Truth Cookies

Dollops of wisdom culled from the internet.

Location: chennai, tamil nadu, India

i think. i can write.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Elie Weisel on Indifference

In a way, to be indifferent to that suffering is what makes the human being inhuman. Indifference, after all, is more dangerous than anger and hatred. Anger can at times be creative. One writes a great poem, a great symphony, one does something special for the sake of humanity because one is angry at the injustice that one witnesses. But indifference is never creative. Even hatred at times may elicit a response. You fight it. You denounce it. You disarm it. Indifference elicits no response. Indifference is not a response.

Indifference is not a beginning, it is an end. And, therefore, indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor -- never his victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten. The political prisoner in his cell, the hungry children, the homeless refugees -- not to respond to their plight, not to relieve their solitude by offering them a spark of hope is to exile them from human memory. And in denying their humanity we betray our own.

Indifference, then, is not only a sin, it is a punishment. And this is one of the most important lessons of this outgoing century's wide-ranging experiments in good and evil.

Courtesy: Historyplace.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Ralph Waldo Emerson on After Life

"The soul comes from without into the human body, as into a temporary abode, and it goes out of it anew it passes into other habitations, for the soul is immortal." "It is the secret of the world that all things subsist and do not die, but only retire a little from sight and afterwards return again. Nothing is dead; men feign themselves dead, and endure mock funerals… and there they stand looking out of the window, sound and well, in some strange new disguise."

Courtesy: World Mysteries.

Friday, May 19, 2006

About Quantum Immortality

Quantum immortality is the controversial speculation that the Everett many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that a conscious being cannot cease to be. To know more about this fascinating theory, visit wikipedia.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Philosophical Break-up Lines

Socratic: What do you mean by "I"? What do you mean by "Love"? What do you mean by "You"?

Cartesian: You are just not thinking anymore.

The Fermatian: I know why we're breaking up, I just don't have the space to write down the answer.

Determinist: It just wasn’t meant to be!

1. I am in love with you.
2. God is love.
3. Therefore, I am in God with you.
4. Other people are also in God.
5. Therefore, I am in love with other people.

Popper: Inductively, I thought I loved you and only you. Deductively, screwing your sister proved that false.

Utilitarian: It’d be better for both of us if I just left.

Taoist: In order to love you, I must also hate you.

Hegel: The thesis is we're breaking down. The antithesis is to fix it up. The synthesis is...we're breaking up.

Rousseau: I was born free and now am in chains.

Buddha: You just don't understand how much my desire for you is making me suffer.

Christian: I've run out of cheeks for you.

Eulerian: Our relationship has been constant, but irrational

Zen Koanist: Tell me where the darkness goes at daybreak. That's where this relationship is going.

Heisenberg : Our relationship is moving so fast, I don't know at what point it is any more.

Mystic: Lets continue our relationship exclusively in a non spacio-temporal realm.

Minimalist: Bye.

Extracted from Thoughts, Arguments & Rants.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Where are they?

"The size and age of the universe incline us to believe that many technologically advanced civilizations must exist. However, this belief seems logically inconsistent with our lack of observational evidence to support it. Either the initial assumption is incorrect and technologically advanced intelligent life is much rarer than we believe, our current observations are incomplete and we simply have not detected them yet, or our search methodologies are flawed and we are not searching for the correct indicators."

That's the Fermi Paradox in a nutshell. For more on the same go to wikipedia.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Who Am I?

Answered by Sri Ramana Maharishi.

1 . Who am I ?
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.

6. Why?
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.

15. How long should inquiry be practised?
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?

19. What is non-attachment?
As thoughts arise, destroying them utterly without any residue in the very place of their origin is non-attachment. Just as the pearl-diver ties a stone to his waist, sinks to the bottom of the sea and there takes the pearls, so each one of us should be endowed with non-attachment, dive within oneself and obtain the Self-Pearl.

20. Is it not possible for God and the Guru to effect the release of a soul?
God and the Guru will only show the way to release; they will not by themselves take the soul to the state of release. In truth, God and the Guru are not different. Just as the prey which has fallen into the jaws of a tiger has no escape, so those who have come within the ambit of the Guru's gracious look will be saved by the Guru and will not get lost; yet, each one should by his own effort pursue the path shown by God or Guru and gain release. One can know oneself only with one's own eye of knowledge, and not with somebody else's. Does he who is Rama require the help of a mirror to know that he is Rama?

