• http://www.amazon.com/The-Thomases-Road-Realization-ebook/dp/B009BATQUA/

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Christmas Carol...

Christmas brings out fully the little child that I really am. I have always loved Santa. In my growing up years I read about the history behind this man called Santa. Santa Claus or rather Saint Nicholas was a historic 4th-century saint and Greek Bishop of Myra (part of modern-day Turkey). He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out and is known in particular for secretly providing money for the dowry for three impoverished daughters of a pious Christian (he visited their house after they had gone to bed and left three bags of gold coins in three stockings left over the fireplace for drying). Many miracles were attributed to his intercession, and because of that he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker! His feast day is 6 December and it later got tied up with the Christmas traditions.

Christmas season is indeed magical. When my kids hope for Santa to come in his red dress I tell them that Santa always loves to give gifts secretly so he sends his gifts through someone and whenever we get something that we dearly wanted that nobody knew about, then it is Santa’s gift.

All through my childhood  I  believed that Santa  sends me a gift on christmas…and I still believe it! I have often got gifts around Christmas time that nobody knew I wanted, sometimes even I didn't know until it arrived its winding way to me!

My best Christmas memories are of Halwara Punjab where I was part of the carol troop when I was about 11 and 12 years old.  It was fun visiting houses and singing carol songs all through the Christmas season.It was a magical time indeed. I was very proud to be the one holding baby Jesus. There was only one problem.  When we got into the coach after each house visit, the Awesome Santa became just a normal man when someone adjusted his make up for him! That’s really a deflator for a child who wants to believe the Santa is real!

When we moved from there I missed the Christmas fervor in every other place. Missed singing the carols with a proper troupe…

From the year 2007  I had been thinking that it is the new born Jesus who should be getting a gift from me and not vice versa and so I was trying to gift baby Jesus something on Christmas. It was my book. Such a silly childish thought! So nobody but I knew of this Christmas co relation of why I only tried for a publisher once a year and that too as the year was ending. I worked on my manuscript as the Christmas season approached and would try usually for just one publisher and ... fail and work on my manuscript again. It became a cycle and I was thinking Jesus would take my book when he would be fully satisfied with it.  The book would grow as I re read it each year end and edited it adding new insights.

But as six years passed, in my heart maybe I was beginning to suspect that Jesus didn't really appreciate it too much or want  it on His birthday! This September after my book became an e-book, I wasn't even remotely thinking of anything for December but coincidentally my husband gave my book into print in the Christmas Season without being aware in any way of  my little secret! I was surprised and happy for more than one reason when I came to know of it a few days ago. Evidently Baby Jesus did want the book in print on his birthday, but from my Husband's Hands?! Who knows His mind or ways....

When I was tired of trying to gift something to Jesus, I got it as a Christmas gift to me instead! 

SO I have no gift to give this Christmas or do I? A few days before December 1st,  my daughters instrumental music teacher gave me the musical notes of Christmas carol songs! (Maybe he felt I would be interested in them as I had taken from him notes for some church songs a few months earlier.)  It was a surprise, so I felt that playing the carol songs on the synthesizer was what  baby Jesus actually wanted as gift from me.

 As I play a different carol each day of this December I am reminded of the times with the carol troupe. Travelling each day together as troupe to some different locality, different people in different houses. How I loved observing it all.   I remember also that  I  particularly observed the strumming on the Guitars. I remember how I fell in love with instrumental music. Didn't I always want to play the songs on an instrument? As I play them each day of december I am still not sure - it is a gift from me or again a gift to me?!


Friday, December 7, 2012

...In Love and In War

Santosh Vichivara, the 19 year old who lost his life protesting eve teasing, and other guys like him;  this post is for you. I wish you would learn the art of self preservation while standing up for your causes. The world does not gain anything by losing people like you who can stand up for what is right no matter what the consequences. So you are doing us a favour when you also take care not to lose your life in the process. The young blood takes risks, the mature are cautious. I wish people could be more balanced whatever the age, taking risks indeed ... but with caution!

There were 30 to 35 people outside the gate of his housing complex where this incident took place. If  he knew at least 10 of the 35 in the crowd and convinced them to move in, as a faceless crowd against the five erring teenagers, maybe he would have protected the girl and preserved the fine specimen of a man that he was. Stealth, shrewdness, planning and foresight are essential in a war for justice, not just courage.

A friend once told me that in ancient India, an aspiring King was supposed to learn 64 arts; two of which were deceit and theft. I was surprised and so he asked me 'How would a king learn to recognize a thief, a treacherous person etc if he himself does not know the art of stealing, lying and cheating!" That hit home. The Wikipedia is not as colourful in its descriptions of the 64 arts but I would rather go with my personal 'encyclopedia'; that is, my friend's knowledge.. Indeed these are arts, and are important for even the eventual victory of good over evil!

 The ethics of war are different, even the Bible shows that very clearly. I want to take the example of the story of David. Saul was chosen by God  to be the king of Israel to bring peace by ruling justly. This message of God was conveyed to him by Samuel. But later Saul changed and was more and more unwilling to listen to  God's orders (given through Samuel ) and began to do his own wish. So God chose David as the next king. Samuel was again supposed to give this message to Jesse’s son (David) but Samuel expressed to God his fear of being killed by Saul for this act. To this God told him “Don’t worry, Saul doesn't have to know. Give a feast in Bethlehem and invite all Jesse’s family to come” Stealth was employed in carrying out what was required; for 'self preservation' of Samuel! 

 David murdered Goliath and the whole world applauds that feat. Obviously murder was the right thing here as it was for eventual good. Killing enemies was the right thing to do in a battle (love your enemies?) David formed an enemy in King Saul and his life was forever in threat and he had to even live as an outlaw. He had to think where he would be safe. There were occasions when his hiding place was surrounded and he was on the verge of being killed, but he escaped. He lived many weary years of hiding from the king. During this time he went on raiding expeditions (looting?!)with Philistines (who were enemies of his land Israel, and so he had to ‘pretend” to be an enemy of Israel). If he had not 'cheated' them in this manner he would have lost his life and Israel would have lost its future king.

Those were different times, the era of kings and the rules were different, but  have the rules of war really changed? Indeed it hasn't. Even for our individual battles we often have to employ all our wits and all forms of arts. Dire circumstances almost invariably call for dire measures!

Now I want to move to another aspect of this story. From the time Samuel whispered in David’s ears (at the feast) that he is going to be the king, his life changed, from the carefree live enjoying all the joys of the natural world as a shepherd; to that of a fear for his own life. God had promised David that he would be king but there were so many tribulations before that really happened! He lived a life of fear of being murdered. But all this would have prepared him, strengthened him to be a strong and wise  king.   I was reading a book “Urantia” that had episodes of how Jesus managed the issues in his family, as a kind of father to his brothers. It dealt with many difficult times of  his life before he had to face the ultimate difficulty of 'knowingly and bravely' moving towards his torturous death. Life is not about just the end product. It is the whole journey of strengthening, of slowly and steadily becoming stronger and stronger; enough to handle the responsibilities like of being a king, or of being a sacrificial lamb.  

