Tuesday, July 27, 2010

To Gain Control

(I don’t know when I wrote this, (must be a long time ago) and I may have run it in the blog before, but I haven’t had time to check!
It talks about the initial steps to gain control over the mind. It might be of use to someone. So there is nothing wrong in running it again too. Here it is!)

Fixing the mind at any place or on any object is a difficult task. I have had my troubles with it. It is the first and perhaps the final task we need to be good at to achieve anything in life. We all have certain leanings in us. Some like music and gets easily absorbed in it, to some others it might be some other things. But everyone has the talent to concentrate on the things that they like in exclusion to everything else.

Yet to gain control over the mind one needs to fix it on the most uninteresting of things. It would resist like hell every time you try to make you do it. But this is how you tell your mind who is the real master, who is in command and in the driving seat. But before I go any further with this I would like to point to an important difference in the concept of the mind among the western and the eastern systems of thought.

In the west the mind is taken as a part of consciousness, that is, part of our true self. Thus mind is considered as a sentient entity. This makes it absolutely difficult to control. For how could you control the self which is the real controller!

But in the east, especially in India mind is conceived as Jada (inert). It’s an object in the phenomenal world. It appears sentient only because of its proximity to the self. This is an important difference and a very helpful one too. An object can easily be controlled and made to do whatever the self wants it to do. There is whole philosophy on the subject, that is, how the world evolves into what we see now before us, but it’s not necessary to learn all that for our purpose.

I would talk here of a certain practices I used to follow to gain such control, to some these might look very insignificant and simple techniques, but don’t let the simplicity deceive you. This is the biggest step that you are going to take in your life, make no mistake about it. By adopting complex procedures you can easily deceive yourselves that you are making progress, not with these ones. You would know for sure whether you have made any progress at all while doing them.

Take up any tiny object, any uninteresting object will do, let it be a small pebble, a hook, or a button or anything you can find, hold it in front of you and look at it steadily, all the while thinking about it. Force your mind to think about it in isolation to everything else. Everyone would have their own method of thinking, so it would be unwise to outline it for you. Yet for the sake of illustration let us outline one. Say you are thinking about a button-

Well turn it in your hand, notice its shape, color, design, any flaws you can find in it, its material, its size, whether it’s smooth or rough to the touch, the way it is to be attached to the dress, where it is produced, how it is produced, the place you obtained it, its function, and so on to everything that you can think about it. These are not instructions to follow one after the other, these are only suggestions and you can improve on them.

You might believe that you know all about them even without consciously taking note of their features, or that they are trivial, but remember that you are not trying to check the extent of your knowledge or trying to expound your philosophy of life. You are trying to put your entire mind at work on an insignificant thing. The only way to keep yourself interested in it is to think about it without allowing your eyes and mind to wander.

Try doing this for five minutes every day. You will soon find how tiring it is to keep the span of attention for more than a minute or so. If you succeed doing it for five minutes the world would look very different to you from then onwards. You will start to observe the minutest details of the things that you see around.

Another technique is to try to follow a thought to its end. Some think we need a wealth of knowledge to do that. Again we are not trying to prove how knowledgeable we are. It doesn’t matter even if we know next to nothing about it. Keep it simple. Take up any word or idea, the less complex the better.

Any word will do. Day, road, sky, wild, summer, wind, you know it can be any word. Think of anything and everything on it, but keep at it for five minutes. This would make you hold a thought for a longer time. It helps you focus.

You can devise any number of such exercises yourself, but if you the above two regularly it would be enough to get you on your way to your final conquest of mind.

I will outline what I would do with a word; mine need not be the style you prefer, but I am volunteering this because I have often found people bamboozled by the simple act of thinking. They would start off at a hectic pace if they are following someone else’s ideas, but the moment they have to produce something out of their own, people mostly jam.

There is nothing to it really; in this instance you are not out to show-off before yourself by exhibiting your wealth of knowledge about it, you are only trying to recall everything you know about what you are thinking of. You are trying to force your mind to be at it for a while.

Take up the word day, of course you think you know all about it, but really do you? What is day? You would answer day is when the sun is around and when sun goes down the day ends; as an afterthought you would also add that the sun neither goes up or down and it’s the earth which does a slow summersault to cause the phenomenon of day and night. You are also bound to remember that though the normal duration of a day is about 12 hours more or less, there are places on the globe where the day extends for six months at a time…. And several other things besides.

Fine, but we are not even out to find new facts about day either within or without us, a poet might describe a hundred different types of days, a phenomenologist or semanticist may have different interpretations on its meaning and may bring in the context in which its discussed before the mind, a social scientist may talk of its evolution and growth, there could be numerous approaches to any single word or idea. But none of that need concern us. We are using thought to get hold of our mind and fix it somewhere. In this effort what matters is the steadiness that we display in it.

Just try to do the above, you will start developing concentration. This just let me tell you, is the biggest step you will ever take in life. It will lead you towards the real goal of your life. But how? Just wit and practice, all would become soon evident to you without any help.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Am I socially committed?

