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* [TheShawshankRedemption] (new) ..... 45.56.153.26
* [davidgetoff] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=davidgetoff]) ..... 45.56.153.209
* [detoxprofessor] (new) ..... 45.56.153.87
* [Clothes] (new) ..... 45.56.153.172
* [The Rope] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Rope]) ..... 45.56.153.144
* [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
* [The] (new) ..... 45.56.153.14
* [nonparticipation] (new) ..... 45.56.153.148
* [Professional] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Professional]) ..... 182.19.184.96
* [StephenProthero] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=StephenProthero]) ..... 222.164.90.175
* [The Age of Adaline] (new) ..... 203.82.46.28
* [Software] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Software]) ..... 218.186.9.232
* [Mother] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Mother]) ..... 218.186.9.232
* [Microsoft] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Microsoft]) ..... 169.145.197.13
* [Layoff] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Layoff]) ..... 202.156.13.4
* [The Song of the Bird] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Song%20of%20the%20Bird]) ..... 202.156.2.44
* [The Pulai Desaru Beach] (new) ..... 202.156.2.44
* [Remineralize the Earth] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Remineralize%20the%20Earth]) ..... 203.101.98.36
* [The 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenaged Daughter] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%208%20Simple%20Rules%20for%20Dating%20My%20Teenaged%20Daughter]) ..... 202.156.2.162
* [Coffee] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Coffee]) ..... 202.156.2.162
* [Theo Jansen] (new) ..... 202.156.2.162
* [The Whole Earth Vegetarian Restaurant] (new) ..... 202.156.2.162
* [The Knotty Shop] (new) ..... 202.156.2.162
* [The Golden Stairs] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Golden%20Stairs]) ..... 202.156.13.240
* [The six mistakes of man] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20six%20mistakes%20of%20man]) ..... 202.156.17.196
* [What is the purpose of life?] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=What%20is%20the%20purpose%20of%20life%3F]) ..... 202.156.8.178
* [The most beautiful place in the world] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20most%20beautiful%20place%20in%20the%20world]) ..... 202.156.2.162
* [The Little Prince] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Little%20Prince]) ..... 202.156.11.78
* [Ten Commandments of Egoless Programming] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Ten%20Commandments%20of%20Egoless%20Programming]) ..... 202.156.15.43
* [The Singapore Lodge Theosophical Society] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Singapore%20Lodge%20Theosophical%20Society]) ..... 202.156.10.198
* [Ten Commandments for Peace of Mind] (new) ..... 202.156.14.145
* [Knowledge] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Knowledge]) ..... 202.156.2.162
* [The Alchemist] (new) ..... 202.156.12.227
* [The ABC of Enlightenment] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20ABC%20of%20Enlightenment]) ..... 202.156.2.162
* [Matthew Haughey] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Matthew%20Haughey]) ..... 202.156.2.162
* [Heather Armstrong] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Heather%20Armstrong]) ..... 202.156.209.166
* [Yoga Sutras of Patanjali] (new) ..... 202.156.2.162
* [The Singapore Dakshina Bharatha Brahmana Sabha] (new) ..... 202.156.2.162
* [The Art Of Sewing] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Art%20Of%20Sewing]) ..... 202.156.2.162
* [The Web of Life] (new) ..... 202.156.2.162
* [Fritjof Capra] (new) ..... 202.156.2.162
* [The Anthologist] (new) ..... 169.145.197.4
* [The Diamond Cutter] (new) ..... 202.156.2.162
* [Master And Commander: The Far Side of the World] (new) ..... 202.156.2.154
* [The Sound of Music] (new) ..... 202.156.2.154
* [Office] (new) ..... 202.156.2.154
* [Software Project Management] (new) ..... 202.156.2.154
* [Nanosoft] (new) ..... 202.156.2.154
* [The Phantastikos] (new) ..... 202.156.2.154
* [There's a spiritual solution to every problem] (new) ..... 218.186.87.198
* [The Way of the Dragon] (new) ..... 218.186.87.198
* [The Big Boss] (new) ..... 218.186.87.198
* [Weapons of Mass Destruction] (new) ..... 218.186.84.233
* [The Masquerade Of Charity] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Masquerade%20Of%20Charity]) ..... 218.186.89.232
* [The Critical Mass of Enlightenment] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Critical%20Mass%20of%20Enlightenment]) ..... 218.186.89.232
* [The Books of Secrets] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Books%20of%20Secrets]) ..... 218.186.89.232
* [At the Feet of the Master] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=At%20the%20Feet%20of%20the%20Master]) ..... 218.186.89.232
* [One Thousand Suns: Krishnamurti at Eighty-Five and the Last Walk] (new) ..... 218.186.89.232
* [Think on These Things] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Think%20on%20These%20Things]) ..... 218.186.89.232
* [Awakening the Third Eye] (new) ..... 218.186.89.232
* [Teachings of Yoga] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Teachings%20of%20Yoga]) ..... 218.186.80.140
* [The Magick Path of Tantra] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Magick%20Path%20of%20Tantra]) ..... 218.186.84.198
* [Basic Theosophy Course] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Basic%20Theosophy%20Course]) ..... 218.186.84.120
* [There is no religion higer than truth] (new) ..... 218.186.80.81
* [John Markoff] (new) ..... 218.186.86.173
* [The Psychology of Romantic Love] (new) ..... 218.186.86.164
* [Climbing the Blue Mountain] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Climbing%20the%20Blue%20Mountain]) ..... 202.156.2.154
* [Theosophist] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Theosophist]) ..... 202.156.2.154
* [The Noble Eight Fold Path] (new) ..... 217.88.232.1
* [Marktheidenfeld] (new) ..... 80.132.49.17
* [Secret of Living] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Léo Apotheker] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=L%E9o%20Apotheker]) ..... 217.228.182.154
* [The Space Shuttle Columbia] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Space%20Shuttle%20Columbia]) ..... 217.88.233.208
* [The Divine Romance] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Divine%20Romance]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Law of Being] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The formula for happiness] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20formula%20for%20happiness]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Analects of Sivananda] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Analects%20of%20Sivananda]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Discipline of Speech] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Discipline%20of%20Speech]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Freshman] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Freshman]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Institute for the Future] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Goal of Human Life] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Theosophy] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Theosophy]) ..... 217.88.227.18
* [Recipe for the year 2002] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Recipe%20for%20the%20year%202002]) ..... 80.132.63.156
* [Knowledge Management] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Knowledge%20Management]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Key to Theosophy] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Theosophical Society] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [City of Angels] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=City%20of%20Angels]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Microsoft Outlook] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Martin Luther King, Jr.] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Martin%20Luther%20King%2C%20Jr.]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Universal Currency Converter] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Universal%20Currency%20Converter]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Survival of Civilization] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The big squeeze] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Joe Loffredo] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Joe%20Loffredo]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Art of Living Course] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Art%20of%20Living%20Course]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Bruderhof] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Bruderhof]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Tao of Web Sites] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Tao%20of%20Web%20Sites]) ..... 80.132.60.122
* [Joel on Software] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Joel%20on%20Software]) ..... 80.132.60.122
* [The Programmers' Stone] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Programmers%27%20Stone]) ..... 217.88.227.35
* [The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Marc Benioff] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The StoryBin] (new) ..... 80.132.47.57
* [The University of Hard Knocks] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20University%20of%20Hard%20Knocks]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [In Praise of Black Sheep] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=In%20Praise%20of%20Black%20Sheep]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Netherlands] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Netherlands]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [A Warning to the West] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Crowd] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Resilient Brahmin] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Science of Pranayama] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Secret of Prana] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [How To Ask Questions The Smart Way] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Conquer The World Within] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Law of Leaky Abstractions] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The German Wine Route] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20German%20Wine%20Route]) ..... 80.132.53.143
* [The Best Part of Knowledge] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Sunfood Cuisine] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Wally Kuskoff] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Art of Living] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Art%20of%20Living]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Walk in the Light and Twenty-Three Tales] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [What is the true meaning of life?] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=What%20is%20the%20true%20meaning%20of%20life%3F]) ..... 80.132.57.125
* [What is the meaning of Life?] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=What%20is%20the%20meaning%20of%20%20Life%3F]) ..... 80.132.57.125
* [TogetherSoft] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Lakehouse] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Shoshana Zuboff] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Man Who Planted Trees] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Art of Money Getting] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Abentheuer] (new) ..... 217.228.190.47
* [ITA Software] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Keukenhof] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Keukenhof]) ..... 217.228.182.230
* [Rothenburg] (new) ..... 217.228.183.221
* [The Rhine Falls] (new) ..... 217.228.191.118