 It's Gods love for us that makes him allow miseries in our life so we could refine all our skills and also be able to think and take sound decisions. He just doesn't seem to bat an eyelid as we wail our lungs out, because he knows we can survive the misery and grow in strength if we use all our latent capacities. The one who sees every trouble as an opportunity to grow gains from everything and the one who blames and is angry with life loses the opportunity for personal growth and lives in constant misery and anger. Troubles are like falling into deep waters. The one who trusts would 'let go' and so float over the waters, the one who doesn't and fears or resists the waters, drowns. We can forgive God for allowing misery in our life if we can trust him, if we realize that to God ‘all is fair in His love for us’.

What a person is dealt with is part of life, it could be through  one or another’s hands or maybe through one’s own mistakes but what he does to get over it or rise above the situation is up to him. In this growth process we are allowed to make mistakes because we learn from them and grow more in wisdom. In fighting the battles in life we may do things we wouldn't in normal situation. David too did not always feel right; he often felt unworthy when God helped him and was kind to him (Interestingly he never questioned the misery God put him through!) Our body, our life, relationships, and all forms of arts are never mastered without some mistakes during the learning process. We may commit  errors  of judgement, mistakes or may even take dire measures as we learn the best ways of winning a battle for the  eventual victory of good, for winning a life that promises both worldly joys and heavenly happiness. We can forgive ourselves and so would God, because... all is fair in the 'Just' War.

Indeed when the purpose is ultimate good, all things do seem fair; be it in Love or be it War! Not just fair, it is imperative. Only if a good man can protect himself while saving another, would he be able to inspire others to similarly stand up for a good cause.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Incomparable Factor called FRIENDSHIP

As I entered the college auditorium, there was an extempore going on. The topic that a third year student was presenting was - friendship. He glanced at me as he started the topic. We could have become friends; I often had felt we were similar,  but we never did. Neither of us took a strong initiative. Such a simple yet difficult to explain kind of topic that I wonder what I would have spoken?
A friend – brings to mind someone who cares, who respects, who understands, who wants our company and whose company we enjoy as well. Someone on whom we have no rights, who is a separate individual but we come together to share some moments of togetherness.

 It's years since initial college. What happens when we meet those friends from those college times?  I feel it like time travel. We travel back to those times, those little moments shared together. The dancing on the hostel bed and getting caught in the act by the warden. The trip to the lake with a friend a day before an exam, a song someone sung loudly  in the library; even the fun we shared in the “introduction sessions”; the teasing, the laughs, the smiles. We suddenly realize how little moments have in fact not been forgotten but were etched into the memory to be brought out unexpectedly when we connect with the people from those times. Connecting again to the fun, the excitement, the new kind of joys of college years that we traveled together.

That’s what friends hold. They often represent the memories and the experiences, the lessons of the times.  The advantage of friendship is that it is neither a too close relationship nor a too distant one and so the mutual expression and expectations are on a mean, neither too little nor too much. While close relationships of family and love relationships have their own value, these may hold a lot of expectations and demands attached, that can in fact make for each individual's burden! It is friendships again, that aid in carrying these burdens...of earning, of succeeding, of managing a home perfectly and efficiently and so on. Such little comforts of sharing are what friendships provide.

Can you share ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING with your family? Since family is so close, they are often affected by what we have to reveal. But often there are friends we can share anything with, without causing them discomfort or arousing any possessiveness or anger.  In fact, a good friend can be a better listener than even a counselor who hardly knows you.

Also, family may take us for granted. The closer we get, as in a love  relationship, the baggage of old relationship, personal issues, hidden facets all are more and more expressed, and the result is that often close relations become more a challenge than a joy. Not that close relationships cannot become a joy, but it is only possible when they have the right amount of friendship factor added to it, that is, enough closeness and enough distance that prevents the disease called “taking for granted”. In other words, it’s important to be friend first in every relationship, remembering that no matter what the relationship, we can't own anybody; it helps to truly care, no matter what is shared or expressed.

I read recently that in a study it was found that it is not success, it is not relationships or even religion which contributes most to the happiness quotient of any individual, rather it is true friendships.  I could really agree to that! Friendship, a relationship with the right amount of closeness and the right amount of distance is an equilibrium relationship and so no doubt is incomparable.

There... I have finally spoken, on what I began considering years ago, listening to an extempore, on the  incomparable relationship- friendship, and I am happy that today, I can finally say, I don't just hope to make friends with people I like, I do take the initiative to hold my hand out to those I appreciate, and today, I do have some GREAT friends!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Chemtrails- What could they be for?

I had no plans to write about something which might just be a conspiracy ‘theory’.  But I have my reasons now for writing this. Its months since my friend Fher first told me about Chemtrails.  Fher a Filipino is not from the long list of countries which are supposedly getting 'sprayed with toxic chemicals'.  But then recently I got a comment with the greeting 'Aloha' which is Hawaiian greetings; on my post on self sketch. This topic of Chemtrails was again brought to my note by this blogger. Hawaii is a place which is supposedly under chemtrail spray. Now I had to sit up, get out of my skepticism and scan out the news to understand what might be going on. I looked through all the info on this from the net. 

The term Chemtrails specifically refers to aerial trails allegedly caused by the high altitude release (into the stratosphere by planes) of chemical substances not found in ordinary contrails(condensation trails left by planes), resulting in the appearance of characteristic sky tracks. This activity of aerial chemical spraying is suggested to have started in mid 1990 and it intensified by 1999.

Proponents of the chemtrail conspiracy theory say that chemtrails can be distinguished from contrails by many features like their long duration, persisting for as much as a half day (contrails of planes dissipate in less than one minute). They extend from horizon to horizon and the trials then spread out like clouds (unlike contrails). They even form grids whereas commercial aircrafts do not cross each other's flight paths in Xs and grid-patterns at the same altitude.

Normal contrails come from the engines and wingtips of high-flying aircraft. They do not stream from the tails of airplanes equipped with wing-mounted engines. Chemtrails, on the other hand, have been observed through high-power telescopes and binoculars to be streaming from tanker tailbooms pointing downward at a 60-degree angle. (The planes are observed to be painted white without any logos or identifications.) Contrails do not make people sick, whereas hundreds of eye-witnesses have become ill within hours of watching chemtrails woven over their heads. Many have tasted and smelled something metallic or corrosive in the air. Lab analysis of the 'fall' have revealed in some cases biological agents and in other cases high amount of aluminium and barium. 
Supporters of this conspiracy theory speculate that the purpose of the chemical release may be for solar radiation management (geo engineering) , population control, weather control, or biological warfare/chemical warfare. According to them these trails are causing respiratory illnesses and other health problems. It is changing the pH of the soils and is also destroying the indigenous plants, rendering them weak.

