Saturday, October 29, 2005

My Personal Classroom

My Personal Classroom

Experience is a great teacher. We all know that. Unfortunately this does not necessary mean that we are always able to extract the right lesson from every experience.

How then do we ensure that we gain the most from each and every experience that we encounter in life?

The best way to learn is to consciously play both the roles teacher and student. Learning and teaching are inseparable experiences--we absorb our lessons better when we learn with the intention to teach.

If you go to a lecture with the intention to just listen, your mind will probably be able to absorb 50% of the content; but if you go into a class knowing that you have to immediately relate what you have learnt to a friend who is not able to attend, your mind functions in a completely different mode: you have to understand and also figure out how to articulate what you have understood. That makes you learn much more effectively.

Similarly, we understand something better if we immediately apply what we have learned. Teaching is just another form of application. Learn and teach. If you have no one to listen to your teaching, then teach youself!

Which is why I am always in a "preaching mode" here in my blog :-) It is certainly not my main intention to dispense my half-cooked words of wisdom to the world--I am merely trying to learn and internalize what I'm writing about. I turn my life's experiences into lessons and then attempt to lecture myself into understanding.

My blog is my personal classroom, not a public rostrum. Here I am both the teacher and the student. But anyone is welcome to join the class, if they are inclined to do so. Well, oftentimes the student can also teach the teacher a thing or two. Learning is a two-way street.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Wavelets in His Mind

Wavelets in His Mind

I have a habit of seeing everything in terms of energy. Every interaction between people is an exchange of energy. Love is an energy; so is hatred and anger. Every thought that occurs in the mind is like a small wavelet within a larger wave, which is our existence-- ripples in a vast ocean of energy.

Energy can be accumulated, channelled, transformed, transmuted, focussed and redirected. The wavelets of our thoughts can be built up through concentration, accumulating energy through the power of the will and through other external sources of energy to acquire the power of tsunamis.

Energy can be used for creation or destruction. How we use our personal store of energy determines the quality of our lives. Even if such an energy does not really exist physically in the real world, I will still find it a useful model to deal with the world. It's a convenient way of thinking.

Love is a special energy which we transmit to a specific person or group in a way that is nurturing and binding. This energy can however vary in terms of quality: love can range from lustful possessiveness to unconditional love. The love between lovers usually lies somewhere in the middle of this spectrum.

Selfish love will never produce a stable relationship because one party is draining all the energy from the system. This inbalance will always cause the system to collapse. Some relationships/systems oscillate wildly, maintained by a fragile balance because both parties are jostling for power and are constantly testing each other's tolerance.

A healthy relationship between a man and a woman is one where the energy transmitted by both parties combines, synergizes and transmutes into something higher and more refined; it becomes a source of radiance. This energy spills over to the people around them--family and friends--enveloping them with a nurturing warmth.

A person with mental strengh has the ability to channel his energy to a specific point or purpose. It makes his actions more effective. Such a strength is built through the power of concentration, through the precision of of his thoughts. The more precise our thoughts are, the clearer our intentions, the purer the energy transmitted.

At some point in our spiritual development, we will come to the realization that from a macroscopic perspective, our lives are but tiny fluctations in a universal ocean of energy. We will come to understand that what we call God is but the source of emanation of this universal energy. We are, in the larger scheme of things, small wavelets in His infinite mind.

We shall all rise and flicker momentarily--this local agglomeration of matter, space and time--to return back to that infinite ocean, that is our source.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Perfect Pebbles

Perfect Pebbles

I haven't emerged from my "batch processing" mode yet but I guess I can spare half-an-hour to deposit my thoughts in cyberspace. Sometimes when you are facing the computer screen with your fingers poised over the keyboard, you don't exactly know what to type. The only way to kick-start your thinking process is to just let your fingers do the thinking...

Pebbles. Smooth pebbles. Why are pebbles on the river bed so smooth?

Well, of course they are smooth because they have been eroded by the incessant currents of the river over a long period of time. Probably these pebbles had very sharp jagged edges in the beginning, but the torrents of time had already smoothened all their roughness.

The river needed a lot of "patience" to tame these rough pebbles. It had to find ways to "work around" them initially. But because of its infinite patience, it slowly chipped away at their protruding edges. The pebbles had to suffer "pain" from this incessant friction but ultimate they had to learn the way of the river. Pebbles and river now live in complete harmony with each other.

That's how our souls evolve too. We all have sharp edges which we so boldly thrust against the world. We think the world will make way for us. Only after we get ourselves repeated bruised, do we learn to accept that our viewpoint--no matter how right it feels inside--is not always the correct one. We learn the virtues of uncertainty. We learn how to work around obstacles. We learn to give and take.

We learn that all the pain that we go through in life carries deep lessons. Every pain reveals a roughness in the soul which requires polishing. We must always ask ourselves: Why do we feel pain? Is it because of our pride? Our stubborness? Our selfishness? It is because of our need to control things that are beyond our control?

If we learn our lessons of pain well, we will know where our sharp edges are. We let them go. We release these lumps of stagnant energy so that we may be free to transform ourselves for the better.

And slowly, over time, after many lessons of pain, our souls too will be as smooth, chaste and perfect as those shiny pebbles lying in perfect bliss on the river bed.