Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dialouge - 5

Guru:

Ok, I want you to know that our discussions are really great and helpful – at least to me in breaking more and more barriers……………..and one thing I want you to know clearly is that, until now, I agree with everything you say…..

Then, why discuss, you may ask…….we will take that up later…..:-)

now, I think whatever I do, I have to be HAPPY, otherwise, I don’t see any point in living to be unhappy…….then, my experience is that life is full of happiness and misery, and there are times, when I feel it is 90% of misery…..but then, we do see people, who seem to have a better hold on their life……..on closer inspection, we find that it is not a fa├žade and they really are happy…….

now, I have heard some say (in a negative sense), that it is just futile, just hold on to anything you can get along and keep going till death catches up……you have got a life, so you have to live it……

Not for me now, because, if there is a possibility of a higher thing, then I don’t want to miss that………life, as it is (if you take the whole 90-100 years of your life-span), is a misery, no doubt about it…..so, if there is something called eternal life, eternal peace, I sure want to go for it……..

It is like Columbus being ridiculed on his theory of a round earth and an alternate route to India (circling the round earth)…….thanks to his faith, we have America……sometimes, “truth is stranger than fiction”…….another example could be the Theory of Relativity – according to which, a clock would slow down if it is taken around the earth in a plane (this has been proved and it is not due to any mechanical failure) – and if you stretch it further, it would mean than a set of twins, can grow older at different rates, if one of them takes off from earth on a rocket at a speed in the range of the speed of light……and so on and so forth…..

Don’t feel burdened by the amount of knowledge you are faced with or even life’s ups and downs………like they say, in a wax museum, the tiger’s statue can frighten you, while that of Lady Diana would have you enraptured…..but both are made of the same material – wax…….but see the difference in the reaction it brings in us……..going by the wise men’s sayings, the ultimate truth is the “building block” or the source of all things…..so, if you understand/know him, you know everything – as simple as that……….it doesn’t require any intellectual exercise to understand the Lord……but what is required is purity of mind and self…..for us to be able to “see” the Lord clearly…….and when you see him, all questions get answered……better still, all questions vanish…..and then, you begin to enjoy every moment of the gift of life to the hilt…….

There is no way to know it than by experiencing……only see that you keep your foot firmly on the ground always on quest……

As for the sufi saying----yes, marifa is the thing – according to the wise men, all evil/sadness springs from ignorance – of the fact that “there is neither yours nor mine”….advaita speaks about the ONE, and the rest being the illusion – Maya…..

God is love, god is strength, god is peace, god is compassion……..

Like the fragrance as well as the color is the property of the same rose flower, so is love, strength, peace, compassion etc. the different ways in which the truth manifests itself before us…….

Shishya:

And i do not intend to ask 'why discuss' question anyway :) since i am also enjoying our conversation rather than returning teh favour :D

As you mentioned we do want to be happy. but what is happiness? It's true that love, strength, compassion etc forms happiness and its also interesting note that they do not have individual existance. Actually if we look a li'l deeper, we call love for what we think as love, we really do not have anything to compare it against.

I do certainly agree with you on the point that if there is something higher, we really need to aspire for it. But my question is what if there is not? Question is whther to content with whatever is available to us or aspire for soemthing unseen, unknown and exist in theories as of now. We really dont know what is eternity... and what it to be like in eternity... But still we theorize about the eternal happiness... theorize about the eternal world. Wouldnt it be better to live your life to teh fullest here and live it by not straining and paining others. If the eternal world is happening it will happen without soembody's thinking it would happen or not. And when it happens, i dont think criteria to admission wont be whether you had beleieved in such a possibility or not but how you lived what is been already given to you(again this is also an assumption which sounded good to me).

I am not asking Columbus not to try finding another route to India, but asking him not to think he will always find India. And also it's quite easy to name what we found as India (he even named them Red Indians), where the actual India was still far. I am asking to consider the possibility of not finding too and be content with what you have found.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dialouge - 4

Guru:

Ok, the root question is – what is the TRUTH, the REALITY? Is what we see, feel, guage the reality? Or, can we be better informed – can our experiences be deeper – (meaning more meaningful)?

