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* [LifeWithoutPrinciple] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=LifeWithoutPrinciple]) ..... 45.56.153.98
* [Solitude] (new) ..... 45.56.153.104
* [RyanDahl] (new) ..... 182.19.184.96
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* [thinking] (new) ..... 45.56.153.62
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* [raptitude] (new) ..... 45.56.153.97
* [brandur] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=brandur]) ..... 45.56.153.144
* [twitter] (new) ..... 45.56.153.32
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* [All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=All%20you%20have%20to%20decide%20is%20what%20to%20do%20with%20the%20time%20that%20is%20given%20to%20you]) ..... 182.19.184.96
* [Intuition] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Intuition]) ..... 45.56.153.135
* [ReadMe] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=ReadMe]) ..... 121.54.1.161
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* [Habit] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Habit]) ..... 218.186.9.252
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* [Central Council For Research in Ayurveda and Siddha] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Central%20Council%20For%20Research%20in%20Ayurveda%20and%20Siddha]) ..... 202.156.2.162
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* [The Critical Mass of Enlightenment] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Critical%20Mass%20of%20Enlightenment]) ..... 218.186.89.232
* [One Thousand Suns: Krishnamurti at Eighty-Five and the Last Walk] (new) ..... 218.186.89.232
* [Asit Chandmal] (new) ..... 218.186.89.232
* [Only a Ripe Fruit Falls] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Only%20a%20Ripe%20Fruit%20Falls]) ..... 218.186.89.232
* [Think on These Things] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Think%20on%20These%20Things]) ..... 218.186.89.232
* [Dragon fruit] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Dragon%20fruit]) ..... 218.186.89.232
* [Fruits] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Fruits]) ..... 218.186.89.232
* [A Free and Simple Computer Link] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=A%20Free%20and%20Simple%20Computer%20Link]) ..... 218.186.86.173
* [Andrew Cohen] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Andrew%20Cohen]) ..... 218.186.86.37
* [Nathaniel Branden] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Nathaniel%20Branden]) ..... 218.186.86.164
* [Avadhut Gita] (new) ..... 202.156.2.154
* [Cosmopolitan] (new) ..... 202.156.2.154
* [intuition] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=intuition]) ..... 202.156.2.154
* [Kagabujandar] (new) ..... 202.156.2.154
* [Akshaya Thrithiyai] (new) ..... 202.156.2.154
* [Gita Govinda] (new) ..... 202.156.2.154
* [Prosperity] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Prosperity]) ..... 202.156.2.154
* [Ayurveda-Garden, Bad Rappenau, Deutschland] (new) ..... 217.88.230.209
* [Arun Gandhi] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Immortality] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Werner Brandt] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Werner%20Brandt]) ..... 217.228.182.154
* [Chandramouli] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Chandramouli]) ..... 217.88.224.145
* [IIT] (new) ..... 80.132.47.55
* [Analects of Sivananda] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Analects%20of%20Sivananda]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [sandhyavandanam] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=sandhyavandanam]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Institute for the Future] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Bhagavad Gita] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Bhagavad%20Gita]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [What Should I Do With My Life?] (new) ..... 217.88.225.226
* [Patterns for Personal Web Sites] (new) ..... 80.132.53.61
* [How to write better code] (new) ..... 217.88.238.92
* [City of Angels] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=City%20of%20Angels]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Kate and Leopold] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Kate%20and%20Leopold]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Maha%20Mrityunjaya%20Mantra]) ..... 80.132.62.36
* [Jean Rostand] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Build your own Database Driven Website using PHP and MySQL] (new) ..... 217.88.235.188
* [Zeitgeist] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Zeitgeist]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Spiritualist Basics] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Thoughts Worth Thinking] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Thoughts%20Worth%20Thinking]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Tao of Web Sites] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Tao%20of%20Web%20Sites]) ..... 80.132.60.122
* [Andre Gide] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Andrei Tarkovsky] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Og Mandino] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Mata Amritanandamayi] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The University of Hard Knocks] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20University%20of%20Hard%20Knocks]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [International Children's Digital Library] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Christianity] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Institute for Traditional Medicine] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Subhuti Dharmananda] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Dandelion] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Dandelion]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Netherlands] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Netherlands]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [garret p vreeland] (new) ..... 80.132.44.227
* [Link and Think] (new) ..... 217.88.237.242
* [Conquer The World Within] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Mantra Meditation] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Social Capital] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [KagaPujandar] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [digital camera] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=digital%20camera]) ..... 80.132.60.200
* [Obesity] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Obesity]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Swami Paramarthananda Saraswathi] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Swami Paramarthananda] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Mahatma Gandhi] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Mahatma%20Gandhi]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Swami Sivananda] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Swami%20Sivananda]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Swami Krishnananda] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Sacred Thread] (new) ..... 217.228.188.248
* [Anita Bora] (new) ..... 80.132.49.154
* [Helen Rowland] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Aavani Avittam] (new) ..... 217.88.239.220
* [Dandruff] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Dandruff]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Walk in the Light and Twenty-Three Tales] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Bertrand Russell] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Bertrand%20Russell]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Swami Chidananda] (new) ..... 217.88.224.54
* [Politics] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Politics]) ..... 217.88.229.191
* [Natura non facit saltum] (new) ..... 217.228.178.17
* [Sadhak and Sathi] (new) ..... 217.228.176.107
* [Guitar] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Cameron Highlands] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Scotland] (new) ..... 217.88.234.61
* [Hannah Whitall Smith] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Italy] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Italy]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Titlis] (new) ..... 80.132.50.41
* [Prakash Sritharan] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Prakash%20Sritharan]) ..... 80.132.63.223
* [Rheumatoid Arthritis] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Rheumatoid%20Arthritis]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [ITA Software] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Sandhya] (new) ..... 217.228.183.221
* [Titisee] (new) ..... 217.88.237.121
* [Disneyland Paris] (new) ..... 217.228.190.17
* [Alfred North Whitehead] (new) ..... 217.88.225.123
* [Chithra Vishu] (new) ..... 217.88.225.123
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* [Bud Holland] (new) ..... 217.228.185.39
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* [Sivananda Daily Readings] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Unconditional Acceptance] (new) ..... 80.132.47.205
* [Relative and Absolute Happiness] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Relative%20and%20Absolute%20Happiness]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Criticisms] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Soloing : Realizing Your Life's Ambition] (new) ..... 217.228.188.87
* [Interview with God] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Pam Alexander] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Vedanta Life Institute] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
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* [Sundram Fasteners Limited] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Sundram%20Fasteners%20Limited]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Seshayee Paper and Boards Limited] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Seshayee%20Paper%20and%20Boards%20Limited]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Andrew Saul] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Michael Hewitt-Gleeson] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Heaven and Hell] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Ayodhya Mandapam] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Mithilapuri Kalyana Mandapam] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [L. Murphy Smith] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Quality] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Yann Arthus-Bertrand] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Yann%20Arthus-Bertrand]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Prayerful Thoughts and Thoughtful Prayers] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Self Levitation] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Self%20Levitation]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Eve Andersson] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Vegetarian Starter Kit] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Critical Mass of Enligtenment] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Clear White Light] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Rules the World] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Arbeit Macht Frei] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Arbeit%20Macht%20Frei]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [To Those With Little Dust] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Greg Smith] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Keith Parkins] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Keith%20Parkins]) ..... 217.228.191.120
* [Literature] (new) ..... 217.228.191.120
* [Books Worth Reading] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Books%20Worth%20Reading]) ..... 217.228.191.120
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* [Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn] (new) ..... 217.228.191.31
* [Paramhansa Yogananda] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Gregory Adams-Tait] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
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* [Der Große Gesundheits-KONZ] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Practice of Meditation] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Practice%20of%20Meditation]) ..... 217.88.236.39
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* [John VanDyk] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=John%20VanDyk]) ..... 217.88.236.39
* [serendipity] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Literature, Arts, & Medicine Database] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Little Helpers] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [UserLand] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Now and Then] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Now%20and%20Then]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Literate Programming] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Literate%20Programming]) ..... 194.39.131.39
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* [Aajonus Vonderplanitz] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Aajonus%20Vonderplanitz]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [André Radke] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
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* [Some Good TV Habits to Acquire] (new) ..... 217.228.186.59
* [Sivananda Saraswathi Sevashram] (new) ..... kishore
* [Don't make me think!] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Ten Things Men Can Do to End Sexism and Male Violence Against Women] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Ten%20Things%20Men%20Can%20Do%20to%20End%20Sexism%20and%20Male%20Violence%20Against%20Women]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Java Modeling In Color With UML] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
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* [As A Man Thinketh] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Attitude is Everything] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
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* [Skandha Sashti] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Skandha%20Sashti]) ..... 172.176.253.120
* [CREATIVITY: Unleashing the Forces Within] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Sathyakama Sandilya] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [S Sandilya] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=S%20Sandilya]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Chris Mitchell] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Chris%20Mitchell]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Ian Alexander] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
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* [The Hedgehog and the Fox] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
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* [Choosing a Digital Camera] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Digital Camera] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Digital%20Camera]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Digital Camera Resource Page] (new) ..... kishore
* [Repetition, Generativity, and Patterns] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Net Attitude] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Christopher Alexander] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Christopher%20Alexander]) ..... 194.39.131.40
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* [Love and God at Work] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Love%20and%20God%20at%20Work]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The algebra of infinite justice] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20algebra%20of%20infinite%20justice]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Understanding the Lessons of September 11] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Understanding%20the%20Lessons%20of%20September%2011]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Science, Religion and the Big Bang Theory] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Science%2C%20Religion%20and%20the%20Big%20Bang%20Theory]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [What is wrong with being in a hurry?] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=What%20is%20wrong%20with%20being%20in%20a%20hurry%3F]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [What is jealousy and why does it hurt so much?] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=What%20is%20jealousy%20and%20why%20does%20it%20hurt%20so%20much%3F]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [I am concerned about my friends drinking habits] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=I%20am%20concerned%20about%20my%20friends%20drinking%20habits]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Roots of Obesity] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Roots%20of%20Obesity]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [RecentVisitors] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=RecentVisitors]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Definitions Redefined] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Definitions%20Redefined]) ..... 172.179.116.58
* [Definitions Refined] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Definitions%20Refined]) ..... 172.179.116.58
* [Read It and Think It] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Read%20It%20and%20Think%20It]) ..... 172.179.116.58
* [whodunnit] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=whodunnit]) ..... 172.179.116.58
* [CityDesk] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Romy and Lisa] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Politics and the English Language] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Cathedral and the Bazaar] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Reflections on science & technology, policies and philosophy] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Reflections%20on%20science%20%26%20technology%2C%20policies%20and%20philosophy]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The World Heritage List] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Dennis Ritchie] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Dennis%20Ritchie]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [How to Think Like a Computer Scientist] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=How%20to%20Think%20Like%20a%20Computer%20Scientist]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Living and Raw Foods] (new) ..... 172.177.240.151
* [The Invitation] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Invitation]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [SandBox] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=SandBox]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [EditText] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=EditText]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Sri Skanda Sashti] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Nonviolence and us] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Nonviolence%20and%20us]) ..... kishore
* [Andrea Frick] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Andrea%20Frick]) ..... kishore
* [IT jokes] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=IT%20jokes]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [How to set and Achieve Goals] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=How%20to%20set%20and%20Achieve%20Goals]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [How to Write a Software Specification] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=How%20to%20Write%20a%20Software%20Specification]) ..... 172.178.7.68
* [MIT Sloan Management Review] (new) ..... 155.56.66.13
* [Art and the Zen of web sites] (new) ..... 155.56.66.13
* [Sita Ram Goel] (new) ..... 155.56.66.13
* [Richard Fritzson] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Richard%20Fritzson]) ..... 155.56.66.13
* [Sitaraman Periasamy] (new) ..... 172.177.64.89
* [Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi] (new) ..... 172.177.64.89
* [Soil And Health Library] (new) ..... 172.177.64.89
* [Dori Smith] (new) ..... 172.178.152.44
* [Brad Pettit] (new) ..... 172.178.152.44
* [Andre Durand] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Andre%20Durand]) ..... 155.56.66.11
* [Susan A. Kitchens] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Susan%20A.%20Kitchens]) ..... 155.56.66.11
* [Conversation of William Knott and Mr Watt.] (new) ..... 155.56.66.11
* [vandana shiva] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=vandana%20shiva]) ..... 172.178.64.151
* [You already know what to do] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=You%20already%20know%20what%20to%20do]) ..... kishore
* [Dan Sanderson] (new) ..... 172.176.215.120
* [meditation] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=meditation]) ..... kishore
* [Vandana Shiva] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Vandana%20Shiva]) ..... 194.39.131.40
Quick title search:
Credits
Credits
[Karmasaya] is based on [PhpWiki|http://phpwiki.sourceforge.net/phpwiki/] hacked to prevent modification by others (which is contrary to the fundamental Wiki notion, but suits my purpose here).
|<blockquote>The world is full of things that most people think are OK or even good, when in reality are either evil or plain stupid.
This is my humble contribution to attempt to collect all all the things that bother me, the goal is not to offend anyone but entertain and try to dispel widespread silly ideas that infest our minds and perhaps in while doing that make the world a bit more reasonable and pleasant place to live in.
No attempt has been made to be uncontroversial or politically correct.
If you think I'm missing anything important, please feel free to write an article about it and if I agree I will be happy to add it to this site.
Nonviolence and us
[Articles] > Nonviolence and Us
by Arun Gandhi ( source http://www.cbu.edu/Gandhi/html/nonviolence___us.html )
This article appeared as one of two articles on the grimmest of workplace phenomena: homicide in Business Horizons/ March-April 1995.  The full extent of this problem appears subject to some debate, but no one who reads the newspapers or listen to CNN Headlines News escape the conclusion that violence is spilling over from the streets onto the job.  Thus, it seems quite appropriate - doubly so, in view of a forthcoming issue featuring an article from A.T. Kearney's research sizing up India as the "New Asian Tiger" - that we examine the following reflection by Mr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of the Mahatma, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
Modern society is plagued by violence - at home, at work, in the streets, in schools.  In fact anywhere there is, unfortunately, the distinct likelihood of violence breaking out.  So much violence is an indication of our deteriorating human relationships, as well as the stress under which we live and work.
Many of us enjoy living in the "fast lane" because that, we are told, is the road to success.  So we allow our minds to street us at phenomenal speed, oblivious of the danger of crashing.  When we live on the edge day after day we become like taut rubber bands - either we break or we bounce back.  And in either case, the consequence is that we damage or destroy human relationships.  What we must learn now is how to rebuild those relationships and lessen the stress so we can create an atmosphere of harmony around us.
We need a qualitative change in our behavior, a concerned attempt to slow down and put people and profit on the same pedestal so we can ultimately reduce violence.
In a pell mell world of profits and the pursuit of success, we must not forget to care about one another. Note that I emphasize the reduction of violence.  The creation of utopian state of absolute harmony is presently beyond human capacity.  The philosophy of nonviolence, as practiced by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, is based on the assumption "we are not governed by logic and, therefore, some violence may be necessary in our lives.  However, if we are progressing towards civilization we should be able to reduce violence to the bare minimum."
In the world so obsessed with materialism, one must wonder what "civilization" really means.  Are we civilized because we possess all the riches of the world?  Are we civilized because we have the best of book education?  Are we civilized because we have progressed scientifically and have the capacity to send people to the moon?  In our concept of civilization, human relations, it seems, do not fit the equation.
American society is, reputedly, build on rugged individualism, which was fine when pioneers came to conquer the land.  But once settled, a society cannot thrive on such individualism.  A nation is as cohesive as its society and the society is as cohesive as the family.  If every member of a family thought only about himself or herself, the "family" would be more like a collection of people grappling for material survival under the same roof.  There would be no love, no cooperation.  When understanding wears thin, relationships begin to fray, and before we know it the fabric we call "family" disintegrates.  The effect of this domestic disaster is reflected today in our workplace and in society.
Stong relationships can be built only if we shift the focus from the self to the several and begin thinking about others around us. It means sacrificing individualism so that we can give and get strength from each other.
When Gandhi said materialism and morality have an inverse relationship, he did not mean morality only in sexual sense.  He meant it also in the ethical sense.  in our pursuit of material goods and capital gains, we are often prepared to use "any means possible," throwing principles, ethics, and morality overboard.  In other words, we often unhesitantingly indulge in commerce without morality and profits without principles.
In our headlong pursuit of the ideal life, people seem to matter the least[list in the source - what is correct?] - sometimes even our own people.  This sets the stage for much of the violence we experience in our daily lives.  Violence, we must understand, is not always physical.  We practice a great deal of passive violence: greed, selfishness, thoughtlessness, prejudice, bigotry, exploitation, suppression, oppression, hate, anger, and so on.  Building a "family tree" of violence, such as the one shown in the Figure, with passive and physical as the two offspring, is a revealing exercise.  This chart should adorn a wall at home so that all family members could participate in researching each act of passive violence committed.  This is an effective way of recognizing our weaknesses and searching for ways to turn them into strengths.
Passive violence causes anger and anger leads to physical violence.  The lack of physical violence in our homes or neighborhoods should not necessarily be construed as peace and harmony.  The underlying passive violence simmers like a cauldron waiting to erupt into physical violence - which erupts because we are not taught how to deal with the anger generated by the passive violence.  We are repeatedly told, "Get it out of your system," but we are seldom, if ever, shown how to do this effectively.
Using the analogy of electricity, Gandhi, my grandfather, taught me about anger when I was 13 years old.  He said that anger can be as deadly as electricity if we abuse it, or just as useful if treated with respect and intelligence.  He suggested that I keep an "anger journal" into which I should pour my anger without inhibition, then read it periodically to find ways of improving.  A life that is not periodically examined, after all, is a life not worth living.  Gandhi said that the cardinal principles of my life should be: Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you.  This helped me find ways to deal with my anger positively.  The journal also provided me with a written record of my emotions so that weeks, months, or even years later I could study the changes that did or did not take place in me.  It taught me how to become selfless and think about others while thinking about myself.
Violence, anywhere, in any form, is reprehensible - especially at home and in the workplace, because this means we are committing violence against people we are expected to love, honor, and respect.  If we do not hesitate to violate the people closet to, why would we hesitate to harm those we don't know?  Salvation lies in changing the self before we attempt to change the society.  To quote my grandfather: "We must be the change we wish to see."
Arun Gandhi is the founder and director of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence at Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee.
Books
abundant health in a toxic world - https://read.amazon.com/?asin=B07DNRH4TP
18 Books Everyone Will Be Reading in 2018 - https://medium.com/swlh/18-books-everyone-will-be-reading-in-2018-82e017d166f
https://twitter.com/financequant/status/1020424032892727296
“I believe that we should read only those books that wound and stab us. If a book we are reading does not rouse us with a blow to the head, then why read it? A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.”--Franz Kafka
[kapilguptamd] : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EP72AO2/ and https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075HQJFL9/ and [Direct Truth]
[http://static.userland.com/images/kishore/2candles.gif]
"To read well, that is to read true books in a true spirit, is a noble exercise," Henry David Thoreau writes in Walden. "A written word is choicest of relics. It is something at once more intimate with us and more universal than any other work of art. It is the work of art nearest to life itself."
2009 09 24 Thu via http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2009/09/23.html
Daniel P. Goleman : [The Meditative Mind: Varieties of Meditative Experience|http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0874778336/carnaticcom]
[Andrew Cohen] : [Who Am I? and How Shall I Live?|http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1883929245/carnaticcom] : ...The heart of the spiritual life ultimately consists of two fundamental experiences: [meditation] and [contemplation]...
[Chop Wood, Carry Water|http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0874772095/carnaticcom]: A Guide to Finding Spiritual Fulfillment in Everyday Life
Jiddu Krishnamurti : [Think on these things|http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060916095/carnaticcom]
|<a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060916095/ref=nosim/carnaticcom"><img src="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0060916095.01.TZZZZZZZ.jpg" border="0" alt="Jiddu Krishnamurti : Think on these things" hspace="3" vspace="3"/></a>
[Mortimer Jerome Adler] : "In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (source : [Favorite Books & Reading Quotations|http://quotations.about.com/library/db/bltop_books.htm] )
[Rene Descartes] in [Discourse on the Method] : The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest men of past centuries.
Once there was a well known philosopher and scholar who devoted himself to the study of Zen for many years. On the day that he finally attained [enlightenment], he took all of his books out into the yard, and burned them all.
* [Think on These Things]
* [Bhagavad Gita]
* [The Science of Reincarnation|http://www.mantra-meditation.com/science-of-reincarnation.html]
* [The Path: One Man's Quest on the Only Path There Is|http://www.crystalclarity.com/kriyananda/Table/table.html] by J. Donald Walters (Swami Kriyananda)
* [Autobiography of a Yogi] by [Paramhansa Yogananda]
* [Free Acne Book|http://www.FreeAcneBook.com] titled: "No More Cellulite, No More Acne, No More Overweight" by Wai Genriiu (in PDF format)
* [It's Only Natural|http://www.oneflesh.org/only-contents.html]
* [The Meditations|http://classics.mit.edu/Antoninus/meditations.html] - By Marcus Aurelius - Written 167 A.C.E.\
* [Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs|http://mitpress.mit.edu/sicp/full-text/book/book.html]
!2read
* [I Am That|http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0893860220/carnaticcom], [Pointers from Nisargadatta Maharaj|http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0893860336/carnaticcom] (via [Nisargadatta|http://users.pandora.be/ananda/ngdt.htm])
* [100 Best Spiritual Books of the Twentieth Century|http://www.spiritualityhealth.com/newsh/items/review-feature/item_6545.html]
* [Keith Parkins]'s [Books Worth Reading]
* [Ed Iglehart]'s [Readinglist and Inspirations|http://www.tipiglen.dircon.co.uk/readinglist.html]
* Craig's [BookNotes|http://booknotes.weblogs.com/] : Books, libraries, preservation, digital convergence, music, politics
* [Joel Spolsky] : I really want to hear what people think is the SINGLE best book on "painless software management." - [votes|http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=934]
* [The Atlantic Systems Guild]'s Recommended [Books|http://www.systemsguild.com/GuildSite/Guild/Books.html]
* [Ian Alexander]'s [Reviews of Books on Requirements, Systems, and Software Engineering|http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~iany/reviews/reviews.htm]
[Kirtan] [Ancient Medicine for Modern Man|http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/1148/k.html]
[Google-Friends Newsletter for April 2003|http://www.google.com/googlefriends/moreapr03.html#wait] : Based on a real but utterly unscientific sample of books lying open on Googler desks:
* Readings in Information Retrieval (Karen Sparck Jones, editor)
Stoicism
Basically, Epictetus tells you to continually divide your moment-to-moment concerns into two bins: the things you can control, and the things you can’t. Whenever you feel any sort of anger, desire or aversion, you look at the situation in terms of those two bins.
You quickly notice that the first bin is much, much smaller, and fortunately, it’s the one you’re responsible for. Essentially, it amounts to your actions and choices. The second bin is enormous, and it is the responsibility of the gods.
One way to think of it it is that the Stoic is making a practice out of shrinking the sphere of concern down to roughly the same size as the sphere of influence, where it finally becomes manageable.
https://www.raptitude.com/2017/03/only-thing-get-good-at/
The first line of Epictetus’ manual of ethical advice, the Enchiridion—“Some things are in our control and others not”
For Epictetus, the only thing we can totally control, and therefore the only thing we should ever worry about, is our own judgment about what is good. If we desire money, health, sex, or reputation, we will inevitably be unhappy. If we genuinely wish to avoid poverty, sickness, loneliness, and obscurity, we will live in constant anxiety and frustration.
Of course, fear and desire are unavoidable. Everyone feels those flashes of dread or anticipation. Being a Stoic means interrogating those flashes: asking whether they apply to things outside your control and, if they do, being “ready with the reaction ‘Then it’s none of my concern.’ ”
when alone, “call it peace and liberty, and consider yourself the gods’ equal”; in a crowd, think of yourself as a guest at an enormous party, and celebrate the best you can.
Epictetus also won me over with his tone, which was that of an enraged athletics coach. If you want to become a Stoic, he said, “you will dislocate your wrist, sprain your ankle, swallow quantities of sand,” and you will still suffer losses and humiliations. And yet, for you, every setback is an advantage, an opportunity for learning and glory. When a difficulty comes your way, you should feel proud and excited, like “a wrestler whom God, like a trainer, has paired with a tough young buck.” In other words, think of every unreasonable asshole you have to deal with as part of God’s attempt to “turn you into Olympic-class material.” This is a very powerful trick.
“Starting with things of little value—a bit of spilled oil, a little stolen wine—repeat to yourself: ‘For such a small price, I buy tranquillity.’ ”
Albert Ellis came up with an early form of cognitive-behavioral therapy, based largely on Epictetus’ claim that “it is not events that disturb people, it is their judgments concerning them.”
Weblog
[weblog - a whatis definition|http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,,sid9_gci213547,00.html] : .....A weblog (sometimes shortened to blog or written as "web log" or "Weblog") is a Web site of personal or non-commercial origin that uses a dated log format that is updated on a daily or very frequent basis with new information about a particular subject or range of subjects. The information can be written by the site owner, gleaned from other Web sites or other sources, or contributed by users.....
|<input type=submit name=search value=Search>
2004 June 27: [How to write a better weblog|http://diveintomark.org/archives/2002/04/24/how_to_write_a_better_weblog] : .....Forget HTML, CSS, RSS, XML, OPML, Google boxes, and auto-linkbacks. Want a better weblog? Read Strunk and White’s [The Elements of Style].....
2004 June 27: [10 Tips on Writing the Living Web|http://alistapart.com/articles/writeliving], [How to Write a Better Weblog|http://alistapart.com/articles/writebetter/]
2004 May 16 : [Movable Type Migration Options - A Comparative Chart|http://www.megacity.org/blog/archives/001738.php]
2003 Oct 21 : Jay Rosen : [Ten Things Conservative About the Weblog Form in Journalism|http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2003/10/17/conserv_ten.html]
2003 Oct 04 : [Andrew Grumet] : [Deep Thinking about Weblogs|http://grumet.net/writing/web/deep-thinking-about-weblogs.html]
2003 Oct 04 : [Philip Greenspun] : [What is the point of blogging?|http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2003/10/04#a2500] , [Blogging and Education|http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2003/10/04#a2503] , [Random Thoughts from BloggerCon|http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2003/10/04#a2504]
2003 June 18 : [Dave Winer] : [What makes a weblog a weblog?|http://davenet.userland.com/2003/06/18/whatMakesAWeblogAWeblog]
2002 Dec 31 Wei-Meng Lee : [Understanding Weblogs|http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/javascript/2002/12/30/weblog_intro.html]
dt? Rebecca Blood : [Weblogs: a history and perspective|http://www.rebeccablood.net/essays/weblog_history.html]
|<center>The impossible is often the untried<br><br>Brave Buffalo, Brule Sioux Nation (1985) : ...The Earth People (indigenous natives) never wrote anything down, had no written language. They knew that if they wrote anything down it would be disastrous. If you write something down you don't have to remember it. And mind goes off into unconsciousness. It becomes negative, or unconscious force... </center>
* [Kishore Balakrishnan's Psychic RAM|http://kishore.editthispage.com/]
Health
if you have any issues ... please read https://read.amazon.com/?asin=B07DNRH4TP
Aggregate Nutrient Density Index - http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/healthstartshere/andi.php
http://summertomato.com/30-ways-to-slow-and-prevent-aging/
[Mahatma Gandhi] : Drink your Food and Chew your Drink !
  1850 A.D. - That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion.
* 2002 July 02 : [Swami Sivananda]'s [Way to Radiant Health|http://www.dlsmd.org/sdr/02-sdr%20feb/0210.htm]
* 2002 March 01 - [Ayurveda] is probably better than blindly thinking 'raw is good' !
* Refined Products like white bread, white sugar, ...
* [Fruits]
* [Nuts] and Seeds
* Osho : [The Roots of Obesity]
* Gandhi : Drink your Food and Chew your Drink !
* [Food Combination : Why is it important|http://www.marysherbs.com/foodcom.htm]
* [The Correct Way Of Eating Fruits|http://www.littleindia.com.sg/food/food_highlights/001_the_correct_way_of_eating_fruits.htm] by Devagi Sanmugam
* Dr. [Mercola|http://www.mercola.com/] states ""Doctors Are the Third Leading Cause of Death In the US" This Site Will Help You Learn - How You Can Avoid Dying Early"
* [ChetDay|http://www.chetday.com/]'s Health and Beyond is a great site
* [Dr Keki Sidhwa|http://members.rotfl.com/sidhwa/]'s The Quintessence of Natural Living for health and happiness
* [Dr. Stanley S. Bass|http://www.angelfire.com/ny2/bass/] - many articles - superior nutrition and superior health
* Louise L. Hay : "My basic philosophy on food is: If it grows, eat it; if it does not grow, don't eat it. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains grow. Twinkies and Coca-Cola do not grow"
* [Lucy's Spew City|http://www.mit.edu/people/lmtancre/doc2/vegism.html]
* [Chris Sheridan]'s [Nutrition|http://www.youknow.com/chris/body/nutrition.html]
* [Living and Raw Foods] : The largest community on the internet for living and raw food information
* [Beyond Vegetarianism|http://www.beyondveg.com/] : Reports from veterans of vegetarian and raw-food diets, veganism, fruitarianism, and instinctive eating, plus new science from paleolithic diet research and clinical nutrition.
* [MIT Vegetarian Group|http://www.mit.edu/activities/vsg/home.html]
* [Living Nutrition|http://www.livingnutrition.com] is the world's only periodical dedicated to teaching health seekers how to eat their natural diet of alive raw fruits and vegetables and build everlasting superb health in this modern, stress-filled world.
* [Sunfood.NET|http://www.sunfood.net] is dedicated to the promotion of the raw food vegan way of life. You will find articles regarding raw foodism, vegetarianism, living foods, and other aspects of natural living.
* [Soil and Health Library] - Health begins in the soil; Healing begins with hygiene; Liberty begins with freedom
* [Free Acne Book|http://www.FreeAcneBook.com] titled: "No More Cellulite, No More Acne, No More Overweight" by Wai Genriiu (in PDF format)
* [Home Remedies|http://www.geocities.com/robbiehaf/RobbiesKitchen/HomeRemedies.html]
* [Lorenzo's Organic Olive Oil|http://www.healthfree.com/nutrition/lorenzos_organic_olive_oil.htm]
* [Karmas and Diseases|http://www.thedivinelifesociety.org/download/karmadisease.htm]
* [Bund für Gesundheit|http://www.bfgev.de/]
* http://www.urkostmitbrigitte.de/
!Quotations and Proverbs
* Louise L. Hay: "My basic philosophy on food is: If it grows, eat it; if it does not grow, don't eat it. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains grow. Twinkies and Coca-Cola do not grow".
* Drugs do what they claim to do. They get rid of pain and suppress disease...but they do not cure.
* [Plato] [Charmides] : As you ought not to attempt to cure the eyes without the head, or the head without the body, so neither ought you to attempt to cure the body without the soul; and this... is the reason why the cure of many diseases is unknown to the physicians of Greece (Hellas), because they are ignorant of the whole, which ought to be studied also; for the part can never be well unless the whole is well.
Quotations
[We] will list our favorites...
[James Michener] : The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both.
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men - true nobility is being superior to your former self."
[John Searle] : In general, I feel if you can't say it clearly you don't understand it yourself.
Oliver Goldsmith : You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your
[Khalil Gibran] : No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.
[Christopher Wynter] : "what you are looking for, is what you are looking out of, which is what is looking for you." --- " the the true teacher cannot teach you anything...but can only remind you of what, on some level...you already know."
[Voltaire] in [Freedom of Thought] : It rests entirely with you to learn to think. You're born with a mind. You are a bird in the cage of the Inquisition: the Holy Office has clipped your wings, but they can grow back. Whoever doesn't know geometry can learn it; every man can tutor himself: it's shameful to put your soul in the hands of those to whom you'd never trust your money. _Dare to think for yourself._
[John Stuart Mill] (in [On Liberty]): If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
and the rest...
[George Harrison] : Everything else can wait but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another
[Swami Sivananda] : The [goal of life|http://www.SivanandaDlshq.org/messages/goal.htm] is god realisation.
In Illusions (by [Richard Bach]) : Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't.
[Martin Luther King, Jr.] : If a man hasn't discovered something that he would die for, he isn't fit to live
Zhenzhou : The key to understanding is in oneself.
[Confucius] : By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest.
[Ralph Waldo Emerson] : Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong. The
minority are usually right.
[Mahatma Gandhi] : When I despair I remember that all through history the way of
truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and
murderers and for a time they can seem invincible but in the end,
they always fall. Think of it always.
[Mahatma Gandhi]'s "Seven Blunders of the World"
1. Wealth Without Work
2. Pleasure Without Conscience
3. Knowledge Without Character
4. Commerce Without Morality
5. Science Without Humanity
6. Worship Without Sacrifice
7. Politics Without Principle
To ask is a moments shame, not to ask, and remain ignorant, is a lifelong shame.
Somebody is sex-obsessed. In a country like India, where for centuries sex has been repressed, that has become almost a universal characteristic; everybody is obsessed with sex. Somebody is obsessed with anger, and somebody else is obsessed with greed. You have to watch which is your basic obsession.
E E cummings [edward estlin cummings] : To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.
[Richard Bach] : You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true.You may have to work for it, however
[Henry Miller], Sexus : Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heart-ache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, to discover what is already there.
[Helen Keller] : I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.
Anzia Yezierska : The power that makes the grass grow, fruit ripen, and guides the bird in flight is in us all.
* Software Manager: It's only a bug if you see it twice
* IT Director : If you cannot solve the problem, go around it.
* Unix Programmer : Just because its easier to use doesn't mean it's better
* [Jeff De Luca] : Information Technology is 80% psychology and 20% technology
* [brian douglas skinner]'s [100 favorite quotes|http://www.gumption.org/1996/quotes.htm]
* [L. Murphy Smith] [Quotations on Ethics|http://acct.tamu.edu/smith/ethics/quotes.htm]
Ten Commandments of Egoless Programming
[Articles] > Ten Commandments of Egoless Programming
Note: [I|Kishore Balakrishnan] didnot write it ! If you know who wrote it... please email to kishore at carnatic dot com - Thanks ! - [Chandramouli Mahadevan] forwarded it to me
Dan MacNeil <dan at lctc dot org> : ...the term "egoless programming" was created in [The Psychology Of Computer Programming]... - Can anyone let me know if these commandments are from that book !
* [builder.com: Lamont Adams: Ten Commandments of Egoless Programming|http://builder.com.com/5100-6404-1045782.html]
* [zdnet.co.uk: Ten Commandments of egoless programming|http://www.zdnet.co.uk/print/?TYPE=story&AT=2111465-39020648t-10000021c] - same as above - printer friendly !
1. Understand and accept that you will make mistakes. The point is to find mistakes early, before they make it into production. Fortunately, except for the few of us developing rocket guidance software at [JPL|http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/], mistakes are rarely fatal in our industry. We aren't surgeons; we can learn, laugh, and move on.
2. You are not your code. Remember, the entire point of a review is to find problems and problems will be found. Don't take it personally when a problem is uncovered.
3. No matter how much karate you know, someone else will always know more. This fact kept the Samurai from indiscriminately attacking people in Imperial Japan. In our less violent times, the individual who knows more can teach you some new moves if you ask. There will always be people who know more than you. Seek and accept input from others, even when you think it's not needed.
4. Don't rewrite other programmers' code without consultation. There's a fine line between "fixing other programmers' code" and "rewriting other programmers' code." The former implies that a bug or other functionality problem exists and needs to be fixed; it can also refer to correcting gross readability problems. The latter, however, refers to changes made to code for the sake of style. Programmers fresh from college are often guilty of this. Things like renaming variables, the use of a different construct, recommenting, or gratuitous reformatting of white space fall into this category. Such activities, even with the purest of motives, are high hubris and detrimental to team mentality.
5. Treat people who know less than you with respect, deference, and patience. Nontechnical people who deal with developers on a regular basis almost universally hold the opinion that we are prima donnas at best and crybabies at worst. Becoming angry only reinforces this perception and teaches people to avoid asking questions. This can only harm your work in the long run.
6. The only constant in the world is change. Be open to it and accept it with a smile. Look at each change to your requirements, platform, or tool as a new challenge, not as some serious inconvenience to be fought.
7. The only true authority stems from knowledge, not from position. Knowledge engenders authority, and authority engenders respect so if you want respect in an egoless environment, cultivate knowledge.
8. Fight for what you believe but gracefully accept defeat. Understand that sometimes your ideas will be overruled. Even if you do turn out to be right, don't take revenge or say, "I told you so" more than a few times at most, and don't make your dearly departed idea a martyr or rallying cry.
9. Don't be "the guy in the room." Don't be the guy coding in the dark office emerging only to buy cola. The guy in the room is out of touch, out of sight, and out of control and has no place in an open, collaborative environment.
10. Critique code instead of people be kind to the coder, not to the code. As much as possible, make all of your comments positive and oriented to improving the code. Relate comments to local standards, program specs, increased performance, etc.
Mind -- Friend or Foe?
...And I am not saying that when you are reborn as a no-mind you cannot use the mind. The mind has its limited uses. Use it. When you are working in your office, I am not telling you to be a no-mind. When you are working in your shop or in the factory, I am not saying to be a no-mind. I am saying be perfectly a mind. Use the mind but don't carry it continuously, twenty-four hours, day in and day out, with yourself. Don't go on dragging it. Use it as you use a chair. You don't go on carrying your chair
everywhere, wherever you go, just because you may need it.
You say: "Please say something about mind and action in witnessing." In witnessing, mind remains only as a biocomputer, a mechanism, but separate from you; you are no longer identified with it. When you want any memory you can use the mind just as you can put on your tape recorder. Mind is really a tape recorder. But it is not continuously on, not twenty-four hours on. When needed, the witness, the man of meditation, the man of awareness, is capable of putting the mind on or off. He puts it on when there is some need....
When you are witnessing, the mind remains, but not constantly working. Your identity is broken. You are the watcher; the mind is the watched. It is a beautiful mechanism, one of the most beautiful mechanisms that nature has given to you. So you can use it when needed for factual memory -- for phone numbers, for addresses, for names, for faces.... It is a good tool, but that's all it is. It need not sit upon you continuously twenty-four hours a day. Even while you are sleeping, it is sitting on your chest torturing you, giving you nightmares. All kinds of relevant and irrelevant thoughts
go on and on.
A person can use his mind when working on matter; then logic is a great instrument. And the same person can put aside the mind when he moves into his meditation chamber and moves into the no-mind. Because mind is not you -- it is just an instrument just like my hand, just like my legs. If I want to walk I use my legs, if I don't want to walk I don't use my legs. Exactly in the same way you can use the mind logically if you are trying to know about matter. It is perfectly right, it fits there. And when you are moving inwards, put it aside. Now legs are not needed; thinking is not needed. Now you need a deep silent state of no-thought.
And this can happen in one person. And when I say it, I say it from my own experience. I have been doing both. When it is needed, I can become as logical as any Greek. When it is not needed, I can become as absurd, illogical as any Hindu. So when I say it I mean it, and it is not a hypothesis. I have experienced It that way. The mind can be used and can be put aside. It is an instrument, a very beautiful instrument; no need to be so obsessed with it. No need to be so fixed, fixated with it. Then it becomes a disease. Just think of a man who wants to sit but cannot sit because he says, "I have legs -- how can I sit?" Or, think of a man who wants to keep quiet and silent and cannot keep quiet and silent because he says, "I have a mind." It is the same.
One should become so capable that even the closest instrument of mind can be put aside and can be put off. It can be done, it has been done, but it has not been done on a great scale. But more and more it will be done. This is what I am trying to do here with you.
No, I have not said that. Knowledge is very useful -- wisdom is useless! Knowledge is needed in the marketplace, in business, in politics. Everywhere knowledge is needed -- in technology, in science -- everywhere knowledge is needed. Knowledge is very useful, utilitarian; wisdom is absolutely useless, but that's its beauty. It is not a commodity, you cannot use it in any way; you cannot sell it, you cannot purchase it. It does not belong to the utilitarian world; it is a flowering....
Remember, the outside world is the world of utility; the inside world is the world of significance, not of utility. The outside world has a totally different dimension -- there it is needed. You need bread, you need butter, you need a house, you need medicine, you need clothes, shelter; you need thousands of things. But the inner world is simply of luxury; it is not a need, it is a joy. It is a sheer rejoicing.
Could you say something about forgiveness?
It is one of the most fundamental things to understand. People ordinarily think that forgiveness is for those who are worthy of it, who deserve it. But if somebody deserves, is worthy of forgiveness, it is not much of a forgiveness. You are not doing anything on your part; he deserves it. You are not really being love and compassion. Your forgiveness will be authentic only when even those who don't deserve it receive it.
It is not a question of whether a person is worthy or not. The question is whether your heart is ready or not.
I am reminded of one of the most significant woman mystics, Rabiya al-Adabiya, a Sufi woman who was known for her very eccentric behavior. But in all her eccentric behavior there was a great insight. Once, another Sufi mystic Hasan was staying with Rabiya. Because he was going to stay with Rabiya, he had not brought his own holy Koran, which he used to read every morning as part of his discipline. He thought he could borrow Rabiya's holy Koran, so he had not brought his own copy with him.
In the morning he asked Rabiya, and she gave him her copy. He could not believe his eyes. When he opened the Koran he saw something which no Mohammedan could believe: in many places Rabiya had corrected it. It is the greatest sin as far as Mohammedans are concerned; the Koran is the word of God according to them. How can you change it? How can you even think that you can make something better? Not only has she changed it, she has simply cut out a few words, a few lines -- removed them.
Hasan said to her, "Rabiya, somebody has destroyed your Koran!" Rabiya said, "Don't be stupid, nobody can touch my Koran. What you are looking at is my doing." Hasan said, "But how could you do such a thing?" She said, "I had to do it, there was no way out. For example, look here: the Koran says, "When you see the devil, hate him." Since I have become awakened I cannot find any hate within me. Even if the devil stands in front of me I can only shower him with my love, because I don't have anything else left. It does not matter whether God stands in front of me, or the devil; both will receive the same love. All that I have is love; hate has disappeared. The moment hate disappeared from me I had to make changes in my book of the holy Koran. If you have not changed it, that simply means you have not arrived to the space where only love remains."
I will say to you, the people who don't deserve, the people who are unworthy, don't make any difference to the man who has come to the space of forgiveness. He will forgive, irrespective of who receives it. He cannot be so miserly that only the worthy should receive it. And from where is he going to find unforgiveness? This is a totally different perspective. It does not concern itself with the other. Who are you to make the judgment whether the other is worthy or unworthy? The very judgment is ugly and mean.
I know Rudolph Hess is certainly one of the greatest criminals. And his crime becomes even a millionfold bigger, because in the Nuremburg trial with the remaining companions of Adolf Hitler -- who killed almost eight million people in the second world war -- he said in front of the court, "I don't repent anything!" Not only that, he also said, "And if I could start from the very beginning, I would do the same thing again." It is very natural to think this man is not worthy of forgiveness; that will be the common understanding. Everybody will agree with you.
But I cannot agree with you. It does not matter what Rudolf Hess has done, what he is saying. What matters is that you are capable of forgiving even him. That will raise your consciousness to the ultimate heights. If you cannot forgive Rudolf Hess you will remain just an ordinary human being, with all kinds of judgments of worthiness, of unworthiness. But basically you cannot forgive him because your forgiveness is not big enough.
I can forgive the whole world for the simple reason that my forgiveness is absolute; it is nonjudgmental. I will tell you a small Tibetan story which will make the point absolutely clear to you.
A great old master, worshiped by millions of people, refused to initiate anyone into disciplehood. His whole life, consistently, he was asked by kings, he was asked by very rich people, he was asked by great ascetics, saints, to be initiated as his disciples, and he went on refusing. He would always say, "Unless I find a man who deserves it, unless I find a man who is worthy of it... I am not going to initiate any Tom, Dick, Harry."
He had a small young boy who used to cook food for him, wash his clothes, fetch vegetables from the market. The boy himself had become slowly, slowly old and for his whole life he had been listening to the old man, who had lived almost one hundred years, and without exception the denial: nobody is worthy! "I will die," he said, "without initiating anyone, but I will not initiate anyone who is nondeserving."
People became tired, frustrated. They loved the man, the man had immense qualities, but they could not understand his very stubborn attitude -- no kindness, no compassion.
But one morning the old man woke up his companion, who himself had become old, and said to him, "Run immediately down the hills to the marketplace and tell everybody that whoever wants to be initiated must come soon, because this evening as the sun sets I am going to die."
His companion said, "But what about worthiness? I don't know who is worthy and who is not worthy. Who have I to bring?"
The old man said, "Don't worry at all. It was only a device, because I myself was not worthy to initiate anyone, but it was against my dignity to say so. So I chose the other way round. I was saying, `Unless I find somebody worthy enough, deserving enough, I am not going to initiate.' The truth is, I was not worthy to be a master. Now I am, but the time is very short. Only this morning as the sun was rising, my own consciousness has also risen to the ultimate peak. Now I am ready. Now it does not matter who is worthy and who is unworthy. What matters now is that I am worthy. Just go and fetch anybody! Just go and make the whole village aware that this is the last day of my life, and anybody who wants to be initiated should come immediately. Bring as many people as you can."
The companion of the old man was at a loss, but there was no time to argue. He ran down the hill, reached the marketplace and shouted all over the village, "Anybody who wants to become a disciple, the old man is ready now."
People could not believe it. But out of curiosity a few thought, "There is no harm at least to see what is going on." The man had refused his whole life, and on the last day of his life suddenly such a great change. Somebody's wife had died and he was feeling very lonely, so he thought, "It is good. If he is going to initiate everybody, no question of worthiness..." Somebody was released from jail just the night before; he thought, "Nobody is going to give me employment; this is a good chance to become a saint."
All kinds of strange people went to the cave of the old man, and his companion was feeling so embarrassed at the kind of people he had brought: one is a criminal, one's wife is dead, that's why he thinks, "It is better... now, what else to do?" Somebody has gone bankrupt and was thinking to commit suicide; now he thinks that this is better than suicide.
A few had come just out of curiosity. They had no other work; they were playing jazz and they thought, "We can play jazz tomorrow, but today there is no harm, let us see what this initiation is. Anyway, that man is going to die by the evening so we will be free to remain disciples or not. We can play jazz tomorrow -- there is no harm."
The companion of the old man was feeling very embarrassed, "How will I present this strange lot when that old man has refused kings, saints, sages, who have come with deep earnestness to be initiated? And now he is going to initiate this gang!" He was even feeling ashamed, but he entered and asked, "Should I call the people? -- eleven have come."
The old man said, "Call them quickly, because it is already afternoon. You took so much time and you could fetch just eleven people?"
His companion said, "What can I do? It is a working day; it is not a holiday. I could only get these. All are absolutely useless; even I could not initiate them. Not only that they are not worthy -- they are absolutely UNworthy. But you insisted to bring somebody; nobody else was available."
The old man said, "There is no problem. Just bring them in." And he initiated them all. Even they were shocked. And they said to the old man, "This is strange behavior. All your life you have insisted that one has to deserve to be a disciple. What happened to your principle?"
The old man laughed. He said, "That was not a principle, that was only to hide my own unworthiness. I was not yet in the position to be a master. And I cannot cheat anyone, I cannot deceive anyone; hence I have taken shelter behind a judgmental attitude, that unless you are worthy, you will not get initiation."
Everybody has his own flaws, weaknesses; everybody has done things that he never wanted to do. Everybody has gone astray. Nobody can say that he is absolutely pure; everybody is polluted. So when the old man insisted, "Unless you are worthy don't come back to me," nobody argued with him; he was right. First they have to be worthy!
On the last day, he said to those eleven disciples, "I bless you and initiate you. It doesn't matter whether you are worthy or not, but for the first time I am worthy. And if I am really worthy, just my presence is going to purify you. My worthiness of being a master is going to make you a worthy disciple. Now I don't have to depend on your worthiness. My worthiness is enough.
"I am just like a rain cloud; I will shower all over the place -- on the mountains, on the streets, on the houses, in the farms, in the gardens. I will shower everywhere, because I am too burdened with my rainwater. It does not matter whether the garden deserves... I don't even make any distinction between the garden and the rocks. I will simply shower out of my abundance."
If your meditations bring you to the state of a rain cloud, you will forgive without any judgment out of your abundance, out of your love, out of your compassion.
Your question was raised before Gautam Buddha, because he was going to initiate a murderer into sannyas -- and the murderer was no ordinary murderer. Rudolf Hess is nothing compared to him. His name was Angulimal. Angulimal means a man who wears a garland of human fingers.
He had taken a vow that he would kill one thousand people; from each single person he would take one finger so that he could remember how many he had killed and he will make a garland of all those fingers. In his garland of fingers he had nine hundred and ninety-nine fingers -- only one was missing. And that one was missing because his road was closed; nobody was coming that way. But Gautam Buddha entered that closed road. The king had put guards on the road to prevent people, particularly strangers who didn't know that a dangerous man lived behind the hills. The guards told Gautam Buddha, "That is not the road to be used. You will have to take a little longer route, but it is better to go a little longer than to go into the mouth of death itself. This is the place where Angulimal lives. Even the king has not the guts to go on this road. That man is simply mad.
"His mother used to go to him. She was the only person who used to go, once in a while, to see him, but even she stopped. The last time she went there he told her, `Now only one finger is missing, and just because you happen to be my mother... I want to warn you that if you come another time you will not go back. I need one finger desperately. Up to now I have not killed you because other people were available, but now nobody passes on this road except you. So I want to make you aware that next time if you come it will be your responsibility, not mine.' Since that time his mother has not come."
The guards said to Buddha, "Don't unnecessarily take the risk." And do you know what Buddha said to them? Buddha said, "If I don't go then who will go? Only two things are possible: either I will change him, and I cannot miss this challenge; or I will provide him with one finger so that his desire is fulfilled. Anyway I am going to die one day. Giving my head to Angulimal will be at least of some use; otherwise one day I will die and you will put me on the funeral pyre. I think that it is better to fulfill somebody's desire and give him peace of mind. Either he will kill me or I will kill him, but this encounter is going to happen; you just lead the way."
The people who used to follow Gautam Buddha, his close companions who were always in competition to be closer to him, started slowing down. Soon there were miles between Gautam Buddha and his disciples. They all wanted to see what happened, but they didn't want to be too close.
Angulimal was sitting on his rock watching. He could not believe his eyes. A very beautiful man of such immense charisma was coming towards him. Who could this man be? He had never heard of Gautam Buddha, but even this hard heart of Angulimal started feeling a certain softness towards the man. He was looking so beautiful, coming towards him. It was early morning... a cool breeze, and the sun was rising... and the birds were singing and the flowers had opened; and Buddha was coming closer and closer.
Finally Angulimal, with his naked sword in his hand, shouted, "Stop!" Gautam Buddha was just a few feet away, and Angulimal said, "Don't take another step because then the responsibility will not be mine. Perhaps you don't know who I am!"
Angulimal said, "This is not the point. Neither is it the place nor the time to discuss such things. Your life is in danger!"
Buddha said, "I think otherwise -- your life is in danger."
That man said, "I used to think I was mad -- you are simply mad. And you go on moving closer. Then don't say that I killed an innocent man. You look so innocent and so beautiful that I want you to go back. I will find somebody else. I can wait; there is no hurry. If I can manage nine hundred and ninety-nine... it is only a question of one more, but don't force me to kill YOU."
Angulimal said, "This is sheer craziness! Anybody can see that you are moving and I am standing on my rock. I have not moved a single inch."
Buddha said, "Nonsense! The truth is, since the day I became enlightened I have not moved a single inch. I am centered, utterly centered, no movement. And your mind is continuously moving round and round in circles... and you have the guts to tell to me to stop. You stop! I have stopped long ago."
Angulimal said, "It seems you are impossible, you are incurable. You are bound to be killed. I will feel sorry, but what can I do? I have never seen such a mad man."
Buddha came very close, and Angulimal's hands were trembling. The man was so beautiful, so innocent, so childlike. He had already fallen in love. He had killed so many people... He had never felt this weakness; he had never known what love is. For the first time he was full of love. So there was a contradiction: the hand was holding the sword to kill the person, and his heart was saying, "Put the sword back in the sheath."
Buddha said, "I am ready, but why is your hand shaking? -- you are such a great warrior, even kings are afraid of you, and I am just a poor beggar. Except the begging bowl, I don't have anything. You can kill me, and I will feel immensely satisfied that at least my death fulfills somebody's desire; my life has been useful, my death has also been useful. But before you cut my head I have a small desire, and Ithink you will grant me a small desire before killing me."
Buddha said, "I want you just to cut from the tree a branch which is full of flowers. I will never see these flowers again; I want to see those flowers closely, feel their fragrance and their beauty in this morning sun, their glory."
So Angulimal cut with his sword a whole branch full of flowers. And before he could give it to Buddha, Buddha said, "This was only half the desire; the other half is, please put the branch back on the tree."
Angulimal said, "I was thinking from the very beginning that you are crazy. Now this is the craziest desire. How can I put this branch back?"
A moment of silence and a moment of transformation... the sword fell down from his hands. Angulimal fell down at the feet of Gautam Buddha, and he said, "I don't know who you are, but whoever you are, take me to the same space in which you are; initiate me."
By that time the followers of Gautam Buddha had come closer and closer. Seeing that now Gautam Buddha was standing in front of Angulimal, there was no problem, no fear, although he needed only one finger. They were all around and when he fell at Buddha's feet they immediately came close. Somebody raised the question, "Don't initiate this man, he is a murderer. And he is not an ordinary murderer; he has murdered nine hundred and ninety-nine people, all innocent, all strangers. They have not done any wrong to him. He had not even seen them before!"
Buddha said again, "If I don't initiate him, who will initiate him? And I love the man, I love his courage. And I can see tremendous possibility in him: a single man fighting against the whole world. I want this kind of people, who can stand against the whole world. Up to now he was standing against the world with a sword; now he will stand against the world with a consciousness which is far sharper than any sword. I told you that murder was going to happen, but it was not certain who was going to be murdered -- either I was going to be murdered, or Angulimal. Now you can see Angulimal is murdered. And who I am to judge?"
He initiated Angulimal.
The question is not whether anybody is worthy or not. The question is whether you have the consciousness, the abundance of love -- then forgiveness will come out of it spontaneously. It is not a calculation, it is not arithmetic.
Life is love, and living a life of love is the only religious life, the only life of prayer, peace, the only life of gratitude, grandeur, splendor.
What is jealousy and why does it hurt so much?
[Articles] > What is jealousy and why does it hurt so much?
Jealousy is comparison. And we have been taught to compare, we have been conditioned to compare, always compare. Somebody else has a better house, somebody else has a more beautiful body, somebody else has more money, somebody else has a more charismatic personality. Compare, go on comparing yourself with everybody else you pass by, and great jealousy will be the outcome; it is the by-product of the conditioning for comparison.
Otherwise, if you drop comparing, jealousy disappears. Then you simply know you are you, and you are nobody else, and there is no need. It is good that you don't compare yourself with trees, otherwise you will start feeling very jealous: why are you not green? And why has God been so hard on you -- and no flowers? It is better that you don't compare with birds, with rivers, with mountains; otherwise you will suffer. You only compare with human beings, because you have been conditioned to compare only with human beings; you don't compare with peacocks and with parrots. Otherwise, your jealousy would be more and more: you would be so burdened by jealousy that you would not be able to live at all.
Comparison is a very foolish attitude, because each person is unique and incomparable. Once this understanding settles in you, jealousy disappears. Each is unique and incomparable. You are just yourself: nobody has ever been like you, and nobody will ever be like you. And you need not be like anybody else, either.
A bunch of chickens were in the yard when a football flew over the fence and landed in their midst. A rooster waddled over, studied it, then said, "I'm not complaining, girls, but look at the work they are turning out next door."
Next door great things are happening: the grass is greener, the roses are rosier. Everybody seems to be so happy -- except yourself. You are continuously comparing. And the same is the case with the others, they are comparing too. Maybe they think the grass in your lawn is greener -- it always looks greener from the distance -- that you have a more beautiful wife.... You are tired, you cannot believe why you allowed yourself to be trapped by this woman, you don't know how to get rid of her -- and the neighbor may be jealous of you, that you have such a beautiful wife! And you may be jealous of him....
Everybody is jealous of everybody else. And out of jealousy we create such hell, and out of jealousy we become very mean.
"And Larsen's?"
"Humph!" ejaculated the farmer, cheering up. "It ain't as bad as I thought."
If everybody is in misery, it feels good; if everybody is losing, it feels good. If everybody is happy and succeeding, it tastes very bitter.
But why does the idea of the other enter in your head in the first place? Again let me remind you: because you have not allowed your own juices to flow; you have not allowed your own blissfulness to grow, you have not allowed your own being to bloom. Hence you feel empty inside, and you look at each and everybody's outside because only the outside can be seen.
You know your inside, and you know the others' outside: that creates jealousy. They know your outside, and they know their inside: that creates jealousy. Nobody else knows your inside. There you know you are nothing, worthless. And the others on the outside look so smiling. Their smiles may be phony, but how can you know that they are phony? Maybe their hearts are also smiling. You know your smile is phony, because your heart is not smiling at all, it may be crying and weeping.
You know your interiority, and only you know it, nobody else. And you know everybody's exterior, and their exterior people have made beautiful. Exteriors are showpieces and they are very deceptive.
A man was very much burdened by his suffering. He used to pray every day to God, "Why me? Everybody seems to be so happy, why am only I in such suffering?" One day, out of great desperation, he prayed to God, "You can give me anybody else's suffering and I am ready to accept it. But take mine, I cannot bear it any more."
That night he had a beautiful dream -- beautiful and very revealing. He had a dream that night that God appeared in the sky and he said to everybody, "Bring all your sufferings into the temple." Everybody was tired of his suffering -- in fact everybody has prayed some time or other, "I am ready to accept anybody else's suffering, but take mine away; this is too much, it is unbearable."
So everybody gathered his own sufferings into bags, and they reached the temple, and they were looking very happy; the day has come, their prayer has been heard. And this man also rushed to the temple.
And then God said, "Put your bags by the walls." All the bags were put by the walls, and then God declared: "Now you can choose. Anybody can take any bag."
And the most surprising thing was this: that this man who had been praying always, rushed towards his bag before anybody else could choose it! But he was in for a surprise, because everybody rushed to his own bag, and everybody was happy to choose it again. What was the matter? For the first time, everybody had seen others' miseries, others' sufferings -- their bags were as big, or even bigger!
And the second problem was, one had become accustomed to one's own sufferings. Now to choose somebody else's -- who knows what kind of sufferings will be inside the bag? Why bother? At least you are familiar with your own sufferings, and you have become accustomed to them, and they are tolerable. For so many years you have tolerated them -- why choose the unknown?
And everybody went home happy. Nothing had changed, they were bringing the same suffering back, but everybody was happy and smiling and joyous that he could get his own bag back.
In the morning he prayed to God and he said, "Thank you for the dream; I will never ask again. Whatsoever you have given me is good for me, must be good for me; that's why you have given it to me."
Because of jealousy you are in constant suffering; you become mean to others. And because of jealousy you start becoming phony, because you start pretending. You start pretending things that you don't have, you start pretending things which you can't have, which are not natural to you. You become more and more artificial. Imitating others, competing with others, what else can you do? If somebody has something and you don't have it, and you don't have a natural possibility of having it, the only way is to have some cheap substitute for it.
I hear that Jim and Nancy Smith had a great time in Europe this summer. It's so great when a couple finally gets a chance to really live it up. They went everywhere and did everything. Paris, Rome... you name it, they saw it and they did it.
But it was so embarrassing coming back home and going through customs. You know how custom officers pry into all your personal belongings. They opened up a bag and took out three wigs, silk underwear, perfume, hair coloring...really embarrassing. And that was just Jim's bag!
Just look inside your bag and you will find so many artificial, phony, pseudo things -- for what? Why can't you be natural and spontaneous? -- because of jealousy.
The jealous man lives in hell. Drop comparing and jealousy disappears, meanness disappears, phoniness disappears. But you can drop it only if you start growing your inner treasures; there is no other way.
Grow up, become a more and more authentic individual. Love yourself and respect yourself the way God has made you, and then immediately the doors of heaven open for you. They were always open, you had simply not looked at them.
Hindu Temples in Germany
* [Nava-Jiyada-Nrsimha-Ksetra|http://www.narasimha.net/ncfestival/welcome-fs.htm], Zielberg 20, 94118 Jandelsbrunn
!Brandenburg
* Afghan Hindu temple(really big with all idols)
* Vinayagar Temple - INTZESTRASSE 26, FRANKFURT, HESSEN, 60314 - open daily from 6pm to 7pm (update on 2006-03-05: used to be 6 to 7 PM - think it is just 6pm to 7pm and not 6am to 7pm - please visit and confirm)
* Hamm - Sri Sithivinayagar Tempel Hamm e.V., Ferdinand Poggel Str. 25, 59065(/7 ?) Hamm. Phone: 02381-162686 - Open 9am-8pm - Archanai : 10-12am, 6-8pm - Poojai: 10am, 6pm - Uthsavam: 13 June 2002 - On June 10-12, 1994, sixteen Sri Lankan Sivacharyas performed the elaborate kumbhabishekam rituals to install Lord Ganesha in the recently completed Siddhi Vinayaga temple in Hamm, Germany. Devotees attending reported a powerful presence of Ganesha, saying that it was as if they were at the Kumbalavalai temple in Jaffna, A gift from Kauai Aadheenam was a three-foot tall, 1,100-pound Siddhi Vinayaga murthi-so far the largest Ganesha murthi in Europe-exquisitly carved in Mahabalipuram, South India. It arrived in Hamburg Harbor on March 1st and was ceremoniously paraded to Hamm. In appreciation, the devotees brought their Satguru, Subramuniyaswami, from Hawaii to attend the temple consecration as the guest of honor. - The temple is within an old metal-working warehouse of 2,500 sq. feet. It was designed as a small replica of the famed Nallur temple, near Jaffna. Also housed in the temple are shrines to Lord Muruga, Durga, Siva-Parvati, Bhairava and the navagraha. This temple is the newest of ten Hindu temples in Germany.
* Hamm - Sri Kamadchi Ambal Temple Siegenbeckstr.04, 59071 Hamm-Uentrop, - http://www.kamadchi-ampal.de/ Tel.: +49 2388 302223 Fax.+49 2388 302224 - Opening Hours : 08.00 to 13.00 & 17.00 to 20.00 - On May 13-25, 1994, another temple in Hamm, the Sri Kamadchi Ambal temple, held its yearly 10-day festival, complete with a parade through the streets of Hamm. According to Jnana Deepam, a Tamil newspaper printed in Germany, 7,000 devotees participated. Though the organizers started without a parade permit, the understanding Hamm police force quickly redirected traffic from the parade route.
!Rhineland-Palatinate
!Saarland
* [Radhadesh] - Septon, ISKCON Radhadesh, Château de Petite Somme, 6940 Septon (Durbuy) / Tel. (086) 322926 / Fax (086) 322929 / E-mail: radhadesh@com.bbt.se - Dutch description at http://www.phantom.yucom.be/durbuy.htm - nice description at http://members.rott.chello.nl/tjemmes/psomme.html - interesting read at http://www.jeremyjosephs.com/markjosephs.htm !!!
* HINDU TEMPLE (Afghan-hindu) - Afghanische Hindu Gemeinde e. V. - http://people.freenet.de/happyindia/mandir.htm
* DURGA PUJA WEBSITES - Bremen: http://www.puja-bremen.com - Cologne: http://www.durgapujacologne.de - Stuttgart: http://durgapuja.cjb.net
* [List of Hindu Temples in Europe|http://www.geocities.com/Athens/5180/temple6.html]
I feel so much anger towards my mother....
I am having a very hard time with my mother. I feel so much anger towards her. Can you please talk about the relationship between children and parents?
Every child would be angry if he understood what the poor parents have been doing to him unknowingly, unconsciously. All their efforts are for the good of the child. Their intentions are good but their consciousness is nil. And good intentions in the hands of unconscious people are dangerous; they cannot bring about the result they are intending. They may create just the opposite.
Every parent is trying to bring a beautiful child into the world, but looking at the world it seems it is an orphanage. There has been no parent at all. In fact if it were an orphanage, it would have been far better, because you would at least have been yourself -- no parents to interfere with you.
So the anger is natural, but useless. To be angry does not help your parents and it harms you.
Gautam Buddha is reported to have made a very strange statement: In your anger you punish yourself for somebody else's fault. It looks very strange the first time you come across the statement that in anger you punish yourself for somebody else's fault.
Your parents have done something twenty years back, thirty years back, and you are angry now. Your anger is not going to help anyone; it is simply going to create more wounds in you. And being near me, close to me.... I am trying to explain to you the whole mechanism of how children are being brought up, you should become more understanding that whatever has happened had to happen. Your parents were conditioned by their parents. You cannot find out who was really responsible to begin with. It has been passed from generation to generation.
Your parents are doing exactly what has been done to them. They have been victims. You will feel compassion for them and you will feel joyous that you are not going to repeat the same thing in your life. If you decide to have children you will feel joyous that you are going to break the vicious circle, that you are going to jump out of the line that goes back to the very beginning and continues up to you, that you can become the dead end. You will not do it to your children or to any other person's children.
You should feel fortunate that you have a master with you to explain what has been happening between parents and children -- the complex upbringing, good intentions, bad results, where everybody is trying to do the best and the world goes on becoming worse and worse.
Your parents were not so fortunate to have a master -- and you are being angry at them. You should feel kind, compassionate, loving. Whatever they did was unconscious. They could not have done otherwise. All that they knew they have tried on you. They were miserable, and they have created another miserable human being in the world.
They had no clarity about why they were miserable. You have the clarity to understand why one becomes miserable. And once you understand how misery is created, you can avoid causing the same in somebody else.
But feel for your parents. They worked hard; they did everything that they could, but they had no idea how psychology functions. Instead of being taught how to become a mother or how to become a father, they were being taught how to become a Christian, how to become a Marxist, how to become a tailor, how to become a plumber, how to become a philosopher -- all these things are good and needed, but the basic thing is missing. If they are going to produce children, then their most significant teaching should be how to become a mother, how to become a father.
It has been taken for granted that by giving birth you know how to become a mother and how to become a father. Yes, as far as giving birth to a child... it is a biological act, you don't have to be psychologically trained for it. Animals are doing perfectly well, birds are doing perfectly well, trees are doing perfectly well. But giving birth to a child biologically is one thing and to be a mother or to be a father is totally different. It needs great education because you are creating a human being.
Animals are not creating anything, they are simply producing carbon copies. And now science has come to a point where they have discovered that carbon copies can really be produced! It is a very dangerous idea. If we make banks -- and sooner or later we are going to make them; once an idea is there it is going to become a reality. And scientifically it is proved that it is one hundred percent possible...there is no problem.
We can have banks in the hospitals for both the male sperms and female eggs. And we can create exactly the same two sperms and exactly the same two eggs, so two children are born which are exactly the same. One child will be released into the world; the other will grow in a fridge, unconscious, but all his parts will be exactly the same as the other person. And if the first person is in an accident and loses a leg or loses a kidney, or has to be operated on, there is no problem: his carbon copy is waiting in the hospital. From the carbon copy a kidney can be taken out -- he is growing exactly at the same rate, he is just unconscious -- and it will be exactly the same as the kidney that has been lost. It can be replaced.
That carbon copy will always be available for replacing any parts -- even the brain. You can fall into a coma or you can even have a heart attack.... Your brain can remain alive even after a heart attack for at least four minutes -- but not more than that. If during these four minutes an identical brain is inserted, an identical heart is inserted, you will never feel that anything has changed or anything has happened to you. Perhaps you fell asleep and now you are awake. You will never know that your brain has been changed, that your heart has been changed.
