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: spirituality
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”.
One journey at it’s close
And the tired boatman gone
The oars and ripples and the eventide
Waiting all forlorn
The clouds are close and curious
Peeking into the silent deep
The waters though are in no mood
To share the secrets they keep.
Tomorrow when the sun appears
And another soul does wake
The boat will be steered again
Across the mysterious lake.
The thirsty soul
Seeking , searching
Hands held together,
Palms raised upwards
Grace to receive
Knees bent humbly
Peace to find.
Eyes closed,looking inwards
Observing the fleeting breath
Trying hard to figure out
The mystery of life and death
Their voices mingle
As they pray
To the source that sings
Through night and day.
The longing to be
Secure and free
The yearning to drown
In Love’s boundless sea.
It’s so easy to see
It’s all the same
Yet we choose to hate
In religion’s name.
If we sieve and separate
Dessicate the DNA
From the whole
If we distill away
All we learnt from school
And bleach our religions
And their rules
If we winnow the words
From the books we read
And the rsidue they left
Inside our heads
If we boiled the ideas
Handed down by our peers
And evaporated our emotions
Accumulated through the years.
What would we be
In our pure essence?
We’d be like each other!!
Does that make any sense?
Born into a muslim family , “Infidel” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali , is not a book I should’ve been reading in the month of Ramadaan. And definitely not the kind of book I should be reading on the train while coming to be with my old mother , who has had a recent surgery for a fracture on her femur. I should be praying to Allah for her speedy recovery , as would be recommended by the religion I am supposed to espouse. And yet , I was hooked on to her tale , following her through Somalia , to Saudi Arabia, to Ethiopia and Kenya and Holland. I was wonderstruck at her resilience, her uncompromising spirit . The range of experiences and suffering she had gone through left me in a constant state of curiosity ..what came next..what is there on the next page? How did she come to terms with her tribal/religious upbringing when the questions started tormenting her…questions regarding a compassionate God, who as per the book would punish us with the everlasting fires of hell, for our misdemeanors. Did she come to terms with it at all?
Imagine a little girl who had even undergone genital mutilation to supposedly preserve her “purity” and who had had no trouble abiding by the dictats of her community, growing up in Africa through the years when the different states were in a state of war torn anarchy and from there fighting her destiny all on her own to become a Member of Parliament in the Dutch Government , surviving a death threat and still standing tall and unbent .
But I had just about reached the chapter where she was about to be enrolled in one of the prestigious universities in Holland , where she had sought asylum, in an attempt to escape from a marriage her father had made her undergo, of course which was to be in her best interests, according to the paternalistic mores. I had gone off to sleep and had to get down at my hometown Kannur, early next morning. The book was left behind , I think , for I’ve been trying to locate it in amongst my clothes and stuff and it seems to have disappeared.
I’d bought “Infidel” and Arun Shourie’s book , “Does he know a Mother’s heart?” after many, many , many months of not stepping into a bookshop. I had actually been thrilled to be holding two brand new books in my hand. The smell of new print , the crisp paper, the prospect of turning through the pages to delve into the personal accounts of intimate journeys through the minds and spirit of two , whose circumstances in life was intense enough to shake loose the bedrock of faith . to gauge and assess one’s own churnings in the light of the meanings of life that they had discovered for themselves, was an invitation, I could hardly resist, to say the least.
I started with Arun Shourie’s book, his personal memoirs about his relationship with Faith and the denial of it through the journey of bringing up his only son who is affected with cerebral palsy. and I couldn’t finish it. Pages and pages of it were just quotes from the Koran and the Bible , which would ,to any questioning human being , raise doubts about the compassion and love of the God we are supposed to worship, make us wonder at Hell and the unforgiving nature of the Master of the Universe, when he assigns suffering to us and eventually confine us to the flames to be roasted continuously without ever having any reprieve. Shourie is supposed to go on with his questioning with the established ritualistic Hindu religion as well, but I didn’t get there. The problem was , I think, that for someone who has had issues with religions where questioning is not allowed, Shourie’s exposition was a dull repetition . He was meandering again and again through the same material.
I have always wondered, is communication more difficult for men than women? Not about the knowledge, not about the intellectual range, not about the reasoning part or logic…but something remains missing in the emotional content which would make writings of such a personal dimension relatable to the reader. Is it because men are loathe to reveal what they actually “feel”. Is it that they cannot find the words to express them or is it that doing so is a sign of exhibitionism in their perspective? Or may be men can indeed relate to it and women cannot. Or may be they can and it is just me who has a problem. Whatever. ……although both books are in the same genre, Arun Shourie’s narrative did not touch my heart the way Ayaan Hirshi Ali’s did. And now may be I will not be able to finish reading her tale as well, for a while.
