One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
The first reason that might come in our mind may be commonality. Because those Philosophical schools, ideologies, religious sects, siblings, colleagues are so much in common that they have very small things or very little things to fight over and it would only make sense if they fight very aggressively, very viciously or murderously to make those battles look important.
Well, Dan Ariely (who is famous for his bestselling book, “Predictably irrational” …This website allows to download it for free, if you are interesting to read it, http://search-ebooks.eu/p/predictably-irrational-pdf... ) has an interesting explanation for it (though he is not talking directly on the same topic),
He says that people who are very similar with each other affect drastically the image or position of each other by influencing on others’ judgments and decisions. This is really interesting and somewhat counterintuitive. For example, if two persons or things have all in similar then a small difference though negligible but highlighted, will influences the decisions drastically. In other words, people who are very different try to project their commonalities while people who are similar try to project their differences. Following is Ariely TED talk. If you watch it till end, I am sure you will be amused…
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Aristotle is known as the father of logic and it is not uncommon that commonly the name of Aristotle comes immediately in talks when one talks about the logic. Aristotle was the pupil of Plato whose biggest idea was that of “Philosopher King”. Aristotle became Philosopher but not King however he tutored a King, Alexander the great. So logically he was a big influence on this King who wanted to Hellenize the ancient world. In a way he wanted to open up the world for Philosopher kings through Hellenization. Though Greeks were worshiping many Gods and Goddesses but Greek societies were structured in a way in which Philosophy had the biggest influence, of course indirectly. We can compare the influence of Philosophy in ancient Greece to that of corporations in our time on cultures. If today we look back we see only relics of Hellenization in conquered areas of Alexander. At least people of conquered areas could have preserved Hellenic culture as their second-culture.
Why Hellenization was not adapted as second culture? Was it because Ruling period of Alexander was short or was it because the communication means were very primitive that the project of Hellenization was not so successful? I think all these things matter however the main cause of failure was that, the project itself was against natural law of diversification. Nature tends to bounce back and stabilize. As we know there were Silk Road in place and that was the main source of connections and communications between ancient civilizations and cultures. The same road was used to spread Buddhism and Christianity.
Now we live in a very different time. It is different because it is no more Tribal elders, religious authorities and Philosophers who are producing and leading cultures but the corporate businesses and Medias. As multinational companies are transnational and transcontinental so they are providing people with an additional culture, the second-culture. It is common to have second language or third language and so on beside the native language same is becoming true about the culture. The cultures that corporate world are producing are becoming the second-culture and it is global in nature. It is how globalization is making sense. As most of the corporate businesses are originated and grown out of West so it is also taken as Westernization.
My general thinking is that unlike Hellenization project of Alexander, this corporate culture will sustain and becomes deep over time. There are two main reasons for it, firstly corporate businesses have become integrated into societies and have emerged as a class in society that is going to grow. Secondly, it is not taken as something foreign but as outcome of technological advances and that is also going to deepen over time. While the second-culture is growing at much faster rate than native cultures, there are already concerns of overtaking of native cultures by secondary culture. My understanding is, while there are conflicts between the two however it is also galvanizing the native cultures as people are becoming aware of their identities and trying to preserve them. So in a way the secondary culture is modernizing the native culture and native cultures, whose people are conscious of the process, will benefit a lot out it.
An interesting question would be, does second culture or corporate culture make people more logical (as Hellenization were supposed to do) by increasing the choices? Well, I doubt that and I doubt that because corporate cultures are mostly short lived and are intended to increase the consumerism. And of course consumerism have turned the survival adaptations that human have evolved for millions of years (?) into weaknesses. One interesting example is that of “Survival of the Fattest”. Fat genes have been selected as a survival mode in famine but the consumerism culture has turned the same survival mode into danger mode. In the same way, collecting stuffs were a survival mode in ancient times when products were scarce however consumerisms have turned this survival strategy into something disastrous both financially and in terms of time management. You can just think on the same line of thinking to find more of how, what were logical are becoming illogical. I mean consumerism has pushed logic as something counterintuitive. And that is really interesting.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Playing strong though looks desirable but is wrong. Playing weak on other hand is utterly wrong. No, I do not want to prove wrong everything. These two extremes are wrong because they depict imaginations and conceptions that we have created and like to play rather than depicting reality. Playing strong is wrong because, the moment you start looking at you as strong, you will start feeling your position in danger from others. You will start worrying about keeping your strong position in place and will see every progressive move by others as a threat to your strength. It makes you to focus on countering others rather than focusing on yourself, on your real needs, on your real issues and your potentials. Keeping an eye on others’ backyards while neglecting yours is by no measure could be counted as right. On other hand, playing weak is utterly wrong because it is the denial of reality. The reality is that strong lose its meaning without weak. It is the weak which makes strong to believe in their strength. The fact is, when one submits or accepts defeat then the other one gets a triumphant feeling, gets a sense of winning. Of course, you can lose a game, a battle or a deal or a series of them but these losses do not disqualify you to not play again or to not challenge again.
Simply we have the choice to play strong and feel threaten or accept defeat and provide the chance to others to feel that way. Besides these two choices, there is also a third option and that is accepting support and help from others irrespective of their strengths or weaknesses and to be ready to support and help others again irrespective of their strengths and weaknesses. In short, instead of playing strong or weak we have the option to play as helpful and open to receive help and support from all. The third option is the acceptance of reality and becoming an agent of peace and at same time, be blessed by it. It might look to be more ideal but it is the new reality that we are moving towards. By bursting off of cultural, economic, social and political boundaries, everybody got a role to play and with the same coin, we all became more interdependent. If all have a role to play and have an impact and we are becoming more dependent on each other, then the third option is what closer to reality than other two options.
Cultural identities are the basic units of global culture but unfortunately we see that, there are cultural conflicts in every part of world and it is really unfortunate that, in some parts of world, there are violence, Human Rights abuses and discriminations based on the cultural identities. The roots of these conflicts are again the roles that these cultural identities play. Majority or groups of cultural identities that are in power feel that their positions are threatened and try to maintain their power by discriminating against others and on other hand minorities seeing themselves in existential struggles, try to isolate themselves to protect their identities. This situation puts one cultural identity against others or cultural identities against each other.
Naturally they feel in competition with each other. What comes out of these competitions? Of course, no one get anything out it as it only helps to increase fear and feeling of insecurity and keep occupying the minds with negative thoughts and negative activities and result in great loss of very needed potentials that these cultural identities need to pace in their contemporary world with dignity.
The third option is wise as it makes us to accept each other’s’ rights and support and help each other in achieving our rights. While globally cultures tend to assimilate into a “global culture”, competing with each other locally does not make any sense.
If globalization is the fate of humankind as the current trends are showing and earth is our home then we are one. And not any individual can call it healthy or stand as one when its organs are competing against each other. Unfortunately, humanity was born sick (its organs competing against each other) and has progressed a lot but still is sick. The worst thing is that there is no indication that humankind has realized the sickness and thinking seriously to cure itself. Our heroes are those who divide us and kill us under names of cultural identities. Patriotism and nationalism should become a mean of curing by becoming helpful and open to others’ help and support rather than playing Strong or Playing Weak….
