Friday, February 12, 2016
We are not just this body. We are a bundle of information. Flowing like a river. Deep down, we are spiritual beings trapped in a physical body. The body is like a machine. And when the machine breaks down, we break down. Machines need preventive care. That means regular maintenance.Like the leaves that you see in the background, we are a tree in this vast samsara of life. We have our root, stem and the leaves and flowers.
In spring time, the flowers bloom and in autumn time the leaves and the flowers wither away. This is a natural cycle of nature. Try as hard as you may, but you cannot go against the drift. A salmon which flies upstream, gets caught in the current. It works against the natural flow or the current of the river. No use. You may be a rebel, but rebels land into the net of a fisherman. Life is short. Maybe 100 years. And in this lifetime, there are so many things to achieve. So many unsaid words. With the awareness that we are spiritual beings, let’s take the next step towards machines. Those mute and deaf machines.
Machines come in different flavours. The hardware is the backbone. Without the hardware (the bare metal), no amount of coaxing it to work will succeed. The hardware is the soul of the machine. The hardware is made up of the following :
- CPU (Brains)
- Memory (Past impressions)
- Storage (Akashic Records)
- Network (the channel to connect with the Universe)
The title ‘The Age of the Spiritual Machines’ is from a book written by none other than the great Ray Kurzweil. People talk of artificial intelligence. The age of AI. But there are no alarm bells to sound. Above all these, is the invisible hand, working in silence. Silence. Silence. Silence. It’s so powerful. Machines work silently. They do not worry about the past or the future. The past is storage and the future is imagination. Beyond the brain (or the mind) is the spirit, moving ceaselessly. Towards an echo from the depths of silence. Silence is golden. Some people don’t seem to be synchronized with the flow. When I travel in the lift or the elevator, I can hear the machine humming away. A mantra – maybe the sacred syllable ‘AUM’. Scientist’s are discovering gravitational waves. Bright minds like Einstein had already predicted this, a century back. Of course, gravity is waves and particles (gravitons) and the record keeps playing again and again.
When you listen to a song or music behind it, what is working is a piece of hardware, with some software. The world is a stage and all of us are actors. Did Shakespeare say it ? I think so. This whole multiverse is working towards God. Like it or not, our journey to perfection has already begun. Machines augment our capabilities. They make us more powerful. What do you really want ? Happiness, right ! There are about 6,000 programs which help us be happy. Check out ‘appiness’. I haven’t, but I’m gonna download it very soon. Because, you know what, I want to be happy… In this present moment, do you have any qualms ? None, right ! So learn to use that machine as your best friend. Know that we are all guided, by an invisible matrix. Read Gregg Bradden’s ‘The Isaih factor’ and you will know what I mean. So without further ado, on this holy day, I wish you all lots of happiness and love. May God Bless !
At your service :
Sunday, February 07, 2016
Thursday, February 04, 2016
Wednesday, February 03, 2016
Tuesday, February 02, 2016
Sunday, January 31, 2016
Sunday, January 24, 2016
I thank God today for all the blessings that he keeps sending our way. Today I went out to a mall with my wife and two kids. We saw the movie Alvin and the Chipmunks. Wonderful movie. Classic animation and voice overs. The American way of doing things – be yourself. Let go. Everything happens for the best. Alvin and his two chipmunks are very adorable. I saw the whole of America in this movie. Made me feel nostalgic. Beautiful Music. From Jazz to Country, all of it packed into this two hours. Alvin’s father is just managing between his duty and personal commitments – as usual. So many roles that we play in this circle of life. Sometimes it’s true that life gives us tough tests. What we have to remember is that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. Remember he is the most gracious and the most merciful. Alvin’s father (not legal till the last shot of the movie) finds love in a beautiful woman who has a son, but separated or without a spouse. They find love. But love is not something that happens physically. It’s beyond words. They are on their way to finding true love. Message – Go slow. Take your own time. Overall a beautiful movie to watch with your family. My 2 cents on the movie – 8/10.
Now let’s talk about the technicalities of the movie. The animation that feels so live is thanks to technology. Animation is done using software like Maya or Topaz or many others. There is not much of programming. There are easy to use tools (pick and choose) and technology is getting easier to apply and use day by day. Learn from companies like Pixar and Disney as to how a dream is turned into reality. Hats off to the whole team. You have seen the old movies – how they are. See the movies of today. Look at vibrant colors (new types of cameras), cool and clear sound (thanks to dolby) and the overall synchronization – like an orchestra of Zubin Mehta or Madame Butterfly. Music is beautiful when done solo, duet or an orchestra. Good music is something that makes us dance to its tunes, or makes us sing along or maybe cry. It evokes different heartstrings of our heart. We get emotional. That’s what separates us from machines, you see. Machines are devoid of emotions. It’s a god given gift. In fact everything that we have or will have is God’s gift. So thank God every day as much as you can. Do not look at what you don’t have. Like I’m happy that God has blessed me with a wife, kids and lovely friends and relatives.
