Friday, February 12, 2010

What is दर्शन (Darshan = Worlview)

What is Darshan (world-view)?
Each human being is endowed with the ability to see/observe (understand), and is therefore a Drishta (Seer or observer). The observation is of all that there is (reality/existence) which is the Drishya. The process of observing this reality is Darshan. The observer always views with a certain viewpoint and this viewpoint is Drishti.
There are three facts available to all humans from the time of birth:
I am. (I exist)
Existence is. (Many other entities exist besides me - existence)
I am in existence wanting happiness. (All my actions in the existence are motivated by the want of happiness)
These three facts come with three eternal questions:
I am but I want to know WHAT I AM.
Existence is but I want to know WHAT EXISTENCE IS.
I want happiness but I want to know HOW TO BE HAPPY.
In the past the above three questions have been answered in the following way:
Spiritual world-view:
I am - I is an illusion, there is only one consciousness which is all pervading, omnipresent and cannot be fragmented. The illusion of ‘I’ is the eternal trap.
Existence is - Only formless, all pervading Supreme Consciousness exists, all rest is illusion.
Happiness is - ultimate bliss is freeing oneself from the illusion of I and the illusion in form of other entities with form and realising eternal oneness of the supreme consciousness.
Scientific world-view:
I am - a body made with physical substance and consciousness is a function of body. I exist from the time of birth and till death. I am the body.
Existence is - All that is perceived through senses and is made up of matter (atoms). Everything in existence is a resource for my body (me).
Happiness is - Sensory pleasure through consumption of physical resources is happiness.
Madhyasth Darshan:
I am - the conscious of a human being, separate identity from the body. I in fact is the conscious atom and each I is a separate identity.
Existence is - co-existence in form of infinite units of matter energised and immersed in the all pervading, omnipresent, formless space. This co-existence is the fundamental law of existence. This co-existence is present as the material order, vegetative order, animal order & the human order. Further, in the human & animal order there is the co-existence of the biological body and the conscious atom. The material order, vegetative order and the animal order are in harmony with themselves and with each other too including the human order. Humans have to understand co-existence to be in harmony with rest of existence, which is yet to happen on this planet.
Happiness is - Understanding the existence in form of co-existence and living according to this understanding and in this way verifying the universal principle of co-existence within and without for self and others.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Where are we headed?

This question has been popping again and again in my head for some time now.

It popped up again today morning when I read about the Mumbai terrorist attack. Before that it had popped up when my Brother-in-law had to undergo emergency surgery to survive an ulcer. Before that the same question had popped up when I had landed in Delhi and saw the thick, heavy smog. Before that one of my family friends had approached me to counsel their son at that time too the same question had popped up.......

When I look at the world around me, I see a certain approach being taken by the majority of the people.

The result of this approach is:
  • Individuals are lonely, stressed out, over worked, unhealthy and aggressive or on the path to be so.
  • Families are full of strife, tension & infighting and breaking down
  • Society is unsafe, exploitative, terror stricken and at war.
  • The planet is in a crisis, there are drastic climatic changes due to global warming.
  • The planet is also under threat from humans at WAR.
  • The food is contaminated with chemical poisons of fertilisers, insecticides & pesticides
  • The surface and underground water is now polluted. 
  • The water tables have reduced drastically all over the inhabited areas. 
  • The rivers have become stinking due to the industrial effluents and sewage. 
  • The air has become unbreathable in all major cities.
  • The land is becoming less and less fertile, the forest cover is depleting very fast.
  • The urban waste has become totally unmanageable 
....................

Having seen all this are we slowing down or looking for alternatives?

No.

We are propagating this system even faster. We are clearing more forests, setting up more industries, expanding our cities further, bringing more and more people into the fold of this system, Fighting more wars, Digging more mines, Consuming more fossil fuels, producing more and more waste, producing more cars, urbanising more and more areas and in doing all this taking pride and calling it DEVELOPMENT.

Amazing! Just Amazing!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sukh, Dukh etc

Sukh = Happiness, Dukh = Sadness

We only perceive Sukh and Dukh and these too also within the range of Sensory perception.

What we like is named Sukh, what we dislike is named Dukh.

This Sukh needs to be explored further.

On carefull examination of self one realizes that we are only aware in Dukh.

I say this because all of us are so tuned to identify Dukh that we spot it immediately and at times can even predict it. We have developed mechanisms in our psyche, in our behaviour, in our society to immediately spot Dukh and avoid it. Psychologist have called this the 'Defence mechanism'. We are trained in our families, in our schools in our society to fine tune this mechanism.

But though we can try and avoid Dukh as much, the resulted state of absence of Dukh is not fulfilling. And is not able to hold its state, and some new issue comes up every time to bring in Dukh. So the human mind being quite capable devised the concept of SUKH. Where Sukh = opposite of Dukh.

There is typical characteristic of this Dukh. It is Depressing/disturbing kind of excitement

We put have imagined the opposing qualities of Dukh into our mentally constructed SUKH. This Sukh has been attributed qualities of Excitement which is elevating, gives a rush, is full of passion.

If we see carefully all our celebrations are designed to generate this kind of SUKH. All our Sukh is based on loads of excitement.

But the problem with this kind of excitement/high is that this does not maintain itself and after sometime just fizzles out. So there is a high and then a low. We have recognised this too and devised a mechanism to address it too. We try to make a series of such Sukh events, so that one after the other we keep getting some kind of a high.

