Magic and Mystery in our everyday art

There sure is wisdom on the street and in the everyday things that we see around us. Cannot deny the presence of great wisdom in the popular culture among us. After all if someone can create the popular culture items (the music, the movies, the memes and all the trolls), that creation must have an element of inspiration behind it. Inspiration (I believe) comes from divine.

Earth, sky and everything around is energy. It is mystical, magical. So, we staying on this magical planet is again a magical thing. So many people call us Star dust. Meaning, we are made of the same materials that the giant stars are made of. S0, how can we be anything less that divine, if I may use that word in this context. When we create art or science, this magic and mystery will flow over into our creation as well. So, popular art and culture may again be a result of this magical intervention.

In this day and age, where we consider only the rational and practical to be “true”, how much weight are we ready to give wisdom from magic and mystery? Still, magic and mystery packaged in music and movies is fine with us. The creators of this magic cleverly hid the magic under the special effects and beats that they covered their core messages with.

Go hunt for the core messages in your blockbuster movies and hit songs. What do you think Michael Jackson or A R Rahman is trying to tell us. What lies behind the mask of movies by Spielberg or Yash Chopra. Be willing to dig a little deeper than what is really apparent on the surface. See some magic that comes there?

What do you feel? Have you been tricked by the magicians who hid their mystery behind the glamour and beats? Think about it….

The way we wake up

We have all been thrilled by certain political movements, social movements and religious movements at various points of time and follow them with a lot of passion.

Personally, I have been thrilled by various ideas and concepts in my life – at various points and really followed them, thinking that will be the final answer that I seek in life. Funny enough, there was a time that I thought Rock Music was the final answer – to express the aggression and bring out the pent up energy all lying within yourself. But, beyond a particular age, you mellow down and suddenly feel why this music can’t inspire me anymore. Hollywood ideas seemed to feel fantastic as well – with all the great concepts and things they presented through their larger than life heroes as well. But, after a while, the everyday and the mundane felt like the answer that we all seek.

The age we live in right now feels like quite a loaded one. I don’t think 15 years ago, we talked so much about religion and politics as we speak today. Look at the facebook posts. We just don’t have simple humour and “What I feel like doing” posts that much anymore. It is all super loaded and heavy ideas that we are concerning ourselves with. The common man is involved in all the debates about what is right and wrong. What could be fair and what is unfair. What should be justice and where the justice comes from. All ideas are just presented in front of us. Everything is changing. What is this change really bringing us to.

I feel these changes and plethora of ideas that are being presented all around us, especially the media including the internet is the birth pain of something coming up. We hear there is a giant awakening that is certainly coming up in this world – the Aquarian Age, as people say where people will start to wake up and a giant shift starts to come along. We are all preparing for this giant shift that is coming along. Interesting, that the shift that is happening is not something that is happening at a distance; but on a very personal level in our everyday lives.

I should say, I am thankful to live in these times where every man is passionate about his beliefs, ideas and what he feels is right. Idealism is certainly present in our attitudes and we are not too scared to speak our deepest feelings out. Let’s see how we all wake up now.

Can you hear the alarm clocks?

What really is your attitude?

What might be a good attitude? What might be a good intention to have? Does the right attitude be the good attitude after all?

There are millions of articles and videos online that speaks of attitude and how to really carry the attitude in our daily life. Some ask for a more aggressive “go get it” attitude while some layout a more laid out attitude of peace and relaxation – almost asking to manifest the things that we want. What might be the right one to carry? Often the easiest attitude that we have seen around is the one that involves minimum conflict – “I don’t want any fighting around me”.

In our everyday talk, when people show a mean face, we say that person is showing an attitude. This is often seen in the Fashion space where girls don’t smile and show anger – which we often just call attitude.

Think about it – everything in life is an attitude.

Definition of attitude – Merriam Webster Dictionary

1the arrangement of the parts of a body or figure 

2a position assumed for a specific purpose (a threatening attitude)

3a ballet position similar to the arabesque in which the raised leg is bent at the knee

4aa mental position with regard to a fact or state (a helpful attitude)

ba feeling or emotion toward a fact or state (a negative attitude, an optimistic attitude)

So, we can see that attitude is more or less a position that we take about an issue or an object. It is where we stand with regards to something. Attitude is all about positioning – it may seem.

We could have an attitude towards religion, academics, politics and anything else about life. We could also have an attitude towards daily events and not so important things as well. Knowingly or unknowingly we may have an attitude towards everything that we see around us.

So, that calls for something.