You know we are all connected. This beautiful blue earth is holding 7 billion of us and we have to realize that we are all brothers and sisters. There may be problems in the world. But don’t focus on the bad aspect, because there ain’t any. There are just positives in this world. Can God create anything that is negative. So some people ask that such injustice going around in the world – how do you explain that ? Well, change yourself and your change the world. If you think negative, you will attract negative (That is the law of attraction). God simply gifts us what we desire – if it is good, you get good, and if it is bad, then it is good, if you look at those bad things as something that makes you learn. The whole purpose of creation is only one – progress. Period. Progress towards God or perfection or purity. We all have to walk our paths. Some have a struggle some have more or less of it. God is guiding us towards Him/Her every second. Know that knowingly or unknowingly, we are walking towards Him / Her. If times are tough, rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Sorry, got carried away a bit. Let me come back to the movie. People love stories. The world is made up of stories. So in Alvin and Chipmunks the essence is the adorable chipmunks among loving human beings. The true meaning of love being discovered by Dad/Mom and brotherly love between the Chipmunks and the son of the heroine. Just go and see it. It’s worth the 2 hours watch. A movie that moves at a beautiful pace. A music that keeps playing like the flute, the guitar or the piano. The light (ambience) is very good and a free trip to the beautiful America. Breath-taking scenery and a light and enjoyable movie. The guy who tries to stop Alvin is a bit funny. After a lot of situations Alvin and the Chipmunks find a Dad who they can call as their own. Finally the chipmunks are legally allowed to be sons of the Dad. Thank goodness. My final 2 cents - Go watch the movie.
God Bless …
Sunday, January 17, 2016
On this beautiful blue planet Earth, to which we all belong, there is abundance. The Universe (God) loves each one of us the same amount. He is the most gracious and most kind. In this and all the Universe(s) that have been created, God has blessed every creature with special skills. Unlike animals, which behave uniquely, we human beings sometimes behave as a lion or sometimes as a fox or some other times as a mouse. We are multi-talented. Some people still have a vague conception of God. God is infused into each and every little particle (no matter how small or how large) There is nothing here or anywhere else, that is devoid of Him. By the way, when I refer to God as Him, it doesn’t mean that He is a male. Use any gender for God that you may like. My belief that God is everywhere is sometimes called as Panpsychism (I hope I have spelled it right). In the great treatise, Shrimad Bhagvad Gita, Lord Krishna mentions that only 1% of his power sustains the whole Universe. So do we really have a faintest idea of what the rest 99% is being used for. In the great Koran, it’s said that no leaf moves without His permission. (Without the mighty Allah’s permission) – I think I read it in Koran or somewhere else.
Anyway, Why am I rattling you with all this preaching ? To tell you the truth, I’m a teacher and like to teach. Although I do not claim to be a great teacher, I have learnt some tricks. The reason why I’m sharing with you about God, is that, in this beautiful world that he has created, everything is positive. The miseries are not his creation. Our Sadhguru (Isha Foundation) mentions that in life we have 2 choices viz.
- Choose to live in happiness – in the present moment
- Choose to live in the past and future within our bundles of thoughts, emotions and other nonsense
I’m sorry, still I have not come to the point. So here it is. Mother Earth has blessed us all with abundance. But still there is a disparity in the midst of abundance. This relates to money (Goddess Lakshmi) – in other words – fortune. Mother has blessed us all with different levels of abundance (be it spiritual, mental or material), but still when we deal with money, it can get quite complicated. Do you know that United States of America spends around 18% of their GDP (Gross Domestic Product) on Healthcare. Whereas in my country India the spend is about 4-5%. There are 300 million people living in the US and there are 1.2 billion people living in India. 4 times as much as that of US. Look at the state of healthcare. All across the world, in developed countries like the US, UK etc, they give paramount importance to Healthcare, Education and the basic needs (Roti, Kapada, Makaan – Food+Water, Clothes and Shelter). Developing countries are just scaling up. Do you know that US is the most generous country in terms of donations to charities? Of course everyone is shelling out their hard earned money, but it just doesn’t seem to be enough. The media coverage on different negatives happening all over the planet sometimes really upsets me. But I have realized that this is not because, the situation is negative, but I do not have the eyes to see the positive in it.
Coming to the Healthcare situation, which I have been researching recently, I find that there is still a huge gap between demand and supply. Technology is slowly filling this gap. There are technologies for Doctors, patients and the other people and entities in the value chain. But the latest cutting edge technologies is with my brothers and sisters of the developed countries. Let’s take the case of EMR (Electronic Medical Record) – the case history of a patient – his physiology right from birth to death. In India, I’m not sure how many doctors maintain that. The paper based records (that are being maintained) can get destroyed or can go missing. Which means the doctor does not have the patients history, which can hamper the doctor’s diagnoses. In some countries the EMR is a statutory requirement. I do not know if that is compulsory, but technology can really help a doctor and a patient to maintain their data (pervasiveness) near to 100% reliability. By that I mean the patient’s medical history is in good hands. (the technology). The privacy of this data can be breached, but things are really getting tough for the hackers. (those acting unethicaly).
Trust – this is one word that does not have an end. It’s synonymous with love. I mean unconditional love, like the one that God showers on us. So before I forget, here’s my humble request to all of you :
- Please know that we are all brothers and Sisters connected by an invisible web. So don’t fight.
- Developed countries – Kindly share your technology with the lesser ones.
- I did not cover this – but do you know where most of our spending goes – Yes, Defence. That’s a lot of money spent on killing others or defending oneself. Let’s go slow on this.
