Saturday, September 26, 2009

Overload of Information

Lots of information enters into our mind through our sense - doors (eyes,ears).There is lot of information which is generated through our thoughts.Its not possible for us to cut away our eyes, nose and ears.Without Maya there may be no spiritual enlightenment.But this information overload makes me crazy sometimes.I performed some experiments using myself as a guinea pig :(

My conclusions are:
The enviornment always moulds us slowly.Sometimes our minds are weak and get threatened by the surrounding.Sometimes we cave in.But for the most part we can avoid the unwholesome environments.We can stay away from people who spread their negativity.If we are strong enough to fight the battle,then we can survive,if not we need rest and contemplation.With our own spiritual integrity we can reach a stage where we can take the bad experience coming in and churn out goodness.We can choose the better part in any duality.But we need to ripen to that stage.Personally I fight everyday with my fits of anger,laziness,pride and ignorance.There is a part of me which accepts my clay feet.Buddhist Meditation talks about vows which strengthen our ability to become wiser.Few vows add to our development.They help us from staying away from trouble and also make us more disciplined.

Note: This blog only caters to the topic of spirituality.My opinions may be biased and I try to write the gist of the whole experience.Most of the time I don't add any of the failures I have had on the way.Many blog readers think that I would have all the ideals (100%) as I write.These are the ideals I want to achieve and as always being a human,it is a work in progress.There are lot of fatal mistakes that I have made that I am not proud of.But the blog focuses on sharing the spiritual enquiry which can of be some gain to others.

Trying to define Culture

Ug Krishnamurti talks about how the Culture has to go exit from our lives.According to him all knowledge is interpreted on our own level.If we have crossed the seas of ignorance every action will contain wisdom in it.If we are still at the nascent stage of illusory dominance then we look at everything from that perspective.I understood culture as something which we vaguely define by ancient monuments,old tunes of classical music and conservative fashion( which is a death to self expression).But as my knowledge in anthropology and history increases I begin to understand the present better.History is the guiding light to the present moment.But culture is also not a narrow set of rituals which when not followed will lead us directly to hell.So this whole charade of trying to protect our ancient heritage by the way we dress or talk is absurd.Every human being is unique and has a desire to express their uniqueness.Some people go the other way and shock the conservatives by expressing themselves in a weird/obscene way.
But this expression is a search for respect and value.Any ritual which aims to provide spiritual peace ultimately should not be contaminated by our own doses of ignorance or fear.

Then why are these rituals which bound us and not allow us to grow as human beings still around.History can provide us with an answer.In ancient India Buddhism gained a upper hand and was the major religion for many centuries(I don't know the exact timeline)This change from Hinduism to Buddhism happened because our main stream Hindu culture had become contaminated by weird rituals and human sacrifice.The remnants of these can be still found.Sati,child marriage,ill treatment of widows,sacrifice of animals(horse sacrifice etc) were so common.They were practiced till the late 1950's.Then Sankaracharya arrived on the scene and tried to remove the evil rituals and succeeded to an extent.Hinduism began its attempt to rise to glory.But Sankaracharya actions were made as rituals themselves,which is a ironical twist to his existence.If he was alive now,he would be disappointed by how people have formed his philosophy into a cult.Vivekananda failed to built a ashram which had no idols.Every time when an ashram was built the monks found a way to keep idols and pray.His dream of having a empty room to pray was never achieved.His idols are being used as gods themselves.Buddha had to face the same fate.His teachings of questioning everything and reaching nirvana went no where.After his death he was made into a "Super God."
May be our brains are wired to imitate and find easier routes to higher consciousness.Our minds are constantly telling us that,by exactly doing what others do we can reach the goal.The quote of J Krishnamurti can help us here.He says "Truth is a pathless land ."

The new definition of culture, I feel as spiritual aspirant I should learn is that there is nothing like a fixed way to the goal.May be some traditions and rituals may grant us some peace and serenity.But without our sharp logic and reasoning blade we cannot proceed.Many of them are contaminated by the use of male dominance.Some of them urge us to use our wealth to reach divinity.
Every being is capable of attaining the highest limits.Culture which makes me weak,which somehow gives me a ego boost,which helps me bully others...will be discarded.Ug Krishnamurti meant that this kind of culture which expresses itself in various negative ways should be discarded.He also showed a higher level where we can throw away the whole plate of religion,spirituality and also other theories.I have not reached that level.I don't know whether I would be able to hold myself on my own.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I have always aimed for perfection.It is a hard place to reach as the common definitions which are thrown around leave no room for failures.I had a rather skewed idea of how things had to be done.To me either I should become the best OR I should never try it (in the first place).That made me miss out on lot of other opportunities in my life. Only after I joined the workplace after my masters ,I started realizing the importance of “Learning curves”

There is a theory which suggests that any vocation if taken up for 10,000 hours leads to greatness.But we need the passion and creativity to start in the first place.Then when we put hours of practice into it we achieve the desired results.Each of our lives are unique and we need skills to tackle the obstacles which often come up.So trying to imitate others leads to disaster.Also we need role models who can suit our goals.We are wired to think only about rewards and success as the world appreciates only when we win.Rote learning and never acknowledging our failures also becomes a habit.That's one of the greatest differences I see between the Indian educational system and Western educational system.Many of my colleagues who had western education would boldly tell the instances they failed to deliver the results.They will be the first to announce that they "Don't Know".They see education as a process of trial and error.No wonder the western world has produced great innovators who continue to inspire and motivate others.

Perfection is a ideal which we can never reach.It is a obsession to be the best.Like Alexander we may conquer many goals but at the end,we may not have time to enjoy it.Whenever I get into this mode of trying to out perform, I think about the real important things in life.A win gives our ego a high ecstatic feeling,but like all other feelings it is transient.Trying to do the best in the present moment and keeping all our ego ambitions on our back burner will be the ideal solution.But to put this principle in practice is very difficult.My mind gets preoccupied with future and gets charged up trying to make plans to reach perfection.One of the ways which helped me immensely was to look at the bigger picture.When my mind gets obsessed with any admission into a PhD program for a Ivy league university....I remind myself how billions of people are without education.The better approach for dealing with the problem would include me being thankful for the opportunity I was given to further my education.

Reference :
How to escape perfectionism?
By Peter Bergman