It is written

If you are Indian you implicitly know when someone says “It is written”. If that word kinda triggers some far far memories, don’t worry I will help you with it. I know as being an American or a non-Indian you are heavily influenced by “Slumdog Millionaire” – I know I know, it was a great movie but using that to bucket all Indians isn’t a good idea. So, anyhow – in that movie at the end of it – like after the whole movie ends – the last scene freezes and the words ‘It is written’ appear.

So what does it really mean? Let me tell you what it usually means and then we will deal with what it really means. Indian people are predominantly religious. A majority of them are Hindus. All Hindu’s scriptures and holy texts have a theme. This underlying theme has some key points and they are:

  • We are all recycled souls in a new body
  • Depending upon our Karmic debt we are born and re-born in various places as various people over aeons.
  • The fate, i.e., where you are born and what will happen to you is pre-determined based on your Karma.

This is the core of all the spiritual philosophy of Hindu belief. Everything else is just masked up stuff to explain this again and again. Don’t believe me? Checkout Ramayana, Mahabharata – those mythologies are nothing but a dramatic version of the above core principles. Bhagavad Gita however has less drama and more explanation and teachings on the above beliefs.

So when Indian people say “It is written” – they mean the fate is sealed and they have no choice. There is no escape.

I personally think that is the wrong interpretation of those words. No matter how hard I tried to rationalize, I can’t convince myself to believe that. I believe the part that we are re-cycled souls – yes Mozart is re-born and living somewhere at this moment. I believe in Karma – every little thing we think, do and speak accumulates Karma and that kinda propels us into the next life form we will take up. But I don’t believe that this Karmic bond is fixed and it’s all already written down.

I think what is written is – opportunities to escape the past karma, what is written is – risks to take from the existing conditions, what is written is – that unique subjective feeling you have when you realize that you *get it*. I think all our lives we build walls around us – physically, mentally and emotionally. These walls prevent us from our best things that we can ever be. Of course there is a lot of risk in bringing down these walls. There is a lot of pain and hurt beyond them. But they also hold our personal freedom and happiness. They also hold unbound opportunities beyond those walls.

I think that is what is written. The thin karmic walls will try to contain us and protect us emotionally, mentally and physically – so that this cosmic drama on this world stage keeps moving. But it’s not written that we are not allowed to go beyond them. I believe people who break these walls and face pure pain – eventually release all the emotional trauma of being a Human Being. Through pain we gain freedom. Through risks we achieve our goals.

Now, this isn’t me judging others from a pulpit. I am equally a victim of those walls. In fact this post is to remind myself again and again that how fragile are those karmic walls and how powerful is my strong will. I am about go on a tumble ride and I accept this with all my grit and faith.

The Tiger Swami

When I first met Sangita – she mentioned that the story of “Tiger Swami” changed her life. I was skeptical and later decided to check it out. It’s from the book called – “An Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda. As I read the the story I was in awe. I was hooked. I read the whole book and even till this date haven’t come across any book as satisfying as this one.

The Tiger Swami – is a story of Yogananda visiting this Swami who is popularly known as Tiger Swami – a name he achieved by fighting tigers with nothing but his bare hands. It’s a fascinating story of how his hubris grew as he won over many tigers until he met his match in Raja Begum – a royal bengal tiger. He defeats it but it brings profound change in him. He becomes spiritual and rather goes on to win the tigers of desire.

A fascinating book and my dream is one day to produce the book as a movie. A mix of spirituality, science and myth. I would highly recommend the book – even if you are not a fan of Yogananda. Here is a quote from the Tiger Swami chapter –

Mind is the wielder of muscles. The force of the hammer blow depends on the energy applied; the power expressed by man’s bodily instrument depends on his aggressive will and courage. The body is literally manufactured and sustained by mind. Through pressure of instincts from past lives, strengths or weaknesses percolate gradually into human consciousness. They express as habits, which in turn manifest as a desirable or an undesirable body. Outward frailty has a mental origin; in a vicious circle, the habit bound body thwarts the mind. If the master allows himself to be commanded by servant, the latter becomes autocratic; the mind is similarly enslaved by submitting to bodily dictation.


Read the book online here –

This concept of Manifestation

If you are like any other normal person you would have seen a flurry of many many new-age gurus talking about Manifestation and how we are in control of our lives. The idea is not new but the packaging is. It used to be learned, used and followed by a bunch of off the track people in an alternate universe – but The Secret -movie, bought it to the mainstream.(You should also check out What the Bleep do we know? – more real and scientific) Quickly the gurus in the movie turned their back on it and started propagating how ONLY they understand the Secret. The main concern of the people who don’t like Secret is – that it’s too goody goody and non-actioney. The Secret doesn’t talk a lot about the action that needs to be done to achieve what you want to achieve. I totally agree – but hey, don’t shoot the messenger.

I have been, like any other person, curious about this idea for quite some time. My personal freedom and my personal creations are extremely important to me and I believe in the concept of being the person who is in charge of my own reality. I have been reading up quite some books on this concept and this blog post is all the that information filtered to my understanding.