May God bless us all (we are already blessed)
So wake up to that smell of Americano coffee (I love that black coffee) – 1 in the morning- and choose happiness for today.
You are extraordinary !
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Ready. Fire. Aim – This is new school mantra.
The first one is the baby boomers, the millennial and all people in between. They get ready with their strategy (ready) and tactics (aim) and then fire (execution). Whereas the new age kids all do Strategy, Execution and Planning. There is a lot to be said about the three layers of management that we come across in Management.
Top – Strategy – Direction
Middle – Tactics – Plan
Bottom – Execution – Work
More and more senior management people are realizing that just sitting in a golden cage predicting a vision does not cut it anymore. They have to be on the ground with the troops. You cannot be a true leader, without dirtying your hands. Then he/she is called a grassroots person. Gone are the days, when the babu’s (officers) sit idle on a chair protected by the very barricades that we erected, called as policy. What is the use of such policies when it does not protect ordinary people ? When law becomes so complex that we ourselves get entangled in it (and become miserable) what is the point of having such laws ? They need to be simplified – either rewritten or deleted.
Coming back to Ready. Fire. Aim.- I have noticed this in children who play with the mobile. When I try to solve something on the mobile, first I think, before hitting a button (thoughtfulness) and my 9 year old son first hits the button (testing them one at a time) one by one (intuition). So which is better ? Gut feel or intuition travels faster than thought and thoughts travel faster than the speed of light. Whoever said that nothing can move faster than light will have to revisit his/her assumption.
Execution plays a very important role. Without perfecting this step, nobody will be able to give wings to his/her dreams. 80% or more of the time should be spent here by everyone, no matter whatever may be their position. We keep spending our time without bothering to look sideways. Well that is good, if a laser sharp focus is required for the work. But if you work effortlessly, grounded in the present ,moment, the awareness would be there automatically. When you follow your gut, your thoughts are not required.
As a matter of fact, I’m going to repeat the same thing that I keep saying to you again and again. Be in the present moment. The Bible says ‘Be still and know that I’m God’. Well, go ahead, realize the God within you. There is another saying which says ‘When you know your(Self) you know God. This Self is nothing but your Atman or Consciousness. Knowing means absence of thoughts and that is true knowing or Wisdom. Thoughtfulness is the same as that.
Now that I have blabbered a lot, I will just leave you with one word – Silence – Period.
Om Shanthi Shanthi Shanthi.
Sunday, January 03, 2016
Enter us – human beings. You know, we are strange creatures. We have been endowed with a lot of gifts. Creator has given each one of us something special – a gift – maybe more than one. The biggest tragedy while living this short life would be not to realize this gift that we have been given. That’s why we have lawyers who are unhappy because they wanted to be doctors or engineers who wanted to be artists. This according to me is the most important aspect. We must be ourselves. And not act like a lion when we have sheep like qualities or act like a lotus when we are a rose. Our education sometimes overlooks this. Hence sometimes we get lost in trying to find ourselves. We have been made in the image of our heavenly father, it says. As is the Macrocosm, so is the Microcosm. If you carefully observe, the planets go around the Sun. The electrons go around the nucleus of an atom. There is so much of pattern here that we simply have to dismiss this as a co-incidence.
So finally what are we after ? Money, Fame and what after that ? There is a song in Hindi ‘Ye duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kya hain’ – it means, what if we get this world – what’s the big deal ? Is that what we really want ? Material things do not bring real happiness. The whole world (material) that we perceive with our senses is just temporary. It will exist for some time and is on it’s way to destruction. So what is the point of getting attached to the material world. The only thing that is permanent is God, who has always been, without birth, without death. The big bang which started about 13.7 billion years ago, is just a desire that arose in God’s mind. And like all desires, we know that they come to an end. In today’s world, we have ample choices – we run after these flashing lights, without realizing that our true happiness lies only in one thing – Silence – in other words – God’s presence. Rest all is illusory.
The time has come to put a brake into our reckless longing for more and more. Look at the world today – what will we leave for the next generation – polluted air ? water ? and so on. Of course, we have to focus on the positive – and this will be true only when we be thoughtful or mindful about our actions. We have to live life from our consciousness. Stop this ego play. Because this simply comes from fear and not love. And in God’s world there is no fear. No negatives. Because he is the most kind hearted, most merciful and most gracious. We are all his children. If you have a child, imagine what happens if he/she goes astray. That’s why we have Silence (God or Zero) showing us the path of the righteous. Do not let me go astray – says a prayer. With the shape that the world is in today – we all have a lot of work to do. It starts with righting our wrongs (prevention is better than cure) and then leaving a good legacy behind for the generations to come.
Are we willing to do this ? Every one of us should ask our inner selves.
May peace be with all of us.
Monday, December 14, 2015
While looking at the Ocean
The Ocean …
This is a haiku by Issa, who lost his mother at the tender age of two. Those who are blessed with a mother and father till they grow up should consider themselves lucky. It’s important to get the affection of mother and father, both. Throughout our lives, when times are tough, we need the support of those who love us. This itself is breather. However, we need to get up and solve the problem that we are facing. In life, be it any situation, we do not get problems that cannot be solved by us. The problem may look menacing, but we are equipped to solve it. And then we learn from the problem. We become tougher. While walking, what do you think when you come across a big stone ? Some people wonder who put the stone in front of you. They may even curse the person who did this. Some other people, step over the stone or move it and keep walking, without complaining. This is the difference between a negative and a positive person. Let me repeat this : We are not given a problem without being given the capacity to solve it. It’s all in the attitude. Do you see the problem as something good or bad ?