These chemtrails are  supposed to contain heavy metals like aluminum and barium (or pathogens) which are sprayed into the stratosphere all over many of the NATO countries including most of America, UK, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand , Australia (I am sure all of us have relatives in some or all of these places) to supposedly reverse the effects of Global warming.  

Who could do this? According to the theorists it is the government. Why would any government want to foul its own lungs and land. That’s nothing short of foolishness!

The problems with these chemtrials according to those who have brought forth the issue, is that it is raising the content of many heavy metals that is making the waters and soil toxic. Aluminium is indeed toxic and its ill effects are not a matter of possibility. It is real! Alzhieimers is caused due to accumulation of Al in brain cells. (Alzheimer cases are said to be rising)  Al is also flammable and can cause forest fires.  In affected areas the soil tests are claimed to be high for aluminium and barium, the values being thousands of times higher than safe limits. 

What can we conclude? Assuming that all this is truly happening, the chemtrails could be to block solar radiation and these could be trials of a control measure for global warming. It could also be trials for biological warfare where pathogens are claimed to be used.” But if it is so, the governments are grossly over reacting to the global warming scare. It is like creating a monster to combat a dog. We are creating a worse scenario. According to the precautionary principle which is one of 26 principles for guiding national and international action which was adopted in the 1972, Stockholm conference- "uncertainty (lets say of climate change damages) should not be the reason for inaction". BUT it does not mean taking any action at such a large scale and for such a long duration spanning decades without taking account of the cost benefit. The cost of control should not be worse than the benefit! No citizen of any country should tolerate such irresponsible use of power

Another possibility considered is to make it difficult for any indigenous crops to survive so that people will buy seeds that can grow in high Al soils. This is also absurd as how many people will have such purchasing power? However much the supply of such genetically engineered seeds, it wont be sufficient for the whole earth and for all types of plants and especially at buy-able prices!!

The next point is, the air any individual or government spoils; is the very air he or they are going to breathe, so why would any government do it unless they knew of some danger to all life that had to prevented at all cost. Here comes the topic of radiation from some brown dwarf that threatens life on earth and to prevent its far worse consequence of annihilation of life, we stop the radiation by barium and bear its side effects . But then what about those who claim of pathogen sprays? Are they just stray cases? Is it mostly barium and aluminium that is being sprayed. Since this spraying started in 1990's, then the brown dwarf radiation threat has been known for 2 decades now. But in the 90s it was very difficult to trace a brown dwarf. It is only more recently that many have been located, so a scare of brown dwarf from as far back as the 90s is not possible.  There are also no signs of drastic changes to the earth system in terms of increased radiation content. Are the governments being fooled then to spray on themselves such chemicals with false stories?

Then comes the topic of mind control! There was a lot of chemistry Jargon in the net  related to how barium and aluminium can be used to "download mindcontrol" onto those under this chemical atmosphere. The purpose of mind control is to make the people a slave to orders! There are also rumours that the Jews; who might be mind controlled, are everywhere in all governments and high positions and multinational companies and news agencies and they are in turn using mindcontrol to rule the world. 

But on the other hand, if those chemicals could really effectively control minds there wouldn't have been such a furore over the spraying. Nobody would have bothered to object to chemical sprays as they would have been ordered not to protest to the spraying!

Since as yet it has not been possible to know what is the truth, whether all such information on web about chemtrials can be dismissed as fabricated. Still going by precautionary principle,  it is only possible to be aware as both individuals and as governments. All governments should be alert to avoid any persuasions to experiment on its people under any pretext. It should be remembered that it is better to give in to the clockwork of the universe that created us and which so has a right to decide our end;  than to destroy our earth by our own hands out of undue paranoia.

 Chemtrail conspiracy theory true or not, we can still keep in mind that- "To avoid an  'open well',  that 'may' be in front lets not run backwards blindly over a precipice!"


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Vanity is Fair

When Spreads the Magic.....

Concept and Created By - Jovy Thomas- Photographer (multimedia)
Starring- Jerly
Year of creation- 2007

God gives us a mixed bag. He may not give us somethings we ask, but then he may also give us blessing which we never expected either! He gave me a blessing in the form of my sister in law who did for me what I don't think I ever seriously dreamed of! From taking professional pictures of me to making a video of me! Well, which sister in law does that!

She chose a song for me "soniye"(beautiful)! I was not sure it was a song that should be sung for me and then she allowed me to chose and sit with her as she edited.

Not that this song that I chose for the video (Jab Chaye) is any modest in comparison !! It means that- when my magic spreads nobody escapes! And then the song goes on to describe a 'mixed bag' of opposite features like both soft and fiery, wounding and healing, a storm, a breeze etc etc...
Not modest at all but hey every girl is allowed some vanity, Right? Vanity is fair in a woman....so here's some awesome lyrics and video for me.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Who Am I

When at the crossroads where I have to choose;
I ask-who am I?
And  I choose what is true to my being;
And pass the other by...
When I feel I am wrong, and have gone with what I desired,
I don't regret ...
It is still who I am.
All what I could not do without;
It was better , than to die...

I am, when I can be
all that I want to give.
I am the one who lives,
 when my spirit is full fire.

The out held hands come many
But want not all that I am
 I have to pass them by, 
say a hundred times goodbye.
And hold only to a hope..
 that does not choose to die
..for a heart, who knows, and calls,
                                                                          to all of ‘who I am’

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Have Thine Own Way!

I was told about the intrigue and beauty of Al Kahf (surah 18, of the Quran) and so had been going through it. I have to say, I simply loved the depth and the meaning of the stories in it. One I want to mention here is of Moses and the Mysterious Man.

Moses wanted to gain more wisdom and so went in search of this Man who was called Khidr, which meant green, for his knowledge was “ever fresh and in contact with the life as it is actually lived”. Moses was to take a fish on this voyage which was supposed to disappear at the spot where he would meet this man. But when the fish does jump off into the sea, neither Moses nor the attendant remember to make note of it. As they pass on, the journey becomes more laborious, the stages become heavier and heavier and fatiguing; until they remember to turn back and look for the man again.

This story signifies that when we exhaust our old knowledge and require new knowledge we have a “feeling of uneasiness, heaviness and difficulty especially if we have passed the new knowledge by, without making it our own” The heaviness and discomfort felt is, in fact, an effort of the soul to search for the new knowledge,  a knowledge we have to acquire, to make our journey of life easier once again, after being armed with the new knowledge.

The readers would be curious as to what was the new knowledge Khidr gave to Moses. Moses was told by Khidr not to question whatever he does but he could not refrain from questioning three times over, as he found Khidr causing a loss, being cruel and returning good for evil; all with no apparent reasons. Finally when Khidr explains, his reasons are found to be surprisingly very sound.

The lessons were-
“Often in life, when directed by higher impulses, a person does things that seem wrong or foolish by worldly standards. Only a similar mind can see why the deed was done, that it was from higher wisdom, in accordance with the universal plan; and so such a person may have to bear the blame and questions of the common crowd.”