There is nothing more effective force to make relations strong than helping/supporting others and getting help/support from others………….
Friday, December 23, 2011
On other hand internet is emerging as a new market place where it is not possible to do business with traditional precious metals. Banks and others financial institutions are the backbone of online businesses. Technology are changing rapidly our habits, expectations and perceptions about things. It is not just money, bullion gold and silver that appear as digital numbers but personal libraries and intellectual properties are also nothing more than digital texts, figures, graphics and so on... It would be another thing if we talk about shopping from different continents's major cities from ease of home or getting your books or paying your bills instantaneously....
I am just wondering if the banks and financial institutions are bubbles then what are the alternatives?
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Muharram is the first month in Islamic calender and also the beginning of Ashora festivals that lasts almost 48 days but the peak days of festivals are from 1st to 10th Muharram. There is no study in overall impact of Muharram on economy of Muslim world but Geo TV made an interesting report on impact of Muharram on Pakistan's economy that was almost unbelievable for me at first glance..... According to this report Muharram festivals stimulate the economy with 125 billion Rupees that is almost equals 1/4th (22.1%) of country's annual budget (Pakistan federal budget for 2011-2012 is " 2767 billion" rupees. That seems the biggest turnover in the country's economy and works like that of Christmas season in the Western world...
According to Wikipedia, there are 30 million Shia Muslims which is 16.1% of total population (180 million). The size of economic turnover indicates a large participation of Sunni Muslims in Ashora festivals and that is a positive indicator of religious harmony between these two big sects of Islam at grass roots level which needs to be tighten in order to prevent country from sectarian chaos.
Of course some people do not like (It may be even offensive for some) to look at it economically and also there might be some people who think more individualistically to this large expenditure as somewhat waste of money (Perhaps they are thinking of other social aspects like education, health and so on). I am not discarding their points of views but by thinking in a bigger picture, the overall economy of country matters to all and affects everything from per person income to employment to social developments. If the economy of a country goes to recession then budget cuts, downsizing, flight of capital/investments and general tendency of people to limit their expenditure will shrink the size of smiley faces irrespective of their faith or ideologies...
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
From one side if we are historically condemned to face tragedies after tragedies, from another side we are also seeing some sparkles of hopes trying to not let these tragedies write our fate. One of these sparkles of hopes is writing of intellectuals who try to share their parts in a time of chaos. Is it really worth to give consideration to writing of few intellectuals? I am not going to put my judgment but rather let you to draw conclusions based on work of a single individual, Faiz Muhammad Kateb, a thin man with small body who used his intellect a century ago to record what oppressors wanted to eliminate forever. Information is not the same as facts as information have been used as the most effective tool of oppression. No one can stop the flow of information and it is what oppressors knew very well so they instead spread false information to make oppressed look to be deserved of what have been done to them.
While I am really glad that these intellectuals come forward to write but it is also natural to get opinion out of readings so I got an opinion and wanted to share it. Again, it would be funny if one starts suggesting what to write and how to think but having opinion is quite natural. It seems to me that most of these writings are “REACTIONARY” in nature. By reactionary, I mean that an event happens and then some come forward to say what it means and how should we react. No doubt that we need them but having said that it is my opinion that it is not the only job or only thing that intellect can do… Why am I saying this? It is just because it reflects an attitude. As I mentioned in the beginning that attitude does not reflect time but “means” and “goals” do. Writing as means of recording and guiding are among the best of means and they could be used for great goals yet attitudes will determine the directions and outcomes….
Abraham Lincoln says, “The dogmas of the quite past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew”…. It is what Abraham Lincoln said one and half century ago… If today America is standing tall among nations of world, it is not because they are different from others, it is just because “THEY THOUGHT AND ACTED ANEW”… Thinking and acting anew is an attitude that is valid all the time…. One really wonders when sees ancient Greek city names and ancient Greek architecture so prevailing in Northeast of USA… These prevailing of ancient Greek culture are reflecting the determination of then young nation to stick with attitude of “thinking and acting anew” just as ancient Greeks did… It would be repetition but again “Attitudes are not bound by time, whether it is in ancient Greek city states, Early Muslims, 13th century Mongols, Europe in Renaissance period and in newly founded American nation… it works and it works perfect”…
Wise were ancient people that instead of giving list of do and not to dos (which always have the danger of to be challenged) were telling them stories which were working as guides to their attitudes and no doubt that these guides are so simple and so common in appeal that were fitting to all ages and to all levels of intellects.
…………“ A MISER sold all that he had and bought a lump of gold, which he buried in a hole in the ground by the side of an old wall and went to look at daily. One of his workmen observed his frequent visits to the spot and decided to watch his movements. He soon discovered the secret of the hidden treasure, and digging down, came to the lump of gold, and stole it. The Miser, on his next visit, found the hole empty and began to tear his hair and to make loud lamentations. A neighbor, seeing him overcome with grief and learning the cause, said, “Pray do not grieve so; but go and take a stone, and place it in the hole, and fancy that the gold is still lying there. It will do you quite the same service; for when the gold was there, you had it not, as you did not make the slightest use of it.”… Story from Aesop’s Fables…
To me, limiting intellect only for reaction is like burying gold underground. I think it is the result of an attitude… The attitude of oppressed people who perhaps fear that thinking anew is dangerous and will add to their chaos…who want to stick to whatever small circles of stability left for them… Again, I am saying it is just my opinion and I like to see my opinion goes wrong by works that are beyond reaction and under a spirit of thinking and acting anew….
Monday, December 19, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Western Philosophy were chiefly based on observations and were so absorbed by this method that almost missed to see that there is something also as “self” and for studying of that one doesn’t need observations but meditation. As observation requires something to be observed so nothing was missed in the process and yet even more importantly as observation requires something, other than the individual itself so the “self” was also missed.
Guess, when one turns to “self”? Of course one turns to self when self asserts its existence. When self’s voice becomes so loud then it becomes almost impossible to ignore it. And that is what happened in Europe by rise of Sciences. Science that begins with observations became dominant thinking mode and it deepened/strengthened the tradition of observation to only valid mode of thinking. In fact, Sciences in general were empowering men and there were senses of triumphant and zeal towards big successes. These great ambitions materialized in form of imperialistic behaviors and it turned European nations into competitors. The result was WWI and killings of 9 million people. The defeat of Germany in WWI was a shock to Germans and it caused an identity crisis (And you the rest of story).