What should really be our attitude towards life in general. It all starts with the smallest matter. Someone did not smile at us, someone treated us wrong, someone praised us for something, someone did not acknowledge our hard work, someone really got surprised about a normal thing that we did and called it a “great talent” – what is our attitude about the smallest things in life?

Eastern religions say have a neutral attitude about everything. Buddhism recommends the middle path – not here, not there. Just on the middle. Some people call that the “balance”. We take good and the bad, we take the beautiful and the ugly. We recognise everything. We see everything and decide to stay somewhere in the center. We don’t call something good, nor we call them bad. They just are. They just be.

Can we have an attitude of not judging and just perceiving. Stay detached almost. I don’t really bother too much on which side I am. But, can you really stay in the middle path after all?

In such a case, someone who is having a calm face – neither smiling, nor frowning – a face with attitude?

The Big and the Little

There was a time that I always wondered, doing big things alone is great. Anything small and personal is not at all relevant. If you are not doing anything big and too audacious, then something is missing. So, there is always a need of big projects, big ambitions, big articles, big ideas and everything big. The head should always be filled with the biggest of things. I should be moved only by the mountains. Not by the little flower that blooms.

What did change afterwards? Life turned in such a way that all the big just disappeared. The big did not just disappear in one shot. One by one, the big things started moving away. All the huge ambitions and the huge projects started to move out and the space was filled up by space and a few little things. Think of it like a vacuum that is filling up the space held by skyscrapers. There was no more the talk of big dreams – rather the silence and nothing else at all. And a few small things that take its place. Small personal things that come up. These were the ideas that seemed silly at first. But, started to become very interesting.

I believe there is a time in every educated man’s life, when the transition from the big and huge concerns move to the little things. Instead of thinking huge architecture, we are thinking what colour will be the ink of the next pen. Instead of wondering how much a 4 million funding of a startup would come up, we are thinking what it will cost to buy a new diary to just pen up some thoughts. At a younger age, that would seem like a waste of resources. But, the small things and the details do have a magic towards it.

Finally, we are not bothered by the big political thoughts or the technology revolutions that are taking place. It does not matter what is happening in the Western society or the Eastern areas. It does not matter what is the huge trend that is washing up the internet with. What matters is the very immediate, the very personal. What matters is more silence and the space.

What matters is what happens in the inside rather than what happens on the outside. And there is a lot that is happening inside. Later, even the insides start to calm down. That is the real magic that takes place. Nothing seems to matter too much at that point of time.

Ask me now, “What is up…”

I would say, “Nothing. Thank you…”

This is where the peace is. This is where the answer is. In the silence. In the little things. Knowing what is inside and how the inside behaves is much more potent than what happens outside.

After all the big is made up of the little.

Waking up from the Brainwashing

I am well into my 30s now. Quite some time that I have been on this planet in this life time to call myself young and budding. I was actually budding for quite a period before. I have come one circle right now to see what has been happening around.

Consider the music that is considered hip and cool maybe in the early 2000s by college students. Metal, Rock and Roll, some hip hop and that general direction was quite celebrated during that time period. We considered the ones who listened to that form of music as progressive and intelligent maybe. No doubt, some music was really intelligent and progressive. But, what has happened is a massive brainwashing all around the world with the bad energies that was present in those music.

I was trying to listen to some Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit right now. They were quite cool and cute some 15 years back to me. But, the lyrics seem quite rebellious and helpless to say. Why should young people be so rebellious, angry and helpless at the world in such a sharp manner. Listen to any band and there is a lot of anger and raw energy that is being wasted. Too much anger at the world around them. The whole generation was made to be angry instead of accepting the world around them with more sanity.

What seems to be the result now. Worldwide depression. People are generally sad and lost. The kids that are in their early 20s and late teens seem to be really disconnected with humanity in many ways. All the rap at Millennials and Generation Z is coming up now. Who is to blame? What was the energy of the world till then? What were we really seeing till then in the world? This is quite something to look at now.

Look at the previous 10 years and what media we have been consuming. Internet, TV, Radio or any other media that we choose is really disrespectful now. No one really cares about going deep or keeping quiet. Everyone has been asked to voice their opinion like this is their most important right. Maybe my writing this post is also practically in that direction. I am also expressing an opinion with no filters. Where does this lead us? Are we really moving towards healthy means of living in some way?

Yes, there is good media too. There is of course a lot of good music as well. If you wish to rewire your brain in positive ways towards light and love, there are means to do that consciously. All the major speeches in the world are available at a click. All the best literature is available on Amazon. At quite a cheap price also. If you wish to really wake up, there are alarm clocks all around you, ticking for your convenience. But, what about all the damage that has already been done before us?

So, do you really wish to wake up? Do you feel waking up from all this noise is possible today? Do you really think that can happen so fast? What would really be needed?