The beauty of belief is – everyone tends to create, see and do what their belief systems dictate. So, based on my beliefs – the way I understood it could be totally off from what others see. This is just my one opinion in the million out there.

The (Hi)Story:

This goes back a little. The way I grew up – was in a patriarch family where my dad called shots on everything. Just like most Indian families. For various reasons and causes, I grew up to be an extremely shy and awkward teenager (who didn’t?). When I turned 20 – I decided that I need to change myself. In someway. I didn’t know what to do. I have been scared of Public Speaking but enjoy the whole process of someone taking the stage and entertaining a crowd. So, I thought I will have to face my fear and then I will be fixed! Little I knew about the arduous process of self-change.

I joined a Leadership Training program which was taught by a Genius who was also a chain smoker. Good start eh. Over the period of next 3 months I faced situations where I almost peed in my pants, cried many many times and embarrassed myself. I wouldn’t want to go on stage at all. It was really hard. But in the end, I ended up becoming aware of 2nd things – 1. The power of my mind., 2. I am still going to be shit scared of public speaking!

Things moved on, life happened. The literature I was exposed to made me learn more and more about other self-help books. I started to form a basic model of how this works in my mind. Fast forward – 2003 NYC. I was taking Yoga classes at Sivananda Ashram. In one class the teacher, talked about how our mind is a powerful tool and how it could manifest things that our belief system tells us we can’t. It stuck with me and I was looking for an opportunity to put it to test.

Somehow, by turn of fate one day I ended up standing in line for tickets to see ‘Rent’ on Broadway. They usually have a raffle before the show to give away free tickets to the very few.(It’s actually the first two rows – which are actually the ‘spit fire’ lanes!) Now, I used this “mind over matter” theory to see if it is true. For the next 30 mins – I did everything I could – thoughts wise, feelings wise, emotions wise, images wise, actions wise, behaviors wise etc – immerse myself into defeating my belief system that I have won the raffle and free tickets. It was not easy to convince my beliefs and it looked stupid to try that. But I kept it on. The third name they called was mine! Now I know – those skeptics who are reading this – it could totally be a spooky coincidence. I agree. But it didn’t matter to me. I don’t think I was so ever shocked in my life like I was then. Literally shaking. I didn’t even watch Rent properly. One thought kept pounding in my head – What else can I do?

The Concept:

So, here I am trying to take this blog post as an opportunity to kinda cull my learning into one small piece. Since I usually think better with drawings and visual aids, I am going to draw a image which comes to mind.

Concept of ManifestationThis looked far better when I drew it on a paper. Graffling is not my skill. So, I want to explain the numbered points:

1 – Mental State: This is your present mental state. At any given time there are so many thoughts, ideas, images, sounds, smells etc belong to this mental state. You can leave it as it is or you can organize the mental state. This is the origin. Whatever exists here is converted to reality in some form or shape by the vibrational state. We do have control on this. The inputs to Mental state are

  1. 5 senses
  2. Internal talk

2 – Vibrational State: I talked about this in the past. This is the state we have no control over. It’s like the inevitable fact. Nothing we do can change this – directly. However, the only way you can make use of this state is to influence upon things indirectly. How? Through the mental states. So, like the candle light is reflected in a mirror – the vibrational state just mass produces anything that the mental state gives.

3. Beliefs: These are the filters. Affecting what is fed into vibrational state as well as what goes out of it. If you have way too many filters then – there is nothing much passing through – meaning, your mental state doesn’t match your reality and vice versa. We have control over this. We can become aware of them and start dropping them off. The more we clear and select our beliefs – the more mental state matches the reality. Of course we will have to start with the primary belief – we can change our reality.

4. Reality & Results: As vibrational state outputs – they come out of us as actions, behaviors, words, theories, ideas etc. Again these are filtered by our beliefs. Depending on how our beliefs are structured – we act, think and talk, there by resulting in our actual reality.

That’s all to it. That’s the manifestation process as I understand it.

The Strategies:

Knowledge is useless without application or action. So, how do we turn these into personal strategies? Here are some of my thoughts:

1. Objectives and Goals: The reason why a lot of people ask and talk about setting goals is – getting clarity about what you want is half job done. In this model – it would apply to the ‘Mental State’ stage. Just writing down all the goals and setting timelines (realistic) is the first step.

2. Meditation: This might sound odd for Manifesting theme. But what meditation does is – it basically lowers the resistance of our beliefs for the time we meditate. I talked about a meditation method in my previous post. So, let me break it down a little in detail. You do meditation for 15 mins every day. Those 15 mins, you try to concentrate on your breath. It’s hard but with practice you will get to stage where you can do that. When you focus on your breath – there are 2 things happening: 1. Your thoughts are being ignored or not given major attention. 2. Focusing on breathing – streamlines it. Slowly after 5 mins, you will notice you are breathing deeper and longer.

This in turn gets you into something called ‘Alpha brain waves‘ – which is a very productive place to be. In that place your resisting guard would be let down and since you already placed your goals and objectives in your mental state prior (through daily goal setting etc) these would be easily conveyed to your Vibrational being which creates actions, ideas and behaviors in you which create your reality.

