Feel like a ride

It was a fine evening. Just like any other.

Was at office contemplating the next few hours and I was reminded of the road. It has always been a nice thought to munch on. The wide road and the unending miles. Traffic far and between with sparsely interspersed shops and small eats.

I felt like a ride that moment. Light as  the air on my face. Ticklish as the light drizzle on my visor. Wet as the slush on my tyre tread. Steady as the beat on my thumper. I felt like I was ready to drift.

I picked up my keys and was off.

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Meditation diaries

I have noticed many a time that I would like to express myself, but it turns out that the subject has already been broached by a different author in a different medium. This is particularly true for reflections in the spiritual space.

Just to give an example, I have heard of a Tamil song, one portion of which goes on like this

‘ Thathuva kuappaiyai marandhuda cheyvai nee..’

To explain word by word,

‘Thathuvam’ means meaning or moral attached to a story or preaching

‘Kuppai’ meand garbage

‘Marandhidu’ means to forget

‘Cheyvai’ means to make something happen

‘Nee’ means you

This song is part of a devotional hymn sung during prayer in Tamil households, particularly devotees of Lord Murugan.

I have found this thought flashing through my mind many a time. This particularly comes to the fore when life in general is being dissected on the logical plane.

I can come up with a few arguments in support of my opinion that life cannot be dissected on the logical plane. But I would be contradicting myself.

Then the question is about how to go about this subject. The fact remains that some questions are never going to be answered by dissections on the logical plane and to move ahead in this search of this ethereal knowledge, faith helps a lot.

I do not why, but I have faith.

Faith that there are some unanswered questions in life and that I need not search externally, but I can get all the answers from within. One simple reason for this faith was the fact that I could see within myself, every grain of emotion that I had seen or heard of. I could just go through all these emotions at my whim and fancy.

I could feel like a sinner and saint. I could feel them all. When I went through this, I knew that the mind is the panoply of a lot of things that I need to explore and learn.

This same faith brought me in touch with my Guru. I never have a logical explanation of why I have spent about 5 years in meditative practices and a bit of yoga thrown in. From an outsiders point of view there are a few things which seem interesting like my ability to exert immense control over my habits, but they seem irrelevant to me. I can observe that my decision making abilities have improved immensely, but they again seem irrelevant to me. This puts me in a situation very similar to that of some of my colleagues. This does not help me answer the simple question, why am I they way I am?

Now I would like to agree with the Tamil adage that I started this write-up with. And I want to write about it. But some intellectual had realized it eons back and had written a poem about it. Here I am trying to expand the essence only to realize that there is nothing new in it.

Come to think of it, have ( Humanity) we really changed the way we think we have? It is a very interesting question. Think about it.

@Ashok

I was asked a question on this forum a couple of weeks back and I had always wanted to write about it. This is probably the first time that I have taken notice of him in the time that I have known him. This reflects more on my relationship with him rather than on him in singularity.

His questions goes as thus.

“…..is exercising control over mind and making urself a better person comes only through internal concentration? Or is it internalizing the external world?”

To star with, the question needs a context. The context is that of me telling him once in a while that he might want to spend more time in collecting his thoughts through meditation.

In response he more or less responds that he needs to do it and probably will, but the question is when?

And probably the more important questions is about how much he wants it? And also the kind of questions that he had to internalise, in this process.

On one fine day he popped this question. And I feel there is a nice point to be brought out here.

Let us look at the typical day when I get up. Now let me fast forward to the point when I am about to sleep. Now let me look at the sheer number of people I meet. It goes without saying that I have very little control over the number of people I meet, the kind of circumstances in which I will meet them, the kind of interacions which happen between us and the outcomes.

Let me put it in a simpler fashion. I eat rice on day x. Let us look at the sheer number of people who are involved in getting rice to my table. Farmer, thresher, transporter, wholesaler, retailer and mother to me. This is simplistic, but it brings across the point about the sheer number of people involved. Again very little predictability.

If this is being a bit simplistic, let me try to cpature the point in a differet fashion. If I get up today, I cannot control what my mother will tell me.

I set out to think. I cannot control what others will say/ do in my day to day life. Then I look around and sit down.

What can I do in this world of apparent turbulence and chaos?

What do I do?

Ah! Yes…I can control my mind. I cannot control others actions, but I can control my reaction to it. That is what I can do and it will make a hell lot of difference to me.

Now it is my world.

To get back to the question, I am not answering the question about making oneself through a better person as I am of the opinion that the objective if meditation is not to make oneself a better person. Rather I am quirked by the second portion of the question which talked about internalizing the world.

And I think that collecting one thoughts in trying to handle one’s life involves internalization of the world. It is about taking a global view of the world. It is quite close to the philosophy of trying to find that ‘one’ which explains everything else.

It is about internalizing the world.

Hope that my Royal Enfield will be it.

Hope is all I have. Someday…soon!