21. Is it necessary for one who longs for release to inquire into the nature of categories (tattvas)?
Just as one who wants to throw away garbage has no need to analyse it and see what it is, so one who wants to know the Self has no need to count the number of categories or inquire into their characteristics; what he has to do is to reject altogether the categories that hide the Self. The world should be considered like a dream.

22. Is there no difference between waking and dream?
Waking is long and a dream short; other than this there is no difference. Just as waking happenings seem real while awake. so do those in a dream while dreaming. In dream the mind takes on another body. In both waking and dream states thoughts. names and forms occur simultaneously.

23. Is it any use reading books for those who long for release?
All the texts say that in order to gain release one should render the mind quiescent; therefore their conclusive teaching is that the mind should be rendered quiescent; once this has been understood there is no need for endless reading. In order to quieten the mind one has only to inquire within oneself what one's Self is; how could this search be done in books? One should know one's Self with one's own eye of wisdom. The Self is within the five sheaths; but books are outside them. Since the Self has to be inquired into by discarding the five sheaths, it is futile to search for it in books. There will come a time when one will have to forget all that one has learned.

24. What is happiness?
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.

25. What is wisdom-insight (jnana-drsti)?
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.

28. What is release?
Inquiring into the nature of one's self that is in bondage, and realising one's true nature is release.

Courtesy: Allspirit.

Thus Spake GB Shaw

Science never solves a problem without creating ten more.

Courtesy: Brainyquote.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

This is John Galt Speaking

"There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil. The man who is wrong still retains some respect for truth, if only by accepting the responsibility of choice. But the man in the middle is the knave who blanks out the truth in order to pretend that no choice or values exist, who is willing to sit out the course of any battle, willing to cash in on the blood of the innocent or to crawl on his belly to the guilty, who dispenses justice by condemning both the robber and the robbed to jail, who shoves conflicts by ordering the thinker and the fool to meet each other halfway. In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit. In that transfusion of blood which drains the good to feed the evil, the compromiser is the transmitting rubber tube."

Extracted from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. For the full text of the speech, go here.

The Riddle of Epicurus

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?

Omar Khayam's take on life

Oh, threats of Hell and Hopes of Paradise!
One thing at least is certain--This Life flies;
One thing is certain and the rest is Lies;
The Flower that once has blown for ever dies.

Strange, is it not? that of the myriads who
Before us pass'd the door of Darkness through,
Not one returns to tell us of the Road,
Which to discover we must travel too.

I sent my Soul through the Invisible,
Some letter of that After-life to spell:
And by and by my Soul return'd to me,
And answer'd "I Myself am Heav'n and Hell:"

Heav'n but the Vision of fulfill'd Desire,
And Hell the Shadow from a Soul on fire,
Cast on the Darkness into which Ourselves,
So late emerged from, shall so soon expire.

We are no other than a moving row
Of Magic Shadow-shapes that come and go
Round with the Sun-illumined Lantern held
In Midnight by the Master of the Show;

But helpless Pieces of the Game He plays
Upon this Chequer-board of Nights and Days;
Hither and thither moves, and checks, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.

The Ball no question makes of Ayes and Noes,
But Here or There as strikes the Player goes;
And He that toss'd you down into the Field,
He knows about it all--He knows--HE knows!

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.

And that inverted Bowl they call the Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop'd we live and die,
Lift not your hands to It for help--for It
As impotently moves as you or I.

For more translated quatrains from The Rubaiyat, go here.

Courtesy: Internet Classics Archive.

The Natural State

"Whatever you do in the pursuit of truth or reality takes you away from your own very natural state in which you always are. It's not something you can acquire, attain or accomplish as a result of your effort. All that you do makes it impossible for what already is there to express itself. That is why I call this your natural state. You're always in that state. What prevents what is there from expressing itself in its own way is the search. The search is always in the wrong direction, so all that you consider very profound, all that you consider sacred, is a contamination in that consciousness. You may not like the word contamination but all that you consider sacred, holy and profound is a contamination. There's nothing that you can do, it's not in your hands. This is something which I can't give because you have it. It is ridiculous to ask for a thing which you already have. There isn't anything to get from anybody. You have what I have. I say you are there."

To know more about UG Krishnamurthi's thoughts, go here.

