Archives for posts with tag: behaviour

family1

 

F  A  M  I  L  Y

         1

Her glow is frail fair limb,

In the hollows for cradling,

Lace of blue veins,

Thought plug

Conceals live wiring,

Though,

Long into the embryonic past receding,

A powerful emotion

Telescopes it ever,

Mother.

 

         2

For what is just right,

An unerring instinct

She warmly displays;

Reconciling

All my erratics,

Her thread

Hold our beads

Firmly together;

Consorting.

 

          3

Bright daffodil daughter

In twin pigtails

Like wings,

Flutter in her self made songs

As she amuses

Herself with her playthings

Or hops steps

And jumps along

Beyond the simple

Pure and trusting

Ten, unmindful,

Costume jewellery

And all.

 

         4

Intense, precisely measured

Keenly watching

Eyes whose

Enormous trust

You cannot just fail

To match,

Pursue;

Three foot omnipresence

That smiles uncomprehendingly

Therefore forgivingly

When you fail him,

Impels the best

Out of your

Grave limitations.

 

          5

You cannot trust him entirely

To let you down,

Somewhere he will be

Father,

Prove that years of experience

Still leave him uncynical,

Yet now

With the lifting

Of your rose-tinted childhood,

He does betray

What his tight set curls

And weak memory

Had striven hard to conceal

But cannot escape

Your own grey-haired 

Comprehension.

 

            6

The monstrous possibility

Of a trust molested

Unfeelingly like

The knowledge

That it was never the sun

that swung around you,

Begins to erase

The foundations

Of your first presumptions.

A trusted custodian’s pilferage

Of your wealth

Prepares you

To doubt

There can be absolutes,

That you may well if in a corner

Revert just to yourself

Negating.

 

          6

You may

But must not fail, 

Transcending equations

Of give and take,

For it is in giving that we receive

And in receiving that we take

And yet

It remains

Undecided.

 

 

 

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Credit: goodfon.com

Credit: goodfon.com

 

No one is born perfect. Imperfections trail the best of us as do our shadows. Those without imperfections exist in other realms not needing to be born here.Even sages and seers who inspire us cast their ego shadows as the bright sun of our physical world glows furiously. Each imperfection reminds us why we are here. This is the great laundry, the giant washing machine. Our bodies are the garments whose indelible stains are sent back time and again for cleansing. the shining Self then dons it for another life time of energetic washing.

Some garments are spotted red with incredible anger. Another is green with envy and avarice. Yet another has obsessive yellow addictions for substance and sex. Others are purple with arrogance and pride. There are shades of grey growing darker with greed and gluttony. Shades of blue are in depression and restless dissatisfaction. Ignorance and confusion are painted in black. Deception and falsehood are silver. Every imaginable shade and colour painted by ego, fear and urge for the false security of acquisition and possession. A radiant white shroud  also awaits the soul that has no need for garment and apparel but which it nevertheless dons to become the washerman, blazing a trail for cleaning.

I offer my poem which seeks to show that while here we must reconcile ourselves to being fallible bodies attached to radiant spirits, for when the garment is totally cleaned, it will be cast away for good.

 

                 W E     T O G E T H E R

 

Facets of myself

Reminding of some genetic impropriety

I must not inherit, I disown

As enemy.

 

Facets I own

And love, espouse, protect,

Good looks, graces

Mental energy and prowess

Are friend.

 

But we move together,

Fungus and host

Conjoined,wanted

And unwanted entities,

Inextricable.

 

I know, like when I tried

From my pet fish

To peel off its fungal growth,

That peeling will kill,

That you are whole,

 indivisible.

 

Yet I abhor my spots,

Wish to extend my chin,

Cannot countenance

My inabilities, cowardice,

Or love my guilt.

 

So I compromise

As we rise together;

The shining self

Amid the shadows of the negative.

kundalinispirit.blogspot.com

kundalinispirit.blogspot.com

Emerging New Age concepts of the soul, ‘after-life’ and rebirth, and reports of Out of Body Experience and Near Death Experience begin to affect our conventional mind-sets slowly but surely, transforming the structure of our thoughts and beliefs.