Original – but non unique messages

I wonder what would be a great message. Internet is so full of messages; some good, some not so good, some original, some copied to the nth degree. So many messages. So, what good would be this message. How original would this message be? If an experience is really mine and I have been with that message for a long period of time, can that be called an original message?

What really is an original message? I feel a message that comes from within ourselves is original. The seeds of an original message may come from outside – from the world in general. It could come from people we meet, things we may have read, something that we saw on youtube, something that we dreamed about. Messages are coming to us from everywhere that we cannot even say where that started. Sometimes, the same message comes to us from different places. But, the message that really touches us and resonates within ourselves can be called an original message maybe.

If a message really voices within you and you stay with that message for a few days, it could turn into an original one. But is that unique? That is a question to ask. Is an original message always unique? It is quite something to ask. Is an original message always unique? That need not be the case.

What do you think? Can a non – unique message be original? I feel yes.

Just some wisdom from an Indian guy

This blog was born with serious intentions. But, now I wish to tone it down a little bit and maybe kill it a little too.

Years have passed in this lifetime of mine when I stand in the threshold of being 35 years old. It is nice to know that 21 was a long time ago. So, what really do I have at this point of time in front of me? What do I really have when I look at these many years of existence? That is all that I really wish to explore in this blog.

Looks like at this stage of time in my life, I am really just coming down a full circle. Last 14 years have taken me through different places, different times and different circumstances. I have gone from good, bad, ugly and now feels a little grounded all of a sudden. So, is this time to think of something like giving back to the people that really are around me?

I have a friend who is going through the pains that I was going through, when I was 23. He is 23 now. I cannot say a thing to him. Kid is just a bull that he wont listen to one word of advice. Which kid listened to words of advice anyways? Even if the kid is surrounded by the best advice any time could provide in history.

I dedicate this blog to all the lost ones and all the found ones. See if you find something that you may like. See if you may see something interesting in this world that is around you? All the wisdom that we ever needed has been said before. My forefathers have left loads of wisdom for the next generations. Same with any forefathers in this world. We are also going to be forefathers to some generation that would come later.

This is just an effort. This is just a simple effort to put some words of wisdom that I may have gone through. I say I am heavily influenced by many things that have gone before me. Used to see it very lightly. But, when I look at things in some other perspective, a lot starts to make sense as well.

Let this just be some wisdom from an Indian guy.

What is the Nature of your Karma?

Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 18: Sloka 23, 24, 25)  talks about three kinds of Karma – Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. The nature of our actions and our intentions classify our Karma into these three kinds.

karma

(Image Credit: Andrey)

Sattvic Karma: Most Evolved Karma

Sattvic Karma is the most evolved kind of Karma.

The cream of all actions can be called as Sattvic in nature. It is pure. Sattvic Karma provides peace and comfort to the doer of the Karma and the one who experiences this Karma.

Those with Sattva Guna performs their duties as an offering to the supreme. For them, there is no action that is “mine” or “for me”. Everything is rather for a higher purpose – a holier goal.

Easy does it

Sattvic Karma has a nature of easiness towards it. It is not done with a lot of effort or in a manner that tires the person who performs such a duty.

For instance, consider the game of an expert player. Look at shots of Lionel Messi in Football. Even though he is fast and skilled, none of Messi’s actions can be called as tiresome. He does it effortlessly with a flow of grace. Sattvic Karma has a grace about it.  The grace flows through the action and the result it produces.  

Sattvic Karma cleanses the mind and intellect of the doer. It produces amazing results as well. Interestingly, Sattvic Karma is performed in a very detached manner. There is no desire for results. Rather performing the Karma to the best of one’s abilities is the sole purpose of the Karma. Actions of Mahatmas are Sattvic in nature. They are targeted to serving humanity and the universe as a whole. Those who perform Sattvic Karma is happy that they are able to serve.

Ego Centric Rajasic Karma

One who takes ownership of Karmas and thinks “I am doing this action. I want the results for this task” is involved in Rajasic Karma.

These Karma is performed with a lot of effort and pain. A lot of “Hard Work” is actually Rajasic in nature. Indian Wisdom does not appreciate hard work just for the sake of hard work. If the work you do tires you mentally and physically, it is Rajasic in nature.

Consider Gardening. A person who is putting in a lot of effort and getting tired mentally will not do the best possible work required. On the other hand, the man who loves the garden and plants in it will shower a lot of love into the work he is performing. The love will be visible in the way the garden is set and cleaned. There will be a “magic” about the garden, which does not come from mere hard work.