* [The Royal Mail Hotel] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Mountain Path] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Pencil Maker] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Swami Parthasarathy] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Software for the brain] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Mother Meera] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Mother%20Meera]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Matthew Lyon] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Ayodhya Mandapam] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Garden Diet] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Weekly Knowledge] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Painless Software Schedules] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The closing of the american mind] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20closing%20of%20the%20american%20mind]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The New Incurables Program] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Diary of a Start-Up] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Soul of Money] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Soul%20of%20Money]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [A True Philosophy of Life] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Oberhofen] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Growing together as a couple] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [People for the Ethical Treatment of Souls] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals] (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
* [Mob Software: The Erotic Life of Code] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Mob%20Software%3A%20The%20Erotic%20Life%20of%20Code]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Great Virtues of the Dhamma] (new) ..... 217.228.179.69
* [Surfing the Waves of the Future] (new) ..... 217.228.179.69
* [The Web Runs on Love, Not Greed] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Global Consciousness Project] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Wings of Fire] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Wings%20of%20Fire]) ..... 217.88.230.54
* [The Strange "Job" Concept] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Sails on the bay] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Sails%20on%20the%20bay]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Platzl Hotel] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Crowne Plaza Heidelberg] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Autobiography of a Yogi] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [the meaning of life] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=the%20meaning%20of%20life]) ..... 217.88.236.208
* [The Prophet] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The joy of sales resistance] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Message from Water] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [How One Person Can Change the World] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Practice of Meditation] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Practice%20of%20Meditation]) ..... 217.88.236.39
* [The Choice is Yours] (new) ..... 217.88.236.39
* [Freedom of Thought] (new) ..... 217.88.227.145
* [The Roots of Lisp] (new) ..... 217.88.233.212
* [The Gumption Memo] (new) ..... 217.88.233.212
* [The God of Small Things] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Esther Dyson] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The laughing Buddha] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Why They Lie] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Now and Then] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Now%20and%20Then]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Discourse on the method] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Web is generous] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [When to give away the technology] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=When%20to%20give%20away%20the%20technology]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Linderhof] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Linderhof]) ..... 62.225.252.249
* [Bloberger Hof] (new) ..... 62.225.252.250
* [Never settle for the best] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The three most difficult things for a human being] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Natural Child] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Natural Child Project] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Blast from the past] (new) ..... 62.225.252.247
* [Lord of the Rings] (new) ..... 62.225.252.247
* [The Ethics of Ecotravel] (new) ..... kishore
* [The real meaning of peace] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Pursuit of Wow!] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Acres of Diamonds] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Vow of silence] (new) ..... 172.177.174.96
* [Straight from the Gut] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Straight%20from%20the%20Gut]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [CREATIVITY: Unleashing the Forces Within] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Spiritwalk Reader] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Spiritwalk%20Reader]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Hedgehog and the Fox] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Fragrance of the Rose] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Fragrance%20of%20the%20Rose]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Alai Payuthe] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Matrix] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Mask of Zorro] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The End of the World] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20End%20of%20the%20World]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Why the future doesn't need us.] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Ten Marks of a Happy Marriage] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Ten%20Marks%20of%20a%20Happy%20Marriage]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Mother] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Mother]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Notes on the Synthesis of Form] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Lessons From The Science of Nothing At All] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Search for Beauty] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Nature of Order] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [ideas on office furniture and interiors] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Is there a law of karma?] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Is%20there%20a%20law%20of%20karma%3F]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [I often panic, and worry that I might go mad....] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=I%20often%20panic%2C%20and%20worry%20that%20I%20might%20go%20mad....]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [I feel so much anger towards my mother....] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=I%20feel%20so%20much%20anger%20towards%20my%20mother....]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The algebra of infinite justice] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20algebra%20of%20infinite%20justice]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Why so much conflict between the different religions?] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Why%20so%20much%20conflict%20between%20the%20different%20religions%3F]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Understanding the Lessons of September 11] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Understanding%20the%20Lessons%20of%20September%2011]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Consequences of Anger] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Consequences%20of%20Anger]) ..... 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
* [Disconnecting the emotions from mother's death] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Disconnecting%20the%20emotions%20from%20mother%27s%20death]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Roots of Obesity] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Roots%20of%20Obesity]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Hindu Universe] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Wooden Bowl] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Wooden%20Bowl]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Six Mistakes of Man] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Six%20Mistakes%20of%20Man]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Politics and the English Language] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Elements of Style] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Software Conspiracy] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Software%20Conspiracy]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Cathedral and the Bazaar] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Psychology of Computer Programming] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Psychology%20of%20Computer%20Programming]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Mythical Man-Month] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Mythical%20Man-Month]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [FranklinCovey Knowledge Expo] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Mother Teresa] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Mother%20Teresa]) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The Simpler Life] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [The World Heritage List] (new) ..... 194.39.131.39
* [Software Development Magazine] (new) ..... 172.177.240.151
* [The Guild Library] (new) ..... 172.177.240.151
* [The Atlantic Systems Guild] (new) ..... 172.177.240.151
* [Electronic Review of Computer Books] (new) ..... 172.177.240.151
* [The Future Does Not Compute] (new) ..... 172.177.240.151
* [The Dynamics of Software Development] (new) ..... 172.177.240.151
* [The Pragmatic Programmer] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Pragmatic%20Programmer]) ..... 172.177.240.151
* [The Invitation] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Invitation]) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Age of Reason] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [Looking Back: 14 Years of Tips] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=Looking%20Back%3A%2014%20Years%20of%20Tips]) ..... kishore
* [The Ethical Spectacle] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
* [The Mask] (new) ..... 172.179.153.45
* [A Brief History of Time] (new) ..... 155.56.66.11
* [How to Write a Software Specification] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=How%20to%20Write%20a%20Software%20Specification]) ..... 172.178.7.68
* [The Best Things in Life] (new) ..... 155.56.66.13
* [The Machine That Changed the World : The Story of Lean Production] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Machine%20That%20Changed%20the%20World%20%3A%20The%20Story%20of%20Lean%20Production]) ..... 155.56.66.13
* [The Invisible Future: The Seamless Integration of Technology into Everyday Life] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=The%20Invisible%20Future%3A%20The%20Seamless%20Integration%20of%20Technology%20into%20Everyday%20Life]) ..... 155.56.66.13
* [Art and the Zen of web sites] (new) ..... 155.56.66.13
* [Geoff Goodfellow] (new) ..... 155.56.66.13
* [Conversation of William Knott and Mr Watt.] (new) ..... 155.56.66.11
* [The Course Details] (new) ..... 194.39.131.40
Quotations
Steve Jobs : “We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?” ( via https://mondaynote.com/apple-at-1trillion-the-missing-theory-6f6e58db4786 )
The best
[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."
