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Showing posts from March, 2009

Steps to enlightenment

1. Experience joy, beauty, love, happiness
2. Imagine a world full of it
3. Do what has to be done while using as much of your time simplifying things
4. Be cognizant of the fact that the world as you experience it is becoming closer to the world as you imagined
5. Repeat cycle until death!

The beauty of self-negation

Self-negation is the act of exercising your will power to do what you don’t want to do such that you benefit from this act [of self negation]. The more one practices self-negation the better you get at controlling your will and making it do what you want it to, when you want it to.

For obvious reasons this can have tremendous benefits. Just imagine a situation where your superior wants you to sit late or gives you a task that is very difficult and you have enough control over yourself to not get flustered! In fact imagine turning your world into the world you always imagined as a child… by taking the difficult steps, through self-negation…one can only marvel at the beauty of creating the world you want!

We get the chance to practice self-negation many times in the day, each chance another ‘opportunity’ to get better at controlling ourselves.

Every time we sit down to eat for example we can eat good food in the quantity that the body requires and after that leave some space in our stoma…

My theory on why God created man

My theory is that God created us so that we “pursue happiness”. This I have gathered based on the eco-system that God has created and my understanding of the rules behind this eco-system, which I call “reality”.

It is almost as if heaven and its different levels that have been mentioned in the Muslim faith are parallel to different levels of “happiness”. This can be understood as “a higher form of happiness is experienced in a higher form of heaven” [form and level have been interchangeably used].

If happiness is to be pursued I think it is best pursued in God’s eco-system in a most selfish way.

The reason I say it is best pursued in a selfish manner is that one’s own happiness depends on one’s environment and one’s influence on this environment. We are not independent of this environment at all and so to be happy we would have to be happy in this environment.[Selfishness when all encompassing of reality is not bad at all!] If we harm others in our environment it is not likely that ma…

Violence against women in Pakistan

Tehreek e Niswan is a movement for women that started its journey 30 years ago in the hands of a few talented and committed individuals. Individuals who are committed to the ideal of a society where women are respected and given the dignity they deserve. This group searched for literary work that was being written in the country on current issues and had it rewritten in the form of plays.

The plays were performed not only for the educated in society but also in the streets to audiences who could but only afford to seat themselves in a tent on barren ground. The plays were performed on Karo Kare and on violence against women in its various other forms.

I saw a play recently that helped me understand the predicament of so many women from the lower socio economic group [SEC] and I narrate it below.

A young woman who was nearing 30, her two sisters, one older and the other younger married, she herself with a steady job of PKR 8,500/- had remained un-married because she was not very good loo…

Top words in my vocabulary

1. Reality
2. Happiness
3. Maturity
4. Reason
5. Intuition
6. Logic
7. Control [as in what controls me]
8. Investment [as in what I have invested in, that therefore controls me]
9. Self-Negation
10. Relaxing
11. Knowledge
12. Eco-system [as in the universe, everything in it and their relationship with each other. Everything working together like a system!]
13. Imagination
14. Love
15. Beauty
16. Clarity
17. Vision [vision, mission]

Why a PhD is not as exotic as I thought

The primary reason why I thought that a PhD is exotic is because of the idea of stretching yourself mentally and emotionally and doing work [research] that is a contribution at the vanguard of human thought and thus a massive contribution to human civilization.

Let’s take each of these one by one.

Point 1: Stretching you mentally
A PhD if approached by an immature person will be a huge challenge for him because instead of achieving the goal of developing a conceptual understanding of the subject one might get lost into an ever more complex spiral of unstructured abstract thinking that does not progress towards a goal. If however a person is mature and approaches the subject with the goal of developing a structure through conceptual understanding he will probably finish his PhD and not stretch himself all that much.

Another aspect of stretching oneself mentally has to do with the idea of doing one’s best in the PhD. This is not always required because many PhDs are awarded to students who …

What caused the recent US Financial Crisis

“What exactly happened” is a scope I don’t have answers for. But I do have a certain understanding I have gathered from the internet.