“None, but Me”

Rajasic people think they are the only ones who are capable of doing the work they perform.

They feel no one else can help them. We see this often in Sports, Politics and Business. A lot of Top Executives and Seniors get such a notion that no one has their level of perfection. This is a result of their egoic mind speaking to them. The nature of “helplessness” they bring about by doing all that they can is speaking directly to their ego. This is a very dangerous concept indeed.

Rajasic activity brings in a lot of anxiety as well.

Since there is a lot of emotional investment in the results of actions, anxiety is a natural by product. Look at Romantic Pursuits. Rather than pure love and admiration, romance often turns into a power game and ownership idea. People feel they own others in Romance. This is a very unfortunate turn of events. No man or woman owns anyone. But, “I am Yours. You are mine” tendencies start the ruin of most beautiful romances. This comes from a Rajasic bend of mind.

Rajasic ones are mostly tensed and worried. They are often concerned about how things will turn out, who will agree with them and so on. There is so much pressure to perform with Rajasic people.

Ignorance and Tamasic Karma

One who does not realise what the results of his/ her actions are and whether a task will result in pain for others is involved in Tamasic Karma.

They do not look at their skills or aptitude before taking up any work. They are mostly ignorant about themselves and others when it comes to actions. There is a sheer lack of awareness in the actions they perform. Often Tamasic actions result in pain and anger for the ones who do it as well as the ones who experience the work.

Harmful activities such as Drug Abuse, Alcoholism, Gambling, Corruption and so on are Tamasic. These actions produce instant gratification, but prolonged pain and issues to people involved. Broken individuals, broken families and ruined societies come from Tamasic actions.  

Since performers of Tamasic actions do not realise what the effect of their Karma is, they lose their vigour and capabilities. Eventually such people start to become a burden to others. Tamasic ones start to lose their health and wealth over time even before they realise what is happening to them.

Tamasic beings reach a state of despair very soon, Rajasic ones reach there after a while. Sattvic beings are forever happy  and blissful.

Being Married and Being Blessed

Freedom is a great concept. It is a key constituent of peace and prosperity. A free man is a fulfilled man.

Chains of Law

Fugitives experience chains on them for limited periods of time.

Imagine a robber arrested for looting a bank. He will be bound for a few years in prison, in line with Legal Postulates and later he will be set free to return back to the world. Our legal system does not punish anyone indefinitely. There is a finite period of time for being bound by law. Afterall, prison system is called “correction facility” and not “punishment facility”.

Tied in Marriage

Being bound in Marriage is a lifelong sentence.

couple

(Image Credit: Lian Chang)

After the initial period of courting and honeymoons, many men consider their wives to be a punishment from Society and vice versa.

Why?

This results from the Man and the Woman not attempting to realise who they are, before the wedding. Our apparent sense of freedom, choice and free will are often compromised in a marriage.

Beings who understand life and then find freedom in marriage are blessed. Marriage is an opportunity to express life and celebrate union of two becoming one. Marriage relationships are very subtle in nature. Like a fine piece of satin, marriage must be treated with a lot of love and care. Else, the fine fabric of this holy relationship starts to wear and tear.

“All said and done…”

I am a Single Male at the time of writing this article (Early September 2016). You may excuse my ignorance of experiential marital affairs. I speak from what I observe in the world around me and also based on Wisdom from Chanakya Sutra (Chatper 2: Sloka 69 to 73).

The Soft and Subtle Attachment

A wife creates an attachment to the world using love, comforts and desires. It is a rather soft and pleasing form of attachment compared to the crude attachments of the manifest material world.

The Man who understands that he is being attached to the world in a soft manner has an upper hand over life, than him who is just not aware. Actions and attitudes that work in terms of transcending this attachment, will serve a married man well.

Chanakya says a wife of great qualities and purity really helps her man attain Moksha.

Such a lady can encourage her man and motivate him to do those actions that are truly beneficial for him. This focuses his activities on things and ideas that truly elevate the family. This lady will also be working on her own elevation into greater states of being. Children born to such a couple are very fortunate and blessed. They learn values by observing their parents much before exposure to Scriptures and Sciences.

Man and Wife went Wrong

A wife is considered to be half of a man’s body. If her behaviour and tendencies are bad, the man suffers its consequences as well.

The number of broken families in our society is huge. Even though, couples who understand and respect wisdom is on the rise, their proportion is tiny compared to those that don’t think about wisdom.

Competition between husband and wife, comparison of wealth, social status, beauty, influence and such puts a lot of pressure between the man and the woman. With Social Media and Private Chat applications, it is easier to get tempted with adultery and exploration of other mates as well. This presents a dangerous scenario.