This idea of having carbon copies seems to be a great advancement in medical science in a way, but it is dangerous -- dangerous in the sense that man becomes a machine with replaceable parts, just like any machine. When something goes wrong you replace the part. And if every part can be replaced then man will be falling farther and farther away from spiritual growth, because he will start thinking of himself as just a machine. That's what half of the world, the communist world, thinks -- that man is a machine.
You are fortunate that you can understand the situation your parents were in. They have not done anything specifically to you; they would have done the same to any child that was born to them. They were programmed for that. They were helpless. And to be angry against helpless people is simply not right. It is unjust, unfair, and moreover it is harmful to you.
If your parents cannot understand me, you should not be worried about it. The whole world cannot understand me. Your parents are normal people; they just follow the crowd, which is safer. You have fallen out of the crowd. You have chosen a risky and dangerous path. If they don't want to go into a dangerous lifestyle, it is their choice; that should not be a cause for your anger.
In fact you can help them by really becoming the individual that I am talking about: more conscious, more alert, more loving. Seeing you can only change them. Seeing you so radically changed can only make them think twice, that perhaps they are wrong. There is no other way. You cannot intellectually convince them. Intellectually they can argue, and argument never changes anybody. The only thing that changes people is the charisma, the magnetism, the magic, of your individuality. Then whatever you touch becomes golden.
So rather than wasting your time and energy in being angry and fighting against the past which no longer exists, put your whole energy into becoming the magic of your individuality. So when your parents see you they cannot remain untouched by the new qualities that you have grown, qualities which are automatically impressive: your freshness, your understanding, your unconditional lovingness, your kindness even in a situation where anger would have been more appropriate.
Only these things can be the real arguments. You need not say a word. Your eyes, your face, your actions, your behavior, your response, will make the change in them. They will start inquiring about what has happened to you, how it has happened to you -- because everybody wants these qualities. These are the real riches. Nobody is so rich that he can afford not to have the things that I am telling you.
So put your energy into transforming yourself. That will help you, that will help your parents. Perhaps it may create a chain reaction. Your parents may have other children, they may have friends, and it will go on and on.
It is just like you are sitting on the bank of a silent lake and you throw a small pebble into the lake. The pebble is so small that it creates a small circle at first, but circle after circle...and they go on spreading to the far ends, as far as the lake can take them. And it was only a small pebble.
We are living in a certain kind of new sphere, a new psychological lake, in which whatever you do creates certain vibrations around you. It touches people, reaches to unknown sources.
Just create a small ripple of right individuality and it will reach to many people -- and certainly to those who are most closely related to you. They will see it first, and they will understand with great awe. They will not believe their eyes because all that they know of religion is the Sunday church, where nothing happens. They have been going every Sunday their whole lives, and they come back home just the same.
In the name of religion they know only the Bible or the Koran or the Gita and they have been reading it and nothing happens, because they don't know one thing -- that you are a living being and a book is dead. And the man in the church who is delivering a sermon is just a professional. He has prepared the sermon from the books, and he goes on repeating the same sermons. Nobody listens, so nobody catches him. He is repeating the same sermon that he delivered two months before. Nobody listened that time, and nobody is listening this time. And you know that that sermon cannot change you because that sermon has not changed the preacher himself. He is just as mundane as you are -- perhaps more. I used to know a Jaina monk who was a very simple man, almost a simpleton. He asked me, "How many lectures do you have?"
I said, "This is a very difficult question. Until I am finished with my life, I will not know."
He said, "I have only three: one is for ten minutes, one is for twenty minutes, one is for thirty minutes, depending on the occasion. Sometimes in a conference you have only ten minutes. I have a ready-made, ten minute lecture. If they give me twenty minutes, I have a twenty minute lecture. If they give me thirty minutes, I have a thirty minute one. More than that is not possible, because nobody is interested in listening too much. People want a short cut."
And he said, "It works."
And I asked, "People have not found it out?"
He said, "Nobody has said anything about it to me, and I have been using these three lectures my whole life. Wherever I go -- to the temples, colleges, and universities where I talk -- I ask, `How many minutes? Ten, twenty, thirty?' Whatever they want, my lecture is ready. And I have repeated the same lecture so many times that now I don't feel nervous. I can repeat the lecture without thinking at all!"
Now do you think listening to such a man is going to transform you? -- or anybody? But every Christian missionary is doing that.
One of the most famous, world-renowned Christian missionaries was Stanley Jones. He was very friendly with me but he became very angry and then the friendship was broken. He was an old man, a friend of Mahatma Gandhi, and Mahatma Gandhi respected him very much. He used to come to the city where I was living and he stayed in the house of one of my friends. He had printed cards -- ten cards or twenty cards for his whole lecture -- and he would put the cards on the table. He would start lecturing, and he would go on changing the cards.
He became very angry with me because I mixed up his cards! So he was saying something and it was not on the card. He almost had a nervous breakdown. He looked at all the cards and it was not there. That card I had taken out. And he said, "Today I am not feeling well. I am feeling sick, so I will not be speaking."
And he asked the host, "Who has done this?"
I said, "Once in a while you should speak from your heart, not from these cards. I have looked in your suitcase, and you have almost fifty sets of these cards, so you can go on repeating these speeches. And do you think this is going to help anybody? -- these dead cards that you have repeated your whole life? And today just because one card was missing and the numbers were mixed up, you lost your temper, you lost your integrity. You were almost in a state of madness. And what do you think people thought who had come to listen to you?"
He had written many books. I have gone through those books: he writes well, beautifully, but it is all stolen. Nothing is his own. Nothing is his own experience. Unless something is your own experience it is not going to impress anybody.
So feel blissful. Here you have a chance to get totally transformed. And help your poor parents, because they did not have such a chance; feel sorry for them.
Practice of Meditation
[Articles] > Practice of Meditation
([source|http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/teachings/meditation.htm])
A baby's eyes are riveted on a flower or a butterfly. It keeps looking at the object with unwinking eyes, eyes full of wonder, for minutes together.
A mother calls her teenage daughter to go and have lunch, but there is no response. The call is repeated twice, thrice; still there is no response. The girl just does not hear, though her ears are very much open. Nor is she deaf. What could be the reason, then, for her not hearing? Her mind is immersed in a Sherlock Holmes or a Harold Robbins; her eyes are glued to the lines; her face is buried in the book.
In the dilapidated building of an elementary school, the class is on. The teacher explains something and then asks the children, "Did it enter?". There is an instant response from the backmost bench: "Only the tail has not entered yet!". The earnest voice belongs to a boy who has been all along intently watching the struggle of a rat to wriggle out of the class room through a hole in the wall. It has managed to squeeze in its body, but its tail is still not gone in. Perhaps the hole is blocked.
These are everyday examples of concentration. Attention, concentration, meditation-these are different degrees of the same process. It is fixing the mind on a single object or idea to the exclusion of everything else.
In his book, "Concentration and Meditation", holy Master Sivananda presents a most beautiful scene to illustrate what is meant by concentration. In this, Dronacharya tests the power of concentration of his students, the Pandavas. A basin of water is placed on the ground. Above, a clay bird is kept rotating. The archer hat to hit the bird by looking at its reflection in the water.
Yudhishthira: "O Acharya (teacher), I see the bird to be aimed at, the tree on which it is sitting and yourself also."
Bhima: "I see the bird, the tree, yourself, Nakula, Sahadeva, the tables and chairs, etc."
That is concentration. Arjuna's is the power of concentration. Concentration, when developed, becomes meditation.
Yoga is an exact science. Asanas and Pranayama (Yoga postures and breathing exercises) perfect the body. Service and charity expand the heart. Prayer, Japa (repetition of the Lord’s Name), Kirtan (singing devotional songs) and other devotional practices purify the mind and make it more subtle. The aspirant is now fully equipped for the last lap of the journey. It is the toughest part of the pilgrimage to God. It is full of darkness and the aspirant has to pierce this darkness with his purified mind. The purified mind is the most dependable weapon in the armoury of the spiritual aspirant.
The purified mind must be made to concentrate. Concentration is mental focussing. The mind can be focussed on a concrete object or an abstract idea. For a novice, concentration becomes easy if the object of concentration is concrete. Also, the beginner should choose a pleasing object on which to concentrate. Only thus can he prevent the mind from wandering away from the object of concentration. To start with, concentration can be practised on the flame of a candle, the tick-tick sound of a clock, the star in the sky, the picture of OM or the picture of one's lshta Devata (personal God). This should be followed by concentration on a suitable spiritual centre within the body. The Sadhak may concentrate with closed eyes on the space between is the eyebrows or on the tip of the nose. There is nothing which cannot be achieved by concentration.
Concentration should be followed by meditation. Meditation is nothing but protracted or sustained concentration. A scientist has to concentrate on a problem, on a given subject, on a riddle, to bring out the answer, to solve it. He has to think, think and think. Then only the answer flashes forth. Likewise, meditation is intense concentration, concerted concentration on the problem of life, on the problem of the inexplicable triad of God, man and the universe. While concentration becomes essential even to solve small problems in science, what to speak of the problem of life which has baffled humanity since time immemorial? The Sadhak (aspirant) who wants God must meditate, meditate and meditate.
Meditation can be practised on any image of the Lord. This is concrete meditation. After some practice, the aspirant will be able to visualise the form of the image even with closed eyes. Meditation can also be practised on abstract ideas and on various Vedantic formulae such as "I am Eternity", "I am Infinity" and so on.
Reading of profound scriptural texts like the Upanishads and the Brahma Sutras (revealed texts of the Hindus) requires intense concentration. Such reading itself is a mild form of meditation. It should be followed by contemplation on what was read. Repeated meditation on a single idea will bring out a wealth of knowledge on that idea.
While meditating on a particular object or idea, various extraneous thoughts will try to enter the mind of the aspirant and interfere with his meditation. The aspirant should ignore these extraneous thoughts, be indifferent to them and repeatedly try to concentrate on the object of his meditation. Gradually, the frequency of interruption will be reduced and a time will come when meditation will give uninterrupted peace and bliss.
Meditation is digging deep into the mine of truth and wisdom. Swamiji asks the Sadhak to meditate and bring put his own Gita and Upanishads. Says the Master: "There is no knowledge without meditation. An aspirant churns his own soul. Truth becomes manifest".
Meditation confers peace and strength. Sivananda affirms that half an hour's meditation is sufficient to enable the aspirant to smilingly pass through a whole week's life in this world of problems and misery.
Meditation must be regular. Whenever the Sattvic (a state of calmness and purity) mood manifests and divine thought-currents begin to flow, the aspirant must sit down for meditation. Brahmamuhurtha (period between 4 am and 6 am), says the Master, is the ideal time for meditation. Why? He gives the answer:
And the world is asleep.
When you enjoyed bliss without objects;
That real happiness is within.
Only Yogis, Jnanis (wise man) and sages are awake at this time.
You will be greatly benefited by their thought currents.
It is not possible to meditate the whole day. Without variety, the mind, especially of a beginner, will get tired . It is necessary to guard against this possibility. It is important that the aspirant should be protected from the monotony of one-sided spiritual practice leading to reaction and a return to worldly activity with a vengeance. The beauty of divine life lies in the fact that the seriousness of meditation is tempered with the joy of Kirtan, the happiness and strength of service, the peace of Japa and the understanding of Svadhyaya (reading of scriptures).
In the books of Yoga, the great Rishis (sages) distinguish between Bahiranga Sadhana and Antaranga Sadhana. Bahiranga Sadhana is outer Yoga or spiritual practices designed to perfect the outer instruments of body and Prana (vital- energy). These are the ethical practices and the Yogasana and Pranayama exercises. Once the body is perfected and the Nadis or astral tubes are purified through Pranayama practices, the spiritual seeker attains fitness to start the inner Yoga or Antaranga Sadhana. This includes Pratyahara, Dharana and Dhyana-sense abstraction, concentration and meditation. The senses and the mind must be withdrawn from the sense objects and the mind must be focussed on the God within. This is inner Yoga. The outer Yoga practices are to prepare the aspirant to gain fitness to practise this inner Yoga.
Where the necessary preparation is inadequate or wanting, meditation cannot succeed. Simply sitting cross-legged and closing the eyes, thinking the same worldly thoughts and building castles in the air, or falling into a semi- sleep is not meditation. A person who wants to meditate must be free from disease and desire, from cares and worries. He must be free from love and hatred, and from like and dislike. He must be soaked in Vairagya (dispassion). He must be able to sit firmly for hours together in the same posture. His breathing must be slow and even. His stomach must be free from constipation, free from gas and very light. when these conditions are not satisfied, meditation will remain just a pipe dream.
While meditation in itself constitutes. a very powerful attack on ignorance, Swami Sivananda suggests that the spiritual aspirant should practise Vichar also. Vichar is enquiry into the real nature of things. Vichara results in Viveka or discrimination between the real and the unreal. It helps the aspirant to sift the true from the false. Swamiji asserts that without cogitation, Truth cannot be known or realised. Vichara sharpens the intellect and leads to the discernment of the Truth that lies behind the phenomenal universe.
How should the aspirant reflect? The Master shows the way: "Who am I? What is Brahman (God)? What is this Samsara (process of worldly life)? What is the goal of life? How to attain the goal? How to attain freedom from births and deaths? What is the Svarupa of Moksha (Essential nature of liberation)? Whence? Where? Whither? Thus should the aspirant of liberation ever enquire, seeking to achieve the purpose of life". The justification for this method of Vichara or enquiry is contained in the saying, "As you think, so you become". By constant reflection on the Reality behind the appearances, the seeker attains oneness with the Reality and becomes that Reality itself.
Enquiry opens the aspirant's eyes to new vistas of knowledge. It leads him steadily to Truth. For instance, if the aspirant starts the "Who am I?" enquiry, he will soon find that he cannot equate himself with any one of his sense organs like the nose, the eyes or the ears, because even without one or more of these, he can live and life can pulsate in his veins. So, he is not the body. Nor is he the mind, because even during the unconscious and the deep sleep states, when the mind ceases to function, he exists and his heart throbs. Then, what is this 'I' in everybody? Swami Sivananda declares that the real 'I' is none, else than Brahman or the Atman who is the motive force behind all existence. It is He who thinks through the mind, sees through the eyes, eats through the mouth, hears through the ears and so on He is the Witnessing Consciousness who dwells in all beings. When a person gets up from deep sleep and says, "I enjoyed a sound dreamless sleep", it is this Witnessing Consciousness which remembers the fact that the body and the mind rested in sound sleep. It cannot be otherwise. The mind which was virtually dead during the deep sleep state could . not itself have consciously enjoyed a sound slumber and remembered it. The enjoyer is the Atman. Swamiji repeatedly advises the spiritual seeker to identify himself with this Atman which is his real Self and not with his perishable body. Constant identification with the Atman or the Witnessing Consciousness in oneself is a shortcut to spiritual success. The aspirant who adopts this technique will soon rise above body consciousness.
The secret of spirituality lies in realising one's essential nature. It is not becoming something outside of oneself. It is not as if man and God are separate and that man should go to a God who is external to him and merge in that God. No. God is already there, everywhere, Within us and outside of us. The body and the mind in which man is encased are mere illusions of an ignorant mind. God only is. All else is not. All else is only appearance. This appearance is made possible by the functioning of the mind. Meditation and enquiry enable the aspirant to feel, to realise that he is, after all, Brahman and not a bundle of body and mind. When divine wisdom dawns, the Sadhak realises his innermost Being. And being is Brahman.
Man himself is God and the entirety of Sadhana (spiritual practices) is meant to enable man to realise his God-nature, to realise that the God he has been searching for is his own Self. Initially, Yoga Sadhana purifies the mind. Later on, the seeker uses this purified mind, to concentrate and meditate on the God within; and at the deepest point of meditation, the purified mind melts in the God within and is itself lost there, destroyed there. And only God remains. Being remains. God-consciousness remains. A telling analogy given in the Yoga texts is the dry twig used in kindling a fire, where the twig itself is ultimately consumed in the fire. The purified mind is like this twig. It helps to kindle the fire of God-consciousness within, and in the process, is itself destroyed in that fire. In Samadhi (superconscious state), the mind melts in Brahman as camphor melts in fire. The separate identity of the individual soul vanishes. Only Sat-Chit-Ananda (Existence- Consciousness-Bliss Absolute) prevails.
Bhaja Govindam
Adhi Shankaracharya wrote a number of vedantic works for imparting knowledge of the self and the universal spirit. He also composed a number of hymns to foster Bhakthi in the hearts of men. One of these hymns is the famous Bhaja govindaM. The way of devotion, is not different from the way of knowledge or gnyana. When intelligence matures and lodges securely in the mind, it becomes wisdom. When wisdom is integrated with life and issues out in action, it becomes bhakthi. Knowledge, when it becomes fully mature is bhakthi. If it doesnot get transformed into bhakthi, such knowledge is [useless tinsel|http://www.carnatic.com/kishore/life/]. To believe that gnyana and bhakthi, knowledge and devotion are different from each other, is ignorance. If Sri Adi Shankara himself who drank the ocean of gnyana as easily as one sip water from the palm of one's hand, sang in his later years, hymns to develop devotion, it is enough to show that gnyana and bhakthi are one and the same. Sri Shankara has packed into the Bhaja govindaM song: the substance of all vedanta, and set the oneness of gnyana and bhakthi to melodious music.
Bhaja govindaM is one of the minor compositions of the spiritual gaint, Adi SHANKARA. It is classified as a Prakarana grantha, a primer to the major works. Though sung as a bhajan, it contains the essence of vedanta and awakens the man to think, "Why am I here in this life ? Why am I amassing wealth, family, but have no peace ? What is the Truth ? What is the purpose of life ?" Man is thus awakened and gets set on a path to the inner road back to God.
The background of Bhaja GovindaM is worth examining. During Shankara's stay in Kashi, he noticed a very old man engaged in the early hours studying the rules of sanskrit by Panini. Shankara was touched with pity seeing the plight of the old man spending his years at a mere intellectual accomplishment while he would be better off praying and spending time to control his mind. Shankara understood that the majority of the world was also engaged in mere intellectual, sense pleasures and not in the divine contemplation. Seeing this, he burst forth with the verses of Bhaja govindaM.
In 31 (some cite 33) verses, he, like no other, explains our fallacies, our wrong outlook for life, and dispells our ignorance and delusions. Thus bhaja govindaM was originally known as Moha Mudgara, the remover of delusions.
Shankara explains, nay chides, us for spending our time in useless trivia like amassing wealth, lusting after (wo)men and requests us to discriminate and cultivate the knowledge to learn the difference between the real and the unreal. To emphasize that all knowledge other than Self-Knowledge is useless, Shankara makes the man realize how foolish he is in his conduct and behavior by these verses, and shows him the purpose of our worldly existence, which is to seek Govinda and attain Him.
Bhaja govindaM is divided into dvaadasa manjarika stotram and chaturdasa manjarika stotram. At the end of composing the first stanza, it is said that Shankara burst forth with the next 12 stanzas of bhaja govindam. Thus stanzas 1-12 are called dvaadas manjarika stotram. Inspired by the extempore recital by Shankara, each of his 14 disciples composed a verse and the 14 verse compendium is called chaturdasa manjarika stotram. Shankara added the finishing touches by adding five of his own stanzas at the last bring the total to 31. This edition shows 33 verses, though the last 2 are not given in all versions.
Bhaja govindaM has been set to musical tones and sung as prayer songs by children. It is divided into dvaadashapaJNjarikaa and charpaTapaJNjarikaa for this purpose. The former is a set of verses (verses 1,2,5,11,18,20,21,23,27,29,31) while the rest of the verses form charpaTapaJNjarikaa.
Anyone who listens to the music of Bhaja govindaM is attracted to it. However, the significance of the text goes much deeper and contains a well defined philosophy of attaining salvation. Shankara words here seem to be quite piercing and seem to lack his softness and tenderness often found in his other texts. The reason is that this was an extempore recital to an old man. His words can be compared to a knife of a doctor. The doctor's knife cruely removes the tumor with much pain, but removing the tumor ultimately restores good health in the patient. So is Shankara's words, which pierce and point out our ignorance. It is a knife into the heart of worldliness, and by removing this tumor of ignorance, we can attain everlasting bliss with the grace of Govinda.
May the acharayaa guide us from ignorance to truth and help us remember the song of Swami Vivekananda at all times :
Meditate, O my mind, on the Lord Hari,
The stainless One, Pure spirit through and through.
How soul-bewitching is His wondrous form !
with mind serene and eyes made radiant
with heavenly love, behold that matchless sight.
In Him who is pure knowledge and pure bliss.
Verses of Bhaja GovindaM in ITRANS format with translation
saMpraapte sannihite kaale
kuru sadbuddhiM manasi vitR^ishhNaam.h .
vittaM tena vinodaya chittam.h .. 2..
Oh fool ! Give up your thrist to amass wealth, devote your mind to thoughts to the Real. Be content with what comes through actions already performed in the past.
Do not get drowned in delusion by going wild with passions and lust by seeing a woman's navel and chest. These are nothing but a modification of flesh. Do not fail to remember this again and again in your mind.
naliniidalagata jalamatitaralaM
tadvajjiivitamatishayachapalam.h .
The life of a man is as uncertain as rain drops trembling on a lotus leaf. Know that the whole world remains a prey to disease, ego and grief.
yaavadvittopaarjana saktaH
So long as a man is fit and able to support his family, see the affection all those around him show. But no one at home cares to even have a word with him when his body totters due to old age.
The childhood is lost by attachment to playfulness. Youth is lost by attachment to woman. Old age passes away by thinking over many past things. But there is hardly anyone who wants to be lost in parabrahman.
saMsaaro.ayamatiiva vichitraH .
kshiiNevitte kaH parivaaraH
maayaamayamidamakhilaM hitvaa
brahmapadaM tvaM pravisha viditvaa .. 11..
Do not boast of wealth, friends, and youth. Each one of these are destroyed within a minute. Free yourself from the illusion of the world of Maya and attain the timeless Truth.
Daylight and darkness, dusk and dawn, winter and springtime come and go. Time plays and life ebbs away. But the storm of desire never leaves.
kathito vaiyaakaraNasyaishhaH .
jaTilo muNDii luJNchhitakeshaH
kaashhaayaambarabahukR^itaveshhaH .
udaranimittaM bahukR^itaveshhaH .. 14..
There are many who go with matted locks, many who have clean shaven heads, many whose hairs have been plucked out; some are clothed in saffron, yet others in various colors --- all just for a livelihood. Seeing truth revealed before them, still the foolish ones see it not. Stanza attributed to Totakacharya.
aN^gaM galitaM palitaM muNDaM
vR^iddho yaati gR^ihiitvaa daNDaM
Strength has left the old man's body; his head has become bald, his gums toothless and leaning on crutches. Even then the attachment is strong and he clings firmly to fruitless desires. Stanza attributed to Hastamalaka.
raatrau chubukasamarpitajaanuH .
Behold there lies the man who sits warming up his body with the fire in fromt and the sun at the back; at night he curls up the body to keep out of the cold; he eats his beggar's food from the bowl of his hand and sleeps beneath the tree. Still in his heart, he is a wretched puppet at the hands of passions. Stanza attributed to Subodha.
One may go to gangasagar, observe fasts, and give away riches in charity ! Yet, devoid of jnana, nothing can give mukthi even at the end of a hundred births. Stanza attributed to Sureshwaracharya.
Take your residence in a temple or below a tree, wear the deerskin for the dress, and sleep with mother earth as your bed. Give up all attachments and renounce all comforts. Blessed with such vairagya, could any fail to be content ? Stanza attributed to Nityananda.
yasya brahmaNi ramate chittaM
nandati nandati nandatyeva .. 19..
One may take delight in yoga or bhoga, may have attachment or detachment. But only he whose mind steadily delights in Brahman enjoys bliss, no one else. Stanza attributed to Anandagiri.
bhagavad.h giitaa kiJNchidadhiitaa
gaN^gaa jalalava kaNikaapiitaa .
Let a man read but a little from giitaa, drink just a drop of water from the ganges, worship murari (govinda) just once. He then will have no altercation with Yama. Stanza attributed to dR^iDhabhakta.
Born again, death again, birth again to stay in the mother's womb ! It is indeed hard to cross this boundless ocean of samsara. Oh Murari ! Redeem me through Thy mercy. Stanza attributed to Nityanatha.
rathyaa charpaTa virachita kanthaH
puNyaapuNya vivarjita panthaH .
yogii yoganiyojita chitto
There is no shortage of clothing for a monk so long as there are rags cast off the road. Freed from vice and virtue, onward he wanders. One who lives in communion with God enjoys bliss, pure and uncontaminated, like a child and as someone intoxicated. Stanza attributed to Nityanatha.
iti paribhaavaya sarvamasaaram.h
Who are you ? Who am I ? From where do I come ? Who is my mother, who is my father ? Ponder thus, look at everything as essenceless and give up the world as an idle dream. Stanza attributed to surendra.
bhava samachittaH sarvatra tvaM
In me, in you and in everything, none but the same Vishnu dwells. Your anger and impatience is meaningless. If you wish to attain the status of Vishnu soon, have samabhava always. Stanza attributed to medhaatithira.
shatrau mitre putre bandhau
maa kuru yatnaM vigrahasandhau .
Do not waste your efforts to win the love of or to fight against friend and foe, children and relatives. See yourself in everyone and give up all feelings of duality completely. Stanza attributed to medhaatithira.
Give up lust, anger, infatuation, and greed. Ponder over your real nature. Fools are they who are blind to the Self. Cast into hell they suffer there endlessly. Stanza attributed to bharativamsha.
geyaM giitaa naama sahasraM
neyaM sajjana saN^ge chittaM
deyaM diinajanaaya cha vittam.h .. 27..
Regularly recite from the Gita, meditate on Vishnu [thro' Vishnu sahasranama] in your heart, and chant His thousand glories. Take delight to be with the noble and the holy. Distribute your wealth in charity to the poor and the needy. Stanza attributed to sumatira.
arthamanarthaM bhaavaya nityaM
naastitataH sukhaleshaH satyam.h .
putraadapi dhana bhaajaaM bhiitiH
sarvatraishhaa vihiaa riitiH .. 29..
Wealth is not welfare, truly there is no joy in it. Reflect thus at all times. A rich man fears even his own son. This is the way of wealth everywhere.
nityaanitya vivekavichaaram.h .
Regulate the pranas, remain unaffected by external influences and discriminate between the real and the fleeting. Chant the holy name of God and silence the turbulent mind. Perform these with care, with extreme care.
Oh devotee of the lotus feet of the Guru ! May thou be soon free from Samsara. Through disciplined senses and controlled mind, thou shalt come to experience the Indwelling Lord of your heart !
bodhita aasichchhodhitakaraNaH .. 32..
Thus was a silly grammarian lost in rules cleansed of his narrow vision and shown the Light by Shankara's apostles.
# [at Spirituality, Yoga and Hinduism|http://www.geocities.com/RodeoDrive/1415/bhaja1.html]
# [with raga|http://www.geocities.com/malibutemple/bhajagovind.htm]
Gurudeva
is a Tamil spelling of the Sanskrit Subhramunya (not be be confused with
Subramanya). It is formed from subhra meaning, "light; intuition," and muni,
"silent sage." Ya means "restraint; religious meditation." Thus Subramuniya
out from intuition.
of Hinduism's foremost and globally prominent spiritual teachers, a prolific
author and publisher of Hinduism Today magazine, attained Maha Samadhi,
"Great Union," today at age 74 at his ashram home on the tropical island of
Europe with 72 devotees, that he had advanced intestinal cancer. The disease
was diagnosed when Subramuniyaswami was hospitalized for severe anemia. A
battery of tests revealed the cancer and that it had metastasized to other
parts of his body. Three medical teams of radiologists and oncologists in
Hawaii, Washington State and California all concurred that even the most
aggressive treatment regimens would prove ineffective, and estimated he had
just a few months to live. The popular Satguru went into seclusion and after
several days of meditation declared he would accept no treatment beyond
practice, called Prayopavesa in Sanskrit scripture, to abstain from
nourishment and take water only from that day on. His doctors endorsed and
October 16. Immediately temples, ashrams and devotees around the world began
the "Mrityunjaya Yajna," a worship ceremony traditionally offered prior to
Europe, India, Malaysia, Australia, Fiji and New Zealand. In the Hindu
tradition, a saint's passing is considered an extremely auspicious and
exalted event, signalling the completion of his mission on Earth and his
return to the great inner heaven worlds whence he was sent by God and the
to the remote island of Kauai to be nearby during the passage. The
their hereditary spiritual leader.
An outpouring of appreciation came from the local Kauai island residents
developed a fondness and profound appreciation of Subramuniyaswami, whom
they called "Gurudeva," the affectionate title he was most known by. They
valued his spiritual presence and his generously given guidance and advice
on local island matters.
them, "Don't be sad, soon I will be with you 24 hours a day, working with
you all from the inner planes." Bereaved devotees arriving at the island
ashram heard the same message, and by the time of the Great Departure, a
profound peace had descended upon the ashram and all connected with it.
accordance with his directions, his ashes will be ceremonially interred
tomorrow morning in a meditation crypt behind the sanctum sanctorum of the
As is traditional, the passage of a saint is not accompanied by the Hindu
rituals of mourning. The release from the mortal coils at the time of the
saint's choosing is regarded as an auspicious event, one to be met with
gratitude for his life and not sorrow for his passage.
When notified of the Satguru's passing, Sita Ram Goel, one of India's most
influential Hindu writers and thinkers, wrote, "He has done great work for
Hinduism, and the recent reawakening of the Hindu mind carries his stamp."
Ma Yoga Shakti, renowned teacher and Hinduism Today's Hindu of the Year for
Himself -- has watered the roots of Hinduism with great zeal, faith,
enthusiasm and whole-heartedness." Sri Shivarudra Balayogi Maharaj of India
said, "By his life and by his teaching, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami has
helped make Hinduism an even greater gift to humanity." Swami Agnivesh of
great spiritual asset for humankind. I still carry with me the warmth of his
affectionate hug and his very kind words."
Few in the Hindu world would not recognize the tall, white-haired American
who had gained prominence over the decades for his practical and
clear-minded books replete with explanations of everything Hindu, from the
most basic beliefs and daily practices to the loftiest refined philosophy
and yoga techniques. He was equally famous as founder and publisher of
award-winning, international, full-color magazine, respected for its
authoritative reporting on Hindu events, institutions, personalities, issues
and controversies around the world. Among his innovative projects are the
creation of Iraivan Temple on Kauai, the first all-stone, hand-carved
granite Agamic temple ever built in the West, the founding of Hindu Heritage
Endowment to perpetually fund worthy Hindu institutions and his
participation in numerous international conferences on religion, peace and
interfaith harmony.
the five Hindu spiritual leaders outside of India who had most dynamically
Religions held in Chicago, and receiving the U Thant Peace Award while
attending the Millennium Peace Summit of World Religious and Spiritual
Leaders held at the United Nations in August, 2000. This award was
previously given to the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pope
John Paul and Mother Teresa. On August 25, 2000, he addressed 1,200
spiritual leaders during the UN events in New York.
Subramuniyaswami was a study in elegance, grace and radiant spirituality.
idea who he was would approach him with reverence, anxious to meet this
unusual being with the silken white hair. He was a large man, six-foot two
inches tall, with deep hazel eyes. He maintained throughout much of his life
would be astounded by his strength and grace of movement. He had a keen yet
unpretentious sense of presentation, and when moving about in public was
always impeccably groomed and fashionably dressed. His devotees loved his
Subramuniyaswami as born on January 5, 1927, in Oakland, California, and
grew up near Lake Tahoe. He was orphaned by age 11 and raised by a family
with deep connections to India. In his teenage years he was trained in
classical Eastern and Western dance and in the disciplines of yoga, becoming
drawn to a spiritual life, he renounced his career at its height and sailed
to India and Sri Lanka in 1947, on the first ship to sail to India following
World War II. There he intensified his spiritual training under renowned
fasted and meditated until he burst into enlightenment. Soon after that God
Jaffna, Sri Lanka. This was the single most respected Saivite Hindu guru for
Subramuniya, and initiated him into the holy orders of sannyasa, or
lineage with a tremendous slap on the back, saying, "This will be heard in
America! Now go 'round the world and roar like a lion. You will build
palaces (e.g., temples) and feed thousands." While still in Sri Lanka,
Gurudeva introduced the nation to the circular saw, worked with leading
Buddhist elders and founded Saiva Siddhanta Church, the world's first Hindu
church, now active in many nations, and the Sri Subramuniya Ashram in the
is a Tamil spelling of the Sanskrit Subhramunya (not be be confused with
Subramanya). It is formed from subhra meaning, "light; intuition," and muni,
"silent sage." Ya means "restraint; religious meditation." Thus Subramuniya
out from intuition.
deep contemplation and developed the spiritual techniques imparted to him in
teach until he reached the age of 30, so it was in 1957 that he founded
Himalayan Academy, now with thousands of students, and opened America's
initiated his first monastic disciples and opened centers in Reno and
Virginia City, Nevada, and other areas of California. During this time he
Chinmayananda, whom he extensively assisted in setting up his Chinmaya
most outstanding of these programs was his 1969 pilgrimage to India with 65
spiritual journeys took him and hundreds of devotees to dozens of nations,
where he would typically meet with political and spiritual leaders, master
craftsmen, Zen and Hindu abbots and yogis. In recent years his Innersearch
tours focused on connecting with the Tamil Saivite communities around the
In the 1970s he brought his followers and organization entirely into
Hinduism, and established Kauai Aadheenam, a monastery-temple complex in the
South Indian tradition on Kauai, Hawaii, USA. His was the first major
Saivite Hindu theological center outside the Indian subcontinent. In 1975 he
founded the San Marga Iraivan Temple, and in 1979 he began publishing his
famed Hinduism Today magazine. He developed a large printing facility in
Virginia City, Nevada, and produced tens of thousands of his books and
courses for the general market, writing about Indian spiritual practices
It was during this decade that large numbers of Hindus began to emigrate
from India to the United States and Europe, encouraged by new immigration
build temples and perpetuate Hinduism in their new countries. Often he would
the start of any project, with instructions to immediately begin His
difficulties, and counseled them on how to integrate with the local American
community. He helped major institutions like the Chinmaya Mission and
Sringeri Peetham to put roots down in America, and lent his monks and legal
devotees to work closely with the temple until it was firmly established.
influence in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Canada, England, Germany,
Denmark, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and elsewhere.
renaissance tours, meeting hundreds of thousands of Hindus in India and Sri
Lanka, to whom he spread a message of courage, regenerating pride of
heritage. In 1983 he traveled throughout Sri Lanka with a few of his
monastics, visiting hundreds of villages, giving powerful talks in all parts
in their heritage and to cling to their faith despite efforts of other
religions to make inroads and converts. During that Innersearch, Gurudeva
was paraded through towns and villages in the ancient way, seldom seen
today. White hand-woven cloth was laid before him to form a path on which he
would walk to each meeting, each temple rite, each lecture. Sometimes these
would go for miles, with devotees crowded on both sides of the roadway,
chanting and offering flower petals beneath his long-striding feet. In
Tuticorin, deep in the south of India, city elder and staunch Saiva
Siddhantin, A. P. C. Veerabhagu, lead Gurudeva and his 50-plus devotees from
the West through the streets in a marvelous procession of chariots and
horse-drawn carriages that could have happened a thousand years ago.
Hundreds of thousands of Saivites turned out that morning to welcome the
sage from America, and he was led for miles through the city streets with
hundreds of women with baskets full of flowers standing on the tops of each
Saivite Hinduism back its pride of place among the religions of the world.
During this same journey, he was given awards from all the major spiritual
centers in South India, which he visited in person. He also arranged for
the first in hundreds of years and marked the return of the sacred dancers
Also in the 1980s Gurudeva founded a branch monastery in Mauritius, whose
government had invited him to revive a languishing Hindu faith. "Please come
to our country," wrote one Mauritian at the time, "but do not just feed us
rice. Teach us how to grow rice. Teach us our ancient heritage."
floor with desktop publishing, adopting the Apple computer in 1985, then in
its infancy, and instructing his monks to create a state-of-the-art system.
monastics. He enjoyed the technology and proficiently used it for his work.
scriptures, books, pamphlets, art, lessons and later through CDs and the
world's foremost Hindu websites.
as an articulate, insightful and forceful exponent of the Hindu faith. In
the late 1980s and the 1990s, in historic gatherings of spiritual and
at the seminal Global Forum of Political and Spiritual Leaders‹at Oxford in
1988, Moscow in 1990, and Brazil in 1992. In 1986, the World Religious
Parliament in New Delhi honored him as one of the five Hindu spiritual
the 100th anniversary of the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago. It
was in 1994 that he founded Hindu Heritage Endowment to provide permanent
income for Hindu swamis, temples and orphanages worldwide and created a
volume, titled Living with Siva, Hinduism's Contemporary Culture, arrived
Subramuniyaswami taught the traditional Saivite Hindu path to enlightenment,
God, from the disciplines of meditation and yoga to the direct knowing of
Divinity within. His insights into the nature of consciousness provide a key
for quieting the external mind and revealing to aspirants their deeper
states of being, which are eternally perfect, full of light, love, serenity
and wisdom. He urges all seekers to live a life of ahimsa, nonhurtfulness
towards nature, people and creatures, an ethic which includes vegetarianism.
to "know thy Self by thyself" and thus "see God Siva everywhere."
His Monastic Order and the Future
Foundational to all of his work is the Kauai Aadheenam and its resident
Saiva Siddhanta Yoga Order. This group of 14 initiated swamis with lifetime
vows and ten brahmachari, celibate monks in training, come from six
countries and include both men born into the Hindu religion and those who
converted or adopted Hinduism, Asians and Westerners. Made strong by decades
of Subramuniyaswami's strict and hands-on personal guidance, all of his work
will be carried forward and flourish in the future under the guidance of his
senior-most swami and designated successor, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami,
This is an advaitic (non-dualist) Saiva Siddhanta order, a living stream of
the ancient Nandinatha Sampradaya. This lineage is bound by certain common
elements of philosophy including a belief in both the transcendent and
immanent nature of God, the value of temple worship and the need to work
through all karmas before liberation from rebirth may be obtained. It
including reincarnation, karma and dharma, vegetarianism, noninjury toward
all beings, the importance of the yamas and niyamas, the need for purity and
personal encounter with the Divine, gained through the several yogas and
through penance, pilgrimage and daily worship. Natha gurus refuse to
recognize caste distinctions in spiritual pursuits and initiate from the
lowest to the highest, according to spiritual worthiness. Swamis of the
Nandinatha lineage are often known as "market-place swamis," for they have
historically lived among the people, rather than in remote areas, and
interacted freely with all regardless of social status.
Throughout his life, Subramuniyaswami sought to establish, stabilize and
his ability to explain the most complex principles in a uniquely lucid and
straightforward English, perhaps the central part of his written legacy, for
style or academic and awkward. Swami Chidananda Saraswati, President of the
carefully arranged, edited and published. Today it can be unhesitatingly
debt of gratitude by his unprecedented literary work."
His trilogy, "Dancing with Siva," "Living with Siva" and "Merging with Siva"
are popular around the world for their easy readability, and are used in
American universities for Hindu courses of study and comparative religion
classes. "Dancing with Siva" is a modern Hindu catechism and resource book
in question and answer format on the basics of Hinduism. Central to "Living
with Siva" are his lengthy explanations of the traditional restraints and
observances of Hinduism and his 365 guidelines for Hindu living, of which
unfold one after the other with stunning simplicity. There are instructions
for everybody, for every situation -- for men, women, parents, husbands,
wives, businessmen, politicians, scientists -- none is forgotten or left
tradition has always provided for fasting under strict community regulation
terminal illness. Upon hearing his medical prognosis, he meditated upon the
path ahead and considering the severity of his condition decided to fast to
death, a practice called prayopavesa in Sanskrit. He explained this
tradition in his final book, printed just days before his Mahasamadhi,
Living with Siva: "To leave the body in the right frame of mind, in the
spiritual progress. The seers did not want unrelenting pain and hopelessness
to be the only possibilities facing a soul whose body was failing, whose
only experience was pain without reprieve. So they prescribed a kindly way,
a reasonable way, especially for the pain-riddled, disabled elderly and the
No killer drugs. No violence. No involvement of another human being, with
all the karmic entanglements that inevitably produces. No life-support
hands of unscrupulous doctors. No lapsing into unconscious coma. No loss of
dignity. No unbearable anguish. And no sudden or impulsive decision‹instead,
a quiet, slow, natural exit from the body, coupled with spiritual practices,
with mantras and tantras, with scriptural readings, deep meditation,
reflection and listening to favorite religious songs, with joyous release,
with all affairs settled, with full self-awareness and with recognition and
support from friends and relations."
The third book, "Merging with Siva," is on mystical Hinduism,
Subramuniyaswami's speciality. It is a summation of his yogic and
metaphysical insights gained through over 50 years of meditation and inner
practices. This master work, which is a kind of handbook for seekers of
light and serious aspirants wishing to follow the path toward illumination
and spiritual liberation, covers a wide range of subjects including karma,
understanding and transcending the various states of mind and the methods to
In addition to the trilogy, Subramuniyaswami produced "Loving Ganesha," a
work on Hinduism's favorite God; "Lemurian Scrolls," which explores the
as well as dozens of pamphlets, posters and handouts. In response to a
request from the Hindus of Fiji, he prepared a children's course, Saivite
Hindu Religion, now taught to thousands of children around the world.
encapsulated one entire aspect of Subramuniyaswami's mission: clear and
He insisted that his devotees be boldly and proudly Hindus, and if they were
not born into the faith, that they sincerely convert to Hinduism if they
The book was well received in India, where people referred to it as "How to
foremost leaders, said it "will provide immense help to those who wish to
enter the Hindu fold, and also to the younger generation of Hindus." The
book also has greatly assisted with intermarriage of Hindus with those
outside their faith.
Subramuniyaswami enjoyed promoting his books, and in the course of his
local book stores such as Borders and Barnes and Noble. These were always
wonderfully entertaining and informal events which allowed people genuinely
interested in his teachings an opportunity for a personal encounter with the
famed guru. The store would turn into a temporary temple as devotees and
readers piled flowers at Gurudeva's feet. His helpers quickly learned that
would come, and compensated by bringing dozens of extra copies. At the end
of the evening, Subramuniyaswami would joke with the store's staff, "Well,
purposes: 1) To foster Hindu solidarity as a unity in diversity among all
sects and lineages; 2) To inform and inspire Hindus worldwide and people
interested in Hinduism; 3) To dispel myths, illusions and misinformation
about Hinduism; 4) To protect, preserve and promote the sacred Vedas and the
Hindu religion; 5) To nurture and monitor the ongoing spiritual Hindu
renaissance; 6) To publish a resource for Hindu leaders and educators who
promote Sanatana Dharma. The magazine is supplemented with a daily e-mailed
periodical and the only one which deals with all denominations of Hinduism
and all countries in which Hindus live. With a studied aversion to politics,
the magazine has successfully kept Hindus and non-Hindus alike appraised of
a wide range of issues, people and institutions. Its website, along with
that for Subramuniyaswami's teachings and a section for general Hindu
(start at www.himalayanacademy.com). A unique part of his website is "A
questions sent in by e-mail were posted in both audio and transcriptions.
Ma Yoga Shakti, renowned teacher and Hinduism Today's Hindu of the Year for
of Hinduism with great zeal, faith, enthusiasm and whole-heartedness." Sri
and beautiful international magazine. Gurudeva has energized, inspired and
united Hindus throughout the world with his dynamic approach to an ancient
faith." Ram Swarup, perhaps India's most outstanding Hindu thinker, wrote,
"Hinduism Today presents Hinduism's new global face. It takes a strategic
lead in the effort to overcome the problem of self-alienation and growing
illiteracy among the Hindus of their heritage. It is easily the best
the Aadheenam land in 1975. To permanently capture the power of this great
made of hand-carved granite. The land was prepared for fifteen years, money
raised, and India's greatest living architect, V. Ganapathi Sthapati, was
hired to design the edifice in the thousand-year-old Chola style. The actual
carving commenced in 1990 at a work site in Bangalore, India, a ceremony
blessed by the presence of Sri Sri Sri Trichyswami and Sri Sri Sri
Balagangadharanathaswami, the two foremost spiritual gurus of Karnataka
State, who so loved Gurudeva's vision of a temple carved in India and
erected in America that they gave him 11 acres of land and supported every
phase of the work as though it was their own temple being built. On the arid
desert lands, Gurudeva founded an entire village for the project. Homes were
erected for the 75 carvers and their families, wells were dug, kitchens
assembled, blacksmith facilities were built along with enormous sheds to
devotees of Gurudeva, Jiva Rajasankara, with his wife and sons, were brought
stones which are quarried, carved and trial-fitted, then shipped to Kauai
Hemisphere, and one for which Subramuniyaswami has insisted upon the most
careful craftsmanship. He directed the carvers to do everything by hand, and
even when efficiency experts urged him to permit hydraulic tools to speed up
the time-consuming and expensive project, he said no, telling them that by
having it done in the old way we would be passing along the ancient,
hands-only craft to one more generation. The entire temple, which is taking
great carvers like Michelangelo and Rubin did their masterpieces, with a
simple hammer and an array of chisels. Enshrined in the temple will be a
Subramuniyaswami actively opposed deceptive and coercive proselytization
methods by other religions in India and other parts of the world. He put his
concerns directly before leaders of other faiths in public forums and in
conferences and demanded standards be established for "ethical conversion."
would be held back from this needy nation should Nepal declare itself
punishment in the homes and schools of Hindus. He immediately began a
campaign to "Stop the War in the Home" (see source for this talk at end) and
nations to stop hitting or abusing, even verbally, their children under any
circumstances, and instructed them to begin teaching nonviolent methods of
positive discipline within their local community. For this, he partnered
with Dr. Jane Nelsen, one of the great voices of enlightened discipline for
children. She visited him on Kauai and together they worked out programs in
Hindu communities around the world. This campaign, which is paralleled in
other parts of the world among people of other faiths, is bearing fruit,
with dozens of schools in India now forbidding corporal punishment, and
thousands of Hindu parents reconsidering their own methods of child rearing.
When he addressed the 1,200 delegates to the Millennium Peace Summit of
World Religious and Spiritual Leaders at the United Nations in August, 2000,
is to stop the war in the home. It is here that hatred begins, that
animosities with those who are different from us are nurtured, that battered
children learn to solve their problems with violence. This is true of every
religious community."
Within his own tradition of Saiva Siddhanta, Subramuniyaswami worked
throughout his life to create "pure Saivites," as he said shortly before his
passing. He accomplished this both through his publications and through his
personal teaching. Relying upon his own intuition and profound mystical
powers, he clarified and purified all of the Saivite teachings of his
tradition, discarding that which could not be substantiated through his own
inner experience. His staff researched thousands of topics and consulted
regularly with hundreds of scholars, linguists, historians, theologians and
other experts, all of whom enthusiastically assisted this great spiritual
leader. He never engaged in theological dispute with other sects of
Hinduism, but rather encouraged each to be true to their own traditions and
philosophy. For decades he worked to create a Hindu solidarity by
encouraging all shared beliefs and practices, rather than emphasizing areas
of disagreement. As a result, spiritual leaders of all traditions embraced
him and counted him a friend and ally. There has never been a guru so
hundreds were either visited by him in their ashrams or found their way to
In addition to his work within the global Hinduism, Subramuniyaswami also
had special relations with a number of communities including the Sri Lankan
Tamils, the Saivites of Mauritius, Malaysia and Fiji and his fellow
functions. They found and manage temples, hold endowment investments and
land, train swamis and priests, maintain libraries, support pundits,
arbitrate theological issues, give spiritual counseling and teach. They have
the authority to clarify and reinterpret scripture and to revise customary
practices of their communities. They also deal with worldly matters and are
called upon to settle disputes in the community, to advise politicians, even
these functions in these various communities.
By far his greatest efforts and most focused energy went toward the 2.5
the country in 1983. Just prior to its onset he toured the country,
addressing hundreds of thousands of Tamils. After 1983, Tamil refugees
poured out of Sri Lanka and made their way to Canada, America, Germany,
England, Australia and dozens of other countries. He founded the first
and sending it to the war-torn region of Jaffna. He established and
maintained contact with each of these communities, advised them on how to
adjust to their circumstances and to remain staunch Saivite Hindus. In his
last Innersearch travel-study program, he visited many of these communities
in Europe, and celebrated with them their successful adaptation to their new
Amman temple and visited other temple communities in Sweden, Norway, Germany
and the UK.
Saivite temple priests. Most especially he encouraged and defended the
Sivacharya priests of South India, who are traditionally attached to the
aadheenams. He helped restore the dignity of this priesthood and encouraged
started to treat their priests with respect, pay them decent wages and
provide proper living facilities. He encouraged priests to start their own
temples, which a few have done in Canada and Europe. He has always
considered the status and well-being of the Hindu priesthood to be the most
accurate measure of the well-being of Hinduism in general, and his successor
and monks will continue to champion the cause of Hindu priests around the
Subramuniyaswami first visited Malaysia in June of 1980 with two of his
swamis, and then again in January, 1981, traveling with 33 devotees for an
Innersearch program which included India and Sri Lanka. Over the next few
schools. These classes and the widespread distribution of Hinduism Today
country disseminated clear Hindu teachings to the youth and instilled a
abolishing corporal punishment in the homes and schools, directing his
parenting and to change school policies regarding corporal punishment of
Manon Mardemootoo, a long-standing devotee of Subramuniyaswami and a
island nation of Mauritius:
"Subramuniyaswami came to Mauritius in the 1980s at the request of Hindu
village to village with one of his swamis. Then Gurudeva sent a
island. He conveyed Subramuniyaswami's teachings on the three worlds, the
story of our soul, our great God and Gods, the pillars of Hinduism, karma,
dharma, etc., all of which gave us a glimpse of our incomparable heritage,
the greatness of Hinduism and the oneness of mankind. He removed
misconceptions in the Tamil Saivite community. Many of us came to understand
Saiva Siddhanta Church Act passed in Parliament in July, 1988. He instituted
the printing of a local edition of Hinduism Today in 1986 on the island and
part of this land has been dedicated to a spiritual park, a present of
Subramuniyaswami to the people of Mauritius and the only one of its nature
in the country. It is now regularly visited by pilgrims from the world over.
The Spiritual Park was created at a cost of several million rupees, all
donated by local Hindus. The most elaborate part of it is the Ganesha
Mandapam, with its nine-foot tall Pancha Mukha Ganapati. As well, equally
large granite icons of Lord Murugan, in His form as the six-faced Arumugam,
and Lord Siva, in the form of Dakshinamurthi, the silent teacher, also grace
the spiritual park.
Kauai Aadheenam, to the monastery. They created the Spiritual Park and held
retreats and seminars for thousands of youth around the island.
Subramuniyaswami advised his family members to use ayurvedic medicine and
adopt a healthy diet, including raw sugar, brown rice and brown bread. As
well he encouraged the wearing of Hindu dress at home, temples and during
festivals. Several Mauritians have completed a six-month training at our
headquarters in Kauai, where we presently have a Mauritian monk, Sadhaka
"Since 1999, Subramuniyaswami has been training our members in positive
discipline, the concept of education without violence at home and school and
will be remembered for the sense of discipline in spiritual life and
excellence at work which he instilled among his members and the need to
pursue daily sadhanas for spiritual progress and peaceful living in the
spirit of ahimsa in all aspects of life. This is the present sadhana of
members, to take these teachings into the public and make it a living
reality. Subramuniyaswami succeeded in creating a sense of self-respect and
a new-found identity among the Hindus of Mauritius.
"He will also be remembered for two meetings to promote community harmony.
The first was with Hindu leaders to strengthen the ties within the Hindu
community. Then in 1995, under the auspices of the municipal Council of Port
Louis, he met with religious leaders of all faiths to strengthen the bonds
of friendship, respect and harmony among the people of Mauritius. Today, in
significant part because of Subramuniyaswami's contribution, Mauritius is
cited everywhere, including on the floor of the United Nations, as an
England, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Trinidad, Guyana, Canada, New
Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Singapore, and many more countries. Indeed, there
and in a largely non-Hindu community, still he found himself performing the
traditional functions of an aadheenam for the local community. He was a key
member of "Vision Kauai," a group of community leaders including
politicians, business people and spiritual individuals wanting to create a
positive future for the island's community. He worked monthly with the mayor
of Kauai, with county council members, the university provost, the
superintendent of schools, business and agricultural leaders, to bring a
unity to the ethnically diverse island of 55,000 and to offer his vision for
a secure, drug-free future for the children. It was a message he carried
forward on local TV and radio programs, at Rotary Club breakfasts to which
he was invited to speak, and in person. He would from time to time be sought
out for advice by community leaders on the important issues facing the
island. Hundreds of residents, well-to-do and not so well-to-do alike,
counted him as their easily approachable friend and counselor, remaining
Kauai's most renowned citizen, the only one with an extensive global impact.
and county council. Indeed, the outpouring of gratitude and appreciation
from island residents upon his passing was at times as deep and as heartfelt
devotees worldwide to carry his work and institutions forward with
unstinting vigor, to keep one another strong on the spiritual path, to work
diligently on their personal spiritual disciplines and to live every moment
in harmony and love for all peoples. His monks, forged in the fires of his
wisdom and love, are well-prepared to keep his mission potent and effective.
Equally, his family devotees are pure, one-minded and deeply committed.
These two communities will continue the work together: building the Iraivan
Temple, managing the Spiritual Park in Mauritius, shepherding souls on the
Saivite path of enlightenment, continuing the many publications, teaching
children their Saivite Hindu religion, preserving traditional culture and
art, protecting Hindu priests and the indigenous faiths of the world,
contributing to our local Kauai community, guiding the future of Hinduism
around the globe and working to reduce violence, child-beating and spouse
Website for extensive further information and high-resolution photos
suitable for publication:
2001October
[Dan Sanderson|http://www.dansanderson.com/]'s [blogtracker|http://www.dansanderson.com/blogtracker/] is very useful !
Interesting Read: [Backyard Terrorism|http://www.guardian.co.uk/waronterror/story/0,1361,583254,00.html] by [George Monbiot] about the [School of the Americas|http://www.house.gov/farr/soa.htm] and [Watch|http://www.soaw.org]ers
Dave : [do timezones have names?|http://www.google.com/search?q=do+timezones+have+names?] - Visit [Time Zone Abbreviations|http://www.timeanddate.com/time/abbreviations.html]
found at the [weblogs.com Ping-Site Form|http://newhome.weblogs.com/pingSiteForm] : Thanks for the ping, however we can only accept one ping every five minutes. It's cool that you're updating so often, however, if I may be so bold as to offer some advice -- take a break, you'll enjoy life more.
I played [Badminton] at the [Racket Center Nussloch|http://www.racket-center.com] and it seems that Boris Becker was practising at the same center years ago...
[Daylight Saving Time|http://www.timeanddate.com/time/aboutdst.html] (DST) ends in Europe... The clock will be set back one hour from 3 am to 2 am in the parts of Central Europe that observe Daylight Saving Time or Summer Time, including Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Scandinavia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Croatia, most of western Russia (including Moscow) and many more.
[BMW Manufacturing Corp.|http://www.bmwusa.com/contact/manufacturing/manufacturing.html], BMW's first full U.S. manufacturing facility, is the worldwide production home of the entire Z3 model line, the M coupe, M roadster and the upcoming BMW X5, BMW's new Sports Activity Vehicle™. Located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the plant has almost doubled in size since opening in 1994.
(via [Dave Winer]) [Mark Pilgrim|http://diveintomark.weblogger.com/2001/10/23] : "Welcome to my weblog. I hope you enjoy it. I just got hired for it...I'd call it good karma, except that karma is supposed to manifest itself over many lifetimes. It's not like a crash diet; you're not supposed to see results within 3 weeks. Maybe I'm the exception that proves the rule. Maybe I should just be grateful that I have a job, thank everyone who has supported me in the past few weeks, stop introspecting, and get back to work..."
[The Mayapur Trust|http://www.mayapurtrust.org] is a UK-based registered charity, working to promote sustainable development in rural-village West Bengal and is currently providing funding for safe drinking water, mother and child, ambulance and education projects.
[Gray Watson|http://256.com/gray/]'s [Brain Teasers and Riddles|http://256.com/gray/teasers/]
Dr. [Vandana Shiva] , [Asha Bhosle]
We went to [Linderhof] but it was already closed. We plan to go again and on time.
[Understanding the Lessons of September 11]
[Rainbow Gathering|http://rainbow.iskconworldwide.com/] : Spritual Food, Mantra Meditation and Bhakti Yoga
We went to [Nava-Jiyada-Nrsimha-Ksetra|http://www.narasimha.net/ncfestival/welcome-fs.htm] Zielberg 20, 94118 Jandelsbrunn
([via CamWorld|http://www.camworld.com/journal/2001/10/#06]) 3D [Damage report from the city of New York|http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/trade.center/damage.map.html]
[via Mira|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2001/10/07] : Santoka did not think of yesterday or of tomorrow, but lived each today as it came on him. In Zen every single breath is appreciated to the full. Santoka gave full justice to each breath, each moment, each day, as if it was his last. Each step, each movement, each haiku formed a consummate whole in his life
I bought another book [The Hobbit|http://www.berghuis.co.nz/abiator/unit/hobbit/hindex2.html]
[Nutrition Ecology Workgroup|http://www-ife.uni-giessen.de/hoffmann/Englisch/homepage.html] is useful
Gops forwarded [The algebra of infinite justice] (by Arundhati Roy)
A cousin of mine ( my mother's sister's son ) sent me an email yesterday... " I had a peep at your web site for the first time and I must say, it was very different from other juntha web sites that I have seen. The clincher was " To apply Kaizen to all aspects of life"!!!" :-)
[Dave Snowdon|http://www.emptiness.org/dave/] is occupied with interesting subjects...
We went to [Koblenz|http://www.germany-tourism.de/e/dest_cities_koblenz_e.html], which lies at the confluence of two world-famous rivers - the Rhine and the Moselle - and the intersection of four beautiful upland regions. The Kurfürstliches Schloss, Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, Schloss Stolzenfels and the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with the impressive Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial are all an absolute must for every visitor.
[300 Million Hindus to Convert to Christianity|http://www.gfa.org/revival/] ???
Is life really meaningless?
([source|http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Studios/2334/meaning.html])
MEANING CAN BE understood in two ways. There is meaning that is somewhere far away, you have to reach to it. It is extrinsic.
Life is not meaningful in this first sense. And it is good that life is not meaningful in that sense, because then life becomes only a means to reach to the faraway goal, the faraway star. Then life loses its autonomous beauty. It is just a way; the real thing is tomorrow.
Meaning has another category too: intrinsic. Life is tremendously meaningful in the second sense. Then meaning is not separate, somewhere else; then meaning is in the very living itself.
You don't ask, has love any meaning? You know love is itself meaningful, it is not a means to some end. You do not ask if the beauty of a rose is meaningful. The beauty itself is enough; it does not lead anywhere, it contains its meaning within itself.
In existence everything that is really valuable is always intrinsically meaningful. And life is equivalent to existence. Life has meaning. If you just change the word "life" into "living," you will be able to understand more easily. Living has meaning -- each moment -- because living is not something dead like "life." The word "life" is dead -- all nouns are dead. But the language is created by dead people.
Sipping a cup of tea, going for a morning walk, doing your work -- all these small activities make up your living. And each part, each moment of living, is meaningful. You just have to be there; otherwise, who is going to experience the meaning?
People go on drinking tea, but they never are there; their minds are wandering all over the world. People are making love, but they are not there. It is a very strange world that we have created. In one bedroom there are at least four people. Already the bedrooms are so small, too difficult for two people; and in the bed there are four people, or even more. These two people who are making love are not there: the man is thinking of some Hollywood actress, the woman is thinking of Muhammad Ali. So there are four people. Who is making love to whom? These two people are simply going through the gestures of love -- they are not present -- mechanical gestures of love. And then they ask, "Is there any meaning in life?"
WHEN I WAS A STUDENT, my principal in the high school was continuously troubled by my absence from the school. My family was troubled. I would start going to school, but never reach there. Life was so much, and so many things were happening on the way... and the school was almost one mile away from the house.
The principal called me one day and said, "You are almost always absent."
I said, "I am always present wherever I am. To be absent is not my style of life. And what can I do? -- this one mile between the school and my house.... A magician was doing his tricks on the street, and I became present there. It was far more interesting than your teachers, and I learned more than I could have learned here -- because whatever your teacher is saying I can read in the book, but I will never meet that magician again. And he did such beautiful tricks that when he was finished I followed him to his tent outside the city.
"He asked me, 'Son, why are you following me?' I said, 'You are getting old. Don't you want your tricks to live on even when you are gone?' He said, 'That seems to be meaningful! -- you can come in. Many people have asked me to teach them the tricks, but not in this way.' So I have been with the magician.
"Life is a bigger school than your school. And I am, each moment, present wherever I am. To be absent is not my style of life, so you please take your words back."
I said, "You can see anybody you like, but remember that my father knows me perfectly well. Just let me be informed when you are coming so I can also be present there. You both will be absent -- because my father is continuously busy with his business, and you are busy with who is absent, who is present. At least let somebody into that meeting who is present!" I told him, "Be honest and sincere and tell me: Are you present right now?"
He said, "My God, perhaps you are right. I was thinking of my buffalo -- she has not returned for two days."
I said, "You need not be worried, I know where she is. That's the beauty of being present everywhere! I have seen her just by the side of the tent of the magician. Now what do you say: Was it more worthwhile my coming to the class, or finding your lost buffalo? You can go and catch hold of her."
People are not there where they seem to be. This is why they go on missing the meaning of life. Just remain present to any small act you are doing. It does not matter -- you don't have to do great acts, become a world conqueror, go to the moon, or stand on top of Everest; it does not matter what you do.
Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing -- or not doing -- be present, and the meaning of life will start unfolding. It is tremendously blissful.
But don't seek it somewhere else -- in a church, in a temple, in a holy book. You will not find it. Even if you come across God -- who, by the way, does not exist -- but even if you come across God, you will not be present. You may be thinking of your buffalo. It is good that God is not there; otherwise, he would be so embarrassed by all these saints of all the religions, because none of them is present to the moment. They are living a life somewhere else in the tomorrows -- and today goes on slipping by, and the tomorrow never comes. Finally comes death, not tomorrow.
Life is today! Tomorrow is death. So when you come across death, it is a great shock that life has gone by and you have not been able to find any meaning in it. And now there is no tomorrow left, and you are accustomed to search for meaning in the tomorrows. But you have been told about, taught about, prepared for, tomorrows.
If you understand me... I want you always to be present wherever you are. It does not matter where you are; just be totally present, and every small act, by your presence, will become lighted up, and you will know that your whole life becomes just a caravan of lights. That's the meaning. Death comes and goes, but the caravan continues.
The algebra of infinite justice
[Articles] > The algebra of infinite justice
In the aftermath of the unconscionable September 11 suicide attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Centre, an American newscaster said: "Good and evil rarely manifest themselves as clearly as they did last Tuesday. People who we don't know massacred people who we do. And they did so with contemptuous glee." Then he broke down and wept.
Here's the rub: America is at war against people it doesn't know, because they don't appear much on TV. Before it has properly identified or even begun to comprehend the nature of its enemy, the US government has, in a rush of publicity and embarrassing rhetoric, cobbled together an "international coalition against terror", mobilised its army, its air force, its navy and its media, and committed them to battle.
The trouble is that once Amer ica goes off to war, it can't very well return without having fought one. If it doesn't find its enemy, for the sake of the enraged folks back home, it will have to manufacture one. Once war begins, it will develop a momentum, a logic and a justification of its own, and we'll lose sight of why it's being fought in the first place.
What we're witnessing here is the spectacle of the world's most powerful country reaching reflexively, angrily, for an old instinct to fight a new kind of war. Suddenly, when it comes to defending itself, America's streamlined warships, cruise missiles and F-16 jets look like obsolete, lumbering things. As deterrence, its arsenal of nuclear bombs is no longer worth its weight in scrap. Box-cutters, penknives, and cold anger are the weapons with which the wars of the new century will be waged. Anger is the lock pick. It slips through customs unnoticed. Doesn't show up in baggage checks.
Who is America fighting? On September 20, the FBI said that it had doubts about the identities of some of the hijackers. On the same day President George Bush said, "We know exactly who these people are and which governments are supporting them." It sounds as though the president knows something that the FBI and the American public don't.
In his September 20 address to the US Congress, President Bush called the enemies of America "enemies of freedom". "Americans are asking, 'Why do they hate us?' " he said. "They hate our freedoms - our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other." People are being asked to make two leaps of faith here. First, to assume that The Enemy is who the US government says it is, even though it has no substantial evidence to support that claim. And second, to assume that The Enemy's motives are what the US government says they are, and there's nothing to support that either.
For strategic, military and economic reasons, it is vital for the US government to persuade its public that their commitment to freedom and democracy and the American Way of Life is under attack. In the current atmosphere of grief, outrage and anger, it's an easy notion to peddle. However, if that were true, it's reasonable to wonder why the symbols of America's economic and military dominance - the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon - were chosen as the targets of the attacks. Why not the Statue of Liberty? Could it be that the stygian anger that led to the attacks has its taproot not in American freedom and democracy, but in the US government's record of commitment and support to exactly the opposite things - to military and economic terrorism, insurgency, military dictatorship, religious bigotry and unimaginable genocide (outside America)? It must be hard for ordinary Americans, so recently bereaved, to look up at the world with their eyes full of tears and encounter what might appear to them to be indifference. It isn't indifference. It's just augury. An absence of surprise. The tired wisdom of knowing that what goes around eventually comes around. American people ought to know that it is not them but their government's policies that are so hated. They can't possibly doubt that they themselves, their extraordinary musicians, their writers, their actors, their spectacular sportsmen and their cinema, are universally welcomed. All of us have been moved by the courage and grace shown by firefighters, rescue workers and ordinary office staff in the days since the attacks.
America's grief at what happened has been immense and immensely public. It would be grotesque to expect it to calibrate or modulate its anguish. However, it will be a pity if, instead of using this as an opportunity to try to understand why September 11 happened, Americans use it as an opportunity to usurp the whole world's sorrow to mourn and avenge only their own. Because then it falls to the rest of us to ask the hard questions and say the harsh things. And for our pains, for our bad timing, we will be disliked, ignored and perhaps eventually silenced.
The world will probably never know what motivated those particular hijackers who flew planes into those particular American buildings. They were not glory boys. They left no suicide notes, no political messages; no organisation has claimed credit for the attacks. All we know is that their belief in what they were doing outstripped the natural human instinct for survival, or any desire to be remembered. It's almost as though they could not scale down the enormity of their rage to anything smaller than their deeds. And what they did has blown a hole in the world as we knew it. In the absence of information, politicians, political commentators and writers (like myself) will invest the act with their own politics, with their own interpretations. This speculation, this analysis of the political climate in which the attacks took place, can only be a good thing.
But war is looming large. Whatever remains to be said must be said quickly. Before America places itself at the helm of the "international coalition against terror", before it invites (and coerces) countries to actively participate in its almost godlike mission - called Operation Infinite Justice until it was pointed out that this could be seen as an insult to Muslims, who believe that only Allah can mete out infinite justice, and was renamed Operation Enduring Freedom- it would help if some small clarifications are made. For example, Infinite Justice/Enduring Freedom for whom? Is this America's war against terror in America or against terror in general? What exactly is being avenged here? Is it the tragic loss of almost 7,000 lives, the gutting of five million square feet of office space in Manhattan, the destruction of a section of the Pentagon, the loss of several hundreds of thousands of jobs, the bankruptcy of some airline companies and the dip in the New York Stock Exchange? Or is it more than that? In 1996, Madeleine Albright, then the US secretary of state, was asked on national television what she felt about the fact that 500,000 Iraqi children had died as a result of US economic sanctions. She replied that it was "a very hard choice", but that, all things considered, "we think the price is worth it". Albright never lost her job for saying this. She continued to travel the world representing the views and aspirations of the US government. More pertinently, the sanctions against Iraq remain in place. Children continue to die.
