So much happening around you. Do you need to talk?
“Yes, I do and nobody listens to me better than you. Do you have time to do that?
Oh yes….lots of time…go on. Are you happy with yourself?
“Most of the time now, yes. Gosh, but it’s taken me a lifetime to get here.”
Why wasn’t it easy earlier ?
“Too many guidelines from too many sources that would make me judge myself . I would qualify on many counts and fail miserably on others. I was confused.”
But you did keep talking to me, didn’t you? I remember your conversations from the time you were a kid.
“Yes…and thank goodness for that.”
You were about to say , thank God for that and then changed it to goodness. Why?
“Because the second I take God’s name so many images that have been superimposed from outside take over and I don’t like some of those images. “
You mean Allah’s image of a vindictive old man who is waiting to pounce on you for not worshipping him enough?
“No…not just Allah. I don’t like the images of the Hindu Gods either who were introduced to me as divine beings but with all the weaknesses of humans and all this high and low of castes and all that. I kind of like Jesus . He is cool and seems to personify the loving , forgiving, all embracing image most. But then, he cannot be God himself. Buddha talked about nothingness . I don’t want to think of God as nothingness either. It should be everythingness, right?”
Okay, let’s drop that and talk about more mundane things. Are you happy with the way you’ve conducted yourself?
“Not all the time. I’ve been responsible for disharmony many times, whenever I was focussed more on myself . But I haven’t honestly wanted anyone to be unhappy. I haven’t robbed or killed or been really jealous. No that’s not true. I’m a non-vegetarian. Lots of animals and birds have been killed in my name.”
But that’s okay , don’t you think? You have to have nourishment to survive. That is a basic requirement of nature. Killing for sustenance of your physical existence seems to be the way nature seems to have ordained it.
“I’m not so sure…may be when there is no other source of food and may be when you are wired to eat only flesh. That definitely isn’t the case with me. I can stay off eating non-veg and still survive. So do I really need to take another life?”
Okay , let’s forget that for now. Can you love without conditions of religion, nation, caste, region, language, colour of skin, looks, gender ..the works?
“Yes, I can. I most definitely can. I always have. I always will.”
Is that just a private thing ?What if you are put to the test? What if your son wants to marry someone of his choice who breaks all those parameters? Will you be okay with that?
“ I most certainly will . All I would want is their happiness. “
But will you be okay with being side-lined by your society for that? Those lines are being drawn more emphatically now . People are ready to kill for so called honour.
“What do YOU think? Is love conditional?”
I don’t think so. You can condition yourself to think so, but in itself it is not.
“ So too with God, right? Don’t you feel most at peace and blissful when you imagine that none of us exists in these forms that we are attired in and there is nothing but a knowing silence and there is a gentle breeze and fragrances and lilting music which is part of the silence, where each of us that ever lived is there and yet not there ? “
Yep. But …tell me this . Are you feeling proud of yourself at this moment?
“Oops! I can’t escape you, can I? There is no pride when I’m lost in that moment. But now when I’m talking to you…perhaps . We can work on that right ?”
Sure. Are you scared to die ?
“ I was. Not of hell or anything like that. I was scared of being lonely, of being wrenched away from the people I loved , of never being able to communicate with them, of this thought that I would no longer be part of their lives, of forgetting all the wonderful moments of connection with others that I’ve experienced, of forgetting what it is to be alive”
“ Now I’m dead sure that is not going to be like that. I think all we have to do is to click on “save” when those moments of pure love and connection settles in our hearts and delete everything else and then hey presto, it’s all there just the way you wanted it when the disrupted electricity comes on again. Who knows , may be there is an auto-save mechanism too! C’mon, we are talking of an all encompassing , benign whatever you want to call it. So no worries about dying now.”
Glad we had this discussion, right?
“Sure am. So glad you are there for me. Let me give you a hug”
Category Archives: Reflections
(Photograph taken by my friend Arun Azhakesan)
I can, if I want to , capture the setting sun
And make it sit in my glass of water
I can if I want to give the skies a run
And then make it sleep inside my decanter.
I can , if I want to, hold the world in my arms
And sing to it a soothing lullaby
I can, if I want to , set the sun and skies free
I can be the deep ocean and the limitless sky
This is such a compelling video.
Gregg Bradden gives us all the reasons why we need to stay away from the calls to align ourselves with one group or another and continue perceiving the “other” as separate from us and hence to be handled with mistrust in the least and hatred at the worst and instead dwell on our positive positve emotions that want the world to be a better place.
Because only we can make it happen.
Here are some excerpts from the video.
“For the past 300 years, our science has been based on tow false assumptions.