So, the meditation actually is doing a lot of things under the hood without our knowledge.

3. 21 day habit swap: In his book Psycho-Cybernetics – Dr.Maxwell Maltz originally talked about this 21 day theory. Basically Dr.Maltz was dealing with people who had their body parts removed for various reasons. Some people who lost their arm would still feel pain in it, even though there was no arm. And it usually took 21 days for patients’ body to get over the pain and come to an understanding of new reality. This vital info could be used to form new habits and change how we view and create reality.

Once you set goals – you could start working on them and trying to be consistent for at least 21 days. Most of the time it works. After 21 days, it would become natural for you to work on the goals & tasks.

4. 68 seconds rule: I have no idea why that number – but it’s like number 42 – the meaning of life. If you can manage to do this, it could create some wonderful results. Basically it goes like this – any thought, strongly held for 68 seconds would kick off major changes in your reality. My logical mind doesn’t understand why? I have no data on it – but it has worked for me in various occasions.

So, that’s my understanding of this concept of Manifestation and some strategies involved. I am willing to look at any other info you have to offer to me. But in gist it’s how I understand and it has been working like that for quite some time for me. Please remember – no theory is correct or accurate. We are all blind men groping the Elephant!

Be easy on yourself, play with different methods and most important of all – enjoy the ride, even if it means you are scared of Public Speaking.

Vibrational Beings

I have varied interests and I read a lot of literature on the stuff I like. I like, other than computer science, Physics, Quantum Physics, Mathematics, Spirituality, Philosophy, Human behaviour, Human Psychology, Scientific History, Data Mining, Visualization etc. At any given time I am reading a bunch of books that mould my mind in various directions. At this time I am obsessed with an idea of  how we are all ‘Vibrational Beings’.

This sounds new-age-ey, so please bear with me. I believe that we are all vibrational beings. Like layers of onions, we are engulfed within various beings, of which the most apparent one is Physical. Everything in this Universe has a vibration to it. If you dig deep into matter, it’s nothing but a bunch of quantum stuff loosely coupled and vibrating at a very high speed. If you look around you, you will see visible, living world. A world which could be perceived with our 5 senses. Based upon which we build our beliefs, thoughts and mental models. I believe that we have 4 layers in our beings.

  1. Vibrational
  2. Feeling
  3. Mental
  4. Physical

As always, I think visually and I am very comfortable explaining things visually. Here is how I believe it’s structured.

4 Layers of Being

There are 2 aspects to it. First, Internal – meaning the things that happen within the person. External meaning – things that happen outside of the person/being. Here is how I think it’s laid out.

1. Physical Being – This is the default visible being you see around. This is the action seeking person we interact with. The outcome of this being in the external world is – actions, activities, decisions etc

2. Mental Being – This is the being that gets attacked a lot. Because this is the being that creates the separation. This is the level at which the so called ‘EGO’ lives. This level, we have an image of ourselves as well as others. We have mental model of the world and all our beliefs are stored at this level. Access to memory at this level is very high. If you draw parallels to computer, this being has access to memory on a magnetic Hard disk. Everything gets stored, but you will have to search to retrieve it. This being is also responsible for the rich imagination and visualization. The outcome of this being in the external world is – Thoughts, ideas etc.

3. Feelings Being – This is the being who feels things. Anger, frustration, love, lust, mercy, good feelings, bad feelings are all created and live here. This being also has access to memory, but if you think in terms of computers again – the kind of access this being has to memory is like ‘Solid State Hard Disk’. Meaning, it’s smaller but very powerful and doesn’t take much time to retrieve it. You will always be able to recall the feelings you had when you had your fist kiss. You don’t need to think about it. The outcome of this being in the external world is – Emotions.

4. Vibrational Being – This is the core of all. This being is what we actually are. At this level, nothing is different from the individual being. Everything and everyone is same when it comes to vibrational beings. This is the being that gets referred to as soul, atma, consciousness, Godness etc. This is who we all are. Unfortunately, there is no external representation of this being in the external world. How can it be? If everything is one, there is no external world at all. And that’s what causes a lot of confusion in our lives. This being is often mistaken as ‘Feelings being’ as that’s the closest to it, but they both are not one and the same.

All the practices we do in the name of religion, God, Spirituality are all pathways to realize or touch this vibrational being within us. Good deeds, Good thoughts, Meditation, Love etc are all a pathway to get access to this Vibrational being.

Well that’s theory, now how can you use this knowledge? If you look closely – Feelings are closest to this vibrational being and there is no other simple way to get access to it. Say, for example – you are looking for a new job. You would prepare your resume – that’s physical. You would prepare for the interview questions that’s mental. Various new age gurus suggest you to visualize the outcome, or feel the feelings. That’s true and correct. In addition to both physical & mental action – you need to be there feelings wise too. That’s how you land that job.