It started with the FED deciding to tighten the monetary policy. This resulted in low real interest rates. Returns from financial securities are tied to interest rates set by the FED such that the basic return [on their money] anybody can make is from a short-term government bond, which impacts the return customers are going to get when they put their money in the bank, which impacts the money people want if they decide to raise the stakes and put their money in some place riskier with the promise of higher returns such as buying from the stock market.

In fact there are a number of different types of securities available such as the various kinds of stocks and bonds. All these securities make an inverted pyramid that make up all the financial instruments available for people to trade in.

So back to our story… when the FED reduced the interest rates all th…

Reasons for [a non-religious person] to not get into Prostitution in Pakistan

1. You could be black-mailed.
2. Once you get into contact with pimps other then black mailing you if they see you as a weak person they could extort money from you because you are weak and they are strong and they have no moral obligation to not extort money from you.
3. If the police catch you they can extort you by filing a case of rape against you.
4. No medical check-ups in the prostitutes: This is not a regulated industry so the prostitutes are exposed to all sorts of diseases some of which such as Herpes Zoster are communicable through skin.
5. It’s addictive: If one gets involved in prostitution it’s hard to get out especially when there are no other sexual outlets.
6. I don’t know the psychological impact it will have on a person but that is an important area to look into.

In Amsterdam prostitution is legalized which means this:
1. If somebody harasses you, you can go to the police and take help
2. Prostitutes go through regular checkups and have a medical record that you can…

About liking one's job

If you change the rules on what controls you;
You change the rules on what you can control

A very recent discovery I have made however late is that:
Things that you do to earn a living and things that you enjoy don’t HAVE to be the same thing.
If one manages to decouple the two you will make your life a “lot more flexible”

As somebody put it one should not have love in all the wrong places! If you don’t love something you do, you can continue doing it to earn a living and strive in your other time towards your hobbies. If you are passionate about your hobbies you will grow inevitably and you will be able to do your job better than others!

What is a categorical imperative [something that has to be done] is to “keep moving”/”evolving”/”growing”/”discovering reality”/”negating yourself”.

There is a very nice movie by the name of “Stranger than fiction” in which in a point in the movie the main character decides to not do anything the whole day in an attempt to cheat on destiny. So he spends th…

Another perspective on violence in the Pakistani electronic media

The perspective by many outside the media is that a lot of violence is shown on television; that seeing this has a negative psychological impact on its viewers and incites more violence in society. They therefore think that journalists are acting irresponsibly and should instead save the country now that they have become so powerful; they should in fact save the country by educating the masses.

I attended a debate on this topic where I gathered a perspective that is at 180 degrees to the argument above and that defends why violence in the media is sometimes justified.

I will mention this point wise below:
1. Perspective: Seeing violence has a negative psychological impact on its viewers and incites more violence

Another perspective
Case 1: A study was conducted that found that the amount of violence shown on television in Japan and the US is about the same but its impact on the youth is very different. In the US violence is done by the good guys to save the day – in a sense violence is glo…

Getting closer to a vision statement

I have been trying to find the vision of people around me and this is what I realized people are doing:

1. Family owned conglomerates in Pakistan: To contribute to the third world, in particular their home country by creating jobs for people. In fact not only creating jobs but in many cases rewarding competence thus making a number of people in Pakistan self-sufficient. In the process even if they make “average profits” [i.e. they do as well as anybody else would have done] they still create something of value to the people of Pakistan in the form of goods and services. ISPs in Pakistan are creating an internet infrastructure on which many businesses rely. Mc Donald in Pakistan creates a recreational opportunity for people. LUMS is creating a challenging environment for students and in such an environment exposing them to a plethora of ideas such that the world view one can develop is not that ordinarily viewed by people in third world countries but one where reaching the vanguard of …