Friday, 30 December 2016

Year End Musings

Year End Musings :

Today is the last day of the year, end of a calendar year. Tomorrow is the beginning of a calendar year. One year ends and another begins. Do you actually pin point today as the end of the year or tomorrow as the beginning of the year? There is no beginning and there is no end. Its a continuum . We have calibrated for our convenience . Each day is new one , a rebirth. When we sleep in the night , and wake up the next morning , if all our senses are working, including the consciousness , we know we are alive otherwise we don't know. That knowing that we are alive , after we wake up is in itself a new birth. Everyday we temporarily die when we go to sleep and reborn when we wake up, until the consciousness , permanently leaves the being. Live everyday, between death and birth.
In that living , give a thought , Who is living?
Birth is not the beginning and Death is not the end . Its continuum Wherever birth is there, Death is there in its shadow. Wherever Death is there, Birth is there in its shadow. They are inseparable, like day and night. We (our consciousness or life force or aatma, whatever you call it) have been before birth, hence its not the beginning. We will be after death also, hence, its not the end. Consciousness comes into the being through birth and goes through death. Perhaps birth is a door, and death too! Perhaps they are the same door, just the direction is different. When we enter this door we read the word push, and when we go out the same door, from the other side, only the word changes: pull.
But the real thing is: Who is to push and who is to pull?
Who is it who knows of birth and death and who is it who experiences birth and death?
Again: who is it who does not know where we come from and where we go ?
It is the same being. Awakened it knows, asleep it does not know.
Who is it who suddenly realizes where he comes from and where he goes to?
Have a wonderful and Awakening Year.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016


“Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler.”  -- Dr. Samuel Johnson
Idling is the "act of doing nothing"
And doing nothing is not Laziness by any means. It’s a choice and way of life. For some reason deciding to do nothing is seen as negative and something only lazy people do. There are some very subtle differences between the two words Lazy and Idle , which means we can’t use them completely interchangeably. For example, “lazy” will always have a negative connotation; it will give us a very negative idea of the person it’s being used to describe. So lazy is always seen as a very bad thing. 

However, idle can be used in other contexts, still to mean something or someone doesn’t work, but without the negative judgement
Doing nothing does not mean, literally doing nothing. The idler does not ‘work’ for benefits(monetary or otherwise) and you will not see him in the rat race for position, power, money etc.,

*Recent research suggests that, though our instinct is for idleness, people will pick upon the flimsiest excuse to keep busy. Moreover, people feel happier for being busy, even if their busyness is imposed upon them. In their paper, Idleness aversion and the need for justifiable busyness (2010), Hsee and colleagues surmise that many purported goals that people pursue may be little more than justifications for keeping busy.
This, I believe, is a manifestation of the manic defence: the tendency, when presented with uncomfortable thoughts or feelings, to distract the conscious mind either with a flurry of activity or with the opposite thoughts or feelings. 'To do nothing at all,' said Oscar Wilde, 'is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.'*

Have you ever given a thought, what people did before the advent of this ‘Work’ culture of 9-5?

After the advent of Industrial revolution in the west, work has become the byword for ‘living’. Our society values work, productivity and ‘doing’ and not ‘Living’. Not being engaged in some type of activity is seen as negative and unproductive. Consider the inherent danger in non-stop productivity. It can separate you from yourself. If you don’t work , you have no Identity. If you are always doing, when do you get a chance to just be? And in the present world, work is everything, including your Identity. You run the risk of seeing your identity only in terms of what you do, and not in terms of what you are. Work is not an enemy, it only becomes the enemy when we allow work to take over our lives and our sense of self. When we ask  the question “who are you?” and we reply ” I am an accountant, lawyer, policeman, CEO…”, it is a sign that our self worth and our identity is based on the economic value of the job we do! Doing nothing will give you a chance to reconnect with your inner self*.