Now, given my level of understanding, I would not attribute only the irrational as
belonging to God. Going by my (present) definition of God, he has to be the lord over the rational too (or any thing else besides the two that might exist)………..if you can experience limitlessness, that, I would say, is closer to realizing God…..

You are absolutely right buddy……….it is really unnecessary and pointless to THINK it over and get confused……..from what I have heard of from our wise men (budha, jesus, mohd., Krishna etc. etc..), the mind is a creation of God, and is limited…..so, God can not be contained in the mind ----- and that means, God is incomprehensible to the mind………..then, is God knowledge a reality, or a concoction of the mind/emotion……..

Now, I am not after the holy texts of the world or the sayings of wise men, or even ordinary men…..but I am after the REALITY, the TRUTH………so, if all these things can lead me to the REALITY, I will make use of that……..but what finally matters to me is the REALITY…..another cause for attraction is that the knowledge of reality apparently brings with it, strength, understanding, universal love et al……

God is now just a word with a definition for most of the people in the world (or so my information tells me)……..but, I think it is highly possible that it came down from people, who have actually known what really is God……………another word for REALITY/TRUTH……now, man, as a social being, has a tendency to attribute "personal" characteristics to anything and everything…….and so you have stories where even animals and trees and rocks talk………so, this tendency is a fact ------- now, God, as the CREATOR, has created this tendency along with the human being……….still, like all else, this is only a part of God………. What would it be like to have THE PERFECT UNDERSTANDING?

Shishya:

My root question is do we actually need to go after the absolute truth or absolute reality?

Like in Sufism, the ultimate aim in one's life is to attain the knowledge('Marifa' in Arabic). They have put the whole concept in 3 principles, Sharia, Tariqa and Marifa.
1. To know shari'a (The rules for living) is to know yours is yours and mine is mine
2. To know Tariqa (The path to god) is to know yours is yours and mine is yours.
and
3. To know Marifa (Knowledge) is to know that there is neither yours or mine.

Quite interesting in principle, i do agree. But then, is life all about Knowledge? I feel quite intimidated by the vastness of knowledge. From your point what i understood is that you are after the reality because it brings strength, understanding, universal love etc. This reality could be quite tricky since we could be easily tricked by our 5 senses and its interpretation by the brain. We are quite limited in the resources for finding the ultimate reality. Is it worth a try to comprehend something beyond our comprehension?

And talking about your point on rational and irrational, with the concept of god, i am certain that he is the lord of rational and irrational(or anything else which might exist). My point was that we seek God for the explanation of irrational since rational is comprehensible to us by itself, and that there again is a rational in putting god behind irrational.

I recently happen to read a li'l bit of Ekchart Tolle's Power of Now, and as per him, Mind is the root for our unhappiness. The moment we would be able to stop the intriguing nature or the questions which our mind asks us frequently, we are on the path to the ultimate happiness . It's interesting note that Tolle is greatly inspired by Budha. When Budha was asked does the God exist, he kept silent which is interpreted as 'that is for you to find out'. But my point is, is that a necessary to find out God or the ultimate truth?

May be life is pursuit of knowledge or may be it is pursuit of happiness or may be knowledge leads to happiness. i don't know. If you ask me do I want to be happy, yes i certainly do, but do i want to be only happy, i don't know. And i also appreciate that without a blind belief somewhere or the other, it is hard not to be in confusion.

Dialouge - 3

Guru:

Yea, I guess god is the sum total of all of us……and of any and every conceivable thing….and of things that have come, that are and are gonna come and "may not come"….god, may I say, is someone/something, who contains not just the past, present and future, but also all the potentials, that may or may not manifest……like you said, the set of events are infinite, but contained as potential in God……now, one more thing, so, if all this is true (god can CREATE anything) that also means that he is untouched by his creation, in a sense……because, if he is the material he creates, that means he too is created – a really bad paradox….he is not created, but can create anything……
The next line of thought--- yes, if the creator a created being, then there has to be someone behind him too….now that our thoughts have reached this stage, let us understand one thing….all this going back (to the source) is something that happens in time…….we say that x existed before y – in time…….now, what is this time? Is that also created?

Then, what does it mean to be timeless…..that is even time comes to an end…..what is that…….....