I recently saw a movie called ‘The good dinosaur’ . In it is the story of a dinosaur called Arlo, who crosses over his fears to become a strong adult. That is also our story. Sometimes we have to let go of our fears, which traps us. The effort to grow beyond one’s self has to come from us only. And if we look deep down below, we are nothing but our parents, ancestors and much more. Live, so that you may love and be loved by others. We can ask God to show us the way and he always does. But walk, we must. The action is ours and we have full right to it, the willingness is also ours. But what happens, is not within our control. Treasure those experiences. To experience the future, we must embrace it fully. Ask yourself this question – ‘Am I willing to risk it’. This means letting yourself be vulnerable to the next moment. Are you experiencing the moment and enjoying it, or are you on the defensive ? Seize the moment – because that’s all you have.
You really don’t have to struggle always. If we are following the rhythm of the Universe, things will begin to unfold in your life. One by one, your dreams will come true. But you have to have the patience to wait. You feel the struggle when you want the Universe to work your way, rather than the other way around. Trust me – It’s much easier to follow God’s plan for us than having our own plans. That is what is called submission to the will of God. This does not mean that we don’t make any plans. We can and we must. But if the plan doesn’t work out as expected, let it not break your heart. Probably God has better plans for you. Don’t sit and grieve. Get on with the next task. Desire is good, but attachment to desire is not good. Do what you love and leave the rest to God. The money, the fame or whatever it is that you crave for, will follow. Don’t try to change the world, change yourself. By that, I mean your attitude towards life.
In programming when we write code, we also write what is called as exception handling – in other words how to handle the errors. Apply the same to your life. Have a Plan B and a Plan C. One of them is sure to take off. But most important, work for work’s sake and do not hanker for the results. Pay full attention to what you do. Because finally speaking, it’s not your words but your actions that matter. If you are energetic and intelligent, you will make a mark in the world. By intelligent, I don’t mean the IQ,EQ or SQ, but simply your attitude towards life. Passion has to be transformed into action and the results are sure to follow. Work hard and smart. There is no such thing as just good times. You will have both good and bad times. The good times are a bonus from God, the bad times are to make you grow. Like Arlo, the dinosaur, we all have to keep growing, till we meet our creator, when this song of life ends. So don’t you muffle the music in yourself. Release it. Unleash it on the world.
To your success …
Saturday, December 05, 2015
Once you know the essential nature of something, you know everything that is to know about it. For example, water is the same whether you see it as ice, liquid or vapor. All of them are the same H20. The manifestation is different depending upon the circumstance. Thus, through the arrow of time, we take up different bodies – child, teenager, adult etc. But who is inside is the same person or the same Consciousness. That is the only real. This deep down awareness that I’m. While reading these words also, are you aware of this presence ? This undivided, always the same entity is what we are, deep down under. Rest all – our bodies, our emotions and our thoughts are all a temporary impermanent blip in eternity. These will all go away, but the experience will stay. In fact, if you try to understand the purpose of life, there is none, except for this experiencing. The whole world arises and subsides in God’s mind, as if it were waves in an ocean. Know that you are not just the wave of the ocean, but the ocean itself pretending to be a wave.
It’s not possible to contemplate the Ocean with our puny mind. However, we can experience it, in moments of silence. Which means when the mind is quiet – no thoughts are being produced. This doesn’t necessarily have to be when we are meditating. When we are involved in a work that requires all our attention also, we can get an awakening experience. When we are playing with 100% concentration, we can have the experience. The only difference between meditation and these kinds of experience is that while meditation is done consciously, the others happen unconsciously. Mind you, in all these, the experience is of prime importance. Whether you are in a room or whether you are outdoors, what matters is what you are experiencing every moment. In short, at any point of time, it’s the sum total of your emotions, feelings and thoughts. Are you feeling high or low ? Aim for the experience that makes you forget yourself.
For God, this is all just a lila or in other words a play. If you ask a child why it’s playing, there is no answer or the best that can come by is because it feels happy when it plays. For God also, life is this huge game that goes on and on, where waves arise and subside, where the flower blooms and sheds its fragrance on the wayfarer’s and then withers away. We don’t have to artificially control any of this process. Everything happens automatically with precision. Life is this big party going on, where everyone is invited to play his/her part. Your life indicates what kind of party are you having, The kingdom of God is only available to those who accept life as a play or in other words are like children. It’s for the large hearted man having fun in all that he/she does that God showers his gifts. Actually God does love everyone equally, his gifts are readily available to those people who don’t have mental blocks. In other words, to those who have a clear channel with God.
God gives us what we need, not what we want. We may want a lot of things that may not be appropriate. Hence God filters all that and gives us what we need to go to the next level. All we need to do is to remove our discriminating mind, which comes in our way of receiving the gifts from God. Basically, there are two approaches to life:
- Be a victim of chance
- Dictate what you get
In the first case, we pretty much become an instrument of destiny. In the latter case, we write our own destiny. Remember, deep down we are creators, as a reflection of being God’s child. We are endowed with powers which we cannot contemplate that we possess. Take a deep dive into this reality and write your own script, because you are worth it.