"No! Try Not -- Do, or Do Not; There is no Try..." -- Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back
[Christopher Wynter] : At the end of all Seeking... the Seeker is the one Sought.
[Marcel Proust] : Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
Lao Tzu : The way to use life is to do nothing through acting, The way to use life is to do everything through being.
[Richard Bach] : What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the rest of the world calls a butterfly
[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
[Sogyal Rinpoche] : Tomorrow or the next life - which comes first, we never know.
[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.
One who pays attention only to knowledge from outside will lose sight of one's own potential.
[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
[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"
3. Knowledge Without Character
[Martin Luther King, Jr.] : Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies
in a descending spiral of destruction... The chain reaction of
broken, or we shall be plunged into the darkness... of
[Gurdjieff used to say to his disciples|http://www.barnett.sk/software/osho/askosh71.htm] -- the first thing, the very very first thing, "Find out what your greatest characteristic is, your greatest undoing, your central characteristic of unconsciousness." Each one's is different.
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.
[Osho] : [The meaning of life|http://www.barnett.sk/software/sos/osho/osho-talks/meaning2.htm] is in the living
[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.
[Helen Keller] : I am only one; but I am still one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do.
Anzia Yezierska : The power that makes the grass grow, fruit ripen, and guides the bird in flight is in us all.
!Software Development
* Software Manager: It's only a bug if you see it twice
* IT Director : If you cannot solve the problem, go around it.
* System Administrator : I can do that in four lines of Perl
* Object oriented software development is all about localizing change.
* [The QuotesPage|http://www.westegg.com/morgan/quotes.html] of [Steven Morgan Friedman] : "These quotes sum up my views on things"
* [Words of Hope|http://www.cancer.med.umich.edu/share/shahop.htm]
Ten Commandments of Egoless Programming
[Articles] > Ten Commandments of Egoless Programming
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.
Navaratri
Navaratri is a festival that lasts nine days and nine nights. The word Navaratri actually means nine (Nava) nights (ratri). This is celebrated in different styles throughout India. Navaratri occurs during the first 9 days of the bright half of the month of Aashwayuja in the Indian calendar. The most significant part of Navaratri is the setting up an odd number of steps (usually 7, 9, or 11), and the placement of different idols of Gods on them. This setup is called a Golu. Generally, when people come to a person's house to see their Golu, they are given prasad (the offering given to God that day), kumkum (red powder), and a small bag of gifts usually containing a mirror, a comb, a small box of kumkum, and fruits. These are only given to girls and married women. This is chiefly a woman's festival.
Navaratri is the worship of the three divine goddesses, Saraswati (Goddess of learning and speech), Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth and prosperity), and Durga (Goddess of strength and courage). It is also said to be the battle that occurred between Goddess Chaamundeshwari and the asura (demon), Mahishaasura. The battle lasted 9 days and 9 nights. Finally, on the tenth day, Goddess Chaamundeshwari killed Mahishaasura. This day is known as Vijayadasami. Vijayadasami means the 10th day of victory.
Today, Vijayadasami is supposed to be one of the most auspicious days in the Hindu year. Some schools in India start on this day. Children first starting their education are taught some of the basics by a priest on this day.
Navaratri and Vijayadasami are celebrated with sweets and snack items; one of each are made on each of the ten days. One snack food, chundal, is made on all of the ten days
Above: This setup is called a Golu.. Idols of different gods or goddesses are placed here for all of the nine nights. There are usually an odd number of steps.
SALUTATIONS to the Divine Mother, Durga, who exists in all beings in the form of intelligence, mercy, beauty, who is the consort of Lord Shiva, who creates, sustains and destroys the universe.
This festival is observed twice a year, once in the month of Chaitra and then in Aswayuja. It lasts for nine days in honour of the nine manifestations of Durga. During Navaratri (the word literally means "nine nights") devotees of Durga observe a fast. Brahmins are fed and prayers are offered for the protection of health and property.
The beginning of summer and the beginning of winter are two very important junctions of climatic and solar influence. These two periods are taken as sacred opportunities for the worship of the Divine Mother.
The Durga Puja is celebrated in various parts of India in different styles. But the one basic aim of this celebration is to propitiate Shakti, the Goddess in Her aspect as Power, to bestow upon man all wealth, auspiciousness, prosperity, knowledge (both sacred and secular), and all other potent powers.
Durga Puja or Navaratri commences on the first and ends on the tenth day of the bright half of Aswayuja (September-October). It is held in commemoration of the victory of Durga over Mahishasura, the buffalo-headed demon. In Bengal Her image is worshipped for nine days and then cast into water. The tenth day is called Vijaya Dasami or Dussera (the "tenth day"). Processions with Her image are taken out along the streets of villages and cities.
The mother of Durga (that is, the wife of the King of the Himalayas) longed to see her daughter. Durga was permitted by Lord Shiva to visit her beloved mother only for nine days in the year. The festival of Durga Puja marks this brief visit and ends with the Vijaya Dasami day, when Goddess Durga leaves for Her return to Mount Kailas. This is the view of some devotees.
In Bengal, Durga Puja is a great festival. All who live away from home return during the Puja days. Mothers reunite with their sons and daughters, and wives with their husbands.The woman of Bengal welcomes the Goddess with a mother's love and sends away the image on the last day, with every ceremony associated with a daughter's departure to her husband's home and with motherly tears in her eyes. This signifies the parting of Durga from Her beloved mother.
Devi fought with Bhandasura and his forces for nine days and nine nights. This Bhandasura had a wonderful birth and life. When Lord Shiva burnt Cupid with the fire of His "third eye", Sri Ganesha playfully moulded a figure out of the ashes, and the Lord breathed life into it! This was the terrible demon Bhandasura. He engaged himself in great penance and on account of it obtained a boon from Lord Shiva. With the help of that boon, he began harassing the worlds. The Divine Mother fought with him for nine nights (the demons have extraordinary strength during the night), and killed him on the evening of the tenth day, known as the Vijaya Dasami. The learning of any science is begun on this highly auspicious day. It was on this day that Arjuna worshipped Devi, before starting the battle against the Kauravas on the field of Kurukshetra.
Azim Premji's Success Recipe
take care of yourself,
Wipro chairman Azim H Premji, one of India's most successful entrepreneurs, on Friday prescribed a 10-point recipe for success, based on the very lessons he had learnt during his last 35 years in the organisation.
"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.
Following is the entire text of the convocation address made by Premji:
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.
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.
But remember that values are meaningful only if you practice them. People may listen to what you say but they will believe what you do. Values are a matter of trust. They must be reflected in each one of your actions. Trust takes a long time to build but can be lost quickly by just one inconsistent act.
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.
By the 1970s, the world's knowledge base doubled every seven years. Information researchers predict that by the year 2010, the world's codified knowledge will double every 11 hours.
Remaining on top of what you need to know will become one of the greatest challenges for you.
