Saturday, October 31, 2009

Video: A short cut to higher consciousness

To understand the benefits read the post titled: "A function of poetry and a view of the 7th valley in the tale of the seh-morgh".

Clearly the strength one can derive from Love, by reciprocating it, is priceless and even Oxygen for a person who wants to make this journey of 'waking up'.

An important point to remember though is that: The true nature of everything on this planet even the Pharaoh is Goodness, Purity and Love. The only reason its not there where its not is because in this case the Pharaoh continued in his state of disturbance by suppressing his Consciousness. [This is the miracle of CREATION and a miracle of HUMAN NATURE.]

The good news is that: The process of reaching a higher state of consciousness can be troubling while it happens. But onces its reached the disturbance goes [because you correct yourself] and you become powerful and at the same time more at peace.

Interestingly after achieving a higher state of consciousness you will not be able to do certain things [that are harmful] because it will require such a heavy toll on you that you will have no choice but to avoid it.

There is in reality no choice for us but to constantly up our state of consciousness and after a while it doesn't seem that scary either.

An easier less violent way to look at this process may simply be to think of entering a 'state of wonder' and enjoy the excitement associated with it only to come out. And then to re-enter again and again.

"Awe is the salve that will heal our eyes."
Mevlana Rumi (1207 - 1273)
Source: Essential Rumi, Page: 65

1. The key: Intent connects each moment in time as a string a necklace of beads.
2. The key interpreted: in each moment you must maintain the same level of consciousness. Whenever you go against your conscience you will again feel disturbed.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Video: Sinnerman - Thomas Crown Affair

The song just captivates me! The lyrics are so simple and beautiful.

All on that Day
He ran from the Devil and sought help and refuge with all,
And nobody could help
And he ran yet again
But with none left to turn to he went to his Lord
But his Lord said to him to go face the Devil
And So He went to the Devil and sought Power from his Lord
All on that Day

Monday, October 26, 2009

Video: If you fail try again

A burning desire within always consumes all contradictions and doubt that come its way!
Submit to it! Resist it no more.
Since your desires will be a reflection of the thoughts you keep. Think good!
And spend time in the presence of God - through HIS remembrance!
For this is the key to 'great thoughts'!
For what you think will come your way!
Thus to entertain 'evil thoughts' is a play with fire!
In HIS presence you will have HIS protection!
HE inspires good thoughts.

Recognize the 'Holy' around you so you may find HIM!

So follow your heart and go where you must!

So the flame within will become stronger!

And the daemons you have become friends with will burn away!

And the weak man will go.
The powerful man will take his place.

Video: The key to a healthy marriage

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Video: The world is changing at hyperspeed

Video: Learning basic essentials from YouTube

I had to go for an interview and despite being a few months away from my 30th birthday I still did not know how to wear a double knot tie.

I had about 30 minutes to figure it out and no body at home to help me.

So I went on youtube and found this video. I followed the steps and yes I had the perfect double knot necktie just the way I had wanted.

Watching and learning from this video struck me in its similarity to how Trinity downloaded instructions for flying a helicopter [into her mind] from a computer! [from the Matrix Triology]

1. Next I wanted to learn "Moon Walking" and the steps were so simple I got it right the first time. But I need practice to get a smoother 'walk'!

Responsibility and Blame Understood

"Blame" vs. "Responsibility"
By Ramla Akhtar

Know that "blame" is only "responsibility" by a darker name.

They are the same thing. The only difference is whether one is assuming responsibility by themselves, with their free will. Or are they waiting until someone else puts the responsibility on their head -- in which case, it is called "blame".

In other words, is it inside-out (from me to the world) or outside-in (from the world to me)? If I do something I must do, it's responsibility. For instance, I have to make sure that my water tank does not overflow into the street. But if I ignore to do something that I have to do anyway, and someone reminds me.... it may become a blame. For instance, a neighbor can knock my door and say, "The water from your tank is flooding the street."

It is decent at that point to still see it as a responsibility. But those with weak character -- that is, a character that does not have awareness and knowledge -- will feel "blamed".

