Examined Life?

The legends of philosophy and spirituality have one thing in common apart from their weirdly grown long white beards. They recommend an examined life. To savour the infinity in the present moment and live in deep reflections and ruminations.

But even a 5-minute meditation done over an app or contemplating about life’s purpose while having your coffee reveals the beauty and the beast, the sun and the moon, the light and the darkness of it all. It holds a yin-yang that delights us with a sense of calmness and dazzles us with the ugly dissatisfaction of life.

Conscious living is hard. It reveals the hallowed nature of life and makes us scratch our heads on the “Whole point” of this existence. This is fine and we can tolerate it.

However, past the 5-minute timer, the examination uncovers our own life’s shortcomings. The insecurities, anxieties, emotions all come for a ballet dance and play on the tunes of “pity” streaming in the neurons of our mind.

It’s like walking on a hotbed of coal or get repeatedly stung by a hornet. Why go after these musings? Just for a temporary soothing?

That turns us into the woods of unconscious living. This too has its shortcomings. It’s easy to get by in this mode but after a while, it becomes robotic and repetitive. You become a passive boat wandering in the waters of weariness. One eventually becomes a bystander and a nodding machine to the choices of life.

There is no juice left in the fruity life. Just counting seconds in a zombie state.

In the end, both states are hard thorny roads to make a living. The way ahead could be a conscious-unconscious or unconscious-conscious mode. But then—()


Future (Economics)—1

Resources, Good Governance, Human capital and even Institutional development till now to an extent determined the success of a nation and its economic growth and development.

But in the future, I think the “Attention Capital”, that is, the attention capacity and the capabilities of its citizens will tell us the trajectory of the nation. With attention spans falling off the chart to a minimum and some claiming even to that of a goldfish, the promise of the future is bleak. With people unable to concentrate on their tasks, productivity and prosperity can be deteriorating.

If that’s the case, governments might launch yoga and meditation schemes for the poor in future and so-called affirmative programs. That’s a hard nut to crack, I guess.

What if the primary skill in future resumes of the employees is the ability to concentrate and sit in a lotus posture for 90 minutes?
and the companies might hire a Spiritual CEO and a guru to guide their gullible employees?

—Drunken Monk.


Underdog(Poem)

David and Goliath
the mighty underdog,
weakling story should remind
us all the triumph of spirit over body.

The heads always stay down, if you let them.
but for the man of courage and tenacity
times bend and not the iron skull.

Giants can be dwarfed by nerves
likewise
Dwarfs can be magnified by guts.

Look into the face of fates
and fear not of the feeble winds
that come along the road.

The light of stubbornness
is wide enough to
cross the canopies of darkness.

Unfold the legend.

—Drunken Monk.


Integrity(Poem)

Not—
dishonouring your soul
scamming your spirit
phishing your trust.

Not—
value trading
hiding truth in syllogisms
and selling lies with certitude.

Yes—
taming the corrupted
wolves and sharks.

Yes—
aligning the magnetic conscience
the magnetic moral compass
to moral maps.

Yes—
wearing the just hats
taking in the honest breaths
and conserving the core, un-sugared.

Yes—
the words
unchanged to seasons, sun and the winds
and insomniac to injustice and un-crooked
fingerprints.


Wisdom from strangers(Poem)

At a highway motel,
I read a fortune cookie.
It said —
“Imitation is the highest
form of self-deception.”
I defied it,
and stepped into society.
as a result,
I guillotined the self,
in a choreographed civilisation,
and baptised barbarism.
turning vibrant skeleton,
into the lifeless soul.

On a rainy day,
I met a tropical cyclone.
It said —
“You cannot change,
the scripted foreheads,
and,
palmistry cannot undo,
mystic miscarriages.”
of course, I ignored it,
and walked into the traps of,
hopes, vows, wishes, and wills,
crossing fingers in,
the myth of salvation.

In a writers meet,
when my,
gums were bleeding with guilt,
knuckles cracking with knavery,
and yawning tides of sleep,
were trying to make me,
A domicile in dreams,
one young fellow,
gave away his flunkey wisdom —
“Moneyed angles created poverty,
and moneyed demons created the charity.”
I dismissed it,
and still believed in the,
Lord — Adam smith,
the un-read, misunderstood,
god of capitalism.

On a who-gives-a-damn day,
I met a monk,
He said —
after perspiring silence from his empty eyes,
“Open your mind, and,
walk alone,
without,
rules, ideals, ideologies,
and dogmas.”
I think,
He also said —
adjusting his robes,
“walk without sticks,
run without guilt,
and fly without faith.”
well,
my beard murmured,
solitude is a prelude to sanity,
or insanity.
and I went home,
to cater, the conscience.
or whatever it is called these days.


Dan Gardner’s Risk—The Science and Politics of Fear

Fear has grown a lot in our society. There are no snakes around us and no giant dinosaurs that would eat us for supper yet the bombarding and ear-piercing news of climate change, terrorism, crime news, nuclear apocalypse constantly make us bite our nails.

Very handful of books actually look at this problem and the growing fear society we are collectively creating today. This is one of them. We need to read this book because we are in the 21st century and fear shouldn’t be an emotion that chases us in reality and dreams. Instead, we should feel more grateful, thankful and positive. So, let’s dive in ASAP

  • Risk Society. Ulrich beck talks about this risk society with cancers, nuclear disasters, famines, and all horrors we could imagine. Sure, risks are there and have been throughout history. Beck opines that as technology advances we spread more risk and cause eventually a steep fall of civilization. But do we?

    Modern society cures cancer and many nations already abandoned nuclear power programs. In other words, technology is making our lives better and safer. All these stupid fears media pump into our brains rarely happen and even if they happen we know how to tackle them.