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.
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.
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.
* Lesson # 7 Take care of yourself
The stress that a young person faces today while beginning his or her career is the same as the last generation faced at the time of retirement.
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.
Unless you take care of yourself there is no way you can take care of others.
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.
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."
"I beg your pardon?" said the pharmacist.
"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?"
"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.
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.
Through the Azim Premji Foundation, we have targeted over the next 12 months to enrol over a million children, who are out of school due to economic or social reasons.
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.
The moment we allow success to build a feeling or arrogance, we become vulnerable to making bad judgements.
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 secretary ignored them for hours hoping they will go away. But they did not. Finally, the secretary decided to disturb the president, hoping they will go way quickly once they meet him.
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 president was not touched. He was shocked. "Madam, we cannot put up a statue for every student of ours who died. This place would look like a cemetery."
"Oh, no," the lady explained quickly, "we don't want to erect a statue. We thought we would give a building to you."
"A building?" exclaimed the president, looking at their worn out clothes. "Do you have any idea how much a building costs? Our buildings cost close to ten million dollars!"
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.
What is the meaning of Life?
[Karmasaya] > [Articles] > What is the meaning of Life?
[What is the true meaning of life?]
([source|http://www.barnett.sk/software/osho/askosh53.htm])
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.
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:
"Here's to the happiest moment of my life,
Spent in the arms of another man's wife -- my mother."
"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:
"Here's to the happiest moment of my life,
Spent in the arms of another man's wife..."
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."
"By Jove," the speaker blurted out, "you will have to excuse me. I forgot the name of the "blooming" woman."
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.
Osho, The Perfect Master, Volume 2, Chapter 4
Who am i?
The Teachings of Bhagavan Sri [Ramana Maharshi]
from the original Tamil
PRESIDENT, BOARD OF TRUSTEES
"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
Om Namo Bhagavathe Sri Ramanaya
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.
2. If I am none of these, then who am I?
After negating all of the above-mentioned as 'not this', 'not this', that Awareness which alone remains - that I am.
3. What is the nature of Awareness?
The nature of Awareness is existence-consciousness-bliss
4. When will the realization of the Self be gained?
When the world which is what-is-seen has been removed, there will be realization of the Self which is the seer.
5. Will there not be realization of the Self even while the world is there (taken as real)?
There will not be.
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.
7. When will the world which is the object seen be removed?
When the mind, which is the cause of all cognition's and of all actions, becomes quiescent, the world will disappear.
8. What is the nature of the mind?
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.
10. How will the mind become quiescent?
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.
11. What is the means for constantly holding on to the thought 'Who am I?'
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).
12. Are there no other means for making the mind quiescent?
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.
13. The residual impressions (thoughts) of objects appear wending like the waves of an ocean. When will all of them get destroyed?
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.
16. What is the nature of the Self?
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.
17. Is not everything the work of God?
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.
18. Of the devotees, who is the greatest?
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.
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?
Desirelessness is wisdom. The two are not different; they are the same. Desirelessness is refraining from turning the mind towards any object. Wisdom means the appearance of no object. In other words, not seeking what is other than the Self is detachment or desirelessness; not leaving the Self is 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.
Weblog2001December
[Albert Einstein] : There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
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.
* [Joel Spolsky] : [Painless Software Management|http://www.joelonsoftware.com]
Hello [Microsoft]!, please check [Wingdings Om]. Thanks!
[Manish Vaidya] : [Layoff] Lessons
[Larry Page] and [Sergey Brin] are co-founders of [Google]
Inspiration for everyone from [Google] : [Never settle for the best]
[The three most difficult things for a human being]
[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. :-)
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
For eg., I would not rate this movie more than [Blast from the past] overall !
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 !
[Jason Levine] [:|http://q.queso.com/2001/12/21] ...I have to say that there's a lot more hype than there is movie....
The song [Christmas Time] is on the radio often...
[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."
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...
[Babylog|http://babyblog.org/] [:|http://babyblog.org/archive/archive.php?12/10/2001_7807035] [W. Bruce Cameron] : [The 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenaged Daughter]
[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.
The mission of the [North Carolina Christmas Tree Association|http://www.ncchristmastrees.com/] (NCCTA) is to promote "real" Christmas Trees through marketing and education.
(image source : [Why they make Scents|http://www.ncchristmastrees.com/sents.htm]]
[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.
[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 !
[Cameron Barrett] [:|http://www.camworld.com/journal/2001/12/#17] [The Dave Winer Big Ego Awards|http://www.camworld.com/journal/rants/2001/12/17.html]
[Socrates] : The unexamined life is not worth living
[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.
[Jack Welch]'s Vintage : [Straight from the Gut]
I requested [Brent Simmons] to list all the [Mac OS X applications] used by him. [The answer|http://inessential.com/osxapps.html]. Thanks, Brent.
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...
[Google] [unveils huge archive of USENET back to 1981|http://www.google.com/googlegroups/archive_announce_20.html]
[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]
[The Song of the Bird]
[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
[Jean-Paul Sartre] : The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.
[Siva Vaidhyanathan] : [Software Is Free Speech|http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/09/magazine/09SOFTWARE.html] vs [Software] Is [Free Speech]
[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.
I am also tweaking the [Image Capture] in [AppleScript]
[Albert Einstein] : If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.
[William James] : As the brain changes are continuous, so do all these consciousnesses melt into each other like dissolving views. Properly they are but one protracted consciousness, one unbroken stream.
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...
Can you put [the fragrance of the rose] into words ?
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
Probably [Christian Kwyas] has accumulated lots of [good karma] like [Mark Pilgrim] :-)
Coming from India, I am thinking of tasty [Korma] and Lord Vishnu's [Kurma] Avatar
The [Euro]
[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
[Ken Roberts] maintains the [Great Books Index]
[Benjamin Kuipers] has [a possible solution|http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/200112/msg00061.html] to the Arab-Israeli Conflict
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 ?
I am in [The Search for Beauty] in [An English Country Garden|http://www.alfresco.demon.co.uk/]
"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."
[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...
I bought [National Geographic]'s [100 best pictures|http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/100best/]
Skandha Sashti
PROSTRATIONS and humble salutations to Lord Subramanya, the Supreme Being, who is the ruler of this universe, who is the indweller of our hearts, who is the second son of Lord Siva, who is the beloved of Valli and Deivayanai, who bestows boons easily on His devotees, who is the embodiment of power, wisdom, love and bliss.
The mighty demon, Tarakasura, had been oppressing the celestials very much. He drove them out from heaven. All the gods then went to Brahma to appeal for help.
Brahma said to the gods, “O Devas, I cannot destroy Taraka, as he has obtained My Grace through severe penance. But let Me give you a suggestion. Get the help of Cupid, the God of Love. Induce him to tempt Lord Siva, who remains absorbed in His Yoga Samadhi. Let Lord Siva unite with Parvati. A powerful son, Lord Subramanya, will be born to them. This son will destroy the demon that harasses you.”
Indra, the chief of the gods, thereupon requested Cupid to go with his wife, Rati, and his companion Vasanta (the season of spring), to Mount Kailas, the abode of Siva. Cupid carried out the instruction at once, for it was already springtime. Standing behind a tree, Cupid shot his arrow of passion towards Siva, whilst Parvati was placing some flowers in His hands. The moment their hands met, Siva experienced a distracting feeling. He wondered what it was that disturbed His Yoga. He looked around and saw Cupid crouching behind the tree.