If ever you feel "blame", stop and ask: what is my responsibility? What is that thing which I can do?

Now, the first thing is to be aware of the real meaning of being responsible.

What is responsibility?

It is response-ability. That is, the ability to respond.

So there are two key concepts here:

1. Ability

This word is from the Latin root habilis which means "handy".
The origin of handy is "hand" -- which directly refers to the hand... the organ on the body.

What is hand associated with? Skill. Learning.
The hand learns to grasp objects. Deal with them. Move things. Stop things. WORK. Essentially, "hand" is for physical work and
The hand is trained for this. Weak hands cannot pick or drop objects. Babies are always exercising their arms and hands. They are jumping, they are moving. In the animal world, animals properly train their limbs, their paws, their wings. They practice all the time.

Why practice? So that one is ready for various situations as they arise. One is able to respond at the moment. Every moment is unique, it never happened before, it will never happen again. There are certainly many, many situations that happen only for the first time. We walk for the first time. We drive the first time. We start eating with our own hand the first time at a very little age. But the hand could not pick the first spoon if it was not already trained and exercised. It doesn't have to exercise by picking a spoon. It can exercise by moving about.

It's just like you don't practice for climbing Everest by climbing Everest. But you exercise, train on rock climbing units, climb other mountains, do other sports to build stamina and skill to climb Everest the first time.

Ability has to be there before response, even though the situation is unique, happening for the 'first time'.

2. Response

This is from the Latin root respondēre which means "to promise".
"Promise", in turn, is from the root word prōmissum which means "to send forth".

Aha! "To send" and "forth".

Forth means: "Forward in time, place, or order; onward."

[To] Send is:

- an action
- it is outward from the self
- it is "giving"
- it implies deliberate choice. It is not the same as "throw away", not "snatched from".
- an action that requires a receiver. We cannot send something to an imagination.
- done in the present moment. One cannot send in the past. One cannot even send something in the future. (The 'future' will be 'present' when you're sending it. So if you're sending something "tomorrow", when you send it, it will be "today". The date today is Oct 22. You cannot send anything on Oct 23 while you're still in Oct 22.)

Take the case of a greeting card. If I "send" it, it means I chose. No one snatched a card from me. I did not hand it over, I was not pulled form. Also, an action took place. Some work happened. It required ability to send. What is the ability in this case? Remembering the occasion on which to send the greeting.

Coupled with "forth" the meaning becomes even more clear. One is "sending ahead of time" -- which means, one is being proactive. One is doing something by one's own will and power and ability, rather than being asked to do it.

So, let's summarize:

Response means promise. Promise means to send forth. To send forth means to actively do something, and it's done to real event or person; also it's done in the present time.

Ability is to have trained to give a response when a response is required.

Also, NOT DOING SOMETHING is also an action. For example if you put a seed in the soil. You can water and fertilize it. But you cannot make it grow. You will have to sit and wait (and do other work) while it grows itself. That part when you're not doing anything more to the seed is not lack of action. It is patient action.

Also know that to be ready does not mean to attack. It means develop the ability to respond.

So, too, taking matters in one's own hands means to develop one's skills and knowledge and ability. It does not mean to become aggressive and attacking. The person who really has matters in their hands is one who is calm and collected, especially under adverse situation.

Losing control and to be emotional means there is a lack of character development.

How to improve that? By developing ability.

Now: What is blame?

Blame is when an action becomes due upon oneself, but one has not done it, or cannot do it. Someone or something from the outside reminds one to take action. That is felt as a 'blame' by the Self. In itself, blame is nothing. Responsibility is the real thing.

When there is a blame, one may honestly investigate the cause and redress it. It is possibly that one is wrongly blamed. In that case, the "responsibility" is to clear the blame! Send forth an explanation or correction!
And this is how blame is simply "responsibility" in reverse.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fundamentals of Humor

The goal of humor is to make the audience laugh. I show how a basic joke that aims at producing laughter is made of specific building blocks. Here I also talk about varying style to produce different kinds of humor. This is shown diagrammatically. The material for the post comes mostly from an online Google book by the author Mary Ann Rishe titled “Writing Humor: Creativity and the comic mind”.