But the problem instead of being resolved gets aggravated. All these SUKH events that we design for ourselves again are rooted in Sensory pleasures, and the senses have there limitation and range. So after sometime same activities which earlier used to give us a high no longer have much effect on us. At this time we desperately try and find newer and newer highs.

The above discussion indicates that we are constantly moving from Dukh to lack of Dukh to SUKH (sensory).

What does it indicate?
It indicates that is something in us which needs continuous fulfilment. And it is so integral to us that it cannot be separated from us. It is what defines us as humans.

This constant need to be fulfilled and working for this fulfilment is what a human is, what else.

Now if we pay a little attention to the fact that our need for fulfilment is continuous, then we will realize that it can only be fulfilled with something that itself is continuous. Also even the state in which we will be able to identify our fulfilment needs to be same continuous. And we all know that excitement can never be continuous.

Another thing one needs to acknowledge before beginning the quest for fulfilment is to know the fact that this fulfilment will have to be universally applicable and achievable for each and every human being. Because something special non-universal will again be something non continuous.

The reason for saying so is:
Since all humans have the need, then the fulfilment itself should be naturally available to all and in all space and time, then only would it be a continuous fulfilment. If it was available only at a certain place or only at certain times or only to certain people then would it be continuous? So the availability has to be for everyone, who is able to recognise it and therefore gets fulfilled is up to each individual as per there choice.

There is this state in us, we all have known it but not everyone has been able to acknowledge it yet.

This state is of self observation.

Self observation means being able to clearly see ones decisions, thoughts & desires. When one is doing so, you will find a certain state of calmness, a certain confidence in your ability to understand, speak and do. This is the state where we make most of our breakthroughs. This the state where we are able learn and understand anything.

This state is not a reaction to our surroundings, rather it is rooted in first realisation 'I am'. This state is the natural state as we can be in it for as long as we desire. Yes that is the key word. As long as we desire. When our focus shifts from ourselves to other things then we loose this state.

So the obvious question is, do we ignore the outside totally and only focus on this state? NO.

This state has lots of layers, the first layer which is available/open to all of us is that of self observation. The second layer opens to reveal that one can observe the world while observing oneself. In this layer all one has to do is keep watching self while observing the world, and keep observing the connections/relationships of self with the world. The third layer is when one starts looking at the complete picture, that of self being the integral part of the world and the inherent purpose of all entities. And in this layer we start finding that fulfilment which was our initial quest.

Of course the more you start understanding more it becomes your responsibility to live according to this understanding and verify. I in my individual capacity have only been able to reach this far, I am sure there are several more layers to the whole process.

So in conclusion, this game of Sukh-Dukh is futile which our ancestors also have been saying since time immemorial. Here though what is being said is one step ahead, here the next step is also being put forth and the direction too is being pointed out, now what you do with it is your choice.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Old friends- New thoughts

Meeting old friends - some thoughts

This week has been amazing, I got in touch with several (5) old friends and I thank Facebook for it. Some friends from IIT days and some even go back to school days.

The dynamics of reconnecting & trying to re-establish that bond of earlier times was interesting to observe. At times feelings swung from heart warming to awkwardness and then back to heartwarming.

Meeting in person was lot easier and enjoyable compared to interacting through emails etc. Though I met only one friend in person, others (4) were contacted electronically

I have always felt that communication which takes place through letters, emails, phone has a lot of scope for mis-communication.

The reason for this is :
Person A wants to communicate 'feeling-A', to do so uses words 'msg-A'
Person B reads/listens 'msg-A' and interprets it as 'feeling-B' based upon own conditioning (emotional-psychological journey till that moment)

Now if 'feeling-B' is anywhere close to 'feeling-A' then communication is taking place otherwise only misunderstandings take place.

This confusion can happen in any of the interactions that we have one to one with our family, friends or other contacts.

In case of meeting old friends there is a much greater chance of this happening, as the person you relate to has moved on and so have you. So the two people meeting now are two new people, whose connecting point is that old memory of shared times. I say new people because we as individuals transform so much with time. Each of us carry lot of memories of good and bad experiences and have developed our own personality traits, we have our own defense mechanisms. So say after 10-15 years when two friends meet, then it will take some time to get to know each other afresh, so initially there is awkwardness.

Things can get very complicated in case of a (letter/email & even phone) communication with an old friend with whom you have not been in touch for a long long time. In person, one is able to observe the person and interact on basis of these observations, but in case of these other modes of communication, one has no way of knowing how the other person is interpreting your 'msgs'?

And the matters get worse if two 'long lost friends' interacting through email-phone are male & female. Then you've had it. The possibility of having mis-communication is guaranteed 99%.

With all this confusion taking place I sometimes wonder then what is the purpose of contacting old friends? If all the 'good old memories' are going to be replaced with feeling of awkwardness and confusion.

A few things about 'old friends' that i am interested in knowing are:
1) There well being.
2) Their view point on their journey in life
3) Their motivations & drives
4) Their Achievements
5) Their contribution towards, family < society < Planet

This is my area of interest, if this is addressed in a conversation with a friend then I am more than happy, though usually we only scratch the surface.

Most of the time I do end up talking other stuff, like entertainment, work, indulgence etc but these don't hold my attention for long.

A few things that I would like to share with my old friends are same as what I want to know from them, but i understand that these might not be their concerns. So for sharing i stick to what i am asked.

