The insightful is delightful

It is said:

“A thing is more than meets the eye.”

What is that ‘more about a thing’, which our eyesight fails to see? Is there an adequately developed tool or a finely sharpened technique that can make the camouflaged aspect of a thing visible so that we could explore its utility for the conduct of our living? How worthwhile is it for a man to fight for something which lies beyond his sight?

It would not be an overstatement perhaps to say that the entire quest of Man over historic time is an attempt to comprehend and articulate the hidden dimension of reality which remains camouflaged beyond his sight?

However, this exercise has not been so easy a task, because attainment of cognitive excellence is much more than an intellectual exercise. It is far bigger than the optimal utilisation of the sensory organs and the ‘eye of the mind’, which are just tuned and trained for the conduct of intelligent living.

Perhaps that is why Lord Byron said:

“Sorrow is knowledge, those that know the most must mourn the deepest. The tree of knowledge is not the tree of life.”

T.H. Huxley also so succinctly remarked:

“If a little learning is dangerous, how can man hope to be out of danger with so much of learning?”

How can a man be at rest then, when so much is as yet left for him to learn in a small life-time? More than that, can he ever comprehend infinite knowledge through the limited ability of a finite mind?

Seers say, ‘knowledge for understanding’ is far more superior to the knowledge for living.

Personal excellence implies more than an intelligent living. To achieve that, one ought to explore ‘the eye of the heart’, which facilitates a deeper understanding. However it remains normally dormant, inactivated, unutilised, and almost shut in us for a larger part of the lifetime.

The eye of the mind produces a vision, a thought, or an opinion for intellectual excellence. However, the eye of the heart produces an insight, and it is far superior to thoughts and opinions, as natural byproducts of the intellect.

On the contrary, a flair of Insight is the moment of Truth for a man. An insight is a perfect state of inner perception…it is the ‘perception of one’s invisibility’, and that precisely is the beginning of light, which in turn shapes and supplements one’s capability of higher-vision…the purging of one’s own perception to the state of pure delight.

In a definite sense,

Transition from an Assessment mode to an Understanding mode is the basis of an individual’s metamorphosis. This is the moment when one has an encounter with his real self and a taste of his own liberation with a flash of overwhelming light.

Seers have called this as ‘insightful learning’ or the path to ‘self-realization’ which occurs only, and only when one’s perception is directed inside.

As it happens, one gathers the uncanny strength to cautiously move along the blinding alleys of his mind and beyond that to the depth of the centre of his being, which is the witness of all happening…with complete stillness.

Experience tells us about Existence, where as insight tells us about Truth. That is the essence of life, which we so painfully strive for all through our lives, to be in peace.

He, who can meticulously discover the meeting point of his head and heart, can only hope to open up the door of his soul…He can also aspire to be blessed with the power of insight, the overwhelming flash of his effervescent soul which can liberate him with a vision of Truth in a domain of unending delight…

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Do we live in a make believe world?

An intriguing set of questions often prick the mind:

How difficult is it to live in the world?

Is there a simple way to optimise my living in this world?

How does the way I choose, make any difference to me, and to the world?

These are those basic questions that build the basis of a man’s living in the world. If one can honestly address these basic questions, he can hopefully strike a healthy equation with himself and to & fro, with the world.

As it is said,

“Making peace with oneself is making peace with the world.”(A.H.Maslow)

But the fact is that man is a highly individualistic animal. Each has his idiosyncratic approach to life. Each spins a philosophy of his own, nurtures a dream and paints a world of his own. Each carries a wish-fulfilling vision of himself and about the world. And in that definite sense, each is a Universe in himself, living in a make-believe world!

But the real test of what makes sense to me lies in how it makes sense to the world as well.

The test of a personal philosophy lies in its universal appeal as well…!

All great reformers know this basic thing and work on that. They understand that the world is much more than them. This basic flair of insight builds in them a ‘living-faith’, a guiding principle which makes them fully functioning human beings and active agents of change in their world. Gandhiji strongly believed in this living-faith and called it as “Truth in Action”.

When this basic realization dawns there is no stopping from a subjective intuition from gaining enough momentum to take the shape of a “Collective Action”. This is the stepping beyond mere intellectualisation to the actualisation of a thought in the real-life situation.

This as such is the resurgence of a man and in itself, his resurrection.

This is the metamorphosis of an otherwise mystic to an honest activist, and his transmigration from a make-believe-world to the real-world and its delightful celebration.

