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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Is this an Insight?

Dear Asha, Ajay, Ravi, Ariana and Roma:

Have I told you that I follow two different modes of meditation? One follows the teachings of Patanjali’s Yoga Sastra and the focus is an attempt to get the mind towards total silence. This is ideal early in the morning. The other follows the teachings of the Venerable Thich Naht Hanh and Zen Buddhism. It is “deep looking”.  I find it useful during the day, as part of my “walking meditation”. The following two essays are based on thoughts during walking meditation.

 “Deep looking” and “deep listening” lead me to a crucial insight. As usual, it is not intuitive; it was a sudden fitting together of a puzzle. The pieces were there, buried deep inside.

My reflections lead me to the inescapable conclusion that something could not have come from nothing.  Also, everything in this Universe must have come from the same Primordial Source. If so, that ONE has a piece of ITSELF in everything, animate and inanimate. IT is inherent in me, imbedded in me – and of course, in you and in every one and in every thing. Obviously, IT’s knowledge and qualities are also in me, all the time. What prevents my view and experience of IT, has to be my mind and the “I” associated with it.

At this point in my thinking, I remembered a thinker from the recent past – Prof. Charles S. Pierce. His concepts on semiotics are becoming fashionable now, particularly in the field of information sciences. Although I could not get hold of his books, I came across a quote from his writings. In this quote, he is trying to explain the extraordinary success of scientific theorizing. How is it that scientists hit upon correct hypothesis “after two or three or at the most dozen guesses”?

Dr.Pierce thinks that “general principles (of nature) actually operate apart from men’s minds and that men’s minds are nevertheless capable of knowing these principles”. Pierce suggests that “since the reasoning mind is the product of the universe”, it is reasonable to consider the possibility that the laws of nature are imbedded and incorporated in the mind itself. (Walker Percy in The Message in the Bottle. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York. 1983, page 322)

Obviously this is a speculation, but it agrees with where I am at present philosophically. But, leaving aside my bias, why cannot this be a true explanation?

Since that ONE has to be in me and you, however minute and subtle it may be, IT is here and now.  It knows It’s own nature. It has to. IT should know how to get to It’s source, of which, It is only a part. IT is probably trying to get back to IT’s natural SINGLE (Kaivalya) state all the time. But, the individual ego, the  “I” will not get out of the way… ..

Is this why, all the saints and mystics from all traditions keep saying “ Get rid of the ego, let go, stop the mind and surrender”? 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Books, Books and Books

Erasmus is quoted as saying: “When I get a little money, I buy books; if any is left, I buy food and clothes”.

Gracian Balthazar said: “Spend first third of your life with the dead; the next third with the living and the final third with yourself”. (He meant authors from the past)

Petrarch is quoted as follows: “…gold, silver, jewels and other things offer a mutable and superficial pleasure. But, books delight us to the very marrow of our bones. They speak to us and join with us in a living, intense intimacy”.

I, for one, agree with these sentiments about books.