( I wrote this for another blog of mine sometime ago, I think its relevant even in this one. I have tried to edit out the more scalding portions of it, if any has escaped my editing, just bear with it;) )

Lord I would rather be murdered first. Did I shock you? I know I did, conventions dictate that you should be shocked, yet NO, I am not an anarchist, that is, in the sense the word is used by the anarchists. It may be true that I share their dislike for God, State and Religion as they exist (in our minds) today. But I haven’t lost hope in two of them-God and Society, though I have no sympathy for the society as it is now. Most of you, whether you like society or not, might not be well disposed towards god and I don’t wonder at it. The guy has not been of real help to us over the years.
But the god I am talking of is different, on the outer level it is the sum total of everything we hold dear in our lives, the value system, beliefs, finer feelings and everything that you may call godly in you for want of a better word. On the inner level my definition of god is totally revolutionary and it contains everything that you are. Some may call it a vague definition. I am not really defining god here, I am doing something even better, I am pointing a way to find god and you can learn it from my relevant posts.
I am sure that all of you can find god even without resorting to any religious practices. Please note that I am not denigrating the finer elements in religion here, there are finer elements in everything, but they all get clouded by the structure in which they are shut up. Instead of liberating us they trample us underfoot. None of the established religions can save you, study the lives of any saint, all have gone beyond the strictures imposed by their faith in search of truth. Have you ever thought why it is so; have you ever thought why Jesus told the world that his kingdom is not of this world?
It isn’t of this world, but what he didn’t say is that it includes this world in it as well. He could not say that to a bunch of stupid people who goes by the strictures of Talmud and cannot think straight. I know that some may take umbrage at this, but listen people, jump out of those darkened caves inside your heart, take a look around and see the world for what it is.
It is happening right before you, people are being led into traps they can never come out of, they are being mentally castrated, they are being traded and subjugated, every code, every book is being made use of in this terrible man hunt. Learn that all systems of beliefs are regressive, they instill subordination, they make you obey, they don’t lead you forward.
This is why intellectuals are the most obedient people in the world, they work with data, and that data is provided by the system, every intricate point that you learn makes you more obedient, makes you more docile, it takes away the capacity to react as a human being, it curbs wonder, it provides answers for all your questions. It plants you inside a mental fortress from which you can never escape.
You can control intellectuals like you control dogs with a piece of bone or a lump of sugar. They would never believe that they are being controlled; they would think that they are acting out of their own volition. They only generate thoughts for their masters, both hidden and evident. Every time I think on this it calls back the words of Hitler to my mind. He openly stated that 99 percentage of the population is like women, they can be led, they can be told to do things and they would gladly do that.
Did you know what was the excuse offered by most of those tried in Nuremberg after the WW II? They said that they were only taking orders. Some of you may think that Hitler was a total idiot and a fanatic, he may have been, but he had learned one thing right, that the people require a master and he consciously became that.
It is this weakness among the humans that I am afraid of, this willingness to follow the leader, this frantic desire for a host mechanism, this total submission. You think that only the ‘weirdo’s’ desires such things don’t you, you are wrong, everyone would follow a leader if he is forceful enough. It is easier to justify something than make something on your own. This is a perennial weakness of the human mind.
The human mind yearns for something to lean on; it wants to forget its insignificance and would like to bask in reflected glory. This is why people run to religion and such other systems of thought that there is out there which promises salvation. This goes for the materialist as well as the idealists, the idealist promises heaven up above and the materialists promise the heaven below. Both lull the fear of isolation in the human heart. They can’t think out of the hat, though they mouth these words incessantly. The inflow towards religion all over the world now is the failure of a dependable substitute, People want to be comforted, patted on the back and looked after. Even if these are provided invisibly they would be satisfied.
Hence they run to religion.
Yet really religion is a totally mucked up institution. It has out grown its usages and it relevance. But the alarming fact is that people are being attracted to religion by hoards. The world has not been able to replace religion with anything that people can really believe in. The people have not unfortunately grown. They did not grow with the growth of civilization. Only internal changes could make people grow; only an inner revolution could make people break the shackles imposed by their conditioning. But the religions would not allow that. The people who run them have several things to lose by doing that.
If I could I would wipe the entire religiosie out from the world. I would do it this moment if I can. It has to be done by someone to cleanse the world.
But the guys are too entrenched, too dug in, and there are enough dolts in the world who believes every word that’s uttered by these Beelzebub’s. If anyone speaks against these ‘godly’s their followers would rise up in arms and would start murdering you right and left. I can’t even blame them unfortunately, they are totally muddled up and frightened. They don’t know what to do and they flock to the first group which assures them that they would take care of them come what may. I can’t gain say the words of Marx, religion is the opium of the masses, though later Marxism itself started exhibiting the characteristics of a religion. It has even chapels where they place flowers and incense now. Look at the terrible servility to the earlier modes of culture.
So what do we do to get out of this strange servility? Well we start thinking on our own- discard the current forms of thought and fashion our own conceptions of life and things. It looks simple doesn’t it? You just have to pick the right words and utter thoughts! How simple!
Try to form any thoughts on your own without reference to any of the thought structures that is around. And you will learn about simplicity in real earnest.
Or else you can dive inside and come up with a real nugget of truth as I have been suggesting to you all the time.

The choice is yours.