Laughter is a pleasurable physical response we experience as we respond to humor. Emotion builds in the body and then, because it can't be reabsorbed by the brain as quickly as cognition, it erupts as "excess energy". [Thus it is a physiological response to a stimulus].

Our goal is to create this "excess energy" in the audience. To understand how let's turn to the definition of humor.

Humor Defined
"Humor is playful incongruity that contains a tension between two levels of meaning followed by a clash of sufficient complexity that surprises and delights and that leads to a resolution of that meaning."

We will develop our understanding of 'incongruity' and 'tension' to grasp the definition above.

Incongruity means anything that doesn't fit our logical expectations or our normal view of things: We expect a man in a winter storm to wear a heavy jacket and boots, but Charlie Chaplin in Gold Rush arrives in Alaska wearing his shorts, ill-fitting coat and bowler hat, naively unprepared for the freezing wind and snow. He's also followed by a bear.

There also has to be sufficient 'tension' between the normal meaning and the incongruity since mere differences are not enough. Take for example the following scenario: A fourteen-year-old girl and a fifty-year-old man walking into a classroom are of different sexes and ages, but that by itself isn’t funny. To make the scene humorous, you'd have to make her a precocious teenager with an IQ of 170 and have us discover that she's actually the professor, and he's the student.

A diagram of the humor process:

Thus when we have two parallel meanings that are incongruous with sufficient 'tension' resolving this incongruity creates laughter. Thus we have our basic joke [molecule].

Let's take a joke and see how this works:
Henny Youngman: "Now that I know how to get the most out of life, most of it is over."

Look at the structure of the humor process in figure 3 and apply the joke to the diagram. Meaning #1 centers on the word play "most out of life", which we understand to mean the value of life, and which operates as a normal statement. Meaning #2 focuses on the amount of life left to live, "most of it is over". That becomes incongruous in comparison to meaning #1. [There might not be sufficient tension but note that the joke only makes us laugh when we understand the two meanings and resolve them. Resolved: By the time you become wise and learn how to carry yourself in difficult situations you aren’t young enough to apply this ‘knowledge’ in situations that are accessible mostly to the young.]

Thus we have the basic joke [molecule].

Joke molecules put together give our next building block: a paragraph. Here one joke follows or 'tops' the previous joke. Let's see the jokes apart and then put them together to get our complete paragraph.

The first joke [This is a simple enough joke]:
The problem, I argued, is that men -- because of a tragic genetic flaw -- cannot see dirt until there is enough of it to support agriculture. This puts men at a huge disadvantage against women, who can detect a single dirt molecule 20 feet away.

Topping it with another joke:
This is why a man and a woman can both be looking at the same bathroom commode, and the man -- hindered by Male Genetic Dirt Blindness (MGDB) -- will perceive the commode surface as being clean enough for heart surgery; whereas the woman can't even "see" the commode, only a teeming, commode-shaped swarm of bacteria.

Topping it with another joke:
A woman can spend two hours cleaning a toothbrush holder and still not be totally satisfied; whereas if you ask a man to clean the entire New York City subway system, he'll go down there with a bottle of Windex and a single paper towel, then emerge 25 minutes later, weary but satisfied with a job well done.

And our final and complete paragraph:
The problem, I argued, is that men -- because of a tragic genetic flaw -- cannot see dirt until there is enough of it to support agriculture. This puts men at a huge disadvantage against women, who can detect a single dirt molecule 20 feet away. This is why a man and a woman can both be looking at the same bathroom commode, and the man -- hindered by Male Genetic Dirt Blindness (MGDB) -- will perceive the commode surface as being clean enough for heart surgery; whereas the woman can't even ``see'' the commode, only a teeming, commode-shaped swarm of bacteria. A woman can spend two hours cleaning a toothbrush holder and still not be totally satisfied; whereas if you ask a man to clean the entire New York City subway system, he'll go down there with a bottle of Windex and a single paper towel, then emerge 25 minutes later, weary but satisfied with a job well done. Link to source

Thus we have seen the building blocks of humor and the response it is meant to generate. Now let’s turn our attention to understand how style in humor varies.