I guess the German Philosophers (Existentialism was born in Germany and grown up in France) in general felt that Science is not Almighty and not always a good insurance policy for triumphs and they turned to self in a search of a perspective in a time of national despair. .”… Heidegger felt that Philosophers have missed the main point, what German people were feeling and expressing in language but was not able to be clear about it and he says it this way, “The German language speaks Being, while all the others merely speak of Being”… In other place he expresses the need for thinking about missing point, “The most thought-provoking thing in our thought-provoking time is that we are still not thinking.”… The problem is that one can’t bind “self” strictly with time and space in measurable manner and that makes it very difficult to put it in a logical manner and perhaps it is why most of Philosophers were shying away from it. Realizing this Heidegger says, “Thinking begins only when we have come to know that reason, glorified for centuries, is the stiff-necked adversary of thought.”… OR, “When modern physics exerts itself to establish the world's formula, what occurs thereby is this: the being of entities has resolved itself into the method of the totally calculable.”… I think, one can see the uneasiness that he was feeling regarding existence of two distinct worlds, “Physical world” and “being” and no way to link them together in a coherent entity. Though Sciences have an advantage of simplicity and applicability but “being” is also very sticky thing and asserts its existence. Heidegger even one time questions, “Why are there beings at all, instead of Nothing”… By coming so close to Eastern Philosophy, Heidegger also misses the point as he can’t disconnect himself from Western trends so instead he turns to “time” and “language” (two external things; how naïve :( …) to find being and he writes his most famous book, “Time and being”… “Language is the house of the truth of Being.” He says but I guess he was realizing the mistake and it is why said, “Making itself intelligible is suicide for philosophy.”…..
By rise of Nazis, there comes a hope for a comeback of German national pride so Heidegger joins Nazis. His hopes were so high for German Nazis under leadership of Adolf Hitler that he said, “The Fuhrer alone is the present and future German reality and its law. Learn to know ever more deeply: from now on every single thing demands decision, and every action responsibility.”…
While Germany national socialist reasserted Germany identity, it created crises for other European identities, especially French whose pride was down by German pride. Sartre a French Philosopher was the contemporary of Heidegger. The German occupation of France provided him with a new insight to look into “being” and that was “Freedom”. Instead of understanding “self” or “being” let it free. Freedom is expressed mainly by actions so he stresses on actions and of course actions require responsibility. All we see in Sartre is Freedom, Responsibility for action and Becoming as a result. So clearly he denies that there is something as “Being” in advance. “Being” is actually what we becomes. Of course, Existentialism is what he became to live freely because French collapse was convinced him that freedoms insured by societies can fall anytime to any power and he says it, “Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.”… May be you say it is a common tragedy of mankind and has nothing to French occupation so let’s see what Sartre says more about freedom, “Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you.”…
Why am I calling works of Heidegger and Sartre as products of identity crises?
The main reason is that their Philosophies are mostly reactionary to events of their time and also we don’t see anything serious about “being”. If one reads them it becomes clear that they tried to look to something that was overlooked but could not disconnect from Western roots and that was observation and as “being” was not observable (but rather something to be felt) they turned instead to external things, “Time and language” in case of Heidegger and “Freedom, responsibility and action” in case of Sartre.
German occupation made Sartre to become very sensitive about Freedom and he knew that only thing that can restrict freedom is fear, “You must be afraid, my son. That is how one becomes an honest citizen.”…. “Fear? If I have gained anything by damning myself, it is that I no longer have anything to fear.”…. so for him, being simply means existence and of course existence could only be felt by life , “Life has no meaning the moment you loose the illusion of being eternal.”…” Life begins on the other side of despair.” And here you go, Sartre comes to nothing but very with different results than Ancient Indian Philosophers. If for ancient Indian Philosophers, nothing means peace and tranquility, for Sartre it means, meaninglessness and Despair.
Though Existentialism has lost appeal as people have forgotten the bitter days of two world wars and “long” break in any big scientific breakthroughs but I think, the world is moving towards another big identity crisis and this time, it is going to be global. There are two main causes besides other small ones for seemingly coming global identity crises, the failure of capitalism as global economy and failure of US to stay as a superpower. If capitalism survives the economic meltdown and US does not take it as a defeat or simply she maintains her position then the identity crises is not going global but will be national or at least regional. I don’t know what kind of Philosophy will emerge out it but my guess is, the time is ripening for emergence of a new one… Let’s see…
Friday, December 16, 2011
If today modernization means “westernization”, it is because West is the superpower. It is a fact that nobody can deny and people across the globe like to be westernized even if they categorize the west as “others”. In areas that “our” is rising, powerful or distinct, it is beyond doubt that we are quick to take pride and identify ourselves with. Coming from others to ours to “me” is very sensitive. “Me” starts with a search for a “role” as early as one step in adolescence. This is actually an effort to see “me” fitting within “ours” and somewhat within “others”. I think, this is just the beginning and “me” slowly grows to discover and assert more of “me” later in his/her life.
So, overall the ratio between “me”, “ours” and “others” depends on the position of one. There is a constant struggle over the ratio both within and externally. All this is not just fitting to individuals. Nations also pass through this struggle. Nations are different than individuals in the sense that they go through “succession”. Though succession is an ecological process but it is how nations define their birth. With every crisis, nations are reborn and the process of value-ratio restarts. That is a luxury that individuals can’t have though some religions teach reincarnations.
Because I was born and grew up in Pakistan so I tend to give reference to Pakistan and I think as young as the nation is, so is deep the identity crisis. And to me the main reason for identity crisis in Pakistan is “self-deception”. Pakistan has inherited an “enemy” by her birth, India that is bigger than Pakistan in every regard and this has been the source of existential threat. So the case of Pakistan as a nation is much severe than individuals who face identity crisis at adolescent. Pakistan was “preoccupied” with identity crises even before her inception. Pakistan was in need of a strong and coherent “ours” to counter India that is one of the world’s most ancient and rich civilizations. Of course, Islam was alternative civilization that could counter Indian civilization but the problem is that, Islam is a religion, not an indigenous civilization to Muslims of Subcontinent and there are more than 56 countries recognizing themselves as Muslims.
As I pointed in previous paragraph, to make problems even worst, Pakistan inherited identity crises even before her birth. The educated layer of subcontinent Muslims who were mostly from North India were converted Muslims who couldn’t disconnect themselves from their Indian civilization and at same time couldn’t embrace it and still couldn’t come up with an alternative indigenous culture. This had been the source of divisions and identity crises among educated core of Muslims that have not been resolved to this day. The Part of Northwestern India that was mostly rural a tribal was so self-absorbed in their own world that were harshly resisting to changes going on in modern world.
In short, Pakistan since her birth inherited a society that was moving with different speeds. Self-absorbed tribal areas were “too proud” of their own identity that to them outside world were not making sense to them at all. The rural areas and large cities that had to come up with a coherent indigenous Pakistani culture or identity remain busy with same identity crises that they were struggling in sub-continental India (India before partition).
