Love

One furrow on your forehead
I feel my heart being squeezed
One glance from you
I feel my heart being pierced
One hint of a smile on your lips
I feel my heart leaping with joy
What have you done to me?

You pass me by
Your smell lingers on
Mind starts playing tricks
Millions of thoughts battle for attention
Your one simple touch
All thoughts subside
In anticipation

What is this place?
Where did you bring me?
Let me go
Let me be free
So much light
So much peace
I am free

Change and control

The more I realize that I have no control, the more I want to work just for the heck of it. Why not? My head is clearer now. I have acquired this clarity by not being burdened by the anxiety over what-ifs. There is nothing to lose now. Just do and be happy. This clarity then brings a keen sense of observation. A power to observe how what you say or what you show sets off a change in another person. It is a very strange feeling to actually be able to observe the stream of sounds coming from around you and realize that the sounds and visuals have the power to change people profoundly. Sometimes this change is for the better. Other times it is for the worse. In either case, they affect change for sure. Just look at yourself. When someone praises you, you feel very good. When someone says bad things about you, you feel like starting a fight with the person. In truth, praise or curse, both are just the sounds that are used to express the thoughts the persons has about you. It is merely about your image in their mind. Those expressions bring joy or sadness if you don’t know yourself. As soon as you start knowing yourself, they either will sound meaningless or expose something about you for which you will feel profoundly grateful.

Audio and visuals can be transmitted long distance easily and instantaneously in the modern world. As a consequence we see an abundance of media around us – tv, billboard, radio, movies, computer, phone and so on. When we look closely at this, we find that we usually have very little control over the content we are being exposed to. Since so much has now been known about how our mind works, there are people, let’s say Xs, who try to use these media to affect changes in our behavior potentially to their advantage. This has been very successful because we usually think very little about the people behind the media. Interestingly though, when we flip this situation on its head and start becoming aware of ourselves and of the media that are being streamed into us, the media in turn will provide a glimpse into the minds of the people who are trying to brand us. Once this happens, we no longer remain just the consumer of the media rather we will now have some say on meaning the media is trying to convey. Ultimately Xs are also impacted by whey they hear, see, feel, touch, think and interact with in their own lives and media is a result of the belief system they have developed. Once we start interpreting the media in a unintended fashion, they will then have to take our interpretation into account. That means, even if they try to use audio-visual media as a one-way street to affect some change in us, as soon as we become aware of that motivation and start interpreting it differently, the media becomes a two-way street. The awareness brings a certain level control and we stop being easily manipulable. Xs now have to change themselves.

But let’s step back from all of this and ask the ultimate question: what is the meaning of all this? Or is there any meaning to it at all? Everything is changing so fast that it is very hard to find any meaning even if there is any. When you find a meaning in something, that thing is gone the next moment. Then what!? What happens to the meaning that you found? It is the ‘Anitya’ that Buddhism and Hinduism talk about. When everything changes, what is the truth?

You drive to office in the morning, come back in the evening and go to sleep. Cycle continues the next day. It feels like nothing changed from yesterday to today. But look closely. Among all the mundane events, big changes are happening. You grew one-day older from yesterday. Your kids also grew and now have one more day of experience that means they are slightly more intelligent and wiser. You probably also read something new, saw someone new on the road, faced some new challenges at the work, or even thought a new thought. Someone might have sent you an email with something interesting. After reading that email, you might have said: “That is very interesting.” Or you might have had a fight with your spouse, which in turn may end up resulting in something great in the future. In reality, it is very hard to keep track of things that happen as they all seem inconsequential and we simply lump them all together by saying “yesterday was uneventful.” But no matter what we say, big changes are constantly happening around us. Most of those changes are outside anyone’s control.