“There are paradoxes in life-apparent loss may be real gain; apparent cruelty may be real mercy; returning good for evil may really be justice and not generosity. Gods wisdom transcends all human calculation”

Hence, wisdom is to trust in God's goodness, without questioning

This Sunday’s sermon reminded me of the above story and the lessons from ‘Green’. In the sermon was a mention of the famous writer Eugene who was considered a ‘good for nothing’, but his miseries made him express himself in written word, and eventually his writings brought him fame. I wondered as to how Eugene must have thought. He had indeed lead a miserable life, suffered from depressions; and I felt that “maybe he never wanted fame, all he wanted was a happy life; then why?”

From Khidr's  lessons I feel that sometimes, things have to be as they have to be. Just like Moses, we may not understand why God does some things in our life. For instance, I never understood why God made a 'blindly trusting person' like me, become a religious skeptic; why he led me through treacherous roads, why he closed all options of talking my doubts out with someone of a like mind; so I would be forced to take up the pen, talk to myself and write and clear my doubts.

But this sermon was what I heard, coincidentally, on my birthday, the day when I woke up and opened my mail to see that my book (that dealt with clearing contradictions in various religions) was published in Amazon, a birthday gift from my brother. The sermon about Eugene made me think that maybe somebody would be helped by my book someday and that would make all my slogging and troubles worthwhile. My mind may disagree and say that I had actually wanted a normal doubt free happy life, but my heart says that maybe my soul always preferred something lasting, maybe it always wanted to leave behind something helpful. Our joys and miseries are momentary but what we learn and leave behind, are eternal.

I never wanted this! Why Lord! Can't you hear what I am asking from you? What the hell is this that you give me! These are lines that I, and I am sure all of us often say to God in prayer; and then like this sermon, something may make our minds finally reverberate to the words of this hymn that followed the sermon.....
Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mould me and make me after thy will,
while I am waiting, yielded and still

Should the clay fight with the potter and say “.. Hey not like that!... Lightly not so rough!..”
It is the potter who has the final picture of the pot in mind, not the clay…In other words,
it would make life easier when we yield to the uncalled slaps of life and say…Uh Okay, I can't see the final picture Lord, You can......Have Thine Own Way …!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Black Swan Dance

I watched the movie Black Swan a second time recently. A powerful movie of passion for dance, that didn’t fail to move my spirit as forcefully as it did the first time that I watched it.

It is the movie about a ballerina consumed with dance, who has to depict the coveted role of the innocent white swan and also its twin the guileful black swan. But she had the frigidity, a reserve in her dance that comes due to innocence and an unlived life. It made her perfect as the white swan but it prevented her from letting herself go, while portraying the sensuous black swan.

The words from her director asking her to ‘live a little’, to lose her frigidity and free herself; the incidents and competition in her life, all blow air on the black side in her and ignite it to full flame. The result is that black takes over like a whirlwind and she dances the black swan dance in full fire and wins the audience
…but she loses herself, her life, to the act.

Her own desire to keep the role and end the one competition, her intention to meet the requirements for the role as hinted by her director; act as seeds that grow in her, that push her in a direction she was too inhibited to go in reality..and so she goes all that way in her mind. She moves swiftly from the sweet girl to the dark one, who in her stressed and twisted mind has ‘been there, done that'; murdering none else but her own self.

Are we the light or the dark or both? It is true that often in life to leave our frigidity, to let go of our inhibitions, to become more at ease, we have to explore our dark side, we have to live a little, but the challenge is to not to be swept away by it and keep the balance. In life when the dark winds blow like an unending storm we have to realize that it is the signal to stop resisting and go with the flow of life. Like a tree we have to bend in the incessant wind and not be too stiff, to avoid being broken!

Exploring the dark side is like climbing on a roller skate. If we keep the balance we can have a swifter, more graceful movement but we have to remember that the roller skate without awareness and balance can topple us over any time. The dark side is like a roller that can take over like a whirlwind and destroy all that was safely there as we walked on two feet. And so it needs lot of control and has to be used with utmost care as we master it, and learn to be fully aware.

The light with all its splendor and clarity, is indeed the real us, while the dark power is the tool, the roller skate, to be used carefully, a tool that when used with control can help live life with more freedom. Then as a swan we can dance sensuously with freedom and still be full of light...; be the White Swan doing... the Black Swan dance....

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Fallen Manhood

It is said that a society is known by the way it treats its women. It is said that women used to be respected in some era and some societies….

I did not want to write a post on a pointless pursuit. I don’t have to write what is the way the women are being treated today,… and that speaks all. Why I take my virtual pen finally to write is the ‘rate’ of deterioration of the society that has come to view in the past few months. I am troubled enough to be pushed to post a question as to why the society is spreading its viciousness towards women in such a geometrically progressing pace?

There was a report that one of the reasons is that violence against women depicted in movies is reflected back into society. That’s a point I quite agree with. Many movies I watched have disturbed me. Some for the foul double meaning language that the veteran heroes of the south use with women; the disrespect and objectification spewing from their words. When heroes do it, the fans follow. It is indeed visibly reflected in the society.

Other movies disturb me for how a large section of the males in the audience react, when they watch on screen the plight of a woman shuddering in fear and misery! Shockingly (maybe not surprisingly) quite a large part of it, jeers and laughs in pleasure! Lustful society indeed that cannot see a woman beyond her body.

Men would blame it on the women for having objectified themselves. Have the women of today really objectified themselves? Well, what option is left with the insecure womanhood, if she has to find or keep a man; when the only thing any Man is willing to ‘love’ her for, is her body and she is constantly in threat of being dumped for a better or younger 'model'?

What makes man so insensitive?
Curiosity does lead humankind into the dark lanes. I know of someone who tried beer. And then he tried it quite frequently. But he became aware that the beer was pulling him into the liquor lane. He also realized he had the capacity to become an addict. From that point of realization he did something that requires great strength. He made a decision and stuck by it. The decision was to never touch even beer! There are rarely any anecdotes I remember with as much admiration as this. He is one real strong Man. He had strength enough to resist even the ‘little finger’ of an irresistible evil.

I don’t know if anybody realizes the powerful truth in what the three monkeys of Gandhiji teach - “Don’t see evil, don’t hear evil, don’t speak evil” For evil is very powerful. It can suck you in, into its vicious grip. You may start by curiosity about the evil, but you never know how and when as you move more and more into the lane, in an explorers spirit, you become part of that evil, you become addicted; some evils that were repulsive to begin with, end up becoming a source of pleasure.

This happens to be the story of all sorts of addictions. Its starts with a one time and then suddenly, you realize that you are in the vicious grip of a snake, that slowly pushes out all your sense of right and wrong, deadens your spirit and makes you a ball of mass that ‘laughs and jeers at grossly wrong places’. Such a person no longer cares what a petty sight he makes, he is hardly aware of it, for he convinces himself that he is proud of his sickness. That it is his Manliness, his strength!