You have to understand that there is something beyond rational too…..rational is not the sum total, but a part of the sum total……how else can you explain beauty, poetry, love etc……..even our brain has two sides to it – rational on the left and "mystical" on the right…..

If we have to accept god, we have to learn to accept everything…….but no blind beliefs please, ask for the experience……

Shishya:

I havent thought about the concept of time till now in the context of creator and creation.. thanks for that...

But it just adds one more dimension to teh whole problem... I am not saying God exists neither i am refuting the existance of god. All i am saying is i am confused on teh concept of god (my first mail).

So now are classifying things as rational and mystical(let me call it as irrational since it gives me the freedome to put everything outside rational to this class). Since rational is within our comprehension and the irrational is not, we attribute the latter to god. Here it is interesting to note that teh same rational logic of cause and effect is applied to the irrational. Further ahead, God being the creator and he cant be created is a rational stop and a belief without which teh concept of god cant be explained at all. And i think that is a blind belief and a theory which cant be proven nor disproven...simply adds up to my confusion..and my my greatest astonishment is in thinking whetehr we really need to think over it and get confused...

Just an intresting thought: Lately when i heard of the golden section (the mythical ratio where lot of asthetics are alleged upon), I happen to think on the fibnoci series on a relatively philosophical level (the golden ratio rules Fibnocii series too). The series is something modelled on cause and effect with the belief of 0 and 1 starting teh series. Every further events are the effect of previous events (here the effect being the summation). Rather than a mathematical series it is a philosophical series which says any state of the world is cumulative effect of what preceded.

Dialouge - 2

Guru:

Wow, like the Gita says, rare indeed is it to find someone looking for God (leave alone pining for Him)…..but it is a bonus to find one like that……

Like they say, if you want to find God, then look for the company of Saints (peer paigambar).

To understand God, it is usually only necessary to change our whole point of view….then it becomes clear…..

Think about it like this, whatever u see in this world, there is something behind it……in one way or other…….keep taking it backward, use all the theories you know to work your logic…..then, try to reason out where does it all began from………Where or when or what is the beginning of everything?

Then, after you have let your mind clear itself of the above (gradually), think about this….you are here today, even after you are gone, the world keeps going (if you cant prove that, take your observations from the world) what keeps it going on….what keeps you going on (I mean, u know that u will switch off one day)…..so, is it you yourself who is keeping you going?

These are some of the doorways that I used to help on the road to the object of my quest - the reality behind this creation (creation meaning – whatever my senses and mind encounter on a day to day basis)….sometimes, it is clear, sometimes I feel myself distancing from reality…..

In my opinion, god is nothing but the reality (behind the world's plays and creations, if you can understand that), the knowledge of this reality, and knowledge is strength (literally), and from strength comes compassion……..and so on…..

Shishya:

Intresting.... the rational of an entity has to be behind everything is basically your point..right...

But thats what is a li'l deceiving... we attribute one logic as there has to be a creator for everything else and when it comes to the creator we tend to forget our own logic of something behind teh creator...i do no see that as a fair approach... and more over when you apply the same logic for teh creation behind creator, then the new entity needs to have anotehr creator and it just goes on and leads to infinity, soemthign behind our comprehension...So what if God is just all of us, the nature..in which you and me are a part...and why cant we attribute the course of teh world as randomness of events where the set of events are infinite

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dialouge - 1

Guru:

Am getting drawn more and more into m&e…….actually, god is leading me to where I have always thought some input could be given…..

Shishya:

Your part on 'god is leading you to where you have though't is intresting. Because i am always confused on the concept of god.

All we have are theories...one theory which has fascinated me is that of 'le point vierge'.. the purest of pure flame inside everybody...which is free form all the sins and illusions...the ultimate truth...the same thing which chirst might have meant when he mentioned kingdome of god is within you...but still the concept of god is not clear, may be it's beyond our rational means, but then if it is beyond our means then we might not be supposed to comprehend it too. Or may be the human race out of its conceited ego, invented teh concept of god to diffrentiate oursleves from other creatures... i dont know...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Day 2...