Music at my earstep:

I look around me and I dive into my daily routine of work and other chores. Move along in silence with my work surrounding me. The silence of my mind is no different either and I feel pure silence in all it’s melodious self. It has been many a time when this sojourn is interrupted with a brief melody. By melody I am paying more attention to the fact that I am exposed to music rather than the style of music. So the term ‘melody’ is superfluous here.
In these brief instances of exposure to vibrations there have been different kinds of ripples created in the lake of my mind. To start with, there are memories related to music. This is particularly the case when I listen to a piece of music that I have listened to previously. This might be sometime in the near past or probably in the distant past. The more distant they are in my memory, the greater is the magnitude of ripples created in my mind. This is probably because of the greater misfit between my present sate of affairs and the past. This in turn creates a great sense of nostalgia in my mind about the memory raked up by this piece of music. The examples that most commonly create this would be a Tamil song from an old film which I would have listened to maybe 15-20 years back. Add to this the fact that I have been travelling the most part of my life due to the nature of my father’s job and my job prospects. Interestingly one thing leads to another. The song reminds me of those years and those years remind me of a thousand different things. It is something like sitting in the middle of a pile of cinema reels and I randomly pick up a reel and all those reels are interconnected in myriad fashions. In short there is music which is nostalgic.
Then there is music which instigates unique emotions. Just to give an example, there is a very peculiar music which is played during ‘Jallikattu’, the bull-fight festival in the Indian State of Tamilnadu. This music has a very interesting nature of instigation and adds to the overall aggression of the bull which is further accentuated by other actions like spraying of chilli powder/ lemon juice into the animals eyes. Interestingly, the same music is played when people suffer from bouts of hysteria in Tamilnadu. To close your eyes and listen to the music intently will help one appreciate the effect of this piece of music. Emotions-so on and so forth.
If you look at it closely, memories are by themselves cobbled up emotions. Then You would be placing before me a fundamental question, why all this small-talk? I have a question for you my dear reader,…what purpose does this serve? Why do we keep thinking about the past so much and for so long?
I have a few answers, but they do not seem good enough.

music

People I know

I have had many a rumination about the way people act and the motives behind the same. Let me tell you a story then.

Damu comes from a very decent background. His father is an established lawyer and his mother is a renowned artist. His lineage is as established as his love for his whiskers. He has been the one eye through which both his parents have seen the joys of parenting and the ensuing responsibilities.

Damu is in college and is part of a discussion.

Damu says to his friend,

‘Can this be a work of the beatles?’

Kris says,

‘ But I am talking about politics’

Damu says

‘You must be a fan of Bob Dylan then..’ Damu snickers away to glory.

Damu likes everything which is associated with intellectual coolness. Say what about the retro posters and marked verbal and non-verbal overtures alluding to a liking for the late-twentieth century association between music and cultural movements across the developed world. Interestingly he is funny guy, one who is able to make people laugh with him rather than at him. 

But what has really made me write about Damu is illustrated in the following conversation.

Damu saya with a note of brevity and nonchalance

‘Things like this tend to happen’

Ron says with a note of surprise at Damu’s attitude to an event of personal grief to Damu

‘But aren’t you worried about things like this happening to you?’

Damu maintains his air of nonchalance

‘Do I look like I care?’

But I sit back and think about another event that had happened sometime back.

Damu says with a note of concern.

‘Don’t talk like that to me. What will people think of me?’

And I know if Damu cares or not. I know if Damu is really cool or not. I know.

But then human emotions are like water. They rise, drop, flow, rise and ebb in unstoppable continuum with very little rhyme or reason. I now know that it doesn’t matter if I know or not.

Damu is a jolly good fellow.

@Somebody I know

Somebody I know wrote thus in response to my points of view:

‘I think you are in a confused sttate right now and need to take some time off.

This is reflected in the rambling structure of your post.

I dont think that there is anything erroneous about a doctor observing a patient to study symptoms. Even if the doctor has the same desease.

Maybe you are realising this stuff late but all these concepts have been researched and written about by enough and more qualified people.

Just my 5 paise’

Since it is an open forum, I take the liberty to post and reflect.

Let me start with this portion.

‘I dont think that there is anything erroneous about a doctor observing a patient to study symptoms. Even if the doctor has the same desease.’

This concerns my opinion on the present state of affairs in psychology as a science, in the realm of allopathy.

I admire Vivekananda, a Hindu monk from the last 19th century. I still remember what I had read 3-4 years back. I do not remember it word-for-word, but I do remember the essence which basically put forth the view that pyschology is the ‘King’ of sciences. The reason being that psychology taught the understanding of the human mind. It goes without saying that for any thought process the instrument is the human mind. All science is based upon some form of thought process and the intrument is the mind. In such a case psychology which teaches the  ways of the mind is supreme over all other sciences. I cannot but agree.

Now to delve in this matter further, any analysis of psycology becomes a bit complicated by the fact that it is not a phenomenon entirely on the physical plane as is the case with illness of the body. Physical illness has signs and symptoms which can be observed and elicited. On the other hand, mental illness is very less on the physical plane and more on the mental plane. In such a case observations of an exernal mind can be deeply misleading. Couple this with the fact that most people with any form of supposed mental illness are treated with physical agents when the problem is not physical. 

Let me stop for a moment and chew the cud on something else. I am sure you would accept that a doctor os offered a degree when he knows the anatomy and physiology of the human body to a great degree. Any question on these basic sciences would elicit a response which will be very close to reality. But in the case of the human mind, I have never come across any conclusive piece of work regarding it’s structure or functioning. This is just to say that we do not even have the buliding blocks of psychology, to say the least. With this in hand, I am trying to understand how anybody can call himslef/ herself a subject matter expert in this field of science. Thus far said, I stand by my opinion about psychology in the method practised in the realm of allopathy. 

Let me comment on this now.

‘Maybe you are realising this stuff late but all these concepts have been researched and written about by enough and more qualified people.’

We, as a society give a lot of importance to age and qualifications in our society. I just have a simple question which has single-handedly driven innovation and radical thinking-So what?

Let me put it in a simpler fashion-So??!!

Now for the last and most interesting part.

‘Just my 5 paise’

This person has been a regular visitor to my blog and has been quite partaking in terms of thoughts and views. I never understand the Indian mentality about being sorry about everything.

I guess it’s ok.