Wednesday, November 15, 2017

2343 : Reality Distortion Fields (RDF)

More on from the previous post. The more I speak to my ecosystem and the world around me....I am beginning to see almost all of us live our lives cocooned within what I call as our RDF (Reality Distortion Fields).

And I mean all of us. Including me.

The more I observe the more I am fascinated at how warped these RDFs are....and how powerful they are. All of us believe in them.

Of course, if you believe in Buddhism, then reality in itself is distorted. Which means there is no reality. It's just a construction of our minds.

What I refer to "reality" in my RDF theory is generally accepted "a red color Ferrari" is a car. Now whether it is a good car, a terrible car, a fast car, an overpriced car...and so on...that's where RDF kicks in.

While this might all sound amusing and funny....observe others with a dispassionate lens, in your chats and engagement with them. In almost every case, you shall see what I am saying.

We all (including me) live in our own carefully constructed RDFs. And these contribute to fun outcomes - like I believe I am thin (though I am overweight), I believe I am smarter than the rest because I studied at Ivy league, I believe that I am faster than the rest because I just believe it :-), I believe that I am more analytical and guess what...I am always logical...even when I believe wholeheartedly in the Loch Ness monster...............get the drift? Get the joke.

This joke is not on us. It is "us".

2342 : The sterile ball of assumptions

Picture this. So the son hurts his friend of the same age yesterday, albeit completely inadvertently. She falls on her head, and the shocks send a few spasms within her nose. The sensitive tissue ruptures and she bleeds. The tissue being subcutaneous the bleeding is quite a bit and gory.

And then the fallout starts.

We try and tell the young kid that he should be more careful. The stupid assumption we make is by telling someone some pedantic jackshit, we shall get him/her to be better. ("Do as I say, but never do as I do" la la).

And then, we wheel the little girl into ER. The assumption we make is, if there is something dangerous, the docs will cover for it. Guess what the docs say, the world could end in the next 12 hrs, so "open your wallet", pay for a night of ICU. Sounds like mindfuck, right?

In all of this, I truly wonder - how much I have gone away from reality.  I have now started assuming that pedantic shit works, and on the other hand, I have replaced "responsibility" with "faith" - albeit faith in a system and set of people - who are far from being evolved themselves.

As I write this - my wife tells me to "shut up", she thinks it's easy to judge, castigate and do living room pontification. I hear her, and my mind goes, Buddha was right, breaking illusions is the most difficult, because our mind(s) don't want to know what they don't know.

We like make believe and we like to believe what we make.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

2341 : On the passing away

Today on my flight, I slept off waiting for the flight (which was 3 hrs late) to take off. I woke up a few mins later...sweating and numb. I knew that strange feeling.

Yes, I felt as if I was about to pass out. I needed water urgently. I glanced around - opened my mouth to speak...could not get a word out. Not a sound. Looked the person next to me. He was snoring away too.

I could feel the familiar chaos of thoughts kicking into overdrive. It always happens before passing out. That panic which sets in just before claustrophobia or passing out is immensely scary.

Buddhists say - this is a very mild version (very very very very mild version diluted to a 1ppm almost !!) of what happens when we die. The loss of consciousness and it breaks off from the 5 embodiments that tie it to our bodies, happens along a route which is exactly along the lines of passing out...just a million times more potent.

If that is correct. I know I am not going to face death bravely. And like the Buddhists predict because I could not stand up (figuratively) to the scares of the dissolution process, I will be condemned to be caught in the cycle of samsara, to be born again within 49 days....(yes that’s what they say...almost)

And I will, of course, we condemned to repeat the errors of my previous lives.

I should start meditating now. It’s never too late.

2340 : For the love of Lawrence

I have written about this before. As I am reading more and more about the “secret life” of trees....what I am learning, of course, shocks my blasé assumptions.

More importantly, I remember, about someone called Lawrence, who we used to call in School as “Lawrence sir”.

He used to teach us basic economics in classes 8 to 10, basic woodwork in classes 5 to 7.

I owe my interest in economics and carpentry to him. Unabashedly admit to that.

Anyone else who studies in SJBHS (St. John the Baptist High School, Thane, Talao Pani) the 80s? Do you recall “Lawerence Sir”.

He also used to conduct UN classes....something I had taken so that I could spend another 3 hrs away from home (ahem!! More on that later). This was post-school from 2 to 3.30pm

In one of those classes, I remember he came in very late. We being we (as in kids) we ran amok in the classroom. When he finally came in, he saw us completely wasting our time and possibly wasting ourselves.