T he first is that everyone is separate from everyone else. What is happening in one place has no effect on what happens anywhere else and if it looks like it, it is only a coincidnece.
The second false assumption is that our inner experiences –thoughts, emotions, feelings and beliefs have no effect beyond our bodies.”
“Studies now prove that it is human emotions, specifically the magnetic fileds produced by the human heart during certain kinds of emotions, that now our darkness is extending far beyond our bodies into the physical world and now to such a degree that there are satellites, hundreds of miles away from the surface of the earth are able to pick those up”
“When a certain number of people come together and they choose at a moment of time to create a precise emotion in their hearts, that emotion can literally influence the very fields that sustain the life on planet earth.”
“What makes this beautiful is that every human on this planet is linked to the magnetic field, but not every human on the planet has to be consciously aware of the relationship to benefit what a few number of people can come to understand .”
“The bottom-line is this….when we choose to feel feelings that create what is called coherence in our bodies..coherence is that quality of the language between our hearts and our brains, certain kinds of heart-based experiences such as appreciation,gratitude, forgiveness care, compassion…those are the ancient understandings that have always been taught in the truest traditions of our past and now science is finding that those same traditions are now documenting this real effect in our hearts. When we can feel those feelings in our bodies , they are mirrored in the field in which everybody benefits from the experiences of a few.”
“The world around us..our own science is now telling us that there is a field of energy underlying all physical reality. It is known now by names that range from simply the field, some people call it Nature’s mind, some scientists call it the mind of God, some call it the Matrix, the divine matrix and so on”.
What we’re now beginning toi understand is that when we create the felling of what we choose to experience in our lives , everything from conscious choices, the perfect relationship, abundance in our lives,healing in our bodies , healing in the bodies of our loved ones, those feelings are creating the patterns of magnetic fields in our hearts that are literally re-arranging the stuff of this quantum soup, this quantum essence, allowing the pattern of what we manifest in the world around us. It is less about attracting from the scientific perspective and more about consciously creating the template within us knowing that the stuff of the universe will congeal around the template in the world around us to simply mirror-reflect what we have claimed.
In other words, a very simple way of looking at this and you’ve probably heard this before, is that we must become in our lives, the very things that we choose to experience in our world”.
As I’ve confessed before, I get hooked to watching serials involving criminal investigations. Nowadays , I watch “Criminal Minds” . In this series,the “Behavioural Analysis Unit “ of the FBI , works on narrowing down on the perpetrators of crimes with the help of behavioural clues that the “Un Subs” or Unidentified suspects leave behind through the nature of the crimes, the weapons used, the degree and kind of torture involved, the profile(s) of the victims they choose and so on.
It must be stressful for people working on such cases throughout their careers , who would be becoming aware of the immenseness of the violence and intensity of negative feelings that lurk in the human minds and the circumstances that lay the seeds and the factors that contribute to their growth and ultimate fruition , if one may call it that. One of the actors Mandy Patinkin , who was playing the role of Senior Supervisory Special Agent , Jason Gideon, chose to leave the show because he was deeply disturbed by all that was being portrayed in it. His departure was written into the script in the same way…..the letter left behind him in that particular episode mentioned that he could no longer make any sense of it all.
There was one particular episode,” Open Season”, in which the team was investigating a series of murders in a National Forest, just before the start of the hunting season. The victims appeared to have been running away from someone …hunted down like animals and shot down with a bow and arrow. The perpetrators , it turned out, were two young boys, who had been orphaned when they were five or six and had been brought up by an uncle, who never sent them to school or allowed any kind of social interaction. All that they learnt of right and wrong was from the only adult in their lives…this uncle , a distorted human being himself. Agent Gideon explains to his colleague how easy it would be for the boys to do what they did, considering that affirmation of their worth in their eyes, depended solely on the approval of their uncle and the fact that the moral compass was totally lacking in their lives.
There is a scene in this episode where one of the boys is wounded and when Agent Gideon reaches him, he whisperingly begs that his brother not be shot at , as he was the only one he had in his life and the officer gently strokes his forehead and consoles him saying, “it’s okay son, it’s okay”.