My mother is in pain. She is in denial. She is depressed. Old age is trying, very trying, particularly if one hasn’t learnt to let go of attachments, of being in control. My mother is a namaazi. She has fasted during Ramadaan for the most part of her eighty plus years. She has abiding faith in the Holy book and in Allah’s compassion. None of which seem to be helping her through her suffering now. The standard rhetoric is of course that God(by whatever appellation) keeps testing us. Unless you can blindly, sedatedly, unreasoningly believe that, the question will continue nagging you….why would anyone want to do that, untiringly through all the “Time” that there was ,is and is going to be.? “Surrender” to a Power who can never be satisfied with the incessant “testing” of it’s own powers ?
I’ll probably burn in Hell and yet … … I cannot deny the feeling of infinite love that fills me in moments of silence. And I’m okay with appealing to that entity of Abundant Love to help relieve her insecurities , her fear of the unknown , which makes her cling on so desperately to her own image of physical strength and endurance and will power. I pray that she accepts the fact that it is okay to be vulnerable , to be weak , to be dependent. I pray that her mind may be free from the chatter and noise in which we find affirmation of our Self. I pray that she is able to surrender, really surrender .
Took the day off from my normal routine, as I was feeling tardy since I awoke. Remnants of the happenings I had experienced in sleep mode? Do not know.
Was reading all day, on the monitor, that is. First, “The doors to Perception”, by Aldous Huxley. (My son had uploaded for me a sizeable collection of e-books) about his experiments with the drug “mescalin” and his conclusions about the possible effects of “chemicals” on our perception, some of which such as “adrenchrome” may be spontaneously produced by our body. So, poets, painters, musicians etc. whom we refer to as the “gifted ones” may in fact owe their genius to their neurobiology. And mystics too, may be capable of an altered consciousness because of the way particular regions of the brain many have developed or the chemicals produced by their cells and that is perhaps why they become aware of a reality that is denied to the general population.
Went on to read a couple of essays by a guy named Ingrid Solano , that I had bookmarked a few weeks ago , which was also a take –off on the same subject , with relevance to our notions of “right “and “wrong”. The gist of what he says is that our sense of right or wrong can be impaired by the biological condition of our brains, in that, our sense of empathy, which is the basis of moral behavior ( do unto others as you would have done unto you) may become kind of numb and while we may still intellectually understand something as “wrong” , we may not “feel” the effect of our actions on others and hence lose what we generally term as “guilt” or “compunction”.
Then there is Charles Darwin and his view that an understanding of morality is best based on a study of the evolution of Man and that a moral sense can exist even in a person who has no belief in a higher Intelligence from whom the rules of behavior are believed to emanate according to most religions that have existed and are existing. Morality , according to him, can come from an instinctive understanding that if one “acts for the good of others , one receives the approbation of fellow men and gains the love of those with whom he lives.”
James Rachel’s , “Created from Animals:The moral implications of Darwinism “ and Frans De Waal’s , “Good Natured:the origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and other animals “, also propounded on the same issues, as one can gather from excerpts that can be accessed on the internet. Social instincts/morality work towards greater harmony among groups or in other words, what promotes the best interests and harmony in a group is what is generally considered as moral. But there is apparently a hierarchy , altruism first coming into play within the closest kin, then to the group, then to each and every member of one’s species.
As a rule, they say, reciprocal altruism will not occur when individuals are unlikely to meet again and that it requires good memories and stable relationships. To see oneself in the plight of another is the basic building block of morality. So that would mean, that the more “evolved” we are, the greater should be our capacity for feeling a connection with the rest of our species and to other species as well . We should also then assume that for the “evolved”, their neurobiology would be such as to predetermine such altruism and harmonious behaviour would come naturally to them. In other words, it is part of their genetic make-up. As for those whom we consider, ”misanthropists”, or as a “deviant” or “psychotic”, it could just be that they are chemically compositioned that way?
There is a quotation from Marquis De Sade which was quoted in this context in one of the essays I read. “One must feel sorry for those who have strange tastes, but never insult them. Their wrong is Nature’s wrong too; they are no more responsible for having come into the world with tendencies unlike ours, than are we for being born bandy-legged or well proportioned.”. So then, “right” or “wrong” really has no basis for being “applauded” or condemmed. It’s just the way we are. And we owe ourselves some compassion. One can understand that.
Chemical imbalances in the brain can be triggered off by distress and trauma. Accidents and illness can alter the disposition of our brains. Mystics can have a heightened consciousness which gave them a sense of reality, much larger and intense than ordinarily available to the rest of us. All of this one can understand at an intellectual level. But how do we get to be hardwired in the way we are? Why do we get to undergo the particular circumstances that become the cause for distress or sets off a particular mental or “spiritual” experience? Is that where the “karma” theory comes into play? Do we still have something called “freewill” that will determine our evolution , both as individuals and in terms of this homogenous mass of “ human consciousness” in this universe, hurtling itself forward to “God” knows where?