Mind

Oh! How it wanders?
How it clings?
To every little places
And every little things

However much you try
You cannot even one inch pry
It makes up the places to go to
It makes up the things to cling to

Illusions and perceptions
Successes and failures
There is no stopping
The things it can come up with

It is not for the lack of trying.
On the contrary, because of it
It will be like this
Till you are in bed dying

Truth

Fire does not burn
Water does not wet
Wind does not move
Ocean does not drown
Mere words

Veda does not liberate
Quran does not liberate
Bible does not liberate
Dhammapada does not liberate
Mere books

Truth
Know it
Experience it
Realize it
Be free

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.