Universe, World And The Self

This essay arose of a conversation that remained incomplete, largely because of the apparent unfamiliarity my interlocutor had with the subject, which factor lent an air of abstraction to the matter despite it being so obvious and close a phenomenon to ourself. The difficulty at the core of its seeming obtruseness was two-fold : one, the meaning we carry of the terms are so very formal that they remain distant from ourself, compared to the carnal and electronic objects that readily engage the youth of our day; and two, any attempt to segregate the entities, and their phenomenal effervescence in our mind, fails to start because we ourself are too caught up in the mix to lay out the categories at play separately, sequentially and seamlessly between the universe yonder, our world at hand, and the heady couldron of vitality playing things up as feelings, emotions and thoughts in our mind.

Universe, World And The Self

The Terms

The universe is the endless expanse, the mother set, containing all the astronomical and heavenly bodies, visible and invisible, known and mysterious. It includes our world and our self within it.

The world about us reduces to “our” world for all practical purposes, with objects that actually occupy our memory and mind more or less, in some way or other. The entities come in all shape and form, state of animation and consciousness, nature and character, and value to ourself in the long and short term.

The self — our self — is the being we are, the person who decides the right and wrong for ourself, who is curious and who engages with the objects in our world, who notices the feeling and identifies with the prevailing will and emotion, happy or sad, enthused or indifferent.

The Personal Phenomena

Our individual being involves our world and our self, with all the objects and entities about us, which we live in the midst of and value, positively and negatively, often in the same single thing, person or being. There is a wider world out there, distinct from our world, that we are either not intimately aware of or to which we are indifferent because it does not touch us, that does not engage us in the least for now. But our living being is restricted to all that affects us, physically or by their presence in our memory, in the way it makes our vitality rise and ebb, outward to action or inward to feeling quickened or depressed, draws our emotion to flare with a will of its own, triggers our thought stream hither and thither, making our desire next sprout or dry, and leads our self through an experience memorable or forgettable.

Our experience of life, and indeed our life itself, is an endless train of such streaming consciousness constituted of this mix : feelings and emotions, will and thought, desire and knowledge, memory and more, with the self — the sense we have of ourself — often helpless like a ball ricocheting  from the walls upon a momentum imparted in unknown past or an oarless boat in the middle of  flowing waters. What we gather along the journey in life, through our growing up years, is knowledge and memory of the character or nature of things, person or individual beings, usually in binary terms : happy, or not. Each encounter or recall of this summary sense, as it happens, brings in its trail the emotion and will that our psychological or attitudinal behaviour, caution or enthusiasm and more extreme expressions at the juncture. And thus life continues to happen : happy or sad, or in the pall of any other shade in between.

The Exploring And Analysing Self

There are several reasons why we wake up to need of reviewing the momentum of the personal phenomena upon which we are carried, and to the burning will to intervene. Often it is the consequences, material and mental, that leave us dissatisfied, inadequate, delinquent or destitute. Or, usually in comparison with our peers or with inspiration from other people’s lives past or present, there is a sense of not doing justice to what we have and what more we could do with greater control over our phenomenal being, with empowering our psychological self at making the most of our situation, spotting opportunities and playing up to our strengths. Too, it is extremely deflating to our self-esteem to realise that we are living the animal way, to our lowest nature, or are being merely passive or reactive to our happennings. And lastly, we might discover that the unexamined knowledge we have gathered is mostly untrue, that we need to revisit each as they come and bring our conclusion up to date. Whatever the cause, we then want to put an end to our self-cipher outside-in existence and steel ourself to imposing our will inside-out, to being what and how we want ourself to be and experiencing a life by our own choices than by what fate or our world has thus far deemed it to be.

A true awakening is more a phase than a moment : outwardly langorous and dilated but hyperactive inwardly. In that state of concentrated awareness, we refuse to be moved even as we go through the motions and insist on observing and knowing the details of our personal phenomena as it occurs : the feeling caused by an object on our world, the emotion representative of our reaction to it, our will that automatically presents itself … that jucture when we can choose to react or contemplate the pros and cons of alternate courses, the thoughts at reviewing the object, the feeling and the emotion, the will we were ready to commit ourself to, and the state of our own being, the quality of our self … We hold ourself at it, intending to exhaust the fulness of one series : object, feeling, emotion to the object and to the feeling it causes, the will and the choices, the doubts, the light on ourself, and the values we hold to ourself in the shadows of our each thought and glance at the categories and their possibilities thus laid out.

