Cocktail of Meta terminologies masquerading as analytical criticism creates critical paralysis.
Any topic I normally throw into the cauldron of life in context as it is happening now along with all that has happened and churn it with a churn staff or kirn swee of contextually relevant observations and also observe the external impacts that play their part in the evolution of anything/everything.
Too much of criticism and analysis [especially using a cocktail of Meta terminologies, remotely relevant or totally irrelevant factors with a mix of strong spirited information infusion] creates critical paralysis.
Loads of suggestive or justificatory information do not necessarily contribute to or help a better understanding and projecting them as if distilled wisdom of some unique religious or spiritual knowledge when most of the writers are aware of only distilled spirits.
This article has a cocktail of Yoga, spiritualism, religion, commercial branding/exploitation of some special religious or spiritual knowledge, therefore Patent rights manipulations, wrong people appropriating something or right people projecting it wrongly, multiple issues and insecurities of identity etc.
So my rejoinder will be more or less a similar cocktail –juicy but not judiciously mixed as I am writing whatever erupts between the two ear drums so to those who have read many of my write ups earlier may find lot of repetitions like the breath we inhale and exhale repeatedly.
Besides mix is easy for me as I am neither an expert in Veda nor in Yoga.
I wish you enjoy every sip of the cocktail that follows.
One of the greatest good that Sanathana Dharma can offer or offers or that places at ease the followers of Sanathana Dharma is their polytheism [in modern terms a imaginary international team of great footballers or cricketers or basketball players] and the greatest strength it offers is the adaptability to learn, educate and work without bothering about faith [ relying on one specialist/ favorite player from one nation].
It is only natural and nothing wrong in appropriating certain things/ activities as part of legitimate cultural pride.
That does not mean that all that has been told in ancient texts have to be always correct for everyone in every situation.
There is also no need to justify them at any cost and sometimes at all costs.
Ancientness of something does not necessarily confer any extra greatness to anything.
After too much of analyzes taken to the minutest details or logical extreme will unravel obvious unifying factors or at least partial similarities, beneath all the much fussed about and pet outer shells in every aspect of life is that there is a huge canal carrying the waters from history, mystery, myths, imaginations, fantasies etc mingling freely through porous and transparent shutters placed by some people for some purpose.
A classical case of ‘Unity… works in variety’ as R.W. Emerson used to say.
Evolution goes about its jobs unmindful of whatever we do or do not do, that decides and determines everything including our birth and death as biochemical organisms which are bound decay or die or reorganize or reborn or recreate into something else eventually.
Life is an unmapped atlas which gets its maps based on our innate attributes, choices, beliefs, actions, reactions, thoughts, attitudes etc either as individuals or as a collective group with some identity, and it is in our hands to make each one of these continents as great and as good as possible.
Life is made of relationships. How we relate with others, with things, with society, with environment etc.
Neither life nor relationships are concrete they are fluid like water with lot of excellent properties but vulnerable to be polluted and misused like water. It depends on the user to prevent misuse and pollution.
While life in general is made of relationships life of any particular individual is recognized by the residue they leave when the die.
What matters most is not who claims or proclaims or appropriates what and who needs/deserves the credit for something.
Instead emphasis must about contribution, more precisely the quality of contribution that something or some activity makes to humanity.
Greatest contribution that one can make to the pride of ancestry is to not merely give hope for future but bequeath values, comforts, wisdom, wealth, happiness, great wisdom etc to posterity.
Does anyone say anything about how electricity or internet is used?
Do they belong to any particular religion or confined to any particular region [though there are regulations and various usages]?
None of us can live without these two now.
They are next only to air, water and heat.
Let us try to keep at least wisdom simple so that all can follow it as an art of living [sorry, here I am not engaged in any copy right violation] like this: Wisdom is to live in the present context and to practice certain time tested values which have relevance in present context but with global perspective to bequeath a livable planet, a lovable society with lovely infrastructures and
improved living conditions.
Nothing eternal can be known eternally by anyone because everyone of us is basically a mortal as a conscious living being leading a life inside human body and mind.
So when we do not know how can we make claims or counter claims or worst of all try to exercise control over or exclusive marketing rights for it.
This is where religion pitched in as it primarily evolved if one were to analyze intellectually to define what Scott Atran, a respected Anthropologist called as “belief in hope beyond reason”.
Everything/anything that one follows/wants must have value, either because it's functional or beautiful or merely one just loves it.
To put more bluntly what would one wish/want to do if given/allowed only one more day to be alive?
Everyone and everything can be or preferably must be some point of reference in life and not a pointless object to be treated with indifference.
Many things/activities/events about or from or proclaimed as belonging to any particular group either religious, national ,linguistic or otherwise is purely born out of either identity crisis, identity insecurity, desperate attention seeking identity pride.