Weakness it is.. Can a man be so strong as to let go of even the finger of the evil when he realizes where it is leading to? Can a man be so strong as to not even touch beer no matter how his buddies laugh at him? Not even be incited by peer pressure and insinuations of not being a man? Can a man be as strong as that! If there is such a man, then he surely is a Man!

Today what we also see is that no man seems to have the strength to stand by a woman to protect her! ‘Manliness’, they convince themselves, is rather in abusing the weak women in all possible ways and blaming every failing on them. For the measure of pain and blame man is capable of giving, he does not have the strength to take even a fourth of it!

They think ,act and talk ‘lust’, and then they hide their lustful nature behind the insinuations to womanhood as sluts and objects of entertainment. Not that they believe the sex seeker image of women projected by the ‘virtual businesses’ that thrive on lies; but rather they are weak and prefer pointing their finger at the woman than admit that they have in fact objectified themselves; that their ‘whole world’ from thoughts to words to actions, revolves around their… ‘object’.
After incidents like in Guwahati, the ‘show time’ made by the media and society out of that teenage girl's plight at the hands of jeering senseless men; women must have lost any remaining respect for manhood or any hopes from society in general to genuinely empathize with their situations. That na├»ve girl believed she had empathic ears as she talked to the camera! She is too young to know, that it is not just a matter of few fishes, it’s the whole river that is dirty.

As men conveniently forget to care about women whom they were designed to protect, they turn out to be woman’s worst enemies. They numb themselves, and do not care where they stand in the ‘lowly’ woman’s eyes.
By the by, what does the Man in today’s society look like in the Woman’s eyes? I am sure in any mature women’s eyes they are the weakest Men, weaker than even women, that any era could produce

But the truth is, it does not help to hate the sick. The sick have to come down from the throne of pride and see their sickness for what it is, only then can they help themselves out of it. The men who claim to be strong by harassing the weak, should come to terms with the weakness it actually is. Men have to abandon their high horses called “Manhood” that take them to hell holes. They should not lose their head to the powers of evil, rather, they should finally show their strength where it is really required; against the power of the dark as it pulls their right senses in. The head can rule again if it is kept where it belongs. That power is for Man to summon, for it is in his own hand.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Paradise----Heaven on Earth

Man is said to be made in the image of the Cosmic Purusha (Cosmic Man). There are said to be seven Lokas or worlds and man therefore is made similarly with seven chakras.

Chakras are pools of energy in our bodies which govern our qualities. There are said to be seven main chakras in all; four in our upper body ( the crown chakra(sahastra), the third eye chakra, The throat chakra, the heart chakra), which govern our mind (yang); and three in the lower body (the solar plexus chakra, the sacral chakra, the root chakra) which govern our instincts (yin).

Kundalini energy is the Goddess, Earth, Mother, Shakti, the universal yin or Earth Chi within all of us. This energy is drawn up through the feet and through the lower chakras.

It awaits the Union with God, Spirit, Father, Shiva, universal Yang or Heaven Chi which collects in the body through the Crown chakra (sahasra) located at the center of the top of the head. This point through which Heaven chi enters the body, is the place of transcendent consciousness or true Self.

When the dark negative force called kundalini or yin is taken to the Sahasra and when it is united with the light, the positive, the yang, the seeker attains the perfect stillness or samadhi. This union of energies when maintained in equilibrium can bring in man the qualities of equanimity and unconditional love.

This concept is not different from Christian beliefs. In Christianity the Christ is said to be the head and the world is the body, his bride.The new testament asserts that "we are many parts of one body". We are the bride awaiting the union with our bridegroom the Christ! All concepts are intertwined and in fact are one in spirit. How have different people, cultures and different religions spoken in different words about the same phenomenon? Obviously, where science cannot go, the opened heart goes, and it can be trusted to have come back with the right answers! That is how all people spread apart speak the same thing.

It can be seen that the relation of the human head and body is in similarity to the relation between God and creation.The microcosm is evidently in the image of the Macrocosm.

The undivided infinite Brahma on the other hand is pure consciousness. Creation happens when the undivided separates into a polarity of yin yang, positive negative, night day, light dark. And so creation is not possible without this division or conflict. That is why all life form feels this double pull, this conflict which separates us from our true undivided identity.

The yin in our body pulls down towards the earth and the yang energy in our body moves upwards. When these oppositly spiraling forces converge, unite in an individual, he is able to escape this polarity more and more through inward focus.

The yang and the yin energies spiral in the body in concentric circles and the converging of these opposite spirals at the central point can be represented as infinity.
Infinity represents equilibrium or unity, the balance between male and female forces.The union is experienced and described as a feeling of bliss. Being a dynamic equilibrium, this union or infinity needs to be repeatedly balanced by awareness (Infinity though is the ultimate destination,is in flux and so is required to be kept in balance by awareness).

When this union happens we are more aware of the pure consciousness within the very centre of these converging spirals. When we focus into this pure consciousness, bring awareness to the very centre of the spiral, the point of infinity; the pairs of opposites vanishes completely which is felt as a stillness. When we seek answers in this state, the answers are reflected on our mind just as as the moon is reflected clearly in still waters. The stiller the mind, the more centered; the clearer the picture.

Though the yang is centred in the head and the yin in the body, yet if any chakras are not open the other chakras can compensate. For example though the right and left brains have different functions still when the right brain is damaged in some accident it has been noted that the left can take over many of its functions and vice versa. Similarly when lower chakras are blocked, the chakras in head can compensate for yin as well. That is each incomplete unit can be complete too!

In fact everything in the universe is such that each microcosm can be the image of the whole macrocosm. This means that the macrocosm called heaven is not merely the destination, it can be there in each microcosm called a human maintained in a fluctuating equilibrium, quite like how the whole of universe is!

Ideally, from the smallest unit to the biggest everything should become complete, and each microcosm has to be united to the macrocosm.

What happens when there is imbalance of energy? Shiva is yang, or can be called masculine energy and shakti is yin or feminine energy. Either energy on its own in the individual has its issues. The yin alone can make a man addicted to the lusts of the world, aids in developing manipulating capacities born out of self interests; whereas the yang alone can make a man too straightforward to survive in the world, also leads to intolerance to any kind of evils and a quite unforgiving nature. These imbalances in nature, happens when some chakras are blocked.

What causes the blocks in the yin or yang chakras? Yin is often blocked in overly religious people and yang is blocked in overly worldy people. Religion often leads to non acceptance of the world, ones sexuality etc and can lead to blocking of the lower chakras but as stated, the fall side is that it can make man unforgiving because of a denying of the worldly aspects like sex and self interest. On the other hand the lack of religious fear can make a man give in totally to the world and inturn blocks the upper chakras. It can make a man very adept at meeting selfish wishes by the use of manipulation, but with total lack of justice, and conscience.