Our Self And Our ValuesSelf and Values

To fast forward, we may now observe the continuous series of categories laid out before us, connecting seamlessly the universe and the self :

[ Universe ] — [ World ] — [ Our World ] — [ Objects, Entities, Plants, Trees, Animals, People, Food, Sex, Beautiful Form, Panorama, Family, Friends…] — [ Senses : Sight, Smell, Taste, Touch, Hear ; Mind ] — [ Feeling ] — [ Emotion : Will ] — [ Thought : Doubt, Examination, Analysis, Possibility ] — [ Knowledge ] — [ Self : State, Quality, Values ]

Of  the above, we notice, animals are arrested by their emotions and accompanying will; and so are we. The only interactive behaviour that sets them to peace, and is hence both necessary and sufficient, is love. And so it with us, as far as others are involved and our interactive behaviour goes.

However, as human beings with the power to be pro-active, to change ourselves and our world about us, we need to choose our values and therefore need to know what works, which yields what and how. The knowledge and values are already indicated by our history, our myths, our texts ancient and modern, our epics, our traditions and our ways of life. It is upto each one of us to inform ourself, know and choose for ourself, and to embark upon that journey of examining and clarifying from experience that which is absolute and invariable and those that are relative and dependent upon situation and circumstance.

Some truths are universal though :

—   Feelings are nature’s means to reveal itself to us. Men do not cause feelings, our world does. We do not stop feeling except when we are literally or sort of dead.

—  Emotions are our own and arise almost always from the dark and unexamined part of our within. They are mostly wasteful except when prompted of love.

—   Our mind is a means and an instrument to feel, examine and know our world, our emotions and will, our memory and impressions from past, as also to sense the state and quality of our self and the values we associate with.

—   The values we choose and commit ourselves to provides a firm unshakeable ground to ourself; nothing else does. The self committed to values empowers the will to choose the right course of action; nothing else does.

—   There is no truth apart from our self. It is lost in the mind, in thoughts and habitual emotions, in addictive feelings, when we begin our search for our self. The process of extricating our self and living in the light of its truth is the eternal way.

Let’s walk it.

Footprints

From The Upanishads

 

The first and the penultimate mantrs of the Ishopanishad, one of the oldest perhaps, at least 4000 years before present.

“”The value of the Upanishads, however, does not rest upon their antiquity, but upon how it connects us to things valuable in ourself : our origin, where we are not yet divorced from this whole that includes us. That is its all-important value for all times and people everywhere.”

Sounds and means so very contemporary even today … Here

Journal : My Odyssey

Light

Light – Courtesy @Doug88888)

This publication is my tribute  

to  the wayward amongst us;

and especially to ones who outgrew it.

……   ……

This spiritual saga over years score

Shimmers alive at a temple door…

Today, I hold myself erect

Halt at the temple entrance

But skip the practice ancient

I demand my own light

Submission I refuse

And all forms I deny

Here and now, O’ Deity

At your hallowed shrine.

Great you are, same

Being in all

The Master Grand

Cause primordial

But screened in

By our ceremonials.

Thy ritual dos and donts

No more compel, thy priests

With faith without love

Seem just a cartel

In their cloister of sad smiles

Flags, façades and piety.

*  *  *

Now this burden of life

I take upon myself

To costs I agree

Its choices I embrace

I know It’s me…

Small and weak

But the sole thing too

That’s known to me.

It’s where I’ll stay

Whom I’ll discover

Shrink all space

Let Time arch over.

I will break in, O’ Deity

To the depths of peace

And its light revealing.

*  *  *

Sure, it daunts

The vastness barred

In me haunts

Unknown and spread dark.

But the alternates just distract

And I reject yet the game false

Upon all souls hangs its pall –

Our fear masked in playful calls.

I trundle long in black tunnels

Fail to grasp a speck of heaven

Fling off hard and bounce sharp

But crash back in with vengeance

It shocks and tries, draws to test

The mind taut : deny or consent ?

In my eye rise each term and form

As a vagina wet stands in witness

Alluring still, accusing harsh

The dripping penis caught offguard.