Bless Yourself

Being blessed is being in a state of fullness, by sheer Grace. It is a heightened state of feeling when one feels free of all incompleteness, yet having the humble realization that ‘I do not deserve this’. It is also having a sense of gratitude in confessing that ‘I have got more than what I am up to’.

In this very sense, being blessed is an elevation of one’s individuality to the realm of absolute humility. It is precisely in having this basic realization that happiness happens and peace and bliss simply ensue as a trickling dividend.

But is it so easy to attain the state of such blessedness?

The answer can be both, Yes and No. Because, it is founded up on a simple rationalization of thinking which we seldom do.

A Simple Truth about the phenomenon of Man is that Man gets back from the world up to which he is really worthy. However, if he fails in that, it raises enough questions for him to introspect where he really went wrong. The proactive one takes all responsibility himself and introspects. This simple soul-searching reinforces his faith in himself and makes him focus his entire attention on his Action, without premeditating up on the fruits it may conceivably bear. Action is the sole premise where up on stands a genuinely valiant Man!

This is also the basic message that Lord Krishna tried to convey in these words to the perplexed fighter Arjuna on the battlefield of Mahabharat:

“Uddharet atmainatmanam.”

(Liberate yourself, Oh Arjuna!, by youself!)

It is precisely this basic realization that makes one tune with his inner-self to get over from his confusion and effortlessly carry forward the call of his situation. However, there is a lot of subtlety involved in the process of making a value judgment which only can validates one’s action. And when an action is buttressed by adequate value addition, it gives a man sufficient strength to purge him-self from all inhibitions which otherwise begets guilt and makes him feel as falling from grace.

This is the moot point which has to be deeply meditated up on.

If one tries go deep in to analyzing his actions and it’s after effects, he can very well understand how he can establish an equation with himself and the world to and fro, so that it begets optimum good for him and the world as well. For, it is by virtue of our Action only that we become more than what we are and evolve as fully functioning individual entities and social-persons.

But so long as our actions are directed at our narrow personal interest, this simple Truth keeps us eluding from a direct revelation and prevents us from getting truly blessed.

The sooner we rise from our narrow personal cocoons and see ourselves as representatives of Humanity in furthering the will of Divinity through our distinctively ordained vocations; we can understand that we are actually active participants in a much greater project which is larger and taller than our basic selves.

Let us take the analogy of a burning candle, identify ourselves with it and meditate for a while up on it. A candle makes itself shorter and lesser in the process of burning, but in that very process, glows far, far beyond its circumference. It is not for nothing that a candle is given a Divine status in this dictum:

“Deepamjyoti Parambrahmah”

(The flame of a burning candle is the manifestation of the Supreme Lord)

Can’t we make our lives nobler like a burning candle and get blessed from atop by the Supreme Lord?

In that very sense, ‘being blessed’ is very much in our hand, but only if we can transcend our basic egocentricity and elevate our actions from a personal objective to an impersonal goal. He who succeeds in doing so ceases to be a captive ‘Some-One’ and becomes a representative character of Humanity, a glorious ‘No-One’, like the burning candle.

Such a person lives in the realm of sheer Grace and is truly blessed.

With a little flash of deep insight only we can evolve like such a Man.

In fact, Blessing lies in a magic of understanding.

How about exploring this mystery in these words:

Bless Yourself. (Be less Your-self, like the burning candle)

And in that very process…Bless yourself…!!

Aside

On being a good self therapist

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Every man is in search of his Good-Self.

But, what is the best possible condition which could make him face-to-face with his Good-Self? Who can facilitate the making of this condition and arrange an exciting encounter with this faithful partner, one’s Good-Self?

A man’s condition can be best visualized as the sum total of his efficiencies and deficiencies. The optimization of his potential is the basic premise up on which he empowers himself to live in and with the world.

In this very sense, Man himself is his own project. He himself is his own instrument. He himself is his sole determinant. He can make this project a successful one, if he overcomes his deficiencies, actualizes his efficiencies and systematically removes the blocks that hinder his individuality to optimally flourish.

He may seek the best possible ways and means for help and guidance to this end from the most able persons, but so long as the ‘urge to purge one-self’ does not come from deep-within, no amount of help can really help!

Because,

This is an exclusively original, very much private and personal exercise.

Self-therapy, in this sense, is a continuous process for personal-growth.

However, the concept of self-therapy should not be interpreted in a pathological sense. It carries a far wider connotation than mere ‘treatment’, which is often done by an outside agency that makes a symptomatic study of the subject and prescribes suggestions or medications with a list of do’s and don’ts for quick healing from his ailment, be it physiological, psychological or philosophical. In that very sense a man seeking for a treatment is advised and prescribed. To be precise, he is other-directed.