The mind begins tentatively to accept the new concepts and inevitably they get embedded  at conscious and sub-conscious levels, shaping behaviour, attitudes, priorities, outlook and even our world-view.

Reincarnation was always reassuring for those brought up in cultures that had belief in it for millenia. For those who began to share this belief, it also had a transforming effect. The understanding that we are not here just once and that our essence would continue in time, made life more meaningful and less desperate. The aphorism ‘ eat, drink and make merry for tomorrow we die’  no longer applied. There was a sense of relief and the fatality of death was less alarming, there being no finality about it. An ‘after-life’ where we had a chance to make corrections and try again, made the end less traumatic. The thought  that our essence was in fact eternal was comforting. If we additionally accepted divinity in our essence, it became ennobling. On the other hand, if we did not, even then the evolution of a less than divine but empowered ethereal entity in our essence  was no less comforting.

The premise that there was no judgemental hell waiting for us was also less alarming, though we as entities that judged ourselves, did not do away with the need to guard against excesses and hedonistic and self-centred approaches to life. We were after all our  own hardest task-masters, for when you in clarity, sat in judgement on yourself, there was nowhere to escape.

Even in the course of the evolution of Christian theology, the acknowledgement of reincarnation was considered and upheld by many. The Gnostics, Clement of Alexandria, Origen and St. Jerome are cases in point. It was only in AD 325 that the Roman Emperor Constantine with the enthusiasm of a new convert, together with his mother Helena, erased all  references to reincarnation from the New Testament. Later at the Second Council of Constantinople in 553 AD reincarnation was declared a heresy. This was an attempt, according to some analysts to strengthen the church which felt threatened by the possibility that through the concept of reincarnation individuals would rely on self salvation, ignoring the church. Yet several esoteric Judaic orders like the Kabbalah and the Rosicrucians continued to believe in reincarnation. 

New Age concepts of self-regulation by souls in ‘after-life’  through mutual reviews of conduct during past lives and through reviews with Councils of Elders, Masters and Guides and their reincarnation in groups as spouses, parents, progeny, relatives, friends and even as adversaries through considered choices to work out residual negative attributes, provided a novel and fresh perspective of the challenges we face in life through relationship issues. Good, bad and indifferent parents, as also good, bad and indifferent progeny, tests of friendship, sacrifices made and privations endured, sibling rivalries and jealousies and a whole range of relationship issues and challenging situations in life like being born with handicaps, were seen in the backdrop of clusters of soul comrades enacting dramas to work out and challenge their imperfections which had  carried forward from acts of omission and commission in precious lives.

The closest and warmest relationships were confronted by painful turn of events to test their metal and moral fibre. The course of life was never intended to be an uncomplicated, smooth sailing journey.The perspective that the emotionally charged atmosphere of family life and the constant confrontation between individuals was an exercise in evolution ordained by souls prior to incarnation, had a transforming effect on those who cared to believe.

Inspired by such revolutionary thought, I composed a poem on the birth of a grandson, which I wish to share with you. It shows how new ideas can begin to fundamentally transform ones belief systems:

 

    WAITING   TO   BECOME

 

From where have you come

Suddenly new face,

Smiling so fully with your gums,

First chalk on a new black board

Grandson?

 

Crawling about us with trust,

Recognizing us so instantly,

Being recognized at once,

As if you have existed always

Behind a secret door

Which has just opened.