And so goes the series march

Boxing me to voluting prompts

Libidinous – the despised rot

Bonds of yore, cravings taunt

Teeming abrim but worth nought

Transitioning nights, vague dawns

On empty core, bombed raw

Vigil in pits … awake now –

Cannot yet embrace myself

With choices diseased

I no longer defend

In that dungeon dark

Though depressed

Transfixed, yes

I refuse to crank

And I frozen face

Edgy sandstorms

Moral marshlands

Whirling sqall

In my mind’s mirror

In which I’m had

My universe

In cloudy bands

Where the soul bleeds

Pinned stiff

Lacerated within

By revelations demonic …

There’s more

Stubbed senses for sure

Of imposing forms

Unblessed, forlorn

The far sound of running tap

Unnerves the neural nap

Dead, dumped odd

Hung estranged, out cast

On just a thought nebulous

Of a hurl sudden, victorious.

I yet honour the memory

Of many a false start

Of fired highs

And puffed starch

So I sit over the furled self

Unharmed by head

Its mingled thoughts

Into feelings on the lurch

Bear unmoved

The throbbing pulse

Alassed recount

Of acts corrupt :

This licentious prisoner hovers

On wracked breath

And draining cough

But is in fact choked

On a past present

Of ambitions frayed.

*  *  *

‘Twas a journey long, my dear

To witness all and keep safe

On the path blank but unclear

For a spark just my trust’d pave

For those late mornings clear

Unencumbered winter delights

With a sun warm and mellow

On lazy cats half asleep alive

Contrary to that unsure bed

To discordant shades my will would take

Spent on view

On the first cue

At body feast, gazing vivid

With overrun sensuality

Chasing the shapely hind

Tinge in fancy nets sweet

” Possess not, O Youth !” I knew

But the sage call seemed so far

Too wrongheaded for my regard !

But then I began to see

With just half a good eye

Wherein it reflected strange

The world, its masks

Its ugly mirage

Stranger ways

Roles – give and take

Swings mighty fake

Without root or heart

Faith or permanence.

‘Twas a blind alley, O’ Deity

But that half eye was yours

Which saw the farce

Lent weight to pause

For the burst of shine

On a cold summit

Impelled glad dance

And bells resonating repeat.

I wait … instead

With familiar anti-self

Same paths of lure

“Not mine,” I sense

Then hold dilemmas clear

In my spirit –

Where light still flickers

In snag heaps

And weaning disunion.

*  *  *

Barely upright, on what I know

I doubt each moment in the flow

Witness, accept and now embrace

The rocky views, their barrenness

Slip, collide, slide into wreckage

Stare close at the mind, incessant

Holding myself with love

Wipe off the damned tears

Pat the fears to sleep

And dress up my own sears

For day next in odyssey

Wade into pains

Burn the same

To be free …

Untill that day, in radiance

Enveloped with transcending sense

I stood high

On the walling fence

Still hauling up

The rest of myself

Eyeing all

The being in morn

Before the rising peer

Basking healed

In its glowing balm

With nothing

Not a trace in between.

Unburdened complete I found myself

Stripped neat

Free of subtexts

Layers mental

And body zones

Sans celebrations then

Just smiles about

Beaming from the sun

And lit I everywhere

No hope or fear

No gain or loss

No being made

… Homogeneous.

I met myself much later

The buddy from start

Then witness dear

Of all that I thought.

There was no being–for–itself ever

The one who lived was a prayer

By whom I know not, O’ Deity

To whom or why is the mystery.

*  *  *       *  *  *

This is an intimate poem, started in late 1980s,

reviewed umpteen times and finished minutes before.

Body-Mind-Spirit s

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

Truth & I

This is a spin off from a discussion on the web … on God !

“Is this not an important part of the dynamic multidimensional mind …

Can you find nothing of value with meeting this view, at least as a challenge ?”

My response to the plea is that starting any discussion with God is a bad idea.

Perhaps, ending up at that would make for more sensible exchange.

Consider, what God can we really speak of while we know so little about ourselves ? Sharing personal experiences is fine because that would be on an informal and subjective matter. But to write something on stone would be premature without a clear perception in our truth, with which others can relate and which one can stand up and defend using commonly understood terms.

I do speak of bliss and the Self because they are in our experience and notion; it isn’t the same as speaking of God. Is God relevant to the dog sucking on the bone ? I am not sure if he is even aware of God, but it is plain that nobody in the entire universe is more pleased, fed and satisfied than a dog with a bone. And, like it, our senses need their respective objects to home in, not God as a hard, formal entity. Experience is a matter between the world and us, or us and ourself, subject to rules and laws, norm and order. And the Self is indisputably evident to each one of us.

