Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Incessant Thought Process

I remember writing a poem on Thoughts a long time ago, when in school where I compared thoughts to an ocean and how each thought is like a wave that comes in and lashes the mind. And this carries on through the day; perhaps at night too, unconsciously. There are high tides and low tides in thoughts and sometimes entire days are governed by these tides. Of course, happy thoughts give you that boost of energy that make you think that everything under the Sun is easily possible. And then there are days where the "D" words rule bringing in thoughts on Destiny, Doubt, Dilemma. It is funny that one says thoughts are generated in the mind and yet there is a "second mind" counter-balancing THE mind. Everytime THE mind tries to bring you down, make you pessimistic, the "second mind" butts in and steers you to optimism and happiness. However, it is not just the inner thoughts that determine your mood. The five senses play an equally important role in orchestrating your mood. For example, if you are feeling sad and gloomy and all of a sudden you see a string of birds in flight, or a green grassy meadow, you are bound to feel a lift in the mood. Even a hot cup of coffee or tea will help elevate your mood; so will a lilting piece of music. So, the human mind is an amalgam of chemical reactions, neuron reflexes, and one's basic threshold of resistance, intellect, and determination.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Good and the Bad

It is always very hard to define what is good and what is bad, in universal terms. Is it a norm that all humans are born saintly, good, and will always behave so and that it is only the environment and circumstance that turn a an individual to the conventionally defined wrongs and evils? However, there is a very fine line between one's good and the other's bad and vice-versa. Each one's point of view differs, line of thinking differs, aspired goal differs and hence, the definitions of good and bad. Conventionally, what Robin Hood did was wrong but then he gave his loot to the poor and under-privileged so the bad was converted to good. Then, is it true that this balance of good and bad is kept on an individual level? In society? In the human race? And, if yes, then is it a conscious effort or a nature phenomenon? The chaos of daily life turns many individuals to meditation, yoga, prayer, God, inward seeking, etc. Is this a necessary element? Does it occur out of need or is it an inner calling? Does that inner calling then prompt one to turn away from his or her definition of evil and strive to do only good? Typically, since this inner calling comes to the majority much later in life, with a few exceptions like Prince Siddhartha, where does that effect of environment and circumstance fade away that has accumulated over so many years? Is a human capable of changing oneself to that extent? How does one remove oneself from the stereotyping and prove to be a changed person? And prove to whom other than yourself and for what to others? The modern era is a race for materialistic things more than anything else. And paradoxically, there is an upsurge of spiritual endeavors. Why? Is Man trying to overcome the evil of materialism with the good of spirituality? (And who defined materialism to be bad and sprituality to be good!)Is he trying to re-discover himself? Is he merely trying to find peace amidst the chaos when that peace is actually hidden inside him, within him and can be found with no conscious effort towards spiritualism. That, I feel, is the magic of the human mind.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

On Reminiscence

Everyday is like a new life to be rejoiced and enjoyed with no regrets for the past and no worries about the future. The day alights in a new way. Sometimes, sunny and sometimes grey. Today is like being in the hills, in some remote hill-station away from the noise and chaos of the city. A light mist covers all flaw. There is a slight drizzle and a certain crypticness to Nature outside. Ducks assemble near the lake, scratching their oil glands with their well-equipped beaks. They, too, enjoying the moment. The weather demands one of M. M. Kaye's books on India in hand for the marriage of the weather and description. Of course, that would mean traveling back in time to British India, to read about India with its cool hill-stations and large colonial houses resting amidst prime Nature. Nowadays, everywhere it is the same story about rampid growth, lack of planning, cutting down of forests, making room for the huge demand for housing, balancing waste, controlling climate change. All worries for the future though, not befitting the 'Live in the Moment' psyche. Here I am trying to capture the moment and yet infringing on the past and future. Just goes to show how difficult it is to live in the present. Where would experiences of nostalgia, reminiscence, memory, recollection, pensiveness go if one were to live in the moment all the time? Don't these nouns have their own identity worth enjoying? They cause pain and joy as is with everything else, but are important, nevertheless. There is unease in recollection but unease in not being able to recollect too. So, what is a good balance is the question that comes to mind. I would say, anything and everything that makes the given moment fulfilling; whether you have to delve into the past or future for that, is making the most of life.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