Feelings are the only way you can have access to the Vibrational being. Once you change the vibration of that being through a mix of Emotions, Thoughts & Actions – you will sync with whatever you are looking for in vibration. This sounds easy, but hard to do because – everything in our world happens at Physical & Mental level. So, many distractions and so much work to do. A part of it is also our beliefs which we hold them as true. We associate ourselves with the egoistic self-image we create of ourselves. It took us our lifetime to get here, and it will take some more time to get where we actually want to be. But, having a map of things always helps. This is my map which I use to look at things when I am in doubt. This is what bring me clarity to some extent.

Life in 3rd person

This has been on my mind from the past 2 months. I have been wanting to blog about it for such a long time. I may not sound very clear as the topic I want to blog about is very complex and when I bring it from the level of thoughts to level of words, some stuff does slip out though. Not everything I think of can be translated into words easily.

I have wondered about religion, spirituality and meditation for a long time. First I tried to take my refuge in my religion. But being not able to speak or read the native language of my God’s literature (as it was Arabic) I couldn’t be very successful. This was like 20 years back. So I gave up on religion and kinda didn’t pay much attention to God as an organized form of following till I met with the concept of Spirituality. There was this one book which I believe completely changed my belief system and made me admire and love  ‘The God’ more and more.

It was ‘Conversations with God – Book 1‘. Even though it has a Christian twist I was able able to very successfully block it out as I did with my very own religion and just tune into what the Author was really saying. When you do that you really understand the book. Otherwise, you would end up judging the book by it’s Christian value connotations which could be good or bad based up on where you grow up in this country. Anyhow, that book introduced me to Spirituality. Mind you, I am not referring to ‘Secularism’ here. I was down that path after Islam didn’t work out for me. I adopted a formula where I treated all religions as one (being the Libran I am). So, Spirituality came after Secularism.

That’s there, we will get back to that part of the story shortly. I wanted to talk about another trait of me. From my childhood I have been verily fascinated by Brain/Mind/Cognitive studies (although the term Cognitive studies is something I learned couple of months back, I have been interested in that study for a long time). May be it was my Dad’s influence where he imprinted on my mind that mind is the most powerful thing in our lives, may be it’s the popular Hindu belief that says ‘Mind can either bond you or liberate you’. Not sure what it was, but I have been fascinated by mind studies and cool things you could do with it.

I guess the fact that it looked very interesting to me was I got one right with me (I mean my mind) and I can do all the cool thigs with it. This is when I started to learn Harry Lorayne‘s super memory tricks. This is where I trained myself in ‘Vedic Mathematics‘ where I could multiply multiple numbers simultaneously and quickly. It started out as a play thing for me. I would look for information around me and see how I can organize it in my mind. I would not hesitate to take any help from outside. Like eating ‘Okra’ or ‘Bhendi’ as we Indians call it – would enhance your mental prowess and guess what my favorite curry, growing up was? When I was 18 I read an amazing biography of ‘Ramanujam‘ – the greatest mathematician ever lived, called ‘The Man who knew Infinity‘. I was obsessed with Maths and Number Theory. I read that book back to back 3 times but still couldn’t control my obsession. I wanted to have a brain like Ramanujam. In that book the author mentions that Ramanujam’s favorite curry growing up was ‘Brinjal’ or the way Americans call it – ‘Egg Plant’. And I adopted it thoroughly. Eating Egg plant atleast 3-4 times a week. Even though I didn’t like it back then.

So, to make the story short. When you come across Spirituality you also come across a very important tool of which is widely employed by many – Meditation. It was about mind control and I was hooked. Looking back – every religion has some kind of ritual built in where people can get into ‘meditative state’. Muslims pray and count the ‘Tasbih‘. Hindu’s pray and sit in ‘Dhyanam’. Sufism followers get into whirling to get into that state. So, this organized religions have all some way of rituals instilled within them so that they will let us have that one moment of zen.

But at the Spirituality level this is employed very openly and encouraged. But again, Spirituality is like a nameless river. Religions are all like named rivers. No matter how cool Spirituality may sound like but still it has it’s boundaries or edges. It’s still organized and any organized system inherently incorporates things that someday will break. Because to be complete and whole we have to include or take into consideration EVERYTHING. (This is where you should consider my warning of not being able to translate my thoughts into words, again)

So I realized that even Spirituality has it’s short comings and I just focused on Meditation. This was interesting phase and it still is for me. Now, we come to the point I want to put across. I know there are many variations in meditation again. But I think no matter what path you take in Meditation, all the paths are always leading to one destination. And that is ‘Self-Awareness’. That word has been used in so many contexts by now, each of you reading that word ‘Self-Awareness’ has different interpretation. So, let me tell explain what I mean by that.

The state of Self-Awareness is a gradual one. For some lucky people it’s instant. Like 1% of the whole humanity gets to Self-Awareness instantaneously. But since this blog is for the rest 99% I am going ahead with the statement that Self-Awareness is a gradual achievement. When you reach complete Self-Awareness you are in nirvana state. Nothing bothers you. Nothing concerns you. You function in this world perfectly, but nothing in this world will affect you.

So, how does this Meditation lead one to Self-Awareness? If you take all meditative processes and traditions there is something very common in all of them. It’s called – “Watching”. Yep. Watching. Watching the inner watcher who is watching the world. You see within us lie a powerful force which is functioning in a perfect way. There is something that helps us to pump our blood, breaths automatically, make the whole body function in perfect harmony. This is the core. A lot of people call it with lot many names. Atma, Soul, Higher Self, God etc.