When I broach bliss infinite, I also speak of zero identity, silence and love, and of the process to take ourself from being between the world and ourself, from sense and vanity, to love without object, to silence without thought. What remains is peace that I term as bliss infinite. So when people with vanity speak of God, I instantly choose to be counted with atheists.

It’s impossible to find someone without vanity ordinarily, much less hear him speak… of God. I am fortunate to have met one such and have heard him speak, when it was plain that he was referring to the all-inclusive truth supreme. The common skepticism at any mention of the over-individualised notion of “inner reality” is understandable. I mean, only an overly vain person would com-municate notions of the “inner” to the dog perched on his senses !

The dog is equally an individual and he ‘knows’ that all other individuals are no different. He would be right in wondering what the whole babble and brouhaha was all about. Almost all voluntary attempts by us at introspection are short-lived and prove to be more of fad or diversion, which make no difference to the individual’s spiritual content or moral perspective. Forced attempts, imposed by others, are worse. 

There is something fateful or innate at work when the introspection abides for long, deepens with increasing withdrawal from material values, without loss of honesty. There is a surge of courage and quiet determination to live by one’s own accepted truths.

* * *

Dawkins was in Jaipur and I found his view a lot more balanced, less bigoted and militant. All knowledge or realisation must deal with morality. As an aside, that is my compelling argument against intellectual property rights. What damned “rights” on knowledge of any kind ? Or, why must we have to give references, when all of what we wish to say is ours, with us ? If it’s not, we shouldn’t be saying it anyway.

The formal aspect of Truth or truths is onerous. There are libraries out there where it goes dry. It is the informal one that I wish to put across : it is mine… and for that reason could be shared with everyone. That Truth is… my HOME, that which is truly me and mine, which I am, with which I can rest without fear, be absolutely free and fulfilled, which nothing in the whole universe can remove or distort. There is no other Truth than the one which is our Home. 

This is no parable I’ve begun. People are spent on a ” home ” for themselves. They build, buy, rent one for their body… a house or apartment, car or craft. But then the worst amongst us, who constitute the 99%, come to believe that the home they have so invested in is also the ”home” to their emotion, to their thought, their identity, and their happiness !

What is concurrent within us, the ego-person, is a build up and an intensification of vanity… which says : I possess; I win; I acquire; I am successful. It is all a matter of process that is normal to our drive and inevitable in our quest.

But, as surely as sure can be, it is vanity too that blocks our outgrowing, our evolution and progression into the true Home …

for our emotion – which is Love,

for our thought – which is Silence,

for our identity – which is Void, and

for our spirit – which is Bliss Infinite. 

The vain phenomenon limits us to what we have, even as it automatically makes us pore over all that we do not have. Without liberating ourself from that acquisitive pitch, we can never give up our right to pride … and can hence never view people with Love or see things with Silence.

To my mind, these are the real aspects and issues to spirituality : Home of the Self and being Void of Vanity. I find these ideals more pertinent to my quest than God. It is these that will address the monstrous twists with which we reduce ourselves to the gutter.  

I myself have experience with belief in God … the Hindu way, which posits that God is all there is in eveidence. It served to connect me better with others, the environment around, and with the wider universe. It topped up my capacity to accept life and its experiences, both happy and sad. It also shored up my ability to remain focused on whatever I had set for myself and fortified my moral strength through clarifying my values perspective.

But I’d fully appreciate if one did not believe in God and could still avail the stated capacity, ability and strength for himself.

* * *  

Our monstrous idiot, Digvijay Singh of the Congress Party, says :  

Can an individual be allowed to hurt the sentiments of the ”people ?” 

My answer is a clear ” Yes,” provided the individual is true to himself in intent and the mode and manner is completely non–violent. I can visualise the Charvaka, the Jain, the Advaiti and the Buddhist … standing in the courtyard of a temple, before a Vaishnava shrine or any place of worship or congregation, professing their contrary beliefs without any physical obstruction or violent opposition. 

That is the culture of this land from ancient times.

That is what we must all affirm today. 

Freedom is above all the freedom of speech and expression… which must allow every person to say what the people do not want to hear, what they disagree with, and what they might find hurtful to their belief.