May be, it doesn’t look so serous to you but let me give you just one example so you could feel, how deep it the problem. When Ottoman Empire collapsed, there was a Khilafat movement in British India for restoration of Ottoman Empire. There was no way to restore the Ottoman Empire because Turkish people already had rejected it but in 90s, soon after Soviet Union’s collapse, while US was looking for a new world order, at same time some religious scholars were selling their own world order to restore Khilafat and all know the rest of story. Mullah Omar was declared Caliph (Ameer Al Monin). Here is a video to learn about the root of these identity crises,
I don’t know how much did you get out of it, but in fact this is actually the denial of Pakistan as a nation state because accepting Pakistan as a nation state means rejecting the concept of Khilafat and it is the main cause that these forces try to assert “Islam” as a system beyond the border of country. Here is an interview by Dr. Israr Ahmed where you can clearly see this mindset (Pakistan as a state is an obstacle to Islam as a system),
Now to neutralize this thinking there are scholars like Javed Ahmed Ghamidi who believes that it is the right of people to choose what kind of system they want rather than individuals or organizations to force them for a system.
Though, these thinking is much helpful in dealing with identity crises however it takes much time until Pakistanis realize that identity crises is posing an existential threat to Pakistan. The radicalization of Pakistani society as a result of identity crises has demoralized the nation by terrorist attacks, economic crises and rise of tribal nationalism. Though late but some bitter responses are coming from intellectuals,
I am not sure where all these are going to end? Whether, Pakistan will resolve the identity crises that are the mother of all other problems (Economic crises and tribal nationalism are side effects of identity crises) or not? Let’s time decide.
Intelligence has its costs but it also helps in resolving the crises to come victorious. I think, it is time that Pakistani Society focuses more on developing a coherent identity than struggling with Indian ancient civilization, countering the West or serving for Ottoman or Arabian Empire.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Some pictorial presentation of evolution in response to female preferences,
But what it does mean to us? That is the key question. If warrior nature had evolved only as a matter of defense and protection, we could expect that by growing awareness the levels of wars would drop and we could hope for an ultimate peace but the fact of matter that the love of war is something also linked with female preference is dangerous. Because it makes wars glorious and sadly it is the case. Most of time wars are not fought based on necessary (defense) but for glory, national glory or personal glory and we unfortunately we can blame evolution for this....
Almost all cultures both ancient and modern saw war as a source of glory and it is also indicative of the fact that it will remain so in future. Though Sports present an alternative to this evolutionary need and both nations and individuals are earning glory through sports but I don't think that sports have been successful as an alternative to war so far...
The biggest concern is the shifting modes of wars. As armies are increasingly shying to face each other they use proxies to harm each other and this method has emerged as main cause for rise of terrorism. It is said that evolution is blind and this concept sadly looks true when we see a link between terrorism and evolution. When I see terrorists take pride of the killings of innocent unarmed citizen and pose themselves as heroes, I can see the true drive under their skin. Though they try to legitimize their acts based on religion or ideology but their acts are more than simply driven by ideology or religion. It is the "Peak experience" or "sense of glory" that drives the killings... In a way poverty is also makes terrorism attractive. Poverty denies or reduces the chances of having "Peak experiences" through constructive achievements and as terrorism provides very cheap chances to fill the "empty experiences" with "Peak experiences" so individuals with weak psyche get attracted to it.......
Following is a talk from Aljazeera and I thought it has some link with our topic...
I like Jawed's column (link at the end, Urdu) not because it refers to a psychological study in which the importance of purpose in life is demonstrated but because it tells one big fact. It talk about retired officers who take refuge in religion after their retirements. Soon after retirements, the officers don't see much of purpose in their lives and with same coin they see death closing to them. In order to escape death, they take refuge in religion by frequenting in reciting holy Quran, prayers, Hajj and also visiting more often to doctors.. The beautiful comparison is to that of Abdul Sattar Edhi (Founder of Edhi Foundation; The world's largest Ambulance service provider to emergency cases besides other humanitarian services) who is more active than youths because his purpose is young.
This is really beautiful in the sense that it allows us to think, if we can't help the "imperfect fellow human beings" how can we expect that we are going to please (and of course those who have made it their mission to subjugate people to God's rule are "helping" God in His mission) an Almighty and Perfect God? It doesn't make sense to me at all. Does it make sense to you? I think we can look at it another way also, "If we can't connect ourselves with imperfect fellow human, how can we connect with Almighty and perfect God? This is the biggest tragedy of Pakistani Society where religious extremists are selling "High Purpose" that is killing and harming people with "wrong beliefs" (Just difference of belief is enough to be called "wrong")to please God. In a country where lack of awareness (not because of illiteracy but because of "ill literacy") have denied good purposes to live for, selling "High Purpose" is a hot business and have overshadowed the kind of humanitarian purpose that "Edhi" is perusing. It is really an unfortunate that in a country where Edhi is living, she is famed for suicide bombers :(
When individuals face "Meaninglessness" they do not bring much harm and it is easy to help them but when a nation, especially if it is a nation of 180 million people faces "meaninglessness" then the harm is of course disastrous and it is disastrous for all.. I am not sure if "literacy" is of much help as much of spreading awareness about "ill literacy"....
Daily Express News Story
Friday, December 9, 2011
Did you just read “New European Union” under auspices of resurgent Germany? Isn’t what Hitler was looking for? Truly Angela Merkel makes Hitler look stupid by choosing the right weapon. Angela Merkel’s effective weapon is economy… Weapons buy hatred and economy buy everything… that is what Hitler failed to understand… But Nixon an Ex-president of USA was believed that, “Stateswomen are tougher than Statesmen”… He gave this remark about Indira Gandhi, ex-prime minter of India who defeated Pakistan in 1971 India-Pakistan war and “liberated”/broken East Pakistan as Bangladesh. But Now Angela Merkel proved that stateswomen are not only tougher than statesmen but also smarter.
New York Times continues to write about British Prime minister, “Prime Minister David Cameron, a Conservative and self-acknowledged “euroskeptic,” was isolated in his refusal to allow the German prescription of “more Europe” — to give teeth to fiscal pledges underpinning the euro.”… Today British Prime minister is isolated and it is quite opposite to Winston Churchill’s time when Britain succeeded to bring unlikely States like Soviet Union and United States on her side against Germany. Angela Merkel even made France to sit on the lap of Germany.
I don’t know if today Simon De Beaver, the French Feminist and Existentialist Philosopher who wrote, “Second Sex” and was actively participated in resistance against French occupation by Germany was alive today, what would her reaction? But I can fancy that at least as a Feminist she would celebrate Angela Merkel’s victory…
New York Times
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Recently I come across some comments about Muharram that were supposed to be “intellectual” and logical in nature but were really not making sense at all. Although I appreciate questioning but questions like answers have to be logical in order to make sense. I am not a religious scholar and I don’t like two categories of “sermons” and “confessions” that are peculiar to religious way of expressions. But I wanted to express my opinion on the issue and I as mentioned earlier, “Islam is not what Muslims do” so my opinion in no way either justify or refute anything. It is just my personal opinion.