So here we have it. The equivocating distinction between civilisation and savagery, between the "massacre of innocent people" or, if you like, "a clash of civilisations" and "collateral damage". The sophistry and fastidious algebra of infinite justice. How many dead Iraqis will it take to make the world a better place? How many dead Afghans for every dead American? How many dead women and children for every dead man? How many dead mojahedin for each dead investment banker? As we watch mesmerised, Operation Enduring Freedom unfolds on TV monitors across the world. A coalition of the world's superpowers is closing in on Afghanistan, one of the poorest, most ravaged, war-torn countries in the world, whose ruling Taliban government is sheltering Osama bin Laden, the man being held responsible for the September 11 attacks.
The only thing in Afghanistan that could possibly count as collateral value is its citizenry. (Among them, half a million maimed orphans.There are accounts of hobbling stampedes that occur when artificial limbs are airdropped into remote, inaccessible villages.) Afghanistan's economy is in a shambles. In fact, the problem for an invading army is that Afghanistan has no conventional coordinates or signposts to plot on a military map - no big cities, no highways, no industrial complexes, no water treatment plants. Farms have been turned into mass graves. The countryside is littered with land mines - 10 million is the most recent estimate. The American army would first have to clear the mines and build roads in order to take its soldiers in.
Fearing an attack from America, one million citizens have fled from their homes and arrived at the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The UN estimates that there are eight million Afghan citizens who need emergency aid. As supplies run out - food and aid agencies have been asked to leave - the BBC reports that one of the worst humanitarian disasters of recent times has begun to unfold. Witness the infinite justice of the new century. Civilians starving to death while they're waiting to be killed.
In America there has been rough talk of "bombing Afghanistan back to the stone age". Someone please break the news that Afghanistan is already there. And if it's any consolation, America played no small part in helping it on its way. The American people may be a little fuzzy about where exactly Afghanistan is (we hear reports that there's a run on maps of the country), but the US government and Afghanistan are old friends.
In 1979, after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the CIA and Pakistan's ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) launched the largest covert operation in the history of the CIA. Their purpose was to harness the energy of Afghan resistance to the Soviets and expand it into a holy war, an Islamic jihad, which would turn Muslim countries within the Soviet Union against the communist regime and eventually destabilise it. When it began, it was meant to be the Soviet Union's Vietnam. It turned out to be much more than that. Over the years, through the ISI, the CIA funded and recruited almost 100,000 radical mojahedin from 40 Islamic countries as soldiers for America's proxy war. The rank and file of the mojahedin were unaware that their jihad was actually being fought on behalf of Uncle Sam. (The irony is that America was equally unaware that it was financing a future war against itself.)
In 1989, after being bloodied by 10 years of relentless conflict, the Russians withdrew, leaving behind a civilisation reduced to rubble.
Civil war in Afghanistan raged on. The jihad spread to Chechnya, Kosovo and eventually to Kashmir. The CIA continued to pour in money and military equipment, but the overheads had become immense, and more money was needed. The mojahedin ordered farmers to plant opium as a "revolutionary tax". The ISI set up hundreds of heroin laboratories across Afghanistan. Within two years of the CIA's arrival, the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderland had become the biggest producer of heroin in the world, and the single biggest source of the heroin on American streets. The annual profits, said to be between $100bn and $200bn, were ploughed back into training and arming militants.
In 1995, the Taliban - then a marginal sect of dangerous, hardline fundamentalists - fought its way to power in Afghanistan. It was funded by the ISI, that old cohort of the CIA, and supported by many political parties in Pakistan. The Taliban unleashed a regime of terror. Its first victims were its own people, particularly women. It closed down girls' schools, dismissed women from government jobs, and enforced sharia laws under which women deemed to be "immoral" are stoned to death, and widows guilty of being adulterous are buried alive. Given the Taliban government's human rights track record, it seems unlikely that it will in any way be intimidated or swerved from its purpose by the prospect of war, or the threat to the lives of its civilians.
After all that has happened, can there be anything more ironic than Russia and America joining hands to re-destroy Afghanistan? The question is, can you destroy destruction? Dropping more bombs on Afghanistan will only shuffle the rubble, scramble some old graves and disturb the dead.
The desolate landscape of Afghanistan was the burial ground of Soviet communism and the springboard of a unipolar world dominated by America. It made the space for neocapitalism and corporate globalisation, again dominated by America. And now Afghanistan is poised to become the graveyard for the unlikely soldiers who fought and won this war for America.
And what of America's trusted ally? Pakistan too has suffered enormously. The US government has not been shy of supporting military dictators who have blocked the idea of democracy from taking root in the country. Before the CIA arrived, there was a small rural market for opium in Pakistan. Between 1979 and 1985, the number of heroin addicts grew from zero to one-and-a-half million. Even before September 11, there were three million Afghan refugees living in tented camps along the border. Pakistan's economy is crumbling. Sectarian violence, globalisation's structural adjustment programmes and drug lords are tearing the country to pieces. Set up to fight the Soviets, the terrorist training centres and madrasahs, sown like dragon's teeth across the country, produced fundamentalists with tremendous popular appeal within Pakistan itself. The Taliban, which the Pakistan government has sup ported, funded and propped up for years, has material and strategic alliances with Pakistan's own political parties.
Now the US government is asking (asking?) Pakistan to garotte the pet it has hand-reared in its backyard for so many years. President Musharraf, having pledged his support to the US, could well find he has something resembling civil war on his hands.
India, thanks in part to its geography, and in part to the vision of its former leaders, has so far been fortunate enough to be left out of this Great Game. Had it been drawn in, it's more than likely that our democracy, such as it is, would not have survived. Today, as some of us watch in horror, the Indian government is furiously gyrating its hips, begging the US to set up its base in India rather than Pakistan. Having had this ringside view of Pakistan's sordid fate, it isn't just odd, it's unthinkable, that India should want to do this. Any third world country with a fragile economy and a complex social base should know by now that to invite a superpower such as America in (whether it says it's staying or just passing through) would be like inviting a brick to drop through your windscreen.
Operation Enduring Freedom is ostensibly being fought to uphold the American Way of Life. It'll probably end up undermining it completely. It will spawn more anger and more terror across the world. For ordinary people in America, it will mean lives lived in a climate of sickening uncertainty: will my child be safe in school? Will there be nerve gas in the subway? A bomb in the cinema hall? Will my love come home tonight? There have been warnings about the possibility of biological warfare - smallpox, bubonic plague, anthrax - the deadly payload of innocuous crop-duster aircraft. Being picked off a few at a time may end up being worse than being annihilated all at once by a nuclear bomb.
The US government, and no doubt governments all over the world, will use the climate of war as an excuse to curtail civil liberties, deny free speech, lay off workers, harass ethnic and religious minorities, cut back on public spending and divert huge amounts of money to the defence industry. To what purpose? President Bush can no more "rid the world of evil-doers" than he can stock it with saints. It's absurd for the US government to even toy with the notion that it can stamp out terrorism with more violence and oppression. Terrorism is the symptom, not the disease. Terrorism has no country. It's transnational, as global an enterprise as Coke or Pepsi or Nike. At the first sign of trouble, terrorists can pull up stakes and move their "factories" from country to country in search of a better deal. Just like the multi-nationals.
Terrorism as a phenomenon may never go away. But if it is to be contained, the first step is for America to at least acknowledge that it shares the planet with other nations, with other human beings who, even if they are not on TV, have loves and griefs and stories and songs and sorrows and, for heaven's sake, rights. Instead, when Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, was asked what he would call a victory in America's new war, he said that if he could convince the world that Americans must be allowed to continue with their way of life, he would consider it a victory.
The September 11 attacks were a monstrous calling card from a world gone horribly wrong. The message may have been written by Bin Laden (who knows?) and delivered by his couriers, but it could well have been signed by the ghosts of the victims of America's old wars. The millions killed in Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia, the 17,500 killed when Israel - backed by the US - invaded Lebanon in 1982, the 200,000 Iraqis killed in Operation Desert Storm, the thousands of Palestinians who have died fighting Israel's occupation of the West Bank. And the millions who died, in Yugoslavia, Somalia, Haiti, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Panama, at the hands of all the terrorists, dictators and genocidists whom the American government supported, trained, bankrolled and supplied with arms. And this is far from being a comprehensive list.
For a country involved in so much warfare and conflict, the American people have been extremely fortunate. The strikes on September 11 were only the second on American soil in over a century. The first was Pearl Harbour. The reprisal for this took a long route, but ended with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This time the world waits with bated breath for the horrors to come.
Someone recently said that if Osama bin Laden didn't exist, America would have had to invent him. But, in a way, America did invent him. He was among the jihadis who moved to Afghanistan in 1979 when the CIA commenced its operations there. Bin Laden has the distinction of being created by the CIA and wanted by the FBI. In the course of a fortnight he has been promoted from suspect to prime suspect and then, despite the lack of any real evidence, straight up the charts to being "wanted dead or alive".
From all accounts, it will be impossible to produce evidence (of the sort that would stand scrutiny in a court of law) to link Bin Laden to the September 11 attacks. So far, it appears that the most incriminating piece of evidence against him is the fact that he has not condemned them.
From what is known about the location of Bin Laden and the living conditions in which he operates, it's entirely possible that he did not personally plan and carry out the attacks - that he is the inspirational figure, "the CEO of the holding company". The Taliban's response to US demands for the extradition of Bin Laden has been uncharacteristically reasonable: produce the evidence, then we'll hand him over. President Bush's response is that the demand is "non-negotiable".
(While talks are on for the extradition of CEOs - can India put in a side request for the extradition of Warren Anderson of the US? He was the chairman of Union Carbide, responsible for the Bhopal gas leak that killed 16,000 people in 1984. We have collated the necessary evidence. It's all in the files. Could we have him, please?)
But who is Osama bin Laden really? Let me rephrase that. What is Osama bin Laden? He's America's family secret. He is the American president's dark doppelgänger. The savage twin of all that purports to be beautiful and civilised. He has been sculpted from the spare rib of a world laid to waste by America's foreign policy: its gunboat diplomacy, its nuclear arsenal, its vulgarly stated policy of "full-spectrum dominance", its chilling disregard for non-American lives, its barbarous military interventions, its support for despotic and dictatorial regimes, its merciless economic agenda that has munched through the economies of poor countries like a cloud of locusts. Its marauding multinationals who are taking over the air we breathe, the ground we stand on, the water we drink, the thoughts we think. Now that the family secret has been spilled, the twins are blurring into one another and gradually becoming interchangeable. Their guns, bombs, money and drugs have been going around in the loop for a while. (The Stinger missiles that will greet US helicopters were supplied by the CIA. The heroin used by America's drug addicts comes from Afghanistan. The Bush administration recently gave Afghanistan a $43m subsidy for a "war on drugs"....)
Now Bush and Bin Laden have even begun to borrow each other's rhetoric. Each refers to the other as "the head of the snake". Both invoke God and use the loose millenarian currency of good and evil as their terms of reference. Both are engaged in unequivocal political crimes. Both are dangerously armed - one with the nuclear arsenal of the obscenely powerful, the other with the incandescent, destructive power of the utterly hopeless. The fireball and the ice pick. The bludgeon and the axe. The important thing to keep in mind is that neither is an acceptable alternative to the other.
President Bush's ultimatum to the people of the world - "If you're not with us, you're against us" - is a piece of presumptuous arrogance. It's not a choice that people want to, need to, or should have to make.
Azim Premji's Success Recipe
define what you stand for,
never lose your zest and curiosity,
and finally never let success go to your head
"You should dare to dream, define what you stand for, never lose your zest and curiosity, always strive for excellence, build self confidence, learn to work in teams, take care of yourself, preserve, have a broader social vision and finally never let success go to your head," Premji said.
The Wipro chairman was delivering the convocation address at the 38 the convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
I am privileged to be with you here today and to share this significant moment of your life.
The convocation marks the culmination of all the endless nights you worked through, all the anxieties you have gone through facing one examination after another and all the preparation you have put in, not only to enter this prestigious institution but also to graduate from it successfully. It is no mean achievement.
Only a handful of the most talented people in the world have shared this success with you. Let me just say that I am very proud of each and every one of you.
I am a little wary about giving you advice- because advice is one thing young people all over the world do not like receiving. I cannot fault you for that.
The world does look very different when it is seen with your eyes. You are filled with enthusiasm and are straining at the leash to get on with life.
And the world is very different from what it was when I was at your age. Never before has the role of technology been so pervasive and so central. The Internet has breached all physical borders and connected the world together like no other force has done before.
For the first time, opportunities for creating wealth in India are at par with the best in world. There is no need for you to sacrifice the joy of remaining in your own country any more.
All opportunities are accompanied by their own challenges. I thought I would share with you a few of the lessons I have learnt in my own life, while loading the transformation at Wipro, from a small company three and a half decades back into a global corporation listed on the New York Stock Exchange. I hope you find them useful.
When I entered Wipro at the age of 21, it was a sudden and unexpected event. I had no warning of what lay ahead of me and I was caught completely unprepared. All I had with me was a dream.
A dream of building a great Organisation. It compensated for my inexperience and I guess, also prevented me from being overwhelmed by the enormity of the task before me.
What I am happy is that we never stopped dreaming. Even when we achieved a position of leadership in every business we operated in India. We now have a dream of becoming one of the top 10 global it service companies.
Many people wonder whether having unrealistic dreams is foolish. My reply to that is dreams by themselves can never be realistic or safe. If they were, they would not be dreams. I do agree that one must have strategies to execute dreams. And, of course, one must slog to transform dreams into reality. But dreams come first.
What saddens me most is to see young, bright people getting completely disillusioned by a few initial setbacks and slowly turning cynical and some of them want to migrate to America in the hope this is the solution.
It requires courage to keep dreaming. And that is when dreams are most needed- not when everything is going right, but when just about everything is going wrong.
* Lesson # 2: Define what you stand for
While success is important, it can become enduring only if it is built on a strong foundation of Values. Define what you stand for as early as possible and do not compromise with it for any reason. Nobody can enjoy the fruits of success if you have to argue with your own conscience.
In Wipro, we defined our Beliefs long before it became a fashion to do so. It not only helped us in becoming more resilient to stand up to crises we faced along the way, but it also helped us in attracting the right kind of people.
Eventually, we realised that our values made eminent business sense. Values help in clarifying what everyone should do or not do in any business situation. It saves enormous time and effort because each issue does not have to be individually debated at length.
* Lesson #3: Never lose your zest and curiosity
All the available knowledge in the world is accelerating at a phenomenal rate. The whole world's codified knowledge base (all documented information in library books and electronic files) doubled every 30 years in the early 20th century.
The natural zest and curiosity for learning is one of the greatest drivers for keeping updated on knowledge. A child's curiosity is insatiable because every new object is a thing of wonder and mystery. The same zest is needed to keep learning new things.
I personally spend at least ten hours every week on reading. If I do not do that, I find myself quickly outdated.
There is a tremendous difference between being good and being excellent in whatever you do. In the world of tomorrow, just being good is not good enough.
One of the greatest advantages of globalisation is that it has brought in completely different standards. Being the best in the country is not enough; one has to be the best in the world. Excellence is a moving target. One has to constantly raise the bar.
In the knowledge-based industries, India has the unique advantage of being a quality leader. just like japan was able to win in the overseas market with its quality leadership in automobile manufacturing, india has been able to do the same in information technology.
At Wipro, we treat quality as the #1 priority. This enabled us not only to become the world's first SEI CMM Level 5 software services company in the world but also a leader in Six Sigma approach to quality in India.
However, even today I am dissatisfied with several things which we are not doing right in the area of customer satisfaction.
Doing something excellently has its own intrinsic joy, which I think is the greatest benefit of Quality.
Self-confidence comes from a positive attitude even in adverse situations. Self-confident people assume responsibility for their mistakes and share credit with their team members.
They are able to distinguish between what is in their control and what is not. They do not waste their energies on events that are outside their control and hence they can take setbacks in their stride.
Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
The challenges ahead are so complex that no individual will be able to face them alone. While most of our education is focused in individual strength, teaming with others is equally important. You cannot fire a missile from a canoe. Unless you build a strong network of people with complimentary skills, you will be restricted by your own limitations.
Globalisation has brought in people of different origin, different upbringing and different cultures together. Ability to become an integral part of a cross-cultural team will be a must for your success.
I have myself found that my job has become enormously more complex over the last two or three years. Along with mutual alertness, physical fitness will also assume a great importance in your life.
You must develop your own mechanism for dealing with stress. I have found that a daily jog for me, goes a long way in releasing the pressure and building up energy. You will need lots of energy to deal with the challenges.
Finally, no matter what you decide to do in your life, you must persevere. Keep at it and you will succeed, no matter how hopeless it seems at times. In the last three and half decades, we have gone through many difficult times. But we have found that if we remain true to what we believe in, we can surmount every difficulty that comes in the way.
I remember reading this very touching story on perseverance.
An eight-year-old child heard her parents talking about her little brother. All she knew was that he was very sick and they had no money left. They were moving to a smaller house because they could not afford to stay in the present house after paying the doctor's bills. Only a very costly surgery could save him now and there was no one to loan them the money.
When she heard daddy say to her tearful mother with whispered desperation, 'Only a miracle can save him now', the child went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jar from its hiding place in the closet.
She poured all the change out on the floor and counted it carefully.
Clutching the precious jar tightly, she slipped out the back door and made her way six blocks to the local drug Store. She took a quarter from her jar and placed it on the glass counter.
"And what do you want?" asked the pharmacist. "It's for my little brother," the girl answered back. "He's really, really sick and I want to buy a miracle."
"His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my daddy says only a miracle can save him. So how much does a miracle cost?"
"We don't sell miracles here, child. I'm sorry," the pharmacist said, smiling sadly at the little girl.
"Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I can try and get some more. Just tell me how much it costs."
In the shop was a well-dressed customer. He stooped down and asked the little girl, "What kind of a miracle does you brother need?"
"I don't know," she replied with her eyes welling up. "He's really sick and mommy says he needs an operation. But my daddy can't pay for it, so I have brought my savings".
"How much do you have?" asked the man. "One dollar and eleven cents, but I can try and get some more", she answered barely audibly.
"Well, what a coincidence," smiled the man. "A dollar and eleven cents -- the exact price of a miracle for little brothers."
He took her money in one hand and held her hand with the other. He said, "Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the kind of miracle you need."
That well-dressed man was Dr Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specialising in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn't long before Andrew was home again and doing well.
"That surgery," her mom whispered, "was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?"
The little girl smiled. She knew exactly how much the miracle cost ... one dollar and eleven cents ... plus the faith of a little child.
For decades we have been waiting for some one who will help us in 'priming the pump' of the economy.
The government was the logical choice for doing it, but it was strapped for resources. Other countries were willing to give us loans and aids but there was a limit to this.
In the millennium of the mind, knowledge-based industries like Information Technology are in a unique position to earn wealth from outside. While earning is important, we must have mechanisms by which we use it for the larger good of our society.
I personally believe that the greatest gift one can give to others is the gift of education. We who have been so fortunate to receive this gift know how valuable it is.
No matter what we achieve, it is important to remember that we owe this success to many factors and people outside us. This will not only help us in keeping our sense of modesty and humility intact but also help us to retain our sense of proportion and balance.
Let me illustrate this with another story:
A lady in faded dress and her husband, dressed in a threadbare suit, walked in without an appointment into the office of the president of the most prestigious educational institution in America.
The secretary frowned at them and said, "He will be busy all day."
"We will wait," said the couple quietly.
The president took one look at the faded dresses and glared sternly at them. The lady said, "Our son studied here and he was very happy. A year ago, he was killed in an accident. My husband and I would like to erect a memorial for him on the campus."
The lady was silent. The president was pleased and thought this would get rid of them.
The lady looked at her husband. "If that is what it costs to start a university, why don't we start our own?" Her husband nodded.
Mr and Mrs Leland Stanford walked away, travelling to Palo Alto, California, where they established the university as a memorial to their son, bearing their name - the Stanford University.
The story goes that this is how Stanford University began.
I wish you every success in your career and your future life.
I suffer immensely from loneliness....
The darkness of loneliness cannot be fought directly. It is something essential for everyone to understand, that there are a few fundamental things which cannot be changed. This is one of the fundamentals: you cannot fight with darkness directly, with loneliness directly, with the fear of isolation directly. The reason is that all these things do not exist; they are simply absences of something, just as darkness is the absence of light.
Now what do you do when you want the room not to be dark? You don't do anything directly with darkness -- or do you? You cannot push it out. There is no possible way to make any arrangement so that the darkness disappears. You have to do something with the light. Now that changes the whole situation; and that's what I call one of the essentials, fundamentals. You don't even touch the darkness; you don't think about it. There is no point; it does not exist, it is simply an absence.
So just bring in light and you will not find darkness at all, because it was the absence of light, simply the absence of light -- not something material, with its own being, not something that exists. But simply because light was not there, you got a false feeling of the existence of darkness.
You can go on fighting with this darkness your whole life and you will not succeed, but just a small candle is enough to dispel it. You have to work for the light because it is positive, existential; it exists on it own. And once light comes, anything that was its absence automatically disappears.
You don't know your aloneness. You have not experienced your aloneness and its beauty, its tremendous power, its strength. Loneliness and aloneness in the dictionaries are synonymous, but existence does not follow your dictionaries. And nobody has yet tried to make an existential dictionary which will not be contradictory to existence.
Because you don't know your aloneness, there is fear. You feel lonely so you want to cling to something, to somebody, to some relationship, just to keep the illusion that you are not lonely. But you know you are -- hence the pain. On the one hand you are clinging to something which is not for real, which is just a temporary arrangement -- a relationship, a friendship.
And while you are in the relationship you can create a little illusion to forget your loneliness. But this is the problem: although you can forget for a moment your loneliness, just the next moment you suddenly become aware that the relationship or the friendship is nothing permanent. Yesterday you did not know this man or this woman, you were strangers. Today you are friends -- who knows about tomorrow? Tomorrow you may be strangers again -- hence the pain.
The illusion gives a certain solace, but it cannot create the reality so that all fear disappears. It represses the fear, so on the surface you feel good -- at least you try to feel good. You pretend to feel good to yourself: how wonderful is the relationship, how wonderful is the man or the woman. But behind the illusion -- and the illusion is so thin that you can see behind it -- there is pain in the heart, because the heart knows perfectly well that tomorrow things may not be the same... and they are not the same.
Your whole life's experience supports that things go on changing. Nothing remains stable; you cannot cling to anything in a changing world. You wanted to make your friendship something permanent but your wanting is against the law of change, and that law is not going to make exceptions. It simply goes on doing its own thing. It will change -- everything.
Perhaps in the long run you will understand one day that it was good that it did not listen to you, that existence did not bother about you and just went on doing whatever it wanted to do... not according to your desire.
It may take a little time for you to understand. You want this friend to be your friend forever, but tomorrow he turns into an enemy. Or simply -- "You get lost!" and he is no longer with you. Somebody else fills the gap who is a far superior being. Then suddenly you realize it was good that the other one got lost; otherwise you would have been stuck with him. But still the lesson never goes so deep that you stop asking for permanence.
You will start asking for permanence with this man, with this woman: now this should not change. You have not really learned the lesson that change is simply the very fabric of life. You have to understand it and go with it. Don't create illusions; they are not going to help. And everybody is creating illusions of different kinds.
He said, "Everybody changes. You cannot rely on anybody. And as you get older, only your money is yours. Nobody cares -- not even your son, not even your wife. If you have money they all care, they all respect you, because you have money. If you don't have money you become a beggar."
His saying that the only thing in the world to trust is money comes out of a long experience of life, of getting cheated again and again by the people he trusted -- and he thought they loved him but they were all around him for the money.
"But," I told him, "at the moment of death money is not going to be with you. You can have an illusion that at least money is with you, but as your breathing stops, money is no longer with you. You have earned something but it will be left on this side; you cannot carry it beyond death. You will fall into a deep loneliness which you have been hiding behind the facade of money."
There are people who are after power, but the reason is the same: when they are in power so many people are with them, millions of people are under their domination. They are not alone. They are great political and religious leaders. But power changes. One day you have it, another day it is gone, and suddenly the whole illusion disappears. You are lonely as nobody else is, because others are accustomed to being lonely. You are not accustomed... your loneliness hurts you more.
Society has tried to make arrangements so you can forget loneliness. Arranged marriages are just an effort so that you know your wife is with you. All religions resist divorce for the simple reason that if divorce is allowed then the basic purpose marriage was invented for is destroyed. The basic purpose was to give you a companion, a lifelong companion.
But even though a wife will be with you or a husband will be with you for your whole life, that does not mean that love remains the same. In fact, rather than giving you a companion, they give you a burden to carry. You were lonely, already in trouble, and now you have to carry another person who is lonely. And in this life there is no hope, because once love disappears you both are lonely, and both have to tolerate each other. Now it is not a question of being enchanted by each other; at the most you can patiently tolerate each other. Your loneliness has not been changed by the social strategy of marriage.
Religions have tried to make you a member of an organized body of religion so you are always in a crowd. You know that there are six hundred million Catholics; you are not alone, six hundred million Catholics are with you. Jesus Christ is your savior. God is with you. Alone you may have been wrong -- doubt may have arisen -- but six hundred million people cannot be wrong. A little support... but even that is gone because there are millions who are not Catholics. There are the people who crucified Jesus. There are people who don't believe in God -- and their number is not less than Catholics, it is more than Catholics. And there are other religions with different concepts.
It is difficult for an intelligent person not to doubt. You may have millions of people following a certain belief system, but still you cannot be certain that they are with you, that you are not lonely.
God was a device, but all devices have failed. It was a device... when nothing is there, at least God is with you. He is always everywhere with you. In the dark night of the soul, he is with you -- don't be worried.
It was good for a childish humanity to be deceived by this concept, but you cannot be deceived by this concept. This God who is always everywhere -- you don't see him, you can't talk to him, you can't touch him. You don't have any evidence for his existence -- except your desire that he should be there. But your desire is not a proof of anything.
Man has come of age, and God has become meaningless. The hypothesis has lost its grip.
What I am trying to say is that every effort that has been directed towards avoiding loneliness has failed, and will fail, because it is against the fundamentals of life. What is needed is not something in which you can forget your loneliness. What is needed is that you become aware of your aloneness, which is a reality. And it is so beautiful to experience it, to feel it, because it is your freedom from the crowd, from the other. It is your freedom from the fear of being lonely.
Just the word "lonely" immediately reminds you that it is like a wound: something is needed to fill it. There is a gap and it hurts: something needs to be filled in. The very word "aloneness" does not have the same sense of a wound, of a gap which has to be filled. Aloneness simply means completeness. You are whole; there is no need of anybody else to complete you.
So try to find your innermost center, where you are always alone, have always been alone. In life, in death -- wherever you are you will be alone. But it is so full -- it is not empty, it is so full and so complete and so overflowing with all the juices of life, with all the beauties and benedictions of existence, that once you have tasted aloneness the pain in the heart will disappear. Instead, a new rhythm of tremendous sweetness, peace, joy, bliss, will be there.
It does not mean that a man who is centered in his aloneness, complete in himself, cannot make friends -- in fact only he can make friends, because now it is no longer a need, it is just sharing. He has so much; he can share.
Friendship can be of two types. One is a friendship in which you are a beggar -- you need something from the other to help your loneliness -- and the other is also a beggar; he wants the same from you. And naturally two beggars cannot help each other. Soon they will see that their begging from a beggar has doubled or multiplied the need. Instead of one beggar, now there are two. And if, unfortunately, they have children, then there are a whole company of beggars who are asking -- and nobody has anything to give.
So everybody is frustrated and angry, and everybody feels he is being cheated, deceived. And in fact nobody is cheating and nobody is deceiving, because what have you got?
The other kind of friendship, the other kind of love, has a totally different quality. It is not of need, it is out of having so much that you want to share. A new kind of joy has come into your being -- that of sharing, which you were not ever aware of before. You have always been begging.
When you share, there is no question of clinging. You flow with existence, you flow with life's change, because it doesn't matter with whom you share. It can be the same person tomorrow -- the same person for your whole life -- or it can be different persons. It is not a contract, it is not a marriage; it is simply out of your fullness that you want to give. So whosoever happens to be near you, you give it. And giving is such a joy.
Begging is such a misery. Even if you get something through begging, you will remain miserable. It hurts. It hurts your pride, it hurts your integrity. But sharing makes you more centered, more integrated, more proud, but not more egoistic -- more proud that existence has been compassionate to you. It is not ego; it is a totally different phenomenon... a recognition that existence has allowed you something for which millions of people are trying, but at the wrong door. You happen to be at the right door.
You are proud of your blissfulness and all that existence has given to you. Fear disappears, darkness disappears, the pain disappears, the desire for the other disappears.
You can love a person, and if the person loves somebody else there will not be any jealousy, because you loved out of so much joy. It was not a clinging. You were not holding the other person in prison. You were not worried that the other person may slip out of your hands, that somebody else may start having a love affair...
When you are sharing your joy, you don't create a prison for anybody. You simply give. You don't even expect gratitude or thankfulness because you are not giving to get anything, not even gratitude. You are giving because you are so full you have to give.
So if anybody is thankful, you are thankful to the person who has accepted your love, who has accepted your gift. He has unburdened you, he allowed you to shower on him. And the more you share, the more you give, the more you have. So it does not make you a miser, it does not create a new fear that "I may lose it." In fact the more you lose it, the more fresh waters are flowing in from springs you have not been aware of before.
Forget loneliness, forget darkness, forget pain. These are just the absence of aloneness. The experience of aloneness will dispel them instantly. And the method is the same: just watch your mind, be aware. Become more and more conscious, so finally you are only conscious of yourself. That is the point where you become aware of aloneness.
You will be surprised that different religions have given different names to the ultimate state of realization. The three religions born outside of India don't have any name for it because they never went far in the search for oneself. They remained childish, immature, clinging to a God, clinging to prayer, clinging to a savior. You can see what I mean: they are always dependent -- somebody else is to save them. They are not mature. Judaism, Christianity, Islam -- they are not mature at all and perhaps that is the reason they have influenced the greatest majority in the world, because most of the people in the world are immature. They have a certain affinity.
But the three religions in India have three names for this ultimate state. And I remembered this because of the word aloneness. Jainism has chosen kaivalya, aloneness, as the ultimate state of being. Just as Buddhism chose nirvana, no-selfness, and Hinduism chose moksha, freedom, Jainism chose absolute aloneness. All three words are beautiful. They are three different aspects of the same reality. You can call it liberation, freedom; you can call it aloneness; you can call it selflessness, nothingness -- just different indicators towards that ultimate experience for which no name is sufficient.
But always look to see if anything that you are facing as a problem is a negative thing or a positive thing. If it is a negative thing then don't fight with it; don't bother about it at all. Just look for the positive of it, and you will be at the right door.
Most of the people in the world miss because they start fighting directly with the negative door.
There is no door; there is only darkness, there is only absence. And the more they fight, the more they find failure, the more they become dejected, pessimistic ... and ultimately they start finding that life has no meaning, that it is simply torture. But their mistake is they entered from the wrong door.
So before you face a problem, just look at the problem: is it an absence of something? And all your problems are the absence of something. And once you have found what they are the absence of, then go after the positive. And the moment you find the positive, the light -- the darkness is finished.
I often panic, and worry that I might go mad....
[Articles] > I often panic, and worry that I might go mad....
The basic thing to be understood is that you are not the mind -- neither the bright one nor the dark one. If you get identified with the beautiful part, then it is impossible to disidentify yourself from the ugly part; they are two sides of the same coin. You can have it whole, or you can throw it away whole, but you cannot divide it.
And the whole anxiety of man is that he wants to choose that which looks beautiful, bright; he wants to choose all the silver linings, leaving the dark cloud behind. But he does not know that silver linings cannot exist without the dark cloud. The dark cloud is the background, absolutely necessary for silver linings to show.
Being choiceless means: the mind is there and it has a dark side and it has a bright side -- so what? What has it to do with you? Why should you be worried about it?
The moment you are not choosing, all worry disappears. A great acceptance arises, that this is how the mind has to be, this is the nature of the mind -- and it is not your problem, because you are not the mind. If you were the mind, there would have been no problem at all. Then who would choose and who would think of transcending? And who would try to accept and understand acceptance?
You are only a witness and nothing else.
But you are being an observer who gets identified with anything that he finds pleasant -- and forgets that the unpleasant is coming just behind it as a shadow. You are not troubled by the pleasant side -- you rejoice in it. The trouble comes when the polar opposite asserts -- then you are torn apart.
But you started the whole trouble. Falling from being just a witness, you became identified. The biblical story of the fall is just a fiction. But this is the real fall -- the fall from being a witness into getting identified with something and losing your witnessing.
Just try once in a while: Let the mind be whatever it is. Remember, you are not it. And you are going to have a great surprise. As you are less identified, the mind starts becoming less powerful, because its power comes from your identification; it sucks your blood. But when you start standing aloof and away, the mind starts shrinking.
The day you are completely unidentified with the mind, even for a single moment, there is the revelation: mind simply dies; it is no longer there. Where it was so full, where it was so continuous -- day in, day out, waking, sleeping, it was there -- suddenly it is not there. You look all around and it is emptiness, it is nothingness.
And with the mind disappears the self. Then there is only a certain quality of awareness, with no "I" in it. At the most you can call it something similar to "am-ness," but not "I-ness." To be even more exact, it is "is-ness" because even in am-ness some shadow of the "I" is still there. The moment you know its is-ness, it has become universal.
With the disappearance of the mind disappears the self. And so many things disappear which were so important to you, so troublesome to you. You were trying to solve them and they were becoming more and more complicated; everything was a problem, an anxiety, and there seemed to be no way out.
I remind you of the story The Goose is Out. It is concerned with the mind and your is-ness.
The master tells the disciple to meditate on a koan: A small goose is put into a bottle, fed and nourished. The goose goes on becoming bigger and bigger and bigger, and fills the whole bottle. Now it is too big; it cannot come out of the bottle's mouth -- the mouth is too small. And the koan is that you have to bring the goose out without destroying the bottle, without killing the goose.
Now it is mind-boggling.
What can you do? The goose is too big; you cannot take it out unless you break the bottle, but that is not allowed. Or you can bring it out by killing it; then you don't care whether it comes out alive or dead. That is not allowed either.
Day in, day out, the disciple meditates, finds no way, thinks this way and that way -- but in fact there is no way. Tired, utterly exhausted, a sudden revelation... suddenly he understands that the master cannot be interested in the bottle and the goose; they must represent something else. The bottle is the mind, you are the goose... and with witnessing, it is possible. Without being in the mind, you can become identified with it so much that you start feeling you are in it!
He runs to the master to say that the goose is out. And the master says, "You have understood it. Now keep it out. It has never been in."
If you go on struggling with the goose and the bottle, there is no way for you to solve it. It is the realization that, "It must represent something else; otherwise the master cannot give it to me. And what can it be?" -- because the whole function between the master and the disciple, the whole business is about the mind and awareness.
Awareness is the goose which is not in the bottle of the mind. But you are believing that it is in it and asking everyone how to get it out. And there are idiots who will help you, with techniques, to get out of it. I call them idiots because they have not understood the thing at all.
The goose is out, has never been in, so the question of bringing it out does not arise.
Mind is just a procession of thoughts passing in front of you on the screen of the brain. You are an observer. But you start getting identified with beautiful things -- those are bribes. And once you get caught in the beautiful things you are also caught in the ugly things, because mind cannot exist without duality.
Awareness cannot exist with duality, and mind cannot exist without duality.
Awareness is non-dual, and mind is dual. So just watch. I don't teach you any solutions. I teach you the solution: Just get back a little and watch. Create a distance between you and your mind.
Whether it is good, beautiful, delicious, something that you would like to enjoy closely, or it is ugly -- remain as far away as possible. Look at it just the way you look at a film. But people get identified even with films.
I have seen, when I was young... I have not seen any movie for a long time. But I have seen people weeping, tears coming down -- and nothing is happening! It is good that in a movie house it is dark; it saves them from feeling embarrassed. I used to ask my father, "Did you see? The fellow by your side was crying!"
"But," I said, "there is only a screen and nothing else. Nobody is killed, there is no tragedy happening -- just a projection of a film, just pictures moving on the screen. And people laugh, and people weep, and for three hours they are almost lost. They become part of the movie, they become identified with some character..."
I said, "I can enjoy the film, but I don't want to cry; I don't see any enjoyment in it. I can see it as a film, but I don't want to become a part of it. These people are all becoming a part of it."
My grandfather had an old barber who was an opium addict. For something which was possible to do in five minutes he would take two hours, and he would talk continuously. But they were old friends from their childhood. I can still see my grandfather sitting in the chair of the old barber... And he was a lovely talker. These opium addicts have a certain quality, a beauty of talking, telling stories about themselves, what is happening day-to-day; it is true.
My grandfather would simply be saying, "Yes, right, that's great..."
I said to him one day, "About everything you go on saying, `Yes, right, it is great.' Sometimes he is talking nonsense, simply irrelevant."
In India razor blades are not used; things almost like six-inch long knives are used as razor blades. "Now what do you want me to say? -- with that man who has a knife, a sharp knife in his hand, just on my throat. To say no to him... he will kill me! And he knows it. He sometimes tells me, `You never say no. You always say yes, you always say great.' And I have told him, `You should understand that you are always under the influence of opium. It is impossible to talk with you, to discuss with you or to disagree with you. You have a knife on my throat, and you want me to say no to something?'"
I said, "Then why don't you change from this man? There are so many other barbers, and this man takes two hours for a five-minute job. Sometimes he takes half your beard and then he says, `I am coming back, you sit.' And he is gone for an hour, because he gets involved in a discussion with somebody and forgets completely that a customer is sitting in his chair. Then he comes and says, `My God, so you are still sitting here?'"
And my grandfather would say, "What can I do? I cannot go home with half the beard shaved. You just complete it. Where have you been?"
The barber would say, "I got in such a good argument with somebody that I completely forgot about you. It is good that that man had to go; otherwise you would have been sitting here the whole day. And sometimes I don't even close the shop at night. I simply go home, just forget to close, and once in a while a customer is still sitting in the chair and I am sleeping. Somebody has to say to him, `Now you can go; that man will not be seen again before tomorrow morning. He is fast asleep in his home. He has forgotten to close his shop and he has forgotten about you.'"
And if you were angry... Sometimes new people got into his shop, and became angry. He would say, "Calm down. At the most you need not pay me. I have cut only half of the beard; you can just go. I don't want to argue. You need not pay me; I don't ask even half payment."
But nobody can leave his chair with half the beard shaved -- or half the head shaved! You ask him just to shave the beard and he starts shaving your head, and by the time you notice, he has already done the job. So he asks you, "Now what do you want? -- because almost one-fourth of the work is done. If you want to keep it this way I can leave it; otherwise I can finish it. But I will not charge for it because if you say that you never wanted it to be cut, then it is my fault and I should take the punishment. I will not charge you."
This man was dangerous! But my grandfather used to say, "He is dangerous but he is lovely and I have become so much identified with him that I cannot conceive that if he dies before me I will be able to go to another barber's shop. I cannot conceive... for my whole life he has been my barber. The identity has become so deep that I may stop shaving my beard, but I cannot change my barber."
But fortunately my grandfather died before the opium-addict barber.
You get identified with anything. People get identified with persons and then they create misery for themselves. They get identified with things, then they get miserable if that thing is missing.
Identification is the root cause of your misery. And every identification is identification with the mind.
And soon you will be able to see that there is no problem at all -- the goose is out. You don't have to break the bottle, you don't have to kill the goose either.
Jokes
[Conversation of William Knott and Mr Watt.]
[whodunnit]
[IT jokes]
[Read It and Think It]
[Definitions Redefined]
Conversation of William Knott and Mr Watt.
[Jokes] > Conversation of William Knott and Mr Watt.
Conversation of William Knott and Mr Watt.
A long pause, and then from Watt, "Is this
Look I have been very patient and I have told
you my name and you
and it is you who have not told me yours yet.
But you already know it!
See, and you know mine!
NOW THEY ARE AT A POINT WHERE BOTH THINK THE
Listen, listen, wait; if I asked you what your
{pause before it hits him)
So why didn't you say it before?
[pause before it hits him]
No wonder, it took me so long, is that Dutch?
No, it's Knott!
NOW THEY BOTH THINK THEY KNOW EACH OTHER'S
What is the meaning of Life?
Life in itself has no meaning. Life is an opportunity to create meaning. Meaning has not to be discovered: it has to be created. You will find meaning only if you create it. It is not lying there somewhere behind the bushes, so you can go and you search a little bit and find it. It is not there like a rock that you will find. It is a poetry to be composed, it is a song to be sung, it is a dance to be danced.
Meaning is a dance, not a rock. Meaning is music. You will find it only if you create it. Remember it.
Millions of people are living meaningless lives because of this utterly stupid idea that meaning has to be discovered. As if it is already there. All that you need is to just pull the curtain, and behold! meaning is here. It is not like that.
So remember: Buddha finds the meaning because he creates it. I found it because I created it. God is not a thing but a creation. And only those who create find. And it is good that meaning is not lying there somewhere, otherwise one person would have discovered it -- then what would be the need for everybody else to discover it?
Can't you see the difference between religious meaning and scientific meaning? Albert Einstein discovered the theory of relativity; now, do you have to discover it again and again? You will be foolish if you discover it again and again. What is the point? One man has done it; he has given you the map. It may have taken years for him, but for you to understand it will take hours. You can go to the university and learn.
Buddha also discovered something, Zarathustra also discovered something, but it is not like Albert Einstein's discovery. It is not there that you have just to follow Zarathustra and his map and you will find it. You will never find it. You will have to become a Zarathustra. See the difference!
To understand the theory of relativity, you need not become an Albert Einstein, no. You have to be just of average intelligence, that's all. If you are not too much retarded, you will understand it.
But to understand the meaning of Zarathustra, you will have to become a Zarathustra -- less than that won't do. You will have to create it again. And each individual has to give birth to God, to meaning, to truth; each man has to become pregnant with it and pass through the pains of birth. Each one has to carry it in one's womb, feed it by one's own blood, and only then does one discover.
You must be waiting passively for the meaning to come... it will never come. This has been the idea of the past religions, that the meaning is already there. It is not! Freedom is there to create it, energy is there to create it. The field is there to sow the seeds and reap the crop. All is there -- but the meaning has to be created. That's why to create it is such a joy, such an adventure, such an ecstasy.
So the first thing: religion has to be creative. Up to now, religion has remained very passive, almost impotent. You don't expect a religious person to be creative. You just expect him to fast, sit in a cave, get up early in the morning, chant mantras... and this kind of stupid thing. And you are perfectly satisfied! What is he doing? And you praise him because he goes on long fasts. Maybe he is a masochist; maybe he enjoys torturing himself. He sits there when it is icy cold, naked, and you appreciate him. But what is the point, what is the value in it? All the animals of the world are naked in the icy cold -- they are not saints. Or when it is hot, he sits in the hot sun, and you appreciate him. You say, "Look! here is a great ascetic." But what is he doing? What is his contribution to the world? What beauty has he added to the world? Has he changed the world a little bit? Has he made it a little more sweet, more fragrant? No, you don't ask that.
Now, I tell you, this has to be asked: Praise a man because he has created a song. Praise a man because he has created a beautiful sculpture. Praise a man because he plays such a beautiful flute. Let these be religious qualities from now onwards. Praise a man because he is such a lover -- love is religion. Praise a man: because of him the world is becoming more graceful.
Forget all these stupid things! -- fasting and just sitting in a cave, torturing oneself or lying down on a bed of nails. Praise a man because he has cultivated beautiful roses. The world is more colorful because of him. And then you will find meaning.
Meaning comes out of creativity. Religion has to become more poetic, more aesthetic.
And second thing: sometimes it happens that you search for the meaning because you have already concluded. Out of a conclusion you search for it. You have already decided what meaning should be there, or has to be there... and then you don't find it.
The inquiry has to be pure. What do I mean when I say the inquiry has to be pure? It should be without any conclusion. It should not have any a priori in it.
What meaning are you looking for? You must be looking for a certain meaning. You will not find it -- because from the very beginning your inquiry is polluted, your inquiry is impure. You have already decided.
For example, if a man comes into my garden and thinks if he can find a diamond there then this garden is beautiful, and he cannot find the diamond, so he says there is no meaning in the garden.... And there are so many beautiful flowers, and so many birds singing, and so many colors, and the wind blowing through the pines, and the moss on the rocks. But he cannot see any meaning because he has a certain idea: he has to find the diamond, a Kohinoor -- only then will there be meaning.
He is missing meaning because of his idea. Let your inquiry be pure. Don't move with any fixed idea. Go naked and nude. Go open and empty. And you will find not only one meaning -- you will find a thousand and one meanings. Then each thing will become meaningful. Just a colored stone shining in the rays of the sun... or a dewdrop creating a small rainbow around itself... or just a small flower dancing in the wind.... What meaning are you searching for?
Don't start with a conclusion, otherwise you have started wrongly from the very beginning. Go without a conclusion! That's what I mean when I say again and again: Go without knowledge if you want to find truth. The knowledgeable person never finds it. His knowledge is a barrier.
Goldstein had never been to a show in the legitimate theater. For his birthday, his children decided to give him a present of a ticket for the Jewish theater.
The night after the show, they came to visit him and asked him eagerly what he thought of the show.
"Ash," he answered, "it was simply nonsense. When she was willing, he wasn't willing. And when he was willing, she wasn't willing. And when they both were willing, down came the curtain!"
Now, if you have a fixed idea, then you are only looking for it, only looking for it.... And because of this narrowness of the mind, all that is available is missed.
Meaning has to be created. And meaning has to be searched for without any conclusions. If you can drop your knowledge, life will suddenly take on color, it will become psychedelic. But you are continuously carrying the load of your scriptures, books, theories, doctrines, philosophies... you are lost in all that. And everything has become mixed, hotchpotch. And you cannot even remember what is what.
Your mind is a mess. Clean it! Make it a blank. The empty mind is the best mind. And those who have been telling you that the empty mind is the Devil's workshop are the Devil's agents. The empty mind is closer to God than anything. The empty mind is not the Devil's workshop. The Devil cannot do without thoughts.
With emptiness the Devil cannot do anything at all. He has no way Into emptiness.
So many thoughts in the mind, mixed up; nothing seems to be clear; you have heard so many things from so many sources -- your mind is a monster. And you are trying to remember, and you have been told to remember: Don't forget! And, naturally, the burden is so much that you cannot remember. Many things you have forgotten. Many things you have imagined and added on your own.
An Englishman visiting America attended a banquet and heard the Master of Ceremonies give the following toast:
"By Jove, that's ripping," the Englishman thought to himself. "I must remember to use it back home."
Some weeks later when he returned to England, he attended a church luncheon and was asked to give a toast. In thunderous tones he addressed the crowded room:
After a long pause the crowd began to grow restless, glaring at the speaker indignantly. The speaker's friend sitting next to him whispered, "You had better explain yourself quickly."
That is happening. You remember this -- Plato has said this. And you remember that -- Lao Tzu has said that. And you remember what Jesus has said, and what Mohammed has said... and you remember many things. And they have all got mixed up. And you have not said a single thing on your own. Unless you say something on your own, you will miss the meaning.
Drop the knowledge and become more creative. Remember, knowledge is gathered -- you need not be creative about it; you have only to be receptive. And that's what man has become: man is reduced to being a spectator. He reads the newspapers, he reads the Bible and the Koran and the Gita; he goes to the movie, sits there and sees the movie; he goes to the football match, or sits before his TV, listens to the radio... and so on and so forth. Twenty-four hours a day he is just in a kind of inactivity, a spectator. Others are doing things, and he is simply watching. You will not find meaning by watching.
You can see a thousand and one lovers making love and you will not know what love is -- you will not know that orgasmic abandonment by watching. You will have to become a participant. Meaning comes through participation. Participate in life! Participate as deeply, as totally, as possible. Risk all for participation. If you want to know what dance is, don't go and see a dancer -- learn dancing, be a dancer. If you want to know anything, participate! That is the true and the right way, the authentic way, to know a thing. And there will be great meaning in your life. And not only one-dimensional -- multi-dimensional meanings. You will be showered by meanings.
And life has to be multi-dimensional, then only is there meaning. Never make life one-dimensional. That too is a problem.
Somebody becomes an engineer, and then he thinks all is finished. He becomes identified with being an engineer. Then his whole life he is just an engineer. And there were millions of things available. But he moves only on one track, becomes bored. Is fed up. Is tired, wearied. Goes on dragging. Waits only for death. What meaning can there be?
Have more interests in life. Don't be always a businessman. Sometimes play too. Don't be just a doctor or an engineer, or a headmaster, or a professor -- be as many things as possible! Play cards, play the violin, sing a song, be an amateur photographer, a poet.... Find as many things as possible in life, and then you will have richness. And meaning is a by-product of richness.
Socrates, while awaiting death in prison, was haunted by a dream that kept urging him, "Socrates, make music!" The old man felt he had always served art with his philosophizing. But now, spurred on by that mysterious voice, he turned fables into verse, indited a hymn to Apollo, and played the flute.
In the face of death, philosophy and music briefly went hand in hand, and Socrates was as blissful as never before.
He had never played on the flute. Something inside him persisted, "Socrates, make music!" Just in the face of death! It looked so ridiculous. And he had never played, he had never made music. A part of his being had remained suffocated. Yes, even a man like Socrates, had remained one-dimensional. The denied part insisted, "Enough of logic -- a little music will be good, will bring balance. Enough of argumentation -- play on the flute." And the voice was so persistent that he had to yield to it.
His disciples must have been puzzled: "Has he gone mad? Socrates playing on the flute?" But to me it is very significant. The music could not have been very great, because he had never played. Absolutely amateurish, childish it must have been -- but still something was satisfied, something was bridged. He was no more one-sided. For the first time in his life, maybe, he was spontaneous. For the first time he had done something for which he could not supply any reason. Otherwise, he was a rational man.
Just the other night I was reading a story about the great Hassidic mystic, Baal Shem:
It was a holiday, and the Hassidim had gathered to pray and to have a communion -- sat sang -- with the Master.
A man had come with his retarded child. He was a little worried about the child, the boy. He may do something, so he was keeping an eye on the boy. When the prayers were said, the boy asked his father, "I have got a whistle -- can I play on it?"
The father said, "Absolutely no -- where is your whistle," because he was afraid. He may not even listen to his "no." He showed the whistle and the father kept his hand on his pocket, the boy's pocket. Then there was dancing, and the father forgot and he also started dancing. And Hassids are dancers, joyous people -- the cream of Judaism, the very essence of Judaism is with them, with those mad people.
When everybody was praying to God and dancing, suddenly the boy could not resist any more. He took out his whistle and blew on it. Everybody was shocked! But Baal Shem came, hugged the boy, and said, "Our prayers are heard. Without this whistle, all was futile -- because this was the only spontaneous thing here. All else was ritual."
Don't allow your life to become just a dead ritual. Let there be moments, unexplainable. Let there be a few things which are mysterious, for which you cannot supply any reason. Let there be a few doings for which people will think you are a little crazy. A man who is a hundred percent sane is dead. A little bit of craziness by the side is always a great joy. Go on doing a few crazy things too. And then meaning will be posible.
Why do you contradict yourself?
Osho, I know that you love contradictions. A lot of it I can accept now as two sides of one coin. But today after lecture some questions still arose. On the one side you say the good and the bad are two sides of the same coin and both have to be and the one can't be without the other. On the other side you want to create a better world with your sannyasins. On the one side you tell us not to think in terms of the future. On the other side you are talking about the coming third world war. On the one side you tell us not to wish anything. On the other side it seems you want to avoid the third world war. On the one side you say things are okay as they are, there is no goal, nothing to achieve, to change. On the other side: what are you doing here? What are we doing here? I can feel there is an answer, but I can't point it out. Can you?
It is not that I love contradictions: life is contradictory. Existence itself is possible only through contradictions. It is the mind that has been trained in Aristotelian logic that becomes disturbed because of contradictions. The Aristotelian logic gives you a linear mind, a one-dimensional mind. It says: A can only be A and can never be B, and B can only be B and can never be A, and for two thousand years our minds have been conditioned by this logic.
This logic never had any sway over the mystics, and now even scientists are escaping from the Aristotelian prison. If you want to be true to life you cannot be a follower of Aristotle; to be true to life you will have to say things as they are. If you want to be true to Aristotle then you will have to repress a few things of life, deny, at least avoid, not look at them, choose only what fits with your logic.
The whole world has existed up to now according to one-dimensional logic -- and existence is multi-dimensional, it is rooted in contradictions. In fact, to call it a contradiction is again to use a word from Aristotle.
Existence is a mystery. Mathematics is incapable of understanding it; mind is utterly impotent in understanding it, because mind knows only one way. The Aristotelian way is the mind's way. And anybody who knows life knows that Aristotle has been a calamity, the greatest that has ever existed in the world. And he is the father of modern philosophy, the father of modern science! But there are revolts against him. Mystics have always been revolting, now physicists are revolting.
According to Aristotle there is no mystery: everything is explainable in logical terms -- that is his fundamental tenet. And my fundamental tenet is: nothing is explainable in terms of logic. If you try to explain life in terms of logic you destroy life.
It is as if to explain the beauty of a rose you take the rose to the chemist to dissect it, to analyze it, and to find out where the beauty is. The chemist is capable of analyzing the rose, but he will find only chemicals, not beauty. Beauty will evaporate. Beauty was in the paradox of the rose. It should not be according to logic -- hence logic is very blind.
Your problem, Suresh, is that you suffer from Aristotelitis. It is one of the most deep-rooted diseases.
It is not so that I love contradictions. What can I do? Contradictions are there! If I have to be true to the totality of existence I have to love them, otherwise something will have to be denied. And the moment you deny something you miss something immensely valuable, and the denial will never allow you to know the whole. And only the whole is true; the parts are only parts. They have some meaning only in the context of the whole; in themselves they are meaningless.
That's why science has created great meaninglessness in the world. It was bound to happen; it is a by-product of scientific methodology. Science tries to explain everything cleanly, with no vagueness; it wants to reduce everything to clear-cut categories. And it has succeeded, but in its success man and his spirit has failed.
The success of science is rooted in Aristotle, but man's failure -- the failure of his joy, the failure of his love, the failure of his capacity to sing, dance and celebrate -- is also rooted in Aristotle. But there are clear-cut signs of revolt, particularly within these last thirty, forty years -- many great scientists have revolted against Aristotle. The first one to revolt was Albert Einstein.
Aristotle is very absolutistic: A is absolutely A and never B, man is absolutely man and never a woman. He believes in the absolutes, and Einstein brought the idea of relativity. He said absolutes don't exist; there are only relative things. A man is relatively more a man than a woman and a woman is relatively more a woman than a man, but the question is not one of absolute distinction -- they overlap. And you may be a man in the morning and you may not be a man by the evening; you may be a woman in the evening and you may not be a woman by the morning. You are not one-sided, you have many sides.
Have you not seen a woman in anger? Then she is more masculine than any male. And have you not seen a man when he is in love? -- his tenderness, his feminineness. He is more feminine than any woman can ever be. When a woman is in anger, enraged, her whole denied part starts functioning, and the denied part is very vital and alive because it has never been used.
A man went into a hospital to purchase a brain; because his own was not functioning well he wanted to replace it. The surgeon took him around; there were many brains available. He showed him the brain of a scientist, the price only a hundred rupees; the brain of a great, famous, well-known mathematician, and the price only two hundred rupees; and the brain of a great general, and the price only three hundred rupees -- so on and so forth. And then he came to the brain of a great political leader, and the price- was ten thousand rupees!
The customer was a little puzzled. He said, "What do you mean? Do you mean that the politician has a greater brain than a great, Nobel prize-winning scientist?"
The surgeon said, "Please don't misunderstand us. It is not that the politician has a greater brain than the scientist or the general or the mathematician or the poet, but this is a brain which has never been used. It is brand new, hence the price!"
Whatsoever is not used and denied in you remains very vital. Hence a woman enraged is far more dangerous than a man; and if you have been in relationship with a woman you know it perfectly well -- she can drive you crazy! because that is the denied part, the unused part. When it is used it has vitality, newness. And when a man is tender, loving, he is more tender and loving than a woman. He can be more womanly because that is his denied part.
Carl Gustav Jung accepted that man is bi-sexual: no man is simply man and no woman is simply woman. Man has a woman part, a very intrinsic part, and woman has a man inside her, very intrinsic. Now this is a totally different world: old categories lose meaning, old absolutes disappear.
And then came the theory of uncertainty -- because up to now science was aware only of the superficial world of matter. It has not penetrated into the mysteries of matter as mystics have done in the inner world; they have penetrated into the mysteries of consciousness. And when they penetrated the mysteries of consciousness they became aware that it is not Aristotelian at all. Sometimes A is A and sometimes A is B; and not only that -- that sometimes A is B -- there are times when A is both A and not A simultaneously.
Mahavira said that; his philosophy is known as saptabhangi -- sevenfold. He must have appeared a very strange man. You asked one question and he would always answer your one question with seven answers, because his philosophy was sevenfold. He said, "I have come to see the seven aspects of the inner world." You asked him, "Does God exist?" and he would say, "First: perhaps he exists. Second: perhaps he does not. Third: perhaps he exists and yet does not exist. And fourth: perhaps he neither exists nor does not exist." And so on and so forth. He would give you seven answers. You would leave him more confused than you had come. That's why he could not influence many people. His religion remained one of the smallest although it had the potential of becoming one of the greatest religions of the world.
But now the days of Mahavira are coming: Albert Einstein has made the way for it. As the physicist entered deeper into the mysteries of matter he was very much puzzled -- Aristotle works no more, helps no more. On the contrary, if you remain hung up with Aristotle you have to deny a few things which you cannot deny -- they are there!
For example: matter does not exist at the deepest level of matter; matter is only apparent, it is maya. Shankara said it thousands of years ago: it is illusion. By "illusion" he does not mean that it does not exist; by "illusion" he simply means it appears to exist -- something else exists. Don't be deceived by the appearance. And the scientist found himself entering more into the world of Shankara than into the world of Aristotle. Matter disappears, there is only energy -- energy moving so fast that you cannot see its movement and it gives you the idea of solid matter.
Nothing is solid, everything is liquid. And when there is nothing solid, what meaning can the word "liquid" have? Then a new problem arises: if there is nothing solid, what do you mean by "liquid?" Liquidity had meaning only in reference to solidity; the moment solidity disappears, liquidity disappears...and you are dumb, in awe.
Only energy is, and the ways of energy are very paradoxical, very mystic. One particle of energy jumps from its place to another place; it is continuously lumping. It is taking quantum leaps. The term "quantum leap" comes from quanta. "Quanta" means the ultimate particle of energy, and "quantum leap" means a very different leap from what you understand by the word "leap."
When the ultimate particle of energy jumps from place A to B the phenomenon is very mysterious: it simply disappears from A and appears at B and you cannot find it anywhere in between. You come from your place to me; you will be found in between. How can you just jump from your place to my place? Even if you jump, you will have to pass through. Even if you take the fastest plane, still you will be in between. But the ultimate particle of matter simply disappears from one place and appears at another place and you cannot find it in between at all. Now what to make out of it? It should not be so, but it is so.
First scientists figured, "We must be missing it -- maybe we don't have sophisticated enough instruments. How can it be?" The old Aristotle was haunting them: "It must be somewhere in between." But now we have more sophisticated instruments -- it simply disappears. It becomes unmanifest in one place and becomes manifest again in another place. What happens in between nothing can be known about, because it becomes unmanifest; it simply disappears from existence. It moves into a totally different dimension which is not known at all and may never be known at all, because it is the unknowable.
And it was thought always, according to Aristotle and Euclid, that a point can never be a line. It was found by the physicists that the point can be both together: it can be a particle and a wave, it can be a point and a line. Euclidean geometry used to say -- you must have read it at school -- that two parallel lines never meet. Now there is something like non-Euclidean geometry which says they meet. What to make out of it? Euclidean geometry says you can draw a straight line: a straight line is the shortest distance between two points -- a well-known definition, every schoolboy knows about it. But non-Euclidean geometry has come with great force and is changing the whole course of scientific thinking.
Non-Euclidean geometry says you cannot draw a straight line at all; it is impossible to draw a straight line. Why? -- because you are sitting on an earth which is round. So whatsoever you draw, it appears straight because you don't know that you are sitting on a round globe. Go on drawing the line, go on drawing the line, and soon you will see that it becomes a circle, because it will cover the whole earth. And a straight line cannot be a part of a circle, obviously; if it is a part of a circle it is not straight. No straight line can create a circle, but every straight line that you know, if drawn to its ultimate, will become part of a circle. Then it is an are, not a straight line.
And the whole universe is circular. The whole universe, all the movement, is circular; everything is a circle. Straight lines are not possible; they are imaginary lines.
Mystics have always talked in paradoxes; now physicists are talking in paradoxes. And the reason is the same: mystics entered reality through their being and came across the mystery; physicists are coming across the same reality from another door -- the outward door.
I am not in love with contradictions -- they can't be helped. Existence is a paradox.
Osho, Be Still And Know, Chapter 7
Understanding the Lessons of September 11
[Articles] > Understanding the Lessons of September 11
by Swami Chidanand Saraswati (Muniji)
blatantly, so callously, so mercilessly struck at so many thousands of
Prasaar Yatra, travelling first to the Caribbean, then to USA and Canada,
then to UK and then to Europe, spreading the messages of peace, unity and
this yatra, we heard the shattering news. Times like this and acts like
these almost render us speechless with sadness. It is only after the sand
has settled back on the beach after the storm, that we can bend down and
engage in these unforgivable acts of terrorism, intimidation and violence
war" is itself an oxymoron, a paradoxical fallacy. A war can never be holy.
Only peace is holy. That which is holy is peaceful, loving, pious and
compassionate. War, by its very definition, is none of these. The terrorists
possibly be undertaken with God's consent or to win His favor. How can we --
your sister or your brother and claim you did it for your mother or father's
sake? Or that you did it in order to win your parents' appreciation? This
are using God's name in order to justify their own evil, violence and
aggression. To me, the true jihad is a holy war within ourselves, a war
against that which is unholy within our own hearts, a war of annihilating
our own egos, our own jealousies and grudges.
reason. That which happens must have a lesson inherent within it. Let us
individually as people as well as help us grow as nations and as a world?
those living in India, or Indians who live abroad) think of everything
Western as superior, as inherently "safe." If you give someone a gift and
say it's "from America," their eyes will widen with anticipation. If you
automatically grants it "First Class" status. The idea of sending our
children "to America" for studies or work is one that fills us with great
pride, comfort and security. It is every parent's dream to send their
children "to America," and it is every child's dream to go. It is not only
that parents think their children will have a higher income in America.
Rather, there is an inherent yet almost tangible feeling of safety, security
and superiority about everything Western.
Additionally, from what I
security and invincibility. There is a sense -- taught since childhood --
material prosperity, but also personal comfort and safety. And, I am not
condemning this feeling. I, personally, love America and love Americans for
their great openness, great honesty, eagerness and steadfastness on the path
to God. And, in many ways, this feeling of security regarding the country is
not misplaced. The West achieves standards of excellence which are
unsurpassed anywhere else in the world. The education and professional
education, is invincible and invulnerable. It is only by the grace of God
that we wake from our sleep each day. It is only by the grace of God that
allowing us to breathe and our hearts to beat. It is only by the grace of
God that our legs move when we think "move" and that our ears can process
the sounds we hear. It is only by His grace that the thousands and thousands
of blood vessels in our body, continue to carry blood safely to and from the
heart, without rupturing along the way.
We must take this opportunity
-- as tragically given as it is -- to turn back to God, for He is the only
true protector. No insurance policy could have protected those thousands of
that tragic moment came it was only a matter of them and God. It is only our
Divine Insurance Policy in whom we can have total trust. It is only the
Divine Insurance Policy who truly renders us safe and protected. Thus, let
us turn back to Him and realize that we are simply in His hands and that it
is only by His will and His grace that we continue to exist and to
The tragedy struck the top CEOs as quickly and mercilessly as
it struck the mail deliverers and window washers. It struck those living in
the posh suburbs of Long Island as ruthlessly as it struck those sharing
benefit to advanced degrees or good jobs. I always advise my youth to study
hard so they will succeed. However, it means that we must see these
achievements for what they can really give us -- comfort, ease and the
ability to perform up to our potential. However, they cannot provide us with
safety, security or immortality. It is only by turning to Him, by dedicating
our hearts and our lives to Him, regardless of our profession, that we are
truly safe and truly secure, not just our bodies, but our souls.
the big issue is whether America should go to war, whether and how we should
Will an "eye for an eye" make us a better world, or will it make us all
Whatever action the US government decides to take, I pray that it
peaceful future, action done after great thought and deliberation. I pray
violence perpetrated against New York and Washington, as well as the
innumerable acts of terrorism throughout history, are acts of ignorance and
hatred. They are acts of people who are trained to think of "us versus
color, religion and nationality. These are all veils of ignorance, veils of
and beneath banners of religion, nationality, color or creed. The solution
can only come by breaking these borders, by breaking these boundaries and by
continue to spread the messages of Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam, "The whole world is
all beings be happy. May all beings be healthy. May all see the divinity in
committed these horrendous acts.
prosperity, we never know when they can come crashing down. Therefore, why
gifts, to come together as sister and brother, to forgive and forget our
grievances and our grudges, and to join hands together in rebuilding the
towers. But let these new towers be not only towers of trade and towers of
wealth, but let them be towers of love, towers of unity, towers of
unprecedented heights, soaring toward the Divine, Infinite Abode of the
peace, and that those who are shattered, broken and bereaved by this tragedy
may find solace and serenity. Lastly, we pray for those who have committed
this atrocious act and for all those who have plans or desires to commit a
similar act -- we pray that God may bestow wisdom and compassion upon them,
so that they can see the folly of their ways and transform themselves. We
all the animals, all the plants and peace for every being in the universe.
Money
Is money's worth by how hard it is to earn or what it could buy? and naval : It’s how free it makes you feel.
how to get rich ... https://twitter.com/naval/status/1002103360646823936
[Money|http://thoughts.editthispage.com/stories/storyReader$77] is a special promise...In the simplest of markets you give something useful to the other person and you get something useful for yourself...
It can buy a House, But not a Home
It can buy a Bed, But not Sleep
It can buy a Clock, But not Time
It can buy you a Book, But not Knowledge
It can buy you a Position, But not Respect
It can buy you Medicine, But not Health
It can buy you Blood, But not Life
And it often causes pain and suffering.
and as your Friend I want to
take away your pain and suffering!
So send me all your money and I will suffer for you!
Seriously... read http://www.livejournal.com/users/kishore/day/2002/01/02 , [The Soul of Money|http://members.aol.com/thesoulhaven/money.htm] , http://www.bruderhof.com/us/Articles/Money.htm
http://www.tribeofheart.org/money.htm : "The longest line in the world is the line between the pocketbook and the heart."
slide show [Does money make you happy?|http://www.goodthink.com/writing/slideshows.cfm]
Meditation
[Interests] > Meditation
[Prayer] is our communication with God
Meditation is communication of God with us
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-11-tuning-brains-benefit-meditation.html
[Osho's Life: Osho explains Meditation|http://www.oshoturk.com/osho-life/05-17-meditaiton.htm] : .....The basic element running through all the methods of meditation is [witnessing].....