Of course, I repeat, with the caveat that the expression be accompanied with peace in mode and manner. 

Awakening … Into Truth

THE CORE ASPECT

Hypothetically, to a stone, the truth is manifest in its existence but is not perceived; to a tree, it is sensed and even responded to but not thought of; with animals, it is sensed and thought of but not questioned and understood; and, in humans, truth is pondered over, inquired about and progressively understood.

There has never been and will never be when men, some of us, will stop enquiring and examining for this elusive certainty in respect of uncertain existence. Nothing else offers to us a sure ground that stays even when calamity falls, when all is lost or death is at hand, as all else falls short, deserts, changes, moves past or alienates.

Men are happy when their desire is met : whether upon material affluence, when relationship blossoms, our creation comes to shape, a drink is before us, a panorama engulfs us in its beauty, or when unpleasantness departs. Just then, when our “self” is free from prevailing want, without the craving in thought for us to coil about, without the emotion whirling with need to which we get anchored … just then, our self finds itself “released,” detached and un-anchored; our being expands. That freedom, accompanied with expansion of being, with nothing to hold us down, spells happiness. Un-tethered to the pegs of want, unburdened by the weight of need and unagitated by our own dissatisfaction, our being expands of its own, in itself, as we are by ourself.

But our happiness deserts us of the same causes in the reverse : the want resurfaces, a need arises, a desire pre-occupies … the pegs again come to tether us, we again contract to coil about the iterating thought and are again attached to the urge in our emotion. We then become unhappy, over a far more stretched period of time because desires are not met everyday, needs are not fulfilled pronto and our wants remain for long, perhaps forever. 

This is a, nay, the core aspect of our life between long stretches of dissatisfaction and fleeting spikes of happiness, over a stagnant bed of frustration from ever. 

Truth is our home, so to say, knowing which we find ourselves connected with our being, with all being and space itself, to our own situation, all situation and time itself. The object may be without – physical or material – but the want, disatisfaction and joyous phenomenon is our own, within our being, in our vitality, mind and ego-self. No, it does not occur in absolute isolation, without a peer … there is a witness-consciousness peering through the intellect which, if and when we are ready to methodically recall, enlightens us with moment-by-moment facts, the knowledge if which empowers us with the overriding mandate to breaking through the process as it occurs and halt the cyclic phenomenon at our will…  to be continued

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

IV             Whom The Way Calls

In common with every other perception, experience and knowledge, the way to truth surfaces within ourself. The witness in object–subject relatedness is forever between the fact in our eye, the meaning in our perception and the knowledge with ourself, including of our own self at the foundation of our subjectivity. 

In setting ourselves up on the way to truth, we shall have to exclude much, nearly everything, and all ultimately. This work therefore does away with jargons common in religious texts, and most certainly their fervour and calls on faith, though not the values or knowledge they signify in a philosophical or spiritual discourse. This work is about us, our being as we are and as it resonates with us. If we are a creation, and only the vain or absolutely knowledgeable amongst us will aver that we are not, there is an urgent need to discover its universal matters of fact.

Each one of us is in a material environment, with a body that is wondrously formed – a marvelously organised physiological system. It works excellently without our intervention, very predictably if watered and fuelled timely, adequately and appropriately. It signals for its needs from time to time, for particular cares necessary on account of environmental factors, and warns us of its misuse, activating alarms when stretched too far and even scaring us into mending our abusive ways. And if we let it be, not deny it of rest and sleep, it diagnoses its problems to correct, undo, regrow and recover by itself.

But however dire, immediate and wholly intimate it feels, our body is only as it serves us to mutually survive and a mere means for adults to use it as they choose. Sure, we deliberately dress it up to impress or time its presence to surprise others, who look upon it as we are in their perception, what we mean and how they deem. All men and, as I hear, some women too, know how beautiful the fairer gender can seem. We all have a story or two to tell about the powerful impact of their inviting curves, mesmerising countenance or awesome proportion. But mostly it soon clarifies and we begin to look beyond the body before us, at the person behind or within it… at the one who is thinking and opining, emoting or touching, setting the deal or laying the trap for us ! 