Before talking about Muharram and how I look to it, I am going to construct a context so it becomes easy to grasp the way I look at it. Beginning by foundation, what it really means to be alive? That is the most basic question. Life has certain requirements that make us do almost same things (what we call routine) every day and growths come from very small changes. (When I was teaching at school, majority of complains were about, why the rate of learning is so slow? We study every day for long hours but we learn so little out of it. It is not just learning, all processes of life are very slow). So again, what does it mean to be alive? I want you to watch this part of documentary by name of “Examined Life”. This part is 7 minutes 17 seconds long and I want you to watch from 5; 50 till end of the video that is going to take just 1 minute and 27 seconds, fair enough. In this part Professor Cornel West talks about, what it means to be alive. He says that if you are in library and reading some interesting books, you may be so intensely alive that you might need a break.
I am sure that you have heard that we have two kinds of ages, one is physical and one is mental? A boy may show higher mental maturity than an adult or an adult might possess the mentality of child. You might say that well, all these constructions may be amusing but it is also true that ignorance is bliss. Haven’t you experienced the intensity of life in childhood? Don’t you agree that we lose that intensity in living by growing and understanding more? I say yes, definitely we lose the intensity but we get new ones. How? During childhood we depend on our senses and by growing up, we depends more on our mental life. Growing up means a shift from sensual life to mental life…Still shaky? Let’s have a break by another example,
In this short talk of just 3 minutes and 51 seconds, Demon Horowitz tells how Philosophy (mental life) liberates of a prisoner (mentally) who is charged with murder case and he starts living a life of a Philosopher. It is one of powerful examples as it allows us to rethink about prisons that we have created for ourselves and how can we liberate ourselves.
You might still say, well again, I want some real hard life examples outside of individual pursuits.
Good then let’s take some really hard realities. It is more than true that majority goes after money and power, of course in their own ways (and some like to cover them by good names of service, sacrifice or so on). Let’s talk first about money. Money in the sense we know it today is called fiat money that drives its value from government regulation or law. Before 1970, the currencies were backed by gold but no more. The authority of government to print fiat money made Soviet Union to collapse and it is the core reason for 1998 economic meltdown in United States and current crises in Europe. In 1991 Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was elected by popular vote to the newly created post of President of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (SFSR), at that time one of the 15 constituent republics of the Soviet Union while Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev was the head of Soviet Union. In 1991 while 14 other constituents of Soviet Union were in economic trouble, the Boris Yeltsin as president of Russian constituent refused to pay its due to central bank so practically it became impossible to run Soviet Union and Soviet Union was dissolved on December 25th of 1991. Of course everybody knows, what happened to Ruble then? It lost its buying power. Why this was happened? The reason is simple that Soviet government was borrowing money to spend on large projects like gas pipelines projects and defense. The central bank was printing money beyond the real values production to fill the gaps and once borrowing reached the ceiling, the whole system collapsed under its weight. The same is happening in US and Europe. The governments have borrowed more than their GDPs and are trying to control the shortage by printing currency. Of course, this is misuse of the power by governments. What if the system collapses then all people will suffer and have to pay in many ways…
I am not trying to say that “We” that are always toiling our lives for earning money and that is in a way equals to deceiving ourselves but instead I am saying that the value of “money” that we are working so hard to earn is in control of an authority that we call government. Check this point as I am going to come back to it..
Let’s go to another hard reality, power. Nietzsche believed that it is “Will to Power” that drives men in their life. So nothing could be more as hard a reality for men than power. What is power? It is authority that people give to some individuals either directly as their representatives or indirectly as civil servants to protect their certain rights. These rights are varied by among varying systems. Let’s suppose that democracy is the highest form of system because it protects our certain liberties. But we know that “Will to power” is so seductive that a lot of forces try to gain power by deceits (for example, corporations’ roles are currently the cause of troubles). Still those who are in power do not content to the power assigned to them and want to have more power by snatching the very basic liberties they are supposed to protect, again through deceits. It would be repetition that why people in Middle East, US and Europe have come on streets.
OK, now that we are clear that values of money and our basic rights are in the hands of government, I like to add one more point. Though governments have the authority but their authority is based on the participation of people. If people do not participate, no government, I mean no government in the world can survive. Gandhi knew this fact and it is why he presented his practical theory of Satyagraha “insistence on truth” or what is well known as “non-violent movement” the core of which is “civil disobedience”. If people go for civil disobedience through non-violent means that will do two things simultaneously, delegitimizing government (taking back the authority/power) and practically making government become nonfunctional.
So until now we discussed four basic things, what it means to be alive? The role of government in our hard earned money, our basic liberties and how people can check back on government if government misuses the power.
One more short point and then I go to my opinion on Muharram. Evolutionary speaking among all animals, human have the longest period of parental care before becoming able to participate as a capable individual in society and largest and most costly part of it takes in form of education. The largest forms of education come through culture. Culture is a common education for all, irrespective of age, gender, social and economic orientations. Proper schooling may be biased towards social, economic and even based on gender however culture is something that all benefit, based on their interests and aptitudes. Authorities may use culture against some but culture is a mandatory form of learning that all benefit in their own ways.
I think, I am now ready to tell my opinion about Muharram. Muharram is a religious festival that is totally devotional and people do not participate based on philosophical inclinations and that is including me but still I have my opinion.
It is an event we find almost all characters that all can link with, men, women, children and diversity of ways in which each had struggled against misuse of authority. There were times when there were the opportunities to exercise the power of will freely or freedom of choices to fight or leave and yet they chose to fight. Everyone has a breaking point (It is an old tactic, keep pushing, there will reach a point where they will break), So we see a bunch of women and children who have lost their most valued things, family, being oppressed, misrepresented, arrested and yet insisting on truth. The insisting on truth had led in illegitimacy of authority and it followed by four revolutions.
Simply it allows everybody to go through a mental process of reconnecting to that revolutions and rethink of prisons that we have created (a chance every year to become alive) and to insist in truth so liberties of society remain intact. It also reminds that insisting on truth is a perpetual struggle that all times and all lands and all people need in order to live lively and freely (They might get oppressed and sanctioned but their minds and ideas will remain free, a constant threat and source of fear to authority). All aspects of Muharram from processions to self-flagellation to serving food and drinks to people are facing created fears… I don’t see any event in world paralleling the events of Karbala and I don’t see any culture parallel to Muharram to provide people a chance in making them ready to insist on truth and face the fears… Of course, Muharram is voluntary so those individuals who do not want to insist on truth or face their fears have the freedom of choice to stay the way they are and think the way they are pleased…..