Fabric of life

Driving to office in the morning and driving back from office in the evening is always a very interesting experience. I get a chance to reflect over the meaning of life, death, birth, universe and everything in between. Is there a logic to life? When something happens, does it happen because of some grand plan? Or is it just pure chance? When I choose to do something, are any of the choices better than the other ones? Today, on the drive back home a thought came. Is teaching a person to read and write good or bad? Is it still good if the person goes on to become a violent criminal who ultimately kills hundreds of thousands of people because he was able to create a very powerful weapon? Now, is killing the person a bad choice if a person from the future traveled back in time and killed him knowing that he was going to kill a lot of people otherwise?

Since there is no time machine and we cannot know in advance the outcome of our choice, we just have to make a choice and live with the consequence. There is no point lamenting over whether we should have made this choice or that. That is probably why almost all the scriptures say the same thing. We are tools of the God. We just do whatever he commands us to do. When he tells us to make a bad choice, we make it. When he tells us to make a good choice, we also make that.

When I drive to office in the morning, there is usually a lot of traffic on the road and they move very slowly. Since I don’t have to reach office at a fixed time, I don’t usually get anxious. But sometimes, when I didn’t have a good night sleep, or when the kids wake up earlier than usual and do not let me have a proper breakfast, or when I oversleep, or for some other reason, my mind gets anxious. During such time, I observe myself driving more carelessly. I also see other drivers trying to pass each other dangerously or driving very close. They probably also have one thing or the other going on in their head. Many times I have seen that when I drive in the same lane without trying to pass other cars, I reach office faster than the other drivers who are passing each other, speeding up and stopping and doing different things to go faster. That happens because there are many cars on the road. Each is being driven by an intelligent driver. No one knows beforehand what the other driver is going to do. Then, there are traffic signs, cross-sections and traffic lights. Life is also like this, a fabric with many threads and inersections. You are just a car in this vast fabric of life. There are innumerable other lives. Then there are the dead ones who still reside in you. Don’t be surprised if the dead people exert some influence over your life. When you think about it, a part of a dead person always lives inside of you. They guide you and help you make choices in life. Every choice you make moves you in this fabric. The fabric is so vast and intricate that you never see the consequence of your choice over your own or someone else’s life. Sometimes a small act of kindness performed by a complete stranger may completely change the course of your life for good. Another time, an act that you think is good and righteous, results in ruining a life of a complete stranger. In both cases, you may not even become aware what actually happened.

The one

Who makes the flowers beautiful?
Where does the rainbow come from?
Why are the colors there?
Tell me
Is it you?
Is it me?
You and me together
There is only one

85 questions

  1. What if you are omniscience?
  2. What if you only imagine you are omniscience?
  3. What if you have agenda and interests?
  4. How will you pursue them?
  5. Will you blackmail?
  6. What if you have good intentions?
  7. Or, what if you think you have good intentions?
  8. What if you have bad bed-fellows?
  9. What if you are rich?
  10. What if you are powerful?
  11. Will you force them?
  12. Will you shock-and-awe them?
  13. Or, will you sneak behind surreptitiously?
  14. What if you have rich friends?
  15. What if you have powerful friends?
  16. What will you do?
  17. Will you think of poor?
  18. Will you think of weak?
  19. What if they become collateral damage?
  20. What if while pursuing your interest you break some laws?
  21. Will you accept the punishment?
  22. Will you buy the judges?
  23. Or, will you change the law, instead?
  24. What if there is light in the corridors of power?
  25. What if the vaults of money are not so secure?
  26. What if people heard everything being talked about during negotiations?
  27. What if your bad bed-fellows found out about your good intentions?
  28. Will they believe you anymore?
  29. How will you convince them?
  30. Will you sell your soul?
  31. Will you corrupt intentions?
  32. Can you do that believably?
  33. Will they believe you?
  34. Can they do anything to you?
  35. Are your good intentions true intentions?
  36. Can you defend them?
  37. Can you live peacefully after corrupting them?
  38. What will you tell your children?
  39. Will you let them even ask you hard questions?
  40. Will you even answer?
  41. Will you answer the question asked?
  42. Will you lie?
  43. Where are you going?
  44. Which way will you take at the fork ahead?
  45. Will you choose the harder one or the convenient one?
  46. What will you do when convenience comes back to haunt you?
  47. Will you change the course?
  48. Will you continue down the same path?
  49. Will you still hope you will reach a different destination?
  50. Do you even know your destination?
  51. Do you believe any means is okay?
  52. Does end justify the means?
  53. What would you do if you faced a backlash?
  54. How will you use the information you have?
  55. Will you frame them?
  56. Will you shoot them?
  57. Will you hang them?
  58. Will you just ignore them?
  59. What if there is a chain reaction?
  60. What about the unknown unknowns?
  61. How will you take them into consideration?
  62. Can you take them into consideration?
  63. Can you turn back from your path?
  64. Can you accept the failure?
  65. Can you apologize?
  66. Or are you above the morality?
  67. Does morality matter?
  68. Does humanity matter?
  69. What is moral?
  70. What is immoral?
  71. What is life to you?
  72. What is purpose to you?
  73. What about legacy?
  74. Do you care about legacy?
  75. Can you accept the punishment?
  76. Can you mend fences with your victims?
  77. Will you recognize them?
  78. What if they want to kill you?
  79. Will you fight?
  80. Will you victimize them again?
  81. What about their legitimate grievances?
  82. Will you accept your culpability?
  83. Or, will you find some excuses?
  84. Will you shift the burden?
  85. Will you blame them again?