The Lord opened His “third eye”, the inner eye of intuition, and Cupid was burnt to ashes by the fire that emanated from it. That is why the God of Love is also called Ananga, which means “bodiless”.
After burning Cupid, the Lord ascertained by His Yogic vision that the birth of Lord Subramanya was absolutely necessary to destroy the powerful Taraka. Siva’s seed was thrown into the fire which, unable to retain it, threw it into the Ganges, which in turn threw it into a reed forest. This is where Lord Subramanya was born; hence, He is called Saravanabhava—“born in a reed-forest”. He became the leader of the celestial hosts and the destroyer of Taraka as Brahma had ordained.
Lord Subramanya is an incarnation of Lord Siva. All incarnations are manifestations of the one Supreme Lord. Lord Subramanya and Lord Krishna are one.
Lord Krishna says in the Gita: “....of army generals, I am Skanda”.
The Lord manifests Himself from time to time in various names and forms, for the sake of establishing righteousness and subduing the wicked.
Lord Subramanya is a ray born of the Consciousness of Lord Siva. Valli and Deivayanai are His two wives. They represent the power of action and the power of knowledge respectively. He is the easily accessible Godhead in this dark age of ignorance and godlessness. In this He is no different from Hanuman. He gives material and spiritual prosperity and success in every undertaking of His devotees, even if they show a little devotion to Him. He is worshipped with great devotion in South India. Lord Subramanya’s other names are Guha, Muruga, Kumaresa, Kartikeya, Shanmukha, and Velayudhan.
In His picture, Lord Subramanya holds a spear in His hand, just as Lord Shiva holds the trident. This is an emblem of power. It indicates that He is the Ruler of the universe. His vehicle is the peacock. He rides on it. This signifies that He has conquered pride, egoism and vanity. There is a cobra under His feet, which indicates that He is absolutely fearless, immortal and wise. Valli is on His one side, Deivayanai on the other. Sometimes He stands alone with His spear. In this pose He is known as Velayudhan; this is His Nirguna aspect, which is free from the illusory power of Nature.
The six heads represent the six rays or attributes, namely, wisdom, dispassion, strength, fame, wealth and divine powers. They indicate that He is the source of the four Vedas, the Vedangas and the six schools of philosophy. They also indicate His control over the five organs of knowledge as well as the mind. They denote that He is the Supreme Being with thousands of heads and hands. That His head in turned in all directions signifies He is all-pervading. They indicate that He can multiply and assume forms at His will.
There are big temples of Lord Subramanya at Tiruchendur, in Udipi, Palani Hills, in Ceylon and Tiruparankundrum. The Lord spent His childhood days in Tiruchendur and took Mahasamadhi at Kathirgamam. If anyone goes to Kathirgamam with faith, devotion and piety, and stay in the temple there for two or three days, the Lord Himself grants His vision to the devotee. The devotee is filled with rich spiritual experiences. A big festival is held in the temple every year on Skanda Sashti. Thousands of people visit the place. “Mountains” of camphor are burnt on this occasion.
Skanda Sashti falls in November. It is the day on which Lord Subramanya defeated the demon Taraka. Great festivals are held on this day with great pomp and grandeur. Devotees also do Bhajan and Kirtan on a grand scale. Thousands are fed sumptuously. Many incurable diseases are cured if one visits Palani and worships the Lord there. In South India, the Lord Subramanya’s Lilas are dramatized on the stage.
In addition to the Skanda Sashti, devotees of Lord Subramanya observe weekly and monthly days in His honour. Every Friday, or the Kartigai Nakshatram day every month, or the sixth day of the bright fortnight,—all these are sacred days for His devotees. The sixth day of the month of Tulam (October-November) is the most auspicious of them all. This is the Skanda Sashti day.
In many places the festival commences six days prior to the Sashti itself and concludes on the day of the Sashti. During these days, devotees recite various inspiring hymns and read stories connected with Lord Subramanya. They worship the Lord and take Kavadi (see below). They go on pilgrimage to the various Subramanya shrines.
The famous Nakkerar has composed the Tirumurukatrupadai in His praise. He who studies this famous work daily with devotion and faith, gets certain success in life as well as peace and prosperity. The Tiruppugal is another well-known book in Tamil, which contains the inspiring devotional songs of Arunagirinathar in praise of Lord Subramanya. The Kavadichindu songs are also in praise of the Lord. The Skanda Sashti Kavacham is another famous hymn in praise of Lord Subramanya and is sung particularly on festive occasions.
Pongal
The Sanskrit term "Shankramana" means "to begin to move". The day on which the sun begins to move northwards is called Makara Shankranti. It usually falls in the middle of January.
Among the Tamilians in South India this festival is called the Pongal.
To many people, especially the 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. Servants, farmers and the poor are fed and clothed and given presents of money. On the next day, the cow, which is regarded as the symbol of the Holy Mother, is worshipped. Then there is the feeding of birds and animals.
SALUTATIONS and adorations to the Supreme Lord, the primordial power that divided the year into the four seasons. Salutations to Surya, the Sun-God, who on this great day embarks on his northward journey.
The Sanskrit term "Shankramana" means "to begin to move". The day on which the sun begins to move northwards is called Makara Shankranti. It usually falls in the middle of January.
Among the Tamilians in South India this festival is called the Pongal.
To many people, especially the 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. Servants, farmers and the poor are fed and clothed and given presents of money. On the next day, the cow, which is regarded as the symbol of the Holy Mother, is worshipped. Then there is the feeding of birds and animals.
In this manner the devotee’s heart expands slowly during the course of the celebrations, first embracing with its long arms of love the entire household and neighbours, then the servants and the poor, then the cow, and then all other living creatures. Without even being aware of it, one develops the heart and expands it to such proportions that the whole universe finds a place in it.
As Shankranti is also the beginning of the month, Brahmins offer oblations to departed ancestors. Thus, all the great sacrifices enjoined upon man find their due place in this grand celebration. The worship of the Cosmic Form of the Lord is so well introduced into this, that every man and woman in India is delightfully led to partake of it without even being aware of it.
To the spiritual aspirants this day has a special significance. The six-month period during which the sun travels northwards is highly favourable to them in their march towards the goal of life. It is as though they are flowing easily with the current towards the Lord. Paramahamsa Sannyasins roam about freely during this period, dispelling gloom from the hearts of all. The Devas and Rishis rejoice at the advent of the new season, and readily come to the aid of the aspirant.
The great Bhishma, the grandfather of the Pandavas, was fatally wounded during the war of the Mahabharata, waited on his deathbed of nails for the onset of this season before finally departing from the earth-plane. Let us on this great day pay our homage to him and strive to become men of firm resolve ourselves!
As already mentioned, this is the Pongal festival in South India. It is closely connected with agriculture. To the agriculturalist, it is a day of triumph. He would have by then brought home the fruits of his patient toil. Symbolically, the first harvest is offered to the Almighty—and that is Pongal. To toil was his task, his duty, but the fruit is now offered to Him—that is the spirit of Karma Yoga.
The master is not allowed to grab all the harvest for himself either. Pongal is the festival during which the landlord distributes food, clothes and money among the labourers who work for him. What a noble act!—It is an ideal you should constantly keep before you, not only ceremoniously on the Pongal day, but at all times.
Be charitable. Be generous. Treat your servants as your bosom-friends and brother workers. This is the keynote of the Pongal festival. You will then earn their loyalty and enduring love.