Not everyone is a human soul; not yet, though every person has a line to one. Most of us are animals without their nakedness, which is both an advance and the first lie we tell ourselves, and project to others. The religion we subscribe to is for afterwards – to confess and feel awashed for a new day of lust and greed, apathy and lies. In Islam, the communal faith confers celestial merit and heavenly rewards for what, in the eyes of you and I, is inhuman behaviour and subhuman conduct. We are informed that it is growing the fastest ! Clearly, being with a normal human body, most of us are not wanting in intelligence; but it is through developing the intellect, equipping it with universal human values, that we characterise ourselves with humanity. Fostered in an environment of entrenched feudal power structures, equally common in rigorously instituted religious societies and in those with extreme Gini index, it is our intellectual blindness that arrests our spiritual evolution to universal values, individual liberty and creative freedom.

I really am not sure how far the truths laid out in these pages would resonate with the beast within us. But there are many who are prone to be content and happy, even if disadvantaged or less fortunate than those around. They might be hounded into moral fatigue or failure on occasions but, by nature, are courageous enough to follow their calls of conscience in utter honesty and truth. Their ethics is their life and covetousness has no place in it, though they might not be entirely free of envy. It is these individuals, I trust, who would have the patience, love and the pure drive for the quest of truth. Likely, I believe, they would have the richness of experience that living against our animal propensities invariably fetch us, and the internal instrument to intuit the facts of spirit, as opposed to those of matter. They would sense the sinister in propaganda, however socially acceptable, and self – promotion would be beyond the pale of their own instinctual priority. Though not ashamed, they would be aware of unhappy consequences of unchecked lustful impulses, and of those easy inner processes which lead us to greed. They would value facts, liberty and truth, and constantly initiate to add, examine, change or modify their own views and perspective. They would be happiest leading clean, honest lives, being monogamous in their affection, nurturing moral and ethical values in their progeny, extending their love to beings and having a ready regard for life everywhere.

It is for them that I have the pleasure of writing these essays. But that is only to give me a start. There is no one who cannot arise, raise himself here and now, and step up to gain from these truths I have availed from my glimpses of Vedanta.

Journal : An Inspiring Story

Chapter IV — The Story of Satyakama

1. Once upon a time, Satyakama the son of Jabala addressed his mother and said: “Revered Mother, I wish to become a brahmacharin. Of what ancestry am I?”

2. She said to him: “I do not know, my child, of what ancestry you are. In my youth I was preoccupied with many household duties and with attending on guests when I conceived you. I do not know of what ancestry you are. I am Jabala by name and you are Satyakama. So you may speak of yourself as Satyakama Jabala (the son of Jabala).

3. He came to Gautama the son of Haridrumata and said: “Revered Sir, I wish to live with you as a brahmacharin. May I approach you, as a pupil?”

4. Gautama said to him: “Of what ancestry are you, dear friend?”

Satyakama said: “I do not know, Sir, of what ancestry I am. I asked my mother about it and she replied: ‘In my youth I was preoccupied with many household duties and with attending on guests when I conceived you. I do not know of what ancestry you are. I am Jabala by name and you are Satyakama.’ I am therefore, Sir, Satyakama Jabala.”

5. Gautama said: “None but a true brahmin would thus speak out. Fetch the fuel, dear friend; I shall initiate you. You have not departed from truth.” He initiated Satyakama.

Having separated out four hundred lean and weak cows from his herd, he said: “Dear friend, go with these.”

Driving them away toward the forest, Satyakama said: “I shall not return until they become a thousand.”

He lived a number of years in the forest [until the cows had become a thousand].

Journal : Musings : Sep ’12

Have been preoccupied with material matters, though very important for us as a family.

Our travel by train to Bangalore was a pleasure. The berths were three – tiered and booked too but there was no one to occupy. For a journey that took 36 hours, it was a happy turn. The girl who chose to sit with us, from her place in another coupe, read her way through. A young couple across the aisle developed differences that showed. But they made up in the morning. And I wouldn’t hide my cheer. There was not a moment of unease. The weather was salubrious, especially after Jhansi. The mode still held me in awe, as the train negotiated the curves and the engine cranked up raw power to gain speed. At bends, I could see the serpentine line of coaches. And the pace was simply thrilling, as the wheels spun at their max and left the ground blurred.

The best, of course, was gazing at the countryside … the villages, small towns, green fields, children at play, women at work, men on bicycles, hills peeking into the clouds, and cattle grazing lazily. The sight would refresh every couple of minutes and I was always looking forward for more, even during night hours. Facing against the wind, I’d never let the window drop. The rain occasionally forced a draw down but more because I would find strange looks from others so ill-prepared to appreciate a middle-aged man taking its spatter on his face !