However, when one relies always on agencies outside oneself for addressing his perplexities, he can never evolve to be self-directed. This deficiency as such, checks a man from achieving personal-growth which is the sole basis for a complete change or metamorphosis.

In as much as a person is other-directed, he remains in a state of borrowed-existence, ironically deriving the strength, spirit and zest for life from a source other than him-self! Living life always in such a state can be pitiable indeed. For, such a man perpetually waits for a guide, a helper, or a companion from outside to provide him with a formula to work with, or a ‘road-map’ to walk along.

Is not it a dehumanizing exercise, paradoxically directed at oneself, which negates one’s own self-esteem, inherent in his intrinsic worth?

Is not it like making an approval of the other at the cost of disapproving oneself and his very own personal-worth??

And if it is really so, how can one possibly get out from this self-sealing coffin which is devoid of both an inward and an outward latch? Where can one get his help from to get out of this abominable trap?

This is the most perplexing question which man confronts all along his life! No one, even the likes of the mighty Arjuna and wiser Bhisma were immune to this perplexity. It comes at some or other phase of almost everyone’s life and takes an acid-test on the strength of his individuality.

However, those are the deciding moments of a man’s life. Those are the moments of “Full-load-Test” which not only testify, but justify one’s worth in making a fully functioning complete life in itself.

As we look at the lives of all the successful men from diverse sections of the society, we can apparently see these ‘deciding-moments’ which were not only highly revealing and elevating for themselves, but served as good pointer to the presence of equal worth of every man for realization of his potential.

It is in these stressful moments of one’s life that the greatest strength comes not from an outside agency, but from a much deeper source…from the core of a silent-partner which hides very much deep within, in the realm of one’s own, inner-Being!

Making a habit of talking one to one with that silent partner is perhaps the finest therapeutic exercise which cleanses the soul and roots out the ailment of spirit that keeps one haunting from deep-within.

Making a beginning of this exercise is not only difficult but really tough!

But once started, it rewards one with the highest dividend and that is the discovery of and fusion with one’s true individuality which is Authentic Self!

God Exists?

God exists?

This is perhaps the most enigmatic question of philosophy since Ages. Groping with this question is not only fascinating, but perplexing as well. I had a wonderful experience of having a stint with this question, which I trace back to the formative years of my early twenties….

Everyone in my college was in admiration of a young professor of physics, who had created a sensation in writing an article, “God is a Mighty Superstition”, for my university magazine.

Going through it, I had a sudden sense of estrangement, grown-up as I was in the ethos, ethics, and way of a religious-life…almost used to tag every activity of mine as an oblation to God, the Ultimate-Entity. The professor’s question made me brainstorm the whole of a night to find a foundation, but not to my benefit.

I could not however counsel myself to put a full stop to this question and preferred to go with it instead, to my philosophical-mentor, Late Dr. K.S.R. Murthy, himself a great authority of Physics and more than that, a celebrated writer on Philosophy.

As I rushed to him, and released the pent-up feeling generated by the perplexity of the question, he just comforted me with an ingenious smile, and said: Don’t ever ask this question in an intellectual forum because, this question carries within it an inbuilt inconsistency.

Remember this. Do not ever ask anybody, ‘Does God Exist’?

Because,

God exists or not is not the real question. The real question is, even if God exists, how can one conceive a concept that transcends infinity, through the finite capacity of human-mind and express his experience through mere words, crippled with a limited communicability?

If you can, ask instead do I exist? Does Man exist? Does Humanity exist? Does dignity and justice for Man and Humanity really exist? And simply ask yourself, what is your role in it? What is the best possible way to follow so that Man and Humanity can healthily co-exist?

If you can honestly address the why-and-how of these questions, you will definitely find out a pointer, a thread, or a path, treading along which, I am sure, you can empower yourself to have an indirect conception of the concept of God, Divinity, and Eternity…if ever they really exist…

As I tried to relive the sensation of those words, suddenly I sensed a chilling sensation run down my spine…and I felt as if an overwhelming shiver passed through the depth of my Being in a shrug, towards infinity…

More than four decades have passed since then. And I have never felt like thinking over the question yet again. But, whenever I come across the God-Word, the good-words of Dr Murthy keeps on resounding in my mind again and again…

“Do not ever ask anybody, ‘Does God Exist’…

If you can, ask instead, do I exist? Does Man exist? Does Humanity exist? Does dignity and justice for Man and Humanity really exist? And what is my role in it? What is the best possible way to follow so that Man and Humanity can healthily co-exist?