Self-Awareness is the state where there is no difference between you and this Core. Where you are ALWAYS AWARE that You are this Core. Meditation kick starts this awareness process. So, how do you know whether you have started it? By watching. Watching your thoughts, feelings, actions without prejudice or judgement. As you start to watch yourself you will start to see how things are moving in the 4 dimension of space and time. This watching is very difficult in the beginning but with enough practice you will get to used to it.

Here is the beauty of it. Once you get to used to this watching – you will start to live life in a 3rd person. It’s as if you have separated yourself from self and you are living life in 3rd person. That’s what I mean when I say living life in 3rd person. Like some people refer to themselves in 3rd person, people who are advancing in meditation are living life in 3rd person, not just referring their names. This is such a powerful idea. That’s what you reap after years and years of meditation. Nirvana doesn’t come in few days. First comes awareness and then Nirvana follows. And meditation enables it.

So now if you look back to religions – we said that they have rituals which basically give a glimpse of what Mediatation does. So to reach a 3rd person life – you have to spend a lot of time in religion. But you can do it with meditation in short period of time. It’s an ardous process. We really don’t want to know what goes through our heads. We are so good at being in denial with our own thoughts and feelings. But once we start to watch and once we gather courage to face our internal stuff, we emerge victorious and happy. It doesn’t end there.

Scientists seriously believe that there are about 11 dimensions in our world. Google “String Theory” or watch this video. But we are only aware of 3 all the time. So where are the rest of the 8? If you take time into consideration you still have 7 more. I believe that those 7 are not outside of us. They are within us. Those 7 remaining dimensions are the stages or persons we will have to go within us to reach that core.

Once you start to watch your thought process in 3 person, after some time you would go one level higher. 4th person. You would be watching the watcher who is watching the watcher. It’s hard. Just imagine it. Close your eyes and see yourself sitting or standing or whatever you are doing right now. Now as you observe yourself try to pay attention to the person/entity who is observing you. I know I sound crazy, but if you can’t never mind. This is what I have learned and this is something I believe. As I go on my own meditation path, it fills me with wondrous possibilities.

Believe me life in 3rd person is really fascinating.

Role of Creativity in Consciousness

It’s been a long time I have blogged and I have been wanting to blog about this topic for a long time. Recently Lynn came up with an idea of having our own household TED talks. So, last Friday I did a TED talk on this topic and it gave me an opportunity to gather all my ideas in one place. I also uploaded a PDF of that talk in the end of this post.

To start with I have 3 basic theories that intertwine to form this grand picture.

  1. Quantum Physics, NLP Theory
  2. Thinking in genenral, Creativity Frameworks
  3. Creation Theory (Not the Church one)

Let’s look at each of them:

Theory # 1: Quantum Physics

It’s a very well known fact that once we break down and dig deep into physical things, there a whole new world out there. Take a strongest microscope and take a deep look, the world within things is totally different. It’s not like the way it has been described – a planetary system. That’s classical physics take on it. Quantum physics says that at a quantum level, things are made of something called “Quanta”. This Qauanta is not a thing, but it’s a energy packet.

In other words this ‘Energy Packet’ is also called ‘Possibility Packet’. Meaning, it’s a proven thing in Quantum physics that at any given time we can only measure one thing of a Quanta. Either ‘Location’ or ‘Speed’. It means that if I go out to find the speed of a Quanta that’s exactly I would find. If I seek location, that’s exactly what I would get. But say, I would want to know at a given time where quanta is at a given time and what is it’s speed – it’s not possible. Think about it. The cop need only find out your speed to check if your are speeding. You just need to find out where your car is parked in a parking lot. You cannot figure out both at the same time.

So this leads us to the fact that we are somehow getting what we are intending for. It means that at quantum level, these energy packets – quanta give us what we seek/intent. Meaning we pre-destine the possibility of what these quanta would be. Meaning we choose what these quanta would be. That is the reason why these are also called ‘Possibility Packets’.

Now, hold that thought and zoom out to regular physicality level. This draws us to conclude that our thoughts basically affect the possibility of certain thing we are seeking. Our thoughts are in turn tied up with our behaviors, habits etc. In other words, what we observe has direct relation to what we intend or looking for.

Remember that, we are going to recall that again later.

Matter Vs. Energy

Let’s talk about matter and energy for a short time. We are used to seeing matter around us all the time. We also see energy in various forms – electrical, chemical(batteries). Long time back Einstein proved with his very popular equation:

E = mc2

In other words energy could be equated with matter with something else. Basically telling us that energy and matter are same things in different forms.

Rehash – Top down approach:

Let’s rehash what we have learned and try to make a connection.

  1. We know that energy and matter are same
  2. If we dug deep into matter(or energy) we would find it filled with possibility packets
  3. These packets behave according to the intention of the Observer
  4. More importantly, the observer can totally change the possibility packets to change by changing the thoughts.