In case you are wondering what about the old bonding that was felt earlier, can it be brought back? My opinion is that bonding develops with being together in living, so till the time that does not happen again the bonding will not come back. No amount of emails, phone calls, meet-ups can generate the bonding which is developed through living together. Evidence can be seen in any household, any hostel and even in workplaces at times.

Actually this issue of Bonding needs more attention, I will address that in a different post.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Inherent Goodness of Being

There is a difference in something/event/someone appearing good - अच्छा दिखना, feeling good - अच्छा लगना and actually inherently being good - अच्छा होना.

Some things can appear good, but might not feel good nor be good - e.g. Living in a concrete house in hot or cold weather.

Some things can appear good and feel good but are not good e.g. A child suffering from a sore throat eating ice cream or fitting an air-conditioner in a concrete house to overcome weather conditions.

Some things might not appear good nor feel good but still might be inherently good. e.g. A house lizard (gecko) or taking some very bitter medicine...

Some things can appear good, feel good and even be good. e.g Living in a mud house or growing and eating organic food or producing and wearing natural fabrics.

Actually in my opinion, looking good or feeling good is not a value in itself. Value is only in the inherent goodness of being. If one observes oneself, then one can see that there are a lot of things for which one has acquired a liking. Both appearing good and feeling good are fundamentally a function of liking. Why does one start liking or disliking something? Does everyone have different likings/disliking? What is the reason behind liking some things and disliking other things. By 'things' it might mean objects, events or even people.

Liking/disliking = conditioning

When I see this phenomenon in myself I find I like those things for which I have acceptance and I dislike those for whom I have no acceptance. Which means that my liking and disliking is a function of my conditioning.

inherent goodness of being = Value = मूल्य

If one starts seeking the 'inherent goodness of being' then one's whole approach changes. Take the example of food. Right now, one might like certain kinds of foods and dislike other kinds. However, if one started seeking the inherent goodness in the food, then one would first look at the purpose of food, which is obviously nutrition. When one has realized that the purpose of food is nutrition then one will only seek nutrition. In fact, I have found when one starts seeking the 'inherent goodness of being', then everything else becomes relevant in its light.

'Inherent goodness of being' is determined by the purpose of that thing in relation to its surrounding and also with itself. Purpose is evident at the very fundamental level. Continuing with the example of 'something to eat', one needs to look at this 'thing to eat' as fundamentally being food, then only is one able to see its purpose, which is nutrition. 

Purpose is only evident in relationships, there is no purpose in isolation. There nothing in existence which is in isolation, everything is in a network of relationships. when we seek purpose, then we are seeking it in reference to ourselves, therefore it only makes sense to seek the purpose in relationship of that thing with oneself.

In food, whenever I am aware of the 'inherent goodness of its being' then all I seek is nutrition, and at this time everything nutritional starts tasting great. 

The current mode of life is too focussed on everything appearing good and/or feeling good; hardly any attention goes into finding the 'inherent goodness of being' in that thing/person/event.....

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Things to remember

  • Life is consequence of choices one makes.

  • All change is for stability.

  • Growth and decay are the only two states in life. If one is not in growth then, one is in a state of decay. At all time the choice is available to us to choose growth or decay.

  • All IS, is now. past is always memory, future at best conjecture, present reality.

  • Mutual fulfillment is the purpose of all relationships

  • All thoughts, ideas, plans which are not put to action are mere fantasies

  • Understanding is the basis of joyfull living, understanding comes through observation & evaluation.

  • In absence of understanding, assumptions become the basis of living, such living is joyless. When one becomes aware of joylessness then one needs to trace(observe) and evaluate the underlying assumptions.

  • Humans are Seekers, when aware they seek understanding for joyfull living, otherwise they either seek attention or entertainment, both of which are bottomless pits.
  • Friday, December 22, 2006

    Acceptence and Agreement

    I have observed that accepting a person is different from agreeing with that person. Acceptance is of the person and agreement/disagreement is of thoughts. A lot of times in relationships when one disagrees with someone then that person often takes this disagreement as non-acceptance (rejection). Leading to a feeling of unease or even sometimes a feeling of hostility.

    Also at times if one agrees with something someone is expressing then that is generally taken as acceptance of that person by the person who has been agreed with.

    I have discovered that if one is able to maintain a distinction between Acceptance and Agreement and also keeps indicating this difference in relationships then life becomes a lot easier.

    Love ??? - Comment Reply

    jade said...

    what do u mean by.. the expression of love has not got communicated?

    Communication between two people is when one person successfully conveys what is being felt to another person, and the other person is able understand what is communicated and acknowledges the communication, but might or might not reciprocate.

    In case of non communication their are several scenarios
    1. Person wanting to convey(communicator) is not clear (confused/unsure) of what is being felt. Communicator is misinterpreting own feelings (e.g - Confusing sympathy, Caring or trust for Love )
    2. Communicators behavior (speech and acts) is insufficient to convey what is being felt.
    3. The person to at whom the communication is aimed at (Listener) is not interested or distracted at that moment.
    4. The listener mis-reads the behavior used for communication by the communicator (e.g. - Caring at times can be interpreted as interfering).
    5. The Listener is unprepared to accept or respond(either way) to that particular feeling
    These are the various scenarios of mis-communication.

