Thursday, 31 March 2011

Optical Delusion of Consciousness - Albert Einstein

A human being is part of a whole, called by us the “universe,” a part limited in time and space.  He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.  

This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few people near us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

— Albert Einstein

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Boredom to Cheerdom: feeling bad or feeling better

Boredom comes when I  have an agenda that I am not inclined to go for, -  because the process is painful, or because I wait at length for the world to make me happy, as if it owes me an obligation. Honest work undertaken to reach meaningful results keeps me motivated and free from boredom, even when I am way away from reaching my destination. 

Boredom makes me discount the value of what I have achieved, because of overconcern with what I do not have. It is important to open my eyes to the beauty of the present moment while I pursue goals over the long term. 

Boredom also tells me that what I have is not what I really want. It indicates an absence of situations that present a challenge to me. It is necessary therefore to re-evaluate my pursuits to isolate the inspiring from the mundane. Life is what I make out of it. The secret is in making choices that keeps me moving forward.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Serenity Interactive - The Fear Factor

The Nature of Fear

Hi!  Would like to talk about fear

Ok. What about it

I am not nervous. As in when I sing etc I am very confident...  not that kind of fear … but a deeper fear... so what is fear?
What is your fear all about? Existential? Psychological? Situational? Or Just....

All of it!!!
Tell me more about it.... where do you feel it most.... chest, tummy, neck....?

Tummy I think
Ok. What frightens you... disagreements.... loss.... hurts.... violence....

Disharmony of any kind definitely disturbs me. I can’t function normally till it is sorted completely ... I don’t     experience fear while discussing etc. fear of death is a BIG one. An imp desire is to prove myself as a successful person to my own self and few others... don’t want to die before tat ... first of all is fear an instinct or feeling?

Expectations - To Have or Not to Have

Having expectations is not a problem. They are necessary for working towards achieving our goals. Expectations are connected with our actions. What are the drivers of our actions? Are they essentially based on  Love or fear? What makes 'expectations' problematic is having 'unrealistic expectations'! 
Unrealistic expectations are born out of  unbalanced and unhealthy drivers. 
Fear,  Loss, are the main ones I guess!

Having expectations is not something I have a choice over. Most actions before they are performed have expectations which propel them. So nothing will be done if there is no expectation of a result.
Expectations can be valid and yet create problems because many a time what I expect and what I get are poles apart! Is this because I am a poor judge? Or is it because I do not have the capacity to project? Any answer only shows me how limited my capabilities are!
So expectations become a problem when disappointment is the result and not a problem if one knows how to handle the disappointment.  

Why is having expectations a problem?  This is especially true in situations that are beyond our control - when no action is possible.  If one can try his/her best, then at there is the satisfaction of having tried.
We do not have much choice over what is out there - could potentially feel like stress. But we have a choice over is whether to feel distress or act objectively and continue performing actions with "no guarantee expected" over the results.

The Nature of Renounciation



On guru poornima this year, the discussion started off with Acharyaji asking all of us present to talk about some topic that we liked or which affected us the most!...When the pointer came to me I was clear about what I wanted to talk about. The motive behind my choosing a topic like "tyaga" was to get an opportunity to learn more about it..

"Tyaga or renunciation is one of the most fascinating traits that a person can possess. To be able to do Tyaga one must be able to let go of things they love the most for a higher cause. At some point we all have to sacrifice something at some level, But to do it and not regret it, that is where all the difference comes. Because it is one of the most difficult things to do, the person who is able to do tyaga in its true sense is considered great." Everyone seemed impressed with my perception of tyaga.  
Acharya was smiling and then asked a simple question "why does one do tyaga?" I replied - "for a higher cause and to be happy." He then explained the concept of tyaga with the example of the sacrifices a mother does for her child. 

"Why does a mother willingly sacrifice for her child?" he asked.  Someone answered, "because of love". 
He asked, "what is love?" Now we had all heard and felt 'love' but no one could explain it!....

 Acharya simply said "Love was a feeling of oneness". He continued, "now if I do tyaga for someone I love, then the thing that I give up has not gone anywhere! It is just like shifting it from one pocket to other "…. 

Everyone burst into involuntary applause! I was smiling more than I ever have….The experience of learning about "tyaga" with such simplicity was truly amazing!