"Anticipation was the name of the day
but the sun didn’t shine and I couldn’t make hay "


Quite true that was; my sun didn’t shine and my stars weren’t bright and I couldn't spot her in the library. I was still the keeper of the poem I wrote...

We humans always need somebody to blame  and in case we don't get any other human beings we blame the stars or the god 'himself'. One joke I have heard is:
Un married daughter to mother: Mom, I am pregnant
Mother: Ohh god.. why did you do this...

The above joke warrants a small disclaimer from my side: I am not sure about the sex of the god but I have heard it has been a male dominated society and even the feminists refer to god as a he/him. My point is that I am quite neutral about the sex of the god and don't accuse blasphemy on me, if there is anything the joke above proves, that is god to be a man.

Coming back...we most of the time blame somebody else when something goes wrong, from pregnancy to infertility to what not... and here I needed reasons for not to blame myself, hence I tried stars to start with. My zodiac sign is Capricorn and most of the astrology books say Capricorn is associated with success in Business, hard work etc and no where it is mentioned about luck in love. Hmmmm.. Seems quite decent enough for a reason. Further, I didn’t have any choice in the date or time the doctor took me out of my mom's womb. This new found evidence gave me an opportunity to add one more dimension by adding God to the blame list. Since children are gifts from god and he was responsible for the 'timing' of his gifts. Then going by the theory that God has created everything could point to the fact that even stars were created by God and even the blame for the stars should actually be owned by the God, but I didn’t want to burden the god too much. For the time being, the timing sounded a fair enough blame.

Also, my notebook had the below analytical points on the future of the story. It is true that,
  1. I have met her only once
  2. I didn't speak to her even once
  3. I don’t know her name
  4. She may be writing an exam for which she was trying to study the other day
  5. She may not be a regular visitor to the library
  6. She may be coming to the library weekly only once.
  7. She may have met with an accident (God.. no.. don’t do that)
  8. She may not be feeling well
  9. May be she started to the library but the traffic was so heavy that she couldn't cross the road.
  10. She may be suffering from some disease and suddenly forgot the route to the library.
  11. blah blah blah raised to infinity
The list could have been endless hence l decided to stick to the original blame game because of its simplicity and finite possibilities. But in 5 minutes I figured out the limitations of my simplistic blaming of the stars and the god. If my reasoning is true, then the time and stars can’t be altered (forget about the black hole theories in reversing the times and Stephen Hawking). this means that there is fair enough probability that my luck with the girl wouldn't be altered as well. Ohh god that just cant be it. So I decided to withdraw my blames and save the stars and the God. I decided that I will try different timings to maximize my chances (in fact a bad probability proposition if you ask any mathematician, but mathematicians never had real girl friends, so damn those) until I meet her. I felt very confident that I would meet her again because from now on the God owed me big-I saved the fellow from some blame.

TBC...

My day out in Library


I went to the library in Abu Dhabi Cultural foundation yesterday also.

The building was around 3 or 4 kms from my uncle's place where I lived and I normally try to take a taxi to the foundation building. The cultural foundation is called something which had 'Sakafi' in Arabic and till date out of the 15 taxis I hired, only one recognized the name "Cultural Foundation". I had 2 options, to learn the cultural foundation's Arabic name (......sakafi) or educate the taxi drivers (97% Pakistanis) of the name “Cultural Foundation”. I chose the latter since it freed me from the effort of learning one more name [the freedom drives me most of the time :)] and, moreover I loved teaching.

I wasn't quite a library kind of person. I don’t even know what a library kind of person means but the conventional wisdom prompted me to classify things and here, all I meant is a person who goes to library out of utter boredom! I was getting so bored sitting at home and had come into terms with the fact that there weren’t many places to visit in Abu Dhabi and the heat made roaming around almost impossible. Moreover, you ought to have a lot of money to have fun in Abu Dhabi and by the sheer choice of my birth, I kind of eliminated that possibility.

My friend Lipsa once mentioned that we find interesting people inside a library. though I wasn't fully convinced about this opinion, I was pretty much ready to take my chances. Wise men (quite a lot of them, I have heard) say hope is what drives life, and my life in library was also driven by hopes. In the library, I chose essays and books about the cultures and societies in central middle east and I was interested in this category since I thought it would be a really boring reading and I won't be too engrossed in the book to miss out any chances of meeting somebody interesting, and to an extent also the fact that you do not get these literature easily available back home in India.