 

Like our children

Who arrived before you in their turn

From the recesses of our minds,

Familiar from the first moment,

 

Or the wife who joined me

From the time we first met,

One by one we have become

Permanent,

 

And even if I rewind

To when there was no one else but me,

Yet they

remain in the shadows

Latent and familiar,

Waiting to become;

 

As if long ago we stood

Joining our hands together,

With the conviction

That we would come

As father, mother,

Daughter, son,

Grandson.

soul-service.tumbir.com

soul-service.tumbir.com

 

Credit: universal-harmony.com

Credit: universal-harmony.com

We often wonder why souls need to incarnate on the physical plane when in their state of eternal bliss this can only be painful and difficult. Yet leave alone souls the Divine Essence itself does so as Avatar or as great beings. In the Gita it is suggested that matter and spirit are attracted to one another, the one in viewing something immensely superior and wonderful, the other to experience the trials and tribulations of earthly life, both to learn something in the process. Matter learns from the spirit, the spirit too is studying something, what we do not know precisely not being spirits ourselves. It is an intriguing thought for which we can only surmise what that may be. There is no compulsion for the spirit to undergo such an experience, yet it does from one lifetime to another (Hindu view). Is it to refine matter? Or is it to learn some physical lessons from the realms of opposites. What can it learn that it does not know already? Intense pain and pleasure and consequences of actions arising from them? Yet they come voluntarily to experience. We too do something similar when we go on a Roller Coaster ride or hand gliding or any adventure. Risking much if not all. What does it do for us? I’m sure it is not just about the thrill, it is a learning process, kind of makes us more whole. Thinking such obtuse thoughts i composed a poem which I wish to share with you:

 

                   A S T R O N AUTS   O F   ETHER

 

In this gymnasium

Dumb-bells and weights of your choosing

Lying in wait, presumption of gravity,

For, if you were conceived

In the vacuum of space

It would be without biseps,

Floating free like a shapeless cloud

Beyond earthly contours,

Beyond the need of a work-out,

Much would surely change

In the way you exert yourself

and suffer pain,

As the astronauts will tell you.

 

But that is only a little way out into space

 

And shapes in ether in another dimension

Do not even have the weight of ego,

That other proud muscle’s force

To grip and stride, a sure compass

Of physical circumstance.

 

Astronauts of ether are yet another tribe,

At home in their timeless state

Of floating free, timelessly,

No implants of organs

To start hunger, thirst,

No procreative affair,

Nothing to stir addiction,

No breath of air,

No gift of gravity to build calves

And keep feet on the floor,

No sure-shot ego to tell

what you want from what you don’t.

 

Is there a hankering for fear

In this fearless state

Is there a wish for kidneys and liver,

Stomach, member,

Which immortality with one felt stroke

Severed,

The bygone biseps and athletic gait?

 

They come from inner space

to the gymnasium of endless weights

Infinite work-outs, experience in pain

And pleasures

To build the spirit’s muscles

with material gains

In another medium, another plane,

Wearing space suits of bodies, organic equipment

And the latest models of evolution

In which to train,

Astronauts of ether

Again and again.

Credit: thehindu.com

Credit: thehindu.com

Some people have no faith in a divine order or any universal order for that matter. Others keep moving in and out of faith depending on the latest set of circumstances. Yet others are converted to faith where they had absolutely none before  and these are the ones who then are the most ‘faithful’. As for me, I sometimes think I must be some kind of freak because never even for a moment have I not had unshakable faith or trouble with an emotional response to matters of the spirit. An astrologer said from my horoscope that it reflected in full measure this quality, indicating that this was because of circumstances in previous lives – that such unshakable faith was not quite a common thing. I have tried to arouse doubt as an experiment, but I can answer all the questions raised by Mr. doubt as if I was the highest paid advocate presenting my case in the Supreme Court – it doesn’t work. Indeed my father was like that and I may have got influenced by that but then again none of my other siblings were so affected. In India we use the term ‘Sanskars’ or accumulated effects of past lives. My poem is a true story of what can happen to ones faith, so one cannot rest assured that nothing can change you or your beliefs, and that is scary.

 

            D Y I NG    F A I T H

 

My father said on his death bed

That his faith had gone,

He who had tutored us in ours

All his life long,

Now shrunk like a child

Immobile on his cot,

The daily ritual of prayer forgotten,

The gods on their alter forlorn

And lacklustre

Like his fading form.

 

The wicker lamps darkened with carbon,

The ungainly flame deformed

Into a giant red sun

Bloating with its own demise

As the shadows leaped upon

The books he ahd authored on

The purpose of creation.

