The Sky Is The Limit.

Today’s topic has been suggested by the youngest member of our group Sanjana who still has many miles to go before she sleeps. The rest of us six, except Maria who too still has some catching up to do, are all past or are on the proverbial three score and ten land mark and perhaps have other thoughts on the matter. Sanjana is also likely to write on technology and science, where there perhaps the sky is the limit whereas for me having been there and done that, goals are different and perhaps for my readers and fellow 6/1 bloggers, exotic. Maria is new to the group and it will be interesting to see her take on the subject.

I am a Vedantin. The core idea in that school of thought is “Brahma Satyam, Jagat Mithya, Jivo Brahmaiva Naparaha.” as so beautifully explained by Adi Shankara.

If you have gone to the article as given in the link you would have seen that Brahman is limitless and the Truth and that the Jiva, that is the individual is not different/apart from Brahman and therefore he too is limitless. The goal of the individual in this life is to ultimately REALISE that truth and be free and limitless. I have capitalised and highlighted the word REALISE to explain that it it the process of making something real that is only conceptual to start with. This is a matter for understanding.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 6 On 1 blog post topic. The other five bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Maria. Sanjana, PadmumRaju, Shackman and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Sanjana. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

I am a practicing Vedantin. I am also in the stage of Aantara Sanyasa.  That blog post was written almost a year ago and since then I have only firmed up on my practice and can affirm that I hardly ever worry now.  I am also blessed with an innate happy frame of mind that I inherited from my mother.  For me, this topic is a living reality. I hope that this blog post will inspire my readers to also not worry and be happy.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 6 On 1 blog post topic. The other five bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, PadmumRaju, Shackman and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by me. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

Is COVID The Only ImmediateThreat To Mankind?


This is a guest post written at my request by my close confidante and friend Koushik Sekhar with whom I have discussed this topic threadbare on a number of occasions. He is more articulate than I am as the post will reveal and hence my request to him to write this post for this week’s 6 on 1 Friday blog post.

Over to Koushik.

Covid is not the immediate threat to mankind. Covid is merely the messenger.

There is a more serious threat to mankind- a kind of epistemological disaster and Covid related problems is only a symptom of a deeper malaise . It is a steadfast refusal by the elites of the world to acknowledge the value of knowledge generated by earlier societies and to accept that the generation of knowledge does not have barriers of time, space, race etc. Moreover there is an attempt to eliminate or suppress knowledge that does not generate wealth for the few or which threatens their power.

Decades of globalisation has made it so that these elites are no longer define-able by geography or a political affiliation or education or race. Hence taking aim at the root of problem is no longer so easy as the threat is amorphous and not easy to target and work upon.

This attitude that ‘all conjectures are conjectures but my conjecture is more science than yours’ is deadly for the future of man especially when the conjectures are failing badly. If this isn’t deadly enough, the way institutions are used to muzzle the spirit of enquiry among the outsiders of the systems makes it a larger threat to the world. And lastly , an attitude that ‘all vested interests are vested interests, but mine is more science than yours’  is also prevalent. I am not sure which is causing more damage to society as the competition is lively and tremendous.

To name a few, the new class of global elites have no answers for huge problems we face:

1. How to maintain a happy society with constant economic output or even if economic growth is not possible.
2. How to have social stability in a society where technological advancement is seen as the goal and highly disruptive, to society, technologies are unleashed at a rapid pace.
3. How to handle societies which have become destructive and want to spread their ideologies to others who have better solutions using any means fair and foul.
4. How to manage highly heterogeneous societies which want to have separate rules for each of its constituents.
5. How to guarantee rights to people when they have near zero duties
How to leave the world as we found it.

The attitude of these elites has been that if we pretend that these problems do not exist they will go away. They have spurned knowledge that did not come from them or came from sources unacceptable to them. But these problems have become too big now and the chickens are coming home to roost. Propaganda is no substitute for logic nor can it solve problems created by a long history  underlying such propaganda.

As I could not phrase it any better, I am quoting from this excellent blog on the topic.

Quote

‘pratyaksham hyetyormūlam kritantai etihyorapi, pratyaksheṇāgamobhinnah kritanto vā na kinchan’,

essentially meaning that ‘in case of a conflict between direct evidence and inference/scriptural evidence, direct evidence shall prevail because it is at the root of both inferential evidence and scriptural evidence’.

Adi Shankaracharya, the first Shankaracharya said: ‘gnānam na purushatantram, kintu vastutantram’ — knowledge is not derived through word of command, but though objective reality.

UnQuote

We need the intellectual vigour encapsulated in the Indian proverb which states that ‘truth spoken by a fool is preferable to lies spoken by the great Guru Brihaspati’, also known as the planet Jupiter, the giver of all wisdom.

There are serious epistemological problems in the world today. The Aristotelian logic is no longer adequate to understand reality and solve problems and is at the root cause of many of the problems we have today. We need to understand nuance which is ever present in nature and reality and our logical systems should be in consonance with that.

More here

and here.

We are increasingly becoming exclusive instead of being inclusive.  Many of our values are driven by ‘either or’ rather than by ‘and’.  For example : the framing of the LGBT issue as one being either pro-LGBT or anti-LGBT is seriously deficient. The truth is that society has to be both pro and anti-LGBT at the same time. Pro LGBT as far as providing them safe spaces are concerned and providing them protection and avenues for self-sustenance; but society also has to be anti LGBT in so far as it being discreet and not impeding the lives of other people.