I don’t remember how...but his pedantic diatribe against us, quickly veered into how plants lived.

And his key points were
1) All plants talk to each other all the time.
2) You hurt one plant and every plant in the universe (of the same species) immediately sees you as a threat.
3) Plants can smell.
4) Plants can also talk though we cannot hear them.

#4 is wrong...but on all others, he was presciently right....30 years ago....that’s amazing...and he was just a small-time teacher in a small time public school.

He also continued and told us that the same applies to dogs/animals. You hurt one dog and every dog in the world will be scared of you. You are afraid of one dog and every dog in the world knows he can scare you.

I have not read anything like that yet....but Derrick Jenssen’s readings are remarkably close. (Look him will be knocked by what you learn).

So in conclusion....looks Lawrence was remarkably right. Genius in small-town clothing? Anyone?

2339 : Sexually transmitted disease

I liked this quote from R.D Laing. I should definitely thank a friend for pointing me to this one.

Life is a sexually transmitted disease and the mortality rate is 100%.

Friday, November 03, 2017

2338 : Death

Death is a strange beast. Like Maynard Keynes would have said, its the only certainty in our lives....and yet we all struggle with it, at least I most definitely do.

Every time it comes knocking (like it did today), a part of me still violently jolts up, as if I was in the presence of a un-welcome perpetrator.


The Buddhist in me also considers Death as our best friend. (Notice how "beast" become "best")....

We can never be enough prepared for it because we never look at it as a constant partner in our life. We don't think of Death as a latent end point....e.g. when you cook rice, the rice knows (or I hope it knows) that its final endpoint is consumption by us. It knew that all along (In fact I am sure the biochemical expert residing in the plant, knew very well what it was designing the seed/grain of rice be chewed by make us sow more and more rice across the earthland.....Read Michael Pollan to realize that while you believe that you killed a weed and planted the apple....its the apple tree that is subtly manipulating you all the time....plants are masters at getting their way.... they are indeed God's Alchemists!!)
But...coming back...the rice knew that it was meant for me....similar does every little breath of life in me know that it is finally meant for "ashes to ashes, dust to dust"?

Death must be out in the open. English as a language renders death sterile with its euphemisms (like passed away, or "ashes to ashes")....and that gives the state of our minds away.

Does language impact the way we think? Of course. Open for a debate on it!!


Today death still came when I was unprepared. It came through the door...but we would like to believe it came shrouded and wrapped. It came like a haughty village roughie, but I would like to believe it came stealthily. It came accompanied by an entire party, but I would like to believe it came unannounced.

The futility of this cat and mouse sometimes amuses me.

The next time I see The Lord on the Buffalo.....I do intend to tell him a warm heartfelt "hi" and offer him "green coffee" so that he can lose some weight :-)

Till then....

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

2337 : War always hurts

I was seeing something on (which I believe is a good place for positive and authentic journalism).

This one was about #MeToo, a campaign on which I am neutral (more on that later).

The Buddhist in me has always maintained that "a war is a war is a war"...which means to the person in Syria or to a person trapped in abuse, the "immediate war" is their entire world. The "war" engulfs their whole being, entrapping their voice and more often than not disquieting their personal conscience forever.

Its impossible to measure what a "war" means to each of us. For some of us Lepidopterophobia (fear of butterflies), it's the butterflies or moths that ignite that trigger for war. For all of us, a real war, or abuse is always a "war".

My point being...a "war" is personal. Always.

Even broad political battles like Gaza or Kashmir are personal. Its this of intimacy that leads simple uncomplicated human beings to fight on either side and kill other equally uncomplicated human beings.

As I heard Afreen (see here), I was in awe of her courage and at the same time personally shamed. My wars are nothing in relation to the wars in the open out there. She is brave, she is strong and more importantly, she has survived a war. She deserves our love, respect, and a simple heartfelt bow.

Watch her as she speaks. Chaste, poetic Urdu, her eyes pausing every now and then to quiver with disgust, her body trembling as it relives the "war", her call to her "dad" both imploring at the same time impeaching.

She is right. We have killed her and buried a large part of her in that room. And the dead have no "rights" to escape a war. They are the collateral scarecrows that we use to remind others of minefields, at the same time they are also trophies at the altar. RIP Afreen.

He folded his fear into a perfect rose. He held it out in the palm of his hand. She took it from him and put it in her hair.
- Arundhati Roy