Thus Spake UG

To be free from the very demand to be free is all that you have to do.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

An ancient explanation for everything

Sānkhya is one of the major “orthodox” (pro-vedic or Hindu) Indian philosophies. Two millennia ago it was the representative Hindu philosophy. Its classical formulation is found in Īśvarakrishna’s Sānkhya-Kārikā (ca. 350 CE), a condensed account in seventy-two verses. It is a strong Indian example of metaphysical dualism, but unlike many Western counterparts it is atheistic. The two types of entities of Sānkhya are Prakrti and purusas, namely Nature and persons. Nature is singular, and persons are numerous, eternal and independent of each other. Persons (puruasas) are essentially unchangeable, inactive, conscious entities, who nonetheless gain something from contact with Nature. Creation as we know it comes about by a confluence of Nature and persons. Prakrti, or Nature, is comprised of three gunas or qualities. The highest of the three is sattva (essence), the principle of light, goodness and intelligence. Rajas (dust) is the principle of change, energy and passion, while tamas (darkness) appears as inactivity, dullness, heaviness and despair. Nature, though unconscious, is purposeful and is said to function for the purpose of the individual purusas. Aside from comprising the physical universe, it comprises the gross body and “sign-body” of a purusa. The latter contains among other things the epistemological apparati of embodied beings (such as the mind, intellect, and senses). The sign body of a purusa transmigrates: after the death of the gross body, the sign-body is reborn into another gross body according to past merit, and the purusa continues to be a witness through its various bodies. An escape from this endless circle is possible only through the realization of the fundamental difference between Nature and persons, whereby an individual purusa loses interest in Nature and is thereby liberated forever from all bodies, subtle and gross. Much of the Sānkhya system became defuse in India: especially the theory of the three gunas; and it was incorporated into much latter Indian philosophy, especially Vedānta...

For the full text, visit the fascinating Internet Encylopedia of Philosophy.

J. Krishnamurthi Jokes # 1

The following story I was told in India. You may have heard of Birla, the industrialist. He’s from Calcutta, tremendously rich, and for many years his company has had a virtual monopoly on passenger cars build in India, with the ambassador. They are not well-made vehicles, not very comfortable, and they often break down. So Birla dies and goes to heaven. St Peter meets him at the Pearly Gates and asks, ‘Who are you, please?’ ‘I’m Birla,’ he replies, slightly annoyed at not being recognized. St. Peter goes through his list of names. ‘B-B-Birla. I’m sorry, your name is not on the list. I don’t think you can enter heaven.’ Birla protests angrily, ‘I’m Birla, the industrialist. I must be on that list. Look again. B-i-r-l-a.’ St. Peter is taken aback by the man’s arrogance and says, ‘I don’t know anybody by that name.’ ‘By Jove,’ Birla exclaim, ‘everybody knows me—everybody. And you’re trying to tell me…’ Peter says politely by firmly, ‘Please, sir, don’t get excited. That won’t help you up here. Your name is not on the list. I’ve never heard of you, and I’m afraid that you won’t be allowed into heaven.’ For a moment Birla is crushed and falls into a morose silence. St Peter feels pity on him and says, ‘But perhaps you can provide us with a good reason why we should let you in.’ Birla immediately perks up and says, ‘I have helped the cause of many religions by spending millions upon millions for the building of temples, mosques and churches.’ St Peter replies, ‘That’s quite natural, all rich people do that: they want to become famous and save paying taxes. But that hardly qualifies you to enter the heavenly paradise.’ By this time Birla is feeling frustrated and shouts, ‘Now look here, my dear chap, there is nobody in the whole of India, maybe in the whole world, who has done so much for his workers and their families, built hundereds of hospitals, homes for orphans and the aged, schools and universities. St Peter says, I’m not sure whether that counts either. After all, these people have given their energy, their labor, their lives, so that you could become rich. No, no—none of that matters in heaven. What we ask, which is the real question: what have you ever done for God?’ Birla frantically searches his memory and finally brightens up, saying with satisfaction, ‘Well, sir, for decades we have been manufacturing the famous Ambassador car. And, whenever somebody opens the door to get into their car, they exclaim, ‘O my God!’

Via Katinkahesselink.

Why do we gossip?