    “Put all these numbers together and what do they add up to? In a sentence: We are the healthiest, wealthiest, and longest-lived people in history. And we are increasingly afraid. This is one of the great paradoxes of our time.” —Gardner.
  • Ignore the old software. Dan says that brains haven’t changed a lot. Hence we fear more of lizards than car accidents. We entered the modern age and the brave new worlds, but brain primal fears still are hanging out in neurons. Since Stone Age, our brain has just increased by 200 cubic centimetres. Old fears had a purpose and were useful but now discard them. They are built into our software even though we don’t need them. For instance, monkeys raised in laboratories which never saw a snake backs away.
  • Use system 1 less. Daniel Kahneman in his Thinking fast and slow describes two brain systems. System 1 is largely driven by gut and intuition which passes out judgement without thinking much. System 2 uses the conscious part and is slow and deliberate which makes it less prone to miscalculation. So the logic is to use more of System 2. As Pascal says—“The heart has its reasons for which reason knows nothing of.”
  • Availability heuristic. When you are exposed a lot of times to a particular piece of information then you are influenced by it easily without thinking. More bad weather news makes you consider the possibility of dying in the next hurricane or being killed by an earthquake. But less available news like flu, sugars though very dangerous are less frightening for you.
  • Prefer data over stories. People want stories and anecdotes than hard data. Hence people still believe that mobile phones cause cancer, we have flat earth, angels exist. The author gives an example. In the 1990s rumours without scientific evidence and temper began to spread that breast implants cause cancer and were termed as toxic breasts and ticking bombs. The result was—the company was wiped out in lawsuits and no evidence ever came to light proving its correctness.

    Next time, a panic strikes, you better get your numbers right.
  • Politicians and Pharmaceutical companies have something in common. Yes, both breed fear in their farms. Former to get power and latter to get money. Politicians fake a danger and go to war. Pharmaceutical companies use fear and convince that you need nasty pills and manipulate data about the efficacy of a drug. And politicians are ready to target minorities.

    And now they have a powerful friend—The fourth estate in the name of media.

So always remember this quote that the author puts in the very beginning which I leave at the very end—

“Fear is implanted in us as a preservative from evil; but its duty, like that of the other passions, is not to overbear reason, but to assist it.”

3 Ideas from Brendon Burchard To consider Now

Brendon Burchard is regarded as the world’s leading high-performance coach and an excellent writer who topped the New York Times list of best-selling books 3 times. He is often quoted, googled, watched, and googled on the internet by productive bees who want the best in their life.

His online courses, videos crossed millions and Oprah Winfrey considers him as one of the most influential personal growth gurus of all time. Most people know him through the Brendon show, a wonderful podcast if you want to listen.

There’s a ton to learn from him and here are a few of my favorites—

  • 1)Owning Ambitions 100%

Brendon says that most people never own their ambitions 100%. This is a powerful idea and a truth. We usually own it a 50-60-70%. For instance, you want to write a book, run a blog, make YouTube videos and inspire millions of people online and you invest your resources and time on it but we do it half-heartedly. We don’t accept it but deep down you know it in your bones. I failed many times to do hard things like building a rock-solid body, write a novel. Sure, there are many reasons why I failed but after a lot of reflection, I think Brendon is right.

With just 60% ownership and liking, dreams are hard to come by. So never do this mistake. Chase your dreams only if can own them 100%. Here’s a nugget for you—
“personal power is directly tied to personal responsibility, which most people avoid.”(Brendon Burchard)

  • 2)Guilt is good

Brendon comments that guilt is a sign of learning and the first indication that you have a growth mindset. Trust me if you don’t feel guilty after binge-watching that Tv series all night, there’s something seriously wrong with you. Or you failed to make that blog post deadline possible, you should think and feel about it. That’s how you realize what your next baby steps are.

I always feel bad when I procrastinate on my Wednesday essay day. But guilt makes sure that I write the next day itself. Own guilt and achieve your dreams by course correction.

  • 3)Teach to generate positivity

“You have a clean slate every day you wake up. You have a chance every single morning to make that change and be the person you want to be. You just have to decide to do it. Decide today’s the day. Say it: this is going to be my day.”—Brendon Burchard.

Every morning is a choice to bring positivity to your life. No one can come inside your head and clean it. And positive thoughts won’t come unintentionally. You have to do it deliberately. That’s because the human brain is hardwired to create fear and anxiety. So the machine’s job is to constantly chase you down with 0% probability issues.

This man is worthy to be followed and take note of him. Go ahead. Great ideas can move you, only if you let them.


The Song of Awareness(Poem)

Sit
Stand
Sleep
Doesn’t matter for the seer.

Breathe
In
Breathe
Out
Doesn’t matter for the Brahman(divine).

Scriptures
Sayings
Solitude
Doesn’t matter for the seen.

Mind
Meditations
Maya(Illusions)
Magic
Doesn’t matter for the mystic.

Prayers
Poems
Philosophies
Doesn’t matter for the pilgrimage.

Penance
Priests
Punditry
Doesn’t matter for the path.

Guru
Gods
Gestures
Doesn’t matter for the grace.

Faiths
Formulas
Frequencies
Doesn’t matter for the flowering.

Knots
Knowledge
Kindness
Doesn’t matter for the king.

Happiness
Habits
Heavens
Doesn’t matter for the hermitage.

Semen
Sacrifices
Sobriety
Doesn’t matter for the spirit.

Idolatry
Ideals
Identities
Doesn’t matter for the immortals.

Holy dips
Hippie trips
Hefty lips
Doesn’t matter for the hell.

Unlettered
Unwise
Unafraid
I ferry
into the kingdom
humming the lord’s name.

—Ehipassiko(Come and see)
—Yatha-bhuta(see things as they are)

—Drunken Monk(Under the holy warmth).