Saturday, November 21, 2015
You should never take more than you give
Its the circle of life
---- Lion King
Do you believe in infinity ? That’s an absurd question. How can you believe in a number ? Some people however do. The birth number or the name number or the destiny number is important to them. They go on to think that doing something on these numbers is going to be fruitful. This kind of thinking is harmless except when you get obsessed with it. While numbers come with their own potency, most of their behaviour is probabilistic. There is no sure thing. Our karma supersedes the effect of numbers. All this talk about fate or destiny is superfluous. Your present creates the future. It is just the present that is there. Time and form are both going to get destroyed. In fact space-time is not at all, the way we perceive it. According to relativity, space-time is a relative phenomenon. Consider the present moment. Is the past or the future there when you are focussing in the present. No. Only if you are thinking does the concept of time come to you. Thoughts create the illusion of time and space. There is no space-time outside of yourself.
Imagine that you have a camera. If you take a shot, and if the focus was clear, then you would experience a moment. As you defocus, the shot gets blurred. Note that the reality doesn’t change. Outside of the camera is a reality which is existing, whether you like it or not. However this reality or the nature, does not have any existence, till your camera focuses on it. Till such time, it exists in a quantum state. Our perception of the world can be understood through this analogy. When we are wide awake and involved with the world out there, we are having a narrow focus. Its our Consciousness that is experiencing the world. That is for a moment (as long as our attention span) Consciousness forgets itself and experiences the world through our finite sense perceptions. Thoughts can defocus the lens and make us see a coloured world. As our focus blurs, like say deep sleep or Unity Consciousness, our Consciousness starts becoming aware of itself.
Now the trick. How can Infinity know itself as limited ? Well, the Infinity knows itself to be without end, however to experience each and every act of its own creation, it sacrifices the awareness of being an infinite being and perceives the world through our finite space-form-time. Right now, what we are experiencing is the mind of God. Which is infinite, but has chosen to experience itself through the finite world. And remember to experience something you need 2 things. The subject and the object. The subject is God and the object is also God. However the subject wants to experience itself. The subject surely knows that it is infinite in nature. But the object and this world created has to be experienced by the subject. Hence a finite version of the object is in the context.The only thing that is eternal here is God, rest all are illusory in nature. By illusory I mean that which has existence only in the present. God could simply be (a noun), however he/she chose to be dynamic (a verb) with the desire to know itself.
So why does the world seem to be transitory in nature ? It’s all about limitations. Today you have a computer with 8 GB of RAM, tomorrow you want it be 32 GB and so on. So what happens with this constant thirst for more ? Well, the answer to that is, we are all in search of the ultimate truth – which is God, or in other words Infinity. We human beings with our technology are just sitting on the tip of the iceberg today. There is still so much to be done to make our lives more interesting. We are constantly being aided by God, however we think that one day we will be like God. Powerful. Infinite. Well, here’s the news. That day will never happen, because deep down we are already that. With our inventions and discoveries, we will make progress, but it will never be 100% as we live in a dual world. And till the time that we don’t break out of this clutch of duality, all our progress will be limited. Turning outside is not the solution. Time that we turned inside and set ourselves free.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
There are two things – data and the algorithm. While data is collected by sensors (in our case, senses) the algorithm or the instruction is used to ascribe meaning to it. Simply said, the instruction processes the data. And this exactly is the fundamental problem. Duality. While data doesn’t dictate any characteristics, its the algorithm that attributes meaning to data. Life tries to give relevance to data by classifying it. A human brain and the brain of a cockroach is different. Both of them view the data of the world in different ways. To perceive data you require a program. And what is this program, if not data, arranged in a particular pattern. This very pattern as it grows complex, gives birth to life in all it’s complexities. For example: We as human beings have a complex mind. At the cellular level, we have genes which are coded for smooth functioning of our body and at the macroscopic levels, we have the brain with the neurons which processes sensory information received from its surroundings.
We are actually not one life, but a conglomeration of trillions of cells, each one of them alive. Our blood cells, bacteria, viruses and other life forms exist inside each one of us. We are a society of micro organisms, each equipped to deal with life in its own way. This whole process is a verb and not a noun. By that I mean that the whole ecosystem is changing every second. Each one of these cells have a way of sensing its surroundings and use it for its own survival. Cells at one intelligence level sometimes combine together to form tissues, which in turn forms muscles and organs. An organ has a different understanding of its surroundings than say a tissue or a cell. But there are clear cut characteristics of each one of them. Whether you take a cell or an organ – all of them have a job to do.Their goal is to live as much as they can and push the expiry date to its limits. Some of them succeed, while some don’t.
Its remarkable how all these life forms at their individual levels process data. Can non life forms also process data ? Take a piece of wood – does it process any data ? While not in the sense of life, wood burns when fire engulfs it. That is the property of wood. Since its a non life form, it doesn’t really care about its survival like say a cell does. An object has properties or attributes. These are processed by life (the code) in different ways. The kind of processing for different types of data is a natural phenomenon. However the code can change through time or even the data can undergo change. There is no such thing as permanent data or code. Nature and nurture both play their roles in bringing forth actions based on data and instructions. What we need to remember is that data and program can become complex in nature as life evolves. A particular pattern is what gives rise to the algorithm and subsequently to data as the code perceives it.