Just be

It was here. It is gone. People saw. It is in the memory now. It nudges people in different directions, towards different paths. Always towards their individual goals. Each path collides with countless others resulting in this fabric and ocean of exquisite intricacy, of beauty nonpareil. Immerse on it. Drink from it. Swim in it. Drown in it. Just be aware.

Everything happens in void. Void is what remains after. There is nothing that is right. There is nothing that is wrong. Everything is just one big contradiction that is kept together in this one infinite movement by some greater force. I bow my head in front of it.

Look at the waves on the ocean. What is causing them? Is it you? Do you even see it? Break free from your senses. No! Observe your senses. Do you see what is happening? Do you see this intricate web? You are moving helplessly. Strands seem to break and form under your feet with every step. Senses betray you. Just let it be. There is no destination. This is just a child’s game. At the end of the day, you destroy your sand castle and go home.

Beauty

Beautiful flower. Beautiful bird. Beautiful scenary. Beautiful girl. Beautiful child. Beautiful smell. Everything is perceived by mind via different senses. Eyes see. Nostril smells. Skin feels. Ear hears. Tongue tastes. What do “see”, “smell”, “feel”, “hear” or “taste” mean? Scientifically speaking “see”ing is when minds perceives the light reflected by the object and infers something from it. “Smell”ing is perception that is triggered in mind when the olfactory sensors detect the molecules in air carrying the smell. “Feel”ing is the perception in the mind that is triggered when sensors on the skin surface detects another object nearby. “Hear”ing is the perception in the mind when the vibrations in the air trigger the ear drums to vibrate. “Taste”ing is the perception in the mind when sensors on the surface of the tongue detect something. Ultimately, it is the mind that perceives all the senses. It is this mind that determines whether the sensation was beautiful. That in turn means, the mind needs to be capable to appreciate the beauty.

What is the purpose of beauty? The sole purpose of beauty is to attract. Bees get attracted to beautiful flower. Birds get attracted beautiful bird. Moths get attracted to light.

Universe is beautiful. Everything inside is also beautiful when perceived by the right mind. When I say ‘mind’, I don’t only mean human mind. I meant in terms of universal mind that can perceive. Even ‘electron’ and ‘proton’ have mind. They can perceive each other and get attracted. For electrons, protons are beautiful. For protons, electrons are beautiful. For Sodium, Chlorine is beautiful. For Chlorine, Sodium is beautiful.

I have always been fascinated by how molecules seek each other out inside a cell. When you look at a video of protein transcription, you get that feeling that the molecules are looking for each other. It feels like they can perceive. Cell is a very complex biological machine that is involved in everything related to life: protein constructions, energy transfer, regeneration. It contains thousands of different molecules. Among all these chaos, molecules still find each other.