I had mentioned about the film “Human” in a recent blog…..a series of interviews with a cross-section of people all over the world talking about their experiences with love, forgiveness, poverty, war , loneliness and so on. The first part of this series, begins with Leonard from U.S.A and what he had learnt about love. This is what he said:
“ I remember my stepfather . He would beat me with extension cords and hangers and pieces of wood and all kinds of stuff . After every beating , he would tell me,”it hurt me more than it hurt you” and “I only did it because I love you “. It communicated the wrong message to me about what love was. So for many years, I thought love was supposed to hurt and I hurt everyone that I loved and I measured love by how much pain someone would take from me. And it wasn’t until I came to prison, in an environment that is devoid of love that I came to have some sort of understanding about what it was and was not. ….and I met someone and she gave me my first real insight into what love was, because she saw past my condition and the fact that I was in prison with a life sentence for murder , not only murder, but the worst kind of murder that a man can do , murdering a woman and child. …and it was Agnes, the mother and grandmother of Patricia and Chris, the woman and the child that I murdered who gave me my best lesson about love because by all rights, she should hate me. But she didn’t and over the course of time and through the journey that we took….it has been pretty amazing….she gave me love…..and….and (he grows silent here and the tears stream down his cheeks…) she taught me what it was.
As I read reports and reactions in the newspapers, TV channels and in the social media , about the juvenile who was one of those in the gang who committed the horrendous rape and murder of a young girl on a Winter’s night in Delhi three years ago,in a moving bus, being allowed to walk free, I try to sift through my own emotions . I can gauge the pain of the father, though unable to internalise it completely, who wanted to give his daughter all possible opportunities in life to go ahead ; I can empathise with the mother who would be living through the pain her daughter suffered many times over , every time she dwelt on that fateful night. At times, anger comes welling up from the guts like puke with the knowledge that such incidents make all parents become fearful for the safety of their daughters and that the only way they can handle their fears, in a country like ours, is by making their movements more restrictive.
And yet, when I read in the papers today , about the people in the boy’s village in Badaun District in U.P, describing him as a good boy , who never got into any fights during the time he lived in the village, of his mentally unstable father and of his mother for whom the only source of livelihood was the money he sent her after moving to Delhi, of the tiny hutment which didn’t even have a proper roof till last year, of his siblings who are only eight and ten years old, I wonder about all of the circumstances that had directed his life to move away from that village which is still ready to forgive and accept him back into their fold and to befriend the others and participate in that horror.
How did he lose his moral compass ? Is he alone responsible?
If I was in his place would I have been different?
Would I seek and hope for forgiveness?
Would I change as a human being if I was forgiven or would I be emboldened to repeat ?
Would others be emboldened ?
Is fear of punishment to be the only factor that will remove the existence of crimes?
Like Agent Gideon, I find that I can no longer make sense of all that’s going on.
All I know is this…that even as I hate what he did….I’ll find it immensely easier to think about it if I learnt that Nirbhaya’s parents forgave him .
I remain pretty indolent on days when my grandson is not around . I love his chatter , but the quiet is not entirely unwelcome either.
I walk around the house, staring long out of doors and windows, have tete-a-tetes with my plants and long distance communions with the trees in the neighbourhood, listen to sounds of everyday life that get carried in from the next door houses, do some cleaning and no cooking, making do with left-overs in the fridge or fruits etc. I spend lots of time surfing the internet and some reading.
Sometimes, I go back to read or listen to links that I’d earlier shared on Facebook which had held my attention. This interview of Richard Gere was one of those.
In his new film “Time out of mind” , Richard Gere plays the role of a homeless man in New York City.
In the interview, he talks about the very first shot of the film , in which he hangs around at a corner, in character,near the Cube in Astor Place, New York City, with the cameras placed at a distance for almost forty five minutes. None , who walked by in that busy section , paid any attention, he says.
And this is Richard Gere!
Very few cues worked towards that judgement of the people who passed by, of him being not worthy of a second glance , he observed.
May be it was the dishevelled clothes, the indistinctive hair-cut or may the body-language of a homeless guy, which Richard Gere being such a wonderful actor would surely have carried off to perfection.
“Nobody can imagine being homeless”, the interviewer remarks.
This was Gere’s reply, “No, you can. I think that’s really it. People sub-consciously know how close they are to having all of it taken away. I don’t think anyone is that secure, especially in these times. They lose their jobs..the violence..”
“Do you feel that…that it could be that close?’
“I feel that mentally I could go and I could feel that, playing this guy in the street. I could feel how easy it would be to lose integration, that mentally I could come apart, physically, spiritually…..
The fabric of our reality is extremely fragile….in all ways”.
From the kitchen door, I can watch a building being constructed in a plot near by. The basic structure is being put into shape . The labourers are seen busy building up the walls of the third level, laying brick by brick, throughout the day and the sun is pretty hot at this time of the day.
I think guilt is gnawing at me for having the comforts I have , of knowing peace and tranquillity in a nice house, having all the time in the world to put to use as my mood beckons, although I keep trying to convince myself that may be I deserve it .
But why I went back to watching that interview again was because of that one line uttered by that actor I hugely adore kept coming back….
“The fabric of our reality is extremely fragile …in all ways.”
This is a clip from the movie.