Serenity Ineractive - Dharma: Ethical Dilemma:

"Avalue is a value when the value of the value is valuable to you." - Swami Dayananda

Universal Laws

Universal principles (or Dharmas in Sanskrit) that govern our lives, health, learning, relationships, and happiness are illustrated by the law of the farm. In a farm, we need to understand how nature works in order to work with it. We prepare the soil, sow the seeds, water the fields, and protect the plants. The rest is taken care of by nature. 

The laws of ‘cause-and-effect’ determine what type of results we get for the efforts we put in. We cannot cheat in the farm, ignore the rules of farming and then expect to get the fruits without efforts. Stephen Covey speaks about aligning our lives by these universal natural principles.

Just as the compass always points out north, we have an inner guide or conscience and a rich collection of wisdom literature to guide us for sustainable and lasting results. Going against these principles is like ignoring the compass. If we miss our direction on the high seas by just one degree, we can end up in the Andaman Islands instead of Goa.

These principles apply to success and fulfilment in work and in relationships. As long as we lack self mastery, we cannot expect to get success in the external world. Personal victory is a prelude to the public victory. According to Swami Chinmayananda, you “master the mind to master the world.” This self mastery includes adherence to an ethical code that tells you to ‘do unto others as you would have others do unto you.’

The Relative Nature Of Values

While many of the values are a matter of personal choice or social structuring, ethical values are universal and apply uniformly to all human beings. No person wants to be hurt, robbed, lied to, or abused by others. Everyone expects affection, assistance in need, and inclusion from others. Ethics is the cement that binds relationships and society. Spirituality and Religions adds the element of after-life to makes ethics apply beyond our lifetime.

Though ethics are universal, they have to be relevant to the context and to the situation. Stress arises when we are confused about their interpretation. Value systems can range from the fanatical to the cynical. In fanatical ethics there are no exceptions to rules, while in cynical ethics, there are no rules!

Serenity Interactive - Control Drama

Psychological Control Drama
(online chat )

So can we continue our talks on control dramas??
Yes ... Drama always involves a build up and climax. Drama me twist hota hai. Control yields to loss of control and vice versa. Manipulation is reverse control. Nagging, ordering, challenging, rebelling, crying, blackmailing..... All control dramas. Avoiding, withdrawing, sulking, disappearing, daydreaming, are parts of the same drama. In fact drama means control, right?

Googly! What are we trying to control and why?
Reality. To suit our life script and world view. Control is not difficult because we have such willing partners

We are trying to control reality? As kids?
As kids we are testing reality and forming an opinion   through trial and error.

Let’s say I am four years did I get into my control drama ... if I have to write out a   sequel?
What do I need at four ...what am I trying to figure out at four? What are my challenges? How intelligent is a normal kid at that age? What’s my understanding really like...?  Do I have inherent traits that affect me?
At 4 opinions were already set. Starts at birth and mostly done by 4. Most impressionable age. Some editing happens as we grow older... more of polishing and reviewing.

Self Fulfilling Beliefs - Our Destiny

How Do Beliefs Shape Our Life?

Can we talk about how we create beliefs about various things, and how they affect us in our relationships and our personality
Ok. What beliefs do you have in mind?

I am talking wrt  the book by Louise Hay  where she talks about  how her  low self esteem  and the  belief that she is no good or lovable   which was created by her  childhood  experiences
Childhood experiences bring in a contrary belief such as I’m not ok, or you're not ok, or no one is ok.  Basic belief is I’m ok you're ok world is ok.  That is because of the child’s interpretation about events. Limited data and lacking in perspective Also the need to subscribe to such beliefs in order to manage events beyond its understanding.  They are useful to survive through childhood until we can grow to become adults.

Can u give some examples? I mean examples of beliefs that we have as children which are useful
As adults we have better understanding, better perspective, better resources, and better skills. What is needed is to manage this transition smoothly. It is like the ugly duckling becoming a swan. Or the eagle growing up in a chicken's nest. From my own example: I could never express my feelings of sadness, fear etc. I needed to feel strong and above emotions. So I withdrew into my own shell and lived as an introvert. Traces of it are there even today. 

Fortunately I associated with role models who showed me a different world that I could peep into and learn. I also read and read and read...... So had access to a world of emotions that I could connect to .my condition made me empathise with other people's pain and helped me as a counsellor.  But I was not living my own emotional life.... Only a proxy through others