If we look at a modern computer, there is the hardware and there is the software. Hardware is made up of microprocessor, memory, power supplies, etc. Each of these is made of other physical components like diodes, transistors, capacitors. Each of these components is made of various physical materials such as Silicon Dioxide, Gallium Arsenide. They all are guided by physical laws. There is physical limit on what they can do and what they cannot do. This limit probably will be stretched with quantum computers but a limit will still be there nonetheless. On the other hand, software has no limitation. It can be anything, become anything and do anything. Even when the hardware dies, software can live forever. Hardware-software analogy has been applied to mind-body problem many times. In this analogy, one particular question that is very interesting is: who writes the software for the body?

When a baby is born it comes with pretty much a clean slate. Except the DNA that it inherits and the cellular environment that gets developed when it is in mother’s womb. Apart from that, everything that defines it as a person acquires while it interacts in the world. In a way the software for a person’s body gets written by the world. Parents may think that they are responsible for at least the initial program. Even that is not true. Apart from the parents, even a newborn baby absorbs information from innumerable other things: TV, internet, siblings, toys, nature. This list keeps growing as the baby grows. The baby when fully grown will have its own definition of beauty. That definition will then determine its arc of life.

Thoughts

I open my eyes
Body wanders
I see flowers
I see sky
I see birds
Thoughts form

I close my eyes
Mind wanders
I see my past and future
I see my successes and failures
I see my ups and my downs
Thoughts form

God

A spark like the one inside a car’s engine when the ignition key is turned sets in a motion a long journey into the unknowable. The spark was the question: what is life? It was a long series of questions from then on, one after the other. They formed an endless-fabric as the questions like strands kept on coming never endingly in every direction. Every question, even the ones that had been asked hundreds of times before, presented themselves in a new context and in a new form. It felt like I did not know an answer to even the simplest of the questions. They seemed to ask something which I had never thought of before. I began to be aware of the world around me.

Morning sun started to feel new to me as if I was seeing it for the very first time. Gentle breeze or a stormy night both started to feel the same. Scorching heat or freezing cold stopped making any difference. Everything were what they were supposed to be. They simply brought joy and peace.

With the awareness, I saw a dance of infinite intricacy around me – the reality. There was a timeless beauty to it. There was elegance in its movements. The whole universe resulted out of this. It was bliss to see this divine dance and to realize that I was also performing my part while playing an unknown role. No one can enchain this in words. It is too big for that. An attempt would simply be futile and would just distort it. Disfigure it. Make it unrecognizable. Art possible can help. Ultimately, experiencing it is the only way to capture it fully.

Some call this ‘the Truth’. Some call this ‘the God’.

Fear

It makes heart beat faster. It blocks the mind. You just know you are fearful. But many times, there is no reason to be fearful. For example, right now – my heart is beating fast, my mind seems devoid of any thoughts. I just know that I am afraid. What am I am afraid of? I do not know.

Sometimes I am afraid to go to sleep. Sometimes I am afraid to get up in the morning. It feels like I am afraid of the passing time. Each passing moment brings me closer to the death. It does not matter how far or near the death is. Only the fact that it is out there somewhere and I am constantly moving closer makes me helpless and afraid. It makes me want to run away. Alas, there is nowhere to run. There is nowhere to hide. It will come when it has to. May be tomorrow while driving or the day after while crossing the street. Or may be during the next doctor’s visit, he will announce that I have an incurable disease and only have couple of months to live. This feeling of helplessness – this feeling that I am unable to do anything – is very immobilizing.

But why be afraid? What is there to lose? I didn’t bring anything to this world when I was born. And there is nothing I can take when I die. Even my body will disintegrate. Either fire or time will decompose it. Every part will be consumed to build something new or to nourish something existing. I ate a lot of lives to survive. At death, I become food for the other. I will live forever in one form or the other. All the lives that are currently hosted in my body will also move on in search of another host. That seems to be the circle of life.

Play the part. Let the life take you wherever it wants. Be ready and welcome death with open arms whenever it comes.