Idleness, is a  movement to stop all movement. An invitation to fully be in the present moment. A moment to simply embrace life as it is. As such, being idle can become a part of the broader celebration of life
Doing absolutely nothing costs absolutely nothing.
 In Allan Watts words :
Nothing is easier than to give up the world, because one is incompetent in the affairs of the world. There is no wisdom in scorning riches simply because one is unable to obtain them, nor in despising the pleasures of senses, because one has not the means of fulfilling them. If the desire for these things exists, and if that desire is thwarted by circumstances, to add self deception to frustration, is to exchange a lesser hell for a greater. No hell is worse than that in which one lives without knowing it. For the desire which is scorned for no other reason than it cannot be satisfied is the greatest of man’s enemies.

*from Psychology Today by  Dr.Neel Burton 

Friday, 16 December 2016

Who or What is the 'I' in my being?

Who or what  is the ‘I’ in my being 
( an humble attempt to knowing ‘I’)
All our crucial internal physical process in our body like  -- blood circulation, digestion, heart beat, cell functions and divisions, our physical growth from birth, hunger, thirst, etc. etc., -- functions without any consent from ‘ME’. Do these functions take instructions from ‘ME’? A BIG NO! when the body is hungry, or it feels that to pee, the body sends signals to Brain and ‘I’ act according to its direction. Most of the times ‘I’ act or react to the body and its senses. From the time “I” got conceived in my mother’s womb, it (All internal body functions) works  completely like an automatic mechanism. Then , what is the function of “I” in this body ? Who is this ‘I” at all, in this whole scenario? Whether the “I” is in the body or outside of it?  I don’t know. ‘I’ know , ‘I’ exist only through the  senses. When my senses don’t function, I do not exist, like when I sleep or unconscious. Sense’s by itself does not mean anything , they need the ‘Mind’ to receive the data it sees or receives,  to comprehend. So, if one has functional senses and don’t have a mind, then also it seems one does not exist. Its funny, isn’t it. So , in all ‘Mind’ is the key . And, Mind is related to brain. Most people do not find any difference between the two words ‘mind’ and ‘brain’. Most scientists and thinkers believe that the brain and the mind are one and cannot be separated. Most of the time these two words are used interchangeably. While brain is considered to be a physical thing, mind is not. It is believed that the minds place is brain, but no one has proved that yet.
So, coming back to the query of “I”. ‘I’ am not the physical body, then! Physical body is there , only , to manifest the “I” or whatever it is.
So, is the ‘Mind’ is what we call ‘I’? Let me think. THINK? Who is thinking? Big question ? Normally, people say, ‘thinking’ happens in ‘Mind’. It is generally agreed that mind is that which enables a being to have subjective awareness and intentionality towards their environment, to perceive and respond to stimuli it receives from sense organs and to have consciousness, including thinking and feeling etc., So, whatever, my ‘thinking’ , ‘expreiences’ etc.,  is the result of all the stimuli , my sense organs receives and processed by the Mind, since , may be from my birth or even earlier from inside my mother’s womb! *The mind is an instrument of thinking and sensing on various levels. Mind is called the ‘inner instrument’ or antahkarana  in Sanskrit, related to the body which is our outer instrument. The mind is looked upon as the sixth sense after the five bodily senses and is regarded as an organ, not our true being or the basis of our sense of self. The mind is a product of time and outer experiences, which leave their characteristic marks upon it. So, Mind cannot be the ‘I’, since it appears only  in relation to senses.
But, sometimes , it is ‘observed’ that there is some ‘entity’(inside or outside, no idea)  which seems to ‘see’ or ‘observing’ what I am thinking or doing without any involvement, as if some cc camera is recording all the activity without any action or reaction to what it is recording. Is it the ‘I’ that I am searching?  I Think, some people call it ‘Consciousness’!
*Yoga regards consciousness, called Chit as something other than the mind or Chitta . Chit is pure consciousness unmodified by any mental activity. Chit is awareness of what is called the Purusha, the inner Being, for which the mind is but a tool of perception and expression.
Then, the question is --- Is there no such thing as ‘I’ in my being? Only pure consciousness and the physical body is simply  acting as a vehicle?
 (Conclusion: think, Still long way to go, before the mystery is revealed)

*italics -- taken from Yoga sutras.