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Saturday, January 21, 2023

Realities as I see them and a Closing Statement

 I was thinking about absolute realities of life which I hope most people can agree on. Once they are agreed upon and accepted, it should be possible to develop some guidelines for individual (human) behavior and group (social) behavior. They can also help governments to develop policies conducive to encouragement of stabilizing, helpful behavior of individuals and of groups and organizations and discouragement of harmful and destructive behavior.

Here is a personal view of how we humans are made and behave. 

Our body is made with a neural structure primarily to protect itself and survive.

Therefore, we instinctively are self-centered and tend to compete.

We are endowed with varying level of intelligence and abilities.

Therefore, we tend to fall into different strata of the society.

This is also influenced by the circumstances of our birth, such as geography, socioeconomic conditions etc. of which we had no control. We are products of circumstances of birth.

We are also born with certain inherent abilities and temperaments, strengths, and weaknesses. We come as “a package”.

Given proper external conditions and internal tendencies, all potentialities can be developed in every individual.

We are males or females, white or black, vegetarians or non-vegetarians, speak whatever language we speak not by our choice.

But all of us are humans with the same color of the blood, experience similar vicissitudes in life, deal with same kinds of life’s dilemmas and face the certainty of death.

“Time is unidirectional” and everything changes over time.

We are bound to find ourselves in different positions of power and wealth. Physical and economic inequality is inevitable.

Power and wealth tend to corrupt which often operate to maintain social inequalities.

The powerful will tend to exert their power since basically their mind is made to be selfish, just as everyone’s.

Acceptance of equality in the Sacredness of Life itself, human dignity, and respect for every life is the antidote to such corruption.

Since our neural structure is basically made to behave in selfish mode, and some people will use their position and power to stay in their position of power and deny freedom to the weaker, there must be social controls agreed upon by the public.

There is nothing called absolute freedom. My freedom is always at the expense of lack of freedom for someone else. William Durant pointed out long ago that freedom and equality do not go together. That is one of the fundamental lessons of world history.

Societies will have to develop safeguards against excessive use of power by one group over other by consensus.

Once developed, there must be a mechanism to implement them with impartiality. There must be some “teeth” to the law.

In addition to a neural organization conducive to survival, our neural organization is also endowed with capacity to look inwards, understand the world as is and not what we think it is, nurture others and to develop empathy, compassion, and socialization.

It is possible to learn to actuate our natural abilities to be compassionate, even if not altruistic.

They must be developed by looking deeply at our inner self with honesty and humility and at the outer world with open mind, understanding and compassion. This is spirituality.


A Closing Statement 

Dear Friends,

With sincere gratitude to your support and feedbacks, I wish to sign off today. This will be my farewell to all of you who have been faithful followers of Time for Thought.

I made this decision to stop writing blogs for a few reasons. I enter my ninetieth year of life on this wonderful planet, our shared sacred space. I wish to bid farewell when my body and mind are functioning well. It is better to go out when one is ahead. I do not wish to leave someone else to clean up after me by waiting too long. It is also better to “let go” of things at this stage in life.

 I also found myself rehashing the same ideas in different forms. I have shared already whatever ideas I wanted to share. There is nothing new I wish to write about. You might have also noted that a I have made books out of these “blogs” and have conducted courses based on these “blogs”. There is one more book to come.

I cannot close these “blogs” without remembering Ramaa, my soulmate who was involved in planning this “blog site”, naming it and editing one of the initial posts. That was in 2008.

May you be well. May you be safe. May you be free from suffering.

May you have peace within and harmony with the outside world.

I close with the following Prayer for Universal Welfare. (Garuda Purana Uttara khanda chapter 35 Verse 51 is reported to be the source although I could not verify this source).

सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु मा कश्चित् दु­ह्खवान् भवॆत्

May everyone be well; May everyone be free of ailments; May everyone be safe; May everyone be free from suffering.

Thank you all.                                   Balu

P.S.  Although I will not post any new material, this site will remain open at least till the end of this year.


Ramesh said...

A wonderful post that is evocative - of your wisdom, insight and kindness.

I can understand your concluding this blog. For 14 years you have posted and shared your understanding and thoughts. It has been energising and illuminating to your readers. I for one, started reading your blog with absolutely no knowledge of spirituality and with very little understanding of our scriptures. You set me on the road to find out for myself. It's a rare and unique quality to stimulate interest without preaching, and motivate an interested reader to start his own journey with a starter kit and a constant reference.

Very few blog writers have kept their blog alive for 14 years. Not even the social media junkies. It is an enormous achievement to have maintained this high quality writing for this time.

We will miss your writing. But I have the privilege of connecting with you otherwise and continuing to be inspired by your gentle guiding hand. I am younger than you, and in our tradition, its more normative for the elder to wish the younger. But, may I take the liberty of saying Amen to the prayer of universal welfare which you have made, and make the wishes in the prayer specifically for you.

You have created multiple spaces where we can share in, and learn from your thoughts. We will, nevertheless, miss this space.

Lilly said...

I have enjoyed your blogs all these years and learned a lot from them. Thanks very much.
Will surely miss them.