Saturday, December 8, 2012

Which story do you prefer?

This very simple statement "Which story do you prefer?" has left a great impact in the movie "Life of Pi". Primarily because the statement is strong enough to make an adventurous movie a suspense one and more importantly, it makes us "think". Yes, in today's era of smartphones, computers and media, if something is there which we do very less, is thinking. This is because even our thoughts and perceptions are biased due to overdose of information lying anywhere and everywhere. Media such as TV, news, print media have always had an impact on the general public since ages. But, what has now changed is their "reach" to us due to the newly built ocean of information everywhere around us. This reminds me of one of the very well known poems "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The lines being . . .
"Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water,  everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink."

The current situation is no different, we have a huge ocean of information all around us and this can be attributed to the fast pace growth of technologies such as smartphones, internet etc. which have given all that was there in your PC and was there on TV, right into your hands. So, eventually the media and the people who can control the perceptions of the public have become even more strengthened.

Hence, the question "Which story do you prefer?" holds a great value because more than ever before this is the time when your perceptions and preferences need to be your own, you need to think and decide what your preferences are, to do that we really need to "think" and observe the happenings of our surroundings; otherwise as I said it is easy for "those" people to guide your thoughts, your ideas, your perceptions and your preferences as per "their" comfort.

So, the question prevails. . . .

"Which story do YOU prefer?"  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Altered States of Human Mind

Recently watched a really interesting episode of Strange Rituals on History Channel, about the Altered States of Human Mind. This episode was about the altered states that humans don’t really attain normally, and various cases demonstrating various different methods by which this has been achieved by a very few among mankind.
To begin with, this discussion has a lot of scientific research to back and hence it cannot just be related to spirituality and religious thoughts. I will also be giving the names of a few scientists who have worked on various aspects of research work regarding the altered states.

The history is full of instances that reveal the existence of an alternate world which is way beyond our understanding and since ages it has been believed there always has been a gateway of communication between our world and this alternate world. Previous civilizations have referred to it in various different ways but the one whose references have been found quite frequently has been the human mind. It is believed that human mind is indeed the gateway through which the communication is possible and the communication has taken place time and again, in the past. So, the only probable method to attain this is the discipline of mind. This is where meditation comes into the picture.

Meditation has been widely accepted by the people to attain a disciplined mind. In some of the tribes, it is believed that people used to have the ability of separating their soul from their body and their soul then could travel at a different place altogether. They could achieve this through a certain level of meditation. This also is been considered a method by which their soul actually used to enter that alternate world while their body used to be in deep state of meditation.

Another instance that justifies this is the superhuman abilities depicted by Wim Holf who can easily sustain in freezing cold temperatures in which a normal human being can never stay alive. He is a world record holder for this case and hence is known as “ice man”.

Obviously the scientists have been quite interested in finding the reason for the same and their study revealed that before undergoing any act of facing extreme cold Wim meditates for a while and then when he faces extreme cold, his body produces white blood cells immensely because of which his immune system rapidly increases and eventually his body temperature gradually increases, easily coping with the extreme cold.

Another phenomenon that aids the existence of altered states of human mind and the alternate world is the phenomenon of “Remote Viewing”. To state it in simple terms, remote viewing is ability to transcend space and time, to view persons, places or things remote in space-time using paranormal means, in particular “extra sensory perception”; to gather and report information on the same.
There have been claims that during the days of cold war among US and USSR, US defense used “remote viewing” via special spies to get armory and other information about the USSR, they also later on funded this research for a long period. You can find a lot of information about this here and here.

Scientists like Herbert Benson, Sigmund Freud, Joseph Rhine have researched a lot on these topics and hence IMO the existence of the alternate world and the concept of altered states of human mind indeed has a scientific backdrop.
In fact I think our scientific community is still too young and naïve to understand these supernatural and paranormal phenomena and it will still take huge amount of time and resources for science to understand these.

On the contrary, in the spiritual and religious community, the significance of intensive meditation and its effects have been recognized since a long time. They have believed the existence of an alternate world and the reference to this has been found in different religions in different scriptures (not going in detail) but have lacked in reasons and logic. If you follow science religiously, you need not believe this but at least it gives us an insight that such phenomena and incidents that science is not completely able to explain are at least acknowledged by the other community.
The discussion indeed has many perceptions. Anyways, to conclude I would say that in the current age we use a very small fraction of our brain hence, it may be true that these worlds are actually intensely integrated but attributing to our current brain usage, we just don’t have the intellect to understand this and as of now, neither does our science. After all, we are still too young in universe and have a lot to explore. ;)  

P.S: This is an interesting topic, I would like to know your take on this.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Quiet Place

We all are missing something which used to be quite frequent in olden days. We are missing the silence. We are missing a quiet place where you could brainstorm your ideas to get the best one out. You could utilize this quiet place to simply observe the nature and its marvels. Not only that, you could observe the most marvelous creation of the Almighty, you could observe yourself. At times, it's just vital to observe yourself, your thoughts and your aspirations. Knowingly or unknowingly you did tend to observe the fore said items. It used to lead to better understanding and better clarity. Self worth and self knowledge still are the greatest tools to achieve what you truly desire and a quiet place indeed triggers the environment required for such attainment.