[Swami Sivananda] in [Goal of Life is God-Realisation|http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/messages/goal.htm] : ...There is no Knowledge without Meditation. The aspirant churns his own soul. Truth becomes manifest...Why do you read many books? It is of no use. The great book is within your heart. Open the pages of this inexhaustible book, the source of all knowledge...
J. Krishnamurti : Meditation is not a means to an end. It is both the means and the end.
Tishan : Meditation is being happy with yourself for no reason at all.
You are simply in love with yourself, in love with existence.
[Meditations By Gurani Anjali|http://www.santosha.com/dhyana/] : These essays are transcriptions of meditations given by Gurani Anjali at Yoga Anand Ashram
[Jorn Barger] in [An Internet way of self-knowledge|http://www.robotwisdom.com/weblogs/selfknowledge.html] : ...I think real meditation is about detecting self-deception...
[112 Tantra Meditations|http://www.iosho.com/TantraMeditation.html]
[Joe Loffredo] : [Some Thoughts on Meditation|http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Cyprus/5927/meditate.htm]
[Why Meditate?|http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/messages/whymed.htm]
[How to Meditate|http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/messages/howmed.htm]
[Peter Russell]'s [Three-Minute Meditation|http://www.peterussell.com/TV/3Min.html]
[The Art of Meditation|http://ts-adyar.org/magazine/the_theosophist/February_03/meditation.htm] : ...I have often wished we could see the astral and mental creatures we send out into the world. But it is perhaps merciful that we do not, for the sense of our responsibility might crush us...
http://reluctant-messenger.com/ : [How to Meditate|http://reluctant-messenger.com/meditation.htm]
[wellnessgoods.com :: Meditation|http://www.wellnessgoods.com/meditation.asp]
http://www.ananda.org/meditation/
procrastination
[kpaxs] at https://twitter.com/Kpaxs/status/997401715501621248
PROCRASTINATION: TEN WAYS TO "DO IT NOW"
We've all been plagued by procrastination at one time or another. For some, it's a chronic problem. Others find that it hits only some areas of their lives. The net results, though, are usually the same - wasted time, missed opportunities, poor performance, self-deprecation, or increased stress.
Procrastination is letting the low-priority tasks get in the way of high-priority ones. It's socializing with colleagues when you know that important work project is due soon, watching TV instead of doing your household chores, or talking about superficial things with your partner rather than discussing your relationship concerns.
We all seem to do fine with things we want to do or enjoy doing for fun. But, when we perceive tasks as difficult, inconvenient, or scary, we may shift into our procrastination mode. We have very clever ways of fooling ourselves. See how many of the following excuses hit home for you:
I'll wait until I'm in the mood to do it.
It's OK to celebrate ... besides, I'll start my diet (sobriety) tomorrow.
There's plenty of time to get it done.
Why does the boss give us so much to do? It's not fair.
It's too hard to talk about. I don't know where to begin.
I work better under pressure so I don't need to do it right now.
Once exposed, these self-defeating statements don't sound so convincing. But, when we privately tell ourselves these excuses, they seem quite believable. Don't be fooled by how innocent they sound. They get us to postpone important tasks and duties.
Procrastination is a bad habit. Like other habits, there are two general causes. The first is the "crooked thinking" we employ to justify our behavior. The second source is our behavioral patterns.
A closer look at our crooked thinking reveals three major issues in delaying tactics - perfectionism, inadequacy, and discomfort. Those who believe they must turn in the most exemplary report may wait until all available resources have been reviewed or endlessly rewrite draft after draft. Worry over producing the perfect project prevents them from finishing on time. Feelings of inadequacy can also cause delays. Those who "know for a fact" that they are incompetent often believe they will fail and will avoid the unpleasantness of having their skills put to the test. Fear of discomfort is another way of putting a stop to what needs to be done. Yet, the more we delay, the worse the discomforting problem (like a toothache) becomes.
Our behavioral patterns are the second cause. Getting started on an unpleasant or difficult task may seem impossible. Procrastination is likened to the physics concept of inertia - a mass at rest tends to stay at rest. Greater forces are required to start change than to sustain change. Another way of viewing it is that avoiding tasks reinforces procrastination which makes it harder to get things going. A person may be stuck, too, not by the lack of desire, but by not knowing what to do. Here are some things to break the habit. Remember, don't just read them, do them!
1. Rational Self-Talk. Those old excuses really don't hold up to rational inspection. The "two-column technique" will help. Write down all your excuses on one side of a piece of paper. Start challenging the faulty reasoning behind each of the excuses. Write down your realistic thoughts on the opposite side of each excuse. Here are two examples of excuses and realistic thoughts.
EXCUSE: I'm not in the mood right now. REALISTIC THOUGHT: Mood doesn't do my work, actions do. If I wait for the right mood, I may never get it done. EXCUSE::I'm just lazy. REALISTIC THOUGHT: Labeling myself as lazy only brings me down. My work is really separate from who I am as a person. Getting started is the key to finishing.
2. Positive Self-Statements. Incorporate a list of self-motivating statements into your repertoire of thoughts. Consider ...
"There's no such thing as perfectionism. It's an illusion that keeps me from
"It's cheaper and less painful if I do it now rather than wait until it gets worse."
3. Don't Catastrophe. Jumping to the conclusion that you will fail or that you are no good at something will only create a wall of fear that will stop you cold. Recognize that your negative predictions are not facts. Focus on the present and what positive steps you can take toward reaching your goals.
4. Design Clear Goals. Think about what you want and what needs to be done. Be specific. If it's getting that work project completed by the deadline, figure out a time table with realistic goals at each step. Keep your sights within reason. Having goals too big can scare you away from starting.
5. Set Priorities. Write down all the things that need to be done in order of their importance. The greater the importance or urgency, the higher their priority. Put "messing around" (distractions) in its proper place - last! Start at the top of the list and work your way down.
6. Partialize the Tasks. Big projects feel overwhelming. Break them down into the smallest and most manageable subparts. You'll get more done if you can do it piece by piece. For example, make an outline for a written report before you start composing or do a small portion of the chores rather than all at once. Partializing works especially well with the unpleasant jobs. Most of us can handle duties we dislike as long as they're for a short time and in small increments.
7. Get Organized. Have all your materials ready before you begin a task. Use a daily schedule and have it with you all the time. List the tasks of the day or week realistically. Check off the tasks when you have completed them.
8. Take a Stand. Commit yourself to doing the task. Write yourself a "contract" and sign it. Better still, tell a friend, partner, or supervisor about your plans.
9. Use Prompts. Write reminders to yourself and put them in conspicuous places like on the TV, refrigerator, bathroom mirror, front door, and car dashboard. The more we remember, the greater the likelihood we'll follow through with our plans.
10. Reward Yourself. Self-reinforcement has a powerful effect on developing a "do it now" attitude. Celebrate, pat yourself on the back, smile, and let yourself enjoy the completion of even the smallest of tasks. Don't minimize your accomplishments. Remember, you're already that much closer to finishing those things that need to be done. Go ahead, get started ... NOW!
This information was written by Kent T. Yamauchi, Ph.D.
A Source Book (Vol. 6) by P.A. Keller and S. R. Heyman
Joel Spolsky
Joel states in [Books|http://www.joelonsoftware.com/stories/storyReader$37] : I've always felt that you can learn a lot about a person by the books they read. I suspect that if you read all the books that I've read, you will come not only to understand me, but you'll start to think like me, too. To encourage everyone to think like me, this page will contain a few of the best books I've been reading lately. I read a lot of books, and only the top 10% are going to make it into this list.
[Painless Software Management|http://www.webword.com/interviews/spolsky.html] : An interview with Joel Spolsky, the wizard behind Joel on Software
James Pryor
[Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper|http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~jpryor/general/writing.html]
[Joel|http://www.joelonsoftware.com/2001/10/29]: His article Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper is one of the best tutorials on any kind of writing: - - - - - "Pretend that your reader is lazy, stupid, and mean. He's lazy in that he doesn't want to figure out what your convoluted sentences are supposed to mean, and he doesn't want to figure out what your argument is, if it's not already obvious. He's stupid, so you have to explain everything you say to him in simple, bite-sized pieces. And he's mean, so he's not going to read your paper charitably. (For example, if something you say admits of more than one interpretation, he's going to assume you meant the less plausible thing.)" - - - - - I can think of no better advice for the kind of writing that programmers should be doing in designing and documenting their code.
Weblog2001November
[Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance]
[Buddha] : Monks and scholars must not accept my words out of respect,
but must analyze them the way a goldsmith analyzes-gold by cutting,
(via [PaperQuote]) [Ralph Waldo Emerson] : Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God's handwriting.
[CityDesk] is [here|http://joel.editthispage.com/news/fog0000000311.html] ! Congrats !
Both Goals are accomplished very well... I installed Fink and later installed [Lynx]... Many websites look funny via Lynx
(via [Gleanings]) [The emergent new order|http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2001/11/28/emergence/index.html] : Feed magazine founder [Steven Johnson] explains how self-organizing systems are made to order for ants, cities, software and terrorists.
[Romy and Lisa]'s [Quotes and Poems|http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Prairie/7454/quotes.html]
A [Petition|http://www.PetitionOnline.com/CRYfor93/] : 93rd amendment - Making Education a Fundamental Right in India
(via [PaperQuote]) [Oliver Wendell Holmes] : What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
[Jutta Degener]'s Objective : To do spectacular and impossible things.
We went to [Salzburg] for the weekend. We will go again in Spring, Summer or Autumn and we have learnt some valuable lessons about Winter, Snow etc. !
[Eric Steven Raymond]'s [Writings|http://tuxedo.org/~esr/writings/]
[The Cathedral and the Bazaar] : ...Every good work of software starts by scratching a developer's personal itch...
[Mother Teresa] : The minute you begin to do what you want to do, it's really a different kind of life.
[Mira Art] : [Not being attached to anything....|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2001/11/22] : "...All in the world recognise the beautiful as beautiful. Herein lies ugliness..."
[Allen Downey]'s [How to Think Like a Computer Scientist]
(via [PaperQuote])[Albert Einstein] : The World is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything.
Today is [Sri Skanda Sashti] - [Kanta Shasti Vratam|http://murugan.org/research/senthilwerl2.htm]
A Question : IF it was only possible to browse 1 site in the future... What would it be ?
[Thomas Paine] in [The Age of Reason] : It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what one does not believe.
After reading [Andre Durand]'s [Global Consciousness 1.0|http://discuss.andredurand.com/stories/storyReader$187], I have an idea about combining this thought with [Quaker]ism... Why not we implement a system where members can raise 1 issue per day and only 1 a day, Every other member can post their opinion after careful thought and it would be possible to edit the opinion only a few times within the next 1/2 hour ! and That's it ! - I will try to refine it !
([via|http://doc.weblogs.com/2001/11/19#andBlogsNeedClay] [Doc Searls]) November 23rd is [Buy Nothing Day] , [Clay Shirky] needs a blog !
[John Taylor Gatto]'s [writing on the web|http://www.preservenet.com/theory/Gatto.html]
([via|http://owrede.khm.de/2001/11/15] [Oliver Wrede]) [Steve Hooker] : [Radio(Userland) and me|http://steveswar.warblogs.com/radioandme/]
A hypocrite is a person who professes beliefs and opinions that they do not hold
[Ralph Waldo Emerson] : "Shall I tell you the secret of the true scholar? It is this: Every man I meet is my master in some point, and in that I learn of him."
[Mother] : Always remember to love thy mother, because you only have one mother in your lifetime... I would replace mother with parents...
[Stephen Hawking] in [A Brief History of Time] : As we shall see, the concept of time has no meaning before the beginning of the universe. This was first pointed out by St. Augustine. When asked: What did God do before he created the universe? Augustine didn't reply: He was preparing Hell for people who asked such questions. Instead, he said that time was a property of the universe that God created, and that time did not exist before the beginning of the universe.
Once again, I have started reading [Bhagavad Gita] daily...
[http://www.carnatic.com/pictures/linkandthink.gif]
We went to [Dachau] today to visit the [Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site].
[http://philip.greenspun.com/photo/pcd0075/dachau-arbeit-56.1.jpg]
The sign of the gate is [Arbeit Macht Frei] (Work Brings Freedom)
Later we went to Munich and waited in the [Marienplatz|http://www.muenchen-tourist.de/deutsch/stadtinformationen/plaetze/marienplatz.htm] for the [Glockenspiel im Rathausturm|http://www.muenchen-tourist.de/englisch/stadtinformationen/plaetze/muenchen-stadtinformationen-sehenswuerdigkeiten-plaetze_e_m.htm]. But, in winter, it only happens once a day at 11AM !
Dinner at [Sausalitos|http://www.sausalitos.de/niederlassungen/muenchen_tal.shtml] Im Tal, [Munich]
[Madhu Menon] : [Conditional philanthropy - it stinks|http://madman.weblogs.com/2001/11/13]
[Joel Spolsky] : It's about time that I updated my crufty old list of recommended books. What books should I have up there? - [Vote for ONE Book|http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=934]
[Jeremy Stangroom] is the on-line editor for [The Philosopher's Magazine|http://www.philosophers.co.uk/]
[Kalpana Mohan] : I live in a place where a million dollars is loose change for most people. I live in a place where people lease Mercs while they await their Porsches. It's a place where every minuscule movement of the NASDAQ rumbles into a seismological event. A place where deals are made - to be broken when options vest...
Susan Dempsey (responsible for providing users with continued quality service from [HotLinks]) : ...Sadly, all good things must come to an end and this version will be subscription only...
[HotLinks] is going to charge for their service from 3rd December 2001... If they allow me to maintain 1 URL with multiple categories, I will consider paying for their service... Anyway, they have very nicely allowed me to export the content as a [html file|http://www.carnatic.com/2001/hotlinks.kishorebalakrishnan.2001nov14.htm] - Thanks a lot !
I sent an email to [Jonathan Abrams] several months ago and he prompty responded by stating that 'the request will be forwarded to Development' - Let us see...
[Viktor Frankl] : Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
[Free Alina Lebedeva|http://www.geocities.com/elsvenjo/FreeAlina.html] : ...This site is in support of Alina Lebedeva from Latvia. Alina is the schoolgirl who gave Prince Charles a slap in the face with  a bunch of flowers in protest over Britain's involvement in the war against Afghanistan. She is provisionally charged with endangering the life of foreign dignitary. If found guilty she could face up to 15 years in prison...
[George Orwell] : [Politics and the English Language]
[Sita Ram Goel] : [How I became a Hindu]
On the island of Kauai .
[Mira Art] [quotes|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2001/11/08] Mark Twain : Always do right. That will gratify some of the people, and astonish the rest.
[Prakash Sritharan]
[Dharini Sritharan]
[Richard Fritzson] [reacts|http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/200111/msg00189.html] to article [Study of Disputed Florida Ballots Finds Justices Did Not Cast the Deciding Vote|http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/200111/msg00183.html] by starting 'This is a pretty outrageous headline for this story.'
[Aajonus Vonderplanitz]
[This Diwali has lost its sparkle|http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=2125046482] : ...Sampoorna Kohli, weaving his way through the small lanes of the Central Market in Lajpat Nagar, sums it up succinctly: "There is uncertainty for everyone. Nobody is feeling particularly festive what with jobs on the line and businesses doing badly. The light has already gone out of this Diwali."...
[Eric Margolis] : [ANTHRAX AND ABDUL HAQ: WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND|http://www.bigeye.com/foreignc.htm]
[Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi] : [50 Divine Thoughts]
[We] and [Chandramouli Mahadevan] went to [Linderhof] today
[http://static.userland.com/weblogsCom/images/86400weblogscom/flower002.gif]
[Swami Sivananda] : From [ABANDON BODY-CONSCIOUSNESS|http://www.dlsmd.org/sdr/11-sdr%20nov/1109.htm] : ...This body which is full of impurities, urine, pus and faecal matter etc., is perishable. It is like froth or bubble or mirage. It is despised by its enemies. It remains like a useless log of wood on the ground when prana (life) leaves it. It is the cause of pain and suffering. It is your enemy. You should treat this body with contempt, as dung. Why should you cling to it and worship it with scents, powders and flowers? Do not be silly and foolish in adorning it with fine silks and ornaments. It is dire ignorance only...
[Alwin Hawkins] : [New tag line|http://www.vfth.com/2001/11/10] and the cornerstone of a new ethic for me. : ''Work, Don't Whine''
[Doug Baron]: "I'm part of the Userland team now."
[MIT Sloan Management Review]
[Joel Snyder] ( commenting on an article about Bin Laden's family members leaving the USA : ...This whole article is offensive and the worst sort of journalistic sensationalism...
Fast Company's [Who's Fast 2002|http://www.fastcompany.com/online/52/wf_intro.html] : ...Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Our fourth-annual Who's Fast issue arrives at a time when our feelings about work, life, business, and purpose need thoughtful recalibration...
[Doc Searls] is [Diggin'|http://doc.weblogs.com/2001/11/09#digginDurand] [Andre Durand]
[Bhagavad Gita]
think that's bad advice."
via [Susan A. Kitchens] : [Laid-Off|http://www.oddtodd.com/]
[via|http://jim.roepcke.com/2001/10/31#item3142] [Jim Roepcke] : [Seth Dillingham] : [Knowledge Management, Meta Data, and the Organization|http://www.truerwords.net/1241]
Try this : add [mama_pendse] to your Yahoo Messenger and send message 'help'
[Mira Art|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2001/11/01] : ...I never liked it, feeling the hypocrisy...
[Chandramouli Mahadevan] is in Germany. Welcome back !
I hurt myself yesterday while playing badminton... Nothing Serious... But I am thinking about [Relative and Absolute Happiness] and about people who are handicapped
[Two unpublished letters|http://www.vedantaofboston.org/Vivekananda/newSVLetters.asp] of [Swami Vivekananda]
[Intuition]
In [You already know what to do] : ...In the early nineteenth century, when writer [Samuel Taylor Coleridge] awoke with the "distinct recollection of the whole" of "Kubla Khan", he demonstrated the effectiveness of intuition... When business man [Jagdish Parikh] speaks of creating a "synthesis...beyond selfishness and selflessness, beyond collectiveness and competitiveness, to a cooperativeness based on selfness," he is calling on intuition...
Intuition
[Interests] > Intuition
* 2003 May 24 : The Magick Path of [Tantra] : the Nath Tantriks value the development of the three super-psychic faculties: [insight], intuition, [imagination]
* 2001 November 01 : "Curiousity and Intention are the only requirements" states [Sharon Franquemont] in [You already know what to do]
!Definitions
* the immediate knowing or learning of something without the conscious use of reasoning; instantaneous apperception
* Walter Russell : Intuition is the language of light through which men and God "intercommunicate"
* Spinoza : Intuition is the superior way of knowing ultimate truth without the use of prior knowledge or reason
* To separate authentic intuition from projections and wishful thinking
Obstacles to Happiness
What I'm about to say will sound a bit pompous, but it's true. What is
grasp this, you'd hit upon the secret of awakening. You would be happy
to hurt you again. I mean that, nothing. It's like when you throw black
way and that way, letting events or other people tell you how to feel. So
you proceed to feel it and you call it being vulnerable. Ha! I call it
being a puppet. So you want to be a puppet? Press a button and you're
down; do you like that? But if you refuse to identify with any of those
Later we'll talk about fear of disease and death, but ordinarily you're
businessman, fifty-five years old, is sipping beer at a bar somewhere and
he's saying, "Well, look at my classmates, they've really made it." The
idiot! What does he mean, "They made it"? They've got their names in the
newspaper. Do you call that making it? One is president of the
Who determines what it means to be a success? This stupid society! The
main preoccupation of society is to keep society sick! And the sooner you
they're crazy. You became president of the lunatic asylum and you're proud of it even though it means nothing. Being president of a corporation has
nothing to do with being a success in life. Having a lot of money has
nothing to do with being a success in life. You're a success in life when
you wake up! Then you don't have to apologize to anyone, you don't have to explain anything to anyone, you don't give a damn what anybody thinks about you or what anybody says about you. You have no worries; you're
famous or having a great reputation has absolutely nothing to do with
happiness or success. Nothing! It is totally irrelevant. All he's really worried about is what his children will think about him, what the neighbors will think about him, what his wife will think about him. He should have
become famous. Our society and culture drill that into our heads day and
night. People who made it! Made what?! Made asses of
was worthless. They're frightened and confused, they are puppets like the
are constantly tense and anxious. Do you call that human? And do you know why that happens? Only one reason: They identified with some label. They
identified the "I" with their money or their job or their profession. That was their error.
Did you hear about the lawyer who was presented with a plumber's bill? He
didn't make that kind of money when I was a lawyer either!" You could be a plumber or a lawyer or a business man or a priest, but that does not affect the essential "I." It doesn't affect you. If I change my profession
tomorrow, it's just like changing my clothes. I am untouched. Are you
identifying with them. They come and go.
When you really understand this, no criticism can affect you. No flattery
or praise can affect you either. When someone says, "You're a great guy,"
"I." "I" is neither great nor small. "I" is neither successful nor a
failure. It is none of these labels. These things come and go. These
things depend on the criteria society establishes. These things depend on
your conditioning. These things depend on the mood of the person who
happens to be talking to you right now. It has nothing to do with
it for years! The conditioned self -- what did you expect? I've known it
for years. Why do you identify with him? Silly! That isn't "I," that's
happiness. You say to the awakened person, "Why are you happy?" and the
Happiness is our natural state. Happiness is the natural state of little
children, to whom the kingdom belongs until they have been polluted and
contaminated by the stupidity of society and culture. To acquire happiness you don't have to do anything, because happiness cannot be acquired. Does
anybody know why? Because we have it already. How can you acquire what
you already have? Then why don't you experience it? Because you've got to drop something. You've got to drop illusions. You don't have to add
anything in order to be happy; you've got to drop something. Life is easy, life is delightful. It's only hard on your illusions, your ambitions, your greed, your cravings.
having identified with all kinds of labels!
Who am i?
"Who am I?" is the title given to a set of questions and answers bearing on Self-enquiry. The questions were put to Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi by one Sri M. Sivaprakasam Pillai about the year 1902. Sri Pillai, a graduate in Philosophy, was at the time employed in the Revenue Department of the South Arcot Collectorate. During his visit to Tiruvannamalai in 1902 on official work, he went to Virupaksha Cave on Arunachala Hill and met the Master there. He sought from him spiritual guidance, and solicited answers to questions relating to Self-enquiry. As Bhagavan was not talking then, not because of any vow he had taken, but because he did not have the inclination to talk, he answered the questions put to him by gestures, and when these were not understood, by writing. As recollected and recorded by Sri Sivaprakasam Pillai, there were fourteen questions with answers to them given by Bhagavan. This record was first published by Sri Pillai in 1923, along with a couple of poems composed by himself relating how Bhagavan's grace operated in his case by dispelling his doubts and by saving him from a crisis in life. 'Who am I?' has been published several times subsequently. We find thirty questions and answers in some editions and twenty-eight in others. There is also another published version in which the questions are not given, and the teachings are rearranged in the form of an essay. The extant English translation is of this essay. The present rendering is of the text in the form of twenty-eight questions and answers.
Along with Vicharasangraham (Self-Enquiry), Nan Yar (Who am I?) constitutes the first set of instructions in the Master's own words. These two are the only prosepieces among Bhagavan's Works. They clearly set forth the central teaching that the direct path to liberation is Self-enquiry. The particular mode in which the enquiry is to be made is lucidly set forth in Nan Yar. The mind consists of thoughts. The 'I' thought is the first to arise in the mind. When the enquiry ' Who am I?' is persistently pursued, all other thoughts get destroyed, and finally the 'I' thought itself vanishes leaving the supreme non-dual Self alone. The false identification of the Self with the phenomena of non-self such as the body and mind thus ends, and there is illumination, Sakshatkara. The process of enquiry of course, is not an easy one. As one enquires 'Who am I?', other thoughts will arise; but as these arise, one should not yield to them by following them , on the contrary, one should ask 'To whom do they arise ?' In order to do this, one has to be extremely vigilant. Through constant enquiry one should make the mind stay in its source, without allowing it to wander away and get lost in the mazes of thought created by itself. All other disciplines such as breath-control and meditation on the forms of God should be regarded as auxiliary practices. They are useful in so far as they help the mind to become quiescent and one-pointed.
For the mind that has gained skill in concentration, Self-enquiry becomes comparatively easy. It is by ceaseless enquiry that the thoughts are destroyed and the Self realized - the plenary Reality in which there is not even the 'I' thought, the experience which is referred to as "Silence".
University of Madras
As all living beings desire to be happy always, without misery, as in the case of everyone there is observed supreme love for one's self, and as happiness alone is the cause for love, in order to gain that happiness which is one's nature and which is experienced in the state of deep sleep where there is no mind, one should know one's self. For that, the path of knowledge, the inquiry of the form "Who am I?", is the principal means.
The gross body which is composed of the seven humours (dhatus), I am not; the five cognitive sense organs, viz. the senses of hearing, touch, sight, taste, and smell, which apprehend their respective objects, viz. sound, touch, colour, taste, and odour, I am not; the five cognitive sense-organs, viz. the organs of speech, locomotion, grasping, excretion, and procreation, which have as their respective functions speaking, moving, grasping, excreting, and enjoying, I am not; the five vital airs, prana, etc., which perform respectively the five functions of in-breathing, etc., I am not; even the mind which thinks, I am not; the nescience too, which is endowed only with the residual impressions of objects, and in which there are no objects and no functioning's, I am not.
The seer and the object seen are like the rope and the snake. Just as the knowledge of the rope which is the substrate will not arise unless the false knowledge of the illusory serpent goes, so the realization of the Self which is the substrate will not be gained unless the belief that the world is real is removed.
When the mind, which is the cause of all cognition's and of all actions, becomes quiescent, the world will disappear.
What is called 'mind' is a wondrous power residing in the Self. It causes all thoughts to arise. Apart from thoughts, there is no such thing as mind. Therefore, thought is the nature of mind. Apart from thoughts, there is no independent entity called the world. In deep sleep there are no thoughts, and there is no world. In the states of waking and dream, there are thoughts, and there is a world also. Just as the spider emits the thread (of the web) out of itself and again withdraws it into itself, likewise the mind projects the world out of itself and again resolves it into itself. When the mind comes out of the Self, the world appears. Therefore, when the world appears (to be real), the Self does not appear; and when the Self appears (shines) the world does not appear. When one persistently inquires into the nature of the mind, the mind will end leaving the Self (as the residue). What is referred to as the Self is the Atman. The mind always exists only in dependence on something gross; it cannot stay alone. It is the mind that is called the subtle body or the soul (jiva).
9. What is the path of inquiry for understanding the nature of the mind?
That which rises as 'I' in this body is the mind. If one inquires as to where in the body the thought 'I' rises first, one would discover that it rises in the heart. That is the place of the mind's origin. Even if one thinks constantly 'I' 'I', one will be led to that place. Of all the thoughts that arise in the mind, the 'I' thought is the first. It is only after the rise of this that the other thoughts arise. It is after the appearance of the first personal pronoun that the second and third personal pronouns appear; without the first personal pronoun there will not be the second and third.
By the inquiry 'Who am I?'. The thought 'who am I?' will destroy all other thoughts, and like the stick used for stirring the burning pyre, it will itself in the end get destroyed. Then, there will arise Self-realization.
When other thoughts arise, one should not pursue them, but should inquire: 'To whom do they arise?' It does not matter how many thoughts arise. As each thought arises, one should inquire with diligence, "To whom has this thought arisen?". The answer that would emerge would be "To me". Thereupon if one inquires "Who am I?", the mind will go back to its source; and the thought that arose will become quiescent. With repeated practice in this manner, the mind will develop the skill to stay in its source. When the mind that is subtle goes out through the brain and the sense-organs, the gross names and forms appear; when it stays in the heart, the names and forms disappear. Not letting the mind go out, but retaining it in the Heart is what is called "inwardness" (antar-mukha). Letting the mind go out of the Heart is known as "externalisation" (bahir-mukha). Thus, when the mind stays in the Heart, the 'I' which is the source of all thoughts will go, and the Self which ever exists will shine. Whatever one does, one should do without the egoity "I". If one acts in that way, all will appear as of the nature of Siva (God).
Other than inquiry, there are no adequate means. If through other means it is sought to control the mind, the mind will appear to be controlled, but will again go forth. Through the control of breath also, the mind will become quiescent; but it will be quiescent only so long as the breath remains controlled, and when the breath resumes the mind also will again start moving and will wander as impelled by residual impressions. The source is the same for both mind and breath. Thought, indeed, is the nature of the mind. The thought "I" is the first thought of the mind; and that is egoity. It is from that whence egoity originates that breath also originates. Therefore, when the mind becomes quiescent, the breath is controlled, and when the breath is controlled the mind becomes quiescent. But in deep sleep, although the mind becomes quiescent, the breath does not stop. This is because of the will of God, so that the body may be preserved and other people may not be under the impression that it is dead. In the state of waking and in samadhi, when the mind becomes quiescent the breath is controlled. Breath is the gross form of mind. Till the time of death, the mind keeps breath in the body; and when the body dies the mind takes the breath along with it. Therefore, the exercise of breath-control is only an aid for rendering the mind quiescent (manonigraha); it will not destroy the mind (manonasa).
Like the practice of breath-control. meditation on the forms of God, repetition of mantras, restriction on food, etc., are but aids for rendering the mind quiescent.
Through meditation on the forms of God and through repetition of mantras, the mind becomes one-pointed. The mind will always be wandering. Just as when a chain is given to an elephant to hold in its trunk it will go along grasping the chain and nothing else, so also when the mind is occupied with a name or form it will grasp that alone. When the mind expands in the form of countless thoughts, each thought becomes weak; but as thoughts get resolved the mind becomes one-pointed and strong; for such a mind Self-inquiry will become easy. Of all the restrictive rules, that relating to the taking of sattvic food in moderate quantities is the best; by observing this rule, the sattvic quality of mind will increase, and that will be helpful to Self-inquiry.
As the meditation on the Self rises higher and higher, the thoughts will get destroyed.
14. Is it possible for the residual impressions of objects that come from beginningless time, as it were, to be resolved, and for one to remain as the pure Self?
Without yielding to the doubt "Is it possible, or not?", one should persistently hold on to the meditation on the Self. Even if one be a great sinner, one should not worry and weep "O! I am a sinner, how can I be saved?"; one should completely renounce the thought "I am a sinner"; and concentrate keenly on meditation on the Self; then, one would surely succeed. There are not two minds - one good and the other evil; the mind is only one. It is the residual impressions that are of two kinds - auspicious and inauspicious. When the mind is under the influence of auspicious impressions it is called good; and when it is under the influence of inauspicious impressions it is regarded as evil.
The mind should not be allowed to wander towards worldly objects and what concerns other people. However bad other people may be, one should bear no hatred for them. Both desire and hatred should be eschewed. All that one gives to others one gives to one's self. If this truth is understood who will not give to others? When one's self arises all arises; when one's self becomes quiescent all becomes quiescent. To the extent we behave with humility, to that extent there will result good. If the mind is rendered quiescent, one may live anywhere.
As long as there are impressions of objects in the mind, so long the inquiry "Who am I?" is required. As thoughts arise they should be destroyed then and there in the very place of their origin, through inquiry. If one resorts to contemplation of the Self unintermittently, until the Self is gained, that alone would do. As long as there are enemies within the fortress, they will continue to sally forth; if they are destroyed as they emerge, the fortress will fall into our hands.
What exists in truth is the Self alone. The world, the individual soul, and God are appearances in it. like silver in mother-of-pearl, these three appear at the same time, and disappear at the same time. The Self is that where there is absolutely no "I" thought. That is called "Silence". The Self itself is the world; the Self itself is "I"; the Self itself is God; all is Siva, the Self.
Without desire, resolve, or effort, the sun rises; and in its mere presence, the sun-stone emits fire, the lotus blooms, water evaporates; people perform their various functions and then rest. Just as in the presence of the magnet the needle moves, it is by virtue of the mere presence of God that the souls governed by the three (cosmic) functions or the fivefold divine activity perform their actions and then rest, in accordance with their respective karmas. God has no resolve; no karma attaches itself to Him. That is like worldly actions not affecting the sun, or like the merits and demerits of the other four elements not affecting all pervading space.
He who gives himself up to the Self that is God is the most excellent devotee. Giving one's self up to God means remaining constantly in the Self without giving room for the rise of any thoughts other than that of the Self. Whatever burdens are thrown on God, He bears them. Since the supreme power of God makes all things move, why should we, without submitting ourselves to it, constantly worry ourselves with thoughts as to what should be done and how, and what should not be done and how not? We know that the train carries all loads, so after getting on it why should we carry our small luggage on our head to our discomfort, instead of putting it down in the train and feeling at ease?
As thoughts arise, destroying them utterly without any residue in the very place of their origin is non-attachment. Just as the pearl-diver ties a stone to his waist, sinks to the bottom of the sea and there takes the pearls, so each one of us should be endowed with non-attachment, dive within oneself and obtain the Self-Pearl.
20. Is it not possible for God and the Guru to effect the release of a soul?
God and the Guru will only show the way to release; they will not by themselves take the soul to the state of release. In truth, God and the Guru are not different. Just as the prey which has fallen into the jaws of a tiger has no escape, so those who have come within the ambit of the Guru's gracious look will be saved by the Guru and will not get lost; yet, each one should by his own effort pursue the path shown by God or Guru and gain release. One can know oneself only with one's own eye of knowledge, and not with somebody else's. Does he who is Rama require the help of a mirror to know that he is Rama?
21. Is it necessary for one who longs for release to inquire into the nature of categories (tattvas)?
Just as one who wants to throw away garbage has no need to analyse it and see what it is, so one who wants to know the Self has no need to count the number of categories or inquire into their characteristics; what he has to do is to reject altogether the categories that hide the Self. The world should be considered like a dream.
22. Is there no difference between waking and dream?
Waking is long and a dream short; other than this there is no difference. Just as waking happenings seem real while awake. so do those in a dream while dreaming. In dream the mind takes on another body. In both waking and dream states thoughts. names and forms occur simultaneously.
23. Is it any use reading books for those who long for release?
All the texts say that in order to gain release one should render the mind quiescent; therefore their conclusive teaching is that the mind should be rendered quiescent; once this has been understood there is no need for endless reading. In order to quieten the mind one has only to inquire within oneself what one's Self is; how could this search be done in books? One should know one's Self with one's own eye of wisdom. The Self is within the five sheaths; but books are outside them. Since the Self has to be inquired into by discarding the five sheaths, it is futile to search for it in books. There will come a time when one will have to forget all that one has learned.
Happiness is the very nature of the Self; happiness and the Self are not different. There is no happiness in any object of the world. We imagine through our ignorance that we derive happiness from objects. When the mind goes out, it experiences misery. In truth, when its desires are fulfilled, it returns to its own place and enjoys the happiness that is the Self. Similarly, in the states of sleep, samadhi and fainting, and when the object desired is obtained or the object disliked is removed, the mind becomes inward-turned, and enjoys pure Self-Happiness. Thus the mind moves without rest alternately going out of the Self and returning to it. Under the tree the shade is pleasant; out in the open the heat is scorching. A person who has been going about in the sun feels cool when he reaches the shade. Someone who keeps on going from the shade into the sun and then back into the shade is a fool. A wise man stays permanently in the shade. Similarly, the mind of the one who knows the truth does not leave Brahman. The mind of the ignorant, on the contrary, revolves in the world, feeling miserable, and for a little time returns to Brahman to experience happiness. In fact, what is called the world is only thought. When the world disappears, i.e. when there is no thought, the mind experiences happiness; and when the world appears, it goes through misery.
Remaining quiet is what is called wisdom-insight. To remain quiet is to resolve the mind in the Self. Telepathy, knowing past, present and future happenings and clairvoyance do not constitute wisdom-insight.
26. What is the relation between desirelessness and wisdom?
27. What is the difference between inquiry and meditation?
Inquiry consists in retaining the mind in the Self. Meditation consists in thinking that one's self is Brahman, existence-consciousness-bliss.
Inquiring into the nature of one's self that is in bondage, and realising one's true nature is release.
Read It and Think It
[Jokes] > Read It and Think It
Questions:- 1. A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires,The second is full of assassins with loaded guns,and the third is full of lions that haven't eaten in 3years. Which room is safest for him.
2. A woman shoots her husband. Then she holds him under water for
over 5 minutes. Finally, she hangs him. But 5 minutes later they both go out together and enjoy a wonderful dinner together. How can this be?
said, "that's nothing, I can stay under water for 10 minutes using no types of equipment or air pockets!" The magician told the kid if he could do that, he'd give him $10,000. The kid did it and won the money. Can you figure out how?
4. There are two plastic jugs filled with water. How could you put all of this water into a barrel, without using the jugs or any dividers, and still tell which water came from which jug?
5. What is black when you buy it, red when you use it, and gray when you throw it away?
6. Can you name three consecutive days without using the words
7. This is an unusual paragraph. I'm curious how quickly you can find out what is so unusual about it? It looks so plain you would think nothing was wrong with it! In fact, nothing is wrong with it! It is unusual though. Study it, and think about it, but you still may not find anything odd. But if you work at it a bit, you might find out! Try to do so without any coaching!
2. The woman was a photographer. She shot a picture of her husband, developed it, and hung it up to dry.
3. The kid filled a glass of water & held it over his head for 10 minutes.
4. Freeze them first. Take them out of the jugs and put the ice in the barrel. You will be able to tell which water came from which jug.
6. Sure you can: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow!
Only a Ripe Fruit Falls
[Articles] > Only a Ripe Fruit Falls
Question: Beloved Osho, I feel that through developing an attitude of endurance towards difficulties, I have become resigned to much of life. This resignation feels like a weight pushing against my effort to become more alive in meditation. Does this mean that I have suppressed my ego, and that I must find it again before I can really lose it?
Osho: One of the greatest problems...it will appear very paradoxical, but this is true: before you can lose your ego, you must attain it. Only a ripe fruit falls to the ground.
Ripeness is all. An unripe ego cannot be thrown, cannot be destroyed. And if you struggle with an unripe ego to destroy and dissolve it, the whole effort is going to be a failure. Rather than destroying it, you will find it more strengthened in new subtle ways.
This is something basic to be understood: the ego must come to a peak, it must be strong, it must have attained an integrity -- only then can you dissolve it. A weak ego cannot be dissolved. And this becomes a problem.
In the East, all the religions preach egolessness. So in the East, everybody is against the ego from the very beginning. Because of this anti-attitude, ego never becomes strong, never comes to a point of integration from where it can be thrown. It is never ripe. So in the East it is very difficult to dissolve the ego, almost impossible.
In the West, the whole Western tradition of religion and psychology propounds, preaches, persuades people, to have strong egos -- because unless you have a strong ego, how can you survive? Life is a struggle; if you are egoless, you will be destroyed. Then who will resist? Who will fight? Who will compete? And life is a continuous competition. Western psychology says: Attain to the ego, be strong in it.
But in the West it is very easy to dissolve the ego. So whenever a Western seeker reaches to an understanding that ego is the problem, he can easily dissolve it, more easily than any Eastern seeker.
This is the paradox: in the West ego is taught; in the East egolessness is taught. But in the West it is easy to dissolve the ego; in the East it is very difficult.
This is going to be a hard task for you, first to attain and then to lose -- because you can lose only something which you possess. If you don't possess it, how can you lose it?
You can be poor only if you are rich. If you are not rich your poverty cannot have that beauty which Jesus goes on preaching: Be poor in spirit. Your poverty cannot have that significance which Gautam Buddha has when he becomes a beggar.
Only a rich man can become poor, because you can lose only that which you have. If you have never been rich, how can you be poor? Your poverty will be just on the surface; it can never be in the spirit. On the surface you will be poor, and deep down you will be hankering after riches. Your spirit will hanker towards riches, it will be an ambition, it will be a constant desire to attain riches. Only on the surface will you be poor. And you may even console yourself by saying that poverty is good.
But you cannot be poor -- only a rich man, a really rich man, can be poor. Just to have riches is not enough to be really rich. You may still be poor. If the ambition is still there, you are poor.
What you have is not the point. If you have enough then the desire disappears. When you have enough riches, the desire disappears. Disappearance of the desire is the criterion of enoughness. Then you are rich -- you can drop it, you can become poor, you can become a beggar like Buddha. And then your poverty is rich; then your poverty has a kingdom of its own.
And the same happens with everything. Upanishads or Lao Tzu or Jesus or Buddha -- they all teach that knowledge is useless. Just getting more and more knowledgeable is not much help. Not only is it not much help, it can become a barrier.
Knowledge is not needed, but that doesn't mean you should remain ignorant. Your ignorance will not be real. When you have gathered enough knowledge and you throw it, then ignorance is attained. Then you really become ignorant -- like Socrates who can say: I know only one thing, that I don't know anything.
This knowledge, or this ignorance -- you can call it whatever you like -- is totally different, the quality is different, the dimension has changed.
If you are simply ignorant because you never attained to any knowledge, your ignorance cannot be wise, it cannot be wisdom -- it is simply absence of knowledge. And the hankering will be inside: How to gain more knowledge? How to gain more information?
When you know too much -- you have known the scriptures, you have known the past, the tradition, you have known all that can be known -- then suddenly you become aware of the futility of it all, suddenly you become aware that this is not knowledge. This is borrowed! This is not your own existential experience, this is not what you have come to know. Others may have known it, you have simply gathered it. Your gathering is mechanical. It has not arisen out of you, it is not a growth. It is just rubbish gathered from other doors, borrowed, dead.
Remember, knowing is alive only when you know, when it is your immediate, direct experience. But when you know from others it is just memory, not knowledge. Memory is dead.
When you gather much -- the riches of knowledge, scriptures, all around you, libraries condensed in your mind, and suddenly you become aware that you are just carrying the burden of others, nothing belongs to you, you have not known -- then you can drop it, you can drop all this knowledge. In that dropping a new type of ignorance arises within you. This ignorance is not the ignorance of the ignorant, this is how a wise man is, how wisdom is.
Only a wise man can say: I don't know. But in saying: I don't know, he is not hankering after knowledge, he is simply stating a fact. And when you can say with your total heart: I don't know, in that very moment your eyes become open, the doors of knowing are open. In that very moment when you can say with your totality; I don't know, you have become capable of knowledge.
This ignorance is beautiful, but it is attained through knowledge. It is poverty attained through richness. And the same happens with ego -- you can lose it if you have it.
When Buddha comes down from his throne, becomes a beggar...what is the necessity for Buddha? He was a king, enthroned, at the peak of his ego -- why this extreme, moving down from his palace to the streets, becoming a beggar? But Buddha has a beauty in his begging. The earth has never known such a beautiful beggar, such a rich beggar, such a kingly beggar, such an emperor.
What happened when he stepped down from his throne? He stepped down from his ego. Thrones are nothing but symbols, symbols of the ego, of power, prestige, status. He stepped down and then egolessness happened.
This egolessness is not humbleness; this egolessness is not humility. You may find many humble people, but under their humility, subtle egos are functioning.
It is said that once Diogenes came to visit Socrates. He lived like a beggar; he always wore dirty clothes with many patches and holes. Even if you presented him with a new dress, he would not use it -- first he would make it dirty, old, torn, and then he would use it.
He came to visit Socrates, and he started talking about egolessness. But Socrates' penetrating eyes must have come to realize that this man was not an egoless man. The way he was talking about humility was very egoistic.
Socrates is reported to have said: Through your dirty clothes, through the holes in your clothes, I cannot see anything else but the ego. You talk of humility, but that talk comes from a deep centre of the ego.
This will happen, this is how hypocrisy happens. You have the ego, you hide it through the opposite; you become humble on the surface. This surface humbleness cannot deceive anyone. It may deceive you, but it cannot deceive anyone else. From the holes of the dirty dresses, your ego goes on peeping. It is always there. This is a self-deception and nothing more. Nobody else is deceived. This happens if you start throwing the unripe ego.
What I teach will look contradictory, but it is true to life. Contradiction is inherent in life. I teach you to be egoists so that you can become egoless. I teach you to be perfect egoists. Don't hide it, otherwise hypocrisy will be born. And don't struggle with the unripe phenomenon. Let it ripen -- and help it. Bring it to a peak!
Don't be afraid -- there is nothing to be afraid of. This is how you will come to realize the agony of the ego. When it comes to its peak, then you will not need a Buddha or me to tell you that the ego is hell. You will know it, because the peak of the ego will be the peak of your hellish experiences, it will be a nightmare. And then there is no need for anybody to tell you: Drop it! It will be difficult to carry it on.
One reaches to knowledge only through suffering. You cannot throw anything just by logical argument. You can throw something only when it has become so painful that it cannot be carried any further. Your ego has not become that painful yet -- hence you carry it. It is natural! I cannot persuade you to drop it. Even if you feel persuaded, you will hide it -- that's all.
Nothing unripe can be thrown. Unripe fruit clings to the tree and the tree clings to the unripe fruit. If you force it to separate, a wound is left behind. That scar will continue, the wound will always remain green and you will always feel hurt.
Remember, everything has a time to grow, to be ripe, to fall down into the earth and dissolve. Your ego also has a time. It needs maturity.
So don't be afraid of being egoists. You ARE, otherwise you would have disappeared long ago. This is the mechanism of life: you have to be egoists, you have to fight your way, you have to fight with so many millions of desires around you, you have to struggle, you have to survive.
Ego is a survival measure. If a child is born without the ego, he will die. He cannot survive, it is impossible, because if he feels hunger he will not feel: I am hungry. He will feel there is hunger, but not related to him. The moment hunger is felt, the child feels: I am hungry, he starts crying and making efforts to be fed. The child grows through the growth of his ego.
So to me, ego is part of natural growth. But that doesn't mean that you have to remain with it forever. It is a natural growth, and then there is a second step when it has to be dropped. That too is natural. But the second step can be taken only when the first has come to its crescendo, its climax, when the first has reached its peak. So I teach both -- I teach egoness and I teach egolessness.
First be egoists, perfect egoists, absolute egoists, as if the whole of existence exists for you and you are the center; all the stars revolve around you and the sun rises for you; everything exists for you, just to help you to be here. Be the center, and don't be afraid, because if you are afraid then you will never be ripe. Accept it! It is part of growth. Enjoy it and bring it to a peak.
When it comes to a peak, suddenly you will become aware that you are not the center. This has been a fallacy, this has been a childish attitude. But you were a child, so nothing is wrong in it. Now you have become mature, and now you see that you are not the center.
Really, when you see that you are not the center, you also see there is NO center in existence or everywhere is the center. Either there is no center and existence exists as a totality, a wholeness without any center as a control point or every single atom is a center.
Jakob Boehme has said that the whole world is filled with centers, every atom is a center, and there is no circumference -- centers everywhere and circumference nowhere.
These two are the possibilities. Both mean the same; only the wording is different and contradictory. But first become a center.
It is like this: you are in a dream; if the dream comes to a peak, it will be broken. Always it happens -- whenever a dream comes to a climax, it is broken. And what is the climax of a dream? The climax of a dream is the feeling that this is real. You feel this is real, not a dream, and you go on and on and on and on to a higher peak and the dream becomes ALMOST real. It can never become real; it becomes almost real. It comes so close to reality that now you cannot go further, because one step more and the dream will become real -- and it cannot become real because it is a dream! When it comes so close to reality, sleep is broken, the dream is shattered, you are fully awake.
The same happens with all types of fallacies. Ego is the greatest dream. It has its beauty, its agony. It has its ecstasy, its agony. It has its heavens and hells, both are there. Dreams sometimes are beautiful and sometimes nightmares, but both are dreams.
Ego will drop. It can drop of its own accord also. If you simply allow it to grow and help it to grow, there will be NO need to drop it.
This is very deep. If YOU drop it, ego has remained inside. WHO will drop it? If you think YOU will drop it, YOU are the ego -- so whatsoever you drop will not be the real thing. The real thing will be preserved and you will have thrown something else.
You cannot make yourself egoless. Who will do it? It happens, it is not a doing. You grow into ego and a point comes when the whole thing becomes so hellish that the dream is broken. Suddenly you see the goose is out -- it has never been in the bottle.
You have never been an ego. It was just a dream around you. A necessary dream, I say, so I don't condemn it, a necessary part of growth.
In life everything is necessary. Nothing is unnecessary, nothing can be unnecessary. Whatsoever has happened had to happen. Whatsoever is happening is happening because of certain deep causes. You need it so you can remain in the fallacy. It is just a cocoon that helps you, protects you, helps you to survive. One need not be in the cocoon forever. When you are ready, break the cocoon, come out.
The ego is the shell of the egg, it protects you. But when you are ready, break the shell, come out of the egg. The ego is the shell.
But wait. Hurry will not be of much help; haste will not help -- it may hinder. Allow time, and don't condemn it, because who will condemn it?
Go to the so-called saints -- they talk of humbleness, humility -- and look into their eyes: you will not find such refined egos anywhere else. Now their egos have taken the garb of religion, Yoga, sainthood, but the ego is there. They may not be collecting riches, they may be collecting followers; the coins have changed and they go on counting how many followers....
They may not be after the things of this world, they are after the things of that world, but this or that, both are worlds. And they may be even more greedy, because they say these temporary things, momentary things of this world, consist of momentary pleasures -- and they want eternal pleasures. Their greed is supreme. They cannot be satisfied by momentary pleasures. They want eternal pleasures. Unless something is eternal they are not gratified. Their greed is deep, their greed is absolute and greed belongs to the ego. Greed is the hunger of the ego.
So it happens sometimes that saints are more egoistic than sinners, and then they are far away from the divine. And sometimes sinners can attain to the god more easily than those so-called saints, because ego is the barrier.
This has been my experience that sinners can drop their egos more easily than saints, because sinners have never been against the ego. They have been feeding it, they have been enjoying it, they have lived with it totally. And saints have always been fighting the ego, so they never allowed it to become ripe.
So this is my attitude: ego HAS to be dropped, but it may take a long waiting; and you can drop it only if you cultivate it.
This is the arduousness of the whole phenomenon, because the mind says: If we have to drop it, then why cultivate it? The mind says: When we have to destroy it, then why create it? If you listen to the mind you will be in trouble. Mind is always logical and life is always illogical, so they never meet.
This is simple logic, ordinary mathematics, that if you are to destroy this house, then why build it? Why this whole trouble? Why this effort and waste of time and energy? The house is not there, so why build it and then destroy it?
The house is not the point really -- YOU are the point. Building the house, you will change, and then destroying the house you will change completely, you will not be the same -- because creating the house, the whole process of it, will prove a growth to you. Then, when the house is ready, you pull it down. That will be a mutation.
Mind is logical and life is dialectical. Mind moves in a simple line, and life moves always jumping from one pole to another, from one thing to the very opposite.
Life is dialectical. Create, and then life says: Destroy. Be born, and then life says: Die! Attain, and then life says: Lose! Be rich, and then life says: Become poor! Be a peak, an Everest of the ego, and then become an abyss of egolessness. Then you have known both -- the illusory and the real, the maya and the Brahma.
Almost every day it happens: somebody comes to be initiated into sannyas, and then his mind starts functioning and he says to me: Wearing orange will make me more egoistic, because then I will feel that I am somebody different, distinct -- I am a sannyasin, one who has renounced. So wearing orange will make me more egoistic he says, and I say to him: Become! Become egoistic, but consciously.
Ego is a disease if you are unconscious about it, if you hide it in the unconscious. Ego is a game if you are conscious about it. You can enjoy it. You can play it. Be conscious, mindful, and play the game! A game is not bad, but when you forget that it is a game and become too serious, then problems arise.
So I say sannyas is not serious; it is a game -- a religious game, of course. It has its own rules, because every game must have rules; without rules no game can be played. Life can be without rules, but games cannot be.
If somebody says: I am not going to follow this rule, then you cannot play the game. You play cards, then you follow rules. And you never say: These rules are just arbitrary, artificial, why can't we change them? You can change them, but then the game will be difficult. And if every individual follows his own rules, then the game is impossible. Life is possible! You can play as you like because life never believes in rules -- it is beyond rules. But games have rules.
Remember: wherever you see rules, know immediately this is a game. This is the criterion: wherever you see rules, immediately know this is a game, because games exist through rules.
So if I say: "Wear orange, have the mala" -- this is a game, obviously. Play it as well as you can and don't be serious about it -- otherwise you miss the point.
Be egoists -- perfect, cultivated, refined. Go on working on your ego and make it a beautiful statue, because before you give it back to the god, it must be something worth giving, it must be a present.
My Way: The Way of the White Clouds, Chapter #8, 17th May 1974
I have heard, a man in an orange robe entered the Vrindavan juice bar, barged up to the front of the line, and demanded tea and cake. He paid with a hundred-rupee note and complained about the cost and the long lineup. After choosing the biggest piece of cake and the biggest cup, he took over an old lady's seat and proceeded to gobble the food. A bystander, puzzled by his behavior, asked the meaning of it.
There is more possibility to misunderstand me than to understand me. And in misunderstanding, you will find much solace, much consolation.
Just the other day, Mulla Nasrudin came to me, and he said, "Enough is enough -- I cannot trust you anymore."
He said, "Now it is too much. Just the other day I was at the racetrack. Somebody's change had fallen, so I was picking it up, and there comes a blind, or mad or drunk guy, and he saddles me as if I am a horse."
So I said, "Why didn't you stand up?"
He said, "But you have said accept everything, so I said Osho says accept totally. So I accept it and I try to see now what happens -- and the madman jumps on me."
He said, "What can I do? I have to run -- and I come third in the race! Now this is too much! I cannot trust you anymore!"
There is every possibility to misunderstand me and there is every possibility to find rationalizations. This is how the mind goes on being foolish, the mind goes on playing around, fooling around. It always finds ways to protect itself. If I say drop the ego, you say okay, and you try to drop it; and then the ego becomes your humbleness and you start moving around with your nose up, looking at everybody as if everybody is condemned to hell. And you have that look of "holier than thou" and "I am the most humble man around here." If I say the ego has to become big, only then it bursts, then you say, "Okay. That's what we have been always trying. Now you are also supporting it -- so far so good."
When are you going to understand me? When you listen to me, always remember, your mind is there to corrupt it. Unless you are very, very watchful, your mind will pollute it. And mind is so cunning, it can always find a way out. And it is so clever, it can always make rationalizations look like reasons.
My Way: The Way of the White Clouds, Ch. 8, 17 May 1974
The Ten Marks of a Happy Marriage
([source|http://www.retrouvaille.org/publicity/marks.htm])
'Marriage is nature's way of preventing us fighting with strangers.'
Marriage is beautiful, fulfilling and difficult. After 35 years and three months of marriage, and 11,000 hours of pastoral counseling, I have learned twenty things about good and bad marriages. (Ten myths about marriage will follow in another post).
But first my definition of marriage: it is a covenantal relationship between a man and a woman in an emotional, physical, moral, and spiritual union, exclusively and for life. The husband and wife take each other and forsake all others.
You've heard about some marriages being 'made in heaven'? Marriage is not just an arrangement to clarify inheritance. It has been called a dramatic act in which two strangers come together to redefine themselves.
1. COMMITMENT: Some couples like their wedding service to be traditional, others 'freer'. But three solemn declarations must be there somewhere: I am not married to anyone else; I take you ... to be my lawful wedded wife/husband; forsaking all others I will be lovingly committed to you for life. When I counsel a couple before marriage, we talk about their vows (they usually compose their own). Some young people are wary of commitment, and view marriage as a trap. But you can't have a satisfying marriage relationship without commitment - a commitment of one imperfect person to another imperfect person. Marriage is not simply a 50-50 affair: it's 100 per cent give, both ways!
Commitment is more than to permanence or sexual fidelity. For Christians commitment is not just 'being there year after year in the easy chair'. It is more than a promise not to go away. It ought to include, above all, a commitment to grow, to become the persons God intended us to be. 'Growing' couples set growth goals - to read a good book and discuss it; to go away every year on a retreat; to pray together; do a course together. One couple said in their wedding vows: 'In this marriage I want to grow as a person, I want to help you grow as a person, and I want to see our relationship of love, companionship and support grow deeper, larger and stronger. With the help of God, I commit myself to that.'
2. LOVING ACCEPTANCE: The most fundamental idea in Christianity is about 'grace' - I am loved before I change. God loves me as I am. He doesn't love anyone else more than he loves me, and nothing I can do can increase his love for me. Our society, on the other hand, teaches us that worth is something you earn. At school those with higher grades are more highly esteemed than 'dunces'. In the army those with fewer stripes take orders from those with more. But in God's family the prodigal is valued as highly as the loyal son. So too in marriage. I love my wife before she changes, or whether she changes or not. Nothing is unforgivable. Nothing will stop me loving her: she can count utterly on that. So a good marriage is the union of two good forgivers: it is 'three parts love and seven parts forgiveness'.
3. RESPECT: If acceptance and love are reactions to a 'sinning other' respect is our response to another's God-likeness. The person we are relating to is made in God's image, he or she is like God. So I should treat my spouse with courtesy and dignity even when I don't feel like it. Little habits of helpfulness actually feed respect. It is an honour to serve one who is like God. In Grace Awakening Chuck Swindoll writes: 'When I speak to those who are still single, I frequently address the issue of selfishness. I'll often say, "If you tend toward being selfish; if you're the type who clings to your own rights and has no interest sharing with others, please do the world (and certainly your potential mate) a favour and don't marry!"'[56] ('How good of God to let the Carlyles marry each other, and so make only two people miserable instead of four' wrote Samuel Butler of Thomas and Jane Carlyle.) Our fundamental human need is 'a true deep love of self, a genuine and joyful self-acceptance,' but marriage calls upon us to transcend that need: the partner's needs and pleasures must take equal if not superior status to our own.
4. MATURITY AND RESPONSIBILITY: are necessary for resolving differences, carrying through promises, sharing finances, and for modeling a Christian lifestyle for our children. I take responsibility for resolving personal issues, not 'dumping' them on my partner. I take responsibility for my own 'happiness'. If the motivation for marriage is to 'live happily ever after' we are setting ourselves up for trouble. If you came into the marriage unhappy chances are you'll stay that way. Happiness is a by-product of self-respect, solving problems responsibly, and doing worthwhile, interesting and useful things.
5. INTIMACY: Marriage is 'incarnation'. When God wanted to communicate his love for us he sent Jesus to embody that love. Jesus loved people like God loves us. This truth will appear and re-appear like a refrain throughout this book: God loves us before we deserve to be loved. He loves us even though he knows us intimately. So it is in a good marriage. As we are utterly transparent with one another - we have already promised to love 'for better or for worse' - we learn to 'know' and love the other with their imperfections and faults, not after their removal! But if unsure of your parent's love, you may marry to find a kind of paternal/maternal love from your partner, which complicates the relationship. Here we must be very honest. Most women, I believe, are engaged in a life-long search for a strong nurturing father-figure; most men marry a wife to find a responsive nurturing mother-figure. Now you are allowed to have your own feelings about all this, and to express them: 'feelings are neither right nor wrong'. Figure out which feelings, wishes and thoughts come from within yourself, and which from your partner. Marriage fights are usually more about the past than the present! For example if one's parents were tidy/perfectionistic we'll have to figure out why we are the same or the opposite!
6. CONFLICT RESOLUTION: A survey among 700 marriage counselors found that 'communication breakdown' headed the list of marital problems (followed by loss of shared goals/interests; sexual incompatibility, infidelity, excitement and fun leaving the marriage, money, conflicts about children, alcohol/drug abuse, women's equality issues and the in-laws). Conflict arises because we bring different biographies, needs, interests, values, and lifestyles to our marriage. The trigger for a 'conflictual explosion' may include loss of a job, arrival of a new baby, an illness, moving to a new house, taking an aged parent into the home etc. Marriage breakdowns do not happen because of 'differences'; they happen because a couple can't handle those differences. Relationships do not cause conflict: they bring out whatever incompleteness we have within us anyway. Conflict is a contest of wills, but it ought not to be viewed as a power struggle or as a question of who is right or wrong. Gentle assertiveness is called for: 'speaking the truth in love' and asking about feelings that underlie the difficulty. Discuss with dignity, and sensitivity to the other's needs. 'If pride and prejudice were set aside, most difficulties could be resolved in five minutes.' Resolution may allow one partner or the other to have a 'veto' in certain areas: in our marriage, Jan has veto power in the kitchen, I do with the cars (except for their colour!). But re the issue of my ministry-time away from home, this was resolved in a family conference: I would not be away more than a third of the time; and would forego preaching engagements at least once a month to attend our local church with my wife and family. Some things important to you you'll have to concede - that is, compromise. Jan and I compromise on our leisure: I like competitive sports and swimming but she prefers walking so we walk more than we swim (and we rarely play tennis together!). And don't complain too much: your 'fussing' can be viewed as trivial by the other.
7. MONEY: 'The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the Lord of Hosts' (Haggai 2:8). Here Jan and I began our thinking by agreeing that all we own belongs to God anyway. We are 'joint stewards' with him of our home, our savings, our possessions. We happen to believe that a joint bank account is an appropriate token of our togetherness, so we've always had one.
'When money is tight, couples fight'. As an ex-wives' tale put it: 'They won't have incompatibility as long as he has income and she has pattability.' Sometimes one is more of a 'spendthrift' than the other; sometimes the 'bread-winner' is tightfisted about offering money for housekeeping. I believe it is demeaning for one partner to control the finances against the wishes of the other: this is a result of immaturity or insecurity. Some couples may need financial counseling: in your church an accountant or bank manager will be delighted to help. Draw up a plan together. Be willing occasionally to touch up the plan as circumstances change. And decide mutually to live more simply!
8. GENDER ROLES AND SEX: You've heard the song 'Let's Talk About Sex Baby!' Do that (although the subject of commitment should come first). Think with your brains, not just your hormones! Sex is part of God's creation, which he pronounced 'very good' (Genesis 1:31). Sexual relations are more than physical: they are also emotional, spiritual, and moral. In 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 Paul talks about the willing surrender of husband and wife to each other to create coupleness. There's a lot of help around about a wholesome Christian approach to sex, to guard us against either a lustful hedonism or prudish asceticism. Sex is more than the union of bodies; it is also about roles, so sort them out. With women freer to pursue careers, role-expectations by men of women and women of men are dramatically changing. (Our son Paul, for example, is a 'househusband': our daughter-in-law has a full time remunerated vocation.) What household chores should be done by whom? Expectations are usually connected back to what our parents did - who fixed what, who put out garbage, vacuumed floors, did the cooking, washed the dishes, got up to the sick kids at night, etc. Everything ought to be negotiable on these issues.
9. SPIRITUALITY: God was the first marriage celebrant. He invented marriage. The engagement ring I bought Jan thirty-five years ago had two small diamonds and one larger one to depict the 'Eternal triangle' - one man, one woman, one God. Try to worship together regularly; pray with and for each other. (Yes, those who pray together are much more likely to stay together.) Having a Christian commitment that is both real and similar to each other's is a healthy indicator of future marital harmony. That ought not to preclude each partner relating to God uniquely. However, when one is a committed church-going Christian and the other isn't, there's usually (though not invariably) trouble: talk that out very very carefully before you marry. Some couples have reluctantly called their wedding off when the Christian partner takes seriously the biblical injunction about not being joined with an unbeliever: in my experience only one in eight or nine men will become a Christian after marriage if they weren't before. In a truly Christian marriage the order of priority, always is: God first, spouse second, children third, church/job next. But in a well-ordered and committed life, all these 'loves' enrich one another.
10. HAVE REGULAR MARRIAGE CHECK-UPS: at a marriage enrichment/encounter weekend, or with a counselor. Jan and I are currently talking about our relationship to an experienced counseling couple. The issues include: What are our feelings about each other at the moment - and those close to us? How can we accommodate to each other's differing sexual drives? How much 'quality time' should we have with our grandchildren? With Jan's part-time and my full-time ministries, how do we apportion chores, or share each other's vocations?
And remember: a good marriage is both a mystery and a miracle. It depends less on finding the right partner than being the right partner.
(Rowland Croucher)
Weblog2001December
[Ford Focus], [Digital IXUS], [Presario 701EA]
From [Never settle for the best] : ...Give the proper [tools] to a group of [people] who like to make a difference, and they will...
Apart from family and friends, I would like to thank the following people for sharing their thoughts/life and making available usable/useful/enjoyable tools on the web.
* [Philip Greenspun] : [Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing|http://www.arsdigita.com/books/panda/]
* [Jakob Nielsen] : [usable information technology|http://www.useit.com/]
* [Aaron Swartz] : who said 'I did it... you can do it too...' and made me realise my dream >>> [World Wide Wisdom|http://www.carnatic.com/www/]
* [Mira Art] : [Surprise|http://surprise.editthispage.com]
* I list many more people at [Portal] whom I visit virtually and also contribute to who i am...
[Christopher Ryan] [turns two|http://shanson.editthispage.com/2001/12/27]. We have met him in Amsterdam and have a few pictures. He was cute!
[Peter Koestenbaum] in [After Shock|http://www.fastcompany.com/online/54/aftershock.html] : ...We must resolve to work with greatness and never forget to do so again. Every workday is a concert, a Nobel-prize ceremony, or an Olympic victory...
[Larry Page] and [Sergey Brin] are co-founders of [Google]
[Steve Krug]'s book [Don't make me think!]
[A Conversation|http://www.naturalchild.com/guest/marlene_bumgarner.html] with [John Holt] (Interviewer: Marlene Bumgarner)
[Jutta Degener] operates [HalfBakery] and [Matt Webb] [InterConnected]
[Jeremiah Rogers] [:|http://radio.weblogs.com/0001189/2001/12/21.html#a35] ...I'm only 16, so I still have (estimate here) 70-75 years ideally left until I'm outta commission. Think of how much more knowledge I can gain in that time...
It has been a while since realised that I am not in this world _only_ to gain more knowledge, wealth etc. :-)
[Jim Roepcke] [receives|http://jim.roepcke.com/2001/12/24#item3879] a Canadian Holiday Greeting
The Rhine ferry " Drusus " connects Germany with France. We were on this today
[Rheinmuenster|http://www.rheinmuenster.de/] : The people of Greffern have always operated a ferry service between their town and Drusenheim on the left bank of the river: a pontoon bridge was erected in 1875, followed by the motor ferry "Drusus", which has been providing a free ferry service since 1977.
We saw [Lord of the Rings] yesterday night and at the end, a boy sitting in front of us kept shouting "Was Was Was..." several times ! and I had a similar reaction in my head !
It is the no. 1 movie at http://us.imdb.com/top_250_films
I have an idea: When users rate anything... show them a list of similar objects (with the ratings by them) they have rated already and this will hopefully give them the correct perspective
Ofcourse, I liked the scenic shots in [Lord of the Rings]. But It is not the no. 1 movie I have seen from the imdb list !
[Buckminster Fuller] : "For the first time in history it is now possible to take care of everybody at a higher standard of living than any have ever known. Only ten years ago the ‘more with less’ technology reached the point where this could be done. All humanity now has the option to become enduringly successful."
I want to understand [Swaraj] ( http://meadev.nic.in/Gandhi/swaraj.htm )
It is very cold outside !
I have downloaded [GraphicConverter], [OmniWeb] after reading [Wesley Felter]'s [Colophon|http://wmf.editthispage.com/meta/colophon]
[Mira Art] [:|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2001/12/22] : ...highways with traffic jams as long as 150 km...
Visit our [portfolio|http://www.photo.net/shared/community-member?user_id=119381] at http://www.photo.net
|<img src="http://www.carnatic.com/images/IMG_0131.JPG" width="512" height="384" border=0 alt="fruits">
We are connecting to the net from today with [dsl flat|http://www.billiger-surfen.de/tarifmodelle.php3?name=T-Online&verbindungsnbz=dsl+flat&gueltigab=2001-08-01&gueltigbis=0000-00-00] :-)
I received [Drive10] today. The interface could be better... It could tell us more about what is doing behind the scenes...