Today’s elites consisting of bankers, businessmen and politicians have become equivalent to those that tried to punish Galileo for his heliocentric theory and a lot of mainstream scientists are tagging along as they get their share of the booty. Such scientists are not scholars in pursuit of the truth.

Truth doesn’t need advocates or us. We, the mankind, need the truth as it helps us manage our societies and avoid making disastrous and irreversible decisions regarding environment, family, culture, food, education which can set us back by 100s of years. In the last 100 years, we have done a lot to move the clock back. It is not clear how far we can push in the wrong direction without being able to turn back.

I am an optimist. I believe that this too shall pass and one day our descendants will look back and see how foolish we were about so many things. But right now it is imperative that we do not believe things at face value that are fed to us and question what is right and wrong. We need to look for ideas, concepts and hypotheses that provide alternate solutions to the prevailing wisdom as the prevailing wisdom is not working. We need to have only one permanent affiliation namely that with the truth and all the rest our affiliations and associations of political, material and religious kind are only the means to that end.

We also need to update our epistemological tools drastically.

The steadfast inertia/ refusal to not do these things that is perhaps a greater threat to mankind than Covid. In fact the impact of Covid itself is much larger than what could have been because of this mindset and this will reveal itself as the efficacy of various successful approaches taken by the discredited ones all over the world come to light after the Covid storm has passed.

The pursuit of truth has taken a backseat for a long time now and its cumulative consequences are amongst us. This is the most serious threat to mankind.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 6 On 1 blog post topic. The other five bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, PadmumRaju, Shackman and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Raju. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

Philosophy Of Life.

I was pleasantly surprised to listen to this song from a WhatsApp forward yesterday.

This was sent to me by a very dear friend who thought that I would appreciate the philosophy that the lyrics convey. Little did he know that this promptly took me back to the 60s of the last century when this movie was released. I was enjoying the life of a bachelor with a full time public sector company job and was smoking Charminar cigarettes. I had also got a Ronson lighter as a gift from an uncle who had quit smoking. In this song, in the movie, when the hero lights up with the lighter, the signature tune plays and I went on a wild goose chase to get a lighter with that application. Finding it extremely difficult to get gas to refill the lighter I finally had to discard it till I finally gave it away to an antique collector who was fascinated by it.

I loved the song for its lyrics and I wish to share it with my readers.

Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya
Har Fikar Ko Dhuen Mein Udata Chala Gaya

I flowed with life as it developed
I blew away all problems like rings of cigarette smoke

Barbadiyon Ka Shok Manana Fizul Tha
Barbadiyon Ka Jashan Manata Chala Gaya
Har Fikar Ko Dhuen Mein Udaata Chala Gaya
{adinserter 1}

Mourning failures was a waste of time
So I moved on, celebrating my failures
I blew away all problems like rings of cigarette smoke

Jo Mil Gaya Usi Ko Muqaddar Samajh Liya
Jo Kho Gaya Maein Usko Bhulata Chala Gaya
Har Fikar Ko Dhuen Mein Udaata Chala Gaya

Whatever life offered, I believed was my destiny
What I lost, I kept trying to forget it
I blew away all problems like rings of cigarette smoke

Gham Aur Khushi Mein Farq Na Mehsoos Ho Jahan
Maein Dil Ko Us Muqaam Pe Laata Chala Gaya
Har Fikar Ko Dhuen Mein Udaata Chala Gaya

Where there is no difference between Happiness and Sorrow
I moved on, trying to bring my heart into that state
I blew away all problems like rings of cigarette smoke

Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi
Album: Hum Dono
Music: Jaidev
Vocals: Mohammed Rafi.

I smoked for fifty five years and am paying the price for it now but, while I smoked, I enjoyed every puff and tried to live my life like the lyrics of this song suggests.  I think that I mostly succeeded too!

Individuality And The Common Good.

This is the Advaita approach to the “other”. I am named after this sage and had been taken to him as an infant to get his blessings.

The oneness of existence is the core of the Indian philosophy.

Unfortunately, human beings have gone astray in their thinking and we have landed up in the Tragedy Of The Commons.

I have no solutions to the problem and if and when I am asked, I refer them to Advaita philosophy.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 5 On 1 blog post topic. The other four bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, Padmum and Shackman and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Conrad. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

Arguments.

discussion
/dɪˈskʌʃ(ə)n/

noun
the action or process of talking about something in order to reach a decision or to exchange ideas.
“the committee acts as a forum for discussion”
a conversation or debate about a specific topic.
plural noun: discussions
“discussions about environmental improvement”

debate
/dɪˈbeɪt/

noun
a formal discussion on a particular matter in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward and which usually ends with a vote.
“last night’s debate on the Education Bill”

conversation
/kɒnvəˈseɪʃ(ə)n/

noun
a talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged.
“she picked up the phone and held a conversation in French”

argument
/ˈɑːɡjʊm(ə)nt/

1.
an exchange of diverging or opposite views, typically a heated or angry one.
“I’ve had an argument with my father”

2.
a reason or set of reasons given in support of an idea, action or theory.
“there is a strong argument for submitting a formal appeal”

I would rather have one of the first three than the last. By nature I have been made like that and I have always been like that.  Now that I am a Senior Citizen, I am forgiven for being like that.

I came up with this topic for this week’s Two On One Friday blog post where Shackman and I post on the same topic. Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the topic.