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
He had simple solution for it and definitely you don’t need to be genius to come up with such solution or not to understand its logic… He was saying that, the population of our community in Quetta is almost half a million.. If everybody just gives one rupee that even a child refuse to take as one rupee can hardly buy a candy then in each two days they can grant a decent retirement of 1000,000 rupees to an old man. That means 15 retirements per month and 180 old men per year. That is a real big figure for such a small community as Hazaras of Quetta. His idea stuck with me and I knew that our community was much generous than this and also had much more capacity but what he was realizing was the lacking of a mechanism. People are always more than ready to help to their vulnerable but they don’t know how to do it…
It was then, when there weren’t terrorism and there weren’t victims of terrorism.. Since last decade our community has been the target of non-stop terrorism and a lot of families have suffered in the process. I know there are some organizations that are helping these families but still the problem is much bigger than the capacity of such organizations and also this problem is getting bigger as terrorism is on rise. A recent TV interview of a family (You can watch it at end of this knol) whose head was a vegetable-seller and was killed in a terrorist attack on vegetable-sellers’ bus on by-pass road in October was really painful for me to watch. It was even more painful to learn that there is no mechanism through which people learn about such families and have their contributions… In the rest of world, people really come up with innovative ideas to help vulnerable parts of society... I was just wondering if our youths who really want to have their contributions to their community, start scratching their heads to think of innovative ways and roll back their sleeves to use the potentials of our community to support the vulnerable parts of our society who have no other way to look for support except their own community….
Sunday, December 4, 2011
In 1991, before even I could understood class struggle as a teenager, Soviet Union collapsed but still it didn't push me to abandon my curiosity of why people revolted against Tsarists... This revolt or Revolution was not something fun as I realized by reading Boris Pasternak novel's "Doctor Zhivago" which is based on events of 1917 revolution. The revolution of 1917 lead to civil war in 1918 in which millions of people were killed without distinction of class or political affiliations. Famine, sickness, loss of jobs, homes and social bondage were just natural outcome of such big social upheaval... The biggest question for me was, what made people to go for a class struggle (classless society)? After almost a century, the pictures become vague and the only time-machine that is available for us to revisit that time are books and of course most of the books are more of personal opinions or documentation than real depictions of such a historical event....
I was not really sure that I was really understood class struggle as Philosophers and religious scholars were divided equally on them... On side, there were great French existentialist Philosopher "Jean Paul Sartre" and great British Philosopher "Bertrand Russel" and of course the great popular revolutionary Che Guevara who were supporting class struggle and yet I was not fully understanding why Soviet Union should go into WWII. It was not making sense to me because it was WWI which opened up the way for collapse of Tsarists Russia.... What made Soviet Union to go for same mistake because WWII turned Soviet Union into an imperialist state what she was born to stand against?
Well, the Collapse of Soviet Union and the great shifts into communist China were knocking on our skulls to accept the reality that class struggle was unnatural and was just an ideological myth that had a powerful message to let millions of people sacrifice themselves for it just to make the world more worst...
I was barely able to understand the fate of class struggle that economic melt down of 2008 alerted me as well as a lot of other people who were growing confused like me to leaf again into class struggle and see if there is something in it... Since 2008 to current economic crises of Europe and gaining momentum of Occupy Wall Street movement, one thing is becoming clear that Class Struggle is real... Class is actually a "structural perspective" of society... Communists were arguing that the way capitalism have structured societies are wrong and they provided an alternative structure... People revolted against capitalism in many countries (as you know), destroyed its structure and let communists build their alternative structures but we have seen that the communist structure is also didn't work....
Now, before moving ahead let me share some main parts of the current dominant politico-economic structure so you could understand where are the sources of problems,
It is fair to think that everyone should get what he/she deserves. It is natural that one who is working harder should get more or one who is more skilled should get paid for his/her skills as well... there is nothing wrong in it... As all do not work or acquire skills at same rate so the inequality is a natural outcome which results Class-structured society. This shouldn't be the source of problem but the problems come when,
1. Individuals compete with corporations;
This is not a fair race or competition...Take for example the most recent case that is unfolding right now.... As Walmart is marching into North India, the small businesses are fearing to go out of their businesses...simply because they can't survive to this unequal competition... This is what happened in US and Europe. Small family and individual businesses were just ruined by corporations in an unequal competition...
It is not just economical competition but also political competition where individuals lose the battle,
In democracy it is the collective votes of individuals that decide the future of society but the votes of individuals do not match with votes of corporations which decide the fate of economy... It is the trading centers which run the economy not the Assemblies and Senates.... They have the capacity to buy anything and set up organizations that do not come through voting but impact on the competitions...
In short there is a race between individualism and corporatism...
I am not an expert on economy but just wandering where lies our future and just scared to see that generations are coming who barely familiar with the world that are shaping to embrace them....
I liked the following You Tube demonstrations of socio-political structures and recommend to watch,
Saturday, December 3, 2011
“I would like to join the academia of Plato in Athens. Would you send me to Athens?” Asked the young Aristotle.
Socrates was teacher of Plato, Plato was teacher of Aristotle, Aristotle was teacher of Alexander, and Alexander was the teacher of all coming great emperors who wanted to create a global empire and global civilization. This part of history is the most sweet and delicious part of human story. Here we hear about the romances of the wisdom and aesthetics that have been more romanticized by failures of coming generations of human kind to revitalize or at least copy this era.
The story starts from intuitions of Socrates but these intuitions were different from all other intuitions. The intuitions of Socrates had a mechanism and methodology that all can adopt. This methodology or mechanism is the topic of present discussion. Socrates has created the methodology of cross questioning to find the truth. The purpose and the methodology to achieve the purpose were obvious and simple to understand and adopt so it revolutionized the young men in streets of Athens. This method was adopted and popularized by Hegel in formula of “Thesis + Antithesis = Synthesis” and later on it was made fashionable by Marx and Marxists as Historical dialectic.
Today we know these methodologies and have evolved them into scientific methodologies and are more confident about the facts and truths than ever in human history about the scientific methodologies but again why we lack creativity or we have ceased to produce great men? Why our Schools, Colleges and Universities have failed to produce creative men to shake the current conceptions of realities? Why our generation despite their thirst is not hopeful of evidencing new realities and perceptions. Why the modern men have lost hope in having new perceptions. Why our generation have forget to think about ideologies that only twenty or thirty years before people were enthusiastic about to give and take lives for them as they were thinking of them as a destinations of humankind. Why our generations like to sleep in shades of hopelessness. The world’s security and economics are crying in pain and the people are silent. Universities are full of researches and students are struggling hard in academic competitions but the all nations of world are worried about the drying out of leaderships. Everywhere around the world are conferences and workshops about the leaderships but leaderships are not a few pieces of experiences of tired whitehead old men retired from executive posts.
Leadership is reengineering of a whole nation or reengineering of ideas, perceptions and methodologies. Leadership is the creation of a new world, with new sets of knowledge, hopes and destinations. Leadership is well defined in terms of Adolf Hitler, “A great theorist is seldom a great agitator. A great agitator is seldom a great theorist. A leader is a great theorist and a great agitator.”
Even some claim that the creativity is an innate and personal property that can’t be taught. OK! If we accept this notation, still the question arise that why we have failed to hunt for creative people that have innate creativities to lead our world?