[Year-End Google Zeitgeist|http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist.html] : Search patterns, trends, and surprises
[Java Modeling In Color With UML]
[Stephen Palmer] : If you happen to be looking for a technical architect, project director or development manager to produce a high quality result, I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending [Jeff De Luca] to you.
[Extreme Programming] and [Feature Driven Development] : [a short comparison|http://www.togethercommunity.com/coad-letter/Coad-Letter-0070.html] : The Bottom Line in the article is the essence : ...It is important to discover what works for you and your organization. The name of the process you use is not important. What is important is the ability to repeatedly deliver frequent, tangible, working results on time, within budget and with agreed function...
[IBM's Test-Tube Quantum Computer Makes History|http://www.research.ibm.com/resources/news/20011219_quantum.shtml] : ...Scientists at IBM's Almaden Research Center have performed the world's most complicated quantum-computer calculation to date. They caused a billion-billion custom-designed molecules in a test tube to become a seven-qubit quantum computer that solved a simple version of the mathematical problem at the heart of many of today's data-security cryptographic systems...
[An interview|http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/1756/leelozo.htm] with Mr. [Lee Lozowick]
[Russell H. Conwell]'s speech [Acres of Diamonds] concludes ...If you forget everything I have said to you, do not forget this, because it contains more in two lines than all I have said. Bailey says: "He most lives who thinks most, who feels the noblest, and who acts the best."...
Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.
Beginning, mean, and end to all things,—God.
The mission of the [North Carolina Christmas Tree Association|http://www.ncchristmastrees.com/] (NCCTA) is to promote "real" Christmas Trees through marketing and education.
[James Allen]'s [As A Man Thinketh] is partly responsible for the creation of the entire personal development industry. Most contemporary PD authors and teachers credit this little book for providing foundation to their principles.
[Jeff Keller] is President of [Attitude is Everything], Inc.
[Ben Brown] and [Ani Moller] are on a three week road trip and will send [super brief updates|http://benbrown.com/is/driving/] using his Nokia's e-mail capabilities.
[Derek Powazek]'s book [Design for Community]
[Albert Einstein] : A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
[Margaret Mead] : Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
[Oliver Breidenbach] [:|http://www.fsomm.com/discuss/msgReader$902] The Spiegel figured out how to use numerology to better remember the Euro to DM exchange rate: 1.9 55 83 If you take the sum of the last two pairs it is 10 and 11, respectively. So, the exchange rate is one point nine, ten, eleven...
[Mira Art] [quotes|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2001/12/16] [Buckminster Fuller] : When I am Working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only of how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
[Why we have a terrorism problem with our airlines|http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/200112/msg00227.html] : ...the FAA had come down hard on the airport only because 1,000 badges was too many, in that regulations permit that airport to have only 500 unaccounted-for access badges....
I have read somewhere that the Western World follow a 'parts per million' culture while the Japanese follow the 'zero defect' culture... and that this is the fundamental difference !
[Pegasos|http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/] is a literature related resource site
[Aristotle] in [Nicomachean Ethics] : The man who gets angry at the right things and with the right people, and in the right way and at the right time and for the right length of time, is commended.
[Jason Levine] : [Stanford University Interview|http://www.broaderminds.com/Profiles/Stanford_university/reviews/987553538431.html] : "More important than the workload at Stanford, I find, is the ‘humbling factor’. Basically, if you can gain admission to a school like Stanford, I have no doubt that you can work at the level set by the professors. The problem is more egotistical: can you handle meeting people just as and possibly more intelligent than yourself?"
[Sharon Holdstock] (is a generic love spreader among others) : [Yoga by Shazzie|http://www.stretchmagazine.com/page.php?content=shazzie&pagetitle=Yoga%20by%20Shazzie] - WOW - see the pictures !
(via [PaperQuote]) [Buddha] : A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another. If these minds love one another the home will be as beautiful as a flower garden.
[Lawrence Lee] pointed to a [new feature|http://ftp3.userland.com/ftpTest/Lawrence/2001/12/11.html] in [Google] and I came across a minor problem ! I did send feedback to Google...
A visit to their [Garden|http://sheila.inessential.com/garden/] maintained by his wife [Sheila Simmons] is refreshing.
[Saravanan Natarajan] has sent me some (10 !) CDs with Osho's speeches and I have started listening to "Osho about Creativity" and most of the speech is available on the web too...
[Osho] : [CREATIVITY: Unleashing the Forces Within] : ...Creativity means loving whatsoever you do -- enjoying, celebrating it! Maybe nobody comes to know about it -- who is going to praise you for cleaning the floor? History will not take any account of it; newspapers will not publish your name and picture -- but that is irrelevant. You enjoyed it. The value is intrinsic...
[S Sandilya] , [Sathyakama Sandilya]
[First mention|http://www.google.com/googlegroups/archive_announce_20.html] of [Google] is by [Chris Mitchell]. He doesnot actively maintain [The Searcher's Road Less Travelled|http://home.teleport.com/~lensman/roadless.htm]
But, [Chris Mitchell] has a powerful message on his home page for all of mankind - WOW !
It is all the more an important message when I see news like [U.S. Nearing ABM Treaty Withdrawal|http://dailynews.yahoo.com/htx/nm/20011211/ts/arms_missile_usa_dc_1.html]
[The Masquerade of Charity]
[New York City] [Three Months After|http://usinfo.state.gov/topical/pol/terror/album/newyork/]
[Mortimer Jerome Adler] : The purpose of a liberal education is not to learn how to earn a living, but to learn how to live and enjoy life, especially when not working
[Dave Winer] [on|http://davenet.userland.com/2001/12/10/daveWinerOnASegway] a [Segway]
[Jean-Paul Sartre] : The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.
[Isaiah Berlin] (in [The Hedgehog and the Fox]): There exists a great chasm between those, on one side, who relate everything to a single central vision...and, on the other side, those who pursue many ends, often unrelated and even contradictory...The first kind of intellectual and artistic personality belongs to the hedgehogs, the second to the foxes.
[Jim Roepcke] [:|http://jim.roepcke.com/2001/12/09] I've been reading through the [AppleScript] documentation throughout the day today. So far I'm very impressed.
[Albert Einstein] : If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.
I received an email response from [Richard P. Gabriel] regarding a spelling mistake on his site and another from [John Patrick] for a similar issue. Nice!
I want the following feature in MS Outlook or any email client for that matter: When I send an email, the tool should prompt me... you have sent a similar email to this person and didnot get a reply ! dont bother !!!
I did something at work which makes me think of the [Elegant Hack] which is being powered by [movabletype] since some days...
I was looking for a [Digital Camera] and the winner is [Digital IXUS]. We bought it at [New York Camera] yesterday in person. [Christian Kwyas] is a great sales man. It was (will be) a memorable shopping experience. However Christian should be thankful to [Jeff Keller]'s very useful reviews at [Digital Camera Resource Page]
We already like the camera very very much
Visit [1000 words]
Coming from India, I am thinking of tasty [Korma] and Lord Vishnu's [Kurma] Avatar
[Dave Winer] [:|http://scriptingnews.userland.com/backissues/2001/12/06#l86b0989154cbfbef88f0a30f41b96187] Bug reports should have three parts. 1. Here's what I did. 2. This is what I expected to happen. 3. This is what actually happened. For extra credit, if it's a public Web app, provide a URL. It also couldn't hurt to say what version of the software you're using, what OS, and other things that might make your installation different from others.
[Office XP Error Reporting May Send Sensitive Documents to Microsoft|http://www.ciac.org/ciac/bulletins/m-005.shtml]
[Peter Longo] is [Pratt & Whitney|http://www.pratt-whitney.com/]'s CIO. Pratt & Whitney is a leader in the design, manufacture and support of engines for commercial, military and general aviation aircraft, and space propulsion systems
Found [The End of the World] at his page... which made me goto [RAQ] and found [The Meaning of Life] :-)
Thinking of [Mannheim] ...
[Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict - A Primer|http://www.merip.org/palestine-israel_primer/intro-pal-isr-primer.html]
I want to buy a [Digital Camera]. [Canon PowerShot A20|http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/canon/a20-review/index.html] is on the top of my list... [Jeff Keller] states ...As always, I recommend a trip to your local camera store to try out the /camera/ and its competitors before you buy!... Do you have any recommendations ?
"For his([Christopher Alexander]) Ph. D. Thesis, later published as the book [Notes on the Synthesis of Form], he was awarded the first Gold Medal for Research by the American Institute of Architects."
[John Patrick] is IBM's Internet Guru and his new book is [Net Attitude]
via [PaperQuote] [Andre Gide] : It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.
[Christopher Alexander]'s [ideas on office furniture and interiors]
[Dan Simmons] in [When Mental Growth Outruns Maturity|http://www.erinyes.org/simmons/interview.html] ...Wabash influenced every part of my life because I learned what being an educated human being meant while I was here...
[Lightweight Languages Workshop|http://ll1.mit.edu/]
[George Harrison] [dies|http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/entertainment/music/newsid_1492000/1492446.stm]. [Craig Jensen] is [Sad and heart broken|http://booknotes.weblogs.com/2001/11/30]. [All Things Must Pass]
[Andrea Frick] has great pictures from her local [Christmas Market|http://andrea.editthispage.com/weihnachtsmarkt2001]
Notes on the Synthesis of Form
by [Christopher Alexander]
This is one of the most seminal books written about the design process. Alexander creates a carefully reasoned case for why design as we know it doesn't really exist and how we should re-examine the process. He is a professor of architecture at Berkeley and his opinions have made him somewhat of a pariah in the scholarly world of architecture. His thesis is that good design only comes about by discarding bad design and then doing it over. This is empirically correct but anathema to the establishment. Amusingly, the findings in the book are rejected by none other than the author himself in the preface to the second edition, but I suggest we just attribute that to artistic pique and ignore it. On page 88, Alexander presents a very interesting diagram. He doesn't name it, but I call it a "unified image" because it combines in one image what he terms the "formal description" and the "functional description". It poses a theoretical design ideal because the single image conveys not only how it works, but what it is. His definitions of the self-conscious and the un-self-conscious design processes are remarkably insightfully delineated. You will never think of design in the same way after you read them. The book is dense and wanders into the weeds near the end, but it contains some of the most provocative prose and durable analogies about crafting design solutions ever written. As an indication of its influence, it is also cited by three of the other authors in this bibliography: Heckel, Norman, and DeMarco & Lister. The latter say "[it] is considered a holy book by designers of all kinds." Unfortunately, Notes is now out of print, but absolutely worth a trip to the library or the used book store. Alexander describes a physical model consisting of programmed lightbulbs to get across the concept of interacting systems and how they disturb each other. I have long imagined that some energetic soul should translate Alexander's design into a program. It would be a fun teaching tool.
The Masquerade Of Charity
[Articles] > The Masquerade Of [Charity]
Charity is really self-interest masquerading under the form of
altruism. You say that it is very difficult to accept that there may be
trustful. Let me simplify it. Let's make it as simple as possible. Let's
even make it as blunt and extreme as possible, at least to begin
with. There are two types of selfishness. The first type is the one where
The first one is very obvious, but the second one is hid, very hidden, and
You, madam, you say that, in your case, you live alone, and go to the
rectory and give several hours of your time. But you also admit you're
really doing it for a selfish reason -your need to be needed -- -and you
contributing to the world a little bit. But you also claim that, because
they also need you to do this, it's a two-way street.
beautiful. That's true. That's real. That isn't charity, that's
And you, sir, you point out that the gospel of Jesus is ultimately a gospel
of self-interest. We achieve eternal life by our acts of charity. "Come
blest of my Father, when I was hungry, you gave me to eat," and so on. You
say, we see that his acts of charity were acts of ultimate self-interest,
to win souls for eternal life. And you see that as the whole thrust and
meaning of life: the achievement of self-interest by acts of charity.
All right. But see, you are cheating a bit because you brought religion
into this. It's legitimate. It's valid. But how would it be if I deal
with the gospels, with the Bible, with Jesus, toward the END of this
retreat. I will say this much now to complicate it even more. "I was
hungry, and you gave me to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink,"
and what do they reply? "When? When did we do it? We didn't know it."
says, "I was hungry and you gave me to eat," and the people on the right
king tells them. "It doesn't follow the script; you're not SUPPOSED to
pleasure you have while doing acts of charity. Aha!!! That's right! It's
the opposite of someone who says, "What's so great about what I did? I did
left hand had no idea what my right hand was doing." You know, a good is
as the great Sufi would say, "A saint is one until he or she knows it."
giving, isn't that eternal life right here and now?" I wouldn't know. I
call pleasure, pleasure, and nothing more. For the time being, at least
until we get into religion later on. But I want you to understand
-necessarily connected with spirituality. Please keep religion out of this
it from hurting others? And what about the man who got into a truck full
of dynamite and drove into the American camp in Beirut? How about
him? "Greater love than this no one has." But the Americans don't think
so. He did it deliberately. He was terrible, wasn't he? But he wouldn't
think so, I assure you. He thought he was going to heaven. That's
you're awake and what you do is done through you. Your deed in that case
becomes a happening. "Let it be done to me." I'm not excluding that. But
when YOU do it, I'm searching for the selfishness. Even if it is only
didn't do this. I'd never be able to live with the thought if I ran
child, you say. But how come she's not saving the neighbor's child? It's
the HERS. It's the soldier dying for his country. Many such deaths bother
me. I think they're often brainwashed. Muslim martyrs, Hindu martyrs,
the possibility. Lots of communists get brainwashed (you're ready to
believe that). They're so brainwashed they're ready to die. I sometimes
terrorists. You can have a man go on a thirty-day retreat and come out all
aflame with the love of Christ, yet without the slightest bit of
self-awareness. None. He could be a big pain. He thinks he's a great
saint. I don't mean to slander Francis Xavier, who probably was a great
saint, but he was a difficult man to live with. You know he was a lousy
wayside. Some critics of Francis Xavier claim exactly that. He used to
dismiss men from our Society and they'd appeal to Ignatius, who would say,
"Come to Rome and we'll talk about it." And Ignatius surreptitiously got
them in again. How much self-awareness was there in this situation? Who
you're doing something for the love of anybody, it is in your
Suppose you happen to live in Phoenix and you feed over five hundred
children a day. That gives you a good feeling? Well, would you expect it
to give you a bad feeling? But sometimes it does. And that is because
FEELING. And they call THAT charity. They act out of guilt. That isn't
love. But, thank God, you do things for people and it's
Let me summarize what I was saying about selfless charity. I said there
take pride in that. Don't think you're a great person. You're a very
the quality of your spirituality. When you were a child, you liked
Coca-Cola; now you've grown older and you appreciate chilled beer on a hot
same, except now it's in the pleasure of pleasing others. Then you've got
won't get a bad feeling. It doesn't give you a good feeling to do it; it
gives you a bad feeling to do it. You hate it. You're making loving
sacrifices but you're grumbling. Ha! How little you know of yourself if
you think you don't do things this way.
I'd be a millionaire by now. You know how it goes. "Could I meet you
tonight, Father?" "Yes, come on in!" I don't want to meet him and I hate
him? I don't have the guts to say no. "Come on in," and I'm thinking, "Oh
God, I've got to put up with this pain."
It doesn't give me a good feeling to meet with him and it doesn't give me a
good feeling to say no to him, so I choose the lesser of the two evils and
and I'll be able to take my smile off, but I start the session with him:
"How are you?" "Wonderful," he says, and he goes on and on about how he
loves that workshop, and I'm thinking, "Oh God, when is he going to come to
the point?" Finally he comes to the point, and I metaphorically slam him
against the wall and say, "Well, any fool could solve that kind of
problem," and I send him out. "Whew! Got rid of him," I say. And the next
morning at breakfast (because I'm feeling I was so rude) I go up to him and
say, "How's life?" And he answers, "Pretty good." And he adds, "You know,
That's the worst kind of charity, when you're doing something so you won't
alone. You want people to think you're a good priest! When you say, "I
don't like hurting people," I say, "Come off it! I don't believe you." I
people. We love to hurt people, especially some people. We love it. And
when someone else is doing the hurting we rejoice in it. But we don't want
to do the hurting ourselves because we'll get hurt! Ah, there it is. If we
they'll talk against us and we don't like that!
Portal
Responding to [Criticisms]
* [Chandramouli Mahadevan|http://86400.weblogs.com]
* [Ranjani and Sathish|http://sathishr.blogspot.com/]
* [Andrea Frick|http://andrea.editthispage.com/]
* [Mira Art|http://surprise.editthispage.com]
* [Mark Pilgrim]'s [Recommended Reading|http://diveintomark.org/newdoor/recommend.cgi?url=http://www.carnatic.com/kishore/]
* [blogdex|http://blogdex.media.mit.edu/]
* [Sivananda Daily Readings] [*|http://www.dlsmd.org/sdr/sdrmainpage.htm]
* [Spiritual Calendar|http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/religions/calendar.htm]
* [Twenty Important Spiritual Instructions|http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/teachings/20instr.htm]
* [Personal World Clock] [*|http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/personal.html]
* [Sushma Kishore's portfolio at photo.net|http://www.photo.net/shared/community-member?user_id=119381]
* http://www.youthink.com
* [Thoughtful Prayers and Prayerful Thoughts|http://www.moytura.com/reflections/]
* [Literature, Arts, & Medicine Database]
Weblog2002January
[To Those With Little Dust]
[Dave Winer] [:|http://scriptingnews.userland.com/backissues/2002/01/14#philosophy] "No locked trunks. Use Radio 8 because it's the best choice. Your choice."
Over the weekend, I spent lot of time learning Radio UserLand 8.0 >>> 0100563 >>> http://www.carnatic.com/kishore/ru/
[Keith Parkins] maintains [Heureka|http://www.heureka.clara.net/]
[Pongal] festival is celebrated on 14th this year. This is the day on which the sun begins to move northwards (also called Makara Shankranti). For Tamilians, Makara Shankranti ushers in the New Year. The corn that is newly-harvested is cooked for the first time on that day. Joyous festivities mark the celebration in every home.
[Mattu Pongal] : "...According to a legend, once Shiva asked his bull, Basava, to go to the earth and ask the mortals to have an oil massage and bath every day and to eat once a month. Inadvertently, Basava announced that everyone should eat daily and have an oil bath once a month. - - - This mistake enraged Shiva who then cursed Basava, banishing him to live on the earth forever. He would have to plough the fields and help people produce more food. Thus the association of this day with cattle. - - - A festival called [Jallikattu] is held in [Madurai], Tiruchirapalli and Tanjavur on this day..."
[Jallikattu] : "...Also known as "Yeru Thazhuvudal" (Yeru - bull; thazhuvudal - literally, to hug), it was more the way girls chose their suitors. The chivalrous youth who could contain a charging bull was much preferred by the ladies to one who couldn't..."
[Great Virtues of the Dhamma] : "...Amongst the many virtues of the Dhamma, there are six salient characteristics mentioned in the most authoritative texts. Svakkhato Bhagavata Dhammo, Sanditthiko, Akaliko, Ehipassiko, Opanayiko and Paccattam Veditabbo Vinnuhi..."
[Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn] : "If it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere [insidious]ly committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart."
From an story by [Anthony de Mello] : "[Holiness] today is a [name] without a
[reality]. It is only [genuine] when it is a reality without a name"
[Lawrence Lee] [:|http://radio.weblogs.com/0001013/2002/01/03.html] "The [Digital Identity Weblog|http://weblog.digital-identity.info/] is a [must-read]."
I think that code generated by radiobadge is not valid HTML... [Lawrence Lee] is analysing the issue...
[We] will play [badminton] again tomorrow morning... I look forward to it!
[Rebecca Blood] [:|http://www.rebeccablood.net/archive/2002/01.html#07e] "I think you may be interested in [viviculture]: it is weblog as an exercise in mindfulness. Kurt's statement of principles especially resonates with me."
[Field Observations] : ...The [Amish], for instance, have succeeded simply by asking one question of any proposed innovation, namely: "What will this do to our community?"...
[Wendell Berry] : [The joy of sales resistance] : ...We live in a time when technologies and ideas (often the same thing) are adopted in response not to need but to advertising, salesmanship, and fashion...
[Greg Franklin] : [A Fast Food Era Ends|http://flyingchihuahuas.editthispage.com/2002/01/09]
[John Dingell] (after he was [forced to strip!|http://www.newsday.com/news/politics/wire/sns-ap-congressman-searched0108jan08.story]) "I asked Norman to check to see if they treated me like they do everybody else," Dingell said. "I just wanted to be sure that what they did was necessary, that I got the same treatment, no better or no worse, than anyone else."
[Field Observations]: An Interview with [Wendell Berry]
In [Wendell Berry]'s [Community|http://www.catholic.net/rcc/Periodicals/Crisis/Jan2000/Community.html] : "...[Gary Snyder] said the right thing: Stop somewhere, just stop. Finally, this thing we are calling mobility keeps people from learning their lessons. They keep moving away from the problems they’ve caused. Their idea is that you can completely mess up somewhere and then go somewhere else, or you can completely succeed somewhere and go somewhere else. In either case you don’t know what the effects are. Sometimes people cause worse effects by their success than they do by their failure. To go back to the metaphor of marriage. What marriage does is say to you to stay and find out. It doesn’t say what you are going to find out. When you think this is it, we are at a complete dead end here, the marriage says to you: Wait, stay, and find out. Always you find out more..."
[Joel Spolsky] [:|http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000339.html] "Sometimes I just can't get anything done......Many of my days go like this: (1) get into work (2) check email, read the web, etc. (3) decide that I might as well have lunch
read the web, etc. (6) finally decide that I've got to get started
(7) check email, read the web, etc. (8) decide again that I really
have to get started (9) launch the damn editor and (10) write code
nonstop until I don't realize that it's already 7:30 pm. - - - - - Somewhere between step 8 and step 9 there seems to be a bug,
because I can't always make it across that chasm."
[John VanDyk] [:|http://iowa.weblogger.com/2002/01/04] "The writings of [Wendell Berry] seem to be popping up with astonishing frequency of late."
Wendell Berry has written [Why I am Not Going to Buy a Computer]
[Ed Iglehart]'s [Reading List and Inspirations|http://www.tipiglen.dircon.co.uk/readinglist.html]
[Voltaire] in [Freedom of Thought] : It rests entirely with you to learn to think. You're born with a mind. You are a bird in the cage of the Inquisition: the Holy Office has clipped your wings, but they can grow back. Whoever doesn't know geometry can learn it; every man can tutor himself: it's shameful to put your soul in the hands of those to whom you'd never trust your money. _Dare to think for yourself._
[John Stuart Mill] (in [On Liberty]): If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
[Karl-Erik Sveiby] [:|http://www.businessworldindia.com/archive/200306/Strategy2.htm] "You don't need to interview me. Simply read the [Upanishads]. They knew all about it long before I did"
[Russell Lipton] [:|http://static.userland.com/userLandDiscussArchive/msg018410.html] "...There is an inherent degree of [serendipity] in Web-learning that routes around this kind of thing..."
Serendipity strikes again !
I tell [Sushma] often. If you donot understand something/anything... Goto [Google] and understand !
[Cyber Essays] is "your one-stop source for free, high-quality term papers, essays, and reports on all subjects."
[Craig Jensen] [:|http://booknotes.weblogs.com/2001/12/22] "With the tumultous state the world is in I feel uncomfortable, even guilty, being in any kind of festive or celebratory mood. And, in fact, I'm not festive. Nor am I filled with hope from any kind of religious faith. I'm mostly depressed. - - - But I realize that the sphere within which I have the most influence is my family. The most important people to me are my wife, son and daughter and then my extended family. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews. All the quirks and dysfunctionalty set aside, this is the circle where I can find unbounded love and acceptance. It is the place where I can return that love, equally unbounded, without fear of reprisal or rejection. I am lucky. Truly so. I intend to immerse myself in my good fortune. In my own little circle I will enjoy peace and love and joy. - - - My hope and wish is that you will find yourselves enjoying the same. Be safe and well."
The [Literature, Arts, & Medicine Database] is an annotated bibliography of prose, poetry, film, video and art which is being developed as a dynamic, accessible, comprehensive resource in MEDICAL HUMANITIES, for use in health/pre-health and liberal arts settings.
[Mira Art] [:|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2002/01/04] "winter morning - out of bed - it's impossible!"
[Henry Miller] : Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heart-ache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, to discover what is already there.
[http://www.carnatic.com/images/little hlprs.jpg]
People are searching for interesting phrases at [Google] like [a way of life that does not consist of taking away from someone else|http://www.google.com/search?q=a+way+of+life+that+does+not+consist+of+taking+away+from+someone+else] and the first hit is [Quotations|http://kishore.editthispage.com/stories/storyReader$5] at my ex-weblog :-)
[Mark Kraft] is a [geeth|http://www.livejournal.com/userinfo.bml?user=insomnia] and states "I left a $125,000 a year job to become the "All things business" manager of LiveJournal, which means I oversee a ton of things regarding the strategy, design, and viability of the LiveJournal community / open source project. It's more than just business, especially to me. [Dulce et decorum est]..."
[Alan Kay] is enraptured by the potential impact that computing technology can have on the world. He is especially interested in education and hopes that this new technology will create, what he calls, a "skeptical man." He likens the personal computer to the present day book and believes that if everyone had access to a computer, people would be more prone to play "what-if" games with information. He says that "the [information] retrieval systems of the future are not going to retrieve facts but points of view. The weakness of databases is that they let you retrieve facts, while the strength of our culture over the past several hundred years has been our ability to take on multiple points of view. It should be possible for every kid everywhere to test what he or she is being told either against arguments of others or by appeal to computer simulation. The question is: will society nurture that potential or suppress it?"
I am reading a new article [A Time for Dialogue about Things That Really Matter] by [John Renesch].
[Java Outline Editor] works!
Nature doesnot know that I drive a super car and my neighbour a 'super O super' car. It covers both with the necessary amount of snow to make our lives interesting. Thanks for the lesson !
[Cameron Barrett] [:|http://www.camworld.com/journal/2002/01/#01] "Must...not...break...New...Year's...resolution... Must...not...read...certain...Web...sites.... Must...stay...away...."
In the movie [Blast from the Past], Dad advises son to stay away from adult book stores by stating 'It is full of poisonous Gas' - Why do I recall this after the reading Cameron's words ?
To [People] I have come across on the web: I would love to spend my days reading all that you write... But there is not enough time in my days to do that after time invested in occupations to make [Money] flow to my bank account! So I setup a [Portal]
[Stan Krute] [:|http://radio.weblogs.com/0001184/2002/01/01.html] "Dave knows Flow. The Power of Flow. The Beauty of Flow. The Goodness of Flow. The Win-Win-Win-Win-Win of Flow. You flow my way, I flow your way, ya give flow, ya get flow, others see this and join in on the fun, pretty soon, we're all surfing a happy big flowin' wave of our own communitarian making."
[Vikas Kamat] [:|http://www.kamat.com/vikas/blog.php?date=1/1/2002] [Bathing and Personal Hygiene in Ancient India|http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/ancient/bathing/index.htm]
[Mira Art] [:|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2002/01/01] ...I rather wish all of us the energy and the desire to create luck, to make it happen.....by understanding one's role in this life...
My ex-weblog [Kishore Balakrishnan's Psychic RAM|http://kishore.editthispage.com/] has attracted [Synergy]'s [favorable attention|http://synergy.editthispage.com/stories/storyReader$11]. Nice :-)
[Veronica Lynne]'s [WannaWrite?|http://wannawrite.editthispage.com/] is "A Place for Poetry, Prose and Ponderings"
[Ponderings|http://wannawrite.editthispage.com/questions] : ...Why is it when you are driving at night looking for an address, you instinctively (at least I have) turn down the radio?...
[The Secret Subversive Purpose|http://www.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/aboutclwg.html] of [Children's Literature Web Guide]: ...If my cunning plan works, you will find yourself tempted away from the Internet, and back to the books themselves! Please remember that the Internet is not the most comprehensive source of information about children's books. Books and Libraries cover the field far better than I can ever hope to. - - - The Internet is a tremendous resource, but it will never compete with a Children's Librarian with a purposeful gleam in the eye!
[Mira Art] : [Water=Life=Alive=Divine|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2001/12/30]
[Vikas Kamat] explains [Feedback], [quotes|http://www.kamat.com/vikas/blog.php?date=12/27/2001] [Mahatma Gandhi] : "To make peace with evil in order to avoid conflict, is cowardice."
[Cameron Barrett] : Do yourself a favor and telnet to this address: towel.blinkenlights.nl
mmm... Is anyone researching "What is the average number of days before everyone writes 2002 instead of 2001" !
Principles
LifeWithoutPrinciple
H. Jackson Brown, Jr. : Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others.
To ask is a moments shame, not to ask, and remain ignorant, is a lifelong shame.
[God] is not concerned with how much you give or how much work you do for him. He cares how much you keep, how much you do not do.
[Michel de Montaigne] : There is no man so good, who, were he to submit all his thoughts and actions to the laws, would not deserve hanging ten times in his life.
Beware of Maya which is to think "What is he thinking about what I am thinking about what he is thinking?" >>> [Alan Kay] : Don't worry about what anybody else is going to do. The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
[Swami Sivananda] : "Even a little victory in the inner battle with your mind and senses will develop your will-power and give you more assurance and courage.
But do not be swayed by success. Be humble and grateful."
* [Socrates] : If you know that you don't know, that is a great beginning. Then it is possible for you to know.
Thyoar : Have no destination, and you will not get lost.
[John Stuart Mill] (in [On Liberty]): If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
* [Inspirational Learnings|http://86400.weblogs.com/stories/storyReader$85]
* [David Rogers] : [Principles|http://timesshadow.editthispage.com/stories/storyReader$56] , [Blinding Glimpses of the Obvious|http://timesshadow.editthispage.com/stories/storyReader$249]
* From [Greg Franklin]'s [FAQ|http://flyingchihuahuas.editthispage.com/faq] : ...Back to Mr. [Isaac Stern]: he has the right idea. Take the gifts you are given, try to give them back, freely, with complete independence. - - - If it's true that you yourself can't go any farther, try to inspire someone else to go farther...
Companies
Companies and their Mottos
Company is "A group of persons." --- Do you like your company [:-)] and donot find it here... send me email !
I would like you to imagine for a moment what it would be like if at the end of one’s tenure with a company, they said the following:
“That company transformed my life. It gave me an opportunity to transform myself. There is no other company in the world that does such a thing. When I came home to my children each night, I came home with a soft heart and more energy than when I left. I have never seen such a company in all my life. A company that devotes itself to curing the problems of those under its shelter.”
[Wellness Goods] : Our mission is to assist you in remembering... and in becoming... who you already are... but may have forgotten.
[DaimlerChrysler] : "The possibilities are infinite" - Right ?
[Infineon] : Never Stop Thinking
[Nike] : Just Do It !
[UserLand] :
[Sundram Fasteners Limited] : Leadership in Action
[Seshayee Paper and Boards Limited] : Fine Papers - Lasting Impressions
[Vedanta Life Institute] :
Pearls
([source|http://radio.weblogs.com/0101915/2002/01/21.html#a8]) ...Perhaps the reason we in America feel less impacted by the suffering of folks in other countries is the same reason we are heartbroken by deaths in our own family but barely acknowledge the passing away of the old man down the street -- regardless of the fact that old man may have a loving family that is devastated by the loss. It only hurts when it is your own hand that is cut off. The preciousness of life is universal. Unfortunately, so is the callousness of man. - - - - - The God I know has no nationality...
([source|http://www.ramana-maharshi.org/m_path/1964_1/editorial.htm]) ...It is related (and the story is no less significant whether historically true or not) that after attaining Enlightenment the Buddha's first impulse was to abide in the effulgence of Bliss without turning back to convey the incommunicable to mankind. Then he reflected: "Some there are who are clear-sighted and do not need my teaching, and some whose eyes are clouded with dust who will not heed it though given, but between these two there are also some with but little dust in their eyes, who can be helped to see; and for the sake of these I will go back among mankind and teach" It is for those with little dust in their eyes that this journal is intended...
"what you are looking for, is what you are looking out of, which is what is looking for you." --- " the the true teacher cannot teach you anything...but can only remind you of what, on some level...you already know."
As I understand it, I am being paid only for my work in arranging the words; my property is that arrangement. The thoughts in this book, on the contrary, are not mine. They came freely to me, and I give them freely away. I have no "intellectual property," and I think that all claimants to such property are thieves.
I think we are in a circle as all people are ....And we are not able
we blame others (parents, spouse, children, society...) - - - If you have confidence in doing something new in life... go for it....when
you get an intuition to do it...
"With the tumultous state the world is in I feel uncomfortable, even guilty, being in any kind of festive or celebratory mood. And, in fact, I'm not festive. Nor am I filled with hope from any kind of religious faith. I'm mostly depressed. - - - But I realize that the sphere within which I have the most influence is my family. The most important people to me are my wife, son and daughter and then my extended family. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews. All the quirks and dysfunctionalty set aside, this is the circle where I can find unbounded love and acceptance. It is the place where I can return that love, equally unbounded, without fear of reprisal or rejection. I am lucky. Truly so. I intend to immerse myself in my good fortune. In my own little circle I will enjoy peace and love and joy. - - - My hope and wish is that you will find yourselves enjoying the same. Be safe and well."
![Mark Kraft] [:|http://www.livejournal.com/talkread.bml?itemid=18453726&thread=24530953#t24530953]
"I might seem like a crazy storm chaser, but what I did was really a matter of necessity, at least to me. It was what I wanted to do with my life, really. - - - As it was, LiveJournal was expanding to the point where I couldn't really manage it without having LJ eat into my "day job" to an unacceptable degree. It's not as if I jumped in blindly - I had already helped LJ open source itself and expand to over 250K users before I left my job. I also put aside enough money to survive for quite awhile, though I have greatly cut back on expenses. That is an important aspect, really... you have to start businesses based on a lot of work, and it is your investment of work that pays off. You need to be willing to put in the work and keep your expenses painfully low until revenue starts coming in. Entirely too many businesses forget this, and that is why there are lots of dead dotcoms out there. - - - Ultimately, it isn't about money anyways, and money is an overused reason for going into business. If you are in it just for the money, you probably won't have the enthusiasm and drive to really succeed. Most people don't need a ton of money to survive, and those who do get a taste for money often find themselves the most in debt. Better to be able to simplify your life and concentrate on your interests and goals rather than become a slave to money, doing things you would rather not in pursuit of the elusive buck. If you are concentrating on providing a really good service and on developing good relationships with your customers, then you won't go too far wrong. - - - It's kind of like Google. They never have had to advertise their service, but they are a hugely popular search engine which doesn't have to advertise their service - their users do it for them. Those are the kind of services that everyone should be interested in starting - addictively good services. LiveJournal still has a way to go, but we're not too bad for the price..."
"Work on something that excites you enough to want to work 24x7. Become an expert on data model + page flow. Build some great systems by yourself and put them on your resume ("I built X" rather than "I built a piece of X as part of a huge team"). Take periodic long trips to exotic countries and learn from people (sometimes your own country is after all the most exotic)."
![Doc Searls]' [Advice to young people seeking IT careers|http://doc.weblogs.com/stories/storyReader$465]
I was asked for some advice to pass along to a class of graduating young people. It wasn't bad for something I pulled out of my butt, so I thought I'd post it somewhere before it got lost in the outbox.
# Neither a borrower nor a spender be.
# Avoid shipping metaphors. You and what you make are nobody's "content."
# Companies have souls. DNA. Basic natures. What was a company's first business? Guess what? It still is. Even if the founder is a dead white guy on the wall of the lobby, the company's going to keep doing whatever that guy was all about. Make the most of it or get out.
# Publish your passions. Publish a weblog on *anything* you care about. Make that your daily diary and keep it up. Answer every email response. Respond to other people's 'blogs. Your path will be blazed by buzz.
There are two kinds of people: those who want to go work for a company to make it successful, and those who want to go work for a successful company. ( my deduction ! after reading [Jamie Zawinski|http://www.jwz.org/gruntle/]'s [resignation and postmortem|http://www.jwz.org/gruntle/nomo.html]
Somebody is sex-obsessed. In a country like India, where for centuries sex has been repressed, that has become almost a universal characteristic; everybody is obsessed with sex. Somebody is obsessed with anger, and somebody else is obsessed with greed. You have to watch which is your basic obsession.
Links20020105
[We] will list sites that are visited frequently
!Favorites
* [The Spiritwalk Reader]
* http://www.spiritualityhealth.com : spiritual practices for human being
* [Sanskrit Documents List|http://sanskrit.gde.to/]
* [The Internet Classics Archive|http://classics.mit.edu/] - 441 searchable works of classical literature ( as of 2001 July 29 )
* [Hindu Puja & Bhajan Home Page|http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/8891/]
* [Sivananda Daily Readings|http://www.dlsmd.org/sdr/sdrmainpage.htm]
* [Good Think|http://www.goodthink.com/] - rise above the mediocrity of your surroundings
2001 January 01 : [Center for Media Literacy Reading Room|http://www.medialit.org/ReadingRoom/readingroom.htm] : "A democratic civilization will save itself only if it makes the language of the image into a stimulus for critical reflection, not an invitation to hypnosis." - [Umberto Eco]
[NoSpank|http://www.nospank.org/] : A resource for students, parents, educators, health care professionals, policymakers, and everyone who believes that children's optimal development occurs in nurturing, violence-free environments and that every child has the right to grow and learn in such an environment.
[Sivananda Saraswathi Sevashram]
Wendell Berry
source : http://www.english.eku.edu/SERVICES/KYLIT/BERRY.HTM
The farmer, poet, novelist, essayist, and teacher, Wendell Berry, is a lover of the land. His appreciation and love for the land is expressed in both his life and works.
Berry was born at New Castle, Kentucky, in 1934. He grew up in this Henry County locale among "the cycle of the tobacco growing, cultivation, and marketing, so the romance of Kentucky's green gold is a living part of him" (Browning 191). In 1956, Berry graduated form the University of Kentucky with a B.A. degree in English and received his M.A. degree there a year later. During the summer of 1956, Berry studied at Indiana University School of Letters. From 1957 to 1959, he taught at Georgetown College. Later, under a creative writing fellowship, he went to the creative writing Center at Stanford University and taught creative writing for a year. While at Stanford, he wrote his first novel, Nathan Coulter.
In 1963, he taught at New York University. When Berry was offered and accepted a teaching position in the English Department at the University of Kentucky, the Berry's came home to Henry County in Kentucky. He lives on a 125 acre farm where his family has lived since the early 1800's. According to Bryan Wooley, "Berry is the fifth generation of his father's family and the sixth of his mother's to farm in Henry County, in the neighborhood of Port Royal" (8). Although his wife, formerly Tanya Amyx, lived in the city all her life, she and her husband raised their two children, Mary Dee and Pryor (Den) Clifford, on the farm. In the article "Wendell Berry, A Kentucky Writer Tries to Strengthen the Ties Between Man and the Land," Wooley discusses Berry's farm life. Berry did not initially intend to live on this farm but intended to use it as a vacation place. Instead the Berry's renovated the house and moved in around July 4, 1965. "It is a real farm, not a writer-professor's country estate. Its chores include milking cows and currying horses, and mucking out stalls and mending fences and mowing hay and all other time-consuming sometimes back-breaking, labor that family agriculture requires" (10).
Most of his farm was previously neglected, but Berry is fascinated with making this abused land productive. Oddly, he does not have a modern toilet; instead he has a clean white privy in the backyard. The wastes deposited there are made into compost. Tractors are not used to plow his fields, either. Berry uses a team of draft horses in replace of "Exhaust-stinking, engine-roaring, gasoline-guzzling tractors" (11). Berry feels he is doing his part by not harming the environment any further.
Another technology he does not convenience himself with is a computer, which Berry explains in his essay "Why I Am Not Going To Buy a Computer?" He writes his works and then his wife revises and types then on a manual typewriter. Berry gives three main reasons for not buying a computer: (1) He would hate to think that his work could not be done without a direct dependence on strip-mined coal. (2) He does not want to replace the close bond between him and his wife with an expensive unnecessary piece of equipment. (3) He does not want to "fool himself" by owning a computer, a tool that itself does not make his writing any better than the writing he does with a pencil. His first reason is in regard with his awareness of the land being striped to produce the electricity to run the computer. For the same reason, he writes in the daytime without electric lighting (179-171). By not participating in the "rape of nature," he shows his concern for the environment.
In Berry's novel, The Memory of Old Jack, this same appreciation for the earth is portrayed through the main character, Jack Beechum. Within this novel, the love for the land can be seen as a means of fulfillment. Although other prominent relationships are evident in Beechum's life, the most important relationship that he has is that with the soil and land.
Beechum remembers going though "a tormented marriage,... a jaded relationship with a hired black hand, and a tender love affair with a young widow... Through it all, Beechum is sustained by his farm, the paramount love and labor of his life" (Borries 26).
Beechum's marriage failed during courtship as Berry explains on page 54 and 55. His wife, Ruth Beechum, expected and wanted more of a business man instead of the farmer he was. The two, even though they were husband and wife, were strangers to each other. "She remained to him an unknown continent" (58). Beechum spent much of his time in the fields with the land, not with his wife. He could not fail with the land nor disappoint it, and it could not hold any expectations for him. So, he had more of a bond with the land than his wife.
Beechum and Will Wells, his Black hired hand, were originally like brothers, working on and caring for the land together. However, they grew weary in their relationship with the roles they fell into. Wells "was a man laboring for no more than his existence," while Beechum had "an increasing resentment of his dependence and a jealous remembering of the days when he had worked alone...when in his solitary work he had been so free" (81). Beechum had a greater need for the land than his hired hand.
Beechum thought he could restore his happiness through a love affair with Rose McInnis, a young widow. At first it did just that. Nevertheless, "with Rose too he was beginning to feel an incompleteness" (134). He loved McInnis but was married to Ruth Beechum; therefore, it could never lead to anything. Beechum knows the love in his affair with McInnis is dishonorable, whereas the love in his affair with the land is honorable.
Beechum's love for the land can be seen through faithfulness, his death, and his community. He is faithful to the earth, "Promising the return of what has been taken from it" (157). On the other hand, Jack also felt that the land was faithful to him by giving him "exactly what he put into it" (Borries 26). As death is at his door, he sits in a chair in his room, but his last visions are as though he is sitting at the roots of a tree on his farm (Berry 190-192). It is almost like his last request is to be with the wilderness. Moreover, Mat Feltner thought Beechum should have been buried secretly, only known to the ones who loved him best, at the edge of one of his fields so that: "when the last of them who knew its place (Beechum's grave-site) had died, Old Jack's return would be complete. He would be lost to memory there in the field, silently possessed by the earth on which he once established the work of his hands" (Berry 207). Therefore, he grew to love the soil and its natural surroundings greater than all else since his other relationships failed to give him satisfaction.
Another of Berry's works that displays a true love for his homeland is his poem "East Kentucky, 1967" included in his collection entitled Openings. The poem invites two questions concerning the environment. The first six lines challenge the awareness of what industrialization has done to the land. The waste produced by machines in the air and streams are at the expense of the lives all of the earth encompasses. The last six lines challenge the awareness of the future of our children. The next generation holds no hope for the reason they are "helpless." Since the children can only witness what we have shown them in this industrial period, they cannot "vision" and are "blind" to the land when it is beautiful and plentiful.
Wendell Berry expresses in his own life and in his works, a fondness, a love for the land and community. In my opinion and understanding, he wants us to realize our modernization is damaging the earth. It is killing the environment. Berry is not trying to tell us to "Save the World." The difference we make does not have to be large scale but local, individually taking part in preventing further damage. Berry explains in an interview with Bluegrass, "I think that changing yourself by doing the best work you can is of major importance" (27). In other words, if we worry about the part we can do locally, instead of thinking that we cannot do it all, then together we can make a noticeable difference.
Works Cited
Berry, Wendell. "East Kentucky, 1967." Openings. Harcourt, Brace, and World: New York, 1968.
- - -. the Memory of Old Jack. Harcourt, Brace, and World: New York, 1974.
Wooley, Bryan. "Wendell Berry, A Kentucky Writer Tries to Strengthen the Ties Between Man and the Land." Courier-Journal & Times. 8-13.
Findings. Iowa City, Iowa: The Prairie Press, 1968. A book of eight poems.
Farming: A Handbook. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1973. A book of 55 poems.
Sayings and Doings. Lexington, Kentucky: Gnoman Press, 1975. A book of 55 entries.
Three Memorial Poems. Berkeley, California: Sand Dollar Press, 1977. A book of 3 poems.
The Gift of Good Land: Further essays Cultural and Agricultural. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1981. A book of 22 nonfiction essays.
Standing by Words. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1983. A book of 7 nonfiction essays.
An Eastward Look. Berkely, california: Sand dollar Press, 1984. A poem.
* source : http://www.tipiglen.dircon.co.uk/wendellberrybooks.htm - "I do have an interest in this book, which is for sale. (If you have bought it, dear reader, I thank you. If you have borrowed it, I honor your frugality. If you have stolen it, may it add to your confusion.) Most of the sale price pays the publisher for paper, ink, and other materials, for editorial advice, copyediting, design, advertising (I hope), and marketing. I get between 10 and 15 percent (depending on sales) for arranging the words on the pages.
As I understand it, I am being paid only for my work in arranging the words; my property is that arrangement. The thoughts in this book, on the contrary, are not mine. They came freely to me, and I give them freely away. I have no "intellectual property," and I think that all claimants to such property are thieves."
* [Keith Parkins]'s http://www.heureka.clara.net/art/berry.htm
The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Rules the World
[Articles] > The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Rules the World
An Inspired Talk delivered by [Gurudeva] Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami on his 54th Jayanti, on January 5, 1980, at the Kadavul Hindu Temple in Hawaii, enjoining the modern Hindu woman to not forsake her dharma but protect the home and nurture the family as her gift of love to the next generation. Hmmm! It seems not to have gone out of date much.
Anbe Sivamayam Satyame Parasivam! Tonight we are going to talk about a vast subject, one that is important to every Hindu family: stri dharma, the dharma of the Hindu wife and mother. In Sanskrit stri means "woman." Dharma is a rich word which encompasses many meanings: the path to God Siva, piety, goodness, duty, obligation and more. Stri dharma is the woman's natural path, while purusha dharma, we can say, is the man's.
There is much controversy about the role of the woman in society these days. In the West, a strong women's liberation movement has been at work for many years, and now there has arisen an equally vigorous opposition which defends traditional values. The so-called struggle for women's liberation has affected women the world over--in India, Iran, Europe, Japan and elsewhere. In North America, I began a campaign informally called the Hindu women's liberation movement. It is not what you might expect. Its purpose is to liberate our Hindu women from the liberators, to save them from worldliness and to allow them to fulfill their natural dharma as mother and wife. For a religious woman, being liberated starts with resigning from her job and coming home. Once she is home, she is liberated and liberated and liberated. Working in the world keeps her in the outer dimensions of consciousness, while being at home allows her to live in the depth of her being. I have seen this work many times. There are so many distractions and influences in the world today that divert women away from being a wife and mother. In the West a woman is a wife first and a mother second, but in the East her duties as a mother are foremost. She is trained from early childhood in the arts of homemaking, trained by her mother who was trained in exactly the same way by her mother, and so on right down through history. It's an old pattern.
The Hindu woman is looked upon as most precious. Two thousand years ago Saint Tiruvalluvar observed: "What does a man lack if his wife is worthy? And what does he possess if she is lacking worth?" There is more respect in the East for women and for their role in society. Here in the West, the woman is not fully appreciated. Her contribution is underrated and misunderstood. In fact, this is one of the reasons she seeks fulfillment and recognition in other spheres, because Western society has become oblivious of her unique and vital role. Abused by neglect and disregard, she seeks other avenues where she may be appreciated, recognized and rewarded.
Don't forget that in the East the ties of the extended family are very close. Women live in a community, surrounded by younger and older women, often living in the same house. They enjoy a rewarding life which includes helping the younger ones and being helped by those who are more mature. Several generations work together in sharing the joys as well as the burdens of household culture. It is different in the West. Women here usually do not have the advantages of close association with other family members. Naturally, they become a little lonely, especially if they do not have a religious community of friends. They get lonely and want to get out in the world and enjoy life a little. This is another reason women leave the home. It is very unfortunate.
In the East there is a better balance of the masculine and feminine forces. In the West the masculine is too strong, too dominant. The feminine energies need to be allowed greater expression. But that does not mean women should start doing what men do. No. That only confuses the forces more. A better balance must be found. In the East the woman is protected. She is like a precious gem. You don't leave it unattended. You protect it. You guard it well because you don't wish to lose it. Hindu women are guarded well. They are not allowed to become worldly. They are not exposed to the looks and thoughts of a base public, nor must they surrender their modesty to contend with business affairs. She can be perfectly feminine, expressing her natural qualities of gentleness, intuitiveness, love and modesty. The home and family are the entire focus of a Hindu woman's life.
Many of you here tonight are too young to know that this was also the pattern in the West until about seventy-five years ago. Before World War I, women were very strict in the West. It was that war and the one that followed that broke down the ancient roles of men and women. The men were taken away from industry by the army, and women were forced out of the home into the factories and businesses so that production could continue. Earlier they had been protected, seldom seen unaccompanied in public. Throughout history, women had been the caretakers of the home and the defenders of virtue. They valued their purity, their chastity, and were virgins when they married. Many people don't know that the old values were followed most strictly up until 1915 or so. Then the two world wars broke up the family and disturbed the balance between men and women. For the first time, women were seen alone in public. For the first time, they left the home and competed with men for their jobs.
I speak often of the change humanity is going through in moving out of the agricultural era and into the technological age. This change has affected the dharma of the woman and the dharma of the man in an interesting way. During the tens of thousands of years of the agricultural age, families lived and labored mostly on farms or in craft guilds. The entire family worked on the farm. The men all worked in the fields; the women and children worked in the home. Children were a great asset. More children meant more help, a bigger farm. There were many chores that a young boy or girl could do. When harvest time came, everyone joined in. It was a one team, and everyone contributed. When the crop was sold, that was the income for a combined effort from all members--men, women and even children. In a very real sense, everyone was earning the money, everyone was economically important.
In the technological era, only the man of the house earns the family income. Everyone else spends it. The husband goes to work in a factory or large company office while his wife and children stay at home. There is not much they can do to help him during the day with his work. His work and his wife's are not as closely related as in the old days. He is the provider, the producer now; she and the children are consumers. Because the children cannot help much, they have become more of an economic liability than an asset. This, coupled with the population problems on the Earth, devalues the economic importance of the woman's traditional role as wife and mother. Whereas raising children and taking care of the farmhouse used to be a woman's direct and vital contribution toward the family's livelihood and even the survival of the human race, today it is not. Whereas they used to be partners in a family farm business, today he does all the earning and she feels like a dependent. The answer is not to have women join their men in the factories and corporations. The answer is to bring traditional religious values into the technological era, to find a new balance of karma that allows for the fulfillment of both the man's and the woman's dharma.
When young couples marry, I help them write down their vows to one another. He must promise to support her, to protect her, to give her a full and rewarding life. She must promise to care for him, to manage the home, to maintain the home shrine and to raise fine children. I ask them each to respect the other's realm, to never mentally criticize the other and to make religion the central focus of their life together. I ask the young bride to stay in the home, to be a little shy of involvement in the world.
A mother's place is within the home and not out in the world working. When she is in the home all day, she brings love and security to the children, sensitivity and stability to the husband. By raising her children, she changes the course of history. How does she do that? She raises strong children, good and intelligent children. They will grow up to be the great men and women in the community, the leaders of the nation. They will be the farmers, artists, businessmen, the teachers, the doctors, the lawyers, the architects, the presidents and, most importantly, the spiritual leaders. They will be the mothers, the homemakers and child-raisers, scientists and inventors, pioneers and poets, artists and sculptors and creators in all dimensions of life. It is such men and women who change the course of human history. This is the great power held by the mother and by no one else: to properly mold the mind and character of her children. And she trains her daughters to do the same by example and gentle guidance.
Of course, she also holds the opposite power, expressed through neglect, to allow her children to grow up on their own, on the streets where they will learn a base life. Such children will as surely change society and human history, but negatively. They will be the common men and women, or fall into mental and emotional abysses, there to express man's instinctive nature and become the exemplars of violence and lust, of dependence and crime. The very direction of humankind is right there in the early years, to be turned toward a great potential through love and attentiveness or allowed to decay through neglect. The mother is the child's first guru, and she alone can shape the mind in those impressionable years. So, you can all see the truth in the old saying: "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world."
Take the case of a mother who is at home every day, morning and night, attending to her children. As she rocks the cradle, her love and energy radiate out to the infant who then feels a natural peacefulness and security. She has time for the child, time to sing sweet lullabies and console when the tears come, time to teach about people, about the world, about the little things in growing up, time to cuddle for no reason except to express her love. On the other hand, the working mother has no time to do extra things. When the infant cries, she may, out of her own frustrations of the day, become impatient and scold him, demanding that he keep quiet. "I told you to be quiet!" she shouts. The infant doesn't even understand English yet. You can imagine this helpless child's feelings as he receives an emotional blast of anger and frustration directed toward his gentle form. Where is he to turn? He cannot find refuge even in his mother's arms. What will the next generation be like if all the children are raised under such circumstances? Will it be strong and self-assured? Will it radiate kindness to others, never having had kindness given to it? Will it be patient and understanding? No. It is a proven fact that most of the people in prison were neglected or beaten as children. It is also a proven fact that nearly all parents who mistreat their children were themselves mistreated by their parents. Unless mothers care for and love their children, society will inherit an entire generation of frustrated adults who were once frustrated children. These will later be the people who rule the world. Then what happens? They in turn raise their children in the same manner, for that is the only example of parenthood they have. They will think that neglect is natural, that children can get along on their own from an early age or be raised by a governess or nurse or at a day-care center. It's a circle: a childhood of neglect produces a bitter adult life; a childhood of love and trust produces a loving and happy adult life.
We learn so many important things from the mother. This learning is not just from the things she explains to us, but from the way she lives her life. If she is patient, we learn patience. If she is angry and unhappy, then we learn to be angry and unhappy. How wonderful it is for a mother to be in the home and give her children the great gifts of life by her example. She can teach them so many things, bring them into profound understandings about the world around them and offer them basic values and points of view that will sustain them throughout their life. Her gift of love is directly to the child, but indirectly it is a gift to all of humanity, isn't it? A child does not learn much from the father until he is older, perhaps eight or nine, or ten years of age.
Let me tell you a sad story. We have a book in our library which describes a plan, made by the Christians, to destroy Hinduism in Sri Lanka and India. One of their major tactics is to get the Hindu women out of the homes and working in the world. They knew that the spiritual force within the home is created by the unworldly woman. They knew that a secure woman makes for a secure home and family, a secure husband and a secure religion. They knew that the Hindu woman is the key to the perpetuation of Hinduism as long as she is in the home. If the woman is in the home, if she is happy and content and the children are nurtured and raised properly, then the astral beings around the home will be devonic, friendly and beneficial. But if she is out of the home and the husband is out of the home, the protective force-field around the home disintegrates, allowing all kinds of astral asuric beings to enter. Such a neglected home becomes inhabited by base, asuric beings on the lower astral plane. You cannot see these beings, but they are there, and you can sense their presence. Things just don't feel right in a home inhabited by negative forces. You have the desire to leave such a home as soon as you enter it. The children absorb these vibrations, these feelings. Children are open and psychically sensitive to such influences, with little means of self-protection. They will become disturbed, and no one will know the reason why. They will be crying and even screaming. They will be constantly disobedient. Why should they become disobedient? There is no positive, protective force field of religion established by the mother. This leaves the inner force field vulnerable to negative and confusing forces of all kinds, especially in modern, overpopulated cities where destructive psychic influences are so strong. These negative vibrations are penetrating the inner atmosphere of the home, and the children are psychic enough to pick them up and suffer.
Religion begins in the home under the mother's influence and instruction. The mother goes to the temple to get strong. That is the reason Hindus live near a temple. They go to the temple to gain the strength from the shakti of the Deity, and they return to the home where they maintain a similar vibration in which to raise the next generation to be staunch and wonderful citizens of the world, to bring peace on Earth, to keep peace on Earth. There is an ancient Tamil proverb which says one should not live in a city which has no temple.
If a child is screaming in its cradle, and the baby sitter is yelling at him and couldn't care less about his feelings, and the mother is out working, that child is not a candidate for peace on Earth. That child is going to keep things confused, as they are today. So, it's all in the hands of the mother; it's not in the hands of the father. Religion and the future of society lie solely in the hands of the mother. It is in the hands of the father to allow or not to allow the mother to be under another man's mind out in the world.
Just as the two world wars took women out of the home, so did another recent change affect mankind. When the automobile came, people forgot about breeding. The automobile did one terrible thing: it made people forget how to breed and how to take care of one another. When people had horses, horses were a part of the family. People had to care for their horses and in the process learned to care for one another. People also had to breed their horses, and in that process learned about the value of intelligent breeding. In those days, you often heard of the "well-bred" person. You don't hear of the well-bred person anymore. People no longer consider that humans, too, are involved in the natural process of breeding. They have become forgetful of these important laws, and this has led to lack of discipline, to bodies indiscriminately creating more bodies. Who is living in them nobody quite knows. That's what we, as a society, forgot when the automobile replaced the horse. When you had a horse, you had to feed it, you had to train it, curry it, stable it and breed it. In breeding it, you had to choose a stud for your mare or find a suitable mare for your stallion. The qualities on both sides were closely observed, and the combination of genetics consciously planned. It was, therefore, natural for people in those days to seek proper mates for their children, and the results were the vital, creative and industrious children of the children. As a civilization, we are slowly forgetting such things, being more careless about our children's future, about their lives and minds.
Television has not helped the matter. In fact, it has virtually stopped the proper education of the child in those communities where it is watched for hours each day. Instead of developing a curiosity by adventuring for hours through a forest or climbing a tree, instead of discovering the wonders of nature and art and music, instead of becoming involved in sports and hobbies, children are mentally carried along by television stories through positive and negative states of mind. They become uncreative, inactive, never learning to use their own minds. Not all television is negative. Some of it can be quite educational; but hours and hours each day of passive absorption are not good for the child's mental and emotional development. Children need to be active, to involve themselves in a wide variety of experiences. If the mother is there, she can intelligently guide their television, being careful that they do not get in the habit of watching it for hours on end, and watching that bold sex, violence and other bad influences are not a daily experience. When the program is over, she can send them out to play. Of course, if she is gone, they will watch anything and everything. For the young, television is one of the most senseless pastimes there is, carrying the mind further and further away from the true Self. I think you will all agree that our values, the values found in the holy Vedas, Tirukural and other sacred scriptures are not found on television. Instead, TV gives our children a brutal and unbalanced view of life which distorts in their minds how life really is. These are very serious questions. It is the mother who protects her children from negative influences, guiding their young minds into positive channels of expression.
Take the case of a farmer who raises livestock, who milks cows and goats. He works hard. He gets up early and takes care of his animals. He cannot succeed if he is also working part-time in the grocery store downtown. He just can't do it. Those animals need attention. There is no sensible man who would run a farm, with cows and goats and chickens, and not be there to take care of them, because those animals need a lot of help. He stays there and takes care of his business. He is a farmer and that is his duty, and he knows it.
Well, what's more important than the child? He needs 24-hour-a-day care. He is learning to walk, to speak, to think. He falls down and needs consoling. He catches the flu and needs to be nursed back to health. It is the mother's duty to provide that care. No one else is going to do it for her. No one else can do it for her. She brought that child into the world, and she must prepare that child for a positive and rewarding life. If the farmer neglects his animals, he creates a karma. The animals suffer. The farm suffers. The community suffers when the farm fails, and the man himself suffers. There is a grave karma, too, for the woman who neglects her stri dharma, who goes out into the world and does not nurture the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs of her children. She knows this within herself, but she may be influenced by ill-advised people, or by a mass movement that tells her that she has only one life to live and that she cannot find fulfillment in the home but must express herself, venture out, seek her own path, her own fortune. You have all heard these ideas. I tell you that they are wrong. They spell the disillusionment of the mother who heeds them, then the disintegration of the family that is sacrificed by her absence. Finally, they result in her own unhappiness as she despairs at the loss suffered by her family and herself.
From the point of view of the Second World, or astral plane, the home is the family temple, and the wife and mother is in charge of that spiritual environment. Man can come into that sanctum sanctorum but should not bring the world into it. He will naturally find a refuge in the home if she is doing her duty. He will be able to regain his peace of mind there, renew himself for the next day in the stressful situations that the world is full of. In this technological age a man needs this refuge. He needs that inner balance in his life. When he enters that sanctuary and she is in her soul body and the child is in its soul body, then he becomes consciously conscious in his soul body. He leaves the conscious mind, which is a limited, external state of mind and not a balanced state of mind. He enters the intuitive mind. He gets immediate and intuitive answers to his worldly problems. How can he not be successful in his purusha dharma in the outside world when he has the backing of a good wife? She is naturally perceptive, naturally intuitive. She balances out his intellect, softens the impact of the forces which dash against his nervous system from morning to night. Encouragement and love naturally radiate out from her as she fulfills stri dharma. Without these balancing elements in his life, a man becomes too externalized, too instinctive and sometimes brutal.
If a woman is working, she cannot provide this balance. She has to start thinking and acting like a man. She has to become a little harder, create a protective shell around her emotions. Then the home loses its balance of the masculine and the feminine forces. Take for example the situation in which the wife rushes home from work fifteen minutes before the husband. She's upset. The children come over from grandmother's house or she tells the baby sitter to go home. She scurries to prepare something before he comes home, then rushes to get herself looking halfway decent. Emotionally upset, she tries to calm herself, tries to relax and regain her composure. Her astral body is upset. The children's astral bodies are upset. The husband enters this agitated environment--upset by being in the world anyway--and he becomes more disturbed. He was looking forward to a quiet evening. He feels neglected, disappointed, and that leads him to become distraught, even angry. No wonder he beats his wife and abuses his child. He's mad. He gets more and more disturbed until there is nothing left to do but walk out. It's a totally impossible situation. Furthermore, it's not going to get better but exceedingly worse.
The situation I have just described is one of the main reasons that marriages today have become less stable, that so many married couples--sixty to seventy percent, I'm told--are experiencing difficulties and breaking up. People never get married with the intent of breaking up. Never. The forces do it. You put two magnets together one way and they attract one another. Turn one around, and they repel each other. The same force that brought the people together, when it is not handled right, makes them pull apart and hate each other. They can't see eye to eye. Then to make up, they go out to dinner to talk it over--in another frustrating asuric situation, as far out in the world as they can get--to try to make up. When that doesn't help, they come home, still frustrated. If they went to the nearby temple and worshiped the Deity together, that would help. They would return home in a different state of mind, and discover that their vibration had changed. Why does it help to go to the temple? Because the Deity is in the temple. The Deity is there to adjust the forces of the inner nerve system, to actually change the forces of mind and emotion.
In the home the mother is likened to the Shakti Deity. She is the power of the home. None other. So she has to be there. She has to be treated right. She has to be given the things she needs. It is the man's duty to provide for her and for the children. The husband should provide her with all the fine things, with a good house which she then makes into a home, with gold and jewels and clothes, gold hanging down until her ears hurt, more bracelets, more things to keep her in the home so she is feeling secure and happy. In return she provides a refuge, a serene corner of the world where he can escape from the pressures of daily life, where he can regain his inner perspective, perform his spiritual sadhana and meditations then enjoy his family. Thus, she brings happiness and peace of mind to the family, to the community and to the world.
This working together of the home and the temple brings up the culture and the religion within the family. The family goes to the temple; the temple blesses the family's next project. The mother returns home. She keeps an oil lamp burning in the shrine room on the altar. It's a beautiful thing. All this happens because her astral body is not fretted by the stresses and strains of a worldly life, not polluted by the lustful thoughts of other men directed to her. She is not living in the emotional astral body. She is living in her peaceful soul body of love, fulfilling her dharma and radiating the soulful presence called sannidhya. She was born to be a woman, and that's how a woman should behave.
If she does not do her dharmic duty--this means the duty of birth--then she accrues bad karma. Every time she leaves the home to go out to work, she is making kukarma. Yes, she is. That negative karma will reflect on her astral body and on her husband's astral body and on the astral bodies of their children, causing them to become insecure.
The Christian-Judaic-Islamic idea of a one life, that "you have to get everything out of this life because when you're gone, you're gone, so grab all the gusto that you can out of life" has given the modern Western woman the idea that she is not getting what she should, by being a woman, and therefore the world looks doubly attractive because she is just passing through and will never come back and doesn't want to miss anything. So, living a man's life is very, very attractive. She doesn't want to stay home all the time and not see anything, not meet anybody, go through the boredom of raising a family, taking care of the children. She wants to be out with life, functioning in a man's world because she is told that she is missing something. Therefore, you can understand her desire to get out and work, start seeing and experiencing life and mixing with people, meeting new people. The Hindu woman does not look at life like that. The Hindu woman knows that she was born in a woman's body--this soul has taken an incarnation for a time in a woman's body--to perform a dharma, to perform a duty for the evolution of the soul. The duty is to be a mother to her children, wife to her husband, to strengthen the home and the family, which are the linchpin of society. She knows that the rewards are greater for her in the home. She knows that all she is missing is a man's strenuous work and responsibility, that her stri dharma is equally as great as a man's purusha dharma, even though they are quite different by nature. Because she knows these things, she fulfills her dharma joyously.
Now, a woman may wonder, "If I don't work, how are we going to pay the bills?" The real reason that most women work is economic. The economy of the world is becoming more and more difficult, and the first answer to money problems, especially in the West, where the family unit is not too strong these days, is to have the woman go to work. This is an unhappy solution. The sacrifices are greater than the rewards. It is a false economy. Many times I have told young wives to stay home with their children. They worry. Their husbands worry. But with the wife at home, working to strengthen her husband, he soon becomes confident, creative, energetic. He is reinspired and always finds a way to make things work.
As long as the mother is home, everything is fine. There is security. Without this security, a family begins to disintegrate. Just think how insecure a child is without its mother. When the mother is there, security reigns in the home. As long as the mother is home doing whatever she naturally does as a mother--she doesn't even have to read a book about how to do it--the husband has to support the home. He feels bound to support the home.
Of course, religion must be the basis of the home to make it all work. When women leave the home to work in the world, they sacrifice the depth of their religion; their religious life then simply becomes a social affair. This is true of both Eastern and Western religions. As long as the mother is home, the celestial devas are there, hovering in and around the home. How many of you were raised with your mother staying at home? Well, then you know what I mean. Now, what if she wasn't at home when you were a child? You came home and mother wasn't there. You had to fix your own snack in an empty house. You didn't feel much cared for. You were alone in an empty house, perhaps frightened, and you went around seeing if someone was hiding in the closet. You didn't feel that motherly, protective feeling. When mother finally does come home, she has other things on her mind. She is tired. She has worked hard, and now she has to work even more. She is not thinking about the little helpless kid who can't take care of himself or herself. She may get home and think to herself, "I just can't forget about that good-looking man I met at the office. I even see him in my dreams. I have a husband and I shouldn't be thinking about such things, but" And on and on and on. Arguments begin to happen for the first time in the home. What do you do? You worry for awhile. You cry a little. As soon as you can, you start fending for yourself. You work out ways to take care of yourself or even to get away from the unhappy situation as soon as you can. You end up out on your own in the world at a young age, before you are mature enough to cope with it.