The day prior to the Makara Shankranti is called the Bhogi festival. On this day, old, worn-out and dirty things are discarded and burnt. Homes are cleaned and white-washed. Even the roads are swept clean and lovely designs are drawn with rice-flour. These practices have their own significance from the point of view of health. But, here I remind you that it will not do to attend to these external things alone. Cleaning the mind of its old dirty habits of thought and feeling is more urgently needed. Burn them up, with a wise and firm resolve to tread the path of truth, love and purity from this holy day onwards. This is the significance of Pongal in the life of the spiritual aspirant.
If you do this, then the Makara Shankranti has a special significance for you. The sun, symbolising wisdom, divine knowledge and spiritual light, which receded from you when you revelled in the darkness of ignorance, delusion and sensuality, now joyously turns on its northward course and moves towards you to shed its light and warmth in greater abundance, and to infuse into you more life and energy.
In fact, the sun itself symbolises all that the Pongal festival stands for. The message of the sun is the message of light, the message of unity, of impartiality, of true selflessness, of the perfection of the elements of Karma Yoga. The sun shines on all equally. It is the true benefactor of all beings. Without the sun, life would perish on earth. It is extremely regular and punctual in its duties, and never claims a reward or craves for recognition. If you imbibe these virtues of the sun, what doubt is there that you will shine with equal divine lustre!
He who dwells in the sun, whom the sun does not know, whose body the sun is, and by whose power the sun shines—He is the Supreme Self, the Indweller, the immortal Essence. Tat Twam Asi—“That thou art”. Realise this and be free here and now on this holy Pongal or Makara Shankranti day. This is my humble Pongal prayer to you all.
On the Shankranti day, sweets, puddings and sweet rice are prepared in every home, especially in South India. The pot in which the rice is cooked is beautifully adorned with tumeric leaves and roots, the symbols of auspiciousness. The cooking is done by the women of the household with great faith and devotion, feeling from the bottom of their hearts that it is an offering unto the Lord. When the milk in which the rice is being cooked boils over, the ladies and the children assemble round the pot and shout “Pongalo Pongal!” with great joy and devotion. Special prayers are offered in temples and houses. Then the people of the household gather together and partake of the offerings in an atmosphere of love and festivity.
There is family re-union in all homes. Brothers renew their contacts with their married sisters by giving them presents.
The farmer is lovingly greeted by the landlord and is given presents of grain, clothes and money.
On the next day, the herds of cows are adorned beautifully, fed and worshipped. In some villages the youth demonstrate their valour by taking “the bull by the horn” (and often win their brides thereby!). It is a great day for the cattle.
On the same day, young girls prepare various special dishes—sweet rice, sour rice, rice with coconut—and take them to the bank of a river or tank. They lay some leaves on the ground and place on them balls of the various preparations for the fish, birds, and other creatures. It is an extremely colourful ceremony. The crows come down in large numbers and partake of the food. All the time a valuable lesson is driven into our minds—“Share what you have with all”. The crow will call others before beginning to eat.
Both these days, which are family re-union days, are regarded as being inauspicious for travel. This is to prevent us from going away from home on those days.
When you celebrate the Shankranti or Pongal in this manner, your sense of value changes. You begin to understand that your real wealth is the goodwill and friendship of your relatives, friends, neighbours and servants; that your wealth is the land on which your food grows, the cattle which help you in agriculture, and the cow which gives you milk. You begin to have greater love and respect for them and for all living beings—the crows, the fish and all other creatures.
In Maharashtra and in North India, spiritual aspirants attach much importance to Makara Shankranti. It is the season chosen by the Guru for bestowing his Grace on the disciple. In the South, too, it should be noted that it was about this time that Mahadeva favoured several of the Rishis by blessing them with His beatific vision.
Knowledge
Knowledge
[Osho] : .....Knowledge has its uses, it is not absolutely useless. But if you are going inwards it becomes more and more useless, and the deeper you go, the more useless it is. If you are going outwards, the farther you go out into the world, the more useful it becomes. The world respects the knowledgeable person.....
[The laughing Buddha]
[The Best Part of Knowledge]
[Sébastien Paquet] : [Personal knowledge publishing and its uses in research|http://radio.weblogs.com/0110772/stories/2002/10/03/personalKnowledgePublishingAndItsUsesInResearch.html]
[The Search for Happiness|http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/messages/searchappy.htm]
: In philosophical circles, questions were raised: How does knowledge arise in the individual? Who manufactures knowledge? You cannot say that you have created your knowledge, because in order to create knowledge within yourself, you must be already possessing that knowledge. An ignorant person cannot have the seed of this knowledge. If you are not the source of the knowledge, who created this knowledge? Has it come from outside? It does not appear that it has come from you, because to manifest knowledge from your own self, you must have already, within yourself, the potential of that knowledge. If that is already there, then you need not seek knowledge at all.
The great Dattatreya Maharshi says in the very first verse of the Avadhuta Gita: isvaranugrahad-eva pumsam advaita-vasana; mahadbhaya-paritranat vipranam upajayate: The knowledge that frees you from the fear of life, the threat of death, does not arise by a slipshod effort on the part of any person. A miraculous occurrence in the very operation of the cosmos takes place, the pros and cons of which process we cannot know,-just as we cannot know how we are born into this world.
Hypertext
source [The Joy of sales resistance]
P.S. Last summer, for example, I read a newspaper article announcing, in the awestricken voice of the science journalist, "a new generation of technological inventions—most of them involving some variation on the home computer." The two inventions specifically described in the article were electronic newspapers and something called "hypertext."
The benefits of the electronic newspaper apparently all have to do with convenience: "These screens will display a front page with an index. The user can tap a pen to the screen to call up a story, flip a page, turn a still photograph into a TV news scene, or even make a dinner or theatre reservation from an ad."
Hypertext "makes it possible to create all sorts of linkages and short circuits within a text." And this "is extremely useful in organizing technical material so that the reader can efficiently select which parts of a text to read." The reason for this, according to a "consultant," is that "usually you don't want to read everything— you only want to read what you don't know . " Hypertext "is reader-friendly and makes it easy to chart a path to the desired parts." Thanks also to this invention, "creative writing professors are teaching courses about how to write hypertext novels that literally go in all directions." These novels are "interactive":
In reading a hypertext novel You may follow the point of view of a chosen character, or you may chose the outcome you like best, or you may wander off into subtleties beyond anything [James Joyce] could have imagined. The possibilities —and the stories—may be endless.
This opens up new realms of choice and creativity. In some ways it frees the reader from being merely a passive receptacle of the " author's genius (or lack of same)
Dear reader, I hope you will understand at least somewhat the disgust, the contempt, and the joy with which I have received this news.
It disgusts me because I know there is no need for such products, which will put a lot of money into the pockets of people who don't care how they earn it and will bring another downward turn in the effort of gullible people to become better and smarter by way of machinery. This is a perfect example of modern salesmanship and modern technology—yet another way to make people pay dearly for what they already have (the ability to turn the pages of a newspaper or respond to an ad; the ability to read and write, to choose what to read, and to read "actively").