If you can honestly address the why-and-how of these questions, you will definitely find out a pointer, a thread, or a path, treading along which, I am sure, you can empower yourself to have an indirect conception of the concept of God, Divinity, and Eternity…if ever they really exist…”

Putting Head-in-Heart

Head and Heart occupy so important places in the shaping of human psyche that it is said:

“One must have his head-in-heart standing before God.”

 

Why before God alone, one must stand before life too having his head-in-heart because, that is perhaps the finest posturing for an intrinsic-learning for the conduct of a Good-Life. Let us try to explore it how…

 

How do we learn? What is the appropriate-organ of learning? And what are the intricacies involved in learning? A simple analogy may make it clear.

 

When a child starts a day dressing up for school, he is on his readiness for schooling. If we ask him where you are going, he would just say: “I am going to school for learning.” This readiness-to-learn or openness-to-learn is perhaps the basic ingredient of learning. However, the degree of this openness varies between one child and another. One learns faster and another becomes slower. That only defines the ‘adequateness’ of the child to learn his lesson.

 

This is equally so with every aspect of life…The whole world is an open-school, and living here is a life-long learning.

The stronger one’s urge for learning, the faster he learns, the better he lives.

 

Putting it in a similar light, our strength of understanding about the world corresponds to the strength of the organ of cognition developed in us. The more one tries to strengthen it, he becomes a better-perceiver and a fast-learner. And this is a constant process of improvising ourselves in the process of learning through living.

 

At times, a small thing stands out as a strong pointer to a big-understanding and an insignificant happening sends away strong signal for a great-revelation. But, this illumination happens only with the person, who can notice the hidden aspect of an event or a situation as he confronts it.

 

However a fair amount of subtlety lies behind this process of learning. Learning is not just a matter of mind. It is also a matter of heart and soul. Hence, great teachers advise to put ‘head-in-heart’ before setting out for learning. In such a state there is just ‘bare-attention’, an unadulterated state of mind, which makes flow of communication, to and fro, almost effortless and free.

 

This is a state where nothing comes in between.

There is just the percept and the perceiver…It is just like Arjuna seeing nothing but ‘the eye-of-the-fish’ and…nothing but ‘the-eye-of-the-fish’

 

Learning is a matter of mind. But, Understanding is a matter of heart. And Learning fails to be complete without an Understanding by Heart…

 

In that sense, learning has been assigned a lower status than understanding, though one is the stepping stone to another…

Understanding follows only after Learning…just like a bout of intuition or a flash of lightening.

 

Hence the very best of the communicators advise to put head-in-heart before being on one’s readiness for learning. This is so with everything we do in life, be it pursuing a study, learning the Art of Painting to Cooking, striving to make a relationship…And standing before God, doing a Prayer…

 

Work done putting ‘Head-in-Heart’ becomes as good as an offering.

 

 

 

The Language of God

The Language of God

The search for a meaning, a pattern, an order or a purpose in the over all phenomenon of The Universe is a ceaseless and ongoing process.

Since the dawn of intelligence, man is in a constant process of spinning a constructive theory for himself and a conclusive theory of The Universe.

The beauty of this incessant quest is revealed in the exciting adventure of Man along diametrically two opposite directions: toward deep-inside and far-outside. The beautiful tapestry of the Microcosm and the overwhelming grandeure of the Macrocosm fuse together in the mind of man in the search for a meaning in chaos and random.

Man’s search for ‘The Great Unifying Principle’ or the ‘Penultimate Theory of the Universe’ either with a scientific or with a religious zeal is perhaps the one-point-programme of man across all faiths and beliefs. However, the purpose remains one and the same, i.e. to unravel the Truth behind the phenomenon of existence.

The spiritualist sees in it ‘The Language of God’ and the scientist sees in it ‘The Law of the Universe’. Metaphors seem to differ, however the meanings seem to rhyme together.

Warner Heisenberg, the Nobel Laureate physicist and propounder of quantum mechanics had this to say, with such a flair of holistic-insight about this universal-search of man for a meaning in chaos:
“I have always been fascinated by the relation between the ancient teachings of the East and the philosophical consequences of the modern quantum theory.”

While scientists have as yet been unable to deliver an asymptotic metaphor to describe the Law that govern the Universe, great spiritualists have also been unable to deliver an asymptotic metaphor to define the Language of God and settle with an indirect answer saying, Neti…Neti…(Not That, Not That). And the search for that wonder-word still goes on to decode the language of God…

However,
Language languishes as one attempts to define The Language of God!!