Now beyond all this is the union of data and code. Where only pure data exists. This is the soul. What is nature (prakriti) is impregnated by purusha (soul) and it appears the same everywhere we look. And that is the real truth :
Tat tvam asi (You are that)
At this level, the awareness of soul and nature all merges into one. This is the feeling of oneness that has been experienced by many a blessed souls. Some of us live life in code and data boundaries in a regular usual manner. But beyond the daily grind is the sea of consciousness (pure data) awaiting for us to merge within its droplets. And even if we are going through a grind in real life, what we need to know is that the water and the experience also belongs to God – now and forever.
Friday, November 13, 2015
Data by itself is quite useful. Data in context with other data is still more useful. And data that answers our questions is invaluable. When we try to operationalize data, there are 4 things that need to be considered. They are as follows :
- Data Engineering
- Data Integration
- Data Quality
- Data Security
This starts from acquisition of data to deployment. Data that is acquired or available has to be made appropriate for the models that would run over them. Data has to be cleansed before it is used. The procedure is called ETL (Extract Transform Load) and it deals with extracting the data that is under consideration and transform it, so that it becomes usable and finally loading the data into the setup.Data Scientists run different models against this setup and finally arrive at some conclusion. Typically this is an insight that is derived by a data analyst. Unfortunately, a deluge of data can easily force the data scientist to spend time cleaning the data than focussing on their area of work. Typically 80% of the time is spent in making the data usable. And then there are many sources of data, each with a different profile.
It’s very essential to understand that data is coming to us from various channels. From company systems, from individual machines and from the external world. All this data has to be accommodated in the setup. Mind you, data can be structured, unstructured or semi structured. To collect all this data and analysing it is not an easy task. The more the data collected, the more number of ETL programs have to be run. Duplication of data should be avoided. For this we have to have MDM (Master Data Management) – a place where the data is unique and addressable by a key value. Consider your customer – In the system, every customer should have only one unique ID based on which all his/her transactional and master data can be pulled up. Data integration involves creation of meta data (data about data)
Quality is solely responsible for getting insights from data that has been gleaned from multiple data sources. Sometimes, quality is associated with veracity or accuracy. Is the data that you are working with fresh or stale ? Is the data duplicated ? Does the data support a single version of the truth ? Is data timely ? Is data getting continuously updated ? How many data sources are being looked into ? Because this will affect the number of ETL processes. Data that is authentic has to be collected. The best place to look for this data is your operational data. If you read a lot of external data from say the internet or journals or some other sources, keep in mind that the data quality may be suspect.And finally how do you merge all this data with others. Bad data is like a rotten apple on an apple tree. The whole tree may get infected. So before you introduce an unknown data source, beware !
Is your data safe ? What are the access control mechanisms to ensure safety of your data ? Who can access your data lake and what are the actions that they can take ? For example, do people have delete rights to the data ? Can somebody modify the data ? Who can run ETL jobs ? Structured systems are much less prone to hacking than unstructured ones. You have to be very careful when you set up user, groups etc. with access control to the data. This is not just at the database level , but this applies very much to the analytical tool that somebody is running. You must configure the tool in such a way that people get access to various insights based on what they need. For example – some visualizations may not be available for some users. The idea is to give users access to data that they need rather than throwing the doors open.
‘Trust in God, but bring data to the table’ is an old cliché. Data is very important in today’s world. Data-fying companies like Google have an intrinsic edge on their competition, because they extract value from data. There is 4.4 zettabytes(millions of billions) of information in the world today and only 0.5% of that has been analysed. Imagine the kind of insights that we can have if we were to analyse just half of it. Insights are not top down, but they come from bottom up. Right from the operations and tactical levels. Co-relations are a very useful concept and we can expect causality also in the near future. As machines become more and more powerful and with AI in software, we will be making leaps of progress towards the final destination. As mounds of experience cover our daily activities, the short cut to God is evident through this one path – the path to Data.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
The greatest victory is the conquest of your self – Prophet Mohammed
If there is anything in life worth pursuing, it is this. Conquering the self. And what do we mean by that ? We are complex creatures. Like onions. Peels over peels. We are multi-dimensional people. Body, thoughts, emotions, feelings, intellect, ego, soul. We are an all-in-one package. To manage all these parts of ourselves such that we feel happy always, is a task by itself. Only a happy person can spread happiness to others. Rather than viewing ourselves as a complex thing, there are shortcuts to feeling happy. They are as follows:
1. Practice silence everyday
Its not about the surroundings. There are many people who work in the midst of all that din, still keep themselves peaceful. If you get yourself a silent place where you can be at peace with yourself, consider that as a bonus.
2. Trust that God is with you always
You have to have this deep down awareness that God is everywhere. This thought will make you humble and you will see life in a different light.
3. Always be engaged
Whatever it is that you are doing, at any moment of time, do it with full attention. Put your heart into the work that you are doing. This is what skill is – one point concentration.
4. Do not let your mind wander
If you find that your mind is wandering away, don’t let it. Bring it back to the task at hand. The mind can be very deceptive with the un necessary thoughts it generates. Have control over them.