And there I was inside the plush library building and there weren’t many people inside. I walked towards my usual corner in the reading room.And wow, there was this very good looking girl in my usual corner. Out of sheer nonsense, I thought I would play it cool and with a made-up casual look I just went and sat at my usual spot-oblivious to the fact that it would have mattered anything at all to the girl, but wisdom comes much later in life. I thought I would speak to the girl; she was beautiful, looked Indian and most importantly seemed interesting. But I felt naive and to worsen it, I have heard that in this country you cannot talk to strange women and god forbid, if a woman complaints then your life is hell a.k.a prison in this dessert country....Also, in my 15 times visit to the library I haven’t heard any two people in the library talking to each other too (this made me often wonder what's wrong with the whole library setup in general).

The burden of this tradition and effect of the fear was quite evident on me and I decided to confine all my hopes in a smile and I smiled. But alas! I realized that I wasn’t even smiling but just staring at her trying to smile but trying in vain. I accepted my defeat and started reading 'the true stories of slave girls' which I picked along with my usual books for no apparent reasons comprehensible to human minds of the 21st century. In addition to the books, I was also equipped with a notebook for jotting down anything I found interesting and thought worth some googling later on.So there sat I scribbling down a lot on the notebook as if the notebook was responsible for all my miseries in life, so I had to  punish it with the sharpness of my pen. I had this strange sense that I felt like the girl seemed to be noticing my studious scribbles. The more I felt she was noticing, the more I punished the notebook. Now I feel silly, but that time it made perfect sense; it's funny that how the same things arouse two different emotions when it involves an opposite gender.

Excuse me! a sweet, gentle and kind sound hit my ears. Were I dreaming or this came from the girl, I didn't know but this girl definitely took the culture and society book from me and started to skim through it. I was so lucky to have chosen that book to keep it beside me, and in retrospect I should have had taken a lottery instead. The analytical mind swung suddenly into action and I thought there could be 3 possibilities: She is genuinely interested in culture, society, heritages etc,
She is interested in talking to me, and the more-truth-bound third option that she is so bored out of studying. I also thought of grouping all the other reasons on this earth under a fourth division and completely ignore that possibility. But the tradition and fear were still a barrier, and my hopes for the second possibility were so high that I started to prepare myself on how to talk, what to talk and very importantly what not to talk.

Somehow I felt that preparation was of paramount importance while talking to a girl and I thought of subjects from culture to religion to comedy, and movies to books to tragedy. The preparation time didn’t last very long; I saw her getting up and packing her things up. I was panic struck and didn’t know what to do. By the time I had enough time to be panic, amused and confused, she had already stood up with her things packed. I prayed for a Miracle! but damn! nothing! The dumb boy of Indian origin with a tummy full of the Arabic hummus bil leham didn't do anything in particular per se. But somehow he was lucky to realize that he once again wa simply staring at her face, So I managed a smile with greatest of efforts possible-I could have even moved mountains if I used that kind of efforts somewhere else. She give me a smile back revealing those pearly teeth and a slight dimple on her left cheek and then slowly left, so soft and gracious that even that dessert land looked like paradise and the boring library became a plush palace...

Whether she stood there for longer than usual or she was subtly asking me to come along without actually saying anything, I don't know till date; but I had to leave the intricacies and complexities of  a woman's mind to god though I doubt whether even he could comprehend it. Maybe all these were just figments of my imaginations. I would find out eventually, I thought. And that meant coming back again for the next 30 days religiously-what an arduous plan that was. Then I wrote a small poem, I thought I would share this poem with her the next time I see her...

    we sat there bound by the walls 
    but the hearts were opened by the souls
    her eyes dark, deep and mystic
    and hearts lost deep down in its depth
    sorrows left the poor hearts forever
    for the eyes might melt them otherwise
    I was in bliss; I was in heaven
    I was in but pure joy

I am anything but a poet, nor I was very good at plagiarism, and these qualities made sure that the poem didn't come out as even a mediocre one, but still I knew, it was a good way to start a conversation :-)))