The Hindu woman knows that she is born in a woman's body to perform a woman's dharma, to perform her duty and not to emulate the men. The duty is to be a mother to her children and a wife to her husband, whom she looks to as her lord. She performs that duty willingly as does the man perform his duty which arises out of being born in a man's body. The Hindu woman is trained to perform her stri dharma from the time she is a little girl. She finds ways to express her natural creativity within the home itself. She may write poetry or become an artist. Perhaps she has a special talent for sewing or embroidery or gardening or music. She can learn to loom cloth and make the family's clothing. If needed, she can use her skills to supplement the family income without leaving the home. There are so many ways for a Hindu wife and mother to fully use her creative energies, including being creative enough to never let her life become boring. It is her special blessing that she is free to pursue her religion fully, to study the scriptures, to sing bhajana and keep her own spiritual life strong inside.
Then there is the situation in which the wife is working for her husband in the home. This is not ideal, but it is far better than having her out, away from her husband, under another man's mind. At least the family is working together toward a single goal, and the mother is there to care for the child and answer questions. Of course, if working in the home does not allow for closeness of mother and children, then it is to be avoided--if, for instance, the work is so demanding that the mother is never free to play with the young ones or is so pressured by her other duties that she becomes tense and upset. Otherwise, it is a positive situation. From the child's point of view, mother is home. She is there to answer questions, to make a dosai or say "Go make yourself a nice dosai."
Heaven & Hell
A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the
scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered
dying, and that the dog had been dead for years. He wondered where the road
After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the
road. It looked like fine marble.
At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the
sunlight. When he was standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the
arch that looked like mother of pearl, and the street that led to the gate
He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw man at a
"Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right
up." The man gestured, and the gate began to open.
The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued
After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a
dirt road which led through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been
inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.
"Excuse me!" he called to the reader. "Do you have any water?"
They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old fashioned hand
pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the bowl and took a long
When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was
standing by the tree waiting for them.
"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope.
"Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?"
"No. I can see how you might think so, but we're just happy that they
Sometimes, we wonder why friends keep forwarding jokes to us without writing
know what, and don't know how, you forward jokes."
And to let you know that: you are still remembered, you are still important,
So my friend, next time if you get a joke, don't think that I have sent you
just a joke, but that I have thought of you today and wanted to send you a
Growing together as a couple
We all know that it is not easy to keep the sweetness of the initial relationship alive when demands from work and family keep mounting on us. Our daily lives can become a routine of work and we wonder where is the sweetness that we first experienced? It is worth checking from time to time if we are growing together or growing apart.
Here are some steps we can take to bring the sweetness back and grow together.
Was it music, dance, movie or books that you enjoyed sharing with each other when you first met? Revive your interest and enthusiasm with whatever you enjoyed in the beginning. Make a date with each other to go see a movie or read a good book together.
In our daily lives it is necessary to share the workload and the financial responsibilities. However, watch out for pettiness or meanness entering your relationship. If you are upset about something, then voice your concerns without loosing the human decency. Always keep your relationship with each other above a certain level of respect and love.
Respect each other’s work and ideas
Once our relationship is established, it is easy to brand a person and predict what he or she will do or say in most matters. Yet, give your spouse a listening ear about his or her ideas. Show respect and interest in what is dear to him or her. Often it is easy to brush aside what your partner may have to say since you feel like you already know it, yet give him or her a chance.
One of the biggest problems of a close relationship is that the other person knows your weakest points. Do not ever take advantage of your partner’s weakness. Instead strengthen that weakness with what you have to offer. Remember that you two form a team that can face the world so if you are united, you can compensate for each other’s weaknesses. If not, the others can exploit both of your weaknesses.
Work as a team with your children
Often, children figure out a split in their parent’s relationship and take advantage of the split. Even if you disagree with your partner about any discipline issue, let your children know that whatever you decide will be the result of both of your inputs.
Plan at least one uplifting activity together on a regular basis
Pick an activity that brings out your higher self. It can be a religious, social, volunteer or sport related activity. Plan this activity with some regular frequency. For example, decide that you will visit a local temple once a week or attend a book club together every month. To avoid getting into the rut, keep checking from time to time if you still enjoy this activity or try out different options. The goal is to get in touch with your higher ideals that may get lost in the routine of everyday life.
Often it is easy to lose perspective of life when we are so busy. Remind each other what is important in your life. For example if small events are creating stress in your family, remind yourself that in the long run what matters to you is the sweetness within family.
At every anniversary, keep checking to see if you are growing together – what interests you and how you have grown in last few years. Make amends in the areas where you think you may have missed some opportunities for growth. You can use your favorite activities as your barometer to see how you are growing. Have you created any new interest recently? Have you learnt to appreciate new kind of music?
Daily routine robs you of the sense of wonder and sweetness that once formed core of your relationship. Break the routine to see the tenderness in each other. Enjoy the moment for what it is. Being conscious of little wonders in life can help you see the beauty in everyday life and in each other.
Three visions for India
Mr. APJ Abdul Kalaam's speech in Hyderabad/India: MUST read for every
from all over the world have come and invaded us, captured our lands,
conquered our minds. From Alexander onwards. The Greeks, the Turks, the
Moguls, the Portuguese, the British, the French the Dutch, all of them
came and looted us, took over what was ours. Yet we have not done this
We have not conquered anyone. We have not grabbed their land, their
culture, their history and tried to enforce our way of life on them.
vision is that of FREEDOM. I believe that India got its first vision
of this in 1857, when we started the war of independence. It is this
freedom that we must protect and nurture and build on. If we are not
been a developing nation. It is time we see ourselves as a developed
reliant and self-assured. Isn't this incorrect?
I have a THIRD vision. India must stand up to the world. Because I
believe that unless India stands up to the world, no one will respect
military power but also as an economic power. Both must go hand-in-hand.
My good fortune was to have worked with three great minds. Dr. Vikram
him and Dr. Brahm Prakash, father of nuclear material. I was lucky to
have worked with all three of them closely and consider this the great
opportunity of my life.
ONE: Twenty years I spent in ISRO. I was given the opportunity to be
the project director for India's first satellite launch vehicle, SLV3.
TWO: After my ISRO years, I joined DRDO and got a chance to be the part
of India's guided missile program. It was my second bliss when Agni met
its mission requirements in 1994.
THREE: The Dept. of Atomic Energy and DRDO had this tremendous
partnership in the recent nuclear tests, on May 11 and 13. This was the
third bliss. The joy of participating with my team in these nuclear
tests and proving to the world that India can make it, that we are no
longer a developing nation but one of them. It made me feel very proud
FOUR: One day an orthopaedic surgeon from Nizam Institute of Medical
Sciences visited my laboratory. He lifted the material and found it so
light that he took me to his hospital and showed me his patients. There
were these little girls and boys with heavy metallic callipers weighing
and took them to the orthopaedic centre. The children didn't believe
sensing satellites. We are the second largest producers of wheat. We are
self-sustaining, self-driving unit. There are millions of such
achievements but our media is only obsessed in the bad news and failures
and disasters.
I was in Tel Aviv once and I was reading the Israeli Newspaper. It was
the day after a lot of attacks and bombardments and deaths had taken
desert land into an orchid and a granary. It was this inspiring picture
we only read about death, sickness, errorism, crime.
obsessed with foreign things? We want foreign TVs, we want foreign
shirts. We want foreign technology. Why this obsession with everything
imported. Do we not realize that self-respect comes with self-reliance?
"I want to live in a developed India." For her, you and I will have to
under-developed nation; it is a highly developed nation. "
Got 10 minutes for your country? If yes, then read; otherwise, choice
laws are too old. YOU say that the municipality does not pick up the
the airline is the worst in the world, and mails never reach their
destination. YOU say that our country has been fed to the dogs and is
the absolute pits. YOU say, say and say. What do YOU do about it?
him a face - YOURS. YOU walk out of the airport and you are at your
(equivalent of Mahim Causeway or Pedder Road) between 5 PM and 8 PM. YOU
status identity. In Singapore you don't say anything, DO YOU? YOU
dare to go out without your head covered in Jeddah. YOU would not dare
650) a month to, "see to it that my STD and ISD calls are billed to
Washington and then tell the traffic cop, "Jaanta hai sala main kaun
hoon (Do you know who I am?). I am so and so's son. Take your two bucks
and get lost." YOU wouldn't chuck an empty coconut shell anywhere other
than the garbage pail on the beaches in Australia and New Zealand. Why
don't YOU spit Paan on the streets of Tokyo? Why don't YOU use
talking of the same YOU. YOU who can respect and conform to a foreign
papers and cigarettes on the road the moment you touch Indian ground. If
you can be an involved and appreciative citizen in an alien country why
droppings all over the place," he said. "And then the same people turn
around to criticize and blame the authorities for inefficiency and dirty
pavements. What do they expect the officers to do? Go down with a broom
Will the Indian citizen do that here?" He's right. We go to the polls to
choose a government and after that forfeit all responsibility. We sit
back wanting to be pampered and expect the government to do everything
paper and throw it in the bin. We expect the railways to provide clean
want Indian Airlines and Air India to provide the best of food and
opportunity. This applies even to the staff who is known not to pass on
the service to the public. When it comes to burning social issues like
those related to women, dowry, girl child and others, we make loud
drawing room protestations and continue to do the reverse at home. Our
excuse? "It's the whole system, which has to change, how will it matter
the system? & work miracles for us with a majestic sweep of his hand. Or
we leave the country and run away. Like lazy cowards hounded by our
fears we run to America to bask in their glory and praise their system.
When New York becomes insecure we run to England. When England
the Gulf is war struck, we demand to be rescued and brought home by the
Indian government. Everybody is out to abuse and rape the country.
Nobody thinks of feeding the system. Our conscience is mortgaged to
a great deal of introspection and pricks one's conscience too....I am
Indians..... "ASK WHAT WE CAN DO FOR INDIA AND DO WHAT HAS TO BE DONE
TO MAKE INDIA WHAT AMERICA AND OTHER WESTERN COUNTRIES ARE TODAY" Let's
Oh, Poor India!
Poor India ! Every time it looks as if thy head is coming above water, that at last your are accorded some breathing space, after having suffered so much for centuries at the hands of bloody invasions, pernicious colonisers, or secular enemies from within, you are plunged back into darkness, by some unexpected twist of fate, some unheralded, unnecessary, perverse, unfair setback, such as the Sabamarti Express killings.
Poor India ! At Independence you were robbed of one fifth of your territory, courtesy her Majestyâs Service; in 1962, the ever smiling, but treacherous Chinese, humiliated you and stole another chunk of thy blessed land, thanks to Nehruâs blind hindi-chinni-bhai-bhai policy; finally, the Pakistanis, who lost all the wars they initiated against you, understood that proxy conflicts were the cheapest, safest (and most cowardly) way to hurt you. And indeed, your soldiers were bled in Punjab, and they are bled today in Kashmir and the North-East, while the world looks the other way and Amnesty International even praises the perpetrators .
Poor India !: Nobody will ever understand the harm that has been done to thy social, religious and cultural fabric by nearly ten centuries of bloody Muslim invasions. Muslim invaders looted thy country, they killed thy men, raped thy women, razed thy temples, broke thy statues and enslaved thy children. This onslaught was so intense, so bloody, so terrifying -- remember Hindu Kush - India - that it has left a permanent scar on thy psyche: thy sons and daughters have become - as Mahatma Gandhi aptly said -- cowards; they shy away from confrontation, panic easily, stay indoors at the least sign of trouble, lack total civic sense and let Indiaâs New Barbarians still defy and defile thee.
Poor India: The British made sure they fashioned a class of Indians who were brown in skin, but white in their thoughts. They were made up to dress British, eat British, think British and even dream British in their sleep. Today their descendants, the journalists of the English press, are thy worse enemies. They dress Western, eat Western, think Western and even dream Western in their sleep. What matters to them is not what might utter Indiaâs sages, avatars, gurus, wise men and yogis, who dress Indian, eat Indian, think Indian and even dream Indian, but what the western media, or Amnesty International will think about India. They are not interested at all by what the Bhagavad Gita, probably the worldâs most revelatory, most comprehensive, most relevant sacred book has to say, or how Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Indiaâs 21st century avatar, could help. No, they would rather turn to Gustave Thoreau, Marx or Jean-Paul Sartre, people who have even lost relevance in he West, for a solution to thy immense problems.
Poor India ! Thy journalists are indeed thy worst enemies: they have proved it again after the Sabamarti episode. Here you have fifty eight innocent people, thirty of them being women and children, who are savagely murdered in the most horrific manner, only because they are Hindus. They have killed nobody, whatever the rightfulness or wrongfulness of their cause, they have burnt nobody; they have insulted nobody. And yet, the whole grisly episode was turned against them: instead of being victims of the most horrendous premeditated murder, thy journalists made them responsible for their own deaths. Why ? Because they were "fanatics ", who want to build a temple dedicated to the most cherished of Hindu Gods, Ram, on a site which has been held sacred by Hindus for three thousand years ? What a terrible crime ! But Spanish Christians retook the Mosques which had been built by the invading Moors and reconverted them into churches. Turks too grabbed the beautiful Byzantine basilicas in Istanbul, erstwhile Constantinople and made them into mosques - and nobody today finds anything to say. But look how the Indian Media also keeps throwing the blame on the VHP which is "forcing" the temple issue and "provoking" Muslims. Then, when the rioting started and Hindu anger at the terrible manner in which their brothers and sisters were killed, was directed at Muslims, it became "communal rioting"; and of course, people like M.J. Akbar put the entire blame on Hindu "fundamentalism". Yet, it is the Hindus who have always been the target of Muslim killings, whether it is in Kashmir, Bangladesh, or Pakistan. But when they dare to hit back, they are labelled as "fanatics", forgetting that India has been a land of refuge for centuries, thanks to Hindu tolerance.
Poor India ! When a Graham Staines is burnt alive, all of Indiaâs English press goes overboard in condemning his killers, but when 58 Graham Staines are murdered, they keep silent. Why ? Whatâs wrong with Indian journalists ? This is plain common sense, logic, the most basic of human intelligence: people who kill in the name of God, can be called fundamentalists; people who ram planes full of innocent people on buildings full of other innocent people, should be called terrorists. But why should people who want to peacefully build a temple be also called fundamentalists ? Even those Hindus who brought down the Babri Masjid, after millions of temples were razed by Muslim invaders, did not kill a single soul in the process, whether it was right or wrong to do it . Yet, Islamâs vengeance, which planted bombs in the heart of Bombay, with the help of the ISI and the tacit backing of Saudi Arabia, and killed hundreds of innocent people, was acceptable to Indiaâs "secular" journalists and was also labelled as "communal rioting". Today, Star Newsâ anti-Hindu and pro-Muslim bias is so gross, that it should be laughed at. Unfortunately, it does damage by confusing Indiaâs middle and upper middle class, who are unsure of their moorings and on top of that, it gives India such a bad image in the eyes of the world.
Poor India ! Not only thy own journalists always run thee down, but most of the western press ignores thee, when it is not debasing thee: "a train full of Hindu 'extremistsâ was burnt", said an Agence France Presse dispatch dated Saturday 2d March, which went around the world. Full of Hindu "extremists" ? Do they mean to say that the forty innocent women and children who were burnt were "extremists" ? No self-respecting Government should allow such bias in foreign reporting: in China these press outfits would be immediately thrown out. But the worse is that this piece was probably written by an Indian stringer - and a Hindu at that - who wants to prove to his or her White Masters, that she is Whiter than the White, more Secular than the Secular. Oh, poor India.
Poor India ! Do thy Oxford-speaking, pipe-smoking, Scotch-drinking journalists understand that post 11th September and December 13th, there has been a shift in the Pakistani strategy vis a vis India. After the intense American pressure to give-up terrorism, they have resorted to triggering a communal war here: the Godhra killings were the first such example of this new strategy, as reports speak of Pakistani illegals leading the mob (as well as Congress Muslim local leaders). Foreign funds for the Islamic cause in South Asia have also dried-up, as the United States has frozen many accounts, and part of the new scheme is to generate local funds in India via the madrasas, by creating a feeling of insecurity amongst the Muslim minority and then say: "look what happened to us in Ahmedabad, we need funds to protect ourselves". Do Indian journalists know that madrasas in UP get 33 crores from the government per year and in Bengal 135 ? If they do, they make sure it is never publicized.
Poor India ! If we allow this to unfold, then the unrest and killings which have been happening for the last 15 years in Kashmir, will spread to many parts of India, wherever there are important Muslim communities and the dream of Hindu-Muslim brotherhood will forever vanish. Arise again ï India, in this hour of need. Let thy sons and daughters prove again to the world that they are the worthy sons of one of the most ancient and greatest civilisation, which has still so much to give to the world.
Yoga
naval : Yoga cultivates Peace of Body. Meditation cultivates Peace of Mind.
The word 'Yoga' comes from the Sanskrit root 'Yuj' which means 'to
united with the supreme soul (paramatma). Yoga means union with God.
Then all samsara (cycle of birth and death) comes to an end.
http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/yoga.htm : Although many people think this term refers to union between body and mind or body, mind and spirit, the traditional acceptance is union between the Jivatman and Paramatman that is between one's individual consciousness and the Universal Consciousness.
Therefore Yoga refers to a certain state of consciousness as well as to methods that help one reach that goal or state of union with the divine.
[sivananda.org - Twelve Basic Postures|http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/exercise.htm]
[Hatha Yoga Pradipika] : ...Yoga perishes by these six: overeating, overexertion, talking too much, performing needless austerities, socializing, and restlessness...Yoga succeeds by these six: enthusiasm, openness, courage, knowledge of the truth, determination, and solitude...
[anusara.com : Recommended Reading List for Teachers|http://www.anusara.com/certification/reading.htm]
Vision Creates Great Leaders
Professor, Technology & Societal Transformation, Anna University, Chennai
XLRI, Jamshedpur, My greetings to all the graduating students and
professors and teachers who shaped them to have qualities of leadership
to take up various missions and tasks of the nation. I was thinking
what thoughts I can share with the graduating students on this
excellence in intellect that demands three unique traits or
qualities, experienced during education phase and also career
phase. They are noble leadership, indomitable spirit and
universal mind. Friends, with foundation of these three
qualities, let me take you on the journey of transforming India
science, in technology, in history, in politics and in industry
and they are the results of first vision of the nation commenced
hear the mid-night freedom speech of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
We were all thrilled when Panditji spoke that the mission was
think of. In the Tamil newspaper, on the front page, two news
items appeared. One item was India achieving freedom and
Panditji’s speech. The other news item and the most important
Mahatma Gandhiji walking barefoot in Naokali, removing the
Mahatma Gandhi has to be the first to unfurl the national flag
Red Fort, instead he was at Naokali. Mahatma Gandhi was an
embodiment of nobility, elevated thinking and concern for
human beings. What an everlasting positive impact in the mind
Indomitable spirit
men and women before me not to lose hope and courage.
task lying in front of you. I can assert without fear of
contradiction that the quality of the Indian mind is equal to the
quality of any Teutonic, Nordic or Anglo-Saxon mind. What we
which takes one anywhere. We have, I think, developed an
inferiority complex. I think what is needed in India today is the
destruction of that defeatist spirit. We need a spirit of victory, a
spirit that will carry us to our rightful place under the sun, a
spirit which will recognize that we, as inheritors of a proud
civilization, are entitled to a rightful place on this planet. If that
indomitable spirit were to arise, nothing can hold us from
bridge of science and society. Friends, I request all who are
transforms into thoughts and thoughts result into actions.
Universal Mind birth of space science and technology in a
research programme for the nation. Both Dr Homi Bhabha and
Prof Vikram Sarabhai were looking for a site to establish
great scientists visited a number of places. Thumba in Kerala
was selected by the scientific community for space research
as it was near the equatorial region and was ideally suited for
atmospheric structure. When Prof Vikram Sarabhai visited
Thumba, the locality had series of villages and thousands of
fishermen folk were living in that area. It also had a beautiful
ancient church, St Mary Magdalene Church, Pallithura and a
Bishop’s House. Prof Vikram Sarabhai met many politicians
and bureaucrats to get the place for the work of space science
research. It did not move further because the nature of the
place. He was asked to see the Bishop of Trivandrum, at that
Pereira. It was a Saturday when Prof Vikram Sarabhai met the
Bishop. The Bishop smiled and asked him to meet him the
the congregation, "My children, I have a famous scientist with
me who wants our church and the place I live for the work of
reasoning. In one way, science and spiritualism seek the
"There was a chorus of ‘Amen’ from the congregation and the
Pereira, the Bishop of Trivandrum, took the noble decision to
dedicate the church in recognition of the national goal for the
Pallithura, Thumba. That was the church where we had our
winding machine for FRP product and the Bishop’s house was
Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and multiple space centres
When I think of this event, I can see how enlightened spiritual
and scientific leaders, all converge towards giving reverence to
the human life. New church and new schools were established
in record time. Of course the birth of TERLS and then VSSC
gave the country the capability of design, development and
produce world class huge rocket system and subsequently,
India has the capability of launching geo-synchronous,
sun-synchronous and meteorology spacecraft, communication
satellite, remote sensing satellite thereby provided fast
communication, weather forecasting and also locate water
there, but those who are responsible for creation and make the
flower and blossom will themselves be different and set unique
of this nation, on integration of minds and universal sense.
With the tradition of this experience of noble leadership,
indomitable spirit and universal mind, young like you are
armed with challenges of national development.
independence and the emergence of great minds. As the
independence movement grew, it brought out the best of
Gandhi, Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Abul Kalam Azad,
Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Veer Savarkar. The list, if we take
it from each part of the country, will be very big. This National
and technologists. Though there was no full-fledged effort at
the British ruled governmental level to bring up Indian science,
industries and education, we have seen world class scientific,
industrial and educational leaders generated during the
Prof S. Chandrasekhar, the famous Astronomy scientist, in his
biography "Chandra" by Shri Kameshwar Wali says, "I mean it
standing. Between 1920 and 1925, we had suddenly five or six
Raman, Meghanath Saha, Srinivasan Ramanujam and Prof
Chandrasekhar himself). I myself have associated this
remarkable phenomenon with the need for self-expression,
national movement. It was a part of the national movement to
brought the steel industry in India even though the British
Ray brought up chemical and pharmaceutical industry.
many great institutions like Indian Institute of Science,
Bangalore started by JN Tata, Benares Hindu University by
Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, and Aligarh Muslim University
Maharajas who started and nurtured universities like the one in
Baroda. There are many examples in both industrial and
have been to show the urge to build the Nation and
demonstrate to the world that "India can do it".
India has to be economically and commercially
GDP growth of 9-11% annually and that the people
equipment with no umbilical attached to any outside
and food, healthcare, infrastructure and strategic industries.
The Task Teams formed by TIFAC with nearly 500 experts of
various branches of national development and generated 35
for the nation and the well being of our people. "Technology" is
the most vital key for achieving the goals. The vision deals with
agro food processing, food and agriculture, healthcare, electric
sciences and bio-technology, strategic industries and
materials and processing. There is a tremendous link between
competence for an integrated action:(1) Agriculture and food
and agricultural production. Other areas of agriculture and agro
food processing would bring prosperity to rural people and
speed up the economic growth. (2) Reliable and quality
electric power for all parts of the country. (3) Education and
education and healthcare are inter related. For example,
Kerala with education and better healthcare can bring down
the population growth and provide improvements in quality of
system of "mid-day meal" coupled with education. Studies
about Andhra Pradesh also have different facets. These
experiences, we feel, should be taken and spread in big states
like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Beginning of agricultural
prosperity through better yields in these States will help this
education in remote areas and also to create national wealth.
(5)Strategic sectors – This area, fortunately, witnessed the
growth in nuclear technology, space technology and defence
These five areas are closely inter-related and lead to national,
food, economic and security. A strong partnership among the
R&D, academy, industry and the community as a whole with
resources and we have human power in abundance. Then
nation needs young leaders who can command the change for
transformation of India into a developed nation embedded with
the creators of new organizations of excellence. Quality
build the team for the organization and give the inspiring
they are not afraid of risks. I have seen and worked with
creators of vision and missions. The vision ignites particularly
I have worked with ISRO and DRDO for two decades each.
leaders ignite multiple minds and mission takes shape. Then
the mission takes over. For example, India should build its first
satellite launch vehicle to orbit a satellite or the first IRBM has
to be built and operationalised, are mission statements, which
few times failures have also become products. Technology and
capable people because the mission triggers capability.
Organization works and nation with a mission will advance
towards prosperity.
nation will definitely result, if our industry take the lead in multi
will not see the high illiteracy, poverty and social
Today, the Indian mind has to get ignited by our second vision
for the nation. The ignited human mind is the most powerful
resource on the earth, under the earth and above the earth. My
best wishes to you all for transforming industrial and
commercial houses into establishments of substance and
Fourteen Precepts
Do not think that the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. Learn and practice non-attachment from views in order to be open to receive others' viewpoints. Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn throughout our entire life and to observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times.
Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education. However, through compassionate dialogue, help others renounce fanaticism and narrowness.
Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the life of the world. find ways to be with those who are suffering by all means, including personal contact and visits, images, sound. By such means, awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the world.
Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry. Do not take as the aim of you life fame, profit, wealth, or sensual pleasure. Live simply and share time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need.
Do not maintain anger or hatred. As soon as anger and hatred arise, practice the meditation on compassion in order to deeply understand the persons who have caused anger and hatred. Learn to look at other beings with the eyes of compassion.
Do not lose yourself in dispersion and in your surroundings. Learn to practice breathing in order to regain composure of body and mind, to practice mindfulness, and to develop concentration and understanding.
Do not utter words that can create discord and cause the community to break. Make every effort to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.
Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest of to impress people. Do not utter words that cause diversion and hatred. Do not spread news that you do not know to be certain. Do not criticize or condemn things you are not sure of. Always speak truthfully and constructively. Have the courage to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may threaten your own safety.
Do not use the Buddhist community for personal gain or profit, or transform your community into a political party. A religious community should, however, take a clear stand against oppression and injustice, and should strive to change the situation without engaging in partisan conflicts.
Do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature. Do not invest in companies that deprive others of their chance to life. Select a vocation which helps realize your ideal compassion.
Do not kill. Do not let others kill. Find whatever means possible to protect life and to prevent war.
Do not mistreat your body. Learn to handle it with respect. Do not look on your body as only and instrument. Preserve vital energies (sexual, breath, spirit) for the realization of the Way. Sexual expression should not happen without love and commitment. In sexual relationships be aware of future suffering that may be caused. To preserve the happiness of others, respect the rights and commitments of others. Be fully aware of the responsibility of bringing new lives into the world. Meditate on the world into which you are bringing new beings.
Do not believe that I feel that I follow each and every of these precepts perfectly. I know I fail in many ways. None of us can fully fulfill any of these. However, I must work toward a goal. These are my goal. No words can replace practice, only practice can make the words.
What is your goal in this life?
by [Gurudeva] (from LESSON 114 from Living with Siva)
Is your goal to sit and wallow in the
emotions? Is it to memorize a lot of things that different people have
your Infinite Being within yourself? If you could only once gain just
a glimmer of your true Being--the spiritual Being flowing through the
you have to do that you haven't done, things that you will do, and
to do as yet and things you thought you would like to do but decided
you wouldn't do. All of this is going on as a process within yourself,
and it keeps you nicely confused.
A confused mind creates the form to which you give a name, and you become
and years until all of a sudden you drop dead and give up the physical
about "What will my friends think?" All of these various concepts that
make up your personality, when you lay down your physical body and die,
just what happens to them? Are you ready for that experience of death? You
should always be ready, especially nowadays when the opportunities are
so great. Always be ready, spiritually ready.
Are you spiritually ready? Have you done your duty to your family? Have
do you shirk some of your responsibilities? It's not up to your swami
just knows everything about me." What good does that do? It's up to you
do it through thought; you'll get all mixed up. Are you ready to become a
spirit, a spiritual being, an illumined mind, at the moment of death? Or
at the moment of death are you ready to become a completely confused,
like? These are vital religious questions that the individual must face
and find the answers to.
Ramsey Clark
[Neighbourhood Bully - Ramsey Clark On American Militarism|http://www.thesunmagazine.org/bully.html] : ...When I picture a high-ranking government official, I think of someone who is corrupt. I think of a corporate shill. I think of someone who is not a friend to the people of this country. I think of Lord Acton's famous line about power corrupting, and absolute power corrupting absolutely. I think of the disdain with which so many Americans have viewed so many of their leaders for so many years.
Former attorney general Ramsey Clark is different. Despite having once been the chief law-enforcement officer of this country, he consistently takes the side of the oppressed...
...She is not only good company, but a source of constant surprise. She enjoys any task at any time and is always ready to come or go. Above all, Ronda is our teacher. Through her we have learned what is really important in life: being together and helping each other, the beauty of gentleness and patience, the futility of material things, the absurdity of fame and personal credit, and the harm that comes from selfishness. Our daughter has taught us the essential role of love in any worthwhile life...
The University of Hard Knocks
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The University of Hard Knocks
"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his
God, and he shall be my son"--Revelation 21:7.
"Sweet are the uses of adversity;
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
And thus our life, exempt from public haunt,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything."
Why It Is Printed
the United States and have listened to "The University of Hard
Knocks." It has been delivered to date more than twenty-five
institutes, club gatherings, conventions and before various other
lecturing, because his lectures deal with universal human
"What is written here is not the way I would write it, were I
writing a book," says Ralph Parlette. "It is the way I say it. The
shake the hand of every person who has sat in my audiences. And I
wish I could tell the lecture committees of America how I
The warm reception given "The University of Hard Knocks" by the
lectures into book form, "Big Business" and "Pockets and Paradises"
are now in preparation as this, the third edition of "The
University of Hard Knocks" comes from the press.
The University of Hard Knocks
bumps--Description of University--"Sweet are the uses of
Adversity"--Why children are not interested
us "stop, look, listen"--Blind man learns with one bump--Going up
requires effort--Prodigals must be bumped--The fly and the sticky
fly-paper--"Removed" and "knocked out"
us--Our sorrows and disappointments--How the piano was made--How
never down and out
ones shake up and the little ones shake down--The barrel of life
and bad luck--The girl who went up--The man who went down--The
fatal rattle--We must get ready to get--Testimonials and press
notices--You cannot uplift people with derrick--No laws can
we get ready for them
first step at hand--All can be greatest--Where to find great
children--The story of "Gussie" and "Bill Whackem"--Schools and
Amusement drunkards--Lure of the city--Strong men from the
nothing--The fiddle and the tuning--How we know things--Trimmed at
lived--Singer must live songs--Successful songs written from
experience--Theory and practice--Tuning the strings of life
keeps on going south and growing greater--We generally start well,
worst days, not best--Waiting for the second table--Better days on
principle, not praise--Doing duty for the joy of it--Becoming the
LADIES and Gentlemen:
you are not much interested in how it looks; you are interested in
the goods it brings you. You know some very good goods are
wagon--how much it squeaks and wheezes and rattles and wabbles. Do
not pay much attention to the wrappings and strings. Get inside to
Really, I believe the goods are good. I believe I am to recite to
Every audience has a different temperature, and that makes a
mother wanted to make ginger-bread or cookies, she would send me to
Some warm September day I would pull the plug from the barrel and
when it was colder, I would pull the plug but the sorghum would not
squirt. It would come out slowly and reluctantly, so that I would
have to wait a long while to get a little sorghum. And on some real
run at all. It would just look out at me.
I discovered it was the temperature.
the sorghum is "The University of Hard Knocks." I can only pull the
plug. I cannot make it run. That will depend upon the temperature
of this audience. You can have all you want of it, but to get it to
it. How much any one gets out of a lecture depends also upon the
size of the bucket he brings to get it in. A big bucket can get
filled at a very small stream. A little bucket gets little at the
greatest stream. With no bucket you can get nothing at Niagara.
the next person says he got nothing out of it.
What It's All About
Here is a great mass of words and sentences and pictures to express
two or three simple little ideas of life, that our education is our
growing up from the Finite to the Infinite, and that it is done by
our own personal overcoming, and that we never finish it.
bound life? Have you noticed that every statement does not quite
cover it? No statement, no library, can tell all about life. No
success rule can alone solve the problem. You must average it all
and struggle up to a higher vision.
We are told that the stomach needs bulk as well as nutriment. It
would not prosper with the necessary elements in their condensed
promote mental digestion like more bulk in the way of pictures and
lecture. You cannot confess without referring to the confesser.
I believe it must be carved out in The University of Hard Knocks.
I believe all this pride, vanity, selfishness, self-righteousness,
hypocrisy and human frailty are the Outside that must be chipped
reveal it.
I care little about your glorious or inglorious past. I care little
The University of Hard Knocks
THE greatest school is the University of Hard Knocks. Its books are
Every bump is a lesson. If we learn the lesson with one bump, we do
not get that bump again. We do not need it. We have traveled past
it. They do not waste the bumps. We get promoted to the next bump.
matter with us, so that we do not learn the lesson of the bump we
have just gotten, then that bump must come back and bump us again.
Some of us learn to go forward with a few bumps, but most of us are
"naturally bright" and have to be pulverized.
The tuition in the University of Hard Knocks is not free.
There are two kinds of people--wise people and fools. The fools are
the people who think they have graduated.
The university colors are black and blue.
was a sentence in my grammar that disgusted me. It was by some
foreigner I had never met. His name was Shakespeare. It was this:
"Sweet are the uses of adversity;
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a priceless jewel in its head;
And thus our life, exempt from public haunt,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything."
no running brooks. They'd get wet. And that sermons in stones! They
get preachers to preach sermons, and they build houses out of
But I am happy today that I have traveled a little farther. I am
University of Adversity. I am happy that I am beginning to listen.
preaching and every running brook the unfolding of a book.
Perhaps you are "naturally bright" and feel sorry for Shakespeare.
I was not interested when father and mother told me these things.
young, and now two and two made seven, because we lived so much faster.
It is so hard to tell young people anything. They know better. So
and two always makes four, and "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall
poultices by and by when the bumps come.
As we get bumped and battered on life's pathway, we discover we get
two kinds of bumps--bumps that we need and bumps that we do not
Bumps that we bump into and bumps that bump into us.
We discover, in other words, that The University of Hard Knocks has
two colleges--The College of Needless Knocks and The College of
say that. It was back at the time when I was trying to run our home
to suit myself. I sat in the highest chair in the family circle. I
was three years old and ready to graduate.
That day they had the little joy and sunshine of the family in his
was within grabbing distance.
I became enamored with that coffee-pot. I decided I needed that
And that day when I wanted the coffee-pot--I did want it. Nobody
I was reaching over to get it, that woman said, "Don't touch that!"
The longer I thought about it the more angry I became. What right
this petticoat tyranny three years, and it is time to stop it!
I stopped it. I got the coffee-pot. I know I got the coffee-pot. I
got it unanimously. I know when I got it and I also know where I
got it. I got about a gallon of the reddest, hottest coffee a bad
O-o-o-o-o-o! I can feel it yet!
applebutter on me--and coal oil and white-of-an-egg and starch and
anything else the neighbors could think of. They would bring it
over and rub it on the little joy and sunshine of the family, who
You see, my mother's way was to tell me and then let me do as I
pleased. She told me not to get the coffee-pot and then let me get
it, knowing that it would burn me. She would say, "Don't." Then she
would go on with her knitting and let me do as I pleased.
Why don't mothers knit today?
Mother would say, "Don't fall in the well." I could go and jump in
the well after that and she would not look at me. I do not argue
the most kind and effective way to rear one stubborn boy I know of.
The neighbors and the ladies' aid society often said my mother was
cruel with that angel child. But the neighbors did not know what
knew how stubborn and self-willed I was. It came from father's
Mother knew that to argue with me was to flatter me. Tell me, serve
notice upon me, and then let me go ahead and get my coffee-pot.
That was the quickest and kindest way to teach me.
I learned very quickly that if I did not hear mother, and heed, a
my mother that a coffee-pot of some kind did not spill upon me, and I
And thru the bumps we learn that The College of Needless Knocks
"Child of humanity, do right, walk in the right path. You will be
wiser and happier." The tongues in the trees, the books in the
running brooks and the sermons in the stones all repeat it.
easier and more attractive. It is so easy to go downward. We slide
Anything that goes downward will run itself. Anything that goes
And going down the wrong path, we get bumped harder and harder
We are lucky if we learn the lesson with one bump. We are unlucky
when we get bumped twice in the same place, for it means we are
She said, "It hain't your fault. You wasn't born right. You was
It wasn't my fault--all my bumps and coffee-pots! I was just
unlucky and it had to be.
to learn the lesson of the bump and find the right path, so that
when I see that bump coming again I can say, "Excuse me; it hath a
familiar look," and dodge it.
"pussyfooted" it along so carefully. He bumped his hand against a
seat. Then he did what every blind man does, he lifted his hand
higher and didn't bump any more seats.
his lesson with one bump, and you have to go bumping into the same
things day after day and wonder why you have so much `bad luck'!"
And so with our own lives. Real living is conscious effort to go
line of least resistance, depend upon it you are going downward.
Look over your community. Note the handful of brave, faithful,
unselfish souls who are carrying the community burdens and pushing
upward. Note the multitude making little or no effort, and even
Majorities do not rule. Majorities never have ruled. It is the
brave minority of thinking, self-sacrificing people that decides
the tomorrow of communities that go upward. Majorities are not
drift and be amused and follow false gods that promise something
for nothing. They must be led--sometimes driven--by minorities.
of goodness into the mystery of the great unknown world beyond and
Down the great white way of the world go the million prodigals,
fill up with disappointment, their vision becomes dulled. They
How they must be bumped to think upon their ways. Every time we do
"I can do wrong and not get bumped. I have no feelings upon the
How the old devil works day and night to keep people amused and
so that they will not think upon their ways! How he keeps the music
and the dazzle going so they will not see they are bumping
The last thing Mamma Fly said as Johnny went off to the city was,
where your poor dear father was lost." And Johnny Fly remembers for
place to skate. Just see how close I can fly over it and not get
stuck a bit. Mother is such a silly old worryer. She means all
flies are naturally bright and have so many more advantages. You
can't catch us. They were too strict with me back home."
You see Johnny fly back and forth and have the time of his
naturally bright young life. Afterwhile, tho, he stubs his toe and
lands in the stickiness. "Well, well, how nice this is on the feet,
so soft and soothing!"
First he puts one foot down and pulls it out. That is a lot of fun.
It shows he is not a prisoner. He is a strong-minded fly. He can
quit it or play in it, just as he pleases. After while he puts two
feet down in the stickiness. It is harder to pull them out. Then he
puts three down and puts down a few more trying to pull them out.
doesn't pull loose. He feels tired and he sits down in the sticky
flypaper. It is a fine place to stick around. All his young set of
same way--they can play in the sticky flypaper or let it alone,
another drink and sing, "We won't go home till morning."
with sleeping sickness.
The tuition in The College of Needless Knocks is very high indeed!
guilty. It is the man who does not get discovered who is to be
pitied, for he must get some more knocks.
The world loves to write resolutions of respect. How often we
write, "Whereas, it has pleased an all-wise Providence to remove,"
healed. Maybe you think it never will heal. You wondered why you
You were doing right--doing just the best you knew how--and yet
some blow came crushing upon you and gave you cruel pain.
It broke your heart. You have had your heart broken. I have had my
We all must learn, if we have not already learned, that these blows
is--material that needs more Needful Knocks to make it more useful
and valuable.
have to have the Needful Knocks to become useful. And so does
humanity need the same preparation for greater usefulness.
most of these knocks--who have faced the great crises of life and
see you. You are so shiny, beautiful, valuable and full of music,
here. This is no reflection upon the janitor. You became a piano by
You got your lessons, combed your hair, went to Sunday school and
man into the woods with an ax, and he looked for the best trees
there to bump. He bumped you--hit you with the ax! How it hurt you!
And how unjust it was! He kept on hitting you. "The operation was
It is a very sad story. They took you all bumped and bleeding to
the sawmill and they bumped and ripped you more. They cut you in
pieces and hammered you day by day.
They did not bump the little, crooked, dissipated, cigaret-stunted
bumped here. All the beauty, harmony and value were bumped into you.
Duluth, Minnesota, and came to a hole in the ground. It was a big
"That hain't red mud. That's iron ore, an' it's the best iron ore
"What is it worth?"
"It hain't worth nothin' here; that's why they're movin' it away."
There's red mud around every community that "hain't worth nothin'"
until you move it--send it to college or somewhere.
Not very long after this, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I saw some
of this same red mud. It had been moved over the Great Lakes and
I watched this red mud matriculate into a great hopper with
limestone, charcoal and other textbooks. Then they corked it up and
school began. They roasted it. It is a great thing to be roasted.
When it was done roasting they stopped. Have you noticed that they
Then they pulled the plug out of the bottom of the college and held
promotion exercises. The red mud squirted out into the sand. It was
not red mud now, because it had been roasted. It was a freshman--
pig iron, worth more than red mud, because it had been roasted.
where it was again roasted, and now it came out a sophomore--steel,
Some of the sophomore steel went up into another grade where it was
roasted yet again and rolled thin into a junior. Some of that went
on up and up, at every step getting more pounding and roasting and
It seemed as tho I could hear the suffering red mud crying out, "O,
they pound me and break my heart? I have been good and faithful. O,
But after they had given it a diploma--a pricemark telling how much
it had been roasted--they took it proudly all over the world,
labeled "Made in America." They hung it in show windows, they put
it in glass cases. Many people admired it and said, "Isn't that
fine work!" They paid much money for it now. They paid the most
the price had gone up into thousands of dollars.
My friends, you and I are the raw material, the green trees, the
a larger life. The diamond and the chunk of soft coal are exactly the
Illinois, a crippled woman was wheeled into the tent and brought
University of Hard Knocks. Presently the cripple's face was shining
Afterwards I went to her. "Little lady, I want to thank you for
the lecture itself."
that I know sitting in this chair. I have learned to be patient and
kind and loving and brave."
They told me this crippled woman was the sweetest-spirited,
cripple into the tent. She was tall and stately. She was
well-gowned. She lived in one of the finest homes in the city. She
daughter and nobody interested in me? Why is my daughter happy and
why am I not happy? My daughter is always happy and she hasn't a
"Madam, I don't want to be unkind, but I really think the reason
I discover when I am unhappy and selfish and people don't use me
When I see a long row of cots in a hospital or sanitarium, I want
precious lessons of patience, sympathy, love, faith and courage.
They are getting the education in the humanities the world needs
more than tables of logarithms. Only those who have suffered can
The world needs them more than libraries and foundations.
We think this is true of the good things that come to us, but we do
not want to think so of the bad things. Yet we grow more in lean
years than in fat years. In fat years we put it in our pockets. In
lean years we put it in our hearts. Material and spiritual
prosperity do not often travel hand-in-hand. When we become
this Babylon that I have builded?" And about that time there comes
some handwriting on the wall and a bump to save us.
Think of what might happen to you today. Your home might burn. We
You are down and out." Do not believe that you are down and out,
for it is not true. The old enemy of humanity wants you to believe
you are down and out. He wants you to sympathize with yourself. You
are never down and out!
opened. Will you read the lesson of the Needful Knocks?
other public disaster brings sympathy, bravery, brotherhood and
love in its wake.
sacrifice and purged of their dross.
NOW as we learn the lessons of the Needless and the Needful Knocks,
we get wisdom, understanding, happiness, strength, success and
a picture of it.
track was a grocery with a row of barrels of apples in front. There
was one barrel full of big, red, fat apples. I rushed over and got
way, I looked in the sack and discovered there was not a big, red,
big, red, fat apples on the top, and the groceryman, not desiring
and windfalls I ever saw in one sack. The things I said about the
the groceryman ever put the big apples on top and the little
Man of sorrows, you have been slandered. It never occurred to me
big ones on top and the little ones down underneath. He does not
need to do it. It does itself. It is the shaking of the barrel that
pushes the big ones up and the little ones down.
and smooth that things do not shake on the road to town. But back
a corduroy road? It was a layer of logs in the mud. Riding over it
was the poetry of motion! The wagon "hit the high spots." And as I
try to get to the top. The little, runty apples would try to hold
I saw that for thirty years before I saw it. Did you ever notice
of my pocket and the little ones would rattle down to the bottom.
You children try that tomorrow. Do not wait thirty years to learn
that the big ones shake up and the little ones shake down. Put some
big ones and some little things of about the same density in a box
or other container and shake them. You will see the larger things
shake upward and the smaller shake downward. You will see every
thing shake to the place its size determines. A little larger one
shakes a little higher, and a little smaller one a little lower.
Mix them up again and shake. Watch them all shake back as they were
before, the largest on top and the smallest at the bottom.
At this place the lecturer exhibits a glass jar more than
half-filled with small white beans and a few walnuts.
Let us try that right on the platform. Here is a glass jar and
inside of it you see two sizes of objects--a lot of little white
beans and some walnuts. You will pardon me for bringing such a
simple and crude apparatus before you in a lecture, but I ask your
forget it, and I do not want these young people to live thirty
years before they see it.
You note as I shake the jar the little beans quickly settle down
and the big walnuts shake up. Not one bean asks, "Which way do I
automatically goes the right way. The little ones go down and the
Note that I mix them all up and then shake. Note that they arrange
Suppose those objects could talk. I think I hear that littlest bean
and low down. I never had no chance like them big ones up there.
I say, "Yes, you little bean, I'll help you." So I lift him up to
See, the can shakes. Back to the bottom shakes the little bean. And
I hear him say, "King's ex! I slipped. Try that again and I'll
The can shakes. The little bean again shakes back to the bottom. He
is too small to stay up. He cannot stand prosperity.
Then I hear Little Bean say, "Well, if I cannot get to the top, you
So I say, "Yes, sir, Little Bean. Here, you big ones on top, get
down. You Big Nuts get right down there on a level with Little
Bean!" And you see I put them down.
But I shake the can, and the big ones go right back to the top with
the same shakes that send the little ones back to the bottom.
the can. Lifting them up or putting them down will not do it. But
Equality of position demands quality of size. Let the little one
grow bigger and he will shake up. Let the big one grow smaller and
way to the market place of the future. It is a corduroy road and
In the barrel are big apples, little apples, freckled apples,
speckled apples, green apples, and dried apples. A bad boy on the
front row shouted the other night, "And rotten apples!"
of life. That barrel is shaking all the time. Every community is
stores, the schools, the pulpits, the homes--every place where we
fittest.
The same law that shakes the little ones down and the big ones up
in that can is shaking every person to the place he fits in the
barrel of life. It is sending small people down and great people
And do you not see that we are very foolish when we want to be
put down to some little place? We are foolishly trying to overturn
ready for places before we can get them and keep them.
I hear a good deal about destiny. Some people seem to think destiny
is something like a train and if we do not get to the depot in time
our train of destiny will run off and leave us, and we will have no
Kings and Queens of Destiny
you and I are not helpless victims of blind fate. We are not
creatures of chance. We have it in our hands to decide our destiny
And when we have reached the place our size determines, we stay
we wish to go down, we must grow smaller and we shall shake down.
If we wish to go up, we must grow greater, and we shall shake up.
the places you fit. And when you are in your places--in stores,
must keep growing enough to keep it tightly filled.
If you want a greater place, you simply grow greater and they
capabilities, do more than you are paid to do--overfill your place,
and you shake up to a greater place.
with various sizes of objects. When an employee would come into the
office and say, "Isn't it about time I was getting a raise?" I
"Good Luck" and "Bad Luck"
people shake up and the unlucky people shake down. That is, the
lucky people grow great and the unlucky people shrivel and rattle.
Notice as I bump this jar. Two things happened. The little ones
shook down and the big ones shook up. The bump that was bad luck to
the little ones was good luck to the big ones. The same bump was
both good luck and bad luck.
girl from the country. It was her first office experience, and she
The other girls poked fun at her and played jokes upon her because
"Is not she the limit?" they oft spake one to another. She was. She
made many blunders. But it is now recalled that she never made the
same blunder twice. She learned the lesson with one helping to the
And she never "got done." When she had finished her work, the work
to be done, and she would go right on working, contrary to the
rules of the union! Without being told, mind you. She had that rare
faculty the world is bidding for--initiative.
had been put at, they would wait--O, so patiently they would
wait--to be told what to do next.
Within three months every other girl in that office was asking
questions of the little Dutch girl. She had learned more about
The other girls feel hurt about it. They will tell you in
confidence that it was the rankest favoritism ever known. "There
was nothing fair about it. Jennie ought to have been made
The other day in a paper-mill I was standing beside a long machine
don't know nothing about it, boss, I don't work in there."
I asked him about another process, and he replied, "I don't know
nothing about it, I never worked in there." I asked him about the
neither. I don't work in there." And he did not betray the least
So he had begun to rattle. Nobody can stay where he rattles. It is
So books could be filled with just such stories of how people have
gone up and down. You may have noticed two brothers start with the
same chance, and presently notice that one is going up and the
popular favor, and get our names in the blue-book at the start.
Some of us begin down in the shade on the bottom branches, and we
do not even get invited. We often become discouraged as we look at
the top-branchers, and we say, "O, if I only had his chance! If I
And afterwhile we are all in the barrel of life, shaken and bumped
Now life is mainly routine. You and I and everybody must go on
doing pretty much the same things over and over. Every day we
be learning new things and discovering new joys in our daily
things in the same way day after day, thinking the same thoughts,
our eyes glued to precedents--just turning round and round in our places
and not growing any, pretty soon we become mere machines. We wear
smaller. The joy and juice go out of our lives. We shrivel and rattle.
The success, joy and glory of life are in learning, growing, going
forward and upward. That is the only way to hold our place.
competitors. The minister must be getting larger visions of the
ministry as he goes back into the same old pulpit to keep on
filling it. The teacher must be seeing new possibilities in the
We only live as we grow and learn. When anybody stays in the same
place year after year and fills it, he does not rattle.
journals labeled "Finishing Schools," and "A Place to Finish Your
The greater and wiser the man, the more anxious he is to be told.
They can't get along without me." For I feel that they are getting
ready to get along without him. That noise you hear is the
I am sorry for the man, community or institution that spends much
time pointing backward with pride and talking about "in my day!"
For it is mostly rattle. The live one's "my day" is today and
We Must Get Ready to Get
look forward to greater and better things tomorrow.
We often think the way to get a great place is just to go after it
and get it. If we do not have pull enough, get some more pull. Get
We think if we could only get into a great place we would be great.
joke, for we would rattle. And when we have grown as great as the
We must get ready for things before we get them.
Moses was eighty years getting ready to do forty years work. The
Master was thirty years getting ready to do three years work. So
many of us expect to get ready in "four easy lessons by mail."
We can be a pumpkin in one summer, with the accent on the "punk."
We can be a mushroom in a day, with the accent on the "mush." But
Many a man writes a testimonial to get rid of somebody. "Well, I
hope it will do him some good. Anyhow, I have gotten him off my
hands." I heard a Chicago superintendent say to his foreman, "Give
him a testimonial and fire him!"
It is dangerous to overboost people, for the higher you boost them
Now testimonials and press-notices very often serve useful ends. In
Then they become a mirror for his vanity instead of a monitor
for his vitality.
Most testimonials and press-notices are frank flatteries. They
magnify the good points and say little as possible about the bad
ones. I look back over my lyceum life and see that I hindered my
progress by reading my press-notices instead of listening to the
verdict of my audiences. I avoided frank criticism. It would hurt
me. Whenever I heard an adverse criticism, I would go and read a
I am the greatest ever, and should he return, no hall would be able
And my vanity bump would again rise.
editors of America--God bless them! They are always trying to boost
for the sake of the home folks who import it.
We must read people, not press-notices.
When you get to the place where you can stand aside and "see
yourself go by"--when you can keep still and see every fibre of you
and your work mercilessly dissected, shake hands with yourself and
in the land. They spring up, fail, wail, disappear, only to be
having the barrel do the uplifting, they try to do it with a
rattle back, and "the last estate of that man is worse than the
derrick. We must feed the hungry and clothe the naked, but that is
wants you to license him and professionalize him as a beggar.
When Peter and John went up to the temple they found the lame
beggar sitting at the gate Beautiful. Every day the beggar had been
thru the gate and see him. He would say, "Help me!" "Poor man,"
they would reply, "you are in a bad fix. Here is help," and they
And so every day that beggar got to be more of a beggar. The public
"helped" him to be poorer in spirit, more helpless and a more
"helping" to the Jerusalem Beggars' Union and carried his card.
But Peter really helped him. "Silver and gold have I none; but such
up and walk."
But if chances had been snakes, I would have been bitten a hundred
times a day. We need oculists, not opportunities.
I used to work on the "section" and get a dollar and fifteen cents
to see how little I could do and look like I was working. I was the
would not bring it down again for a soulless corporation.
why I was not sitting upon one of those mahogany seats instead of
pumping a handcar. I was naturally bright. I used to say "If the
rich wasn't getting richer and the poor poorer, I'd be president of a
Did you ever hear that line of conversation? It generally comes
the hand-car job is just as honorable as the bank job, but as I was
not faithful over a few things, I would have rattled over many
enchanted up into a king. But life's good fairies see to it that
the clodhopper is enchanted into readiness for kingship before he
lands upon the throne.
I used to say, "Just wait till I get to Congress." I think they are
all waiting! "I'll fix things. I'll pass laws requiring all apples
down, so the little ones will be on the top and the big ones will
But I had not seen that it wouldn't matter which end was the top,
the big ones would shake right up to it and the little ones would
The little man has the chance now, just as fast as he grows. You
do not get the coffee-pot until we are ready to handle it.
Today you and I have things we couldn't have yesterday. We just
naturally today, and we see it is because we have grown ready for
them, and the barrel has shaken us up to them.
Today you and I want things beyond our reach. O, how we want them!
Do you not see that "cruel fate" is our own smallness and
unreadiness? As we grow greater we have greater things. We have
today all we can stand today. More would wreck us. More would start
And this blessed old barrel of life is just waiting and anxious to
many are trying to grow great on the outside without growing great
Greatness is not measured in any material terms. It is not measured
Greatness is measured in spiritual terms. It is education. It is
We go up from impurity to purity.
We go up from little vision to greater vision.
We go up from fear to faith.
We go up from ignorance to understanding.
sacrifice, struggle and overcoming. We push out our own skyline. We
rise above our own obstacles. We learn to see, hear, hold and
understand.
We may become very great, very educated, rise very high, and yet
not leave our kitchen or blacksmith shop. We take the kitchen or
blacksmith shop right up with us! We make it a great kitchen or
great blacksmith shop. It becomes our throne-room!
No matter how high we rise, we discover infinite distances above.
the going up from the Finite to the Infinite.
great lands, great titles, great applause, great fame, and
the inside, and wails, "All is vanity. I find no pleasure in them.
and "Forging to the Front." Too often they are the sordid story of
and cornering all the swill!
humanity.
They got very busy pursuing greatness, but I do not read that they
"O, Master," said the mother, "grant that these my two sons may sit,
the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom."
The Master looked with love and pity upon their unpreparedness.
"Are ye able to drink of the cup?" Then he gave the only definition
of greatness that can ever stand: "Whosoever will be great among
you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among
us. We must "achieve greatness" by developing it on the
inside--developing ability to minister and to serve.
We cannot buy a great arm. Our arm must become a great servant, and
thus it becomes great.
and thus it becomes great.
We cannot buy a great character. It is earned in great moral
The First Step at Hand
is little business. Much of it mighty little.
Everybody's privilege and duty is to become great. And the joy of
it is that the first step is always nearest at hand. We do not have
become great. It is a great stairway that leads from where our feet
are now upward for an infinite number of steps.
hundredth step or the thousandth step now. We want to make some
spectacular stride of a thousand steps at one leap. That is why we
We must go right back to our old place--into our kitchen or our
workshop or our office and take the first step, solve the problem
nearest at hand. We must make our old work luminous with a new
devotion. We must battle up over every inch. And as fast as we
solve and dissolve the difficulties and turn our burdens into
lives. We find our spiritual influences going upward. So the winds
of earth are born; they rush in from the cold lands to the warm
upward currents. And so as our problems disappear and our life
currents set upward, the world is drawn toward us with its
We find our kitchen or workshop or office becoming a new throne
As we grow greater our opportunities grow greater. That is, we
admire what we have accomplished and "point with pride." The
It was the sweet girl graduate who at commencement wondered how one
small head could contain it all. It was Newton after giving the
world a new science who looked back over it and said, "I seem to
The Widow's Mites
The great Teacher pointed to the widow who cast her two mites into
the treasury, and then to the rich men who had cast in much more.
Tho the rich men had cast in more, yet it was only a part of their
possessions. The widow cast in less, but it was all she had. The
Master cared little what the footings of the money were in the
widow had given all--had completely overcome her selfishness and
Becoming great is overcoming our selfishness and fear. He that
saveth his life shall lose it, but he that loseth his life for the
advancement of the kingdom of happiness on earth shall find it
great and glorified.
upon the percentage of our output to our resources. Upon doing with
our might what our hands find to do. Quit worrying about what you
And as you are faithful over a few things you go up to be ruler
The world says some of us have golden gifts and some have copper
I do not know who fitted the boards into the floor I stand upon. I
do not know all the great people who may come and stand upon this
floor. But I do know that the one who made the floor--and the one
who sweeps it--is just as great as anybody in the world who may
come and stand upon it, if each be doing his work with the same
love, faithfulness and capability.
We have to look farther than the "Who's Who" and Dun and Bradstreet
to make a roster of the great people of a community. You will find
the community heart in the precious handful who believe that the
The great people of the community serve and sacrifice for a better
tomorrow. They are the faithful few who get behind the churches,
the schools, the lyceum and chautauqua, and all the other movements
They rarely get thanked, for the community does not often think of
thanking them until it comes time to draft the "resolutions of
I had to go to the mouth of a coal-mine in a little Illinois town,
to find the man the bureau had given as lyceum committeeman there.
miner's lamp in his cap, could possibly have to do with the lyceum
course. But I learned that he had all to do with it. He had sold
the tickets and had done all the managing. He was superintendent of
serviceable, tho he worked every day full time with his pick at his
bread-and-butter job.
The great people are so busy serving that they have little time to
strut and pose in the show places. Few of them are "prominent
Chicago on Sundays to thousands. He writes books and runs a college
and you read it in almost every committee doing good things in
think that a vacation means going off somewhere and stretching out
preacher went from one chautauqua town to another, and took his
vacation going up and down the streets. He dug into the local
history of each place, and before dinner he knew more about the
the humdrum travel map into a wonderland. He scolded lazy towns and
say, "I have no chance." "You come to Chicago and I'll give you a
once ask the price of land, nor where there was a good investment
hasn't strength enough left to lecture and do his own work."
But he that saveth his life shall lose it, and he that loseth his
life in loving service finds it returning to him great and
great--makes his preaching, his college and his books great.
This Chicago man gives his life into the service of humanity, and
it becomes the fuel to make the steam to accomplish the wonderful
things he does. Let him stop and "take care of himself," and his
If he had begun life by "taking care of himself" and "looking out
and writing it all down in the contract, most likely Dr. Frank W.
Give It Now
Gunsaulus often says, "You are planning and saving and telling
yourself that afterwhile you are going to give great things and do
great things. Give it now! Give your dollar now, rather than your
thousands afterwhile. You need to give it now, and the world needs
to get it now."
strength was not in the size of their armies and in the vastness
of their population and wealth, but in the strength and ideals
of the individual citizens.
As long as the nation was young and growing--as long as the people were
struggling and overcoming--that nation was strong. It was "prepared."
and surrendered to ease and indulgence, they became fat, stall-fed weaklings.
Many homes and communities have reached it.
All over America are fathers and mothers who have struggled and
have become strong men and women thru their struggles, who are
from their children their birthright--their opportunity to become
strong and "prepared"--thru struggle and service and overcoming.
grateful that he was jolted from his life-preserver and cruelly
They think they can buy an education--buy wisdom, strength and
understanding, and give it to them C. O. D! They seem to think they
will buy any brand they see--buy the home brand of education, or
else send off to New York or Paris or to "Sears Roebuck," and get
fully inflated with education!
Father and mother cannot buy their children education. All they can
do is to buy them some tools, perhaps, and open the gate and say,
"Sic 'em, Tige!" The children must get it themselves.
A father and mother might as well say, "We will buy our children
the strength we have earned in our arms and the wisdom we have
them the ability to think he has developed in years of study. As
well expect Moses to give them his spiritual understanding acquired
great, dirty mill and a lot of little dirty houses around the mill.
The hands lived in the little dirty houses and worked six days of
There was a little, old man who went about that mill, often saying,
man who owned the mill. He had made it with his own genius out of
nothing. He had become rich and honored. Every man in the mill
He also had a little pink son, whose name was F. Gustavus Adolphus.
The little old man often said, "I'm going to give that boy the best
He began to buy it. He began to polish and sandpaper Gussie from
the minute the child could sit up in the cradle and notice things.
He sent him to the astrologer, the phrenologer and all other
export, he sent the boy to one of the greatest universities in the
land. The fault was not with the university, not with Gussie, who
was bright and capable.
The fault was with the little old man, who was so wise and great
about everything else, and so foolish about his own boy. In the
The birthright of every child is the opportunity of becoming
Gussie had no chance to serve. Everything was handed to him on a
silver platter. Gussie went thru that university about like a steer
from Texas goes thru Mr. Armour's institute of packnology in
Chicago. Did you ever go over into Packingtown and see a steer
grand bump, said steer does not have to do another thing. His
education is all arranged for in advance and he merely rides thru
and receives it. There is a row of professors with their sleeves
rolled up who give him the degrees. So as Mr. T. Steer of Panhandle
eternal cold storage, each professor hits him a dab. He rides along
done and the paint was dry. He was a thing of beauty.
Gussie and Bill Whackem Gussie came back home with his education in
the baggage-car. It was checked. The mill shut down on a week day,
the first time in its history. The hands marched down to the depot,
and when the young lord alighted, the factory band played, "See,
crape hanging on the office door. Men and women stood weeping in
the streets. The little old man had been translated.
When they next opened up the mill, F. Gustavus Adolphus was at its head.
He had inherited the entire plant. "F. Gustavus Adolphus, President."
Poor little peanut! He rattled. He had never grown great enough to
fill so great a place. In two years and seven months the mill was
years and seven months by the boy who had all the "advantages."
So the mill was shut down the third time on a week day. It looked
as tho it never could open. But it did open, and when it opened it
orphan. He had little chance. He had a new black eye almost every
the community. People forgot all about Bill's lowly origin. They
got to looking up to him to start and run things.
It was Hon. William Whackem who put the wreckage together and made
the wheels go round, and finally got the hungry town back to work.
After that a good many people said it was the college that made a
But now I see that Bill went up in spite of his handicaps. If he
The book and the college suffer at the hands of their friends. They
say to the book and the college, "Give us an education." They cannot
do that. You cannot get an education from the book and the college
any more than you can get to New York by reading a travelers' guide.
You cannot get physical education by reading a book on gymnastics.
The book and the college show you the way, give you instruction and
with these instruments and tools.
Gussie was in the position of a man with a very fine equipment of
tools and no experience in using them. Bill was the man with the
poor, homemade, crude tools, but with the energy, vision and
For education is getting wisdom, understanding, strength,
greatness, physically, mentally and morally. I believe I know some
people liberally educated who cannot write their own names. But
they have served and overcome and developed great lives with the
poor, crude tools at their command.
In almost every community are what we sometimes call "hard knocks
They realized how they have been handicapped by their poor mental tools.
That is why they say, "All my life I have been handicapped by lack of
The young person with electrical genius will make an electrical
machine from a few bits of junk. But send him to Westinghouse and
see how much more he will achieve with the same genius and with
an education, they are merely preparations. When you are thru with
end-ment. You will discover with the passing years that life is
Go out with your fine equipment from your commencements into the
school of service and write your education in the only book you
they put you upon the witness stand.
The story of Gussie and Bill Whackem is being written in every
community in tears, failure and heartache. It is peculiarly a
These fathers and mothers who toil and save, who get great farms,
fine homes and large bank accounts, so often think they can give
life and put them into them.
They do all this and the children rattle. They have had no chance
A man heard me telling the story of Gussie and Bill Whackem, and he
his boy was not there to hear it. But that good, deluded father now
I rarely tell of it on a platform that at the close of the lecture
somebody does not take me aside and tell me a story just as sad
from that community.
For years poor Harry Thaw was front-paged on the newspapers and
gibbeted in the pulpits as the shocking example of youthful
depravity. He seems never to have had a fighting chance to become
court and detention expenses was one of the greatest business
and command armies of men, but he seems to have been pitifully
It is the educated, the rich and the worldly wise who blunder most in
shrunken souls who inherit them.
shaking down the rattlers. Somebody said it is only three
how few of our strong men get their start with steam heat?
You boys and girls, God bless you! You live in good homes. Father
and mother love you and give you everything you need. You get to
thinking, "I won't have to turn my hand over. Papa and mamma will
take care of me, and when they are gone I'll inherit everything
No, you are unfixed. You are a candidate for trouble. You are going
to rattle. Father and mother can be great and you can be a peanut.
You must solve your own problems and carry your own loads to have
a strong mind and back. Anybody who does for you regularly what you
Father and mother can put money in your pocket, ideas in your head
and food in your stomach, but you cannot own it save as you digest
it--put it into your life.
I have read somewhere about a man who found a cocoon and put it in
his house where he could watch it develop. One day he saw a little
insect struggling inside the cocoon. It was trying to get out of
the envelope. It seemed in trouble and needed help. He opened the
envelope with a knife and set the struggling insect free. But out
came a monstrosity that soon died. It had an over-developed body
and under-developed wings. He learned that helping the insect was
killing it. He took away from it the very thing it had to have--the
struggle. For it was this struggle of breaking its own way out of
that envelope that was needed to reduce its body and develop its
But remember there is little virtue in work unless it is getting us
somewhere. Just work that gets us three meals a day and a place to
of it and years following until our machine is worn out and on the
junkpile, means little. "One day nearer home" for such a worker
of the whip. Such a worker is the horse we used to have hitched to
the sorghum mill. Round and round that horse went, seeing nothing,
hearing nothing, his head down, without ambition enough to prick up
his ears. Such work deadens and stupefies. The masses work about
right--such work is a necessary evil, and they make it such. They
But getting a vision of life, and working to grow upward to it,
that is the work that brings the joy and the greatness.
When we are growing and letting our faculties develop, we will love
even the packhorse job, because it is our "meal ticket" that
One time I put some turkey eggs under the mother hen and waited day
by day for them to hatch. And sure enough, one day the eggs began
to crack and the little turkeys began to stick their heads out of
the shells. Some of the little turkeys came out from the shells all
"Shell out, little turkeys, shell out," I urged, "for Thanksgiving
"Little turkeys, I'll have to help you. I'll have to shell you by
hand." So I picked the shells off. "Little turkeys, you will never
advantages. Ordinary turkeys do not get shelled by hand."
The cards are against him. He must succeed in spite of his "advantages."
character, for the joy of having a larger life. I am pleading with
you to know the joy of overcoming and having the angels come and
Children, I am pleading with you to find happiness. All the world
is seeking happiness, but so many are seeking it by rattling down
Happiness is the joy of overcoming. It is the delight of an
expanding consciousness. It is the cry of the eagle mounting
upward. It is the proof that we are progressing.
work that fits your talents, and stop watching the clock and
me into "taking care" of myself. And I got to taking such good care
of myself and watching for symptoms that I became a physical wreck.
found my job in my work, not away from it, and the work refreshed
me and rejuvenated me. Now I do two men's work, and have grown from
been a great surprise to my friends and a great disappointment to
the undertaker. I am an editor in the daytime and a lecturer at
I edit all day and take a vacation lecturing at night. I lecture
days--and then take a vacation by editing and writing. Thus every
day is jam full of play and vacation and good times. The year is
one round of joy, and I ought to pay people for the privilege of
speaking and writing to them instead of them paying me!
terrible burden and would speedily collapse.
think and grunt and worry about my body. And like Paul I am happy
to be "absent from the body and present with the Lord." Thus this
old body behaves just beautifully and wags along like the tail
follows the dog when I forget all about it. The grunter lets the
multitudes killing themselves by taking vacations.