5. Be careful with your emotions
Whatever may be triggering your emotions, keep them at bay. Understand the basis of your emotions and ask the big question, ‘Why am I feeling this way?’ Your emotion will vanish away.
6. Come from abundance
The world is not a zero sum game. The law of conservation of energy does not apply to the Universe. There is an abundant supply of things for everyone. So do not think shortage – think abundance.
7. Realize that truth is not said, but felt
You may have read a lot, but all words are just metaphors. You experience is what counts. Listen to your intuition and act. True learning happens through action and not thoughts or words.
Life is about the ultimate realization that we are all God’s children and everything inside or outside of us is filled with God’s blessings. Do not get attached to things. Especially that which changes. Be detached. This does not mean that we don’t care. In fact, it means just the opposite. We become compassionate. Grow everyday towards God. Step by Step. There is no hurry. I know that you are in a hurry to cross the lake. And see the shore. Even if you do, it will be in vain. Because nothing in this Universe will give you liberation from your state of mind, but yourself. So like Mahatma Gandhi said ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world’. Change your perspective and see the world around you change. Cherish the freedom that has been given to you.
If I have freedom in my love
And in my soul I’m free
Angels alone that soar above
Enjoy such liberty.
--- William Blake.
God Bless …
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Quantum Physics is the study of nature as particles and waves. This gives away the paradoxical statement that at any given point of time, both particles and waves constitute basic nature. Particles are in turn made of smaller particles. Waves are probabilistic. The observer plays a huge role in experiments, as everything that the observed displays depends on the observer and the process of observation. Scientists have observed things like the same particle being in two different places simultaneously. The observed, when under scrutiny, behaves like particles and other times, it is just some probabilistic waves. Now this is important, because quantum physics is a science of probabilities. The conclusion, if any, that can be derived from Quantum Physics is that everything is interconnected. No matter how small or how large. Nature is not an external entity that is separate from us. A force field exists subtly everywhere and that gives arise to the four basic forces. viz. Electromagnetic force, Gravitational force, Strong Nuclear force and Weak Nuclear force.
E = mc2
This is Einstein’s greatest contribution to Science. It says that mass and energy are inter-convertible. ‘c’ is the speed of light and according to the Theory of Relativity, no particle can travel faster than the speed of light. However, we have seen that this is no longer true, as Scientists have discovered particles travelling faster than light speed. Another give away of the Theory of Relativity is the concept of space-time. The universe according to this theory has four dimensions. The three of space that we can see and time, they are all warped up. Thus the entities that have mass keep bending the time around them. This according to Einstein is what makes the Earth go around the Sun and not Gravity. The space-time curve around the Sun is bent. Time is relative and so is space, from an observer’s stand point. Classical physics (Newtonian) and Relativity can explain what goes on at macro levels. But at particle level, we need something like Quantum Mechanics to explain the phenomenon.
Schrodinger’s equations and Heisenberg Uncertainty principle are bedrocks of Quantum Physics. Both of them describe the universe in probabilistic terms. This brings us to limitations. For example if we know the position of a particle, we won’t know it’s momentum and vice versa. The biggest finding of Quantum Physics is that everything is interconnected. That is because of the field that pervades everywhere. Sometimes this is also called as the Higgs field. In particle terms, it’s the Higgs-Boson particle, a.k.a God particle.It’s so difficult to detect this field, because it doesn’t seem to have any property. Like the neutrino, it does not have any charge. This field seems to be the Tao, through which other fields appear. Parallel this with Eastern Mysticism.
The Earth is modelled on the Heaven.
The Heaven is modelled on the Tao
The Tao is modelled after itself.
From the Tao, came the duality of Yin and Yang. Or the male and female. Or Shiva and Shakti. We all perceive duality in our minds. Actually, there is only one reality and that is the Tao or the Brahman as they call it. So why do we have duality ? Well, we won’t be able to appreciate day, if night was not there. We wouldn’t be joyful, had we not encountered sadness before. But beyond this seeing, is a natural way of looking at things through the unity that lies below this apparition. First we have to realize it with our mind. Slowly and surely, we have to experience it through meditation. Staying focussed on the Tao, will lead us towards it. Know that there is nothing in this Universe that is not sacred. He / She exists in all things be it small or big, be it living or dead. When we see the world through these eyes, compassion will automatically arise in our heart. And slowly the Universe will start to reveal itself. Till the time that you are not chosen, the duality will continue. So persevere and wait for your turn. When the time is ripe, the doors of the Tao will open to you and you shall for the first time in your life, experience things as they are, rather than as what they should be.
To your experience …
Saturday, November 07, 2015
And one day the eyes of your spirit will open
And you shall know all things …
---- Essene Gospel of Peace
Truth is the easiest way to get to God. Right thoughts. Right words. Right action. If you practice this in the light of truth, you shall reach your destination. Surely. Fill the mind with pleasant thoughts. Use your words prudently. Finally, act on your thoughts after making sure that they do not lead to bad karma. Do not be self-centred. Be an observer. There are three kinds of observations.
- Observe your inner self
- Observe those around you
- Observe what is outside of you and others
As we practice all the above three, our perception increases, till such a limit, that we see God everywhere. And that is the sole truth. We came from God’s world with our fists closed and nothing with us. As we grew up, we started hoarding things and called them ours. The irony is that we will go back to God’s land without any of these possessions. With palms wide open.
