Thursday, May 24, 2007

Along the lines of CoolFire

CoolFire brought up an interesting topic about the "irrelevance" of some spiritual teachers. I actually do have sentiments along the same lines. My feelings are not identical but they do converge with his idea at some point and then diverge again.
I have had interest in Buddhism since my teenage years yet now I feel distant from it. By interest, I mean I used to read some books related to Buddhism or go to forums about once a fortnight.
However, I feel that basically religion tries to explain most things based on false(on hindsight) information. To make it short, I will say that the conclusions it reaches are true for the information that it possesses at that time. However, most of it is wrong as time passes and new information is divulged.
Buddhism can be summed up in a limited way by Newton's third law of motion "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction". What did you think Karma was? It is basically the equal and opposite reaction to your actions. By opposite, I don't mean the negative reaction but something which affects you instead of you affecting something else.
At that time when Buddha conceived this, it was probably extremely profound. But now when you read about it, it is still profound but science has quantified this revelation and has taken this understanding deeper and at a more profound level. For example, the way I think about it is that a person's thoughts change the physical brain cell pattern and affect him later on. It's cyclical. Buddhism takes this single concept and extrapolates it to different ends.
I am not a Buddhism expert and I am sure there are a lot of other "concepts" in Buddhism.
This is a simple example and something that science can actually test. So am I saying science has reached a point where it can explain almost everything?
No. But I do think the unexplainable will be explained; of course, other unexplainables will be discovered. But surely, it will boil down to a single unexplainable some day. Maybe eons.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Dehumanization of Celebrities

It seems the majority of people love dehumanizing something other than they are familiar with. Dehumanization is a powerful word. Merriam and Webster defines it as "deprivation of human qualities, personality or spirit". I would add to that definition "especially pertaining to other beings".
So there have been deaths, scandals, porn movies in this "kaliyug". One of the recent ones is the death of Anna Nicole Smith to still unconfirmed causes. (If the cause has been found, I apologize for not being up to date. ) Now many people have sympathy for her and especially for her young daughter. But an equal or even more proportion of people have anger and hatred for her. I agree that she does not quite have the talent to be an A-list celebrity. But she DIED. She was a human being with her own problems. Now I am not a psychologist and am not going to analyze her problems. Let others do that. But my point is if a person who has been in the public (albeit infamously) dies you should not come up with statements like "it's good that she died. Now there's one less useless person to eat up the resources of our earth."
Sick people might find humor in this. But to me, that comment has crossed the limit. There are thousands of other comments like that floating around in the internet. Internet has definitely helped me understand more of people in general. There are some extremely intelligent people, Sympathizing and able to discern the right from the wrong. While on the other extreme, are the ruthless, hidden-behind the-mask-of-anonymity cowards who like spreading filth and hatred.
I would be glad to have more of the first kind and less of the latter one. But the battle still rages on.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

The Valley Unearthed

Crunch Time

So I gathered data about my journey. My acquaintances asked me about the length of the journey. Ironically, I realized that I did not know myself. I had planned to make this an excursion. Only a mind refresher. But for some strange reason, I was heading down another path. I myself had little idea where this path led to. They asked me whether I intended to move to Nagdaha. Honestly, I had no answer to this even though I told them that I will come back again in several months.

I had always contained in myself a desire to start a new life. For here, I had realized that people had become too leisurely. Their life was easy...too easy. This marginality had tormented me throughout my adolescence. It had been invisibly suppressed through unseen prejudices.

After years of torment, in which I had surrendered and then risen countless times, never had I been able to brush this transparent marginality off. And as I gazed out into the milky sky, I realized that the wheel had already been set in motion. I only had to let go.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The Valley Unearthed

Nāgdaha, the Valley Unearthed

So here I was rejuvenated from my stay at Lhasa. I was ready to venture forth into what lay around our abode. The elders had heard tales of a magnificient lake near the foothills of the snow mountains. After poring through some of the records, I and my fellow scholars had discovered its Sanskrit name to be Nāgdaha. I could reminisce stories from the elders about the foothills of the snow mountains. They had described lush vegetations, mild weather suited for the Kings and a diverse area of florals and fauna. After my morning prayer, I had a meeting with one of the eldest of travellers. He had been further than Nagdaha. As I sat in his humble abode, conversing, I felt through him.

He described to me, the civilization that lay beyond this river that he called the Indus River. He had gone there to get an official transcript of the Prajnaparamita which he and his students had meticulously translated from Pali to our language. He had travelled thousands of leagues and I slowly gathered all the information I could about Nāgdaha; for that was my destination.