Uniting of the forces leads to balance of divine strength with the powers of the world. With time and practice opening of the lower chakras in a person with an already opened yang, leads to tolerance, forgiveness, unconditional love and worldly tact as well. Whereas opening of the upper chakras in a person with higher yin, helps in reducing addictions, slavery to lusts, increases empathy, justice and fairness.

But this united energy is again a tool in our hands.The balance between Yin and Yang as stated before is dynamic, that is it is constantly changing. How do we balance it? We can consciously balance it by balancing our external focuses; by not getting too dragged into any one aspect of life.

That is if we find ourselves focused on instincts, we have to balance it with intellectual activites That is when a yin center is newly opened there might be an increased focus on worldly things which needs to be consciously balanced with the yang.

In fact we can understand which energy we have yet to open in us or use optimally, by analyzing either ourselves or our circumstances. Life's circumstances compliment our internal state. Our circumstances are the aids to any unopened or underused chakra. All things pass and so if we stand through the toughest circumstance without breaking, and focus on solutions, then it in turn can strengthen us.

In other words; when we are pulled down by difficulties, our inner resources can be pulled up. It can not only unlock the unopened centres of strength in us but also serve as opportunities to work with our newly opened energies and develop holistically. In a way we do create our circumstances and we can change our circumstance by changing from within towards balance. The more balanced we are the easier it is to maintain equanimity in all circumstances.

We know the Lord's prayer that Jesus gave us in which we implore to God saying “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”! God always intended earth to be a paradise! God intended each individual to be perfect and whole like Him and when we surrender to his will, he pushes us towards the perfection he wants in us slowly and surely!

We lost our paradise through disobedience, by giving in to the lower pulls and closing the upper pull when in fact we were intended to be balanced. Naturally the lower pull can be stronger and more overpowering and therefore the codes of conduct, the fear of God and hence obedience is required to maintain a balance of energies. Giving in forever to lower energies is the real hell a man creates for himself, which he realizes eventually but feels too trapped and addicted to get out of.

God intended earth and man to be like heaven which is only possible through obedience to the laws written in our hearts. Despite being conflicted in every moment, awareness of what is within and without can help us live each moment in a balanced union of the forces. These powers help the spirit to transcend the current level/plane of existence and be born fully into the spiritual realm while still living the earthly existence. All religions have given us codes of conduct which can replicate heaven on earth, God in man; but internal change and realization of this unity is required for human kind to bring about this heaven within and on earth.

It is in our power to make life and earth a pleasant journey, a heaven every moment and not merely a hell road to a destination called heaven. If that was not God's will as well then there would not have arrived incarnations or avatars to teach us ways to bring about the heaven on earth, to bring about equilibrium whenever there is too much of disequilibrium in the world energies. There would not have been a Jesus telling us “Do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”John 14:27.

We are not here on earth to live a deteriorated conflicted existence rather we are intended to overcome the world and be transformed into heavens within our beings.
“Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Arriving at Freedom (Equilibrium 7)

I was frantically searching, asking, looking for something. I didn’t know what because I probably was afraid of what I knew I would find. When we reach a long desired destination then we still by default go on searching. It’s like the dog who turns round this side and that side frantically many times before finally sitting down. Reaching the most important goal of life, feels like that; not able to accept that we have arrived, that we will have to search no more, go nowhere, sit now, ..for ever!?

So I decided that what I was searching, was a meditation that could lead to centering on oneself, to thoughtlessness, as thinking too much is the door to madness!.( But in my eyes “I AM thinking”, so was I searching how not to be me? How to put an end to myself? That was already disturbing my equilibrium!)

'What you are searching for is already there’. I usually take a book to read as I wait for my son's school bus. That day I grabbed a book in random, hurridly glanced at it: Oh no! J Krishnamurthy” It was one of a set of books my husband had brought months ago which I had abandoned after the first two pages. Titled “Beyond Violence” Something I had thought was beyond me! Shucks; no time to select another book, I thought and took the book anyway. At the stop I decided to read as I usually prefer..in random. And there it was! My husband had, as alway, brought to me the right book!

There it was the chapter- ”Meditation! To Meditate is to be Aware. It told me that one cannot stop thinking, but that one needs to distinguish thinking from awareness. To think is to use past memories and data to process current data. Thinking can breed pleasure and fear. Awareness on the other hand is seeing and comprehending the truth without judging, without fear, without pleasure.

It is difficult to write when you have to include the name Krishnamurthy. I will try anyway. Well, going by Krishnamurthy’s (ahem) ‘thoughts’ (He would have sneered at that word 'thoughts'!; by his ‘analysis’?, no he hates that word too, heck 'thoughts' it is!) I realize that in ‘awareness’ (the only word he seems to like…uh huh ‘like’?) there would be no conflict, no movement, just a standing still.

Do we know “no movement”? We only know movement! We know what the feeling is of 'conflict', of the pull to reach some where, or the polarity of good bad, right wrong, past future;a movement from what is, to what should be. But really, what is it to have reached the ultimate destination with nowhere to go? Can we handle what it is to have arrived. To arrive means ‘not trying to escape anything and not trying to move towards anything’.

This is a painting I made six or seven years ago describing which I wrote a poem in 2009.


Dreams fly and soar,they are wings fluttering free
Truth grounds and floors,it is earth rooting me
Am I free am I rooted, or ‘conflict’ in entirety!

Oh the sky has its pull, but the earth has its hold
Yet mind is never still, though the past put in mould
Yes, there are the wishes....then there is the practicality!

I move to a future, then move back to a past
I am pulled, I am held, I am tearing apart
Oh I stop the striving, ‘Pull apart to a rarity!’

The light shines on me, but darkness doesn’t leave
In my hands there is joy, but inside there is grief
Bright.. the ideals, untouched...reality.

We are fed into a particular view from our childhood but reality seems different. So we are confused, we are in conflict; like the plant rooted by the earth and also reaching towards the sky. As long as we depend on something, as basic as the earth to stand on, as basic as beliefs, we are conflict. As long as we are searching for the sky, for understanding, we are conflict; for we stand on some beliefs which don't free the mind as it strives towards freedom of thought. As long as we are thinking we are conflict as we are interpreting ‘what is to know’ according to our limited collected “what we know”. How can we learn just to observe with freedom, to be aware, to be free of conflict even as we walk through this mysterious journey of life?

'Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me' Psalm 23;4 seems very comforting. How beautiful I used to think to be shepherded by The Lord to the destination. But infact this verse 4 in the psalm 23, also means a path of darkness, and possibilities of straying and so descipling, using the rod and staff to keep the sheep, from wandering! It can mean a lot of pain when we don’t realize when to let go of a past and walk towards future.

I have seen that whenever I hold on to a place and do not want to leave it, everything I valued there quite visibly starts to deteriote and then I become more willing to leave it. Sometimes despite the signs we may still hold on until it becomes unbearably painful. Or when I run from something that I should confront, then I find I have only run into the same situations repeating, and I realize I have to stop running and confront. Rod and staff indeed!