That’s good enough about Theory # 1. Let’s take a look at the next one.

Thoery # 2: Thinking and Creativity Tools

Our thinking consists of 2 components:

  1. Perception
  2. Logic

We all tend to equate logic with thinking. When we refer to thinking, we unanimously tend to think of logic. The logic would say that Obama got enough super delegates to become a democratic candidate. We are obsessed with logic. So much that we totally ignore the ‘Perception’ part and just straight out jump to logic. What we forget is ‘Perception’ is what gives fodder for ‘Logic’ to work on. Taking the Obama example, if we look at perceptions – it would mean that for the first time in history an African American could be a President of America. It’s a powerful thing. You cannot deduct that through logic. You need perception for that.

A lot of daily problems we come across are mostly to do with ‘Perception Errors’ rather than ‘Logical Errors’. We have mastered the logical part of our thinking. So much so that, we can either give it to the computer to figure it out or outsource it to figure it out. Perception is what makes us more humane.

So, how can I be more creative?

If you think about it – Creativity is nothing more than coming up with more options, choices, solutions. So, generally if you expand your perception –> you expand the input –> there by you give more choices to work on at logical level –> there by you get more outcomes, more options and more optimal solutions.

You can use many perception expanding tools. One of the popular one is Edward de Bono’s Six thinking hats.

Let’s check out next theory.

Theory # 3: Basic creation theory (not the one Church is proposing)

This involves all the new age gurus. This is more spiritual and involves a lot of teachers who have been talking and spreading knowledge about this. For example – The Secret.

We usually have 60,000 thoughts per day. And recall from Theory # 1 that our thoughts change possibilities. So, imagine each thought is altering some possibility. Meaning we have about 60,000 alterations going on in our one day at Quantum level.

How in the hell do I manage those 60,000 alterations?

Welcome Feelings.

One feeling is worth a thousand thoughts!

We can keep those 60,000 thoughts in check with the help of feelings.

Remember what we learned in Theory # 1. Our thoughts alter possibilities –> meaning, our thoughts alter or can also create possibilities –> meaning, our thoughts can create matter or energy (Thanks Einstein)

Let’s take a visual representation:

Here are our thoughts:


This is how Feelings Orchestrate thoughts:

Feelings Orchestrate Thoughts

It’s time to mix all these 3 theories and see what come up. Before we do that, let’s note the key points.

  1. Observer changes possibility
  2. Creativity enhances perception
  3. Perception is at a thought level
  4. Feelings affect multiple thoughts
  5. Observer have feelings

The Big Picture is:

Grand Big Picture

So, if you look at it – creativity plays a very important role in our lives. At a sub-conscious level it helps us to perceive more options and there by helps us create the life we want.

Here is the Role of Creativity in Consciousness slides in PDF format.

Map and Territory

Couple of months back I was reading an amazing book called “Tao of Physics” which basically talks about how quantum physics and spiritual realm are similar. It talks about what mystics have discovered about 5000 years ago holds true in what a quantum physicist has to say. In there I came across a para which blew me away. Allow me to explain ( I wish I could quote it but I don’t have the book anymore with me)

Most of the people who consider themselves to be spiritually advanced kinda consider themselves to be knowledgeable. Most of these people once they reach the saturation of their knowledge realize that reality that we see around us is nothing but a big mesh of tricks which our senses along with our mind plays on us. So this usually ends up in this knowledgeable person raising to the occasion of enlightenment declaring that the world around us is magical, mystical and an illusion. What is missed in this is though – how cunningly dualistic is our mind. As soon as we realize that this world as we experience is an illusion – the mind plays its best trick, tricking us into thinking that this so called “illusion” is out there. That this perceived illusion that we have called out is out there and the mind is a friend of ours in identifying it.

But the truth is: the illusion is not out there. It’s actually played out in our heads! We tend to think that it’s out there because then it becomes easy for us to label it and shelve it and go back and watch our favorite episode of ‘LOST‘. But in reality (so ironic) that illusion is in our minds. We carry our own illusions in our minds. This has been labeled by many people in many ways. Some people call it – “Map”. We carry a map of reality in our minds. We try to sift through this so called territory with our maps.

Another populist saying in this arena is “Map is not the Territory”. We keep thinking and identifying that what we see out there is reality and we form assumptions, make decisions totally blinded by the fact that we base all of them on the internal map of the territory. What a kicker would be is – that there is no actual territory. Our languages define how we think. Just close your eyes and check what do you see when you hear or read the word ‘Territory’. I bet its some 3 dimensional landscape or some high view of google maps! But for the lack of words what we refer to as territory actually doesn’t exist in reality. Our maps along with our minds make us believe that what we got is a map and there is a huge territory out there to explore.

Check Schroedinger’s cat phenomenon, check wave particle behavior of light, check Heisenberg’s uncertainty theory. It says in gist – the thing that is being observed is totally affected by the observer. Which means that in any given case, observer is part of the play. He/she is not separate. Which makes us wonder about the territory we have been talking about. At some deeper level you can feel that the territory is us and the map is just some contrived way of looking at the blips in territory.