"I wonder why we gossip? is it because it reveals others to us? And why should others be revealed to us? Why do you want to know others? Why this extraordinary concern about others? First of all, why do we gossip? It is a form of restlessness, is it not? Like worry, it is an indication of a restless mind. Why this desire to interfere with others, to know what others are doing, saying? It is a very superficial mind that gossips, isn't it? - an inquisitive mind which is wrongly directed. The questioner seems to think that others are revealed to him by his being concerned with them - with their doings, with their thoughts, with their opinions. But do we know others if we don't know ourselves? Can we judge others, if we do not know the way of our own thinking, the way we act, the way we behave? Why this extraordinary concern over others? Is it not an escape, really, this desire to find out what others are thinking and feeling and gossiping about? Doesn't it offer an escape from ourselves? Is there not in it also the desire to interfere with others' lives? Isn't our own life sufficiently difficult, sufficiently complex, sufficiently painful, without dealing with others', interfering with others'? Is there time to think about others in that gossipy, cruel, ugly manner? Why do we do this? You know, everybody does it. Practically everybody gossips about somebody else. Why?
I think, first of all, we gossip about others because we are not sufficiently interested in the process of our own thinking and of our own action. We want to see what others are doing and perhaps, to put it kindly, to imitate others. Generally, when we gossip it is to condemn others, but, stretching it charitably, it is perhaps to imitate others. Why do we want to imitate others? Doesn't it all indicate an extraordinary shallowness on our own part? It is an extraordinarily dull mind that wants excitement, and goes outside itself to get it. In other words gossip is a form of sensation, isn't it?, in which we indulge. It may be a different kind of sensation, but there is always this desire to find excitement, distraction. If one really goes into this question deeply, one comes back to oneself, which shows that one is really extraordinarily shallow and seeking excitement from outside by talking about others. Catch yourself the next time you are gossiping about somebody; if you are aware of it, it will indicate an awful lot to you about yourself. Don't cover it up by saying that you are merely inquisitive about others. It indicates restlessness, a sense of excitement, a shallowness, a lack of real, profound interest in people which has nothing to do with gossip."

Jiddu Krishnamurthy.

Courtesy: Katinkahesselink

Osho on the complete man

The traditional concept of man was that of a materialist or spiritualist, moral or immoral person, sinner or saint. A divided man is miserable. He is neither healthy nor whole; the other half that has been denied will go on taking revenge. It will find ways and means to overcome the part you have imposed upon yourself. You will become a battleground, there will be civil war.

In the past we were unable to create real human beings; we made humanoids. A humanoid is one who looks like a human being but is utterly challenged. He has not been allowed to bloom in his totality. He is adhoora, and because he is half is always tense; he cannot celebrate. Celebration is the fragrance of being whole.

Only a fulfilled tree will flower. Man is yet to flower. The new man will be earthy and divine, worldly and other-worldly. The new man will accept his totality and he will live it without any inner division, without getting split. His god will not be opposed to the devil, his morality will not be opposed to immorality; he will know no opposition.

He will transcend duality, he will not be schizophrenic. With the new man will come a new world, because the new man will perceive in a qualitatively different way. He will live a totally different life. He will be a mystic, poet, scientist. all at once.

The moment a child grows to become whole, society starts to suffocate him, stifling and cutting him into fragments, telling him what to do and what not to do, what to be and what not to be.

Losing his wholeness, he becomes guilty about his whole being. He denies much that is natural, and in that very denial he becomes uncreative. Now he will be only a fragment, and a fragment cannot dance, a fragment cannot sing. And a fragment is always suicidal because the fragment cannot know what life is. The humanoid cannot decide on his own.

Others have been deciding for him - his parents, the teachers, the leaders, the priests; they have taken all his decisiveness. They decide, they order; he simply follows. The humanoid is a slave.

My concept of the new man is that he will be Zorba the Greek and he will also be Gautama the Buddha. The new man will be Zorba the Buddha. He will be sensuous and spiritual - in the body, yet with a great consciousness, a great witnessing.

He will be Christ and Epicurus together. Religion failed because it was too other-worldly. It neglected this world. And you cannot neglect this world; to neglect this world is to neglect your own roots. Science has failed because it neglected the other world, the inner, and you cannot neglect the flowers.

Once you do that, neglect the innermost core of being, life loses all meaning. The tree needs roots, so man needs roots, and the roots can only be in the earth. The tree needs an open sky to grow, to come to great foliage and to have thousands of flowers. Then only is the tree fulfilled, then only does the tree feel significance and meaning and life becomes relevant.

Religion talks only of flowers that remain philosophical, abstract; they never materialise because they are removed from earth. And science has failed because it cares only about the roots.

We now need a new humanity in which religion and science become two aspects of one human being. And art will be the bridge. That's why I say that the new man will be a mystic, a poet and a scientist.