Interestingly, we may be missing such silence, but we rarely recognize it, why so? Because the entities that have replaced them, in itself are lucrative enough to keep us engaged. They are called as notifications. We keep getting them, in terms of mails, or comments, or trailers, or promos (refer TV).

Think for a while and look around as an observer, only then you will realize that you really are missing them. Just a few minutes everyday at a fixed time, observe yourself. That is all it takes to fill this void.

Find here, A Quiet Place on Internet . Observe 21 Sep as the Quiet Day. Follow the campaign here. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"Post Traumatic Growth"

Recently while watching one of the TED-TALKS, I came across this word, “post-traumatic growth”.  This is a talk by Janie McGonigal about "Game that can give you 10 extra years of life". (You may see this video below.)

Well, my first reaction was that does something like this even exist?  Then after some initial looking up on the net I found out that it really does. Post traumatic growth in fact is a very inspiring and interesting concept. As the name suggests it says that any major roadblock in life, a major setback can actually be used as a springboard to unleash the best qualities and lead better lives. If a person has successfully overcome a traumatic event in life then he / she can see his / her life and its purpose in a better way and with more clarity, and may be that’s why this newly acquired knowledge brings them eternal peace and perfect clarity which we mostly miss.

This indeed is true, how many of us actually take a step back for a minute just to think where exactly we are headed to. Do we take some minutes off to plan the week? (Even I myself don’t do it, planning to try it after this post.) This habit not only helps us to keep a track on ourselves but also keeps our long term goal in check.
Anyways, umm.. returning back to the topic, well frankly speaking we all need the positive effects which post traumatic growth brings along but obviously none of us would be interested in the “trauma” coming along. Hence, the only solution to this is that we need to acquire these qualities which a person recovering from “trauma” possesses. We need to have more clarity towards life. This can come by 2-3 short habits such as planning our day, week etc., but more importantly we need have a goal, a destination where every step taken by us should subsequently take us.
So, let’s try and get better at our lives, without the real trauma coming along.. ;)

P.S.: Stay away and always ignore the evil twin of our friend, it’s known as “post-traumatic disorder”. I got the picture and this evil twin concept from this link.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Road To Change

As we move on with life, we tend to realise that every moment, every fraction of second it is changing it's course. The course of our lives is decided by numerous factors indeed, but I believe somewhere down the line we do play a major role in it's formation. The fact is that, at times we don't even realise that these changes are what later on go on to define what we are or what we become. 

Considering that, the phase of change ie the transition is never easy to handle. The reason being, that we get accustomed to what our traits are or what our situation is, and any change in that puts us out of our comfort zone and hence the transition is not easy. 

But, that being said, it is necessary for the caterpillar to bear with the difficulties of the transition to become a beautiful multi-colored butterfly and it is not it's destiny to stay a caterpillar forever. Also, it is vital to adapt ourselves according to the changing situations only then the transition can be complete and only then it's purpose can be accomplished.

So, it's time to welcome every small or big change in life..:)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Where are we heading ? Is it a dead end ?

The title may sound strange because it is quite intermingled with various domains.. Well, the world as we know it and the complete human civilization on a whole, is growing and advancing very fast.. No matter what field it may be, we really are making progress; may it be the medical field, the IT sector, the civil architecture or any other.. But, the prime question here is that are we really advancing ?? What I mean is that on what parameters do we judge that ?? 

It always has been a convention for us to judge anything, relative to something else. Forget about the leyman examples, even 'time' is something that we judge relatively.. So, with this frame of mind how do we judge the advancement of the human civilisation when we have to do it in the absolute way and NOT the relative way ??

We indeed are heading ahead in technology, medical etc. but are these the real parameters to judge the civilisation's growth ?? When we are analysing it at the level of "the bigger picture"; it's important to ponder upon at the average human being's level... The average human being of NOT some country but the average human being on this earth.. Does the medical growth improve the life expectancy of this person ?? We need to consider the economic status as well, is the treatment really within the reach ?? Does the latest technology invented in the automobile sector or the IT sector really make the life of this average person any better (don't read comfortable) ? 

It is sad that we really have forgotten the real parameters for judging the growth (or may be we never knew). Even I have no clue as to what they can be but they surely do not seem to be the ones under the current consideration because on a whole, the world seems to be heading towards more chaos.. Well, atleast the Hindu mythology (refer Kalayuga) and Nostradamus predictions tell me so.. 
Hence, it is important to realise and analyse as to where exactly are we heading. And hence we need to find the right parameters that can be referred for growth so that we do not end up in more chaos and disorder.
Even if we want to measure our growth relative to some other civilisations; well then, what choices do we have ?? We don't even know whether we are the only alive planet or not, then how can we measure only on the basis of little information we have about the past civilisations ? 

I cannot conclude this discussion, I guess no-one can but the least we can do is to think about it and find out the measures we can take to make this world more peaceful and a better place to live, for the generations yet to come..!