I better stop before I get labeled as crazy. 🙂
Wave Particle

Tipping point of Consciousness

I know this for sure, anyone who loves doing something very passionately is at some level addicted to it. I have experienced it personally. I think every human being has enough potential in him/her to achieve ‘God/Conscious/Suchness/Sacredness’. How we choose to do it is very different and what we choose to call it also different. After thinking a lot about it, I have realized that reaching this Conscious state also has a tipping point.

Every one picks their own path as to how to reach it. But in my experience it has usually been following one standard path. When I say picking up your own path, it could be anything – any skill which you already have or in the process of acquiring. The most famous path in reaching Consciousness is ‘Meditation’, but if you think about it – meditation would enable you into getting into the feeling of Consciousness and this is the same state you might achieve doing any other activity very deeply. Let me explain with an example.

I am going to talk about the skill I am aware of – Programming. There are some people who program for the sake of programming and the very joy they derieve out of it. I am one of those. I love to write good programs and sometimes when I am programming, I reach a stage where my awareness peaks and I write some very beautiful code. Later when I look at it, I get really surprised that it’s me who typed those lines. So what exactly happens? I think when I hit the tipping point of Consciousness I suddenly transcend my tool, path – programming in this case and I reach that awareness level where I inherently know what to type without any memory, effort etc.

I am not just making this up. This is the single most feeling I always struggle for every time I program. This is the single most feeling I want to feel again and again and I am so addicted to feel this again that I look for new ways of learning new computer languages and try to reach that tipping point.

If you pause for a moment and ponder on it, I am sure everyone will remember an instance where they had this kind of feeling. A swimmer may reach a stage in swimming that he no longer follows any swimming technique but becomes one with the water. A painter would reach a point where he is no longer thinking about his painting, but has merged with the painting and what his hand might be doing is just detail. A teacher, reader, cyclist, nature lover, speaker, skier, hiker and the most popular one ‘Yogi’ – all these people are seeking this unique feeling again and again in their respective methods.

There are couple of things to note here though:

1. Not all of them may call it Consciousness and not many of them will be aware that they are seeking that feeling again and again. Some may call it ‘Flow’ state. Some may call it deep concentration.

2. Like I said, people follow their own respective path for this feeling. So, if you think about it – the very idea of path is to transcend the path. The very idea of programming is to end programming, the very idea of art is to end the art. I am not drunk to say those words, neither am I confused – the nature of Consciousness is hidden in paradoxes and it’s hard to explain verbally. So think about it a little deep and you will understand. Even Zen has an idea called ‘artless art’ – meaning where in Japan, art(calligraphy) is used by many Zen masters, not because it looks cool but they are actually mastering the art of tipping to the other side using art form. To reach the ‘artless art’.

3. We have always heard about reports on how we use only 10% of our minds. Did you ever wonder what happens if one uses 20%? 40%? 90%? 100%? I think I have a theory here. I think when you use 100% of your mind, that’s when you transcend mind. That’s when you tip from mind into Consciousness. Then it becomes clear to the person that the whole idea of having and using a mind is actually to end it. Considering that Consciousness is something we are all after in some form or the other.

Tipping point of Consciousness

4. Given these things, I think it’s not easy to reach that tipping point. Like in the diagram, once you start any activity (like painting, meditation, programming etc) you will have to go through ‘Low Point’. This is where the Nature tests you whether you actually love the activity you started (Check The Monk who sold his Ferrari for more on this) But once you cross this hurdle, as time passes and as you practice more and more you are bound to hit a tipping point. Once you taste it, you are never coming back. You will go through more effort again and again to get that feeling.

In my case so far I have been able experience something profound in programming and meditation.

Quick Parthi Trip

As me and Sangita like to live life on a really, really sharp edge (this happens to be true only when we are in India) – we decided on Thursday that we will go visit Swami for 1 day. So, we left for Parthi on Friday night. I have visited Parthi about 10 times so far. Every time I go with Sang, there is some new insight which I realize.

This time it was a different trip from the previous ones too. I had only 2 small darshans’ of Swami but I was very content. I didn’t fight with other devotees to grab a place in first line! I was not really irritated by people falling on top of me. I just moved away from them. I stayed in my own little world and enjoyed the few moments of Swami I had. I think as time goes on we are reaching a stage where we see and admire Swami for His teachings rather than his form. Which is nothing new, as Swami himself has been advising this from years. It took me a while to come to this point.

I also happen to attend Prof. Anil Kumar’s talk. He is funny and insightful as usual. But one thing stuck with me  from his talk. There was someone who asked a question to him that – when we have so many books, literature, missions about peace how come the world is still in trouble. His answer was – yes, we do have a lot of literature, books, organizations on reaching peace – but individually we are not practicing the things we are learning.

I pondered on it. It sounded very true to me. I can only speak for myself. I read, listen, think and plan a lot of things. On an average, I practice only 20% of what I read. What would happen if I implement, practice 100% of what I read or preach. What if I walk the talk 100%? I think that was the take home lesson I got from our quick Parthi trip. I intend to practice 100% of what I read, think & plan.