 

We who could not share his loss,

Failed to reassure him

Who had been so meticulous

In reassuring us, as if the paralysis

In his hand had reached his thoughts

Which could not grasp at straws

And he sank into oblivion

And spoke no more

As the drips sought to hold his pressure

And the tubes fed him on.

 

Then like a distant dawn

A smile appeared upon his lips

As when he would score an irrefutable point

And as the pressure dropped away,

His face was cast

In faith at last.

Credit: accuracyandaesthetics.com

Credit: accuracyandaesthetics.com

Almost everything we do, our common and uncommon pursuits, our mannerisms, courtesies, behaviour, transactions, the very language of life is governed by the arithmetics of exchange.

”How much do i have to pay”,”I owe him my life”,”We have to repay their kindness”,”That was wonderful, thank you”,”do not be ungrateful”, ”He is deep in debt”, ”They are in love”, ”It is now our turn to invite them”, ”We should return the call”, ”what is the fare?”, ”The contract has been concluded”, ”Nothing comes from nothing”, ”What you sow so  shall you reap”, ”Do  unto others as you would have them do unto you”, ”Fair exchange is no robbery” – and so on the equations of exchange proceed indefinitely.

Thus in the fundamentals of life there is giving and receiving. And this is not only unique to civilized man alone. The simple give and take is evident in fish, as you may observe in an aquarium. We have all seen how monkeys take turns to groom each other, how birds will alternatively and meticulously pick out pests from the heads of their fellows, with the promise that they will receive the same consideration.

Credit: thechowaniecs.com

Credit: thechowaniecs.com

Then of course there is the symbiotic relationships of the clown fish and the anemone, the blackbird and the buffalo, beneficient bacteria and man, bee and flower – the mutual if unlikely assurance of return for valuable services rendered. Then there is the reciprocity of love allowing for the mutual satisfaction of desires.

Thus too may grow a loyalty towards family, club, school or institution. towards whom one may feel a life long obligation for their contribution to making you who you are. similar would be the sense of patriotism towards a flag or an emblem representing country and civilization to which one belongs and which gives one identity and self-esteem.

The foregoing exchanges we may call The Great Equation which governs every facet of our personal, social, political and economic life, our courtesies, mannerisms and relationships, our culture and our ideals. The Great Equation is also inherent in nature.

The Great Equation, however can be violated in two ways. When you receive something and feel no obligation to make a return like an act of  theft or give secretly without an obligation to receive even gratitude. In the one case the violation of the equation is materialistic and in the other altruistic.

Of all human traits it is altruism that does not fit into the causality of action and reaction of the Equation. The quality of kindness and compassion rejects and defies the equation, rising on the firmament of our psyche as an independent star, radiant like the sun, giving limitlessly without return. The most cruel talon, the ruthless beak, the sharpest claw, the brutish brow all dissolve before their tender offspring with a compassion without compare, moved even to sacrifice their very existence in defiance of the law of survival. We give it another name and dismiss it as maternal instinct. But it has more to do with a helpless little thing arousing protective compassion. Any chick foal or baby can bring it forth and for nothing in return. Likewise consideration for someone under the weather, sympathy in bereavement, kindness for the afflicted, charity for the needy and poor, forgiveness for the repentant, succour for the suffering. There is no reward or return here but in the experience itself and in the fulfillment of an altruistic act.

In man compassion grows beyond progeny and camaraderie to spiritual heights. all noble sentiments arise from this primal seed of spirit transcending survival, want, need, reflex, and exchange onto the evolutionary path of grace. It is therefore not surprising that in the Gita, the cycles of birth and rebirth, action and reaction, the very Law of Karma stand abrogated through a life of unattached and altruistic action, the performance of duty without hankering for fruit or reward.

Compassion then is the supreme sentiment, the seat of the spirit, the source of all good, the key to liberation, the recognition of the soul embedded in matter.  Those great spiritual adventurers who spend acts with a unique freedom, derive pleasure in acts of unusual kindness and altruism, who shake free of the orderly equation and graduate to a new level with wonder on their brow, discovery gleaming in their eyes and a fathomless satisfaction, are the ones who have  begun to evolve, taking the first experimental toddlers shaky bandy steps beyond the comfortable and familiar confines of The Great Equation, into a superior unknown.