Let’s go back to ‘incongruities’. Incongruities can be small creating humor that is closer to reality or the incongruity can be very large producing 'non-sense' or silly humor. See the diagram below:

Another variation in style comes in the form of humor that is jolly or light vs. humor that is tragic or dark. Our primary tool for this variation is in calibrating how 'playful' we make it.

The following diagram shows this:

Thus we can revisit our basic joke molecule and vary its style to create different kinds of humor.

Having understood the basic components of a joke we can use this to sharpen our wit. This can be done in two ways. Firstly we do this by applying the framework to all humor we come across to grasp it better. [There is good written humor available on the internet, such as the resource mentioned in the notes that exhibits the use of this framework.] The second exercise we can do is practice writing our own humor. Having grasped the fundamentals of humor, practice should allow us to become good in manipulating these building blocks. Thus we should be able to sharpen our wit.

1. An advice on the appropriateness of using humor: “it is like a mask that you wear for a while and in some particular company on occasion. YOU CAN'T WEAR it all the time... that is being a NIT WIT, not witty at all!”
2. Link to good humor: [Read some of his classic columns...]

The only choice we really have

A 2 year old child quite naturally acts appropriately. But for an adult this does not remain easy in fact a choice is introduced. He may act appropriately or may not act appropriately and this choice eventually determines his quality of life.

This is the only real choice he has for all else follows. Let's see how this is so.

2 year olds act appropriate to their age. They don’t think of what to do they just do it. Unfortunately they don't have a highly developed level of consciousness and so it is easy for them to follow to the letter whatever their consciousness tells them. Naturally because of this [i.e. a limited consciousness] they are vulnerable to the world more than an adult.

Adults over the years through experience and observation develop a higher form of consciousness of the world around them. This is why they can protect themselves from danger. Inevitably to protect themselves from danger they have developed a sense that warns them of danger - much like how Spiderman's spider sense works.

Sometimes however the adult goes against his gut feeling or spider sense as I call it and may not act appropriately.

To act appropriately may require us to show courage in the face of danger. And so we may need to pick a fight with a man stealing an old lady’s hand bag. Or it may equally require us to show tolerance as in the case where it’s better to be silent than continue an argument.

In any case the key is to unconditionally follow our conscience and do what is appropriate for in doing so we learn new things and mature and proceed to the next level of consciousness. In avoiding this choice and acting inappropriately we miss out on the opportunity to learn and grow. In the process we may also collect ‘emotional or excess’ baggage that will lead us to resentment. This may be so if we do not stop the man from stealing from the old woman or continue the argument instead of keeping silent and thus feel guilty later.

We not only protect ourselves from a feeling of guilt but all sorts of harmful things. Thus unlike the 2 year old we are less vulnerable to the world to the extent that we are mature and have a sophisticated conscience.

One way to develop our consciousness is to learn from books and other peoples’ experiences, to pray, fast and remember God.

Thus in choosing to act appropriately we are at our best using all our faculties and our skills, our knowledge and our wisdom. How we respond to a situation may vary over time but in acting appropriately we are at our best.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


By Etsko (Ebrahim) Schuitema

Allah has not made us to be socially useful, He has made us to worship Him. Worship means that our fascination is with His attributes, that we regard Him as Significant, and that we recognize that all that is good and beneficial in our lives comes from Him and all that is harmful comes from ourselves. Being worshipful means to understand that we are fundamentally unable to be useful to either ourselves or others, and that when things go right and succeed it is because He made it so. In so far as we have been designed to the end of being worshipful, it means that this capacity to act unconditionally and leave the outcomes to Him is the highest aspect of our nature. The deen is a vehicle to establish this transformation of being fascinated with our selves, our own consequence and significance to being enthralled with Him and His Significance.