News and Mind Sets

This is a usual routine for the majority these days to get up, find their mobile devices and check emails. Some are much awaited, like replies to the ones sent to friends and relatives. Some come unexpectedly and with equally unexpected news. The email says little and yet speaks volumes especially if coming from someone you have known well and care for. Immediately, your mind springs into thought. What could be the matter? Why was the email not more explicit? Should I call? Should I give more time? Hope things are not that bad! At our last meeting everything seemed perfect. Now, what could have changed? A million thoughts run through your mind at breakneck speed. Next, you think of action. You search through your diary and cell phone for possible contact numbers. After all, the news is unexpectedly and from a person who is close to you but with whom you have not been in regular touch. No number! The person is in an unreachable location right now. The email talks about catching up in March. But, that seems very far away. You sit down and reflect. You hope for the best in the heart of hearts. You ponder on whether telepathy really works. You console yourself saying the involved is strong enough to bear whatever comes. The thought of the involved's well-being nags you as you go around taking care of the daily chores, and other duties. You think of sending another email. You type. You erase. You type again. You hesitate; your finger on the send button. You almost press it but then drag it away. Is this the right time to send the email asking more? Will the recipient be in a mind-set to tell? Again, a million questions. You drag yourself away from the issue. It will have to wait you tell yourself. It is futile to ponder and worry about right now, you tell yourself. It is a struggle between thought and action as are so many situations in life. But, as someone has wisely said, "There is a right time and place for everything." To tap into that and keeping the flow of life is, therefore, key.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Faith, Belief, Religion, God

Often there is a lingering thought whether there is such an identity as God or not? Is it a form, a supernatural energy, or a tangibility given to a ruling ethic that will enable moral functioning of society? Is it a reliance in circumstances where intellect fails or is limited? Is it necessary for this reliance then to take forms of different religions, different "forms" of God, different beliefs and norms to live by? Why cannot each person define his own ethics, norms, his own "God"? Will that not be suffice to lead a life away from the defined evils and sins? Then, is it necessary that religion and God exist for the benefit of the so-called masses who may or may not have the developed intellect to conjure up their own "God"? Will not self-awareness and the need to do conventional good in life lead to the epitome of good karma and in turn the formation of a human society that by and large will be good and one which stays away from all conventional evil?

It is, perhaps, easier to ask questions than come up with a solution. Looking at the history of religion and mythology did there really exist personalities capable of miracle who were later put on a pedestal and defined as God? Were they not mere Earthlings with an intellect in their given time? Did they ever face a situation of limited intellect? Whom did they turn to then to rely upon? To solve their problems and be their God? Will the enability of each individual to have the urge to always do good and turn to no defined evil on purpose remove the need of defined religions and in turn the upheaval of religious wars and mayhem caused by inter-faith beliefs and norms? Is karmayog the solution to all problems? The question still remains whether the ego will always permit good karma. If the done good deed fails to produce the desired results, will that individual then still indulge in ceaseless good karma no matter what the results? Will the human mind gain that capacity to selflessly do conventional good karma notwithstanding the outcome? Will the ego allow that? Will every human in any capacity be able to overrule the ego to keep good karma in order? And then again, how or who will remove the grey area between good and bad karma? Unfortunately, everything is not black and white and can change change shades of grey based on each one's circumstances, background, up-bringing, experience, tenacity, nature, and of course, the in-built ego. So, will the state of evergreen good karma be achieved by development of the intellect to the extent where it can ALWAYS decipher when the ego should or should not be supressed?

Friday, February 10, 2012

On a Rainy Day...

With the skies closing in and shedding in abundance, the day starts on, to some, a gloomy, murky grey note while to some, on a nostalgia invoking, creative, cozy morning to be enjoyed with exercise, followed by a hot cup of tea and warm buttered toast; maybe even a thought provoking film or movie that sets the mood for more creativity. The mind is abound with so many colors, of action, of thought, of hopes and desires, of whys and why nots. The good part is it always finds options in the toughest of situations even. That is the magic of the mind. It is the most unknownest of knowns. Knowns may not be the right word, but let's say a most felt presence, one with life. Well, this again, maybe incorrect to say. Perhaps, the mind lives on with the soul even after death. Considering its vivacity, its profoundness, this very well may be true. The mind, if ever discovered in physical form must be an accordion, or an onion, unfolding in layers, creating something beautiful, having its own ways, doing what needs doing and undoing what it feels should never have been. It is this magic of the mind that enthralls me. It is a beckoning of a good life.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Turmoil, the Relief

Within each of us, there is a constant struggle for existence, its purpose, and the associated action. Each, a whole in parts. There are always tidal waves of thoughts running through the mind. Some nostalgic, some prompting action, some of the past, some for the future. Sometimes, action occurs instantly, sometimes not so fast. There is pondering, hesitance, fear, apprehension. Sometimes, and unexpectedly so, you become a free-soul, not worried about anything and that is a wondrous state of mind in which, the best of action takes place. The whirlwind of thoughts fast escaping as I try to capture them on the keyboard. It is often though that while engaged in other activities, lots of good thoughts escape never to come back. Techonology, therefore, is a handy tool. Any recording application on your mobile phone now allows you to speak into it at a moment's notice. One needs to be aware and alert to make the most of the modern tech-savvy era.