Rural Bangalore is heavenly with greens, teak, palm, mango, guava, plantains and a whole range of short and tall others that I could not make out. Days were cool, mostly with a caressing breeze. Within the city, the Cubbon and Lalbagh gardens were huge. The Someshwara Temple was old, in the middle of a face-lift then, but the one dedicated to Meenakshi was a joy. Food was always wholesome and cost little.

Bangalore has grown manifold, rather many many fold, since I was here in 70s. Yet there was more method to it than what I’d seen in Delhi, Gurgaon and now in Ghaziabad. I was told, rules prohibited any colonisation over most part between the city and Kanakapura, a small town some 70 km away. What met the eye on city roads was both soothing and heart-warming. As the pic below shows …

*    *    *

Before I move on to a few more thoughts, let me suggest a blog write that left me delighted. It served values that speech is meant for. Let’s stop the babble and read this excellent piece :  Islam and Freedom of Opinion @ http://francishunt.blogspot.in/2012/09/islam-and-freedom-of-opinion.html?spref=fb

*    *    *

Today is #Teej ! I am not a great fan of fasting, which does seem excessive when done without food, juice or water for 24 hours or more.

My woman does it on four days in a year : Ganesh Chaturthi, twice a year; Teej; and Jeeutia. There are  others who do it on Shivratris, Navratras, Karwa Chauth and so on.

Rigorous fast, without food and water, is an entirely moral thing … not a bit of the brain or brawn is of any help there. No wonder, Indian women are Moral Champions. I am convinced, there is much they need to be credited for, in preserving the Sanatan way, through those dark centuries under Muslim and Christian barbarians !
All honour and respect to the Indian woman ! Celebrate. Enjoy. You are much loved…
So, all the “progressive” way of cooking was only to end up it becoming unaffordable ? To going back to old ways … coal and wood, is it ? MC #UPA
‎#Women rate money and bread earners way above all else. But then, there mayn’t be many men who do not ?
If mind is a thing for sure, for real, why do we not have it on a platter ? If we cannot hold the mind in our grasp, smell or otherwise sense it, what is it made up of ?
‎#FDI in retail : How will market be destabilised, structures skewed ? Imagine the frenzy in mktplace when a “party” has $1billion dollar to buy, hire, lease n let loose ! Walmart wud have 10s of billion.
Amazing, amazing… absolutely !  http://t.co/u2EE06Dy
As I said : Free Market and Profit-Motive are blind drivers in the 21st Century … Knowledge has long been used to exercise control over people. In India, there is an important case now being adjudicated between Generic formulation and 100 times costlier Branded cancer curative … http://mashable.com/2012/09/13/steve-wozniak-apple-samsung/
‎#SanatanDharma All experience is emotional. Love gives it depth. Truth fills it with light. There are only two capacities we 4ever lack, fall short of : Love and Truth. It is futile to expect love. U cud evolve though 2 b able 2 give it freely. That is what #Islam and #Xtianity r incapable of.
.  .  .   [ will resume another day ]  .  .  .

Journal : Apr 07, 2012 : A Happy Death

 ‘In a minute, in a second,’ he thought.

The ascent stopped.  And stone among the stones,

he returned to the joy of his heart,

to the truth of the motionless worlds.

It’s seems impossible to broach the topic of Death without causing an avalanche of reactions springing from distaste for the subject, especially if it is one’s own and, naturally, shared with people who are close to us. The horror or sense of loss is palpable in the way we go somber, discourage with disinterest or wish to shut the matter there and then.

But matters of death, and life, do not disappear by wishing away. They are there, as sure and stark as the afternoon sun blasting its heat through gaps in the drapes over our window. And, while I look on the creamy glow with the cheer it raises in my heart, I find myself contemplating

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On closer look, I can understand why Camus decided to withhold the publication of “Happy Death” and, finally, to never publish the work.

To speak of happiness, a space-time-event phenomenon of quite, quite another kind than the one we have —  pegged  to time and space that are anchored in money, material environment, physiology and psychology —   would immediately seem unsatisfactory compared to the experience we have in our intent, of happiness as it was.

Later, talking of his subscription to the “Absurd” nature of life and the world we live in, Camus clearly indicates that he has “moved on.”