    Friday, December 08, 2006

    New comment on Love??

    alright i agree with...lets say around 95% of what is written. Why i didnt get the 5 is something i assume u can realise since the reasons are in the article itself. What i would like to see is what you think of these observations:

    I am of the opinion that love is not absolute. Every thought is manifested into an action and in the process the thought can lose its real significance. Love is different for different people and there is no absolute entity in this universe. Everything is relative as einstein said.

    The second observation i make is that, the moment 'how love is manifested into actions' becomes constant, love becomes stagnant and fades out. If i was to be crass i would say it becomes boring. In other words, there is no scope for perfection of self. Not that monotony does not have a lesson in itself but it teaches in the negative while change is positive.

    Would like to see a reply...;)
    - SS

    Thanks for your comment.
    Interesting observations, since you have desired to know my opinion, I'll share my views with you. I have highlighted the various points you have made which I am going to address.

    Before I start, I would like to make one thing clear. I accept your views, and due to that respect your viewpoint, though I do not agree with what you say. I hope you understand the difference in accepting even though one might disagree.

    1. Love is not absolute: In my opinion love, trust, respect, care, all these are universal as well as absolute. Thats why any two or more people on this planet can discover any of these feeling between them, irrespective of their background, upbringing, social, financial, physical, psychological, emotional or spiritual status. Secondly, because of this quality of universality and absoluteness, every person on this planet is seeking these realities, which only exist in a relationship. Love has been sought in all times and all places, by humans of all age, sex, creed, caste, colour, race, If it was not absolute then how come the desire for it exists in every human being past or present. We all recognize the absence of love in our lives, and when love happens we recognize that too. If love was relative, then how would two people know that what they are feeling for each other is love. Yes there are times when mistakes feelings like attraction, lust, sympathy, care for love. But the problem is in the wrong identification, not in love itself. To correctly identify love, trust, respect and care one needs to understand them. Correct understanding leads to correct identification of love, trust, respect and care.

    2. Every thought is manifested into an action: Not all thoughts are manifested into actions. What all I think, less than that I speak and even less than that am I able to put into action. This is self evident. You can observe it in yourself and verify it.

    3. in the process the thought can lose its real significance: The definition of a human being according to me is - that who thinks, plans, imagines, visualizes, desires and then tries to act upon these thoughts, plans, imaginations, visualizations, desires and in this whole process seeks happiness. No significance is lost in putting thoughts into action, only one thing happens, either we are happy with the result or we are unhappy.

    4. Love is different for different people and there is no absolute entity in this universe: Both these issues have been addressed in the first point.

    5. love becomes stagnant and fades out and it becomes boring: When someone wrongly identifies love, then frustration, irritation, anger, stagnation, boredom happen. Lot of times when two people are in relationship under the mistaken premise that they are in love, then soon nature takes it course and makes sure that both realize that what they feel is not love. If two people have understood love and identified it on that basis then there is just mutual joy :)

    6. there is no scope for perfection of self: What is perfection in a human? If we look around us everything is working in perfection, the Sun rises everyday, the mango seed grows into a mango tree, the monsoons come every year. Even all the so called natural disasters obey law of nature, don't they? If they do, then there exist laws in nature. Then by this logic there must be some laws that govern humans too in nature. Lets call these Natural Design for humans. IF humans live by this natural design then there is surety of continuous happiness and long lasting & loving relationships, otherwise not. If living by natural design is perfection then it does exist, even in humans.

    7. change is positive: All change in nature is for stability. For example if something falls it becomes more stable, in that particular aspect of falling. This can be seen in everything besides humans. Humans are the only beings in nature who can cause a change for instability, current development model is the best example for it, but one could call it a political view, so lets take another example. In a relationship humans cheat, lie, betray and bring about a change, this change makes the relationship much more unstable, therefore such relationships are bound to break. When humans start living by the natural design then only do they get the ability to make changes that are for stability. Therefore to address your point that all change is positive, well that is so but only in processes/objects/reality besides human beings. In human beings before they are able to understand and identify there Natural Human Design all mind initiated changes are negative, and after identifying natural human design all changes including mind initiated are positive.

    I hope this helps.

    This is just an attempt of sharing my viewpoint, I have no intention of criticizing anyone.

    Friday, October 20, 2006

    Choice

    “Choice, the problem is choice” __ Neo(Matrix Reloaded)

    What defines a human being? Or should I ask what is that differentiates humans? Some might say our colour/creed/sex/race/culture/intelligence/physical strength ……. The list is endless. To me the only difference I see in humans is the choices they make. Rest all is the same.

    The choices one makes defines what you eventually are. As I love to say “Life is a consequence of choices one makes”.

    Really!!? Is that true? Does it make any sense? What do you think?

    Let me try and explain my view point.

    What is freedom?

    Freedom as defined in Wikipedia: refers, in a very general sense, to the state of being free (i.e. unrestricted, unconfined or unfettered). Also, liberation from restraint or from the power of another: independence. In short, freedom is the power to act and the cause which advances this power.

    Does that make any sense?

    Yes it does if you add the fact the ‘being free’ basically means being “free to choose”. ‘Liberation from restraint’ means no external restraints on your power to choose.

    In fact one can define most of the human values on the basis of ‘power of choice’ example:

    Care: Your ability to convey a feeling of freedom to your partner by which he/she knows that you facilitate their freedom of choice.

