Sunday, March 28, 2010

Becoming Civilized

I remember my teenage years and also my pre- work years.When as a idealist I saw no differences in people with respect to race,gender or wealth.To me the potentiality latent in every human was so vast.I knew it deep in my heart that everyone was unique and life has to give someone the gift of opportunity and people will deliver with the highest standards in any field.Now that I have entered the work force and become a part of a societal construct, every single day my idealism's are being challenged.I love my job and enjoy every bit of it.But I do see inconsistencies when I compare my benefits with others in a less ideal world.People struggling to see life in a more positive way humbles any person, who are caught in the circle of pride.To have the courage to stick to the same principles with which, I began to introspect into my nature of human existence is a tough job.Sometimes I feel these ideals just slip away and I feel empty.There are other times when I am caught up in my own personal existence that I don't remember the bigger picture.But may be these are the acid tests for every idealist.To find solutions to complicated problems and remember what each of us started with.The beginning shall never be forgotten.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Balancing everyday work with spiritual discipline is difficult.One way to look at this problem is to apply spiritual principles to everyday actions.That is a far cry for many of us,who have yet to master taming our own thoughts.Actions are secondary to thoughts.Lot of energy is wasted thinking about useless things and getting tangled in negative thoughts.The circle of past,present and future also haunts us to an extent making our day to day existence miserable.
My goal for a long time was to meditate two hours a day.It is not a lofty goal.... It is achievable.I manage only one hour per day.I miss out on few days... sometimes few weeks because of work/stress etc.When ever I feel too tired to meditate..I watch this video...
Video of Marathon monks(Japanese Buddhist Monks)

Sometimes just plain inspiration can remove all our discomfort.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

India - Documentary Archives

There are so many popular documentaries when it comes to the western world.They have archived all their knowledge in a feasible,logical manner.
India on the other hand is lacking because of the manner in which ancient knowledge has been archived.There are no popular documentaries which can vouch for the greatness of the ancient philosophical/logical system.There is a huge vacuum which needs to be filled with data from the latest research in all fields pertaining to the life of the ancient people.Mythology on the other hand has got some exposure from the mega - soap opera directors.But they have just scratched the surface.Where are the videos/books on popular Indian philosophers?What about great Indian mathematicians?
Even when I was in school,only western inventions were pushed on me.There is a need for greater awareness through print media,research and knowledgeable documentaries.

There was a article(which I read...will try to post the link) which described how Indians did not record history.They believed in a cyclic life and thought that you did not need to record something which will happen again.But Indian literature is a good filler for the lack of ancient Indian history.What I dream about is a scholarly treatment of ancient material.I am tired of watching ancient myths enacted with modern interpretations in dress,weaponry and lifestyle.I want the filmmakers to respect the intelligence of the viewer.I am sure the average Indian viewer can gulp down some serious tale rather than the regular song and dance routines.May be new market research should be done on the average Indian viewer.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Words have always fascinated me.I love reading..and I can spend the rest of my life at a library.But all through my life ,I have suffered a language bias.I love the English language not because of its complexity,but because of the amount of reading material which is available.Sanskrit is the most complex and most advanced language compared to other languages all over the world(Latin etc).As a kid I remember trying to learn different languages.But all through my life in India I have been continuously taken beliefs from the outer world about the superiority of one language over other.This is not the case because of its inherent nature but because of colonial and financial constructs which run the fortunes of everyone.I do agree that Britishers colonised most of the 19 th century world and made/sometimes forced English down our throat.It has its basic advantages.Indian's.... because of the English language can survive in any part of the world.Other countries which did not have a colonial invasion have a disadvantage of having their native language being their official language.So to migrate into other countries everyone has to learn English or other Latin derived languages like French,Spanish etc.
Language is a tool for communication which can help us foster relations.But the most important use of language is identifying our roots.We lose a critical part of ourselves when we leave out the important factors which our ancestors used.No way am I suggesting a linguistic divide between different countries and different States/regions.The exercise of learning the native script will be a archaeological/historical exercise which will make us look at ourselves and connect the dots in retrospect.
Sometimes,it will help us advance the use of native language and pass it on ,thereby helping it from extinction.We can never learn about our identities through force or compulsion.Exploration of language and its use in finding our roots needs a environment of respect and admiration for other languages.My love for democracy and abolition of censorship on tyrannical grounds makes me a student of various languages.I am presently trying to learn the written script for Tamil.My next project is to re-learn Sanskrit( so that I can read ancient texts)

Creative blocks

Creative blocks happen due to the various complications in our belief system.It is a painful process to find out what causes us to leave activities which give us pleasure.Boredom,importing other people's belief and values,lack of glamour etc are the various reasons for the blocks.I went through such a block when it came to art.I was a promising young painter at the age of 21.If not for my idealistic bent, I could have sold my works for a little fortune.But for the next four years, I suffered from a lack of interest in art.I had to struggle very hard to get myself near to the canvas/paint brush.I bought lot of books on art during that period.It was as if, I wanted to hold on to the shadow of my former artistic endeavour.Those books used to rot in a corner,and I say to myself the stories of my younger artistic instinct which I lacked in that moment.But there were lot of other creative activities which I picked up during that time.Blogging was one of them.I started taking western dance lessons.I started participating in public speaking.I always wanted to take up speech craft,but lack of time and other activities somehow stole away that goal.

One of the books I credit in making me destroy my artistic block will be "The Complete Artists Way"(A Spiritual Path to higher Creativity) by Julia Cameron.

I followed all the creative exercises given in the book.I was skeptical of her claims when I started reading the book and applying what ever she said.I gave it a few months,for the wisdom to sink in.. (spiritual osmosis...)The first step after my recovery was, I took part in a painters workshop and now... I am thinking of exhibiting my painting's next year.

This book is good for overall creative recovery.You can say this is a psychological/spiritual handbook which makes you think and feel all the emotions which you try to run away from.I bought the complete set of three of Julia books.The other two being "Walking in this world "(The Practical Art of Creativity) and Finding Water(The Art of Perseverance)

There are two reasons, for me to buy this book..One.. it was on sale(i guess 3$ for three books..a great deal for a frugal person like me) and the second one being it had Artist and Spirituality in its title.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Asking the right questions

Problem solving at its best, comes from asking the right questions.When ever I try to do any experiments in the lab and I am stuck with some negative results,no amount of troubleshooting helps me...The only approach which yields results is to start from scratch,asking why everything behaves the way it does.

As UG Krishnamurti says in his books,the questions have answers buried in them.So all the answers we need can be got from framing the question in the right way.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

My Reading List(Part 1)

This is reading list from December 2009...As of now I have completed few books on this list..Few of the books require revisiting,as they are eternal chests of wisdom.

Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
(Could see the humility of Franklin..Reminds me of reading Dalai lama Books..Pure Humility(if there exists such an emotion/belief)

(Joseph Campbell )The power of myth

(St Augustine) Confessions

Walden(Henry David Throeau)

Self Relaince(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

(William James )The Varieties of Religious Experience

(J Krishnamurti )Think On These Things (1964)

The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life - (Julia Cameron)

(Carl Gustav Jung) Memories, Dreams and Interpretations

(Boethius )The Consolation of Philosophy (6th century)

(Mihaly Cziksentmihalyi) Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (1991)

The idea of Justice (By Amartya Sen)

Will continue in the next part....