Belief Systems

I read an article today in Times of India which inspired me to think about certain things. Here are my thoughts on ‘Belief Systems’ and how I think about them.

Before we start off, let’s do some definitions:

1. Situation: Situation is any single activity, process that is out there. You can basically define the world around you as a huge set of situations that are happening simultaneously. For example: Your car broke down, Someone complimented you etc.


2. Emotion: This is the feeling that gets generated within us. This is within us. Emotions usually form in response to something outside – ‘situation’. We do have the ability to create a emotion without any outside stimulus but that’s for another blog post. Usually everyone of us function the default way – i.e., we generate emotions in response to situations.


So, the generic thinking is that we have matching emotions to situations in life. But that’s not totally true. The truth is a little bit deeper. See we don’t usually generate emotions to the situations – if that is true we would be overwhelmed. What we usually do is – we generate a emotion based upon what we think/feel/guage the situation is. Please read that carefully, because there lies the solution to everything we are looking for. So, we generate emotions in relation to a situation based up on what we think about the situation. It could be one thought or it could be a bunch of thoughts.

So it would look something like this:

Emotion -> Situation

So, to take our earlier example: My car broke down: My feeling towards it is panic, bad and scary. I have heard horrible stories about how people got in trouble when their car broke down and now this situation is genrating emotions in me based up on what I think about my car breaking down. To take the other example: I might feel better and it would make my day if someone passed on a compliment to me. I could also totally flip out if I have a different thoughts associated with ‘compliment situation’.

So, all these thoughts/feelings we have towards situations combinedly form our Belief System. Our belief system is the most influential part of our system. We function with our belief system.

Belief System

When people live a life of auto pilot, they totally don’t see their belief system at all. All they see is the situation and the emotion just flows. So let’s get back to emotions. What happens over a period of time with our emotions is – we form habit out of them. So, a couple of times my car breaks down and my default behavior is to panic. In this mode I am not even aware of my emotions. I see a situation and I just take a short cut with a habit.

Habitual response to Situation

So why is it such a big deal to know/see our belief system? Because if you can see it then it means you can also change it. Most of the time people attack the problem at a wrong level. They think it’s a habit problem. They try to fix the habit. For example: people trying to quit smoking habit. Then some go one level deeper – emotions level. This is where people try to go to a Therapist. Talking it out, good counsellor, life coach etc. This works for some, but not that effective.

I think and believe that if I want to solve something or fix something in my behavior, it’s always effective at my belief level. This is so empowering. I am the one who is looking at my belief system and changing it. I admit this is not that easy to do. But this is the only effective way.

So, how does one see one’s belief systems?

1. Meditation. A lot of people think that meditation will lead one to state of Godliness, holiness, nirvana etc. All these are misconceptions based on the rituals centered around the actual act of meditation. What meditation actually does to us (I am referring to any form of meditation) is it makes us aware of our Belief System. This is so powerful that we don’t even realize it. What we usually feel is better and better as we meditate every day. Over a period of time we realize that we have become a better person. What actually happened is that over a period of time when we meditated we have become aware of our belief system and have mended it. So, now when the car breaks down – I don’t freak out. I take a deep breath and think how I can resolve the situation.


2. Journaling: Any form of honest journaling acts as a mirror to our soul. I learned the most effective journaling method from the book called “The Artist’s way“. It goes like this. When you wake up in the morning, the first thing you do is write 3 pages/sides. It could be anything. It could be your dreams, fears, tears, complaints, appreciations etc. It’s a mind dump. You don’t even have to read back/check what you wrote. What happens is – initially I was able to write 5 pages. Then slowly I wrote about everything that I could think of. I had to dig deeper in. And once I start doing this consistently – over a period of time I get a feel of my own belief system.


3. Reading good books. Books open up our thinking and let new ideas, thoughts to sprout in our mind. Reading a good collection of books definitely tells a lot about our thinking patterns. One quick glance at what kind of books we like tells us a lot about our Belief Systems. By reading a lot of books we usually provide a lot of fodder to our brains based on which our belief systems are built.


4. Feedback from Environment. This is usually our friends, colleagues, peers and elders. One need to engage in healthy conversations to learn more about one’s belief system. Only by taking it out in a secure environment of our friends our belief systems get updated and hardened. Keeping our eyes and ears open for good feedback from our friends will help us re-structure our belief systems constructively.


Now you may wonder – will becoming aware of my belief system gives me enough power to change it? Yes it does. Like I said, it’s very empowering and it may sound hard but our souls are tuned in such a way that they always choose the best for us. Once the mind becomes aware of the belief system, once it see the fallacy behind some of our beliefs- it consults/defaults to the souls way – which is the best way for us.

So, discovering our belief system is the best gift we can give to us. It’s the best thing that has happened to me. I have been following this from the past 8 months and I still learn so many new things about my belief system. So, depending up on how much stuff we have within us it will take more and more time. But this is most effective way of re-constructing our worlds.


Inspiration from the article: “The answers are within” in Sunday Times of India on 13th Jan, 2008, by Paul Countinho.

Diagrams using Omnigraffle Pro

Photos from Flickr’s Creative Common licensed stream.