I read about these things with contempt because of the nonsense and the falsehood involved. For example, no real comparison is made in this article between paper newspapers and electronic ones. The stated difference is simply that one is newer and somehow easier than the other. And what exactly is implied by the use of a machine that makes it possible to read only "what you don't know"? is this perhaps what we call "skimming"? But how do you know, without reading or at least skimming, whether you know or do not know what is in a text? And what of the pleasure of reading again what you already know? The assumption here is that reading is an ordeal, of which the less said the better. And don't we remember that television was once expected to produce a new era of general enlightenment? And now will we believe that the electronically stupefied will turn from their soap operas to "hypertext" and indulge themselves in "subtleties and complexities" beyond the powers of James Joyce? And are we to suppose that readers of, say, James Joyce have hitherto been mere passive receptacles of his genius? And haven't we known all along that the stories are endless?
My joy comes from my instantaneous knowledge that I am not going to buy either piece of equipment. When the inevitable saleswoman comes to tell me that I cannot be up-to-date, or intelligent, or creative, or handsome, or young, or eligible for the sexual favors of so fair a creature as herself unless I buy these products, dear reader, I am not going to do it. It >>> [Why I am not going to buy a computer]
Three visions for India
"I have three visions for India. In 3000 years of our history people
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
to any other nation.
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.
Why? Because we respect the freedom of others. That is why my first
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
nation. We are among top 5 nations of the world in terms of GDP. We
lack the self-confidence to see ourselves as a Developed nation, self-
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
Sarabhai of the Dept. of space, Professor Satish Dhawan, who succeeded
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.
The one that launched Rohini. These years played a very important role
in my life of Scientist.
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
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
as an Indian. The fact that we have now developed for Agni a re-entry
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
over three Kg. each, dragging their feet around. He said to me: "Please
remove the pain of my patients."
and took them to the orthopaedic centre. The children didn't believe
their eyes. From dragging around a three kg. load on their legs, they
could now move around! Their parents had tears in their eyes. That was
Why is the media here so negative? Why are we in India so embarrassed
acknowledge them. Why?
We are the first in milk production. We are number one in Remote
sensing satellites. We are the second largest producers of wheat. We are
the second largest producers of rice.
Look at Dr. Sudarshan, he has transferred the tribal village into a
self-sustaining, self-driving unit. There are millions of such
achievements but our media is only obsessed in the bad news and failures
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
place. The Hamas had struck. But the front page of the newspaper had the
picture of a Jewish gentleman who in five years had transformed his
that everyone woke up to. The gory details of killings, bombardments,
deaths, were inside in he newspaper, buried among other news. In India
Why are we so NEGATIVE? Another question: Why are we, as a nation so
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
garbage. YOU say that the phones don't work, the railways are a joke,
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
International best. In singapore you don't throw cigarette butts on the
roads or eat in the stores. YOU are as proud of their Underground Links
as they are. You pay $5 (approx. Rs. 60) to drive through Orchard Road
(equivalent of Mahim Causeway or Pedder Road) between 5 PM and 8 PM. YOU
comeback to the parking lot to punch your parking ticket if you have
over stayed in a restaurant or a shopping mall irrespective of your
to buy an employee of the telephone exchange in London at 10 pounds (Rs.
Washington and then tell the traffic cop, "Jaanta hai sala main kaun
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
system in other countries but cannot in your own. You who will throw
papers and cigarettes on the road the moment you touch Indian ground. If
cannot you be the same here in India. Once in an interview, the famous
Ex-municipal commissioner of Bombay Mr. Tinaikar had a point to make.
"Rich people's dogs are walked on the streets to leave their affluent
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
every time their dog feels the pressure in his bowels? In America every
dog owner has to clean up after his pet has done the job. Same in Japan.
Will the Indian citizen do that here?" He's right. We go to the polls to
back wanting to be pampered and expect the government to do everything
for us whilst our contribution is totally negative. We expect the
over the place nor are we going to stop to pick an up a stray piece of
paper and throw it in the bin. We expect the railways to provide clean
bathrooms but we are not going to learn the proper use of bathrooms. We
want Indian Airlines and Air India to provide the best of food and
toiletries but we are not going to stop pilfering at the least
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.
experiences unemployment, we take the next light out to the Gulf. When
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
money. Dear Indians, The article is highly thought inductive, calls for
a great deal of introspection and pricks one's conscience too....I am
TO MAKE INDIA WHAT AMERICA AND OTHER WESTERN COUNTRIES ARE TODAY" Let's
change instead of sending Jokes or junk mails.
Vision Creates Great Leaders
Professor, Technology & Societal Transformation, Anna University, Chennai
I am indeed delighted to participate in the 46th annual convocation of
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
important occasion when you will be entering into professional
phase of life. I would like to tell the young, "low aim is the
crime". In the knowledge era, successful people will always
take untravelled roads rather than beaten path. This needs
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
In 1947, at the dawn of freedom, we had the best of leaders in
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
achieved. On the next day, that is on 16th August 1947, I had
a great experience. An experience of best of education I can
think of. In the Tamil newspaper, on the front page, two news
Panditji’s speech. The other news item and the most important
Mahatma Gandhiji walking barefoot in Naokali, removing the
pain of riot-affected families. Normally as Father of the Nation
Mahatma Gandhi has to be the first to unfurl the national flag
on August 15, 1947 in Red Fort. But he was not there at the
embodiment of nobility, elevated thinking and concern for
human beings. What an everlasting positive impact in the mind
of a schoolboy?
In this environment, I would like to quote Sir CV Raman, at the
age of 82, while addressing young graduates. The message is
still reverberating in my mind: "I would like to tell the young
Success can only come to you by courageous devotion to the
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
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
That was a great saying to the young. You would see the
bridge of science and society. Friends, I request all who are
responsible for the young, all who are creators of the young,
for their children's’ growth, allow them to dream. Dream
Universal Mind birth of space science and technology in a
ago. As you all know, Prof Vikram Sarabhai is the visionary of
space programme in the country. He is well known for his
cosmic ray research area that led to evolving the space
research programme for the nation. Both Dr Homi Bhabha and
Prof Vikram Sarabhai were looking for a site to establish
space research station in the equatorial region. These two
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
ionospheric research in upper atmosphere apart from study of
atmospheric structure. When Prof Vikram Sarabhai visited
Thumba, the locality had series of villages and thousands of
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
next day, i.e. Sunday. In the morning Service, the Bishop told
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
same divine blessings for doing good for the people. My
children, can we give the God’s abode for a scientific mission?
"There was a chorus of ‘Amen’ from the congregation and the
whole church reverberated. Subsequently, the big event took
Pereira, the Bishop of Trivandrum, took the noble decision to
dedicate the church in recognition of the national goal for the
establishment of the Indian Space Research Organization at
Pallithura, Thumba. That was the church where we had our
design centre, started rocket assembly, design of filament
winding machine for FRP product and the Bishop’s house was
our scientists’ place. Later, the Thumba Equatorial Rocket
Launching Station (TERLS) led to the establishment of Vikram
throughout the country.
When I think of this event, I can see how enlightened spiritual
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
India has the capability of launching geo-synchronous,
satellite, remote sensing satellite thereby provided fast
communication, weather forecasting and also locate water
resources for the country. Today, among us, Prof Vikram
Sarabhai is not there, Rev Dr Peter Bernard Pereira is not
there, but those who are responsible for creation and make the
flower and blossom will themselves be different and set unique
path for the nation. What a beautiful message for all generation
of this nation, on integration of minds and universal sense.
With the tradition of this experience of noble leadership,
armed with challenges of national development.