The community that we are in ideally provides a context in which this transformation from a life focused on self to a life focused on Allah can take place. The escape from the fatal narcissism and selfishness of adolescence is made possible because, as responsible adults, there is no question about the fact that we fundamentally have more duties than rights, particularly if we have families. It is the duty bound world of the parent that drags us out of the essential selfishness of the adolescent by our ears.

However, this phase of subordinating the narcissism of the self in the process of becoming socially useful both in a reproductive and a productive sense is itself transitory. There comes a phase in every person’s life where the robustness of the responsible adult gives way to decrepitude, with the associated growing disquiet regarding the proximity of death. This is called a mid life crisis. At some point every adult comes face to face with the fundamental truth and that is that all human activity is fundamentally futile, no matter how nobly intended. This sense of futility of our own endevour enables another possibility: the insight that our inability to make things work is the platform from which we can witness how Allah makes things work, stupendously, miraculously.

This suggests that there are two kinds of societies, which one could describe as either benevolent or malevolent. A benevolent society plays its role in the maturation of the individual, firstly by creating the conditions where the stormy, indignant and rights based world view of the adolescent is pounded into the compliant duties based world view of the parent. Secondly and paradoxically, it honours the withdrawal of the elderly into essential spiritual and socially useless activity and, indeed, regards that as the zenith of human aspiration. In this sense a benevolent society provides a pathway for the realization of the highest aspiration in man: God consciousness. A benevolent society is regarded as subordinate to the enablement of the highest in the individual. This society is there for the individual, not the other way around.

A malevolent society subordinates the individual to the social project. In such a society only that which is useful is tolerated and all is subordinated to that which the elite designate as the social good. In its worst form, such as our own, such a society will harness an essentially competitive adolescent psychology in pursuit of shameless accumulation and domination with no regard for the environment and social consequences associated with unbridled self-interest.

The Pharaonic model of society 'uses' the individual for the social project -- often in the name of 'good'This distinction between benevolent and malevolent societies is symbolised by the distinction between nabi Musa and Firaun [Pharaoh]. The pharonic model subjugates the people to the work of the social project. This project is apparently useful, it results in an impressive building, however, this building is in fact a pyramidic mausoleum for the leader. The aim of this mausoleum is to ensure the immortality and eternal aggrandizement of the leader. The people are enslaved to this project principally because of their own need for the security of life in Egypt. They accept their enslavement to the pyramidic structure because, apparently, it feeds them and keeps them secure. Their lives are therefore harnessed and subordinated to work which appears useful but is actually about the preservation of the elite.

The community of Moses is one that 'walks the path' and clarifies itself for the benefit of the individual's growthIn the prophetic model of nabi Musa the work done is fundamentally bizarre. It amounts to an aimless wandering through the desert for forty years. However, this wandering is about enabling a generation of free people. The social project is therefore the means to the end of enabling the people, not the other way round. A pharonic society subordinates the growth of the individual to the social project and the social project is about the immortality and aggrandizement of those in control. A prophetic society applies the social project to the end of enabling free, mature and realised people and the leadership of this society expend themselves to this end. Another perspective on the same problem is that malevolent societies applaud doing what is expedient while benevolent societies applaud doing what is correct, particularly when it is inexpedient to do so.

What is crucial about this distinction is that it is a distinction in intent, not in content. It does not matter how noble the content is, if it is used as a means to subjugate and control people it is pharonic. If the deen is applied to the end of producing good citizens it is a tyrannical misapplication of the vehicle, even if what is being established is a new Medina Munawarrah. If it is applied to the end of producing free, worshipful beings who delight in their capacity to lose all unconditionally it is being appropriately applied. Unfortunately, in most Muslim communities, the former is the case rather than the latter.