The people who think they are overworking are merely overworrying.
work into play and duty into privilege.
When we love our work, it is not work, it is life.
amusement-mad. Vacations, Coca Cola and moviemania!
look over the newsstands and see a picture of the popular mind,
of mental frog-pond and moral slum our boys and girls wade thru!
There are ten literary drunkards to one alcoholic drunkard. There
And all just as hard to cure.
We have to have amusement, but if we fill our lives with nothing
but amusement, we never grow. We go thru our lives babies with new
rattleboxes and "sugar-tits."
"Lecture?" said with a shiver as tho it was "small pox." "I ain't
at what underlies his remark. He does not want to think. He wants
The man who will not make the effort to think is the great menace
to the nation. The crowd that drifts and lives for amusement is the
crowd that finds itself back near the caboose, and as the train of
The Lure of the City
Do you ever get lonely in a city? How few men and women there. A
jam of people, most of them imitations--most of them trying to look
bright lights,--hopers, suckers and straphangers! Down the great
white way they go chasing amusement to find happiness. They must be
alone with their empty lives.
The Prodigal Son came to himself afterwhile and thought upon his
ways. Then he arose and went to his father's house. Whenever one
will stop chasing amusements long enough to think upon his ways, he
will arise and go to his father's house of wisdom. But there is no
hope for the person who will not stop and think. And the devil
works day and night shifts keeping the crowd moving on.
That is why the crowd is not furnishing the strong men and women.
We must have amusement and relaxation. Study your muscles. First
continually relaxing is degenerating. And the individual, the
community, the nation that goes on relaxing without
contracting--without struggling and overcoming--is degenerating.
your real relaxation, vacation and amusement, are merely changing
office, go to the great pulpit, to the college chair--go to any
place of great responsibility in a city and ask the one who fills
the place, "Were you born in this city?"
The reply is almost a monotony. "I born in this city? No, I was
born in Poseyville, Indiana, and I came to this city forty years
ago and went to work at the bottom."
farmside where he struggled as a boy. Personally, I think this
Give us steam heat and push-buttons. There is no virtue in a
log-cabin, save that there the necessity for struggle that brings
struggle and service that makes for strength and greatness. And as
that young person comes to the city and shakes in the barrel among
The cities do not make their own steam. The little minority from
the farms controls the majority. The red blood of redemption flows
these cities would drop off the map.
If it were not for Poseyville, Indiana, Chicago would disappear.
If it were not for Poseyville, New York would disintegrate
"Hep" and "Pep" for the Home Town
It is the lure of the city--and the lure-lessness of the country.
What is the matter with the small town? Do not blame it all upon
the city mail order house. With rural delivery, daily papers,
telephones, centralized schools, automobiles and good roads, there
country or in the small town. They have the city advantages plus
sunshine, air and freedom that the crowded cities cannot have.
Weston, West Virginia, "You say you have nearly two thousand insane
people in this institution and only a score of guards to keep them
from getting together, organizing, overpowering the few guards and
"Many people say that. But they don't understand. If these people
insane. No two of them can agree upon how to get together and how
It would be almost unkind to carry this further, but I have been
thinking ever since that about three-fourths of the small towns of
America have one thing in common with the asylum folks--they can't
up into little antagonistic social, business and even religious
factions and neutralize each other's efforts.
A lot of struggling churches compete with each other instead of
massing for the common good. And when the churches fight, the devil
stays neutral and furnishes the munitions for both sides.
So the home towns stagnate and the young people with visions go
away to the cities where opportunity seems to beckon. Ninety-nine
out of a hundred of them will jostle with the straphangers all
opportunity right back in the home town, had the town been awake
and united and inviting.
spend its years raising crops of young people for the cities. That
is the worst kind of soil impoverishment--all going out and nothing
coming back. That is the drain that devitalizes the home towns more
than all the city mail order houses.
cities, but in the greatness of innumerable home towns.
The slogan today should be, For God and Home and the Home Town!
Dr. Henry Solomon Lehr, founder of the Ohio Northern University at
Ada, Ohio, one of Ohio's greatest educators, used to say with
He encouraged his students to be self-supporting, and most of them
were working their way thru school. He made the school calendar and
the school of books with the school of struggle. He organized his
struggle in his life would at least have to struggle with the
He pitted class against class. He organized great literary and
debating societies to compete with each other. He arranged contests
for the military department. His school was one surging mass of
that he was initiating an individual or class effort to win. The
literary societies vied with each other in their programs and in
old student pledged new students in his home country. The military
companies turned the school into a military camp for weeks each
not believe there is a school in America with a greater alumni roll
of men and women of uniformly greater achievement.
schools offering encouragement and facilities for young people to
work their way thru and to act upon their own initiative.
The old "deestrick" school is passing, and with it the small
academies and colleges, each with its handful of students around a
From these schools came the makers and the preservers of the nation.
Today we are building wonderful public schools with equally
with a few great centralized state normal schools and state
universities. We are spending millions upon them in laboratories,
equipment and maintenance. Today we scour the earth for specialists
to sit in the chairs and speak the last word in every department of
But each student has the same definite effort to make in
assimilation today as then. Knowing and growing demand the same
the old oak-slab bench with its splintered side up.
I am anxiously awaiting the results. I am hoping that the boys and
not be rows of lithographed cans on the shelves of life. I am
hoping they will not be shorn of their individuality, but will have
it stimulated and unfettered. I am anxious that they be not
All this school machinery is only machinery. Back of it must be
equipment demanded to serve the present age. But I am more anxious
that each student come in vital touch with great men. We get life
from life, not from laboratories, and we have life more abundantly
A school is vastly more than machinery, methods, microscopes and millions.
Many a small school struggling to live thinks that all it needs is
endowment, when the fact is that its struggle for existence and the
spirit of its teachers are its greatest endowment. And sometimes
when the money endowment comes the spiritual endowment goes in
fatty degeneration. Some schools seem to have been visited by
calamities in the financial prosperity that has engulfed them.
Can we keep men before millions, and keep our ideals untainted by
You and I are very much interested in the answer.
The Fiddle and the Tuning
HOW long it takes to learn things! I think I was thirty-four years
have not yet learned it. Every few days I stumble over it
underlies every field of activity.
A violin is only a fiddle with a college education.
I have had the feeling ever since that you and I come into this
world like the fiddle comes from the factory. We have a body and a
neck. That is about all there is either to us or to the fiddle. We
primary schools and up thru the grammar grades, and get the first
string--the little E string. The trouble is so many of these human
fiddles think they are an orchestra right away. They want to quit
school and go fiddling thru life on this one string!
We must show these little fiddles they must go back into school and
go up thru all the departments and institutions necessary to give
After all this there comes the commencement, and the violin comes
forth with the E, A, D and G strings all in place. Educated now?
Why is a violin? To wear strings? Gussie got that far and gave a
and college can do is to give the strings--the tools. After that
pegs are turned and the strings are put in tune. The music is the
vitalized, what you have written in the book of experience.
Gussie says, "I have read it in a book." Bill Whackem says," I
Reading and Knowing
life--discovering Truth. We read things in a book and have a hazy
idea of them. We hear the preacher utter truths and we say with
little feeling, "Yes, that is so." We hear the great truths of life
over and over and we are not excited. Truth never excites--it is
falsehood that excites--until we discover it in our lives. Until we
see it with our own eyes. Then there is a thrill. Then the old
truth becomes a new blessing. Then the oldest, driest platitude
crystallizes into a flashing jewel to delight and enrich our
There is such a difference between reading a thing and knowing a
thing. We could read a thousand descriptions of the sun and not
know the sun as in one glimpse of it with our own eyes.
I used to stand in the row of blessed little rascals in the
"deestrick" school and read from McGuffey's celebrated literature,
"If--I-p-p-play--with--the--f-f-f-i-i-i-i-r-r-e--I--will--g-e-e-et
I did not learn it. I wish I had learned by reading it that if I
play with the fire I will get my fingers burned. I had to slap my
hands upon hot stoves and coffee-pots, and had to get many kinds of
blisters in order to learn it.
Then I had to go around showing the blisters, boring my friends and
This is not a lecture. It is a confession! It seems to me if you in
the audience knew how little I know, you wouldn't stay.
get something for nothing." That is, getting it in partial tune. It
took me so long because I was naturally bright. It takes that kind
with a few bumps. They have to be pulverized.
the farm. You might not think I had ever been a "hired man" on the
farm at ten dollars a month and "washed, mended and found." You see
me here on this platform in my graceful and cultured manner, and
hand many a time. You might not think that I had ever driven a yoke
of oxen and had said the words. But I have!
their own departments. Some people go to the canned fruit
where it was. I didn't need to be told. I gravitated there. The
that--in a city all of one size get together.
a little light table he could move quickly. Whenever the climate
were three little shells in a row, and there was a little pea under
the middle shell. I saw it there, being naturally bright. I was the
who knew under which shell the little round pea was hidden.
Even the gentleman running the game was fooled. He thought it was
under the end shell and bet me money it was under the end shell.
You see, this was not gambling, this was a sure thing. (It was!)
I had saved up my money for weeks to attend the fair. I bet it all
on that middle shell. I felt bad. It seemed like robbing father.
And he seemed like a real nice old gentleman, and maybe he had a
family to keep. But I would teach him a lesson not to "monkey" with
I went over to the other side of the fairgrounds and sat down. That
was all I had to do now--just go, sit down. I couldn't see the
mermaid now or get into the grandstand.
Sadly I thought it all over, but I did not get the right answer.
I said the thing every fool does say when he gets bumped and fails
Learn? No! Within a month I was on the street a Saturday night when
and stood up in his buggy. "Let the prominent citizens gather
diseases humanity is heir to. Now just to introduce and advertise,
wrapping a ten-dollar bill around one cake and throwing it into the
And right on top of the pile was the cake with the ten wrapped
around it! I jumped over the rest to shove my five (two weeks' farm
work) in his hands and grab that bill cake. But the bill
disappeared. I never knew where it went. The man whipped up his
horse and also disappeared. I never knew where he went.
I grew older and people began to notice that I was naturally bright
and therefore good picking. They began to let me in on the ground
could stick. Whenever anybody let me in on the ground floor it
seemed like I would always slide on thru and land in the cellar.
kept my investments in it. I mean, the investments I did not have
wanted to steal. And whenever I would get unduly inflated I would
open that drawer and "view the remains."
doubled. They still exist on the blueprint and the Oklahoma
I had there my oil propositions. What a difference, I have learned,
between an oil proposition and an oil well! The learning has been
I wonder how I will make it.
"Everglades"? I have an alligator ranch there. It is below the
frost-line, also below the water-line. I will sell it by the
I had also a bale of mining stock. I had stock in gold mines and
my gold and silver mine stock, I often noticed that it was printed
in green. I used to wonder why they printed it in green--wonder if
they wanted it to harmonize with me! And I would realize I had so
melon! I have heard that all my life and never got a piece of the rind.
increased my faith that the next ship would be mine. Good, honest,
retired ministers would come periodically and sell me stock in some
new enterprise that had millions in it--in its prospectus. I would
buy because I knew the minister was honest and believed in it. He
was selling it on his reputation. Favorite dodge of the promoter to
dollar and got back a dollar or two of bonds and a dollar or two of
stock. That was doubling and trebling my money over night. An old
will pay you five or six per cent. and get it?"
I pitied his lack of vision. Bankers were such "tightwads." They
It would have been better for me if I had thrown about all my
never met. His name was Thomas A. Cleage, and he was in the Rialto
rent my manly bosom as I read that letter from this man who said he
a prominent citizen and have a large influence in your community.
You are a natural leader and everybody looks up to you."
in with us in the inner circle and get a thousand per cent.
I waited till next day. I sat up all night in a day coach to save
have hurried so. They would have waited a month with the
sheep-shears ready. Lambie, lambie, lambie, come to St. Louis!
happened in St. Louis. It is none of your business!
could not learn it at home, back in Ohio. I had to go clear down to
St. Louis to Tom Cleage's bucket-shop and pay him eleven hundred
I think it must have been a pool, for I know I fell in and got
That bump set me to thinking. My fever began to reduce. I got the
had made up to that time, for I got the most out of it. I do not
feel hard toward goldbrick men and "blue sky" venders. I sometimes
cannot tell him anything, because he is naturally bright and knows
It is worth eleven hundred dollars every day to know that one
get juicy when you know it. Today when I open a newspaper and see
a big ad, "Grasp a Fortune Now!" I will not do it! I stop my
subscription to that paper. I simply will not take a paper with
that ad in it, for I have graduated from that class.
fortune right up on this platform and put it down there on the
floor. I will not grasp it. Come away, it is a coffee-pot!
been selected--" I never read farther than the word "selected."
O, Absalom, Absalom, my son, my son! Learn it early in life. The
You can't get something for nothing. If you do not learn it, you
selected to receive a thousand per cent. dividends," it means you
look like the biggest sucker on the local landscape.
The other night in a little town of perhaps a thousand, a banker
some of the above experiences. "The audience laughed with you and
thought it very funny," said he. "I couldn't laugh. It was too
pathetic. It was a picture of what is going on in our own little
community year after year. I wish you could see what I have to see.
I wish you could see the thousands of hard-earned dollars that go
out of our community every year into just such wildcat enterprises
as you described. The saddest part of it is that the money nearly
to lose it."
hundred dollars to tell you this one thing, and you get it for a
dollar or two. This is no cheap lecture. It cost blood.
accumulates by sharp practices or by undue profits never owns it.
it. We only own what we have rendered definite service to bound.
The owning is in the understanding of values.
have earned and stored in your life, not merely in your pocket,
I often think if it takes me thirty-four years to begin to learn
one sentence, I see the need of an eternity.
I learn, and how much there is to learn. It will take an eternity!
they think. This is not to sneer, but to cheer. Isn't it glorious
that life is one infinite succession of commencements and
decorated and the joy of youth is everywhere. There is a row of
geraniums along the front of the stage and a big oleander on the
sit in a semicircle upon the stage in their new patent leather. I
know how it hurts. It is the first time they have worn it.
Number One comes forth and begins:
lieth Italy!" (Bring arms down, letting fingers follow the wrist.
the wrist! It is always a shock to the audience when the wrist
sweeps downward and the fingers remain up in the air. So by all
2 stands at the same leadpencil mark on the floor, resplendent in
a filmy creation caught with something or other.
"We (hands at half-mast and separating) are rowing (business of
propelling aerial boat with two fingers of each hand, head
inclined). We are not drifting (hands slide downward)."
truths that you have memorized, but not vitalized.
You get the most beautiful and sublime truths from Emerson's
them. It is a grand thing to say, "Beyond the Alps lieth Italy,"
but you can never really say that until you know it by struggling
up over Alps of difficulty and seeing the Italy of promise and
victory beyond. It is fine to say, "We are rowing and not
mine. I had a call. At least, I thought I had a call. I think now I
was "short-circuited." The "brethren" waited upon me and told me I had
They gave me six weeks in which to load the gospel gun and get
ready for my try-out. I certainly loaded it to the muzzle.
the poet Shakespeare has so beautifully said," and then I took a
chunk of Shakespeare and nailed it on page five of my sermon. "List
fragments from the books together with my own native genius. I
worked that sermon up into the most beautiful splurges and spasms.
I bedecked it with metaphors and semaphores. I filled it with
climaxes, both wet and dry. I had a fine wet climax on page
fourteen, where I had made a little mark in the margin which meant
cry on the lefthand side of the page.
I committed it all to memory, and then went to a lady who taught
expression, to get it expressed. You have to get it expressed.
You know about gestures--these things you make with your arms in
the air as you speak. You can notice it on me yet.
express-wagon and got no load for it. So it rattled. I got a
necktie, but failed to get any man to hang it upon. I got up before
a mirror for six weeks, day by day, and said the sermon to the
glass. It got so it would run itself. I could have gone to sleep
and that sermon would not have hesitated.
Then came the grand day. The boy wonder stood forth and before his
large and enthusiastic concourse delivered that maiden sermon more
grandly than ever to a mirror. Every gesture went off the bat
it was in me. But I certainly got it all out that day!
last man out of the church--and I hurried. But they beat me
would not have hurt me so much. It has taken some years to learn
No sermon ever had greater truth, but I had not lived it. The old
So, children, when you prepare your commencement oration, write
about peeling potatoes than about anything else, write about
"Peeling Potatoes," and you are most likely to hear the applause
Out of every thousand books published, perhaps nine hundred of them
in them and they may even be better written, yet they lack the
vital impulse. They come out of the author's head. The books that
surging and pulsating from the book of his experience.
agriculturist. We must take a hoe and go out and agricult. That is
And the poet's heart was wrung."
So many young people think because they have a good voice and they have
cultivated it, they are singers. All this cultivation and irritation
and irrigation and gargling of the throat are merely symptoms of
a singer--merely neckties. Singers look better with neckties.
They think the song comes from the diaphragm. But it comes from the
beautiful voice, and she has been away to "Ber-leen" to have it
Summer." She sang it with every note so well placed, with the
sweetest little trills and tendrils, with the smile exactly like
her teacher had taught her. Jessie exhibited all the machinery and
The audience politely endured Jessie. That night a woman sang in
half so beautifully as Jessie did, but she sang it with the
tremendous feeling it demands. The audience went wild. It was a
case of Gussie and Bill Whackem.
All this was gall and wormwood to Jessie. "Child," I said to her,
all right and you have a better voice than that woman, but you
much about the first rose of summer. And really, I hope you'll
never know the ache and disappointment you must know before you can
sing that song, for it is the sob of a broken-hearted woman. Learn
The Success of a Song-Writer
one of the widely known song-writers of this land. As I had the
good fortune to be sitting at table with her I wanted to ask her,
But in the hour she talked with her friends around the table I
found the answer to every question. "Isn't it good to be here?
Isn't it great to have friends and a fine home and money?" she
meal a day and didn't know where the next meal was coming from. I
know what it is to be left alone in the world upon my own
resources. I have had years of struggle. I have been sick and
discouraged and down and out. It was in my little back-room, the
only home I had, that I began to write songs. I wrote them for my
own relief. I was writing my own life, just what was in my own
heart and what the struggles were teaching me. No one is more
surprised and grateful that the world seems to love my songs and
"Just a Wearyin' for You," "His Lullaby" and many more of those
simple little songs so full of the pathos and philosophy of life
that they tug at your heart and moisten your eyes.
Anybody could write those songs--just a few simple words and notes.
No. Books of theory and harmony and expression only teach us how to
write the words and where to place the notes. These are not the
The woman who sat there clad in black, with her sweet, expressive
face crowned with silvery hair, had learned to write her songs in
the University of Hard Knocks. She here became the song philosopher
had never struggled with discouragement, sickness, poverty and
loneliness, she never would have been able to write the songs that
appeal to the multitudes who have the same battles.
popular heart. And while we have a continual inundation of popular
songs that are trashy and voice the tawdriest human impulses, yet
it is a tribute to the good elements in humanity that the
continue to hold their popularity.
Theory and Practice
My friends, I am not arguing that you and I must drink the dregs of
defeat, or that our lives must fill up with poverty or sorrow, or
become wrecks. But I am insisting upon what I see written all
practical realities. They go around with their heads in the clouds,
looking upward, and half the time their feet are in the flower-beds
There are a thousand who can tell you what is the matter with
I used to have respect amounting to reverence for great readers and
anything you could think of was discussed, and perhaps the page. He
He was a remarkable man--a great reader and with a memory that
retained it all. That man could recite chapters and volumes.
practical life. He seemed to be unable to think and reason for
a misfit on earth. He was liable to put the gravy in his coffee
and the gasoline in the fire. He seemed never to have digested any
of the things in his memory. Since I have grown up I always think
The greatest book is the textbook of the University of Hard Knocks,
the Book of Human Experience the "sermons in stones" and the "books
in running brooks." Most fortunate is he who has learned to read
understandingly from it.
Note the sweeping, positive statements of the young person.
Our education is our progress from the sweeping, positive,
here is a different audience, reading a different page in the Book
of Human Experience. Each has a different fight to make and a
ones. You have cried yourselves to sleep, some of you, and walked
the Alps lieth Italy."
ago, and the wound has not healed. You think it never will heal.
You came here thinking that perhaps you would forget your trouble
for a little while. I know there are people in this audience in pain.
Never do this many gather but what there are some with aching hearts.
And you young people here with lives like June mornings, are not
much interested in this lecture. You are polite and attentive
because this is a polite and attentive neighborhood. But down in
man talking about? I haven't had these things and I'm not going to
have them, either!"
trust most betray you. Maybe, betray you with a kiss. You will go
And you are going to learn the wonderful lesson thru the years, the
bumps and the tears, that all these things somehow are necessary to
These bumps and hard knocks do not break the fiddle--they turn the pegs.
These bumps and tragedies and Waterloos draw the strings of the
soul tighter and tighter, nearer and nearer to God's great concert
pitch, where the discords fade from our lives and where the music
divine and harmonies celestial come from the same old strings that
had been sending forth the noise and discord.
Thus we know that our education is progressing, as the evil and
unworthy go out of our lives and as peace, harmony, happiness, love
and understanding come into our lives.
backward--and weep and rejoice.
I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, altho it is quite
evident that I could have handled a pretty good-sized spoon. But
Nobody ever traded with us by mistake.
several miles into the country those old reaper days and gathered
head and said, "You are the best boy to work, I ever saw." Then the
cheerful old miser put a nickel in my blistered hand. That nickel
looked bigger than any money I have since handled.
Yet I was years learning it is much easier to make money than to
handle it, hence the tale that follows.
I was sixteen years old and a school teacher. Sweet sixteen--which
There is hope for green things. I was so tall and awkward then--I
I had never studied pedagogy, but I had whittled out three rules
that I thought would make it go. My first rule was, Make 'em study.
My second, Make, em recite. That is, fill 'em up and then empty 'em.
My third and most important rule was, Get your money!
I walked thirteen miles a day, six and a half miles each way, most of
the time, to save money. I think I had all teaching methods in use.
With the small fry I used a small paddle to win their confidence and
arouse their enthusiasm for an education. With the pupils larger and
more muscular than their teacher I used love and moral suasion.
We ended the school with an "exhibition." Did you ever attend the
old back-country "last day of school exhibition"? The people that
was closing they all turned out to make it a success. They brought
great baskets of provender and we had a feast. We covered the
school desks with boards, and then covered the boards with piles of
fried chicken, doughnuts and forty kinds of pie.
literature that day. Execute is the word that tells what happened
to literature in District No. 1, Jackson Township, that day. I can
shut my eyes and see it yet. I can see my pupils coming forward to
speak their "pieces." I hardly knew them and they hardly knew me,
for we were "dressed up." Many a head showed father had mowed it
with the sheepshears. Mother had been busy with the wash-rag--clear
back of the ears! And into them! So many of them wore collars that
and he had a lingering end as we executed him. I can see "The boy
"Mary's little lamb" come slipping over the stage. I see the
act on the bill to say farewell. It was customary to cry. I wanted
saying over and over until it would say itself. But somehow when I
got up before that "last day of school" audience and opened my
mouth, it was a great opening, but nothing came out. It came out of
spatter on my six-dollar suit.
And my pupils wept as their dear teacher said farewell. Parents
wept. It was a teary time. I only said, "Weep not for me, dear
Next day I drew my money. I had it all in one joyous wad--$240. I
was going home with head high and aircastles even higher. But I
never got home with the money. Talk about the fool and his money
and you get very personal.
For on the way home I met Deacon K, and he borrowed it all. Deacon K
was "such a good man" and a "pillar of the church." I used to wonder,
I was paid thousands in experience for that first schoolteaching,
but I paid all the money I got from it--two hundred and forty
from the books, that it takes less wisdom to make money, than it
does to intelligently handle it afterwards. Incidentally I learned
it may be safer to do business with a first-class sinner than with
Which is no slap at the church, but at its worst enemies, the foes
of its own household.
Their schoolmates and playmates are apt to be down there in the
front rows with their families, and maybe all the old scores have
not yet been settled. The boy he fought with may be down there.
Perhaps the girl who gave him the "mitten" is there.
And he has gotten his lecture out of that home town. The heroes and
villains live there within striking distance. Perhaps they have
is why some lecturers and authors are not so popular in the home
I went back to the same hall to speak, and stood upon the same platform
when in impassioned and well modulated tones I had exclaimed,
"Greece is gone and Rome is no more, but fe-e-e-e-ear not,
Then I went back to the little hotel and sat up alone in my room
half the night living it over. Time was when I thought anybody who
hotel has a superior order of vitality.
I got a truer perspective of life that night. Did you ever sit
alone with a picture of your classmates taken twenty-one years
before? It is a memorable experience.
A class of brilliant and gifted young people went out to take
charge of the world. They were so glad the world had waited so long
were going to be presidents and senators and authors and
authoresses and scientists and scientist-esses and geniuses and
genius-esses and things like that.
There was one boy in the class who was not naturally bright. It was
not the one you may be thinking of! No, it was Jim Lambert. He had
no brilliant career in view. He was dull and seemed to lack
intellect. He was "conditioned" into the senior class. We all felt
a little sorry for Jim.
As commencement day approached, the committee of the class
appointed for that purpose took Jim back of the schoolhouse and
speech that would do credit to such a brilliant class. They hid Jim
on the stage back of the oleander commencement night.
home telephone exchange, and had become absolutely indispensable to
the community. The girl who was to become the poetess became the
goddess at the general delivery window and superintendent of the
going to Confess was raising the best corn in the county, and his
the head of one of the big manufacturing plants of the South, with
a lot of men working for him. The committee that took him out
commencement, would now have to wait in line before a frosted door
cards, and the watchdog who guards the door would tell them, "Cut
it short, he's busy!" before they could break any news to him
alumni meeting. They hung it on the wall near where the oleander
Dull boy or girl--you with your eyes tear-dimmed sometimes because
a bit of cheer from the story of Jim?
Hours pass, and still as I sat in that hotel room I was lost in
that school picture and the twenty-one years. There were fifty-four
the barrel, and now as I called the roll on them, most of them that
I expected to go up had shaken down and some that I expected to
Out of that fifty-four, one had gone to a pulpit, one had gone to
Congress and one had gone to the penitentiary. Some had gone to
brilliant success and some had gone down to sad failure. Some had
found happiness and some had found unhappiness. It seemed as tho
almost every note on the keyboard of human possibility had been
yet most of them seemed already to have decided their destinies.
it, or where Mammon had entered to pull it down. And I saw better
The boy who traded knives with me and beat me--how I used to envy
him! Why was it he could always get the better of me? Well, he went
on trading knives and getting the better of people. Now, twenty-one
years afterwards, he was doing time in the state penitentiary for
smart and bright.
The "perfectly lovely" boy who didn't mix with the other boys, who
combed, and said, "If you please," used to hurt me. He was the
teacher's model boy. All the mothers of the community used to say
He'll be President of the United States some day, and you'll be in
believe Mr. Webster defines a model as a small imitation of the
because he hadn't the energy to be anything else. It was the boys
who had the hustle and the energy, who occasionally needed
bumping--and who got it--who really grew.
I have said little about the girls of the school. Fact was, at that
spotlight, primping and flirting. She outshone all the rest. But it
seemed like she was all out-shine and no in-shine. She mistook
popularity for success. The boys voted for her, but did not marry
her. Most of the girls who shone with less social luster became the
happy homemakers of the community.
these years to support a home and care for her family. She had kept
her grace and sweetness thru it all, and the influence of her
white, loving life radiated far.
a loving father, plenty of money, opportunity and a great career
awaiting him. And he was bright and lovable and talented.
Everybody said Frank would make his mark in the world and make
I was the janitor of the schoolhouse. Some of my classmates will
never know how their thoughtless jeers and jokes wounded the
sensitive, shabby boy who swept the floors, built the fires and
carried in the coal. After commencement my career seemed to end and
the careers of Frank and the rest of them seemed to begin. They
were going off to college and going to do so many wonderful things.
roll up my sleeves and go to work in the "devil's corner" to earn
my daily bread. Seemed like it took so much bread!
Many a time as I plugged at the "case" I would think of Frank and wonder
why some people had all the good things and I had all the hard things.
How easy it is to see as you look backward. But how hard it is to
at a grave and read on the headstone, "Frank."
It was the story of the boy who had every opportunity, but who had
a fortune, broke his father's heart, shocked the community, and
finally ended his wasted life with a bullet fired by his own hand.
It revived the memory of the story of Ben Hur.
Do you remember it? The Jewish boy is torn from his home in
disgrace. He is haled into court and tried for a crime he never
committed. Ben Hur did not get a fair trial. Nobody can get a fair
trial at the hands of this world. That is why the great Judge has
chain him to the bench and to the oar. There follow the days and
he pulls on the oar. Day after day he writhes under the sting of
That seems to be your life and my life. In the kitchen or the
the oar and pulling under the sting of the lash of necessity. Life
look across the street and see somebody who lives a happier life.
they, too, pull on the oar and feel the lash. Most likely they are
looking back at us and envying us. For while we envy others, others
But look at the chariot race in Antioch. See the thousands in the
circus. See Messala, the haughty Roman, and see! Ben Hur from the
galleys in the other chariot pitted against him. Down the course
dash these twin thunderbolts. The thousands hold their breath. "Who
will win?" "The man with the stronger forearms," they whisper.
There comes the crucial moment in the race. See the man with the
stronger forearms. They are bands of steel that swell in the
Sooner or later you and I are to learn that Providence makes no
by grim necessity, every honest effort is laid up at compound
on--when we win the victory, strike the deciding blow, stand while
those around us fall--and it is won with the forearms earned in the
and for the circumstances that compelled it.
But I am a very grateful pupil in the first reader class of The
University of Hard Knocks.
THERE is a little silvery sheet of water in Minnesota called Lake Itasca.
There is a place where a little stream leaps out from the lake.
this little creek?"
"Creek! It bane no creek. It bane Mississippi river."
It wabbles around thru the woods of Minnesota. It doesn't know
where it is going, but it is "on the way."
It keeps wabbling around, never giving up and quitting, and it gets
It is the place where gravity says, "Little Mississippi, do you
The little Mississippi starts south. He says to the people,
"Goodbye, folks, I am going south." The folks at Itascaville say,
to go south. He has not much water, but he does not wait for a
relative to die and bequeath him some water. That is a beautiful
thought! He has water enough to start south, and he does that.
south. He picks up a little stream and he has some more water. He
goes on south. He picks up another stream and grows some more. Day
of what it seems to me our lives should be. I hear a great many
orations, especially in high school commencements, entitled, "The
important than the goal. Find the way your life should go, and then
go and keep on going and you'll reach a thousand goals.
and we will find the resources all along the way. We will grow as
we flow. All of us can start! And then go on south!
every day in flowing and growing. The Mississippi is a success in
You and I sooner or later hear the call, "Go on south." If we
haven't heard it, let us keep our ear to the receiver and live a
It is a divine call--the call of our unfolding talents to be used.
1. He keeps on going on south and growing greater.
2. He overcomes his obstacles and develops his power.
Go On South and Grow Greater
is going on south and growing greater. You never meet him but what
The Mississippi gets to St. Paul and Minneapolis. He is a great
retire upon his laurels. He goes on south and grows greater. He
does not stop. He goes on south and grows greater.
Everywhere you meet him he is going on south and growing greater.
the Mississippi. If he should stop and stagnate, he would not be
they stop and stagnate, they die.
That is why I am making it the slogan of my life--GO ON SOUTH AND
GROW GREATER! I hope I can make you remember that and say it over
each day. I wish I could write it over the pulpits, over the
schoolrooms, over the business houses and homes--GO ON SOUTH AND
GROW GREATER. For this is life, and there is no other. This is
education--and religion. And the only business of life.
You and I start well. We go on south a little ways, and then we
retire. Even young people as they start south and make some little
So many of those young goslings believe that. They quit and get
canned. They think they have gotten to the Gulf of Mexico when they
one victory. Success goes to the head and defeat goes to "de feet."
It makes them work harder.
The one who keeps on going south defies custom and becomes unorthodox.
But contentment with present achievement is the damnation of the race.
smattering and squeeze into the bottom position and never go on
south to efficiency and promotion. They wonder why their genius is
not recognized. They do not make it visible.
Nine out of ten stenographers who apply for positions can write a
few shorthand characters and irritate a typewriter keyboard. They
think that is being a stenographer, when it is merely a symptom of
capitalization and punctuation. Their eyes are on the clock, their
Contented to think today what you thought yesterday.
I could not play so well with such little practice." The poor
Strickland Gillilan, America's great poet-humorist, say, "Egotism
is the opiate that Nature administers to deaden the pains of mediocrity.
are so prone to say, "I am aging rapidly." It pays to advertise. We
We say, "I've seen my best days." And the undertaker goes and
so far, and tomorrow is going to be better on south.
We are only children in God's great kindergarten, playing with our
A-B-C's. I do not utter that as a bit of sentiment, but as the
understand. Just beginning to know about life."
eternal youth. It is the one who stops who "ages rapidly." Each day
brings us a larger vision. Infinity, Eternity, Omnipotence,
moment for all the years before it. I have their footings at
Birthdays and Headmarks
Yesterday I had a birthday. I looked in the glass and communed with
You children cheer up. Your black hair and auburn hair and the other
first reader hair will pass and you'll get promoted as you go on south.
have quit going on south and have gotten gray on the inside--or bald.
These same corporations send out Pinkertons and pay any price for
gray-headed men--gray on the outside and green on the inside. They
are the most valuable, for they have the vision and wisdom of many
years and the enthusiasm and "pep" and courage of youth.
list, retires himself. He quits going on south.
years and years on earth and has perhaps gotten gray on the
outside, but has kept young and fresh on the inside. Put that
person in the pulpit, in the schoolroom, in the office, behind the
ticket-window or on the bench--or under the hod--and you find the
I ought to know more about it by this time. But when anybody says,
"Please don't throw it up to me now. I am just as ashamed of it as
O, I want to forget all the past, save its lessons. I am just
come to me and tell me how to improve--what to do and what not to
I was so dissatisfied with what little I knew. He told me I could
never get any better. I had reached my limit. Those lectures were
the "limit." I shiver as I think what I was saying then. I want to
the people on the platform who were contented with their offerings,
were not trying to improve them, and were lost in admiration of
watched them come and go, come and go. I have heard their fierce
invectives against the bureaus and ungrateful audiences that were
Some people seem to string out to near a hundred years with mighty
boots. He just hibernated and "chawed on."
Bernhardt, Davis and Edison
The spectacle of Sarah Bernhardt, past seventy, thrilling and
gripping audiences with the fire and brilliancy of youth, is
acting, for she remains the "Divine Sarah" with no crippling of her
Senator Henry Gassaway Davis, West Virginia's Grand Old Man, at
ninety-two was working as hard and hopefully as any man of the
multitudes in his employ. He was an ardent Odd Fellow, and one day
the home was a row of old men inmates. The senator shook hands with
these men and one by one they rose from the bench to return his
the senator and said, "Senator, you'll have to excuse me from
get up, either."
"Senator, I'm old in body and old in spirit. I'm past sixty."
When I was a little boy I saw them bring the first phonograph that
cheered when they heard it talk.
You would laugh at it today. It had a tinfoil cylinder, it
screeched and stuttered. You would not have it in your barn today
Thomas Alva Edison. He had gotten to St. Paul, and he went on
south. A million people would have stopped there and said, "I have
arrived." They would have put in their time litigating for their
rights with other people who would have gone on south with the
Mr. Edison has said that his genius is mainly his ability to keep
other day, and she wrote me that the great inventor showed her one
invention. "I made over seven thousand experiments and failed
before I hit upon that."
"I know more than seven thousand ways now that won't work."
the face of seven thousand failures. Today he brings forth a
to this platform and ask him, "Have you succeeded?" he would say
what he has said to reporters and what he said to the young lady,
What a difference between "ed" and "ing"! The difference between
death and life. Are you "ed-ing" or "ing-ing"?
started south. It took him eighty years to get ready. Moses did not
eighty. He went on south into the extra editions after that!
pitching horseshoes up the alley and talking about "ther winter of
orations on "The Age of the Young Man" and the Ostler idea that you
time" when he becomes the leader of the Israelite host.
I would see his scandalized friends gather around him. "Moses! Moses!
what is this we hear? You going to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land?
And keep out of the night air. It is so hard on old folks."
I think I would hear Moses say, "No, no, I am just beginning to see
can hardly keep up. Moses is eighty-five and busier and more
They appoint a committee to bury Moses. You cannot do anything in
America without a committee. The committee gets out the invitations
and makes all the arrangements for a gorgeous funeral next
Thursday. They get ready the resolutions of respect--
Then I see the committee waiting on Moses. That is what a committee
does--it "waits" on something or other. And this committee goes up
to General Moses' private office. It is his busy day. They have to
stand in line and wait their turn. When they get up to Moses' desk,
the great prophet says, "Boys, what is it? Cut it short, I'm busy."
The committee begins to weep. "General Moses, you are a very old
man. You are eighty-five years old and full of honors. We are the
committee duly authorized to give you gorgeous burial. The funeral
until he consents. It is bad manners! The committee is so
mortified, for all the invitations are out. It waits.
Moses is eighty-six and the committee 'phones over, "Moses, can you
attend next Thursday?" And Moses says, "No, boys, you'll just have
attend it. I haven't even time to think about getting old."
The committee waits. Moses is ninety and rushed more than ever.
He is doing ten men's work and his friends all say he is killing
himself. But he makes the committee wait.
Moses is ninety-five and burning the candle at both ends.
He is a hundred. And the committee dies!
Moses goes right on shouting, "Onward!" He is a hundred and ten. He
is a hundred and twenty. Even then I read, "His eye was not dim,
nor his natural force abated." He had not time to stop and abate.
So God buried him. The committee was dead. O, friends, this is not
irreverence. It is joyful reverence. It is the message to all of
us, Go on south to the greater things, and get so enthused and
absorbed in our going that we'll fool the "committee."
All the multitudes of the Children of Israel died in the Wilderness.
Joshua and Caleb. They put the giants out of business.
and the dodo.
I am so sorry for the folks who quit, retire, "get on the shelf" or
not time to look back and see how anybody uses him.
tribulations, and I'll be in that bright and happy land." What will
they do with them when they get them there? They would be dill
child and I'm not happy now. Them was the best days of my life
the horrors of childhood could not be hired to live it over again.
anybody who gets shortchanged regularly, it is a child. I am so
sorry for a child. Hurry up and go on south. It is better on south.
Waiting till the "Second Table"
palmy days. And the palm!
my chances living it thru again. I am not ungrateful to my parents.
I had advantages. I was born in a parsonage and was reared in the
nurture and admiration of the Lord. I am not just sure I quoted
I inherited was a Godly example and a large appetite. That was
about all there was to inherit. I cannot remember when I was not
I never sit down as "company" at a dinner and see some little
children going sadly into the next room to "wait till the second
dinner ready. She would cook up about all the "brethren" brought in
and mother would stretch it clear across the room and put on two
I would watch her get the big dinner ready. I would look over the
long table and view the "promised land." I would see her set on the
jelly. We had so much jelly--red jelly, and white jelly, and blue
had it we had it on that table. All the jelly that ever "jelled"
jelly tremble? I used to think it ought to tremble, for Elder Berry
ever saw. She would make a hollow in the top and fill it with
butter. I would see the butter melt and run down the sides, and I
would say, "Hurry, mother, it is going to spill!" O, how I wanted
to spill it! I could hardly hold out faithful.
And then Elder Berry would sit down at the table, at the end
nearest the fried chicken. The "company" would sit down. I used to
"company" had to come and gobble it up. They would fill the table
and father would sit down in the last seat. There was no place for
me to sit. Father would say, "You go into the next room, my boy,
and wait. There's no room for you at the table."
room and hear the big dinner. Did you ever hear a big dinner when
you felt like the Mammoth Cave? I used to think as I would sit in
I would watch them thru the key-hole. It was going so fast. There
was only one piece of chicken left. It was the neck. O, Lord, spare
the neck! And I would hear them say, "Elder Berry, may we help you
And Elder Berry would take the neck!
He would often put his hand in benediction upon my head.
When all the chicken was gone and he had taken the neck! "My boy,
good time, it's a child. Life has been getting better ever since,
and today is the best day of all. Go on south!
It's Better on South
with fuzz on his upper lip, but he'll be happier when his lip feels
more like mine like a piece of sandpaper. There are chapters of
A child can be full of happiness and only hold a pint. But
I think I hold a gallon now. And I see people in the audience who
circumference. But every year we go south increases our capacity
Afterwhile this old world gets too small for us and we go on south
So we cannot grow old. Our life never stops. It goes on and on
Material things will grow old. This stage will grow old and stop.
This hall will grow old and stop. This house we live in will grow
old and stop. This flesh and blood house we live in will grow old
and stop. This lecture even will grow old--and stop! But you and I
will never grow old, for God cannot grow old. You and I will go on
today it is such a relief to look people in the face and say,
And I have to say that to many questions, "I do not know." I often
think if people in an audience only knew how little I know, they
But some day I shall know! I patiently wait for the answer. Every
It will take an eternity to know an infinity!
What a wonderful happiness to go on south to it!
way. You and I find obstacles along our way south. What shall we do?
the river. It is many feet high, and many, many feet long. The
obstacle and sweeps over it on south.
Over the great power dam at Keokuk sweeps the Mississippi. And then
you see the struggle of overcoming the obstacle develops light and
power to vitalize the valley. A hundred towns and cities radiate
the light and power from the struggle. The great city of St. Louis,
many miles away, throbs with the victory.
get the light and the power. The light and the power were latent in
the river, but it took the obstacle and the overcoming to develop
it and make it useful.
That is exactly what happens when you and I overcome our obstacles.
We develop our light and power. We are rivers of light and power,
but it is all latent and does no good until we overcome obstacles
And where the most obstacles are, there you find the most power to
be developed. So many of us do not understand that. We look
southward and we see the obstacles in the road. "I am so
of light and power in you to be developed. If you see no obstacles,
Life is going on south, and overcoming the obstacles. Death is
merely quitting.
along the street in almost any town and see the dead ones. There
they are decorating the hitching-racks and festooning the
storeboxes. There they are blocking traffic at the postoffice and
depot. There they are in the hotel warming the chairs and making
the guests stand up. There they are--rows of retired farmers who
have quit work and moved to town to block improvements and die. But
thought the past month. Sometimes they sit and think, but generally
they just sit. They have not gone south an inch the past year.
They block the wheels of progress and get in the way of the people
They do not join in to promote the churches and schools and big
brother movements. They growl at the lyceum courses and chautauquas,
money "outa town." Ringling and Barnum & Bailey get theirs.
squirt some "pep" into them and start them on south.
Here we come to the most wonderful and difficult thing in life. It
blessing nor cursing, not for popularity nor for selfish ends, not
for anything outside, but for the happiness that comes from within.
and overcomes. But the valley does not bless the river in return.
The valley throws its junk back upon the river. The valley pours
its foul, muddy, poisonous streams back upon the Mississippi to
defile him. The Mississippi makes St. Paul and Minneapolis about
all the prosperity they have, gives them power to turn their mills.
But the Twin Cities merely throw their waste back upon their
Itasca." No, he does not even go to live with his father-in-law.
He says, "Thank you. Every little helps, send it all along." Go a
few miles below the Twin Cities and see how, by some mysterious
and the defilement, he has purified it and clarified it, and has
made it a part of himself. And he is greater and farther south!
He fattens upon bumps. Kick him, and you push him farther south.
"Hand him a lemon," and he makes lemonade.
wide and three inches deep; the peevish, destructive Kaw, and all
those streams that unite to form the treacherous, sinful,
the Red, the black and the blue floods--all these pour into the
Day by day the Father of Waters goes on south, taking them over and
purifying them and making them a part of himself. Nothing can
becomes, he goes a few miles on south and he is all pure again.
become poisoned by bitter memories and bitter regrets. We carry
us, that sometimes we are bank to bank full of poison and a menace
Oh, forget it! Drop it all. Purify your life and go on south all
sweet again. We forget what we ought to remember and remember what
As you go on south and bless your valley, do you notice the valley
Don't wait to be thanked. Hurry on to avoid the kick! Do good to
others because that is the way to be happy, but do not wait for a
wait. I know, for I have waited!
teacher, the editor, the man in office, the business man, the
father and mother--every one who tries to carry on the work of the
church, the school, the lyceum and chautauqua, the work that makes
for a better community, gets discouraged at times.
We fail to see what we are doing or why we are doing it. Sometimes
we sit down completely discouraged and say, "I'm done. I'm going to
quit. I have done my share. Nobody appreciates what I do. Let
somebody else do it awhile."
successful tool is discouragement, which is a wedge, and if he can
it deeper.
You do not go south and overcome your obstacles and bless the
valley for praise or blame, for appreciation or lack of it. You do
it to live. You do it to remain a living river and not a stagnant,
if we are not praised or thanked for it, if people do not present
us a medal or resolutions, we want to quit. That is why there are
so many disappointed and disgruntled people in the world. They worked
O, how easy it is to say these things, and how hard it is to do them!
science has not yet been able to put a bridge across it.
the boat crossing a river more than a mile wide. Standing upon the
ferry-boat, I could look down into the lordly river and then far
north perhaps fifteen hundred miles to the little struggling
writing the first chapter of this wonderful book in the running brook.
I thank God that I had gone a little farther southward in my own
knocks, and saw that you never stopped going southward.
And may we read it into our own lives. May we get the vision of
which way to go, and then keep on going south--on and on, overcoming,
and thus making it a part of ourselves, and thus growing greater.
And when he comes to the end of his physical banks, he pushes on
south into the gulf, and goes on south round and round the globe.
When you and I come to our Gulf of Mexico, we must push right on
And when physical banks fail, we go on south beyond this mere husk,
into the great Gulf of the Beyond, to go on south unfolding thru eternity.
HOW often we say, "I wish I had a million!" Perhaps it is a
blessing that we have not the million. Perhaps it would make us
lazy, selfish and unhappy. Perhaps we would go around giving it to
other people to make them lazy, selfish and unhappy.
money with the least injury to the race!
wild cat and then look at the tabby cat. The wild cat supports
itself and the tabby cat has its million. So the tabby cat has to
Necessity is the ballast in our life voyage.
When you hear the orator speak and you note the ease and power of
his work, do you think of the years of struggle he spent in
preparing? Do you ever think of the times that orator tried to
speak when he failed and went back to his room in disgrace,
mortified and broken-hearted? Thru it all there came the
discipline, experience and grim resolve that made him succeed.
When you hear the musician and note the ease and grace of the
performance, do you think of the years of struggle and overcoming
necessary to produce that finish and grace? That is the story of
the actor, the author and every other one of attainment.
Do you note that the tropics, the countries with the balmiest
conquering races are those that struggle with both heat and cold?
The tropics are the geographical Gussielands.
Crop failures and business stringencies are not calamities, but
blessings in disguise. People go to the devil with full pockets;
they turn to God when hunger hits them. "Is not this Babylon that
I have builded?" says the Belshazzar of material prosperity as he
drinks to his gods. Then must come the Needful and Needless Knocks
handwriting upon the wall to save him.
to crack their heads before they can think, knock them down before
they can stand, break their hearts before they can sing, and
before he would write his immortal "Pilgrim's Progress"? It may be
blind before writing "Paradise Lost" the world will always read?
to be scourged and fettered to become the Apostle to the Gentiles.
He, too, had to be sent to prison to write his immortal messages to
humanity. What throne-rooms are some prisons! And what prisons are
Then, children, when you stand in the row of graduates on
commencement day with your diplomas in your hands, and when your
relatives and friends say, "Success to you!" I shall take your hand
and say, "Defeat to you! And struggles to you! And bumps to you!"
O UNIVERSITY OF HARD KNOCKS, we learn to love you more with each
great bump that struck me one morning in Los Angeles. It seemed as
tho twelve years of my life had dropped out of it, and had been
It is a wonderful experience to climb Mount Lowe. The tourists go
hundred feet up the side of a granite cliff, to the top of Echo Mountain.
Every minute a new thrill, and no two thrills alike. Five miles of
winding and squirming, twisting and ducking, dodging and summersaulting.
There are places where the tourist wants to grasp his seat and
He looks over the edge of the shelf downward, and then turns to the other
side to look at the face of the cliff they are hugging, and discovers
The car is five thousand feet high where it stops on that last shelf,
Alpine Tavern. One cannot ride farther upward. This is not the summit,
but just where science surrenders. There is a little trail that winds
upward from Alpine Tavern to the summit. It is three miles long
and rises eleven hundred feet.
To go up that last eleven hundred feet and stand upon the flat rock
at the summit of Mount Lowe is to get a picture so wonderful it
cannot be described with this poor human vocabulary. It must be
It spreads out below in one great mosaic of turquoise and amber
and emerald, where the miles seem like inches, and where his
Just below is Pasadena and Los Angeles. To the westward perhaps
the faint outlines of Catalina Islands. The ocean seems so close
one could throw a pebble over into it. How a mountain does reduce
distances. You throw the pebble and it falls upon your toes!
And Mount Lowe is but a shelf on the side of the higher Sierras.
The granite mountains rise higher to the northward, and to the east
rises "Old Baldy," twelve thousand feet high and snow eternally
This is one of the workshops of the infinite!
All alone I scrambled up that three-mile trail to the summit. All
alone I stood upon the flat rock at the summit and looked down into
that mountain sanctuary, for I was not searching for sublimity. I
valley below, and dully watched the clouds spread wider and blacker.
over me, and there were millions of miles of sunshine above me. I
I must go on up the mountain to see it.
matter how black and sunless today, when I have struggled on up the
mountain path, I have gotten above the clouds and found the sun
forever shining and God forever in His heavens.
clearly the plan of a human life. The rocks, the curves and the
struggles fit into a divine engineering plan to soften the
see how I could live past that bump. The years have passed and I now
know it was one of the greatest blessings of my life. It closed one
gate, but it opened another gate to a better pathway up the mountain.
southwest and I could see the sun going down. I could see him sink
lower and lower until his red lips kissed the cheek of the Pacific.
The glory of the sunset filled sea and sky with flames of gold and
valley was black with the shadow. It was night down there. The
people were saying, "The sun doesn't shine." But it was not night
where I stood. I was farther up the mountain. I turned and looked
up to the summit. The beams of the setting sun were yet gilding
Mount Lowe's summit. It was night down in the valley, but it was
Child of humanity, are you in the storm? Go on upward. Are you in
For the peace and the light are always above the storm and the
night, and always in our reach.
I am going on upward. Take my hand and let us go together. Mount Lowe
Some day my night will come. It will spread over all this valley of
night, as I am learning to climb and look down upon the storms. I
the Mountain of Infinite Unfolding. I shall have risen perhaps only
This will be another Commencement Day and Master's Degree. Infinite
the number on up. "Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have
Rejoice and Go Upward!
happiness now in our work, and not tomorrow for our work.
"It is a great big boost for everybody who will read it. People
ought to buy them by the gross and send them to their friends."
"The Big Business of Life is a real joy to read. It is big and
ought to be read today and tomorrow and forevermore every
where. It is truly `A Book of Rejoicing'."
that it is everyone's business to abolish work and turn this
mortals take their work too seriously, and that to them it is a
joyless, cheerless thing? To be able to find happiness, and to
find it when we are bending to our duties is to possess the
secret of living to the full. And happiness is to be sought
within, and not among the things that lie at our feet. The
book before us is wholesome and vivacious. It provokes many
a smile, and beneath each one is a bit of wisdom it would do us
a world of good to learn. It recalls the saying of the wise man
Many who have read The Big Business of Life
write us that they think it is even better than "The
University of Hard Knocks," which, they add, is
It's Up To You!
chapters in "The University of Hard Knocks."
bought 1000 copies of the booklet "It's Up to You!" and of it he
says. "Parlette's Beans and Nuts is just as good as the Message to
Garcia and will be handed around just us much. I have handed the book
to business men, to young fellows, bond salesmen and such, to our
own vice president, and they all want another copy to send to some
friend. I would rather be author of it than president of the bank."
Employers in every line of business are buying quantities of "It's
William Jennings Bryan says of the booklet "Go On South": "It is
Charles Grilk of Davenport, says: "My two children and I read the
Mississippi River story together and we were thoroly delighted."
Instruct us to send one of these booklets to your friends. It will
End of Project Gutenberg etext of "The University of Hard Knocks"
Kishore Balakrishnan 2002
[Henry Miller], Sexus : Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heart-ache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, to discover what is already there.
I would like to know how/why you are here... Write to me > kishore at carnatic dot com
If there is anything I can do to assist you, please don't hesitate to ask. I [too|http://www.soilandhealth.org/05steve'sfolder/05aboutmeindex.html] really believe that a person is only as valuable as they are of help to others.
Fight [spam] and [fram] on the Internet!
I listen to [music], watch [movies], believe in [dreams], collect [Pearls], read [quotations], [articles], [books], collect [Links] and come across interesting [People] on the web and hope to meet all of them some day.
I try to follow [Principles] and subscribe to [Newsletters], [Magazines]
!Zeitgeist
* 2001 August 11 - Krishna's birthday - setup this page... - I am reading [ask Osho|http://www.barnett.sk/software/osho/askindex.htm] - Your Questions Answered or Your Answers Questioned
* 2001 August 10 - I may not be updating [Kishore Balakrishnan's Psychic RAM|http://kishore.editthispage.com/] any longer...
[Thoughts Worth Thinking], [Why I Weblog]
| Second tip at <a href="http://www.ithaca.edu/library/Training/htmlhints.html">Eight Tips on using HTML and constructing Web pages</a> is "<b>Figure out your purpose in life</b>. Or at least figure out the purpose of your Web site. You might ask yourself these questions: What do you want to say? Who do you intend your audience to be? Do you have enough to offer to make a Web site worth your while to create and worth someone's while to look at it, return to, and recommend to a friend."
Selfish
to condemn him, to abuse him. He stands there listening to their abuse, their
allegations, their lies. Even Ananda -- who has been with him all these years --
himself; otherwise he would have killed one or two people then and there.
Gautam Buddha said to them, "You see that the sun is going to set soon, and we have
time to listen to you again. And in two days, I will be returning along the same
route -- so it will be very kind of you if you can wait just two days."
One man from the crowd said, "You don't seem to be disturbed at all. And we are not
Gautam Buddha said, "You have come a little late. If you had come ten years before,
have come a little late.
"In the village just before this village, people came with sweets and fruits. And we
said, `We eat only once a day, and we have taken our food, so it would be very kind
if you would take these things back with you. We are grateful.' What do you think
they did with those sweets and those fruits?"
accept; take it back. Because unless I accept your insult, you cannot insult me; it
is a two-way affair. It is your mouth, you can say anything -- but unless I accept
it, you are just talking into the air. Just go home and say all these things to each
other; enjoy. And I will be coming again after two days, so be ready."
They were shocked, and they could not believe -- what kind of man is this? When they
moved on, Ananda said to Buddha, "This is too much. There were moments when I was
going to jump and hit the man! Just because of you, I tried to control my
Buddha said -- and remember it -- he said: "What those people were saying has not
What you are saying hurts me. You have been with me for so many years, and yet you
are not aware enough to know what to take and what not to take? Can't you
And that is possible only if you are utterly selfish, so that before you start
Whatever you want to spread must be your living experience.
Robert Blackwill
ambassador to India. Today, I shall share with you
Unlike Siddhartha, my meditations while preparing
Unfortunately, Brahma and Saraswati, because of my own
limitations, will not adequately inspire my remarks on
this occasion with regard to my spiritual and
time at Brahma’s temple in Pushkar. And, despite my
Notwithstanding my many inadequacies and the
illusion, please permit me to proceed since India is
the great storyteller, and because I am soon leaving
Delhi to Mumbai to see and feel the land and people of
India. You must understand that I love to ride the
rails. Paul Theroux, the glorious American writer who
“the train soothed and comforted me and stimulated my
imagination. It...provided access to my past by
cities. Presenting my credentials to President
read out by an official with the deepest voice on the
Visiting Humayun’s tomb with US Secretary of the
Treasury Paul O’Neill who commented that when it was
architectural sweepstakes. It seems doubtful that we
Back to travelling in India. Uttar Pradesh and
Uttaranchal - the heat, the dust, and the glacial
source of the Ganga. Like so much of India, alpha and
Lake, which Ambassador John Kenneth Galbraith once
this earth. Ladakh’s high plateau with the Buddhist
come along? Has this possibility never entered your
Think about it. I recall speaking to jawans on the
with a professional local dance group outside on a
lawn on a balmy evening in Chandigarh. My
curiosity. After my extremely energetic and, I
thought, dazzling audition that night, I received no
As I speak with you today, perhaps they will see me on
television and be in touch. Have no doubt. I am always
ready to dance, fast or slow. It liberates me. How
arranged meals and bedding for all assembled here so
- those who have seen the Taj Mahal, and those who
there and back in great comfort. A wonderful train.
legacy. Jaipur. Udaipur. Jodhpur. And perhaps my
favourite, the medieval walled city of Jaisalmer, land
Jaisalmer. I am surprised some city in northern Europe
sure and take your sunglasses along when you go there
— to deal with the starry nights. Standing in
Jaisalmer, close your eyes for a moment and see the
thousand years ago, which I now realise by India’s
civilizational standards is only yesterday - a fellow
through Jaisalmer, just a little while ago.”
The Jain Dilwara Temples at Mount Abu. Exquisite
I needed more than two lifetimes there and elsewhere
in this uncommon land. Let me go on following the map
and the train tracks. Inspired by the endurance and
earthquake. Pulsating Mumbai. Speaking with its
effervescent business community is for me like
breathing pure oxygen. I cannot get enough of it.
Sitting around in a small circle on wooden chairs,
trading opinions with a half a dozen distinguished
expressionism in New York in the 1940’s and 50’s
(Pollack, Kline and the rest). What a special treat.
Exploring the Ajanta and Ellora caves and their wall
we currently carry around with us, including
Andhra Pradesh with its path-breaking e-governance,
and food hotter than hot. Don’t let anybody tell you
differently; those Andhra peppers are without doubt
weapons of mass destruction. Ancient Christianity in
Kerala; world class IT in Bangalore; the game park
tragedy and stayed up all night writing my poem for
Kalpana; the blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture
exquisite culture of Kolkata; the flowers and forests
of Sikkim and the border at Nathula with no shortness
of breath; the Northeast, Kaziranga and the
Brahmaputra. What a country this is. And I have hardly
experienced any of it.
In these places, my omnipresent security detail from
kept me safe, and who were ready to give their lives
ever so slightly. The form and function of Indian
architecture with its creation, assimilation and
India’s innumerable and distinctive dances, beginning
with the classical. The Vedas and the Upanishads.
They mean so much more when I read them here: “It is
of speech, the breath of breath, and the eye of the
first principles, and see in action many times every
prayers. The Indian novel in English. Who is writing
Hindustani music whose origins are deeply spiritual
and therefore of particular meaning and comfort to me.
least when he is in sight of them and it isn’t a
more balance and perspective? I would not be the only
Ranthambhore. How could they be more in command? I
could use their skills in my new responsibilities back
home, and have sent them an email with a job offer.
happens by God’s grace. The singular smell and sound
India for me, absolutely unforgettable. And more than
with me - of countless individuals over these two
and protected me - who were generous to me beyond
Wera and me no matter how many times I was
in India, I want to deal briefly with another subject.
considerable extent I draw on the white hot
Bush — and on the September 11 attacks on the American
homeland. But on this subject, like so many others,
India has left its dominant and enduring imprint on
started to read regularly the Indian press. It was
devastating fact of terrorism against India. Sitting
terrorism mounted as the snow fell and melted in
Cambridge, and that New England winter turned to
spring. And I became more and more angry. Innocent
twisted political purpose.
Terror against India that rose and fell with the
I left the United States for India in the summer of
keeping had reached hundreds. And, for me, these were
not abstract and antiseptic numbers in a newspaper
single person — an individual man, woman, child — with
our babies, and our friends. Each had laughs to laugh.
snuffed out by the killing hand of terror.
abominations. No political cause could justify these
murders of innocents. And yet, they go on. But, my
and against yours will not continue indefinitely. We
know this from the Ramayana, and many other holy
books. Good does triumph over evil, although it
We will win the war on terrorism, and the United
States and India will win it together - because we
represent good, and terrorists are evil incarnate. God
will make it so. In this context, let me conclude with
millennia. It has been my immense privilege during
these two years to experience, and to profit from,
these profound wellsprings of Indian spirituality.
I will return to India. How could it be otherwise?
personal musings. And, thank you India for every
20050114
passed away while undergoing dialysis at the hospital, for
Mahaswamigal's designated successor and was officially installed as
The respected swami traveled widely, and in 1990 visited Kauai's Hindu
Monastery, home of HPI. He and Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami were
His Holiness Trichiswami, one of the foremost spiritual leaders of our
published in the October, 2003, issue of Hinduism Today and is
Sri Sri Sri Tiruchi Mahaswamigal, Trainer and Guide of Monastics and
Forty-three years ago when Bangalore, the serene garden city, was not
bursting at its seams with multinationals and information technology
companies, a small hermitage began on the outskirts of the city. Tucked
was dedicated. Commuting to this temple was a demanding task in those
faithful regularly visited. Prayers were answered. Some experienced the
Mother beckoning. Word spread about the power of Goddess Rajarajeswari
and the ashram's founder, Sri Jagadguru Sri Sivarathnapuri
to honor him with the Hindu Renaissance Award as Hindu of the Year
charge of ashrams of their own, and a large number of priests who serve
highly-placed spiritual leaders come to him for advice in difficult
situations. He is a living embodiment of the Goddess's grace, with even
and Europe.
Currently, devotees daily throng the temple and Kailasa Ashrama, the
temple--it is even named Sri Rajarajeshwari Nagar. Well connected today
to various parts of the city by public transport, real estate values in
over the country and abroad. He is well known throughout South India as
a spiritual leader and healer. This quiet, compassionate, unassuming
savant is an ocean of Divinity, knowledge and wisdom. Being in his
presence brings peace and serenity to the mind. He infuses confidence.
Sri Tiruchi Mahaswamigal is also an accomplished scholar with exemplary
mastery over the Vedas, Upanishads and the scriptures. A complete
portrayal is given in his biography, Life and Work of Sri Sivaratnapuri
release reservoir water to its neighbor and there was political unrest.
on foot) to propitiate the rain Gods. He started his journey after
performing worship at the Rajarajeshwari temple and seeking the
One ashram devotee, a jeweler, told me, "I've been visiting the ashram
for the last 28 years. A lot of good things have come to us with the
blessings of Swamiji. On many occasions we have escaped dangers, and we
to Maddur (60 miles from Bangalore) and, en route, I stopped to seek
Swamiji's blessings. He warned me to drive carefully. Within an hour, a
bus came menacingly from behind me, and there was a major accident. I
Another confided, "I have been associated with Swamiji for over 45
years, even before he came and settled in Bangalore. I visit the ashram
monthly and never do anything without his advice. He can foresee the
future and predict what will happen. I admire him for his simplicity.
He has only one thought and one goal--serving Mother Rajarajeshwari."
from here have become renunciate monks, noted for their training and
dedication. Some have stayed back to serve Kailasa Ashrama, and some
Sivananda Bharati, head of Siddharudanatha Math, and Kumaraswamy, head
and administrated by Sri Jayendra Puri Swami, has spawned a number of
subsidiary spiritual centers in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu states.
near the Devi temple, "By the grace of the Divine Mother and Lord
and benefactor for all mankind." Born in 1929, young Palaniswami was
twenties, he traveled to Nepal and was initiated as Jagadguru Sri
return to India, propagate dharma and build a temple. Before returning,
Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati, who told him, "Proceed south and
inspiration to start the ashram and temple near Bangalore.
ornately decorated wrought-iron gates 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide.
Inside, the massive Rajarajeswari Temple complex, with its new Sri
Yantra Shrine, spans a full six city blocks. To the left, a three-story
assembly hall, constructed to accommodate thousands during major
festivals and temple celebrations, beckons from just beyond a long bed
of bright red and yellow flowers where cool shade trees shelter three
elite guest apartments. Just inside the second gate of the twelve-acre
monastery complex, adobe shrines to Ganesha and Muniswara stand in a
Devi Hall, a newly-constructed kitchen and dining room sparkle with
quarters stand, partially hidden in the foliage of trees and bright
flowers. It is in the front room of this unimposing dwelling that the
swami greets guests, who sit on the cool stone floor as he gives
darshan from a carved wooden chair, with pictures of many saints and
food gardens and fruit-tree groves stretch back several acres. Deep
within these gardens, Sanskrit pundits meet every day with youthful
students in a dormitory-style pathasala.
indulging in worldly affairs and refuses to comment on matters of
current developments. Yet politicians, bureaucrats, professionals and
layman alike have immense faith in him. He is the benign reliever of
their troubles. Every morning, if his health permits, Swamiji tours the
developed a 1,000-child school and a charitable hospital.
during meditation?
can develop concentration and meditation, whether he is a yogi or not.
are very strong in a temple because of the form, the place and the
congregational get-together. At a temple, inspiration is more, and
is necessary for public worship. It provides an opportunity for
celebration. One has to celebrate life and not lead a mechanical life.
When one involves in praising the Supreme and does not indulge in
oneself, this celebration becomes unique. A temple provides opportunity
for celebration for the less fortunate, like the handicapped and the
poor, who cannot afford it otherwise. They can participate where there
is no discrimination between the rich and the poor. A temple provides
strong community feelings.
Swamiji: Work very hard. Earn your living and lead a devoted life. You
can see it in the ashram, everyone has to work. In earlier days, one
person had to stand at the main entrance of the ashram and shout three
discipline and work for a living is most important in life.
they cannot live on the husband's salary alone?
family understand the value of money and the value of happiness, they
will reduce their wants and automatically create a cordial atmosphere
Hinduism is concerned, it is an ocean where one can get all the
benefits of having a bath in all the rivers of the world by having a
Swamiji: An order of monks has to be according to the traditions and
customs of the community. The main intention in propagating dharma is
other. It has to be coupled with the way of life. Disciples of Kailasa
Ashrama have been made heads of institutions of particular communities
are harvesting stem cells from fertilized human eggs and doing
Swamiji: Life should be taken practically. Just as birth is inevitable,
so also is old age, disease and death. We have to accept what is
inevitable and not go out of the way to protect this frail body, which
is definitely perishable. We have to allow it to go according to the
dictates of nature and find happiness there. I am totally against this
research. It is a waste of money and effort. It increases population.
We will do great service to nature in allowing it to maintain the
balance and not interfere with it.
convinced that loka seva, service to humanity, is the greatest purpose
of hot water and cannot hold it any longer, we drop it without worrying
left home without thinking about what would be my parents' reaction. A
ripe fruit does not think of the tree when it drops down.
HT: More and more children are unhesitatingly sending their parents to
hand over the responsibilities and go to the forest--vanaprastha
pilgrimage, handing over responsibility to the son once he came of age.
However, today parents do neither. Even when the son is old enough to
shoulder responsibility, they go on interfering, demand attention and
how we bring up our children. Children with good upbringing will never
good care of their old parents. It's all in the way we inculcate the
Rutger Kortenhorst
[People] > Rutger Kortenhorst is a Sanskrit teacher in John Scottus school in Dublin.
He is also known as Mrutyunjayah. He is an active member of School of Practical Philosophy and Economic Sciences.
He took a year off and stayed in 'Aksharam', Veda Vijnana Gurukulam, Aurobindo Ashram etc. to learn Samskritam, Vedanta etc.
He had also attended 'samvaadshaalaa' and shikshka-prashikshana-vargah.
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, we are going to spend an hour together looking at the topic ‘Why does my child do Sanskrit in John Scottus?’ My bet is that at the end of the hour you will all have come to the conclusion that your children are indeed fortunate that this extraordinary subject is part of their curriculum.