It is not only the methodologies but it is environment which evolve and hunt for creativity and it is evident from the series of creative men like, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Alexander. The world have seen only two times such surge of creativities one in Athens and the other in Western Europe during the last quarter of 19th century and first half of 20th century. The great men have great effects on their fellow men that exposed to them. Great men themselves influenced from their environments. Though there may be a lot of reasons but the strongest reasons are three as follows:
1- Great general thirst of knowledge
2- Great value of knowledge, especially if the value of knowledge is romanticized
3- Freedom of thoughts ( No society ever in human history have allowed the freedom of thoughts though some societies bear greater freedom of thoughts than others )
Great general thirst for Knowledge:
A general thirst for knowledge in public is the most powerful triggering power for creativity and creative men to flourish. It is evident from both Ancient Athens and western countries of first half of 19th century. In ancient Athens there were a true democracy where all citizens could express their ideas and participate in national debates, hence here the eloquence and logic have a great value and it was one of the strongest factors in determining ones social status. So there were a general thirst and praise for knowledge and logic. Sophists were teaching people the art of debating in public places and public places were the public classrooms. This general thirst for knowledge was that triggered the thirst for truth in Socrates. The Socrates has seen that people especially the Sophists are misusing the logic in response to public demand. The people were using the art of debating only for social status. Socrates turned the trends of known arts in pursuits of truth. Persuasion for truth was aimed to engineer the Athenian society but it is revolutionized the whole humanity. What about today? Is there not the need for another Socrates? Does we are not again using the knowledge and sciences only for our social status? Does again Sciences are not only serving the wealth and the sources of wealth? Is it not time again that a Socrates emerge and question all the norms and values that modern world have created and is not allowed anyone to question them. Are again we are resisting change? Does all slogan of the change is not to save the current systems?
Great value of Knowledge:
The first half of previous century, when the Science and Scientists were romanticized and they have great attractions for young men and women, so the thirst for discoveries, inventions and theorizing were general trends. In Ancient Athens the martyr teacher and philosopher, Socrates was romanticized. It was memories of Socrates that led to Dialogue and Academia of Plato and it was the stories of the cross questioning of Socrates that led to Logic of Aristotle. The advent of Cinema and later on televisions and Cable and dish antenna services turned the face of romanticism from Great Scientists, discoverers, inventors, theorists, philosophers, Men and Women of letters to Film Stars and TV stars. The Hollywood, Bollywood and other woods become the sources of inspirations and dreams of young men and women. The Scientific and intellectual life styles were forgotten and the dreamy life styles of Movie characters become the thinking brains of the young generations.
Freedom of thoughts:
As the Socrates started to question the established norms and values of the Ancient Athens, the democratic society declared it as a rebellion and united to punish this rebellion to stop the future threats, so they poisoned one the greatest man of history. Every society has aggregated some form of norms and values that they are very sensitive to them. The world history has not have seen only the two famous trials of the Socrates and Galileo. Modern world that praise and proud of itself for four freedoms and human rights is still resisting changes and it is declare the freedom and liberty only to those norms and values it has established.
The world has really ceased producing great men. The main reasons though are many but it is the insensitivities of masses to knowledge that slow down the hunt of creative minds. Unfortunately the educational institutions are following the public mood and demand. The educational institutions have all turned to the educational industry where information and researches designed to hunt the information is served the interests of capital. Knowledge is not the primary goal but capital is the prime goal. The leaderships are all in hands or under directions of the businessmen and business managers who brought world to financial crisis. All are busy in Bail out plans to rescue the markets but what is the result as there is no great man to give the world an alternative system. The creativity is imprisoned in glassy castle of capital where all things are shining and reflecting well but none is able to see.
“Hard is real to unlearn the loves that your heart is accustomed to.”
Men in every stage of their lives have internal conflicts to resolve. Successful strategies ending in successful resolving of these conflicts grow a personality to a happier, self reliant and confident personality. All these characters make one more ambitious not only in thinking bigger but to stand for them with stronger determinations. Successful strategies that are the foundation of this process require tools to create these templates. Certainly the most effective tool is expression. The individuals who succeed to find their medium of expressions grow quickly to distinguish themselves and easily resolve all internal conflicts on time.
There is an easy puzzle that all know its answer unconsciously but it reveals to few. The puzzle is, if nearly all people communicate each other via speaking, writing, body language or any other form then why a large mass of people fail at some stage of their life to resolve the internal conflict? The answer is really easy and is a matter of general observation. Though they communicate with each other but they hide what they really are? They hide what they really feel and think. Why? because they are afraid of becoming wrong. Due to fear of being wrong they burry a large part of their personality under shades fact images that they try to create and present to world.
The pain and conflict between adopted and imitated image and real hidden personality slow down the growth of one’s personality. The real personality of an individual is his mind. The only way to liberate the hidden personality from deep shades of fake images is to own the mind. To own the ideas, emotions, feelings, imaginations and expressions that one has. Owning of mind requires expression. Unfortunately, mediums of expressions require art, knowledge and have rules to learn and follow. So these requirements make the windows of opportunity fewer and special to those who met these requirements.
But it is not a problem because creativity is always rebellious in its nature and breaks down the rules at ease of its expressions. When I was a school going child, I was constructing stories to amuse my friends but as I grew older I lost the opportunity self expression via storytelling to newly acquiring facts, logics and reasoning that I was acquiring from society and schooling. It was a painful period for me because I was exposed to ocean of knowledge and information through books and teachers but I had no way to express my opinions. My mind was not accepting the world as I was discovering it. The world views that I was exposing to them and they were to convince me to observe the world through their perspectives was not acceptable for me. I wanted to break down those mirrors that were no showing the images as I wanted by creating my own world views. In meanwhile I was curious reading books in different disciplines and also about thoughts and lives of individuals whose thoughts and world views have changed the world. My search to find thoughts or life styles from these great men that were in harmony with those of mine to convince myself that I am not alone were less successful. Besides, literature, philosophy, science, media, business and others had their own giants with their own world views and also there were major events that not only changed the individuals but entire nations. It was unbearable for me to accept that though individuals have to select a discipline as their field of specialty but how they couldn’t have their own opinions about the ideas of the giant of these disciplines that were deciding their fate. But again the same problem that all disciplines have their own specialized mediums that need expertise. It was the time that I was drawing white pigeons flying and sometimes a white pigeon with broken wing.
It was the summer of 1997 that I got admission to college. In our first week while we making new friends, one of these new friends by name of Hassan told me about a little but impressive book about art of speech. I requested him the book but there were others also in waiting list. After two or three weeks I got this little book. From this little book I learnt a few practical points that really changed my life. Though the wordings are not same but the basic points were as follows,
1- Never neglect your ideas as unimportant.
2- Record your ideas by writing them down in your own words and style either it is a sentence, a paragraph or in any other forms at your ease.
3- Always use your own ideas while expressing yourself as originality is more effective and impressive than quoting giants of knowledge.
This methodology liberated me and I started to explore myself my owning my mind. This method or better to say medium enabled me to resolve an internal conflict by expressing me with my own ease. I found no other medium strong and flexible enough to let you express yourself so thoroughly and reveal yourself so deep than aphorisms. I am amazed that why people haven’t yet used the aphorisms as they adopted other forms of literature?