When I first became Muslim it became apparent to me is that Muslims and Christians had a very different views of the community of the faithful. The Christians referred to the community of the faithful as a church. At the same time, the same word is used for a building in which worship takes place. This suggests that the community constituted a supra personal structure that the individual went into, like a building. Worse, this building was assigned a persona, in the sense of a legal persona such as in Roman law. Again, the individual was subordinate to the structure, and it implied that it was quite legitimate for the structure to reduce the life of the individual to a resource to be expended in the pursuit of its own objectives. This idiom has survived in modern organisationsal language which refers to people as human resources that are used in the pursuit of organisational objectives.

On the other hand, Muslims referred to the community of the faithful as an ummah, a community. A community is something organic, something comprised of individuals which does not exist independently of or over and above the individuals involved. Properly speaking a community does not view the individual as expendable, as cannon fodder for the cause. A community recognises that if the individual life is seen a purely a means to the establishment of something else, something deeply brutal and aberrant was taking place. It does not matter how noble this objective is, as soon as the individual life becomes the means to establish a social objective then the loss of that life in the cause is like the killing of whole of mankind because it negates the fundamental purpose and calling of being human.

We are not here to be socially useful. Being socially useful is a short epoch in the total journey of unconditional surrender. The climax of a process is its finale, and in the human life this finale is called death. Death does not ask you what you want to get or what you have established for yourself or others, it only asks you if you are able to walk out of your life unconditionally. This walking out of your life unconditionally is an individual event, it is not social. If we sat together on a bus and got gassed to death, this would not be a convivial experience. I would not ask you whether you are still breathing or could still move your feet. We may die en masse but we die alone.

The highest point of human life does not concern the group, it concerns the individual. The group are staggering fickle in their treatment of the dead. They cannot wait to get this scary thing into the ground. They leave you to die on your own. Since your life has this event as its zenith, it implies that you have been designed to deal with more momentous things than purely being socially useful. You have been designed to learn how to submit unconditionally and become socially perfectly useless, like a corpse.

-- The End --

Thursday, October 8, 2009

How to make sense of the universe in terms of energy

I have tried to extend my understanding of energy to understand and relate all the phenomena I know.

Energy is of different kinds and can exhibit at different levels. I call these ‘kinds’ differing frequencies.

Now we operate at different frequencies at different times - for example:
1. Each mood represents a different frequency
2. When we do something brave we have a different frequency
3. When we cheat somebody or think ill of somebody we have a different frequency
4. When we work hard we have a different frequency
5. When we are lazy we have a different frequency

And these frequencies may exhibit themselves at different levels, such as:
1. Such is the case when we work hard vs. when we give it everything we’ve got
2. When we like somebody vs. when we are in love
3. When we are hesitant vs. when we have a phobia
4. When we have an interest in something vs. when we are passionate about it

The combination of a frequency and its level make a unique state I will call an energy signature. Thus at any given time we have a specific energy signature.

Just like a person has an energy signature everything he or she creates also has an energy signature.

Inanimate objects too have an energy signature:
1. The Grand Canyon [has a unique affect as do the following two]
2. The moon light and the night or;
3. the sun light and the day.

Every energy signature can be put into one of two categories. Everything we call good has an energy signature that has a common pattern to it. In its purest form this is captured by the word “Holy”. Everything evil also has an energy signature that has a pattern to it and in its purest form this is captured by the word “Evil”.

The energy signature of HOLY is more powerful than the energy signature of EVIL because the former creates a harmony and the latter some form of disturbance. The fact that the former creates harmony shows that it is closer to reality. And its power comes from its relationship with reality, that it harmonizes us with it. Anything Evil on the other hand is by its nature destructive [of us and others] and creates contradictions.

We can DEVELOP a particular energy signature through:
1. Conversations
2. Meditation
3. Prayer
4. Reading and Writing
5. Helping others vs. hurting or harming them
6. The kind of work we choose to do

Take a conversation for example. In any conversation a person can maneuver it and create an energy signature [of the group] using their speech and by deciding when to keep silent. You can practice to maneuver energy signatures in conversations you have even if the meet up is brief.

Prayers and any ritual meant for God have an influence on us. The purer our intention in the dedication to God [of our prayer] the more powerful the impact on our frequency and energy level.