We do not say that talking to other people is bad. Interaction and mingling with opposite sex is in fact a very healthy thing. That helps maintaining your vigour and keeps your happiness levels high. Nature did not create appreciation for beauty in opposite sex to be forcefully controlled. I subscribe to the western ideas of “Alpha Male” and “Alpha Female” who are sought after by people of their opposite sex. They know where to draw firm lines. In many relationships, the line is blurred or not evident. It happens due to ignorance.

A wicked wife, a stubborn friend, a servant who argues with you and a snake in a house are sure causes of death, so says Chanakya.

Observe each other. Don’t Judge

Chanakya suggests to be detached and to observe your wife.

By observing a woman closely on how she talks, how she reacts to different situations, how she handles challenges, how she fails and return to address big challenges will help us gain true and subtle knowledge.

Often we are so full of ourselves that we fail to observe the world around us closely. We only know what we want right now. The next moment, our mind goes behind a new want. Many of us do not have the capacity to observe closely. The observation of who we are and who our partner is, will yield a lot of key insights about our family life.

Marriage is afterall a beautiful concept that lasted for millennia in our culture. There should be some wisdom that guides the successful couples navigate life. Are we finding that wisdom?  

The Game called Fate

All beings necessarily experience the result of Karma. All good deeds and bad deeds have their results. This forms Fate.

fate

(Image Credit: Alexandra E Rust)

Rich or Poor?

The Fate that favours wealth will raise industriousness and smartness in that being. On the other hand, a fate that causes one to lose wealth and resources will develop laziness and clumsiness in us. We can see that it is not just the end result that is decided by fate. Even the attitude and processes we undertake in life is a result of fate. Everything that we are interested in and excites us is decided by fate. Our interests and attitudes eventually decides our future. So, if you are interested in watching people fight and find excitement in quarrels, do not blame fate when your loved ones blame you for being “not caring.”

Consider a very learned man who has learned Physical Sciences, Social Sciences and Spiritual Sciences very well. We all look up at such a being as a very wise one. However, if fate is not favourable, even the wise one will not be able to apply the right knowledge at the right time. All the wisdom happens to stay in memory as content alone. Take our own example. We may be students of scriptures and of wise beings. Still, during our times of confusion and challenges, we may not apply insights delivered to us properly. This might be due to our wisdom being immature. However, the maturity of our wisdom is also decided by Fate.

How did you fall from Grace?

How often have we seen powerful men falling from their respectful positions due to immoral behaviour. We have also witnessed entire nations which preach love and brotherhood taking up arms and engaging in Civil wars. For instance, Syria is a nation of rich culture filled with poetry and love songs. It is a tragedy to see the mass exodus from such a beautiful culture. Could that also be a game of fate?

It may so happen that someone with no knowledge and insights may become super rich, while a true jnani is struggling to have a full plate of meals. Our society is filled with such instances. Fate can transform good deeds of a person into evil and bad deeds into good ones. We might have experienced instances where we acted for good and the action turned out quite evil. We could have been blamed and held responsible for a series of blunders, in spite of great intentions. At times, actions performed to harm others may actually end up saving lives also. In History, we read intentions after the results are seen. Look at the World Wars for instance. Or consider UN Peacekeeping Missions. Do the intentions and results always match?

No matter how talented you are or which family you were born into, an unfavourable fate will not help you maintain wealth. On the other hand, good fate can help you retain as much wealth as you want, no matter how much you splurge. We have seen graduates from the best business schools with top credentials struggling to meet ends. Logically, they are just a call away from plush jobs. Still, the dots do not connect. Or look at lawyers with the sharpest of minds struggling to find cases. A mature perspective on fate will help appreciate these phenomena better.

Can’t lay my Hands on it

At times, we buy material goods for our pleasure and well being. But, we may not be able to enjoy them. In my personal experience, I have a car and a sports bicycle. But, I take the bus or hitch a ride with friends. Some unexplainable factor stops me from using my car or bike effectively. I may blame the health level of vehicles, or maintenance required from really taking out the rides. It may as well just be a game of Fate. We all have experience of having bought a great video game, which gathered dust due to lack of time (or fate). We may also have a great gift that landed our hands, but just did not find usage. Was it fate or was it something else?

Question of Attitude

We can see that we do not have much control over our fate. We do not have control over what happens around us. But, we do have total control over our attitude. Come good times or bad, we can maintain a positive attitude about life. Fate becomes a great teacher, rather than a tough task master. Imagine the worst that can happen to you. Will you lose your home? End up on the streets? Get arrested for life? Die? A mature attitude about life and the opportunities that life brings, Fate is a game that we play.