Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Making Peace

The last 10 years have been very difficult for me (and my family).My father;s illness(severe complications of diabetes) has traumatised my family making each one of the affected parties more fragile.The first thing which such illness brings to any family is fear.At a very young age, I had to come to terms with painful topics such as blindness,disability and death.Every time the phone rang, I was scared to answer it.So many nights have I spent, researching medical journals for a miracle cure.My mother's worried voice,my brother's brave sacrifice has made my own journey of fear look so infinitesimally small.The psychosomatic pains which throng my body in grief have slowly vanished away.My own experiments of trying to mimic my father's disability has also reduced.Slowly we have accepted nature's way.It seems in the best interest to let go of past grief of broken lives.Some desires may never be fulfilled.Some desires may remain hidden deep within each of us.One of the biggest problems I faced with relating to these major pitfalls of life,was I never could find anyone to relate to,in my own age group.Everyone around me were merrying their new found youth and building away castles of sand on rocky beaches.I was busy searching for answers....
Why bad things happen to good people???That was one of the books I read(one of the hundreds of books I read).It was written by a Jewish Rabbi who had lost his son to a illness.I scoured through every science and philosphical book I could find, searching for answers.I made millions of comparisons with others...and found them far more luckier than me.Slowly as I travelled through the difficult phase...all comparisons stopped.My own self worth shined brightly sometimes and my depressive spells vanished completely.I do go though a "pity party" every now and then,but who can have a constant blazing positive life.I dont know whether the results can be completely tied to meditation or a spiritual yearning.May be I am ignorant of the vicissitudes of life.
But I am thankful for the journey and the wisdom which was obtained along the way...
The Zen way of saying it would be " I appreciate the beauty of the flower and the peace of the still lake"
The flowers exist not in comparison and the lake never allows any of its ripples, to destroy its stillness...

As I write this,I find within myself an emotion. which is like peace or may be acceptance.But I think this feeling, may also mean that the journey was not to find answers but to fully absorb the question itself.I am very appreciative of the human contacts that are important in my life.The many things that we would take for granted,may be the one thing which others will lack.I have come to understand the power of love and also the gift of hope.
In hope we live...In hope do we die...That one day the sun would shine .... life would reveal its mysteries..

What do I have left at the end???

You can strip me of my income and my livelihood,
You can try to make me conform to the others around me,
You can threaten to destroy my life,
You can complain about every negative trait in me,
You can hurt me in a million ways.

I will never give up searching for the truth
I will never throw my principles away...
I will never believe in inequality
Nor will I give up anything which is humane
Its not like I don't know the consequences.....
Stories of Socrates and Galileo have been a part of my education
In their legacy, I wage a battle against conformity,mediocrity and inequality !!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The new wave of Beliefs

Most of the Indian rituals are based on a outdated code which took thousands of years to evolve and materialize.I don't deny the immense wisdom in some of the practices.Most of them are meant for an agrarian society.The plantain leaves,rice,mango leaves,cow-worship, all have stemmed up by the dependence of our ancestors on agriculture.Even now 70%(not very sure of the recent stats)of the Indian population is living in small agricultural communities.There will be no hue and cry now with regard to the religious practices.Slowly there is a great migration which is happening at the backdrop of our software based economic growth.The shift to cities is leaving out lot of the people in the cold.The rituals or beliefs(Agama) were practices introduced to sustain the societal structure.This model has already broken down in lot of areas.Growing up in a city I never felt at home with the strange rituals of Hindu Society.I channeled all my energy and my identity was formed on the basis of science and philosophy.But there are lot of people who have no interest in Indology/Archeology/Ancient history.To make them understand the importance of the mythological construct should be the main aim of education.Novels like Harry potter have gained wide acclaim because people in the western world and the affluent middle class in the developing countries have used the book it to fill the gaps in their genetic/mythological understanding of their own culture.

Many people here in America are crazy about Star Wars.It is deemed as a religion.The main reason for this inclusion would be that Americans(excluding the native Americans)don't have ancient mythological stories to relate to.
India has Ramayana and Mahabharata which gives definition to the Indian way of life.But the drift towards cities are breaking this cycle.We need new initiation ceremonies which are more ecologically feasible and also give direction to a individual.A adolescent who is confused as to the structure of the society and is restless about his/her place in the hierarchy would resort to violence.The cruel acts against humanity sometimes may be a cry for understanding the past history.

A good reference of the work on Mythology is by Devdutt Patanaik.
I had the pleasure of reading some of his books.(The Book of Ram , Myth= Mithya,7 secrets from hindu calendar art)
The site gives lot of useful material on Hindu Mythology...

Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell are good sources of information on Mythology and how it is important to society.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

All about hate

Love is everywhere...In every song I hear...In every movie I watch..
A constant search for love is the ever eternal work of many.
To look at every nook and corner ,to find a pleasant smile shining back on our lonely lives.
The deprived desert cities sing only about rivers,lakes and oceans.
Magical fountains of water flow through the emperor's garden to show his wealth that luck has bestowed upon him.
But I don't know the workings of hate....

How does hate enter into our system?
Where does this dislike expand into cruelty and violence?
Somehow all the tools of logic and reasoning don't seem to work against hate.The germ of hate is planted the moment we hear beliefs which are different than ours.The opposing principles make us into enemies.But I am fine with the hate which brews in our hearts and souls.What I fail to comprehend is how this emotion, gets translated into violent action.After the act of violence is done, is there any way that the perpetuator feels any guilt or pain.I think one of the easiest ways to deal with guilt would be to make a victim of ourselves.This process of victimizing and not taking any responsibility is the only way to commit crimes of the highest order (eg Holocaust )
In my own life I see lot of times when my perception of the person, gives rise to feelings of hate.The only way to reach a higher truth would be to transform this hate into something constructive.
Jealousy can be viewed as a oracle which tells us of things which are missing in our life.
Greed can tell us that we need to live/love unconditionally.It also helps us deal with impermanence.
Sometimes I feel all imperfections are blessings in disguise.Unless we find a way to transform and use them,they will haunt us forever.Hatred can be one of the ways where we can expand our understanding of different views .Our thinking is formed by a closed Circle which is evolved by our own comfort zone.Hate pushes us out of our comfort zone.It teaches us forgiveness...The people we hate can be reformed/may reform to someone we may cherish and this teaches us the importance of evolution of human consciousness.Emotions may never leave us as they are the complex constructs of our mind.But how we react can be easily controlled.I still struggle everyday with automatic triggers of anger and hate.Its as if every cell has a memory of its own and remembers my dislikes.The effort we put today wont give us fruits instantly.The seed is planted and when the monsoon arrives,the glorious sun may shine through.The fight for survival will begin and if I am the chosen one...leaves may spring up...and fruits may ripen...
Till then I wait for transformation to occur where my hate can be turned into love....