We can do works of evil and they too influence our frequency and energy level.

Thus I think power too can be understood as the ability to maintain and maneuver energy signatures into that which we want.

Interestingly energy signatures we interact with have the power to impact us just as we have the power to impact them. In fact every interaction can be understood in these terms of an interaction of energy. Every time we enter a one on one conversation with another person there is a play of energies. This may form a reinforcing spiral of energy if both people have the same energy type [holy or evil]; thus they will resonate with each other. We feel stronger when our meeting creates a reinforcing spiral and awkward or uncomfortable when our energies negate each other.

Mother Nature has a holy energy signature. That is why we enjoy a Safari or witnessing the Niagara Falls. In fact when we interact with Mother Nature our energy signatures are influenced and change.

Movies, people and books can influence us in the same way.

The Universe understood in terms of energy:
The source of energy is God. So when we go towards HIM we get godly energy and when we move away from HIM [we lose harmony with reality – because HE has created reality and thus] we feel a disturbance. This disturbance has a frequency of its own.

Everything in the universe is energy in some form and as already has been said there is godly or HOLY energy and satanic or EVIL energy [where the latter is a disturbance that owes to a separation from reality].

As we interact with the world we resonate with different energy signatures. To become powerful we need to work out of contradictions and thus we must dissociate from EVIL. True power is godly power and all of us have felt this kind of power [It's the kind that makes us feel good when we resonate with it]. We should thus choose to resonate with such energy around us, all the time, because the more we do the easier it will be differentiating [by detecting energy signatures] between what is good for us and what is bad for us.

By practicing this we become good at maintaining holy and even negating evil energy. Thus we achieve power.

Other implications of this understanding of energy
If we are searching for a moment that reminds us of a fond memory then we are searching for a specific energy signature.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A function of poetry and a view of the 7th valley in the tale of the seh-morgh

Poetry must have many important functions. If it is good it is sure to create a presence about it that can influence us in powerful ways. In this post I have discussed an important function: how poetry can be a guide to us.

Rudaki was an Iranian poet born in the year 858, in Khorasan, Iran. His many contributions to Persian poetry, nearly 1,300,000 verses, and to Iranian culture have rightly won him the title of the father of Persian Poetry.

One of his most popular verses is:
Booyeh Jooyeh Moulian ayed hamay
Yad ae yaar ae mehrban ayed hamay

"I smell the scent of the River of Moliyan and memories of a kind friend pervade my senses"

In this stanza I find a resonance I would describe as ‘elegant’ [in form], ‘subtle’ [in essence] and 'far reaching' [in its depth].

I imagine the stanza holds within it a presence of the poet. And thus I feel that in relating to the stanza one is able to find a worthy goal which is to seek within our self such a presence.

But what would it be to have such a presence?

Having a presence such as this to me means having the ability to stretch oneself and one’s comfort zone to the most diverse surroundings and still maintain balance. It’s an art of stretch and balance for which one must be able to detach, to know what needs knowing, have experienced love and thus have the power to welcome the darkest realities and deal with them at face value.

To do all this with the comfort and ease of a child.

Thus the fluency with which a stanza walks us through a complex maze [of some aspect of our life] should be [the fluency] with which we can wish into creation a solution to a problem.

Thus it would mean an ability to breeze through this life and every challenge with the elegance with which a poet writes their poetry. And with an agility such as this anything becomes possible!

1. Read this post.
2. A post about the 7 valleys.
3. This post has been inspired in part by a post on Marzieh’s blog.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A story - Why we must discover choices

We must discover new choices for that is the most beautiful part of our journey in this world.

To show this by allegory I have narrated a story from the Animatrix which is a prequel to The Matrix Trilogy.

Background to the Story
1. Machines reason like us and feel like us i.e. they are human but made of metal.
2. Machines are ruling the planet
3. Humans who are free are only in Zion – a small secure place somewhere on Earth

The Story
A group of humans ambush a machine and take him unconscious. Their objective is to find a way to gain control over the machine but unfortunately find that it is a complicated task.