    Trust: Your ability to convey a feeling of freedom to your partner by which he/she is assured that their power of choice will be considered equal to your own power of choice and accorded same freedom.

    I hope the above examples communicate the importance I give to ‘Power of choice’ in relationships.

    Choice determines the kind of person one becomes, the kind of personality one develops, the kind of life one leads and the kind of human being one turns out to be.

    A lot of my friends have pointed out that I should include more examples to explain my viewpoints but currently ‘I choose’ to do without examples because I feel that what I am trying to communicate is getting done without examples. See how this choice determines my personality/expression/impression on others.

    So if it is all about choice then why is their so much conflict/diversity/mismatch in the way human families/communities/societies have developed?

    The reason I can see is the, ‘basis of choice’ one uses. Currently there are only three basis on which we base our choices Likes/Dislikes, Healthy/unhealthy & gain/loss. These three parameters are the only parameters which are consistently used as basis for exercising ones choice.

    Examples:
    Choosing a friend – do I LIKE him/her or not? (Likes/Dislikes)
    Choosing when to marry – Am I Financially comfortable or not(gain/loss)
    Choosing what to eat – I need to avoid fat rich foods (healthy/unhealthy)
    Choosing what not to eat - This smells of coconut oil, I can’t eat this (Likes/Dislikes)
    Choosing where to live – Yes the rent of this apartment is suitable for me (gain/loss)
    Choosing a lifestyle – I need to join a Gym (healthy/unhealthy)

    Interestingly the choices based upon these three criteria that we use currently, vary vastly from person to person, what I like/dislike you might not like/dislike, what I find healthy/unhealthy you might not find suitable for you, what I consider as gain you might consider as loss for your self.

    So what? You may ask.

    We as humans have this tendency to find similarities or should I say ‘similar grounds’ for interactions, this is a natural need in us and comes from the fact of us being humans. Now if one is seeking similarity the most obvious thing where on seeks similarity is in ‘Choices’.

    I am sure you have noticed this.

    This is where the problem lies, since our choices are based on only three criteria (Likes/Dislikes, Healthy/unhealthy & gain/loss), we end up trying to seek similarity in areas where similarity is very much impossible.

    Does that mean we have an inherent flaw?

    NO not at all.

    We do make friends, fall in love, etc don’t we? (though we are not able to sustain these relationships ????)

    How does that happen?

    Yes the answer lies in there, if one examines the choices one makes inherently when feeling a strong bond with someone and also when one is feeling negative about someone, one can find a clue to the problem.

    So what do you think?

    Wednesday, June 29, 2005

    Love??

    A recent comment

    When we tell each other 'I love you' we try to remind each other, not sure whether we do or don't. The true respect to anyone is telling them that you do but I realize that there is an extent to it. When you care about someone , communicating that you and they share that feeling is important , Love is something more than that. It can only be experienced by knowing a person, not by saying it- and that takes a lifetime. We punish people by using it otherwise. We get caught up and we can't set be free.There is friendship and there is caring, all are initiatives to love. Love is the conclusion not the beginning.

    Annonymous


    'I love you' very important words used differently by people all across the globe, so obviously holds diffrent meanings to different people. Your obsevations are good especially the distinction between love, friendship and caring.

    For me 'I love you' has a slightly different meaning. When I say these words to someone it means I have accepted that person in a relationship and I am feeling good in that relationship, this relationship could be of friendship or of life partnership or even a blood relationship. Thats the reason I use these words with my blood relations too or with my friends. Love to me the inherent emotion in all humans, we all need love, we all recognize love but we don't really know how to live in love continuously. What takes place between a child and parent is also love and what takes place between man-woman is also love. The feeling is the same, that of intimacy and closeness, the expression of this feeling differs from relationship to realationship.

    So in other words for me love is the starting point of all relationships. When the relationships don't work out then it is not that love has ended, it is rather the expression of love which has not got communicated. And we being very conditioned in our response, when love is not communicated then we usually retaliate by either hurting, or ignoring our partner, which is just our defence mechanism working.

    Ashok

    Monday, June 27, 2005

    Sharing observations

    Hi Shiva,

    Apologies for the delayed reply. My reply is in black font.

    Hi Ashok.
    First of all let me tell u that I am not trying to change anyone’s worldview. I agree with u that this discourse can only be about exchanging views, opinions, experiences. And give us mutual inspiration.

    Secondly: Why did I bring up the adjective “complicated”? See: You are posting your thoughts on a blog, so obviously you are eager to reach a certain audience. So: if you would pen down all your thoughts just for you, there would be nothing to comment. But as you want to reach other people (at least I assume you do), I wanted to give you the feedback, that with your way of describing your worldview you will have lots of difficulties to reach someone.

    Feedback is one of the main objectives of this blog, and you being one the only one posting comments in recent times, I do appreciate your interest. but I need to clarify something, my postings are based on my observations of myself, my relationships and life, when I am writing something it is only after I am convinced that this is how I see that issue, these observations are my way of expressing my thoughts to other people. I am not looking for people to agree or disagree with me, I just want them to know this is how I see the issues I am writing about, I don't want you or anyone else to see it in the way I do. I want you and others to share with me what you have understood, what you have observed just like I am trying to do.