I sometimes wish I shouldn’t want anything that the "Shepherd", the Lord doesn’t wish rather than be hit so painfully. But I also realise that to "let go" has a certain strengthening factor, it develops independence, to enjoy the grass and yet leave when the rod gently taps. With time trust also develops; that this tap is for my good. The tap then becomes comforting, a sigh that I am watched over. Learning thus not to become dependent on any pleasure, learning to enjoy the new path, trusting the shepherd to know the right way and letting go with that faith over any personal desires.

When we let go with faith, some day we realize what we were looking for we already have, for what we look for comes with us, travels with us just as we travel with the Lord and leave everything our dreams our wishes with trust in him. 'My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.' John 10:27 What is really ours is always with us and is never separated by birth, death,or eons.

Could the moment of trust be a destination? But what is the feeling of having arrived at the destination and having nowhere to go, nothing to pursue.How do we recognize it and what happens after? Where to from nowhere! ? Would we be frantically looking this side and that side, turning round and round, not sure how to sit down! Could Krishnamurthy help us sit?

From Krishnamurthy what I basically take away is the intent to free each moment from the past experience and the future experience and arrive at the present experience. I know all intellectuals say that but he explained why we hold on to a past or move towards a future we would like. And why even love as we understand is in fact violence!. According to him it is fear that makes us hold to past pleasurable experiences because we are afraid of losing it, we want to recreate it in our future Love brings pleasure and the dependence for pleasure and then this pleasure brings the fear of losing it, it brings in the violence of jealousy. These are thus all interconnected. Love and violence are the same energy, the energy of division. A movement from what is to what is wanted, desired.

He gave a very powerful example, simply stated; If we saw a wild animal say a lion, we recognize it as danger and would we not as a result try to get away from it? In the same way if we really saw that love is in fact violence, a danger, we would not want it anymore!

Krishnamurthy takes repeated readings to understand intellectually. It takes many more days to understand experientially. It takes confronting. We have to confront our fears or pleasure (if u confront one you are confronting the other too!). Lets confront then - If my thoughts are producing fear, it means I am running away from something? What? Loneliness? Let me look at all around me, Is anybody going to stay with me for ever and ever. I will die, they will die. Then? I, my spirit is alone, all are alone. Nobody carries anything or anybody.

How long will any person be with you can you tell? Who can u say will be with you for ever and ever as long as ur spirit is? Not any earthly body surely.

I accept loneliness as the truth of me, of all mankind. Nobody is there for anybody eternally! That is what I knew and was running away from, afraid of accepting. There is nothing to what is generally called love and togetherness!

When I finally confronted, I felt liberated, joyful. I am lonely! (yeahee) I had feared I would be shattered by the truth that was knocking at my consciousness for acknowledgement for a long long time. "Confronting" I realized is the process that helps move from 'thought' to 'awareness'! The worst moment is just before we confront our fear. The truth on the other hand, is indeed liberating. The truth made my heart laugh in its realization! Everything there is, is just me. My whole universe is me, for ever and ever and ever! I am complete in myself?! Life is ephemeral, everything any man may seek, love, fame, success is all ephemeral; then why seek it? Seek something that is for ever and ever and ever. Seek the self, one's own eternal soul, one's own only companion.

Filling our life with love is evading the truth of our completeness, by ignorance we see completeness as loneliness and so we try to fill our lives with love as an attempt at running away from the truth and then this love brings in fear of losing it (it never was a part of 'everlasting' and our heart knew it), that brings in efforts to preserve it, brings in jealous anger.

The escape from this lion, towards freedom is only in confronting the truth that love and togetherness is a lie. That nobody can be there for anybody for ever. We are our own universe .

Loving is merely loving oneself, but centering on oneself is not selfishness.When we realize that nobody can be there for us, we have only one option, of being there for others. Devoid of the need for another, the need for pleasure, the need for words, comfort, support, such a complete person relates to others in fact in a much better way, ‘without expectations’. When our cup is full, it flows out, when we arrive, we become the channel. Jesus said “I am the way”.When we become fully aware to Jesus, as he shepherds us, we arrive. When we arrive, 'sitting down' means becoming the way, the passage, the channel for the Divine Love that is the Shepherd Jesus.
There is that lovely Hymn “Make me a channel?

The last stanza
“ Make me a Channel of your peace.
It is in forgiving that we are forgiven
In giving to all that we receive
And in dying that we are born to eternal life”

Whatever you do to others good or bad, you do to yourself. Don’t we see, If we cannot forgive ourselves small things, we cannot tolerate others either. When we can forgive others big things we can forgive ourselves too. When we support we get support by default, two people holding each other. When we see no purpose to anything in the world, we stop pursuing, we arrive. When we rise above our fears, give up that which we think is a requirement for our happiness, we get happiness, the freedom from fear. When we give up searching, we find, the truth alights on us. When we embrace the sorrow we are running from we are freed of it. Giving up the ephemeral world, we get freed of its conflict and gain the eternal self. When we are neither held to the ground nor trying to reach the sky, when we are as blank as the space, we are free. When we desire not this way, nor that, we are free of the pull on either side. When we stop resisting, stop reaching out, when we are still, we arrive.

We then live not in some expectation some hope. We embrace each moment as a new gift without the burden of the past or of the future. When we accept our loneliness we are complete. Its in turning in, centering in onself, embracing ourself, that we embrace all

Monday, July 9, 2012

Receiving and Giving ... Criticism!

I, a Virgo by sun sign, know that it is easier to give criticism than to listen to a criticism! To my defense I would say as is said for Virgos, that it is not because we deny our faults (if we do see it! ) but because we already have our own finger so painfully poking at our worst faults that we can’t bear another finger on it.

So let me start with what is more difficult; Receiving Criticism. Accepting that there is a need to change is what is required and is half the battle won. My biggest challenge has been my occasional but volcanic temper (allow me to blame it on paternal inheritance) I saw and accepted it as my biggest fault. I am usually soft and loving but occasionally I am capable of erupting like a volcano, and then the lava becomes beyond my control and it has to exhaust itself. After that blind hour,it’s the huge mess left to clear, the burnt hurt feelings that are piercingly visible after the destruction, that leave me with a lot to reconstruct and a lot to be regretful for long, which brought in again and again a desire to change.

But as long as people still understood, loved and accepted me, I only 'struggled' to control my burst outs quite ‘unsuccessfully’. Some friends would joke on it (when they saw me read book on Anger Management), or call it “Full Power time” (when blinded to “Who” I blew out at). It was only when I was rejected for my temper that I put 'my all' to ‘managing temper' and realized that I could indeed overcome my insurmountable weakness. Managing did not mean I stopped being a critic or that I never lost my temper but it meant I took care to notice the building steam and accepted it to myself and so removed it before it became volcanic and more destructive than intended. That is, I learnt to notice and pour out my emotions at a level where I could manage it calmly, rather than ignoring it till it burst out; shocking me and others.