In spite of it, we have to have faith in ourselves and go on spinning a constructive theory for ourselves and a conclusive theory of The Universe. Only by upholding this rock-like faith, as Abraham Maslow so convincingly says, in his book, Religion,Values and Peak-Experiences:

“…it is possible for all of us…to accept in principle the empirical spirit and empirical methods and to humbly admit that knowledge is not complete, that it must grow, that it is in time and space, in history and in culture, and that, though it is relative to man’s power and to his limits, it can yet come closer and closer to “The Truth” that is not dependent on man.

This road can be traveled together by all who are not afraid of truth, not only by theists and non-theists, but also by individuals…(of diverse-dimensions).

Going along this way perhaps, we can hope to have an indirect glimpse of that wonder-word, that magical-metaphor which is potent enough to convey The Law of The Universe or The Language of God…

Peak Experience: Glimpse of A Beautiful Mind

(This write-up is just a sharing of the concept of ‘Peak-Experience’, coined by the great psychologist Abraham H Maslow, of the school of Humanistic Psychology. It is an outcome of his decade long research on mature human beings. An understanding of its role in the dynamics of human mind can open up immense possibilities for the shaping up of a Beautiful Mind.
I share this as a tribute to Maslow and hence quote him at length (in Blue), to leave with the reader full discretion to understand and evaluate the strength as well as efficacy of the concept of Peak Experience, in totality.)

Maslow says:
“The term peak experience is a generalization for the best moments of the human being, for the happiest moments of his life, for experience of ecstasy, rapture, bliss, of the greatest joy…When I asked my subjects, after they have described their peak experiences, how the world looked different to them… during and after peak experiences, it would be: truth, beauty, wholeness, dichotomy-transcendence, aliveness-process, uniqueness, perfection, necessity, completion, justice, order, simplicity, richness, effortlessness, playfulness, and self-sufficiency.’

In fact almost all of us, sometime or other, have gone through such beautiful moments in our life, like profound aesthetic experiences of creative ecstasies, moments of mature love, natural childbirth, service to the needy, rising to an occasion, making sacrifices, etc. which have given us a sense of deep fulfillment. Such moments of heightened mental states make us rediscover our own life and the world from a new vintage point and make our life worth living. In short, a moment of peak experience becomes the Moment of Truth for us and the beauty of this Truth validates our life with a meaning and purpose. This Moment of Truth works like a revelation or a ‘Midas-Touch’ and a sort of total change or metamorphosis takes place in the structure and content of the individuality.

By virtue of this, the Peak-experiencers not only possess the ability and impetus to actualize their highest potentials but also they carry within themselves the ability to transcend, i.e. they can easily transcend reality and come back at ease, thereby having wonderful characteristics of a unbiased, detached observer.
People evolved this way are revered as fully human, compassionate entities, very much akin to the saints, great teachers and social reformers. We may say them as the “Salt of the Earth”.

Maslow highlights some wonderful characteristics of the peak-experiencers in these words. We can very well assess ourselves in light of these traits of the truly evolved, peak-experiencers.

1. Peak experiences become the most important things in their lives, the high spots, the validators of life…
2. They speak easily, normally, naturally, and unconsciously in the language of being…
3. They perceive unitively or sarcally (i.e. the sacred within the secular), or they see the sacredness of all things at the same time.
4. They are much more consciously and deliberately metamotivated…perfection, truth, beauty, goodness, unity, dichotomy-transcendence…are their most important motivations.
5. They seem somehow to recognize each other…even in the first meeting.
6. They have aesthetic responses more easily than other people do.
7. They are more holistic about the world.
8. They can easily live in deficiency realm and in the being realm of life at ease. This way they can reconcile with life situations more easily.

These are some important characteristics of the people who have gone beyond peak experience to self-actualization and farther ahead as good transcenders.
We have our own analogy of such people in our religious heritage too, though we define them in different terms. However, we use to look at them with awe, wonder and reverence though forgetting that it is equally possible on our part to evolve ourselves to that level.
If we take a cue from the heightened state of our being during our own Peak Experiences, we can understand that we too have a Divine-Spark lurking within us, which is the primordial source of our own joy, happiness, and fulfillment as well as of unlimited possibilities for social good.

Human nature has its farther reaches. And we can explore its far reaching possibilities by not just empowering our own mind, but also beautifying it with utmost sincerity and devotion.
Looking back at our own Peak-Experiences in retrospection, we can muster enough convictions to believe that, being more-human is not only feasible, but also if we are sincere enough, we can make it possible!!