    The reason for this is that I look at every human as an independent observer with full capabilities and I have complete confidence in each and every humans ability to observe what they want to observe. I know that if my observations of reality are complete then I will find someone else too who would have similar observations on the same issue. If my observations are incomplete then maybe your observations or someone else's observation might help me in completing my observations on the issue. So I would like you to post your observations on 'I' how do you see it.

    Because you ask a question, and your answer is not about clarifying this question, but it brings in even more questions. So all I wanted to point out is: Why do you make it so difficult for us as audience to follow? If you have to say simple things which can be understood easily, then communicate them in a simple way so that anyone can understand. I agree: The question “what am I?” is not at all complicated, but you gave a very complicated answer to this simple question. I am glad that for you reality and I are easy to understand. If that is so, please explain them in a way that they can be easily understood by anyone else as well. That is all I would suggest.

    I is that 'unit' which is capable of observation, understanding, expressing and experiencing. Reality I had defined in my last post 'Reality is something whose existence or being, is independent of observers consciousness.'

    Now to the question of reality: Of course we assume that a stone which no one is aware of is still existing. But how does an existence of which no one is aware, matter?

    There are lot of things around us of which we are not aware, all these things along with the ones we are aware of make a very balanced and coexisting universe that we see around us. We might be aware of it or not that is a different matter, infact according to me the purpose of life is a journey of awareness of all that is around us. So atleast to me that stone matters.

    Why is looking at myself as I a trap? As far as I could understand your writing you said that looking at ourselves as it, that are limiting views. Is that right? So: Looking at ourselves as I would be the right thing to do. Would mean: looking at ourselves how we really are. So all I am saying is: The very attempt to make out WHAT WE REALLY ARE is a trap, because we will believe in something fixed, static – we would look at ourselves as “this and that I” so to say. So we would reduce our subjectivity to the status of an object. So only way to find our true self is keep on looking for it without ever trying to fix or name it. Once we do that, it is not US any more.

    When I see myself I can see 'this', 'that', 'it' and 'I' in myself, since the moment I started seeing these I have found myself more aware of myself, at no times have I felt trapped or limited. I can observe myself and I understand most of what I observe in myself, whether it is subjective or objective I don't really care as I know no other way of being except for being a constant observer of self and world.

    Am I clear? One would really have to put much more time and thinking on this whole topic. But better a few thoughts than no thoughts. And anyway we are all on our way to understand the world and ourselves and that’s a very long way, I guess.


    Shiva

    I hope this helps you understand what I am trying to say.
    Ashok

    Wednesday, April 13, 2005

    complicated, reality, object

    Hi Shiva,
    Its nice to see a comment on the blog, I'll try to reply with all my sincerity.

    You Wrote:
    Hello Ashok. Thanks for your Post, I enjoyed reading it. I have a few comments: First of all it doesn't help to substitute the word I (what I am?) through the word "reality". So asking What am I? and giving the answer: I am a reality, makes things only more complicate. This is actually the first thing one can learn in the study of philosophy: never substitute complicate concepts by even more complicate ones. Because this will only bring confusion.
    My second comment is then of course: What do you mean by Reality? (Please give a short answer.)
    My third comment (which is actually a question): Where is the difference between this, that, it - and I? Because as soon as you think of yourself as I you will be in the trap of looking at yourself as an object - though everyone of us is so much more than that. We are neither this nor that nor I nor reality. We are, to say it in a Latin _expression: "ineffabile" - that's what I believe.
    Shiva (Delhi)

    So you disagree, thats ok. I respect that.

    You see this is my worldview and I am very comfortable with it and till the time I come across something better I guess I'll stick to it.

    As a reply to your comments I just have the following to say:

    What is complicate? it is a word one uses when one does not understand something or finds something difficult or believes that it can not be understood. Example "life is complicated" or "This physics problem is complicated". When something is understood or believed that it can be understood then it is neither complicated or difficult.

    To me the question 'What I am' is neither complicated or difficult as I am aware of myself, which is why I call myself 'I', I have no doubts about my being, so 'I' know 'I am' but 'what am I' well that is 'what I am' trying to find.

    Secondly, What is reality? Reality is something whose existence or being, is independent of observers consciousness.
    Example a stone : whether I am aware of it or not, it exists and will keep on existing whether or not I become aware of it, so it is a reality, similarly whether I am aware of myself or not I still exist, therefore I am a Reality.

    I hope that was short enough

    For me 'I' or 'Reality' both are very simple and easy to understand, no confusion there atleast for me, but if you have confusion then you will have to find your own answers.

    So you see no difference between It, this, that or 'I' and you think I cannot be studied objectively, thats fine many great philosphers have had a similar view. I am personally of the view that these are different things and can easily be understood, thats what the whole article was about.

    I would like to add here what I think an object is - an object is that reality which is limited physically and of specific size and the size is inclusive of its zone of influence. Example: this earth is an object, Sun, plants, animals, you, I etc. Space is not an object as it is not limited in size or its zone of influence.

    Two questions for you.
    Why is looking at oneself as 'I' a trap?? and I think you need to explain what you mean by object and how are we more then a object?

    Mind you these are my views, I am not agreeing or disagreeing with you, only sharing my views on the some issues and invite you to do the same.

    Ashok

    Thursday, February 10, 2005

    Who am I – It, This or, That

    ‘The Game mind plays’

    Yesterday I was thinking what am I? Following is the answer I got.

    I am a reality.

    A reality which is an integral part of the existence.