The machine has a reasoning ability like that of humans and so he can't simply be re-programed. Thus they have to find a way to trick him, inevitably choosing between having to kill him or successfully brainwashing him [into willingly help the humans].

And so the group of humans plugs themselves and the machine into a virtual world where they intend to brainwash him.

In the beginning they brutalize him by playing mind games; they do this by creating a world of horror with the scene changing from one moment of darkness to another. In doing so they are successful in traumatizing the machine.

The second part of the simulation, towards the end, is when one of the women [a member of the human group] goes up to the machine and drags him out into more comfortable surroundings. She takes care of him and makes him feel loved. It seems the machine is taken to the woman [because we know that he has the heart of a human].

Near the end of the simulation a raid by a group of machines begins on the [human] hide out and in the battle that ensues some of the attacking machines and almost all the humans die.

In one part of the battle we see that an enemy machine comes to attack the woman who needs help. She calls out to the machine she had befriended. The friendly machine thus has to make a choice between helping the machine or helping the human.

But the friendly machine has already fallen in love and decides to save her. During the attack the woman looses consciousness. So he plugs himself and her back into the virtual world [where they are both awake]. But because the woman never really loved him and has herself just been traumatized chooses to run away.

The machine realizes that what had touched his heart wasn’t real but he knows he felt it and understands this feeling.

In the last scene we see that the machine is alone on a mound of earth in a barren waste land sitting pensively.

What I saw in the story
The machine was made aware of a choice – the feeling of being loved – and now it does not want to go back to the operational routine world of the machines. [It detaches himself from the machine world and ponders on the options]. I imagine he wants to find a way to be in love again.

Thus I think discovering a choice can shake the very world we live in.

Our Cognitive Junk and a short cut through it

Over our lives we learn what to do and how to behave in certain known situations. These ‘ways’ are mental frameworks that we have developed. In psychology these mental frameworks are called schemas. [The advantage of a schema is that it helps us predict a result - but this result can be achieved even without this schema]. At times our schemas also make it difficult to get to a ‘desired’ result. This post suggests a method to get to this desired result by by-passing an incorrect schema and calls such incorrect schemas 'Cognitive Junk'.

A Schema is a mental framework that deals with a situation. For example our schema for eating at a restaurant is the following: we ask for a table, go through the menu, order, enjoy the food, pay the bill and then leave.

We can rely on this schema because we expect the same routine every time.

Schemas make things predictable. They could be used by someone to predict our behavior.

Now the behavior a schema triggers always leads to the same [or nearby] effect. But this effect could have been reached without the schema - the following experiment demonstrates this:

Experiment: A specialist came to class and took an IQ test. He did not grade the test but said that certain students had very high IQ. 6 months later those students showed a marked improvement.

Schema: Teacher wanted students in her class to do well. She also thought that high IQ meant potentially better grades. So when told 'certain' students in her class had high IQ she gave them better attention.

Cause-Effect: Teacher gave more attention to a student so he/she did better.

The schema has an effect but the schema itself is not needed to improve student performance. The teacher could have given more attention despite this experiment and had the same effect.

It’s important to focus on the cause and effect and not the schema.

One example of how this applies to our daily lives is shown below.

If two people are in a relationship that is going bad chances are the relationship will become worse. Their behavior becomes one of malevolence towards each other and this naturally halts progress. At times this behavior is a result of some incorrect schema[s] the two individuals have [i.e. they have un necessarily complicated the problem in their mind] probably because they don’t want to deal with each other. If they cut right through their schemas and are good to each other [without want of recompense] the other person will be good to them and this would solve the problem. Thus the schemas [for this situation] they hang onto are completely useless and harmful.

Hence schemas sometimes make up for cognitive junk that keeps us from zeroing in on an underlying cause-effect relationship. If we work on a benefiting cause-effect relationship we can produce the desired effect.

1. Some of the debates I have witnessed are useless debates over schemas and do not focus on the underlying basic cause-effect relationship that would resolve the debate.