Aye ghame zindagi, khucch to de mashwara (Oh grieving life, give me some recommendation)
Ek tarf uska ghar,ek taraf maikada. (On one side is his house, and on the other side is the bar)
---- Ghazal, Pankaj Udhas
This sums up the precarious position in which one finds him/herself. Where to go ? On one side you find God’s way and on the other side is the attraction of Maya. (this illusory world). The bar is a metaphor for life where we get drunk (with our desires). Most of us live in the world for enjoyment that it can give us, not knowing that all these enjoyments are transient in nature. The only true enjoyment is in God, which is unchanging. But still we are caught up in the frivolous ways of life. We keep labelling things. This is mine, this is yours. And so on. Once we break out of this selfish clutch, we proceed towards God’s way. A lot of people, do not even bother to realize God and hence die with the music still in their hearts. This is really tragic.
Lord Buddha used to ask people ‘Koi paraga?’, which means anyone for the other shore ? He is one of those holy people who not only attained Nirvana, but brought that capability to people. His four noble truths and eightfold path is the shortcut to Nirvana. When he attained enlightenment under a Bodhi tree, his face was so radiant, that people asked him ‘Are you God ?’. And his reply was ‘No. I’m awake.’ He is one of those great souls who came down from the Buddhic plane to the Physical plane to impart his teachings to the world. Another example of a great soul is Jesus Christ, who descended from the ‘Love plane’ (Heart Chakra) to the physical realm to spread his word of Love to the entire world. There have been many sages who have entered Nirvana, but some of them chose to shed their physical sheaths. They still guide us from a higher plane.
The initial step of awakening is simply left to ourselves. Once we walk two steps on this path, then there are angels/guides/gurus who help us out in progressing towards higher planes. However, the first step is breaking our mental barrier, and that is solely our responsibility. Everyone has a guardian angel. But for the angel to be helping us out, we have to first help ourselves. These guides (devas/ pitris) all descend on Earth, through the rays of the Sun and the Moon. Their only aim is, to help us achieve higher forms of consciousness. To promote us to the next level, till we reach God. (purity) So do not for a moment think that shedding the physical body is the end. We keep living on. The spoken word does not go back to the tongue. But the sunlight that came out of the Sun, shall return back to the Sun. That’s our journey. Like a wave on the ocean shore. To the ocean we shall return back, eventually.
In times to come …
Thursday, November 05, 2015
This is the end.
This is the end.
My only friend the end.
Of everything that stands the end.
Of safety and surprise the end.
I’ll never look into your eyes again.
(Jim Morrison – The Doors)
People throughout the ages have been concocting stories of doom and death. Prophecies of apocalypse and destruction has been a salient part of scriptures also. Why are we so fascinated with these folklores of doom ? Why do we have a fixation on them ? One reason could be the mindset that we are all mortal beings. We see people falling to death, right, left and centre. All around us. So does this mean that death is the great equalizer ? Not at all. Death is just one chapter of this great book called life. We are all on different chapters, indicating the progress that we made in this life. In times to come, more chapters will be written and a final standing ovation, before we become a yogi (somebody who is united with God) That will be the end of this glorious book which we seem to be desperate to protect.
Inside our bodies, we have cells. These cells keep dividing and finally they become old and are no longer in a position to divide further. This is the end of the cell. Actually scientists and doctors have found that it’s an enzyme called telomerase whose production once stopped leads to the so called ‘cell-death’. We have tails for our cells called telomeres. These structures keep getting shorter with the passage of time, till a situation comes when telomeres are no longer present. When death happens to a person, his physical body leaves first. This is an instruction from the brain to all the cells to notify of the end. The senses then die one by one. Then the breathing stops. That is the end of the pranic body. Have you seen a person who loses different faculties of the body step by step. While he is dying, we say yeah he is becoming one with God. Finally the consciousness also leaves the body. When this happens, the individual is proclaimed dead.
When I say consciousness leaves the body, it simply means that our awareness gets de-focussed from our body. Consciousness is not necessarily within the body, as it can be non local. When we have lost our body and sense, a great sense of peace pervades us. In fact people who have undergone NDE (Near Death Experience) have experienced moments of bliss and also astral projections of our body, watching our dead body and people all around us. Similarly some people recollect their previous birth experience indicating that reincarnation is true. People have a fear of hell in the afterlife. They believe that it’s a place where people atone for their sins. Is that true ? I do not know. Hell according to me is the state of mind. If you are a living being, still depressed, then you are in hell, already.
In the Katha Upanishad, mention is made of person named Nachiketa, who asks the God of Death (Yama) to teach him the secret of Death. When Death asks him to ask of anything else, but this secret, he simply refuses. Yama doesn’t have an option, but to teach him the secret. There is another character – a sage called Shukracharya (teacher of Asuras) who has been taught the secret of Sanjivani (Bringing the dead back to life) by Lord Shiva. The best way to avoid Death is to not notice him when he comes knocking on your door. Pray to God. He will help you out with a solution. With technology our life span is getting extended, as we have more proactive means of identifying diseases before they become fatal. Also with augmented body parts, our life span will increase. But one thing is for sure. We cannot avoid death, as long as we carry this body with us. So welcome it with arms wide open because it’s the door to salvation.