Before, The Morning(Poem)

At 3 A.M.
a quiet pissy feeling
woke me up or
a thirsty throat.

the wormholes of the universe
were wide open
no one was there to melt into it
no, not even the gods
for they were too busy
in auditing the spreadsheet of
vices and virtues.

productivity games of man
did not start
air was not yet wet
with the sweat of joggers.
the birds, the dogs, the cats
the coffee cups, the babies
and the karma has not woken up

and
were still in their erstwhile positions
like a Spartan army, disciplined and tamed.
but the cockroaches were moving.

The nothingness of 3 A.M.
was blissful not yet intruded
by mechanical and robotic 5 A.M.’s of the man.

3 A.M.
it’s the time
you are utterly alone with the stars
and the darkness
in a state of true living.

the only moment
I hear the time
slipping by.

only the watcher remains
with no mind
to explore the geometries.

—Drunken Monk.

Smallholder(Poem)

The son of the soil
and
The daughter of the sickle
placed the bet
on the slaughtered lands
on the mercurial monsoons
and
on the sleepy seeds.

Pack of pests
patiently waiting
to prey on the pain.

The rhythm of debts
The tunes of prices
play a sad melody of suicides.

Meanwhile, the cows
cry in the clutches
of corporates and
the Goblin of globalization.

Adding to the ironies,
the past sins of man
come to the farm
in the form
of cyclones, droughts
to make late memories
and bleach the
colors of cracked earth.

—Drunken Monk.


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.


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.


Alone(Poem)

Aloneness is
being drunk
with questions
and dichotomies.

Aloneness is not
a sad clock that
has a time of its own
but a moment with
its own eternity
transcending the tides of thoughts.

Aloneness is
a fresh slate
a virgin land
a polished mirror
a pause
a surprise
a light and
a vacuumed relaxation.

Being alone
is togetherness with vast distances
and a state of explicitness and implicitness.

A quantum state of duality
with wet words and dry neurons.

—Drunken Monk.


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.”