When such things start getting commercial dividends, more so if obviously considered disproportionately undeserving amount of it, along with other additional mileages like stamp of cultural elitism, religiosity, intellectual snobbism along with too much of social reverence as if all other things/events are less human less divine etc.
There are too many factors which go to make all that have been indicated in the above two paragraphs and therefore it would be unjustified to simplify and attribute such craze, appeal, trend etc to any particular/single or some defining factor/s.
Those who benefit from such things/activities/events; those whose livelihood depends on them; those who have got some identity out of it; those who really love them unmindful of anything else are most likely as a whole group will defend, praise and position them [things/activities/events] in such a way to ensure nothings adversely affects them [things/activities/events].
All those who are not part of all that have been explained in the above four paragraphs will be either passive spectators or active participants or jealous critics. No one opts to ignore or be indifferent, even if they have nothing to do with them [things/activities/events] nor have any knowledge about them [things/activities/events].
This is how most mass frenzies, mass movements, mass manias, mass appeal get evolved, established and enhanced.
So let us always remember and reiterate that the universal mantras are contextual relevance and everything that provides comfort, convenience; begets benefits and profits; ensures utility, happiness, pleasure etc and evaluating everything or anything based on its inherent attributes/merits and intrinsic value/purpose.
So all temporary turbulences and thoughts that crop up as reaction to any trend could indicate either euphoria or phobia, but all are temporary and transitory.
“There is no tomorrow. There is only a planet turning on its axis, and a creature given to optimistic fancies”-Robert Brault
“We live in a changing universe, and few things are changing faster than our conception of it”-Timothy Ferris
When human intellect resorts to defend or justify, more than define or explore or accept facts for what they are worth, normally it becomes more sharp with additional vindications from very vast allied areas like pollution, carbon etc because the defense is further enforced with adrenal reactions which are all normal as I, myself, am more used to it rather use it more, so I can understand it perfectly well.
As Guy Murchie declares, “Evolution itself is an open ended and indeterminate process”… “Given the remarkable progress in our understanding of biochemistry, molecular biology, and evolution as a whole … we have failed to develop concepts, ideas, even a language that could capture the dance of this life”
In the following blogs
We come across scientific study of how “adaptations to bipedalism restricted the width of the birth canal and, hence, the size of the baby that can pass through it. Human babies are thus born when their brains are less than 30 percent of adult brain size so that they can fit through the narrow passageway. They then continue development outside of the womb, with brain size nearly doubling in the first year.”
All tall claims of evolutionary psychology are brilliantly brought out in the following link with very incisive and excellent criticism
Another excellent and thought provoking book criticism
Another great work a must read is Action!: Nothing Happens Until Something Moves By Robert Ringer
Dr.V.S. Ramachandran himself says somewhere, "I’m arguing that what happened is more like your jaw bones: there are different adaptations which evolved for different purposes. For example, bones of the ear that evolved for amplifying sound were exapted from reptilian jaw bones used for chewing. There is a fortuitous emergence of different sets of neurosystems that evolved for completely unrelated reasons—and the equally fortuitous interactions between them resulted in early language, which then became an elaborate system. So, it’s not wrong to say that there was natural selection. But there were multiple exaptations with fortuitous interactions which resulted in language.".
According to Erich Fromm, “humans have a need for a stable frame of reference. Religion apparently fills this need. In effect, humans crave answers to questions that no other source of knowledge has an answer to, which only religion may seem to answer. However, a sense of free will must be given in order for religion to appear healthy. An authoritarian notion of religion appears detrimental.”
William James said it well: "The science of religions would forever have to confess, as every science confesses, that the subtlety of nature flies beyond it, and that its formulas are but approximations."
William James also writes "That the mind itself has a higher state of existence, beyond reason, a superconscious state, and that when the mind gets to that higher state, then this knowledge beyond reasoning comes.... All the different steps in yoga are intended to bring us scientifically to the superconscious state or samadhi.... Just as unconscious work is beneath consciousness, so there is another work which is above consciousness, and which, also, is not accompanied with the feeling of egoism.... There is no feeling of I, and yet the mind works, desireless, free from restlessness, objectless, bodiless. Then the Truth shines in its full effulgence, and we know ourselves- for Samadhi lies potential in us all- for what we truly are, free, immortal, omnipotent, loosed from the finite, and its contrasts of good and evil altogether, and identical with the Atman or Universal Soul." *
* My quotations are from VIVEKANANDA, Raja Yoga, London, 1896. The complete source of information on Yoga is the work translated by VIHARI LALA MITRA: Yoga Vasishta Maha Ramayana, 4 vols., Calcutta. 1891-99
I have written something brief in the link below
Individual opinions, ideas that inundate the social media space must be followed, observed and encouraged because after all they manifest reactions and participation of individuals.