    The problem is that ‘I’ don’t realize this reality, instead I believe that I am ‘It’. Attributing some qualities, some habits, some abilities to myself, or should I say I like to think of myself as ‘It’. This ‘It’ is not the real me but what I think what I am.

    When I interact with someone I like to project myself in a certain way which I call ‘This’, ‘This’ is what I keep trying to show everybody. But this ‘This’ is just a subset of ‘It’. That is I try to project only a certain part of what I think I am, all this is done only for my convenience in the interaction. With different people and in different circumstances I am a different ‘This’.

    Now since I think I am ‘It’ and try to show others that I am ‘This’, this gives me certain characteristics which are visible to others, of which I am aware of some and unaware of some. In different circumstances and with different people I am a different ‘This’. All the time thinking that people will soon start seeing me as ‘This’, also smug with the fact that no one will ever know that I am ‘It’.

    What happens is something else.

    When I see people I them as ‘That’, this ‘That’ is based on how I have read them, my readings are based upon their characteristic behavior which is distinctly different from their projected self (‘This’).

    Now this is exactly how you see me, since there is one thing in common in You and I, it is the ability, need and the method to see others.

    You see me as ‘That’ which is based on the characteristics you see in me, some of these are from (my) ‘This’ some are there because of my essentially being an ‘I’(Human) and others are because this is how you see me. Yes you do give me some characteristics which come from the way you see me or want to see me. So in the end ‘That’ you see is a mix of lot of stuff which is mostly imaginary some of this imaginary stuff is in you and some of it is in me.

    With this kind of state we interact, no wonder most of the times our interactions are unfulfilling.

    In this mess of ‘It’, ‘This’ and ‘That’ the ‘I’ gets lost, and it will keep getting lost till I wake up and re-look at myself and so do You.

    Friday, January 14, 2005

    Relationships, Body & I

    I had posted this piece on another blog of mine but it is relevent here too.

    Relationships – my viewpoint

    What is a relationship?
    Its any exchange between two people based on mutual recognition with the aim of mutual happiness.

    Mutual Recognition: Recognizing each other in some capacity like parent, child, sibling, spouse, friend, co-worker, lover etc.

    Mutual happiness: The intent is to interact in such a way so that both people involved experience joy in it.

    Even though aim for mutual happiness is always there but due to various reasons it is seldom achieved, or should I say it is not achieved consistently.

    What kinds of exchanges take place in a relationship?
    All interactions between people have mental and physical aspects.

    When I see myself then following is how I see these two aspects in myself:

    1. I am a human

    2. My humanness has two components physical mental (conscious)

    3. They are two separate identities in nature

    4. My humanness is the expression of co-existence of both these identities

    5. My physical identity is my body

    6. My conscious identity is the part where following processes take place
      • Feelings
      • Thinking (analysis comparision)
      • Imagination (memory, visualization, planning, evaluation)
      • Understanding
      • Experiencing
    7. This conscious part is what I call ‘I’
    8. I address the body as ‘My Body’

    My consciousness is different from physical body in the following manner:

    1. I am self aware - My body is not self aware
    2. I seek happiness - Body requires nurturing, maintenance, multiplication & protection
    3. My requirements are continuous - My body's requirements are periodic
    4. My requirements are not circumstances based - Bodies requirements are circumstances based
    5. My requirements cannot be quantified - Bodies requirements are very much quantified
    6. My target is to be in continuous state of happiness - Bodies target is growth and multiplication
    7. I am not effected by physical-chemical changes in my environment - My body is effected by physical-chemical changes in its environment
    8. There are no quantitative changes in me - Body is continuously changing quantitatively

      In all my interactions both body and mind are involved. The mind is where the initiation in form of wants/thoughts/desires takes place and the body is the tool with which I express it in the form of action or speech. For e.g I want to meet you. I express this want through my body by sitting in my car, driving it to your place and thus fulfilling it.

      If I look at all the acts that I do or all that I speak, I find the same pattern.

      There are some functions of my body where I do not play an active role, like breathing, heart beating, body temperature regulation etc These all happen on there own and are controlled by the system(inherent design) of my body.

      So, when I am interacting with someone both the components are being used but it’s the mind that gives direction to all my interactions. Similarly I see others.

      This knowledge is the basis of my interaction with others, when I am interacting in a relationship then I try to see what is the want/thought/desire behind the persons talk and acts. Since my inputs are restricted to what the person is expressing (through body) I keep looking at my self for interpreting the actions of others.

      This leads from the fact that I have this firm belief that all we humans have same inherent design.

    Monday, August 23, 2004

    STAGES OF RELATIONSHIP

    There are five stages to all relationships. All couples move through the different stages at different speeds and will move back and forth from stage to stage but both will predominately be in the same stage at the same time.

    1. ROMANCE STAGE

    All relationships begin with this stage. The need satisfied here is love and belonging. This stage is characterized by its dream like qualities, fantasies, hopes for the future, the possibilities and the asking of "what if". Everything is wonderful, beautiful, fun and exciting.

    Reality is seen through rose coloured glasses or likened to looking into an off focus camera lens. Details are obscure and specifics are not discussed. The pair unfortunately are brain dead! They focus on similarities and do things to please each other. Differences are viewed as bad so are denied. The emphasis is on how to fit and move together and soon they look like they're glued together at the hip. Each will do anything to get along.