But in that process I learnt that sometimes rejection can be the greatest incentive to change and that we can even keep ‘rejection’ as a tool in our kitty to use in rare instances (for a short while only of course) where acceptance may have been the spoiler!

Rejection added to criticism is difficult to bear but there are a few things that experience taught me that minimized the sting I feel while at the receiving end of ‘due or undue’ criticism.

1. We can bear to listen to all types of criticism, if …..we don’t have a perfectionistic expectation from ourselves. That is if we can first accept ourselves as we are, and then accept others as they are (not expecting them to know how to criticize constructively)! Once we accept, we don’t feel (and cannot be made to feel) worthless for our faults.

2. We need to accept that perfection is impossible; quite plainly because what is perfect for one maybe imperfect for another! This does not mean we cannot or need not strive to reach our idea of perfection; but rather it means to realize that as individuals we have our limitations of the areas we can achieve perfection in. That is to say, we cannot meet every ones subjective ideas of perfection! (Well, even thinking that is exhausting!) What is important then is sincerity in all we undertake. We can only strive to do our best in whatever is a requirement.

3. We have to realize that perfection can never be a requisite for acceptance. In fact it is the little imperfections that set one apart from another and only a person who is incapable of truly loving, would demand perfection. We often fall in love with a particular character that either compliments who we are or is very like us, or is very like someone in our family and so has a comfort factor. Love is easier to understand if we remember that we develop a love for animals as well! I love dogs, I love cats! What does that mean? It means there is a particular character that we may be drawn to. Strength? You probably love Elephants. Loyalty? You love Dogs. Beauty? The cat family maybe. Energy? Squirell the cute busy body!. On the other hand if it is Smartness? You love intelligent Humans. Goodness? You love empathy in Humans. Perfection? Sadly you can only love God. Because like God, we can only imagine perfection!

But it is true that ‘good’ people are more often looked out for ,as partners. A friend recently told me about how people helped each other selflessly when the earthquake (plus tsunami and nuclear) disaster happened in Japan in March 2011 and wondered if the “civility” was as a result of their high average IQ as compared to other countries or it was their strict adherence to civil attitudes that resulted in comparatively higher IQ in them. (i.e whether “being good” was the cause or the effect of High IQ)

I realized then, why “goodness” is so attractive! Wasn’t civilisation itself the result of superior brain power in man as compared to animals! We instinctively look for the more civil the more “good”.
But it is quite observable that highly intelligent (smart) people can also be highly aggressive and selfish, not very capable of handling emotions and caring for others. So surely High Emotional Quotient (EQ) rather than High Intelligence Quotient (IQ)could be the cause of being a “good” samaritan.
And I also believe EQ can be both the cause and effect of Goodness. That “becoming civil or good” can also result in increasing the EQ. Of course all this is speculation with no tangible proof, but what I am leading to is that ‘a critic is a friend, who can help us develop our emotional quotient.’

What's the benefit of 'the Goodness'!? “Being good” takes us to a higher plane of existence. Personally it can expand our aura to the seventh level. Socially it can take us to a perfectly civil and good world. But from there where?

The whole universe is said to work on the principle of Giving and Receiving,and I really believe that it is indeed the one basic principle! I imagine the play of the universe like a game with many levels(compare with a computer game). Life on Earth is one of the levels with seven levels (or heavens) above (just as we exist in several planes as well). There are many lessons to be learnt on this earth that help to perfect our game plan and escape to the next level. What's the use of winning this game? Each level leads us closer to perfect Bliss! We can expand to the seventh level from the first level. That's about all we can know, but once in the game we just have to play it to the end. There is simply no meaning of getting bored or tired with the game; no meaning to quitting!

Everything we do, all we journey with or meet along our journey are just mutual helpers in the learning. No man can grow much as an island. We all need each other. Whatever lessons our subconscious has been wanting to learn, another may be more equipped to provide us with and so they are the ones we meet in the journey. We may push them away but they stay or keep coming back into our lives till they deliver their lesson; on the other hand after having learnt a lesson, no matter how we try to hold on to someone, they are out of our lives, or become passive in our lives!

I heard somewhere that “those who come into our lives are like postmen who have come to deliver our mail’. We have to respect them as that even if it is a criticism they delivered. True, whatever the content delivered, how can a postman be blamed! We might at worst kill the postman, but in another time or in another lifetime another postman will come to deliver the same message until we learn it. It is always better to take it the first time around.
How? I once asked a friend how he is able to listen so attentively to a particular “boring teacher”. He said, “We only learn as much as we respect another” That was one valuable lesson! Indeed, the lesser our ego and feelings of superiority, the more the lessons we can learn from the other to guide our conduct in life that in turn earns us the higher plane of existence.

Now there can be times when we may have to serve as the postman and deliver a post no matter what; to do the role of delivering criticism! And that brings me to the sermon this Sunday. The topic was that we all have a purpose although we may not fully understand what it is. Some main points were- All of us are in a way prophets and priests; the names we have are god given names which point to our purpose and so we should search the meaning of our names. He further said that the prophet’s duty is of speaking the truth, whether he is listened to or not and no matter that speaking the truth always has severe consequences. John the Baptist (meaning of John is God is Gracious) was beheaded when he spoke the truth. That's often the price of speaking the truth. The priest continued saying that Prophets are also very human, they had their failings and weaknesses that they had to struggle with. St. Paul asked God three times to remove a particular weakness but it did not happen. When he realized he had to live with that weakness he said, "For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).The Priest explained it to mean that in our weakness, we rely entirely on the strength of God.

We all have our failings that we struggle with and which come in the way of our purposes. Sometimes our purpose is delivering a post against our weakness, say a weakness for love (I am definitely not going to be loved for this “dirty Job”of criticising!), despite lack of trust in its usefulness (it’s only going to spoil it for me and do them no good either!), despite fear of the consequences (wonder where I will end this time!). Indeed, when we do a deed because it has to be done in spite of all our weaknesses pulling us down, that is when we would have shown strength!

I have known that bitter truth, no matter how lovingly, tactfully and calmly presented will not fully lose its bitterness and bite and hence possibilities of a kick back! But then I also know that a critic, a teacher can only extend his hand full of the wealth of wisdom; whether the lesson is taken from the hand or whether the hand is spit upon depends entirely on the student; depending on whether the student can recognize it as wealth or only see it as filth.

I am reminded of something Jesus had said: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.’ John 15;20. It is really ignorance to be bothered about the result when we have to be the postman, because our first allegiance is towards our creator who assigns us a job and only after that to our own analytical mind that can never fully comprehend God’s ways. It is also ignorance to be bothered when we are ‘shown our place’ because how we are treated tells “not where we stand but rather where the receiver stands in terms of spiritual development”. No matter if we are not listened to, are insulted, rejected, hurt or even killed, we have to remember that there are no purposes in life greater than delivering what has been assigned (when it is our turn to deliver) and receiving as meekly as is possible for us (when it is our turn to receive).
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