There is nothing to become amazed for as there is one thing that stop people to adopt aphorism and that is the “fear of becoming wrong”. I always say that beauty never can be wrong about itself because beauty is distinguished but not specified. No one has come out with the definition of beauty as beauty is. So letting the imaginations appear in the forms of beauty make you distinguished rather than wrong. In “Prophet of Mind” I haven’t organized the aphorisms under proper subjects but written down as they were born out of nowhere. The main reason was to not harm the chronological order and originality of expressions. Imaginations are random just like dreams of babies and when they become organized they grow into ideas testable to tests and tastes. I let the “prophet of mind” to remain in the form of imaginations so it could serve its purpose to spark imaginations and help readers express themselves and grow liberate their personalities out of shadows they have constructed to vastness of liberty.
Here is a story that is story of all. The story is about becoming “distinguished………..”. How one is going to become distinguished is a problem ahead of all in all stages of their lives to solve. But there is a way for all. All can choose the way and become distinguished. The way is “You can become distinguished simply BY OVERCOMING THE DISABILITIES YOU HAVE”. Helen Keller became distinguished by overcoming the darkness imposed to her by deafness and blindness. Disability doesn’t mean physical disability as in case of Helen Keller because all of us have physical disabilities. Human eye is blind to waves higher to violet color and lower than red colors. Due to these limitations distant stars are invisible to us. Microbial world that we live with is invisible to us. We only become aware of them by symptoms or changes in our foods they cause. Our ear is deaf to all sounds of radio frequencies and ultrasonic sounds so we are unable to hear the sounds that are all around us broadcasted and communicated by fellow human. The same is true for our other senses. Hence in order to overcome these physical disabilities the scientists have created microscopes, telescopes, spectrometry, radios, radars, and thousands of other instruments. Why Scientists are praised and honored? because they have succeeded to overcome a lot of physical disabilities and made themselves distinguished. By overcoming these physical disabilities they introduced human to invisible ancient worlds of earth history, history of life, world of microscopes, galaxies and world of inside of our cells and our heredity genes. By advancements of Science and technologies we are overcoming these physical disabilities that we all have. So it is proved that physical disabilities are common to all human.
Now that we have defined “Disability” and “Distinguished” we can go to define another noun and that is “disease”. Disruption of the ability is called disease. An infection may blind one and cause diarrhea in another. The first one was able to see but lost its ability to see by disease and second one was able to digest but lost temporarily his ability to digest due to disease. From genetic perspectives viruses and bacteria that cause diseases are only doing their duty and that is spreading their genetic material using your body cells. But viruses and bacteria have their limitations. They can’t cause illness to those who have developed immunity against them but damage badly who haven’t developed immunity. Hence people travel in new places are more in danger of local viruses and bacteria and the locals are in danger of viruses and bacteria that the traveler is carrying with himself.
The most essential ability in humans that distinguish it from all other forms of the living organisms is the ability to think and judge well. The thinking ability of men chiefly relies on ideas and information they get. Misinformation and wrong ideas are like viruses and bacteria that use human mind for propagations of their genes and make one disable to think and judge properly. Scientists have developed vaccines that make human immune to particular bacteria but what about IMMUNITY OF HUMAN MIND? Is there is any immune system?
The answer is YES. Strengthening of personal judgments is the best immune system against infectious ideas and information. How to strengthen the personal judgments? It is all “Prophet of mind is all about”. Providing with method as well as well ideas to think through is a real way to start. Sometimes you have ideas to express but are unfamiliar with methods to express it. Your best ideas may die before they develop to maturity to help you have strong opinions and strong judgments on the issues. On other hand you may are familiar with methodology and technology to express yourself but lack ideas to work on or get inspirations to start with. Here the ideas are presented in random just like imaginations. You may go through them and find yourself in conflict with them and got your own ideas. If these aphorisms succeed to make you think and get ideas then they have served their purpose.
The adventure of the overcoming disability never ends because it is a chain reaction. The new facts that come out of invisible worlds will leads to new ways for overcoming more disabilities. Just the fact that genes code for proteins was enough for Scientists to think of new possibilities and to overcome the physical disabilities. Genetic engineering and biotechnology have become the leading sciences of the today. On the other hand just knowing the fact that brain is the main organ to control almost all human functions and behavior is enough for neuroscientists to experiments with brain and brain areas to overcome the functional and behavioral disabilities. It is involved both hope and fear. Hope to overcome the disabilities and fear the knowledge and skill may b used to disable mental abilities.
It is the ideas and inventions of the Michael Faraday on the electromagnetic devices that led to generation of electricity and motor technology that revolutionized the abilities of men. Do you think that your life will be in good shape without electrical appliances and devices in your home, work areas, shopping centers and recreational centers? One really feels disabled without computers to connect with brain of world (World Wide Web).
OK! I have just given you some examples that are known by almost all and are boring to repeat. You may have already gotten bore of repetitions that I made. But it is important to note though after boredom that “Knowing a fact is enough to work for overcoming the disabilities that we have and becoming distinguished”.
Now it is time to come towards a disability that is common to all and it is what this entire book is all about. “IT IS THE DISABILITY TO OWN THE MIND”. All the people from a baby to a scientist that is working on the frontiers of knowledge are wrestling with their minds. The relation of human with their minds was never an easy relation. After spending whole his life wrestling with his mind Descartes declared, “I think therefore I am”. It was the declaration of owning of mind after a lifetime tough relations with his mind. Aristotle was stopping people on streets of Athens and start cross questioning to know how much they own their minds. His life ended by drinking poison rather to leave the ownership of his mind. It is fashionable to quote Einstein in discussions related to mind and brain, so here is a quote from Einstein, “Imaginations is more important than knowledge”. It is really difficult for some people to digest it. Einstein is simply explaining himself by saying that his imaginations about the theory of relativity is more important that theory of relativity itself. How?
There are masses of academics, students and immature who have learnt and worked with theory of relativity but they didn’t became distinguished as Einstein. The reason is simple; they got the knowledge but not the imaginations that generate knowledge. Einstein became distinguished because he developed the imaginations that generated the theory of relativity. HENCE, ignoring imaginations as unimportant or the fear that they may be wrong is an act of killing knowledge at the bud. Besides the imaginations and ideas that are not expressed is lost or in other words, killed. What if an idea proved wrong? It is still a contribution to knowledge as you let people know that this idea is wrong.
One of the ability of humankind that distinguish it from other organisms is the ability of prediction based on the knowledge and reasoning. But because of enormous amounts of researches and creative works the predictions are becoming more and more difficult and uncertain. Every new discovery or invention opens the doors for new possibilities. Every individual had limited capacity of time, energy and resources to invest and expend. Uncertainties sometimes cause loss of crucial time, energy and resources. Again a personal judgment is what that is important in guiding and safeguarding of preventing key losses in key times. People take refuge into different practices in order to save them of uncertainties but there is a guide residing in every skull. How much this guide that is always available for help is reliable depends on how much one relies on it. “Prophet of mind” is not only a name but a message, “Own your mind rather to have it”.
Read the book here,
Prophet of Mind