Wednesday, March 01, 2017

I AM THE AUTHOR OF THE DRAMA OF MY LIFE

‘Every winter I get asthma. I am like a barometer! If it is a bit cloudy I sneeze.’

‘When I get headache I cannot tolerate anybody.’

‘I just cannot stand the hot sun.’

‘Oh, my handwriting is just horrible! Only I can decipher it, sometimes. Ha! Ha!’

These are various ways I issue certificates to myself, certificates of defects and stupidity proudly displayed as so many virtues. These certificates are undersigned by numerous sycophantic relatives, fond mothers, and subordinates at office.

If I look at the matter closely, there is no earthly reason why I should scowl if I have headache or at the sun. There is no unbreakable physiological bond between headache and inability to be polite or smile. There are quite a number of people who are ravaged with disease and pain, and yet are a blessing and a boon to their family and friends, and who can show love and kindness with all the faculties still left them.

If I examine carefully what I do to others when I have a headache or depression I can have some idea even as to the origin of these ills. Because I have a headache or depression everybody around me must make the least noise and move about funerally. This need to dominate falls on poor relatives and subordinates who are broken down by the virtual blackmail - “Don’t talk loud! His ulcer will burst!” It is this need to dominate the world, this essential disharmony with the world, stupid and pigheaded idea that the world is meant to twirl around your little finger that lays the matrix for the drama called your illness, further amplified by sophisticated psychological dissertations on the causes for these reactions.

The total drama called headache or depression consists of numerous sub-scenes played out by various parts and functions of your body, your muscles, blood vessels etc.

Even if your condition is chronic, if your aim to dominate the world is replaced by the aim of expressing love and oneness with all the faculties at your disposal, then at least you can recast some of the sub-scenes in the drama of headache, and help to break the chain of reflexes. Why be proud of your bad handwriting? If you can pull wires, play tennis etc., what is wrong with improving your writing except to trouble your dependent readers.

Next time I catch myself saying, I get irritable if I have a headache, I shall ask myself - Why! Is my mouth paralysed when I have a headache! Surely if it can show a scowl, it can show a smile. I can also walk. This is my body. Let me have some say in its actions instead of letting it play the drama written by the marketplace.

The marketplace describes how every average man behaves when he has a headache, and the medical textbooks scientifically reveal the mechanisms behind the headache behaviour of all the patients that come to them, and by a sleight of hand a subtle law is created. “This is what usually happens if someone has a headache and therefore this is what ought to happen. If you neglect your headaches it might lead to a tumour of your head. So for heaven’s sake, don’t neglect it. As soon as you have a tinge of a headache come and have yourself checked.”

There is no doubt that if you follow the instructions carefully you will fulfil the predictions of the tribe and its witches.

The marketplace and the medical texts describe and confirm the behaviour of the lowest common average of behaviour.

I should see for myself if that is what I want - to be the commonest average man. If not I should take a hand in my own drama.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EXPRESS

You have relatively little control over what comes into you through your senses or mind. But you can more easily train to make your body express your aim in life.

If you seek friends and honest and truthful people you are likely to be frustrated. But you can train your body to express friendliness, honesty, truth and compassion to the best of your body’s ability at the given time.

In training the body, the concept of Abhinaya or acting is a helpful one. An accomplished actor may be plagued by many personal worries. But when he is on stage acting the part of a Buddha he is able to organise his bodily resources to express tranquility. If the vibration of the proper emotion to be expressed is kept in view the rest of the body begins to fall in line. In the beginning it is only possible that your voluntary musculature obeys you. Gradually the so-called autonomic functions fall into place to their best ability.

Ramakrishna trance 1879

Bhava Samadhi


Remember what you want to become and BE, That.

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Friday, February 24, 2017

BE SCIENTIFIC

The habit, duty and the urge to verify statements irrespective of the authority or ancestry on which the statements are made is the noblest, the most sacred gift which Science has given to mankind, and which has enabled man to walk on the moon.

The responsibility to practically verify propositions has taken a solid collective root. I believe Schumacher said that today man acting on the outside world using technologic extensions to his organs, is called scientific and is in fashion.


Treating one’s own body as a scientific instrument has not yet become fashionable. This lack of interest in this basic requirement of a person of taking precise scientific interest in the behaviour of his own personal body is at the root of the paradox of man rocketing high into geographical space and steeply rocketing down in behavioural space into the slimy pit of evolution.

Reduced to simple questions the position can be summed up.

I sign a paper supporting peace and against war. Do I spend one minute to see the violence and distrust my own body displays in my dealings with my family, my friends etc.?

I lead a procession against apartheid. Do I for a few minutes verify if my body is taking any steps to rectify my own attitudes, in my personal life? 

I am a professor of physiology giving a lecture on nutrition, of how many calories a professor sitting in a chair should eat and how much a stone worker on road should eat. Do I honestly verify this on my own body?

When a person steps out he systematically checks his car to see if the brakes are working, if the horn is OK, the headlights are good etc. Does he take one minute to see if his own horn and brakes are OK and if not what measures to take?

The striving for personal autonomy is then simply the urge to personally verify if your own body and its parts and functions really obey you and to develop the skills needed for the management of the most complex machine at your disposal.

It is not against any government, organisation, doctors or pills or potions. An organisation for the lovers of personal autonomy! It is in the very middle of the conditions of life, place, society, group, occupation a man finds himself, applying the gifts of science to himself that he learns the skills of driving his car.

But the car is yours. And you are entirely free to let the monkey inside you take charge. If the car does not move the monkey bites it or tears it or tries to eat it.

A man who does not seriously think the car is his own, bites it, kicks it and ultimately kills it, because it does not obey the monkey inside.

Yesterday’s owner, the ape is still in the driver’s seat. The new owner is struggling for expression.

The mark of the new driver is the Spirit of purposeful inquiry and progress and not dedication to dead form and function in the guise of reverence for tradition. If regard for ancestry and tradition is the hall mark of respectability then the most venerable object of idol worship can be a bottle of slimy mud which has been the source of our life.

The plea for personal autonomy and Self realisation is a plea to be really scientific in its best sense and not fall into the error of equating science with technology.


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