Avalokiteshwara The Bodhisattva of compassion

Avalokiteshwara – Ajanta Caves
The Bodhisattva of compassion

Credit: artoprecision.com

Credit: artoprecision.com

The state of total satiation where every need has been met in full measure, every urge satisfied infinitely, every growth potential achieved, every desire fulfilled, all goals reached, looks attractive but would  be a vegetal state like that of the non-living or dead.

Life on the contrary is like the action of a spring, a dynamic coil with inbuilt tension. The tortured coil produces movement, as our needs propel us forward. Total fulfilment equals uncoiling the spring. We would have no volition without need, no emotion if we were entirely self-sufficient, no mobility without deprivation, no joy without the experience of sorrow, no ability without challenge, no substance without shadow.

As the spring  is coiled, so too are we constituted of needs, psychological in the brain, respiratory in the lungs, nutritional in the stomach, reproductive in the loins. Needs which, even as they are  satisfied,  renew afresh with unmitigating vigour till the very waning of needs in old age is regarded as being symptomatic of the decline of the form we inherit, rather than an indication of the salvation of that form. It is from the repetitive and ordinary rotary motions of need and fulfilment, the motor activity of  consumption, that arise the hum of great and glorious achievements, noble thoughts, superior emotions, refined sentiments, ethereal qualities, outstanding creations, remarkable feats and extraordinary cooperation. Without need-based efforts and striving, would there be a churning out of this butter, a maturing of this wine?

 We fail to value an asset whenever there is over-supply. For instance an insensitivity may develop in the very rich and self-indulgent who have never known hunger even voluntarily from fasting, the philanderer who has never experienced the pangs of a lover’s longings, the spoilt child smothered by affection who successively becomes more and more self-centred, the quality of a person who has never suffered any deprivation, want or pain. What may such a person be like –  smug, self-centred, self-indulgent, impatient, self-opiniated, snobbish and selfish, possibly, if you believe in reincarnation, a first birth after reincarnating from an inferior, say animal existence, to make the experience of earthly life more tolerable without challenge.

It is ‘want’ then that teaches us understanding, need that inculcates appreciation of  like needs in others, pain that induces humanity, loss that develops care, hunger that refines taste, thirst that allows savouring of water’s true calibre, failure that spurs effort, absence that indeed makes the heart grow fonder, sorrow that arouses sensibilities, a restless quest that engenders great movements in art, challenge that produces evolution, toil that brings discovery and invention.

Insufficiency is motivating, anguish is humanizing, the coil of the spring powerful,  the tensing of a hungry cat’s muscles is a latent force, the heavy compact budding before bursting forth in a flower is blossoming. Then is not the ‘negative’ only another necessary side of the coin, sorrow and pain as necessary as joy?

But we cannot conclude that a painless state only arises from indulgent fulfillment. According to the Gita pain in the mortal world terminates with the termination of desire or greed! That is possible if the need is curbed and desire sublimated. Then follows equilibrium and peace, not the temporary kind resulting  from gratification but the more permanent one arising from restraint, simplicity in life style. discretion in consumption, unattached action, altruism, compassion, forgiveness, charity and consideration etc. In other words in giving rather than in receiving.

Need then is the great motive force, the civilizing energy, the secret impelling mechanism, the hidden spring, the cause of volition, the suction of vacuum, the lower threshold into which heat and electricity flow, the low pressure area attracting storms into its vortex, the problems that demand solution, the helpless infant that induces motherhood, the want that induces charity, the suffering that creates compassion, the striving that produces ability, the colours,aroma and nectar of flowers that attract bees purposefully, the twisted coils which spring into action, the pull of the catapult that activates the missile, the empty universe into which creation fills. The Universal Essence implanted need everywhere to animate, civilize and evolve  his creation.

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