Firstly, let us look at Why Sanskrit for my child? We are the only school in Ireland doing this language, so this will need some explaining. There are another 8 JSS-type schools around the world that have made the same decision to include Sanskrit in their curriculum (they are all off-shoots from the School of Philosophy).
Secondly, how is Sanskrit taught? You may have noticed your son or daughter singing Sanskrit grammar songs in the back of the car just for the fun of it on the way home from school. I’ll spend some time telling you HOW we approach teaching Sanskrit now since my year in India.
But first of all: WHY Sanskrit? To answer that we need to look at the qualities of Sanskrit. Sanskrit stands out above all other languages for its beauty of sound, precision in pronunciation and reliability as well as thoroughness in every aspect of its structure. This is why it has never fundamentally changed unlike all other languages. It has had no need to change being the most perfect language of Mankind.
If we consider Shakespeare’s English, we realize how different and therefore difficult for us his English language was although it is just English from less than 500 years ago. We struggle with the meaning of Shakespeare’s English or that of the King James Bible. Go back a bit further and we don’t have a clue about the English from the time of Chaucer’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ from around 700 AD. We cannot even call this English anymore and now rightly call it Anglo-Saxon. So English hadn’t even been born! All languages keep changing beyond recognition. They change because they are defective. The changes are in fact corruptions. They are born and die after seven or eight hundred years –about the lifetime of a Giant Redwood Tree- because after so much corruption they have no life left in them. Surprisingly there is one language in the world that does not have this short lifespan. Sanskrit is the only exception. It is a never-dying constant. The reason for the constancy in Sanskrit is that it is completely structured and thought out. There is not a word that has been left out in its grammar or etymology, which means every word can be traced back to where it came from originally. This does not mean there is no room for new words either. Just as in English we use older concepts from Greek and Latin to express modern inventions like a television: ‘tele [far] – vision [seeing]’ or ‘compute –er’. Sanskrit in fact specializes in making up compound words from smaller words and parts. The word ‘Sams - krita’ itself means ‘completely – made’.
So what advantages are there to a fundamentally unchanging language? What is advantageous about an unchanging friend, say? Are they reliable? What happens if you look at a text in Sanskrit from thousands of years ago?
The exceptional features of Sanskrit have been recognised for a few centuries all over the world, so you will find universities from many countries having a Sanskrit faculty. Whether you go to Hawai, Cambridge or Harvard and even Trinity College Dublin has a seat for Sanskrit –although it is vacant at present. May be one of your children will in time fill this position again?
Although India has been its custodian, Sanskrit has had universal appeal for centuries. The wisdom carried by this language appeals to the West as we can see from Yoga and Ayurvedic Medicine as well as meditation techniques, and practical philosophies like Buddhism and most of what we use in the School of Philosophy. It supports, expands and enlightens rather than conflicts withlocal traditions and religions.
The precision of Sanskrit stems from the unparalleled detail on how the actual sounds of the alphabet are structured and defined. The sounds have a particular place in the mouth, nose and throat that can be defined and will never change. This is why in Sanskrit the letters are called the ‘Indestructibles’ [aksharáni]. Sanskrit is the only language that has consciously laid out its sounds from first principles. So the five mouth-positions for all Indestructibles [letters] are defined and with a few clearly described mental and physical efforts all are systematically planned: [point out chart]
Little air
Little air
After this description, what structure can we find in a, b, c, d, e, f , g...? There isn’t any, except perhaps that it starts with ‘a’, and goes downhill from there ...
Then there is the sheer beauty of the Sanskrit script as we learn it today. [Some examples on the board]
You may well say: ‘Fine, but so why should my son or daughter have yet another subject and another script to learn in their already busy school-day?’ In what way will he or she benefit from the study of Sanskrit in 2010 in the Western world?
The qualities of Sanskrit will become the qualities of your child- that is the mind and heart of your child will become beautiful, precise and reliable.
Sanskrit automatically teaches your child and anybody else studying it to pay FINE attention due to its uncanny precision. When the precision is there the experience is, that it feels uplifting. It makes you happy. It is not difficult even for a beginner to experience this. All you have to do is fine-tune your attention and like music you are drawn in and uplifted. This precision of attention serves all subjects, areas and activities of life both while in school and for the rest of life. This will give your child a competitive advantage over any other children. They will be able to attend more fully, easily and naturally. Thus in terms of relationships, work, sport– in fact all aspects of life, they will perform better and gain more satisfaction. Whatever you attend to fully, you excel in and you enjoy more.
By studying Sanskrit, other languages can be learnt more easily; this being the language all others borrow from fractionally. The Sanskrit grammar is reflected in part in Irish or Greek, Latin or English. They all have a part of the complete Sanskrit grammar. Some being more developed than others, but always only a part of the Sanskrit grammar, which is complete in itself.
What Sanskrit teaches us that there is a language that is ordered, following laws unfailingly and as they are applied your child gets uplifted, not only when they grow up, but as they are saying it! This means they get an unusual but precise, definite and clear insight into language while they are enjoying themselves.
They learn to speak well, starting from Sanskrit, the mother language of all languages. Those who speak well run the world. Barack Obama makes a difference because he can speak well. Mahatma Gandhi could move huge crowds with well-balanced words. Mother Theresa could express herself with simple words which uplift us even now. The language of the great Master Teachers of mankind from times past is all we have got after centuries and millennia, but they make all the difference. We can enter the remarkable mind of Plato through his words. If your daughter or son can express themselves well through conscious language they will be the leaders of the next generation.
Sanskrit has the most comprehensive writings in the world expressed through the Vedas and the Gítá. The Upanishads –translated by William Butler Yeats have given people from all over the world an insight into universal religious feelings for more than one century now. To know these well expressed simple words of wisdom in the original is better than dealing with copies or translations as copies are always inferior to originals. We really need clear knowledge on universal religion in an age faced with remarkable levels of religious bigotry and terrorism arising from poorly understood and half-baked religious ideas.
Vivekananda, a great spiritual leader from India revered by all in the World Religious Conference of 1880 said:
You can put a mass of knowledge into the world, but that will not do it much good. There must come some culture into the blood. We all know in modern times of nations which have masses of knowledge, but what of them? They are like tigers; they are like savages, because culture is not there. Knowledge is only skin-deep, as civilization is, and a little scratch brings out the old savage. Such things happen; this is the danger. Teach the masses in the vernaculars, give them ideas; they will get information, but something more is necessary; give them culture.
Sanskrit can help your child to express universal, harmonious and simple truths better. As a result you will really have done your duty as a parent and the world will reap the benefits in a more humane, harmonious and united society. Sanskrit can do this as it is the only language that is based in knowledge all the way. Nothing is left to chance.
Just think for the moment how confusing it is for a child to learn to say ‘rough’ , but ‘dough’. And why does the ‘o’ in ‘woman’ sound like an ‘e’ in ‘women’? How come the ‘ci’ in ‘special’ is different from the ‘ci’ in ‘cinema’? Teachers may well say ‘Just learn it’ as there is no logical explanation, but it only demonstrates to a child that it is all a bit of a hit-and-miss affair. What else does this randomness in the fundamental building-blocks of language teach a child about the world? That it’s just a confusing, random chance-event? How can this give anyone any confidence?
Now go to a language where everything is following rules. Where nothing is left to chance from the humble origin of a letter to the most sophisticated philosophical idea. How will that child meet the world? Surely with confidence, clarity and the ability to express itself?
I have seen myself and others growing in such qualities, because of our contact with Sanskrit. I have just spent a year in India. Though it felt a bit like camping in a tent for a year, it was well worth it. For many years, we taught Sanskrit like zealots i.e. with high levels of enthusiasm and low levels of understanding, to both adults in the School of Philosophy and children in John Scottus School. We did not perhaps inspire a lot of our students and may have put a number of them off the study of Sanskrit. It felt to me like we needed to go to the source. Sanskrit teachers worth their salt need to live with people whose daily means of communication is in Sanskrit. I had already spent three summers near Bangalore doing just that and becoming less of an amateur, but it really needed a more thorough study. So I moved into a traditional gurukulam for the year. This meant living on campus, eating lots of rice and putting up with a few power-cuts and water shortages, but by December 2009, I made up my mind that I would step down as vice-principal of the Senior School and dedicate myself to Sanskrit for the rest of my teaching life. It felt like a promotion to me as quite a few could be vice-principal but right now which other teacher could forge ahead in Sanskrit in Ireland? [Hopefully this will change before I pop off to the next world.] With Sanskrit I’m expecting my mind to improve with age even if my body slows down a little. Sanskrit is often compared to the full-time teacher, who is there for you 24/7 whereas the other languages are more like part-timers. The effects of studying Sanskrit on me have been first and foremost a realistic confidence. Secondly, it meant I had to become more precise and speak weighing my words more carefully. It also taught me to express myself with less waffle and therefore speak more briefly. My power of attention and retention has undoubtedly increased.
Now, let me explain for a few minutes, HOW Sanskrit is taught. To my surprise it is not taught well in most places in India. Pupils have to learn it from when they are around age 9 to 11 and then they give it up, because it is taught so badly! Only a few die-hards stick with it, in time teaching the same old endings endlessly to the next generation. This is partly due to India having adopted a craving to copy the West and their tradition having been systematically rooted out by colonialism.
For learning grammar and the wisdom of the East, I was well-placed in a traditional gurukulam, but for spoken Sanskrit I felt a modern approach was missing.
Then I found a teacher from the International School belonging to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. His name is Narendra. He has developed a novel, inspiring and light method to teach grammar, which doesn’t feel like you do any grammar at all. At the same time it isn’t diluted for beginners so you don’t end up with partial knowledge. I also foolowed a few Sanskrit Conversation camps, which all brought about more familiarity.
Narendra says he owes his method to Sri Aurobindo and his companion ‘the Mother’ who inspired him to come up with the course we now follow in Dublin. This is one of the many things ‘the Mother’ said to inspire him:“Teach logically. Your method should be most natural, efficient and stimulating to the mind. It should carry one forward at a great pace. You need not cling there to any past or present manner of teaching.”
This is how I would summarize the principles for teaching Sanskrit as we carry it out at present:
1. Language learning is not for academics as everyone learns to speak a language from an early age before they can read and write and know what an academic is. So why insist in teaching Sanskrit academically?
2. The writing script is not the most fundamental thing to be taught. A language is firstly made of its sounds, words and spoken sentences. [The script we use -though very beautiful- is only a few hundred years old.]
4. Understanding works better than memorisation in this Age. Learning by heart should only take up 10 % of the mental work, rather than the 90 % rote learning in Sanskrit up to the recent present.
5. Don’t teach words and endings in isolation; teach them in the context of a sentence as the sentence is the smallest meaningful unit in language.
8. The course should be finished in two years by an average student according to Narendra. This may be a little optimistic given that we are a little out of the loop not living in India, which is still Sanskrit’s custodian. At present I would say it is going to be a three-year course.
9. Language learning must be playful. Use drama, song, computer games and other tricks to make learning enjoyable.
We have started on this course since September and it has certainly put a smile on our pupils’ faces, which makes a pleasant change. I now feel totally confident that we are providing your children with a thorough, structured and enjoyable course. Our students should be well prepared for the International Sanskrit Cambridge exam by the time they finish –age 14/15- at the end of second year. We will also teach them some of the timeless wisdom enshrined in various verses. At present we are teaching them:
The future. Let us look at the 500 – year cycle of a Renaissance. The last European Renaissance developed three subjects: Art, Music and Science to shape the world we live in today. It had its beginning in Florence. The great Humanist Marsilio Ficino made Plato available to the masses by translating it from Greek to Latin. We live in exciting times and may well be at the beginning of a new Renaissance. It also will be based on three new subjects: Some say that these will be Economics, Law and Language.
Language has to become more universal now as we can connect with each other globally within seconds. NASA America’s Space Program is actively looking at Sanskrit in relation to I.T. and artificial intelligence.
Sri Aurobindo said…at once majestic and sweet and flexible, strong and clearly-formed and full and vibrant and subtle…
It makes your mind bright, sharp and clear.
It makes you feel peaceful and happy.
It makes you feel BIG.
It cleans and loosens your tongue so you can pronounce any language easily.
What Sanskrit enthusiasts have said:
It gives you access to a vast and liberating literature.
It can describe all aspects of human life from the most abstract philosophical to the latest scientific discoveries, hinting at further developments.
Sanskrit and computers are a perfect fit. The precision play of Sanskrit with computer tools will awaken the capacity in human beings to utilize their innate higher mental faculty with a momentum that would inevitably transform the mind. In fact, the mere learning of Sanskrit by large numbers of people in itself represents a quantum leap in consciousness, not to mention the rich endowment it will provide in the arena of future communication. NASA, California
After many thousands of years, Sanskrit still lives with a vitality that can breathe life, restore unity and inspire peace on our tired and troubled planet. It is a sacred gift, an opportunity. The future could be very bright.
You may well have a few questions at this stage after which I would like to introduce you to a plant in the audience. A parent turned into a blazing ball of enthusiasm over Sanskrit grammar: John Doran. I would like him to wrap up.
One thing is certain; Sanskrit will only become the planetary language when it is taught in a way which is exiting and enjoyable. Furthermore it must address individual learning inhibitions with clarity and compassion in a setting which encourages everyone to step forth, take risks, make mistakes and learn.
20180419
https://electrek.co/2018/04/17/tesla-model-3-production-goal-6000-units-per-week/
Progress, Precision and Profit
First, congratulations are in order! We have now completed our third full week of producing over 2000 Model 3 vehicles. The first week was 2020, the second was 2070 and we just completed 2250 last week, along with 2000 Model S/X vehicles.
This is more than double Tesla’s weekly production rate last year and an amazing feat in the face of many challenges! It is extremely rare for an automotive company to grow the production rate by over 100% from one year to the next. Moreover, there has simultaneously been a significant improvement in quality and build accuracy, which is reflected in positive owner feedback.
Starting today at Giga and tomorrow at Fremont, we will be stopping for three to five days to do a comprehensive set of upgrades. This should set us up for Model 3 production of 3000 to 4000 per week next month.
Another set of upgrades starting in late May should be enough to unlock production capacity of 6000 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of June. Please note that all areas of Tesla and our suppliers will be required to demonstrate a Model 3 capacity of ~6000/week by building 850 sets of car parts in 24 hours no later than June 30th.
Any Tesla department or supplier that is unable to do this will need to have a very good explanation why not, along with a plan for fixing the problem and present that to me directly. If anyone needs help achieving this, please let me know as soon as possible. We are going to find a way or make a way to get there.
The reason that the burst-build target rate is 6000 and not 5000 per week in June is that we cannot have a number with no margin for error across thousands of internally and externally produced parts and processes, amplified by a complex global logistics chain. Actual production will move as fast as the least lucky and least well-executed part of the entire Tesla production/supply chain system.
As part of the drive towards 6k, all Model 3 production at Fremont will move to 24/7operations. This means that we will be adding another shift to general assembly, body and paint. Please refer anyone you know who you think meets the Tesla bar for talent, drive and trust. Between Fremont and Giga, Tesla will be adding about 400 people per week for several weeks.
Most of the design tolerances of the Model 3 are already better than any other car in the world. Soon, they will all be better. This is not enough. We will keep going until the Model 3 build precision is a factor of ten better than any other car in the world. I am not kidding.
Our car needs to be designed and built with such accuracy and precision that, if an owner measures dimensions, panel gaps and flushness, and their measurements don’t match the Model 3 specs, it just means that their measuring tape is wrong.
Some parts suppliers will be unwilling or unable to achieve this level of precision. I understand that this will be considered an unreasonable request by some. That’s ok, there are lots of other car companies with much lower standards. They just can’t work with Tesla.
Profit
A fair criticism leveled at Tesla by outside critics is that you’re not a real company unless you generate a profit, meaning simply that revenue exceeds costs. It didn’t make sense to do that until reaching economies of scale, but now we are there.
Going forward, we will be far more rigorous about expenditures. I have asked the Tesla finance team to comb through every expense worldwide, no matter how small, and cut everything that doesn’t have a strong value justification.
All capital or other expenditures above a million dollars, or where a set of related expenses may accumulate to a million dollars over the next 12 months, should be considered on hold until explicitly approved by me. If you are the manager responsible, please make sure you have a detailed, first principles understanding of the supplier quote, including every line item of parts & labor, before we meet.
I have been disappointed to discover how many contractor companies are interwoven throughout Tesla. Often, it is like a Russian nesting doll of contractor, subcontractor, sub-subcontractor, etc. before you finally find someone doing actual work. This means a lot of middle-managers adding cost but not doing anything obviously useful. Also, many contracts are essentially open time & materials, not fixed price and duration, which creates an incentive to turn molehills into mountains, as they never want to end the money train.
There is a very wide range of contractor performance, from excellent to worse than a drunken sloth. All contracting companies should consider the coming week to be a final opportunity to demonstrate excellence. Any that fail to meet the Tesla standard of excellence will have their contracts ended on Monday.
Btw, here are a few productivity recommendations:
– Excessive meetings are the blight of big companies and almost always get worse over time. Please get of all large meetings, unless you’re certain they are providing value to the whole audience, in which case keep them very short.
– Also get rid of frequent meetings, unless you are dealing with an extremely urgent matter. Meeting frequency should drop rapidly once the urgent matter is resolved.
– Walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as it is obvious you aren’t adding value. It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time.
– Don’t use acronyms or nonsense words for objects, software or processes at Tesla. In general, anything that requires an explanation inhibits communication. We don’t want people to have to memorize a glossary just to function at Tesla.
– Communication should travel via the shortest path necessary to get the job done, not through the “chain of command”. Any manager who attempts to enforce chain of command communication will soon find themselves working elsewhere.
– A major source of issues is poor communication between depts. The way to solve this is allow free flow of information between all levels. If, in order to get something done between depts, an individual contributor has to talk to their manager, who talks to a director, who talks to a VP, who talks to another VP, who talks to a director, who talks to a manager, who talks to someone doing the actual work, then super dumb things will happen. It must be ok for people to talk directly and just make the right thing happen.
– In general, always pick common sense as your guide. If following a “company rule” is obviously ridiculous in a particular situation, such that it would make for a great Dilbert cartoon, then the rule should change.
If there is something you think should be done to make Tesla execute better or allow you to look forward to coming to work more (same thing in the long term), please send a note to [redacted]
Thanks for being such a kickass team and accomplishing miracles every day. It matters. We are burning the midnight oil to burn the midnight oil.
Power
http://www.pathsensitive.com/2015/08/sources-of-power.html
You’re in high school, trying to get into a good college. You know what you must do: do well in classes, score highly on the SAT, and be active in extracurriculars&#8202;—&#8202;and do it better than everyone else.
Actually, I have a different suggestion: train with a friend for the USA Biology Olympiad, score highly in the first two rounds of exams, and qualify for the national training camp and then the national team.
Only a handful of people can follow that strategy. But anyone who could play the standard high-school achievement game and have a good shot at getting into MIT or Stanford could instead play the Olympiad game and have a great one. The USABO is disproportionately high-utility compared to how competitive it is. It comes with a free trip to a national training camp where you receive intense training in biology and bond with a few dozen other top high-schoolers. There are vast swaths of America, including lots of high schoolers studying hard for the SAT, who have never heard of USABO. And yet there are communities where training for Olympiads is such a well-known option that it barely counts as a strategy.
My friend who did this and got into all her colleges didn’t do so by playing the standard high school game better than her competitors, but by stumbling into a different game entirely. In doing so, she could do things the others couldn’t. I think this a fairly common pattern: a lot of what’s involved in making it to the top of anything is not being better at things than other people, but outright being able to do things they can’t. In business, they call it a “competitive advantage.” Peter Thiel calls it a “secret”. For personal life, I like to call it a “source of power.”
The “other people can’t” is the big part. As a source of power percolates into society, it loses its power as an advantage, although whether you should stop doing it depends on whether its value is external or innate. As an example of the former, 200,000 people compete in the American math Olympiad qualifier rounds each year, so training for the math Olympiad is not such a good move for most people. It’s prestigious, but only in proportion to how competitive it is. In economic terms, the free lunch has been eaten. Meanwhile, when Benjamin Franklin was working in London, saving up to open his own print shop, he found it easier than most to be frugal due to his insight that strong beer does not grant physical strength. They nicknamed him the “water American.” Nowadays, his insight is common knowledge, but that doesn’t make it less effective. Instead, it becomes the new bar.
As a warning, I found when writing this that a lot of examples of sources of power I used or wanted to use would strike a lot of people as weird, but it would take a lot of space to justify them. This is inevitable in retrospect: if it’s considered normal, it’s no longer a source of power. I also noticed while writing this that a lot of my examples focus around high school or college. I think that’s largely because life tends to diverge afterwards, and the examples become much more niche.
How can you learn about new opportunities before other people suck them dry? How can you find ways of being better before they become background knowledge? While CEOs often spend much of their time looking for a leg up on the competition, I think there’s enough sources of power and few enough people looking for them that simply trying is enough. In fact, sources of power are sufficiently exploitable that there are many algorithms for finding them with high success probability.
Often, they’re hidden in plain sight, waiting for anyone to read. For a basic example, right now a degree in computer science is a ticket to a decent life. Right now, the meta-skill of “study things that are valuable and will be in demand” is sufficiently uncommon that you can raise your expected earnings (or, dare I say, life outcome) significantly just by following it. Look at the distribution of college majors if you’re not sure. I think the same further applies to specializing in hot-but-difficult subfields like natural language processing or security. Right now, CMU’s Plaid Parliament of Pwning is winning tens of thousands of dollars from application security competitions every year, while only a handful of other American universities have a team at all. More broadly, this idea also applies to entering STEM in general.
This is basically staying ahead of the demand curve. When it comes to personal skills, demand is slow to propagate, and you can gain a lot simply by being faster. Since knowing that you can raise your earnings by becoming a programmer or moving to North Dakota doesn’t cause everyone to instantly become a programmer or move to North Dakota, it will remain exploitable for anyone who wants for quite some time.
It’s interesting to think about trying to be even more ahead of the demand curve by making a big bet and training in what will be hot. This involves predicting the future. But, in life as in stocks, the winner is often not someone who knows what will happen, but someone who figured out slightly more than everyone else. And, for predicting the future, not many are trying. Along these lines, I was surprised when I learned that several prominent companies in the mobile space&#8202;—&#8202;in particular AdMob, acquired by Google for $750 million, and Flurry, whose software runs in over 100,000 apps&#8202;—&#8202;were actually founded in 2005 or 2006, before the iPhone’s announcement ushered in the modern mobile era. I think a lot of people knew the mobile revolution was coming, although perhaps not that it would be so fast. The people bold enough to actually act on that prediction were in a very good spot when it happened. I’m hoping to do something similar for program analysis.
A lot of the above could perhaps be summarized to find ways to be effective. The interesting part is how people find sources of power. One way is to invent it yourself, whether by finding a loophole, noticing a trend, or doing science. While there are a few places where it’s clear that investigating it may result in disproportionately better capabilities, this can run out of steam pretty fast. It may be possible to gain vitality by eating better, but the reward curve of doing nutrition research probably more resembles climbing the corporate ladder. Most often, the way to find a source of power is to hear of it from other people.
I think it’s a pretty simple effect. People with similar interests like to cluster, but people who also really care about improving will cluster further. They might be able to invent one or two sources of power on their own, but then they share it with the people around them&#8202;—&#8202;who also have a secret or two. The effect compounds, with the benefits from sharing ideas dwarfing the loss of exclusivity. Just as IBM found their above-average testers becamedozens of times better when grouped together, what you get are communities that collectively have and share the best ways of doing things. So the way to get good at something is to simply find the right community and join it.
So, for example, you’ve probably heard weight-loss advice from everyone from talk show hosts to your neighbor. This suggests that you can do better by talking to bodybuilders, who can control exactly which day they’ll hit their goal.
But this strategy can be easier said than done. The problem is not the joining: these communities are rarely exclusionary. The problem is the finding: every community wants to seem like them. They get drowned out in the noise.
In 9th grade, I attended a local programming contest. I spent a morning running floppy disks to the judges, and left with a full belly and $500&#8202;—&#8202;I had won by a sizable margin. I immediately went home and Googled for more high school programming contests. I found a pen-and-paper competition in which you answer multiple-choice questions about the BASIC programming language.
For another example, it’s well-known that to get stronger you need to push your muscles to their limits&#8202;—&#8202;and specifically their strength limits, rather than their endurance limits. There are vast swaths of the Internet where everyone understands what implications this has for training, with plenty shouting it at the top of their lungs. But if you look around for advice on “how to get fit,” you’re perhaps more likely to find advice to do lots of crunches, or warnings that weights might make you look like a steroid junkie. One journalist described crossing this gap as “I somehow bumbled my way into a parallel universe of American fitness, one in which men know exactly how to get strong.”
Passing It On
As we’ve seen, while sources of power with intrinsic value may merely descend from insight to platitude over time, the externally-valued have a shelf life. Perhaps the big warning from this is for those wishing to help others be successful, especially parents. As Paul Graham wrote, parents are like generals always fighting the last war. I remember seeing a teenager on CollegeConfidential complaining that their parents wanted them to stay home all summer and study for the SAT. Perhaps that would be a rational choice in their home countries, where college admissions were and still are based on grueling exams. Yet here the most advanced standardized math test for college admissions is the Math SAT Subject Test, where it’s possible to miss 7/50 questions and still get a perfect score. Meanwhile, my own mother had occasional aspirations of being a “white tiger,” and would often cajole me during my hacking sessions to “stop playing Java” and go study for the SAT.
This realization&#8202;—&#8202;that all these secrets and sources of power I’ve spent so much effort finding might backfire when I try to pass them on&#8202;—&#8202;is what scares me. I imagine becoming a parent telling my children to train for Olympiads, not knowing that that’s become advice about as good as spending a summer studying for the SAT.
I think the defense is to recognize the phenomenon but go a meta-level up. Why are people at the top of one field often very good at another? Is it merely grit and intelligence? Just as there’s a meta-skill of finding sources of power, I think there’s a skill of finding and recognizing the people with the genuine secrets, versus the posers and people out to get your money. I believe there’s a way to recognize genuine competence that transcends fields (related concept). That’s a topic in and of its own.
And, of course, that’s assuming college admissions are still worth obsessing over.
Thanks to Jonathan Paulson, Amy Quispe, Jessica Su, and Nancy Hua for comments on earlier drafts of this post.
Now-20180719
You ought to know a lot to know how little you know
The best moments usually occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi via [The importance of deep work and the 30-hour method for learning a new skill|https://azeria-labs.com/the-importance-of-deep-work-the-30-hour-method-for-learning-a-new-skill/]
[ReadMe]
[Meditation] / [Prayer]
# Tim Harford - Judge the value of what you have by what you had to give up to get it - http://timharford.com/2018/05/judge-the-value-of-what-you-have-by-what-you-had-to-give-up-to-get-it/
# Frank Chimero - A modest guide to productivity - https://frankchimero.com/blog/2018/productivity-guide/
# Jeff Bezos - https://mondaynote.com/bezos-a-ceo-who-can-write-2f368ee36599
# Elon Musk on Progress Precision Profit - https://electrek.co/2018/04/17/tesla-model-3-production-goal-6000-units-per-week/
# Steve Blakeman - Are you 'weird' if you don't use Social Media? - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/you-weird-dont-use-social-media-steve-blakeman/ ... One of my closest pals chooses to abstain from all forms of social interaction online. He is smart, funny and gregarious so it isn't like he has nothing interesting to impart. He is also not a technophobe either given that he has worked in the tech industry for his entire career, so he certainly isn't a luddite. He just doesn't feel the need to divulge every aspect of his life with friends and family - he would rather have a chat, face-to-face if possible and if not then via a good old fashioned phone call. And, let's be honest, is there anything wrong with that? ...
http://fullbit.ca/learning-web-development-stand-out/
limit time and space by not thinking about or discussing events that
yourself, "Am I fully aware of myself and what I'm doing right now?"
Once you have gained a little control of awareness in this way, try
to sit quietly each day and just be. Don't think. Don't plan. Don't
remember. Just sit and be in the now. That's not as simple as it sounds,
for we are accustomed to novelty and constant activity in the mind and
not to the simplicity of being. Just sit and be the energy in your
spine and head. Feel the simplicity of this energy in every atom of
yourself. Think energy. Don't think body. Don't think about yesterday
or tomorrow. They don't exist, except in your ability to reconstruct the
yesterdays and to create the tomorrows. Now is the only time. This simple
exercise of sitting and being is a wonderful way to wash away the past,
but it requires a little discipline. You have to discipline every fiber
of your nerve system, work with yourself to keep the power of awareness
expanded. Regular practice of meditation will bring you intensely into
the eternity of the moment. Practice supersedes philosophy, advice,
psychology and all pacifiers of the intellect. We have to practice to
keep awareness here and now. If you find yourself disturbed, sit down
and consciously quiet the forces in yourself. Don't get up until you have
completely quieted your mind and emotions through regulating the breath,
through looking out at a peaceful landscape, through seeking and finding
understanding of the situation. This is the real work of meditation that
is not written much about in books. If you can live in the eternity of
now, your life will be one of peace and fulfillment.
Visualize yourself sitting on top of a mountain. There is no place to
the mountain, you would be going into the future and its ramifications,
would be going into the past and its similar recorded ramifications. So,
between past and future. Everything is in its rightful place in the
master plan of evolution, so you sit, just watching, sensing the clarity
of your own perfect being, learning to live in spiritual consciousness
every day. That is your heritage on this Earth.
Now-20180725
You ought to know a lot to know how little you know
The best moments usually occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi via [The importance of deep work and the 30-hour method for learning a new skill|https://azeria-labs.com/the-importance-of-deep-work-the-30-hour-method-for-learning-a-new-skill/]
[ReadMe]
[Meditation] / [Prayer]
# Tim Harford - Judge the value of what you have by what you had to give up to get it - http://timharford.com/2018/05/judge-the-value-of-what-you-have-by-what-you-had-to-give-up-to-get-it/
# Frank Chimero - A modest guide to productivity - https://frankchimero.com/blog/2018/productivity-guide/
# Jeff Bezos - https://mondaynote.com/bezos-a-ceo-who-can-write-2f368ee36599
# Elon Musk on Progress Precision Profit - https://electrek.co/2018/04/17/tesla-model-3-production-goal-6000-units-per-week/
# Steve Blakeman - Are you 'weird' if you don't use Social Media? - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/you-weird-dont-use-social-media-steve-blakeman/ ... One of my closest pals chooses to abstain from all forms of social interaction online. He is smart, funny and gregarious so it isn't like he has nothing interesting to impart. He is also not a technophobe either given that he has worked in the tech industry for his entire career, so he certainly isn't a luddite. He just doesn't feel the need to divulge every aspect of his life with friends and family - he would rather have a chat, face-to-face if possible and if not then via a good old fashioned phone call. And, let's be honest, is there anything wrong with that? ...
http://fullbit.ca/learning-web-development-stand-out/
limit time and space by not thinking about or discussing events that
yourself, "Am I fully aware of myself and what I'm doing right now?"
Once you have gained a little control of awareness in this way, try
to sit quietly each day and just be. Don't think. Don't plan. Don't
remember. Just sit and be in the now. That's not as simple as it sounds,
for we are accustomed to novelty and constant activity in the mind and
not to the simplicity of being. Just sit and be the energy in your
spine and head. Feel the simplicity of this energy in every atom of
yourself. Think energy. Don't think body. Don't think about yesterday
or tomorrow. They don't exist, except in your ability to reconstruct the
yesterdays and to create the tomorrows. Now is the only time. This simple
exercise of sitting and being is a wonderful way to wash away the past,
but it requires a little discipline. You have to discipline every fiber
of your nerve system, work with yourself to keep the power of awareness
expanded. Regular practice of meditation will bring you intensely into
the eternity of the moment. Practice supersedes philosophy, advice,
psychology and all pacifiers of the intellect. We have to practice to
keep awareness here and now. If you find yourself disturbed, sit down
and consciously quiet the forces in yourself. Don't get up until you have
completely quieted your mind and emotions through regulating the breath,
through looking out at a peaceful landscape, through seeking and finding
understanding of the situation. This is the real work of meditation that
is not written much about in books. If you can live in the eternity of
now, your life will be one of peace and fulfillment.
Visualize yourself sitting on top of a mountain. There is no place to
the mountain, you would be going into the future and its ramifications,
would be going into the past and its similar recorded ramifications. So,
between past and future. Everything is in its rightful place in the
master plan of evolution, so you sit, just watching, sensing the clarity
of your own perfect being, learning to live in spiritual consciousness
every day. That is your heritage on this Earth.
Links-2018-08-15
* Only when Shiva is united with Shakti does he have the power to create - Saundaryalahari
* Second-hand knowledge of the self gathered from books or gurus can never emancipate a man until its truth is rightly investigated and applied; only direct realisation will do that. Realise yourself, turning the mind inward. - Tripura Rahasya, 18: 89
Above those who don't know are those who read or find out,
Above those who read or find out are those who memorize,
Above those who memorize are those who understand,
Above those who understand are those who apply,
who attain success and paranormal powers,
Above those who attain success and paranormal
powers are those who attain the ABSOLUTE and
http://www.geocities.com/kundal/Adi-Nath.html - The Path of the Adi-Nath
[The nine main siddhis and eight additional siddhis|http://www.angelfire.com/electronic/zennun/nine_siddhis.html]
2003 04 10 - The [Blumhardts|http://www.Blumhardts.com] : ...We live in a time of intense searching. Few are satisfied with what church and society have served up. We hunger for something more, for a faith with the power to transform ourselves and our world. Johann Christoph Blumhardt and his son Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt influenced a whole generation of Christian thinkers. But their message shatters the walls of conventional Christianity.
* [Prayerful Thoughts and Thoughtful Prayers]
* [Steve Solomon]'s [Soil and Health Library] ([*|http://www.soilandhealth.org/])
* [brian douglas skinner]'s [The Gumption Memo] ([*|http://www.gumption.org/1993/memo.htm]) - "...Back in 1992 I unexpectedly inherited $50,000 and decided to use it to help prevent some of the human suffering around the world. So I spent some time studying up on the world's problems and trying to figure out how to fix them..."
* [Test your internet connection|http://bandwidthplace.com/speedtest/]
LifeWithoutPrinciple
[Principles] > LifeWithoutPrinciple
AT A LYCEUM, not long since, I felt that the lecturer had chosen a theme too foreign to himself, and so failed to interest me as much as he might have done. He described things not in or near to his heart, but toward his extremities and superficies. There was, in this sense, no truly central or centralizing thought in the lecture. I would have had him deal with his privatest experience, as the poet does. The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer. I am surprised, as well as delighted, when this happens, it is such a rare use he would make of me, as if he were acquainted with the tool. Commonly, if men want anything of me, it is only to know how many acres I make of their land- since I am a surveyor- or, at most, what trivial news I have burdened myself with. They never will go to law for my meat; they prefer the shell. A man once came a considerable distance to ask me to lecture on Slavery; but on conversing with him, I found that he and his clique expected seven eighths of the lecture to be theirs, and only one eighth mine; so I declined. I take it for granted, when I am invited to lecture anywhere- for I have had a little experience in that business- that there is a desire to hear what I think on some subject, though I may be the greatest fool in the country- and not that I should say pleasant things merely, or such as the audience will assent to; and I resolve, accordingly, that I will give them a strong dose of myself. They have sent for me, and engaged to pay for me, and I am determined that they shall have me, though I bore them beyond all precedent.
So now I would say something similar to you, my readers. Since you are my readers, and I have not been much of a traveller, I will not talk about people a thousand miles off, but come as near home as I can. As the time is short, I will leave out all the flattery, and retain all the criticism.
This world is a place of business. What an infinite bustle! I am awaked almost every night by the panting of the locomotive. It interrupts my dreams. There is no sabbath. It would be glorious to see mankind at leisure for once. It is nothing but work, work, work. I cannot easily buy a blank-book to write thoughts in; they are commonly ruled for dollars and cents. An Irishman, seeing me making a minute in the fields, took it for granted that I was calculating my wages. If a man was tossed out of a window when an infant, and so made a cripple for life, or seared out of his wits by the Indians, it is regretted chiefly because he was thus incapacitated for business! I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself, than this incessant business.
There is a coarse and boisterous money-making fellow in the outskirts of our town, who is going to build a bank-wall under the hill along the edge of his meadow. The powers have put this into his head to keep him out of mischief, and he wishes me to spend three weeks digging there with him. The result will be that he will perhaps get some more money to board, and leave for his heirs to spend foolishly. If I do this, most will commend me as an industrious and hard-working man; but if I choose to devote myself to certain labors which yield more real profit, though but little money, they may be inclined to look on me as an idler. Nevertheless, as I do not need the police of meaningless labor to regulate me, and do not see anything absolutely praiseworthy in this fellow's undertaking any more than in many an enterprise of our own or foreign governments, however amusing it may be to him or them, I prefer to finish my education at a different school.
If a man walk in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer; but if he spends his whole day as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making earth bald before her time, he is esteemed an industrious and enterprising citizen. As if a town had no interest in its forests but to cut them down!
Most men would feel insulted if it were proposed to employ them in throwing stones over a wall, and then in throwing them back, merely that they might earn their wages. But many are no more worthily employed now. For instance: just after sunrise, one summer morning, I noticed one of my neighbors walking beside his team, which was slowly drawing a heavy hewn stone swung under the axle, surrounded by an atmosphere of industry- his day's work begun- his brow commenced to sweat- a reproach to all sluggards and idlers- pausing abreast the shoulders of his oxen, and half turning round with a flourish of his merciful whip, while they gained their length on him. And I thought, Such is the labor which the American Congress exists to protect- honest, manly toil- honest as the day is long- that makes his bread taste sweet, and keeps society sweet- which all men respect and have consecrated; one of the sacred band, doing the needful but irksome drudgery. Indeed, I felt a slight reproach, because I observed this from a window, and was not abroad and stirring about a similar business. The day went by, and at evening I passed the yard of another neighbor, who keeps many servants, and spends much money foolishly, while he adds nothing to the common stock, and there I saw the stone of the morning lying beside a whimsical structure intended to adorn this Lord Timothy Dexter's premises, and the dignity forthwith departed from the teamster's labor, in my eyes. In my opinion, the sun was made to light worthier toil than this. I may add that his employer has since run off, in debt to a good part of the town, and, after passing through Chancery, has settled somewhere else, there to become once more a patron of the arts.
The ways by which you may get money almost without exception lead downward. To have done anything by which you earned money merely is to have been truly idle or worse. If the laborer gets no more than the wages which his employer pays him, he is cheated, he cheats himself. If you would get money as a writer or lecturer, you must be popular, which is to go down perpendicularly. Those services which the community will most readily pay for, it is most disagreeable to render. You are paid for being something less than a man. The State does not commonly reward a genius any more wisely. Even the poet laureate would rather not have to celebrate the accidents of royalty. He must be bribed with a pipe of wine; and perhaps another poet is called away from his muse to gauge that very pipe. As for my own business, even that kind of surveying which I could do with most satisfaction my employers do not want. They would prefer that I should do my work coarsely and not too well, ay, not well enough. When I observe that there are different ways of surveying, my employer commonly asks which will give him the most land, not which is most correct. I once invented a rule for measuring cord-wood, and tried to introduce it in Boston; but the measurer there told me that the sellers did not wish to have their wood measured correctly- that he was already too accurate for them, and therefore they commonly got their wood measured in Charlestown before crossing the bridge.
The aim of the laborer should be, not to get his living, to get "a good job," but to perform well a certain work; and, even in a pecuniary sense, it would be economy for a town to pay its laborers so well that they would not feel that they were working for low ends, as for a livelihood merely, but for scientific, or even moral ends. Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.
It is remarkable that there are few men so well employed, so much to their minds, but that a little money or fame would commonly buy them off from their present pursuit. I see advertisements for active young men, as if activity were the whole of a young man's capital. Yet I have been surprised when one has with confidence proposed to me, a grown man, to embark in some enterprise of his, as if I had absolutely nothing to do, my life having been a complete failure hitherto. What a doubtful compliment this to pay me! As if he had met me half-way across the ocean beating up against the wind, but bound nowhere, and proposed to me to go along with him! If I did, what do you think the underwriters would say? No, no! I am not without employment at this stage of the voyage. To tell the truth, I saw an advertisement for able-bodied seamen, when I was a boy, sauntering in my native port, and as soon as I came of age I embarked.
The community has no bribe that will tempt a wise man. You may raise money enough to tunnel a mountain, but you cannot raise money enough to hire a man who is minding his own business. An efficient and valuable man does what he can, whether the community pay him for it or not. The inefficient offer their inefficiency to the highest bidder, and are forever expecting to be put into office. One would suppose that they were rarely disappointed.
Perhaps I am more than usually jealous with respect to my freedom. I feel that my connection with and obligation to society are still very slight and transient. Those slight labors which afford me a livelihood, and by which it is allowed that I am to some extent serviceable to my contemporaries, are as yet commonly a pleasure to me, and I am not often reminded that they are a necessity. So far I am successful. But I foresee that if my wants should be much increased, the labor required to supply them would become a drudgery. If I should sell both my forenoons and afternoons to society, as most appear to do, I am sure that for me there would be nothing left worth living for. I trust that I shall never thus sell my birthright for a mess of pottage. I wish to suggest that a man may be very industrious, and yet not spend his time well. There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living. All great enterprises are self-supporting. The poet, for instance, must sustain his body by his poetry, as a steam planing-mill feeds its boilers with the shavings it makes. You must get your living by loving. But as it is said of the merchants that ninety-seven in a hundred fail, so the life of men generally, tried by this standard, is a failure, and bankruptcy may be surely prophesied.
Merely to come into the world the heir of a fortune is not to be born, but to be still-born, rather. To be supported by the charity of friends, or a government pension- provided you continue to breathe- by whatever fine synonyms you describe these relations, is to go into the almshouse. On Sundays the poor debtor goes to church to take an account of stock, and finds, of course, that his outgoes have been greater than his income. In the Catholic Church, especially, they go into chancery, make a clean confession, give up all, and think to start again. Thus men will lie on their backs, talking about the fall of man, and never make an effort to get up.
As for the comparative demand which men make on life, it is an important difference between two, that the one is satisfied with a level success, that his marks can all be hit by point-blank shots, but the other, however low and unsuccessful his life may be, constantly elevates his aim, though at a very slight angle to the horizon. I should much rather be the last man- though, as the Orientals say, "Greatness doth not approach him who is forever looking down; and all those who are looking high are growing poor."
It is remarkable that there is little or nothing to be remembered written on the subject of getting a living; how to make getting a living not merely holiest and honorable, but altogether inviting and glorious; for if getting a living is not so, then living is not. One would think, from looking at literature, that this question had never disturbed a solitary individual's musings. Is it that men are too much disgusted with their experience to speak of it? The lesson of value which money teaches, which the Author of the Universe has taken so much pains to teach us, we are inclined to skip altogether. As for the means of living, it is wonderful how indifferent men of all classes are about it, even reformers, so called- whether they inherit, or earn, or steal it. I think that Society has done nothing for us in this respect, or at least has undone what she has done. Cold and hunger seem more friendly to my nature than those methods which men have adopted and advise to ward them off.
The title wise is, for the most part, falsely applied. How can one be a wise man, if he does not know any better how to live than other men?- if he is only more cunning and intellectually subtle? Does Wisdom work in a tread-mill? or does she teach how to succeed by her example? Is there any such thing as wisdom not applied to life? Is she merely the miller who grinds the finest logic? It is pertinent to ask if Plato got his living in a better way or more successfully than his contemporaries- or did he succumb to the difficulties of life like other men? Did he seem to prevail over some of them merely by indifference, or by assuming grand airs? or find it easier to live, because his aunt remembered him in her will? The ways in which most men get their living, that is, live, are mere makeshifts, and a shirking of the real business of life- chiefly because they do not know, but partly because they do not mean, any better.
The rush to California, for instance, and the attitude, not merely of merchants, but of philosophers and prophets, so called, in relation to it, reflect the greatest disgrace on mankind. That so many are ready to live by luck, and so get the means of commanding the labor of others less lucky, without contributing any value to society! And that is called enterprise! I know of no more startling development of the immorality of trade, and all the common modes of getting a living. The philosophy and poetry and religion of such a mankind are not worth the dust of a puffball. The hog that gets his living by rooting, stirring up the soil so, would be ashamed of such company. If I could command the wealth of all the worlds by lifting my finger, I would not pay such a price for it. Even Mahomet knew that God did not make this world in jest. It makes God to be a moneyed gentleman who scatters a handful of pennies in order to see mankind scramble for them. The world's raffle! A subsistence in the domains of Nature a thing to be raffled for! What a comment, what a satire, on our institutions! The conclusion will be, that mankind will hang itself upon a tree. And have all the precepts in all the Bibles taught men only this? and is the last and most admirable invention of the human race only an improved muck-rake? Is this the ground on which Orientals and Occidentals meet? Did God direct us so to get our living, digging where we never planted- and He would, perchance, reward us with lumps of gold?
God gave the righteous man a certificate entitling him to food and raiment, but the unrighteous man found a facsimile of the same in God's coffers, and appropriated it, and obtained food and raiment like the former. It is one of the most extensive systems of counterfeiting that the world has seen. I did not know that mankind was suffering for want of old. I have seen a little of it. I know that it is very malleable, but not so malleable as wit. A grain of gold gild a great surface, but not so much as a grain of wisdom.
The gold-digger in the ravines of the mountains is as much a gambler as his fellow in the saloons of San Francisco. What difference does it make whether you shake dirt or shake dice? If you win, society is the loser. The gold-digger is the enemy of the honest laborer, whatever checks and compensations there may be. It is not enough to tell me that you worked hard to get your gold. So does the Devil work hard. The way of transgressors may be hard in many respects. The humblest observer who goes to the mines sees and says that gold-digging is of the character of a lottery; the gold thus obtained is not the same same thing with the wages of honest toil. But, practically, he forgets what he has seen, for he has seen only the fact, not the principle, and goes into trade there, that is, buys a ticket in what commonly proves another lottery, where the fact is not so obvious.
After reading Howitt's account of the Australian gold-diggings one evening, I had in my mind's eye, all night, the numerous valleys, with their streams, all cut up with foul pits, from ten to one hundred feet deep, and half a dozen feet across, as close as they can be dug, and partly filled with water- the locality to which men furiously rush to probe for their fortunes- uncertain where they shall break ground- not knowing but the gold is under their camp itself- sometimes digging one hundred and sixty feet before they strike the vein, or then missing it by a foot- turned into demons, and regardless of each others' rights, in their thirst for riches- whole valleys, for thirty miles, suddenly honeycombed by the pits of the miners, so that even hundreds are drowned in them- standing in water, and covered with mud and clay, they work night and day, dying of exposure and disease. Having read this, and partly forgotten it, I was thinking, accidentally, of my own unsatisfactory life, doing as others do; and with that vision of the diggings still before me, I asked myself why I might not be washing some gold daily, though it were only the finest particles- why I might not sink a shaft down to the gold within me, and work that mine. There is a Ballarat, a Bendigo for you- what though it were a sulky-gully? At any rate, I might pursue some path, however solitary and narrow and crooked, in which I could walk with love and reverence. Wherever a man separates from the multitude, and goes his own way in this mood, there indeed is a fork in the road, though ordinary travellers may see only a gap in the paling. His solitary path across lots will turn out the higher way of the two.
Men rush to California and Australia as if the true gold were to be found in that direction; but that is to go to the very opposite extreme to where it lies. They go prospecting farther and farther away from the true lead, and are most unfortunate when they think themselves most successful. Is not our native soil auriferous? Does not a stream from the golden mountains flow through our native valley? and has not this for more than geologic ages been bringing down the shining particles and forming the nuggets for us? Yet, strange to tell, if a digger steal away, prospecting for this true gold, into the unexplored solitudes around us, there is no danger that any will dog his steps, and endeavor to supplant him. He may claim and undermine the whole valley even, both the cultivated and the uncultivated portions, his whole life long in peace, for no one will ever dispute his claim. They will not mind his cradles or his toms. He is not confined to a claim twelve feet square, as at Ballarat, but may mine anywhere, and wash the whole wide world in his tom.
Howitt says of the man who found the great nugget which weighed twenty-eight pounds, at the Bendigo diggings in Australia: "He soon began to drink; got a horse, and rode all about, generally at full gallop, and, when he met people, called out to inquire if they knew who he was, and then kindly informed them that he was 'the bloody wretch that had found the nugget.' At last he rode full speed against a tree, and nearly knocked his brains out." I think, however, there was no danger of that, for he had already knocked his brains out against the nugget. Howitt adds, "He is a hopelessly ruined man." But he is a type of the class. They are all fast men. Hear some of the names of the places where they dig: "Jackass Flat"- "Sheep's-Head Gully"- "Murderer's Bar," etc. Is there no satire in these names? Let them carry their ill-gotten wealth where they will, I am thinking it will still be "Jackass Flat," if not "Murderer's Bar," where they live.
The last resource of our energy has been the robbing of graveyards on the Isthmus of Darien, an enterprise which appears to be but in its infancy; for, according to late accounts, an act has passed its second reading in the legislature of New Granada, regulating this kind of mining; and a correspondent of the "Tribune" writes: "In the dry season, when the weather will permit of the country being properly prospected, no doubt other rich guacas [that is, graveyards] will be found." To emigrants he says: "do not come before December; take the Isthmus route in preference to the Boca del Toro one; bring no useless baggage, and do not cumber yourself with a tent; but a good pair of blankets will be necessary; a pick, shovel, and axe of good material will be almost all that is required": advice which might have been taken from the "Burker's Guide." And he concludes with this line in Italics and small capitals: "If you are doing well at home, STAY THERE," which may fairly be interpreted to mean, "If you are getting a good living by robbing graveyards at home, stay there."
But why go to California for a text? She is the child of New England, bred at her own school and church.
It is remarkable that among all the preachers there are so few moral teachers. The prophets are employed in excusing the ways of men. Most reverend seniors, the illuminati of the age, tell me, with a gracious, reminiscent smile, betwixt an aspiration and a shudder, not to be too tender about these things- to lump all that, that is, make a lump of gold of it. The highest advice I have heard on these subjects was grovelling. The burden of it was- It is not worth your while to undertake to reform the world in this particular. Do not ask how your bread is buttered; it will make you sick, if you do- and the like. A man had better starve at once than lose his innocence in the process of getting his bread. If within the sophisticated man there is not an unsophisticated one, then he is but one of the devil's angels. As we grow old, we live more coarsely, we relax a little in our disciplines, and, to some extent, cease to obey our finest instincts. But we should be fastidious to the extreme of sanity, disregarding the gibes of those who are more unfortunate than ourselves.
In our science and philosophy, even, there is commonly no true and absolute account of things. The spirit of sect and bigotry has planted its hoof amid the stars. You have only to discuss the problem, whether the stars are inhabited or not, in order to discover it. Why must we daub the heavens as well as the earth? It was an unfortunate discovery that Dr. Kane was a Mason, and that Sir John Franklin was another. But it was a more cruel suggestion that possibly that was the reason why the former went in search of the latter. There is not a popular magazine in this country that would dare to print a child's thought on important subjects without comment. It must be submitted to the D.D.'s. I would it were the chickadee-dees.
You come from attending the funeral of mankind to attend to a natural phenomenon. A little thought is sexton to all the world.
I hardly know an intellectual man, even, who is so broad and truly liberal that you can think aloud in his society. Most with whom you endeavor to talk soon come to a stand against some institution in which they appear to hold stock- that is, some particular, not universal, way of viewing things. They will continually thrust their own low roof, with its narrow skylight, between you and the sky, when it is the unobstructed heavens you would view. Get out of the way with your cobwebs; wash your windows, I say! In some lyceums they tell me that they have voted to exclude the subject of religion. But how do I know what their religion is, and when I am near to or far from it? I have walked into such an arena and done my best to make a clean breast of what religion I have experienced, and the audience never suspected what I was about. The lecture was as harmless as moonshine to them. Whereas, if I had read to them the biography of the greatest scamps in history, they might have thought that I had written the lives of the deacons of their church. Ordinarily, the inquiry is, Where did you come from? or, Where are you going? That was a more pertinent question which I overheard one of my auditors put to another one- "What does he lecture for?" It made me quake in my shoes.
To speak impartially, the best men that I know are not serene, a world in themselves. For the most part, they dwell in forms, and flatter and study effect only more finely than the rest. We select granite for the underpinning of our houses and barns; we build fences of stone; but we do not ourselves rest on an underpinning of granitic truth, the lowest primitive rock. Our sills are rotten. What stuff is the man made of who is not coexistent in our thought with the purest and subtilest truth? I often accuse my finest acquaintances of an immense frivolity; for, while there are manners and compliments we do not meet, we do not teach one another the lessons of honesty and sincerity that the brutes do, or of steadiness and solidity that the rocks do. The fault is commonly mutual, however; for we do not habitually demand any more of each other.
That excitement about Kossuth, consider how characteristic, but superficial, it was!- only another kind of politics or dancing. Men were making speeches to him all over the country, but each expressed only the thought, or the want of thought, of the multitude. No man stood on truth. They were merely banded together, as usual one leaning on another, and all together on nothing; as the Hindoos made the world rest on an elephant, the elephant on a tortoise, and the tortoise on a serpent, and had nothing to put under the serpent. For all fruit of that stir we have the Kossuth hat.
Just so hollow and ineffectual, for the most part, is our ordinary conversation. Surface meets surface. When our life ceases to be inward and private, conversation degenerates into mere gossip. We rarely meet a man who can tell us any news which he has not read in a newspaper, or been told by his neighbor; and, for the most part, the only difference between us and our fellow is that he has seen the newspaper, or been out to tea, and we have not. In proportion as our inward life fails, we go more constantly and desperately to the post-office. You may depend on it, that the poor fellow who walks away with the greatest number of letters, proud of his extensive correspondence, has not heard from himself this long while.
I do not know but it is too much to read one newspaper a week. I have tried it recently, and for so long it seems to me that I have not dwelt in my native region. The sun, the clouds, the snow, the trees say not so much to me. You cannot serve two masters. It requires more than a day's devotion to know and to possess the wealth of a day.
We may well be ashamed to tell what things we have read or heard in our day. I did not know why my news should be so trivial- considering what one's dreams and expectations are, why the developments should be so paltry. The news we hear, for the most part, is not news to our genius. It is the stalest repetition. You are often tempted to ask why such stress is laid on a particular experience which you have had- that, after twenty-five years, you should meet Hobbins, Registrar of Deeds, again on the sidewalk. Have you not budged an inch, then? Such is the daily news. Its facts appear to float in the atmosphere, insignificant as the sporules of fungi, and impinge on some neglected thallus, or surface of our minds, which affords a basis for them, and hence a parasitic growth. We should wash ourselves clean of such news. Of what consequence, though our planet explode, if there is no character involved in the explosion? In health we have not the least curiosity about such events. We do not live for idle amusement. I would not run round a corner to see the world blow up.
All summer, and far into the autumn, perchance, you unconsciously went by the newspapers and the news, and now you find it was because the morning and the evening were full of news to you. Your walks were full of incidents. You attended, not to the affairs of Europe, but to your own affairs in Massachusetts fields. If you chance to live and move and have your being in that thin stratum in which the events that make the news transpire- thinner than the paper on which it is printed- then these things will fill the world for you; but if you soar above or dive below that plane, you cannot remember nor be reminded of them. Really to see the sun rise or go down every day, so to relate ourselves to a universal fact, would preserve us sane forever. Nations! What are nations? Tartars, and Huns, and Chinamen! Like insects, they swarm. The historian strives in vain to make them memorable. It is for want of a man that there are so many men. It is individuals that populate the world. Any man thinking may say with the Spirit of Lodin-
And they become ashes before me;-
Pray, let us live without being drawn by dogs, Esquimaux-fashion, tearing over hill and dale, and biting each other's ears.
Not without a slight shudder at the danger, I often perceive how near I had come to admitting into my mind the details of some trivial affair- the news of the street; and I am astonished to observe how willing men are to lumber their minds with such rubbish- to permit idle rumors and incidents of the most insignificant kind to intrude on ground which should be sacred to thought. Shall the mind be a public arena, where the affairs of the street and the gossip of the tea-table chiefly are discussed? Or shall it be a quarter of heaven itself- an hypaethral temple, consecrated to the service of the gods? I find it so difficult to dispose of the few facts which to me are significant, that I hesitate to burden my attention with those which are insignificant, which only a divine mind could illustrate. Such is, for the most part, the news in newspapers and conversation. It is important to preserve the mind's chastity in this respect. Think of admitting the details of a single case of the criminal court into our thoughts, to stalk profanely through their very sanctum sanctorum for an hour, ay, for many hours! to make a very bar-room of the mind's inmost apartment, as if for so long the dust of the street had occupied us- the very street itself, with all its travel, its bustle, and filth, had passed through our thoughts' shrine! Would it not be an intellectual and moral suicide? When I have been compelled to sit spectator and auditor in a court-room for some hours, and have seen my neighbors, who were not compelled, stealing in from time to time, and tiptoeing about with washed hands and faces, it has appeared to my mind's eye, that, when they took off their hats, their ears suddenly expanded into vast hoppers for sound, between which even their narrow heads were crowded. Like the vanes of windmills, they caught the broad but shallow stream of sound, which, after a few titillating gyrations in their coggy brains, passed out the other side. I wondered if, when they got home, they were as careful to wash their ears as before their hands and faces. It has seemed to me, at such a time, that the auditors and the witnesses, the jury and the counsel, the judge and the criminal at the bar- if I may presume him guilty before he is convicted- were all equally criminal, and a thunderbolt might be expected to descend and consume them all together.
By all kinds of traps and signboards, threatening the extreme penalty of the divine law, exclude such trespassers from the only ground which can be sacred to you. It is so hard to forget what it is worse than useless to remember! If I am to be a thoroughfare, I prefer that it be of the mountain brooks, the Parnassian streams, and not the town sewers. There is inspiration, that gossip which comes to the ear of the attentive mind from the courts of heaven. There is the profane and stale revelation of the bar-room and the police court. The same ear is fitted to receive both communications. Only the character of the hearer determines to which it shall be open, and to which closed. I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality. Our very intellect shall be macadamized, as it were- its foundation broken into fragments for the wheels of travel to roll over; and if you would know what will make the most durable pavement, surpassing rolled stones, spruce blocks, and asphaltum, you have only to look into some of our minds which have been subjected to this treatment so long.
If we have thus desecrated ourselves- as who has not?- the remedy will be by wariness and devotion to reconsecrate ourselves, and make once more a fane of the mind. We should treat our minds, that is, ourselves, as innocent and ingenuous children, whose guardians we are, and be careful what objects and what subjects we thrust on their attention. Read not the Times. Read the Eternities. Conventionalities are at length as had as impurities. Even the facts of science may dust the mind by their dryness, unless they are in a sense effaced each morning, or rather rendered fertile by the dews of fresh and living truth. Knowledge does not come to us by details, but in flashes of light from heaven. Yes, every thought that passes through the mind helps to wear and tear it, and to deepen the ruts, which, as in the streets of Pompeii, evince how much it has been used. How many things there are concerning which we might well deliberate whether we had better know them- had better let their peddling-carts be driven, even at the slowest trot or walk, over that bride of glorious span by which we trust to pass at last from the farthest brink of time to the nearest shore of eternity! Have we no culture, no refinement- but skill only to live coarsely and serve the Devil?- to acquire a little worldly wealth, or fame, or liberty, and make a false show with it, as if we were all husk and shell, with no tender and living kernel to us? Shall our institutions be like those chestnut burs which contain abortive nuts, perfect only to prick the fingers?
America is said to be the arena on which the battle of freedom is to be fought; but surely it cannot be freedom in a merely political sense that is meant. Even if we grant that the American has freed himself from a political tyrant, he is still the slave of an economical and moral tyrant. Now that the republic- the respublica- has been settled, it is time to look after the res-privata- the private state- to see, as the Roman senate charged its consuls, "ne quid res-PRIVATA detrimenti caperet," that the private state receive no detriment.
Do we call this the land of the free? What is it to be free from King George and continue the slaves of King Prejudice? What is it to be born free and not to live free? What is the value of any political freedom, but as a means to moral freedom? Is it a freedom to be slaves, or a freedom to be free, of which we boast? We are a nation of politicians, concerned about the outmost defences only of freedom. It is our children's children who may perchance be really free. We tax ourselves unjustly. There is a part of us which is not represented. It is taxation without representation. We quarter troops, we quarter fools and cattle of all sorts upon ourselves. We quarter our gross bodies on our poor souls, till the former eat up all the latter's substance.
With respect to a true culture and manhood, we are essentially provincial still, not metropolitan- mere Jonathans. We are provincial, because we do not find at home our standards; because we do not worship truth, but the reflection of truth; because we are warped and narrowed by an exclusive devotion to trade and commerce and manufactures and agriculture and the like, which are but means, and not the end.
So is the English Parliament provincial. Mere country bumpkins, they betray themselves, when any more important question arises for them to settle, the Irish question, for instance- the English question why did I not say? Their natures are subdued to what they work in. Their "good breeding" respects only secondary objects. The finest manners in the world are awkwardness and fatuity when contrasted with a finer intelligence. They appear but as the fashions of past days- mere courtliness, knee-buckles and small-clothes, out of date. It is the vice, but not the excellence of manners, that they are continually being deserted by the character; they are cast-off-clothes or shells, claiming the respect which belonged to the living creature. You are presented with the shells instead of the meat, and it is no excuse generally, that, in the case of some fishes, the shells are of more worth than the meat. The man who thrusts his manners upon me does as if he were to insist on introducing me to his cabinet of curiosities, when I wished to see himself. It was not in this sense that the poet Decker called Christ "the first true gentleman that ever breathed." I repeat that in this sense the most splendid court in Christendom is provincial, having authority to consult about Transalpine interests only, and not the affairs of Rome. A praetor or proconsul would suffice to settle the questions which absorb the attention of the English Parliament and the American Congress.
Government and legislation! these I thought were respectable professions. We have heard of heaven-born Numas, Lycurguses, and Solons, in the history of the world, whose names at least may stand for ideal legislators; but think of legislating to regulate the breeding of slaves, or the exportation of tobacco! What have divine legislators to do with the exportation or the importation of tobacco? what humane ones with the breeding of slaves? Suppose you were to submit the question to any son of God- and has He no children in the Nineteenth Century? is it a family which is extinct?- in what condition would you get it again? What shall a State like Virginia say for itself at the last day, in which these have been the principal, the staple productions? What ground is there for patriotism in such a State? I derive my facts from statistical tables which the States themselves have published.
A commerce that whitens every sea in quest of nuts and raisins, and makes slaves of its sailors for this purpose! I saw, the other day, a vessel which had been wrecked, and many lives lost, and her cargo of rags, juniper berries, and bitter almonds were strewn along the shore. It seemed hardly worth the while to tempt the dangers of the sea between Leghorn and New York for the sake of a cargo of juniper berries and bitter almonds. America sending to the Old World for her bitters! Is not the sea-brine, is not shipwreck, bitter enough to make the cup of life go down here? Yet such, to a great extent, is our boasted commerce; and there are those who style themselves statesmen and philosophers who are so blind as to think that progress and civilization depend on precisely this kind of interchange and activity- the activity of flies about a molasses- hogshead. Very well, observes one, if men were oysters. And very well, answer I, if men were mosquitoes.
Lieutenant Herndon, whom our government sent to explore the Amazon, and, it is said, to extend the area of slavery, observed that there was wanting there "an industrious and active population, who know what the comforts of life are, and who have artificial wants to draw out the great resources of the country." But what are the "artificial wants" to be encouraged? Not the love of luxuries, like the tobacco and slaves of, I believe, his native Virginia, nor the ice and granite and other material wealth of our native New England; nor are "the great resources of a country" that fertility or barrenness of soil which produces these. The chief want, in every State that I have been into, was a high and earnest purpose in its inhabitants. This alone draws out "the great resources" of Nature, and at last taxes her beyond her resources; for man naturally dies out of her. When we want culture more than potatoes, and illumination more than sugar-plums, then the great resources of a world are taxed and drawn out, and the result, or staple production, is, not slaves, nor operatives, but men- those rare fruits called heroes, saints, poets, philosophers, and redeemers.
In short, as a snow-drift is formed where there is a lull in the wind, so, one would say, where there is a lull of truth, an institution springs up. But the truth blows right on over it, nevertheless, and at length blows it down.
What is called politics is comparatively something so superficial and inhuman, that practically I have never fairly recognized that it concerns me at all. The newspapers, I perceive, devote some of their columns specially to politics or government without charge; and this, one would say, is all that saves it; but as I love literature and to some extent the truth also, I never read those columns at any rate. I do not wish to blunt my sense of right so much. I have not got to answer for having read a single President's Message. A strange age of the world this, when empires, kingdoms, and republics come a-begging to a private man's door, and utter their complaints at his elbow! I cannot take up a newspaper but I find that some wretched government or other, hard pushed and on its last legs, is interceding with me, the reader, to vote for it- more importunate than an Italian beggar; and if I have a mind to look at its certificate, made, perchance, by some benevolent merchant's clerk, or the skipper that brought it over, for it cannot speak a word of English itself, I shall probably read of the eruption of some Vesuvius, or the overflowing of some Po, true or forged, which brought it into this condition. I do not hesitate, in such a case, to suggest work, or the almshouse; or why not keep its castle in silence, as I do commonly? The poor President, what with preserving his popularity and doing his duty, is completely bewildered. The newspapers are the ruling power. Any other government is reduced to a few marines at Fort Independence. If a man neglects to read the Daily Times, government will go down on its knees to him, for this is the only treason in these days.
Those things which now most engage the attention of men, as politics and the daily routine, are, it is true, vital functions of human society, but should be unconsciously performed, like the corresponding functions of the physical body. They are infrahuman, a kind of vegetation. I sometimes awake to a half-consciousness of them going on about me, as a man may become conscious of some of the processes of digestion in a morbid state, and so have the dyspepsia, as it is called. It is as if a thinker submitted himself to be rasped by the great gizzard of creation. Politics is, as it were, the gizzard of society, full of grit and gravel, and the two political parties are its two opposite halves- sometimes split into quarters, it may be, which grind on each other. Not only individuals, but states, have thus a confirmed dyspepsia, which expresses itself, you can imagine by what sort of eloquence. Thus our life is not altogether a forgetting, but also, alas! to a great extent, a remembering, of that which we should never have been conscious of, certainly not in our waking hours. Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our had dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? I do not make an exorbitant demand, surely.
2019
As 2018 draws to a close, I’m continuing a favorite tradition of mine and sharing my year-end lists. It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on the year through the books, movies, and music that I found most thought-provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved. It also gives me a chance to highlight talented authors, artists, and storytellers – some who are household names and others who you may not have heard of before. Here’s my best of 2018 list - I hope you enjoy reading, watching, and listening.
Here’s a reminder of the books that I read this year that appeared on earlier lists:
Becoming by Michelle Obama (obviously my favorite!)
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die by Keith Payne
Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging by Alex Wagner
How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt
In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History by Mitch Landrieu
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
The World As It Is by Ben Rhodes
Here are my other favorite books of 2018:
Feel Free by Zadie Smith
Immigrant, Montana by Amitava Kumar
My favorite movies of 2018:
And finally, my favorite songs of 2018:
Ekombe by Jupiter & Okwess
Every Time I Hear That Song by Brandi Carlile
Historia De Un Amor by Tonina (feat. Javier Limón and Tali Rubinstein)
I Like It by Cardi B (feat. Bad Bunny and J Balvin)
King For A Day by Anderson East
Need a Little Time by Courtney Barnett
Wait by the River by Lord Huron
And in honor of one of the great jazz singers of all time, who died this year, a classic album: The Great American Songbook by Nancy Wilson

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