First Vision for the Nation, Created the Leaders
The seeding for the national independence took place around
1857 or even before. I see the relationship between the urge for
independence and the emergence of great minds. As the
independence movement grew, it brought out the best of
Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Veer Savarkar. The list, if we take
it from each part of the country, will be very big. This National
movement had also brought simultaneously best of scientists
and technologists. Though there was no full-fledged effort at
the British ruled governmental level to bring up Indian science,
industrial and educational leaders generated during the
Prof S. Chandrasekhar, the famous Astronomy scientist, in his
is a remarkable thing that in the modern era before 1910, there
were no (Indian) scientists of international reputation or
Raman, Meghanath Saha, Srinivasan Ramanujam and Prof
remarkable phenomenon with the need for self-expression,
which became a dominant motive among the young during the
national movement. It was a part of the national movement to
assert oneself. India was a subject country, but in the
sciences, in the arts, particularly in science, we could show
the West in their own realm that we were equal to them. "
Coming now to the industrial field, Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata
brought the steel industry in India even though the British
rulers were not favorably disposed to the idea. Acharya PC
Likewise, in the pre-independent period we see the birth of
many great institutions like Indian Institute of Science,
by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. There were also some Indian
Maharajas who started and nurtured universities like the one in
Baroda. There are many examples in both industrial and
educational fields. In all these cases the basic motivations
have been to show the urge to build the Nation and
demonstrate to the world that "India can do it".
Second vision for the nation
After 50 years of progress, the aspirations are mounting that
India should become a developed country. This is the second
vision for the nation. How we can prepare ourselves to this
challenge? To become a developed India, the essential needs
powerful, at least to be one of the six top nations in
terms of size of the economy. Our target should be a
GDP growth of 9-11% annually and that the people
near self-reliance in defence needs of weapon,
mission. The Technology Vision 2020 consisted of 17
technology packages in the core sectors such as agriculture
The Task Teams formed by TIFAC with nearly 500 experts of
our country worked for two years, deliberated national status of
various branches of national development and generated 35
documents detailing the steps to be taken for creating wealth
for the nation and the well being of our people. "Technology" is
the most vital key for achieving the goals. The vision deals with
materials and processing. There is a tremendous link between
Five mega projects to transform the nation to a developed
processing – we have to put a target of 360 million tons of food
and agricultural production. Other areas of agriculture and agro
speed up the economic growth. (2) Reliable and quality
electric power for all parts of the country. (3) Education and
Healthcare – we have seen, based on the experience,
the population growth and provide improvements in quality of
life of the people. Similarly, in Tamil Nadu also we have seen
the downward growth of population resulting from a unique
system of "mid-day meal" coupled with education. Studies
about Andhra Pradesh also have different facets. These
like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Beginning of agricultural
prosperity through better yields in these States will help this
process. (4)Information Technology – This is one of our core
(5)Strategic sectors – This area, fortunately, witnessed the
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
the Government departments will be essential to accomplish
the vision.
Concluding Remarks : Inspiring the great mission
For building the developed India, what are needed? We have
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
knowledge society from now to twenty years. The leaders are
the creators of new organizations of excellence. Quality
leaders are like magnets who will attract the best of persons to
build the team for the organization and give the inspiring
leadership even during failures of individuals or organization as
they are not afraid of risks. I have seen and worked with
creators of vision and missions. The vision ignites particularly
the young mind.
Recently in multiple areas including industry. The vision
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
management were the driving forces. Also, one very important
component for success is that the organization creates
capable people because the mission triggers capability.
Developed India 2020, second movement, second vision for the
nation will definitely result, if our industry take the lead in multi
fields. I can see a virtual image of India, the children by 2020
will not see the high illiteracy, poverty and social
differentiation. They will see a new India. Our children will sing
the song of prosperous India if we sweat in this decade.
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
thereby the nation great.
The Best Part of Knowledge
[Articles] > The Best Part of Knowledge
[Knowledge]
Tantra
[Osho] in [The Books of Secrets] .....is method, technique...is not intellectual, not philosophical...It is not concerned with the "why" of things, it is concerned with "how"; not with what is truth, but how the truth can be attained.....
[The Magick Path of Tantra|http://www.shivashakti.com/magick.htm] : ...The spark of Tantra was ignited in India but was exported and burst into flame in other countries. Although Tantra had a firm spiritual basis, it was not so much a religion as a way of life.....Tantra lore maintains that only enlightenment, attained by meditation or breath control, culminating in Self Realisation could end rebirth and bring about reunion of the Spirit with the Supreme Spirit of the Cosmos -the Purusha (Cosmic Spirit).....The Tantrik Nath or Kaula way of life is based on the profound knowledge that men and women are not machines, animals or robots. They are not pawns in a cosmic game nor must they accept the face value of the cards dealt out by the "Dealer". For most, the general program of their lives is a routine they must accept and most of it is easily predictable. Too many people are resigned to this and when some event bursts in their face or shatters the roundabout routine, very few are prepared to manipulate the event or have the thinking ability to control it. As the routine, and life in general, becomes more complicated, the "Think Power" diminishes. They become, more and more, one of the crowd and willing to be carried on the wavecrests of convention and corruption. They become the people who vote in haste and repent at leisure. The future well being and welfare of human society is much in our own hands on both material and spiritual levels.....the Nath Tantriks value the development of the three super-psychic faculties of [insight], [intuition] and [imagination]...
[What is tantra?|http://www.geocities.com/open_tantra_group/what_is_tantra.htm] : ...Tantra is an ancient "life positive" esoteric path suited to the needs of genuine seekers after esoteric wisdom in the twenty-first century. Currently best known for its advocacy of sacred sexual practices, these are in fact only part of what Tantra is about...
Teachings of Yoga
[Books] > [Teachings of Yoga|http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/157062318X/carnaticcom] Edited By [Georg Feuerstein]
|<a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/157062318X/carnaticcom"><img src="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/157062318X.01.TZZZZZZZ.jpg" border="0" alt="Teachings of Yoga by Georg Feuerstein" hspace="3" vspace="3"/></a>
...Arjuna typifies the spiritual seeker who, until he has received illuminating instruction from a qualified teacher, walks through life in ignorance, causing himself and others much needless suffering...All of us have a Krishna and an Arjuna component in our nature. We are both Self (or Spirit) and self (or ego-bound personality)...The mind is the alchemical mercury that must be transmuted into pure gold. It is also the cauldron in which this process of transformation occurs...The quotations in this volume were chosen for their inspirational power...Listening(shravana) to the disclosures of sages and saints is one of the time-honored practices of seeks after the Truth. Any time we pay attention to anything, we participate in it on the subtle levels. Therefore it matters greatly where we place our attention. The sages long ago recommended that the next best thing to immersing oneself in the Truth directly through profound meditation and ecstasy is to hear it from the mouth of one who knows and then to ponder it with one's native reasoning ability...
* [The Mountain Path|http://www.ramana-maharshi.org/m_path/m_path.htm]
* Self-Knowledge
Power
http://www.pathsensitive.com/2015/08/sources-of-power.html
Sources of Power
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.
Discovering Sources of Power
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.
I often wonder how my life would have been different if I had instead discovered the USA Computing Olympiad.
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.”
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.
So, find your sources of power, but pass on the meta-skill of finding them. To get your children into college, help them find the new secrets.
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.
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.
Let us consider the way in which we spend our lives.
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;-
Calm is my dwelling in the clouds;
Pleasant are the great fields of my rest."
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.
THE END

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