Extracted from Zorba the Buddha. Via Experience Festival.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Is That So?

The Zen master Hakuin was praised by his neighbors as one living a pure life.

A beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near him. Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she was with child.

This made her parents very angry. She would not confess who the man was, but after much harassment at last named Hakuin.

In great anger the parents went to the master. "Is that so?" was all he would say.

After the child was born it was brought to Hakuin. By this time he had lost his reputation, which did not trouble him, but he took very good care of the child. He obtained milk from his neighbors and everything else the little one needed.

A year later the girl-mother could stand it no longer. She told her parents the truth - that the real father of the child was a young man who worked in the fishmarket.

The mother and father of the girl at once went to Hakuin to ask his forgiveness, to apologize at length, and to get the child back again.

Hakuin was willing. In yielding the child, all he said was: "Is that so?"

Courtesy: 101 Zen Stories.

Blaise Pascal's Observation

All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.

Courtesy: Brainyquote.

On Wisdom & Knowledge

"There are two allied powers in man: Knowledge and Wisdom. Knowledge is so much of the Truth, seen in a distorted medium, as the mind arrives at by groping; Wisdom what the eye of the divine vision sees in the spirit.

Late, I learned that when reason died, then Wisdom was born; before that liberation, I had only knowledge.

What men call knowledge, is the reasoned acceptance of false appearances. Wisdom looks behind the veil and sees. Reason divides, fixes details & contrasts them; Wisdom unifies, marries contrasts in a single harmony."

Extracted from Sri Aurobindo's Thoughts & Aphorisms.

Thus Spake Buddha

Even if a fool lived with a wise man all his life, he would still not recognise the truth, like a wooden spoon cannot recognise the flavour of the soup.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Yudishtra's Snappy Answers For Searching Questions

Extracted from Yaksha Prashnas, a chapter in the Mahabaratha.

What is the sole means of Dharma?
Dexterity in the discharge of one’s Dharma is the sole means of Dharma.

What is the sole means of fame?
Charity is the sole means of fame!

What is the sole means of heaven?
Truthfulness is the sole means of heaven!

What is the sole means of happiness?
Good conduct is the sole means of happiness

Who is the soul of man?
Who else but one’s son? Son is the soul of man!

Who is a person’s fate-ordained friend?
One’s wife is the fate-ordained friend!

What could be the greatest of gains?
Health is the best of gains!

What is the greatest happiness?
Contentment is the greatest happiness!

What is greater than Dharma in the world?
Benevolence is greater than Dharma!

Which Dharma remains eternal for ever for all time to come?
What else but the Vedic Dharma which is eternal and fruitful for all time.

Subduing which, do men not grieve?
Men grieve not, by subduing their minds.

With whom does friendship never age?
Friendship with the good and wise never ages!

By abandoning which does man become loveable?
By abandoning pride, man becomes more loveable.

By abandoning which, do men not grieve?
By abandoning avarice, men do not grieve!

By abandoning which, does man becomes richer?
By abandoning desire!

By abandoning which man becomes happier?
By abandoning avarice, man will become happier!

What is penance (tapas) and how is it defined?
Penance is observing one’s own Dharma!

What is self-control?
Self-control is the control of the mind!

What is said to be the greatest forbearance?
One’s capacity to put up with the pairs of opposites such as heat and cold, richness and poverty, happiness and sorrow is what is called forbearance!”

What is the sense of shame said to be?
Turning away from what ought not to be done is sense of shame!

What is supreme sympathy?
Wishing for the happiness of all is sympathy!

What is straight forwardness?
Equanimity of mind is straight forwardness!

Which is the enemy difficult to be overcome by men?
Anger is the enemy hard to be conquered!

Which is the endless disease?
Avarice is the endless malady!

What makes one a good man and what makes one bad?
A good man is one who is kind to one and all and a bad man is one who has no sense of sympathy!

What is the greatest bath?
Discarding one’s mental impurity is the greatest bath!

What is the greatest gift in this world?
Protection of beings is the greatest gift!

What is greater than the earth?

What is higher than the skies?

What is faster than the breeze?
The mind.

Who are the living dead?
A person who does not pay the dues to his servants, offer hospitality to his guests or prayers to God.

What is the wonder of wonders of human existence in this world?
Day after day, living beings pass away to the abode of Death in this world and every living human remains an eye-witness to it. But still, the rest desire to live. What greater wonder can there be than this?

For the full text and back ground go here.

Courtesy: Advaitasudha.