides.

The inevitable strides of human civilization is towards cosmopolitanism, obviously with certain compromises at its own peril.

It was because of active reactions and responses that many barbaric practices in many places and traditions were removed and progresses made.

For example slavery got abolished,  science made progress and social structures got modified to ensure that more people got better off and life became lot more easier and comfortable.

If one were to use more appropriate  modern terminology, these paradigm shifts are the result of entropy, evolution, information explosion, disruptive technologies and mutually beneficial financial and trade disciplines followed based on certain structures agreed upon by most of the stake holders.

All these happened because of responses, and not fatalistic passive acceptance of status quo waiting for some miracle to change things.

George Bernard Shaw said, "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man adapts the world to himself. All progress depends upon the unreasonable man”

Thomas C. Schelling bring out the impact of multitude of micro actions, beliefs, motives etc on macro behavior in his well researched book 'Micro motives and Macro behavior'




Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Biggest threat to the world is the terminological terrorism of MSM



Biggest threat to the world is the terminological terrorism of MSM

Biggest threat to the world is not global warming, not terrorism but the terminological terrorism by MSM ( Main Stream Media)

In general, many words, especially that are abstract terms and those used in the realm of emotions, religion and those used in the corridors of political discourse accumulate a huge carapace of connotations over their denotation that this evolutionary trend may end up even burying the original meaning of word.

Coming to specifically socio political terms ( jargons should I say) are so freely used and misused that what is perceived as a lofty terminology is, often, appropriated and/or assigned according to who the beneficiary or the victim.

Now this self appointed champions of verbal industry, the popular media, is engaged in this game that in its enthusiasm to project as mass opinion communicators ( actually playing the role of mass opinion molding factories) are doing a great disservice to society of youth, leaving posterity in confusion through ( nuanced misuse of meanings) that future generation may not be able to understand the meaning of any issue, individual or context as the nicely worded opinions, agendas, prejudices would be masking the facts.

Actually, words do not have ownership nor are there globally accepted authorities to arbitrate on any linguistic debates. So, it has more or less become a free for all, where the seasoned, skilled but crooked media chaps misuse to the hilt through their platforms media houses at the behest of their pay masters to portray as they wish.


The misuse of any platform or medium by a selected few for their vested interests reaches a saturation point may gradually vanish in relevance or relative attention and importance the majority give to it in the long run as has happened to the influence of Roman empire and its sectarian religious edicts in Europe.

So, it is high time that globally media houses exercise some self restraint instead of exaggerations and provocations for sensationalism.

Really civilized and intelligent people must provide hope albeit acknowledging differences and divisions ( not mere exaggerate them to create animosity or use it for peddling victimhood) but generate synergy and synthesis to pick positive aspects to create possibility of unity among at our species, human beings.

Biggest unaddressed silent threat to humanity is not global warming not terrorism but Main Stream Media which dumps so much of negativity in most parts of the world that if any organization can quantify the time, money, energy, resources, negative sociopsychological and emotional impact then the loss would be much more than those collectively caused by wars and natural calamities.

The bandwidth of dissent itself can be much larger and more saner.
DISSENT need not necessarily mean
Disseminating differences disproportionately
Internationalize or internalize for
Sensationalizing and scandalizing to
Social engineer selectively by
Exaggerations and extrapolations through
Nuanced and new found
Terminological terrorism as a trend.