    You deny part of yourself and the thinking is "Now that I have this other person I am complete and happy." The equation is: half + half = one, you + me = us. This stage is short lived because you cannot be a whole person but the stage does allow for the building of a foundation for the relationship in the future.

    Romance allows one to take chances and risks and nurtures a belief that "I can do it". However, real love cannot begin at this stage so paradoxically one must fall out of love to learn to love.

    This stage lasts, on the average, two months to two years. Romancing takes up a lot of energy with all the courting and pretensions and trying to be the same and eventually you begin to tire. As well, melding at the hip becomes uncomfortable.

    When the cost to your individuality becomes too great you begin trying to change the other person. There is resistance, you try to insist and there is a fight, leading to the next stage of power struggle.

    2. POWER STRUGGLE STAGE

    The need satisfied now is power and some freedom. There is an awareness now that you are different but the premise remains that differences are bad.

    The equation now is you + me = you vs. me. The lens of the camera is now a crystal clear zoom lens and you focus on every minute detail-your differences are magnified. You seem to have nothing in common anymore and everything the other person does is wrong. There is a pulling away from each other, a need for space, a chance to breathe...all of which is quite normal.

    This is a critical stage where divorce occurs most frequently and when couples seek counselling, The fight is for boundaries and clearly defining unacceptable bottom line behaviours. The past is acted out in this struggle stage.

    You become aware of your quality world, perhaps a lonely road but a necessary one to determine what is really important to you. It is necessary to reclaim yourself as a whole person otherwise you die inside or end up hating your partner. This is necessary to move ahead.

    Going deaf is a power struggle syndrome - in anger the tightening of the jaw actually impairs 80% of our hearing ability. The focus in the power struggle stage is on the present and the past. There is a nervousness about the future and some questioning whether there will be one.

    There is a need to get the fighting from the past into the present - learn to fight where both win (i.e., use phrases like "I want to talk to you and all I want you to do is listen.") Accept that differences are okay and normal. Learn to be together because of choice not need as in the romance stage.

    This stage is a prerequisite to readiness to relate to each other as whole people. See it as a positive one, an opportunity to journey together, to learn how to fight fairly with both winning and to declare one's own individuality and separateness.

    It is possible to have one partner still in the romance stage while the other is into the power struggle stage. This can be painful when the one in the romance stage finds that what he or she does for love and belonging leaves the other feeling oppressed (i.e., he brings her flowers which was once okay but now she feels controlled by his actions and reacts by needing even more space).

    3. STABILITY STAGE

    The need satisfied in this stage is freedom and choice. You are now aware of each others personal world instead of just your own and the difference is okay. It is finally clear you are not going to reshape your partner. Clear boundaries are determined.

    The equation is you + me = you and you. There is a sense of loss and a certain sadness at this time as your realise dreams aren't reality. The power struggle was hard and has weathered you. You feel older and wiser. If you had not learned good coping skills as a child the power struggle stage was even harder than it had to be.

    This is a resting time. The war is over and it's time to relax. You breath a sigh of relief. The danger at this stage is the couple may start to move apart as each does their own thing. There is a realization that each others paths in life may be different. There may be a feeling of boredom, a sense of not being connected and having nothing in common. The focus is on the present not the future because that is still undecided.

    This is the second most common stage for counselling or divorce. At first it feels good to agree to stop changing the other but ii life i s not like that. Life is about growing and changing. The positive aspect is that at this stage you have history and it can be used to advantage. Don't throw away the relationship easily. At this time you either learn mutual respect or you go back to the second stage.

    4. COMMITMENT STAGE

    This is the only stage where there really is a readiness for marriage though people usually have already married in the romance stage. That's unfortunate because when they reach the power struggle stage they wonder what hit them.

    In this stage you are wide awake, making clear choices about yourself and your partner, based both on individual differences and those things you have in common. You see clearly who you are and what you want as well as who your partner is and what they want. This is the only way for a healthy relationship.
    The equation now is you + me = you + me + us.

    You now choose each other with awareness of past, present and direction to the future. The needs fulfilled here are a balance of love, belonging, fun, power and freedom. You don't need each other, you choose to be with each other.

    If one of the pair is in the stability stage and one ready for commitment, the couple will either both remain in stage three or could return to stage two. Both need to be ready for the commitment stage. Though parts of previous stages may reappear there would have been enough work to have developed strategies for dealing with problems.

    Living together is probably a stage three without readiness for stage four.

    They need to stay in the stability stage until they are ready for commitment and really want to be a team. The statement can now be made to your partner, I choose to love you knowing all I know, good and bad." Getting married after living together can start you back at romance.

    5. CO-CREATION STAGE

    In this stage you are two people who have decided to be a team moving out into the world. The equation is you + me = you + me + us within the world. This world may include children, a project, a joint business venture, etc.

    You move beyond the relationship. The danger at this stage is over involvement with the outside world and relationship being neglected. The relationship must be continually nurtured along the way. There needs to be time for you, for me, for us and for them. This is difficult sometimes and choices must be made.

    A test of where you may be in the relationship is: If your spouse and children are away for a while, who gets the first hug upon their return. If it’s the kids then maybe it's time to take a better look at "us"

    These stages are not a linear process; it is a circle spiralling upwards so when you hit a certain stage in the power struggle it becomes easier. You retain stages and bring them forward as you grow - you are in one stage or another at any given time with bits of the others. Knowledge of the stages helps movement through them.

    Ashok