The personal disclosures of mature Camus give ample clues to realisations of a wholeness  from where the ephemeral is better, if intuitively, illuminated.

Camus said, “I don’t know whether this world has a meaning that transcends it. But I know that I do not know that meaning and that it is impossible for me to know.”

The spiritual wealth he found in the waves breaking in the distance and the star-strewn sky sweeping over his head is transcendent to a time scale rooted to mere money or space dotted with qualities derived of wealth. Since the experience of happiness is direct and could not be disputed, the transcendence implies the disconnect it has with events in ephemeral space and time.

Hence would the work “Happy Death” prove inadequate to the theme of happiness in general, especially to the man who could conceive of being “absolutely free” so that one’s very existence is an “act of rebellion.” That is how I understand and appreciate Camus’ decision not to publish his first novel.

More particularly, death as a first-person theme can flow only of something in our imagination. We have never experienced it and, however close we may have come, it ever means nothing to us, without a reference to personal experience, except as a romanticised sense of ceasing to be, of the yet unknown reality of rupture of life chord that takes our being away from ourself.

In all the works that followed, Camus grapples with the task of expressing the “mystery” but strictly through material events in world and life, and always with a reference to personal experience. “There is beauty; and there are the humiliated.” He wishes to be faithful to both. This compassion for ugliness that the sight of human indignity and humiliation evokes in us is not commonplace. It is the mark of a very evolved person, having access to consciousness that is relatively liberated to a high degree.

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If I would have my way, my death should not call for elaborate medical attention to postpone it, least of all in the environs of a medical institution. It should leave me free of all concerns, care or thought, for matters of this world and beings in this life.

 

It would be presumptuous on my part to predict or specify what or how my close ones should deal with my demise, with the body as it lies without life. Yet, if I had my way, it should be disposed off without any ado, ritual, and social flurry.

Least expense would be possibly a very good measure of how I would like it to be.

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I quote herebelow an NDE description that Anita Moorjani submitted to The Near Death Research Foundation in August 2006. It is something that I find plausible and very likely in truth. And I have no cause whatsoever to doubt the veracity of the direct experience merely because it is “personal.”

Anita had end stage cancer (Hodgkin’s Lymphoma), and was being cared for at home. On this morning of  2nd February 2006, she did not wake up. She fell into a coma and was rushed to hospital. The senior oncologist declared it was the end, and that her organs were now shutting down.  It would be over within the next 36 hours.  They started her on a cocktail of medication on a drip and poked her with tubes and pipes for nourishment, drugs and oxygen.

She thought that she was drifting in and out of consciousness during this time, because she was aware of everything that was going on around her…

” I thought that I was drifting in and out of consciousness during this time, because I was aware of everything that was going on around me. But it was confirmed to me later by my family and the doctors that I was in a coma the whole time. I saw and heard the conversations between my husband and the doctors taking place outside my room, about 40 feet away down a hallway. I was later able to verify this conversation to my shocked husband.

” Then I actually “crossed over” to another dimension, where I was engulfed in a total feeling of love.  I also experienced extreme clarity of why I had the cancer, why I had come into this life in the first place, what role everyone in my family played in my life in the grand scheme of things, and generally how life works.

” The clarity and understanding I obtained in this state is almost indescribable.  Words seem to limit the experience – I was at a place where I understood how much more there is than what we are able to conceive in our 3 – dimensional world.

” The amount of love I felt was overwhelming… I then started to understand how illnesses start on an energetic level before they become physical…”

http://anitamoorjani.com/?page_id=159

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Vedanta Brief :

Look at the pic… lovers alive. Actually, exquisite carving from solid rock.

Is it the rock ? Well… it is, was and will be… nothing apart from it. Isn’t it ?

Is it a man and woman ? A couple ? It sure appears, as forms with names we have for them.

The rock is the lasting truth… the Truth that would outlast the form, even after time and weather has eroded their being.

The form, and the forms it includes, are true… truths as of now, untill time negates them in a century or a few millenia.

So… what is for you ? Rock or forms ? Brahman or Maya ? If it is the rock, there is no form. It is rock. If it is the form, where is the rock ?

In the compromised world of words, we’d say it is both. Or, that they are the same.

But the puritan would insist… it’s got to be one.

And the pagan would see it everywhere, in every bit of the form in his sight !

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