They can at best produce islands of 'micro beliefs leading to macro behavior' or confirmation bias enhancing group coherence but not homogenizing madness insisting on ignoring variety and marrying up with specific identity which was what the mass opinion molding and belief manufacturing and/or marketing domains mentioned above do namely religion, politics, media etc.
There are many other aspects like personal commitment, involvement, responsibilities etc, even if we do not care about social pressures, religious obligations and legal requirements.
The cardinal principal is we can neither deny nor defy the importance of anything. This includes many human activities, sentiments, emotions, thoughts etc each of it is forming some part of the evolutionary process of the jigsaw puzzle of life.
How else can we explain the many stupidities that get glorified for reasons which are beyond any human comprehension?
We did not consciously choose our life and in normal circumstances we won’t consciously choose to die either.
Life itself is not a planned project from the beginning till the end however much we may try or wish it to be.
We came from nothing and we go back to nothing.
In the interim period we like to decorate ourselves with whatever we can, we want or we are destined to.
Sometimes different aspects predominate i.e. what we can do, want to do or destined to do and we too tend to prioritize or to prefer or to influence one/ some of these at different times.
But it would be proper and practical to acknowledge some simple facts without being too hypocritically questioning them like it is better to be unhappy with money than to be unhappy without money; better to be sick with a treatment available rather than being sick without any treatment; it is better to be hypocritical with a socially respectable employment ensuring or survival guaranteeing qualification rather than to be hypocritical without any such qualification etc.
Every age and every walk of life has or involves some steps but these steps are various types of status quo addictions, comfort zones, identity cages which take possession of our psyche and operates through it almost as a matter of habit or sometimes even as an automatic reflex movement.
They then manifest in all spheres of our relationships.
Our culture, our religious practices, our food habits, our life styles etc and we get used to the comfort of relaxing in these steps without moving up.
Reactions, sometimes aggressive or fanatical happen due to mass hysteria creating brain washing which push many into some identity cages and if they happen to venerate then they virtually entwine the entire life in that cage and venerate the walls of the cage and end up getting agitated when someone tries to shake the cage or worse still break the walls of the cage.
This happens with all religions, ideological, political affiliations and religious practices manifesting itself with varying degrees of fanaticism and intolerance or tolerance [because Indian main stream media has mutilated these terms too like secularism and communalism that I am confused as to which one to use].
Indian media manipulates and mutilates everything that it is becoming too obvious and getting gradually exposed with shifting and selective levels of scrutiny, extent of criticism, limits of tolerance/intolerance, philosophical consolations etc, everything becomes very elastic or rigid depending upon whom it affects at that particular instant and how the affected people take it or very often how the media wants people to get affected.
Depending on the nature, circumstances, situations, nurtured attitudes etc proportionately the reactions, retributions, revenge etc will manifest.
“The beauty and mystery of this world only emerges through affection, attention, interest and compassion . . . open your eyes wide and actually see this world by attending to its colors, details and irony.” ― Orhan Pamuk.
“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
― 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.
In evolutionary biology we find that all creations have shed the unnecessary parts or shrunk them for better survival; in evolutionary sociology too human race has shed too many models of social groups and narrowed down on a few that would be easier for global interaction; in languages too, from a few thousands languages that existed humanity has reduced the number to just a few hundred languages.
Similarly there is nothing wrong in giving up clamoring for patent laws in the interest of evolution of human race, of course against the interest of a few lawyers who mostly benefit from such laws, we can think of doing away with this whole set of laws connected with Intellectual property.
Many sane discoverers and inventors have opted for not patenting like Madame Curie, one of the greatest scientist, the inventor of polio vaccine Jonas Salk etc to name a few.
After recession and intense competition in an age of knowledge enhancement and execution, when commercial enterprises are unnecessarily wasting too much of money, man power etc in unwanted patent litigations which profit only the select group of lawyers and the media which treats these litigation battles as glamour world gossips to be gobbled up by the gullible public.
As the great scholar and my favourite author Bertrand Russell writes in POLITICAL IDEALS (1917)CHAPTER IVINDIVIDUAL LIBERTY AND PUBLIC CONTROL
“The creative impulses, unlike those that are possessive, are directed to ends in which one man’s gain are not another man’s loss. The man who makes a scientific discovery or writes a poem is enriching others at the same time as himself. Any increase in knowledge or good-will is a gain to all who are affected by it, not only to the actual possessor. Those who feel the joy of life are a [source of ] happiness to others as well as to themselves. Force cannot create such things, though it can destroy them; no principle of distributive justice applies to them, since the gain of each is the gain of all. For these reasons, the creative part of a man’s activity ought to be as free as possible from all public control, in order that it may remain spontaneous and full of vigor. The only function of the state in regard to this part of the individual life should be to do everything possible toward providing outlets and opportunities”.