It is important to understand from the very beginning that I am not formulating any philosophy or any theological structure of ideas or theological concepts. It seems to me that all ideologies are utterly idiotic. What is important is not a philosophy of life but to observe what is actually taking place in our daily life, inwardly and outwardly. If you observe very closely what is taking place and examine it, you will see that it is based on an intellectual conception, and the intellect is not the whole field of existence; it is a fragment, and a fragment, however cleverly put together, however ancient and traditional, is still a small part of existence whereas we have to deal with the totality of life. Continue reading
“So long as there is the sense of separation, there will be afflicting thoughts. If the original source is regained and the sense of separation is ended, there is peace. Consider what happens when a stone is thrown up. It leaves its source, is propelled up, tries to come down and is always in motion until it regains its source where it is at rest. So also the waters of the ocean evaporate, form clouds which are moved by winds, condense into water, and fall as rain, and the waters roll down the hill tops in streams and rivers until they reach their original source, the ocean, reaching which they are at peace. Thus you see where there is a sense of separateness from the source, there is agitation and movement until the sense of separateness is lost. So it is with yourself. Now that you identify yourself with the body, you think that you are separate. You must regain your source before this false identity ceases and you are happy. Gold is not an ornament but the ornament is nothing but gold. Whatever shapes the ornament may assume and however different the shapes of the ornaments are, there is only one reality, i.e. gold. So also with the bodies and the Self. The reality is the Self. To identify oneself with the body and yet to seek happiness, is like attempting to ford a lake on the back of an alligator. The body identity is due to extroversion and the wandering of the mind. To continue in that state will only keep one in an endless tangle and there will be no peace.”
– Ramana Maharishi
It was monsoon period and there was incessant rain and tumultuous winds. A crow was asleep at the top of a big tree beside a large river. During the night the wind was so strong that the tree was uprooted. It fell into the fast flowing river and was swept away. The crow, however, remained fast asleep and had no idea that the tree was being swept out to sea. The wind subsided and the sun shone brightly. The crow awoke and was startled to find that he was surrounded by water. In all directions all he could see was water. He wanted to find land but didn’t know in which direction to fly. Finally the crow decided to fly east. He didn’t find any land in this direction so he decided to fly west for an hour or so. Not finding any land to the west, he decided to fly south. He flew south, then north, but still couldn’t find any signs of land. He felt very tired and then he realized that there was no place where he could rest. All he could see was water. The crow immediately thought of the tree. But where was it? Instead of looking for land the crow now desperately sought the tree from which he had started his search. After some time and effort he found the tree and rested. The crow was an intelligent bird, it learned from previous mistakes and experiences. Continue reading
(Contributed by Mr Balasunder)
“When someone you love dies, you are given the gift of “second chances”. Their eulogy is a reminder that the living can turn their lives around at any point. You’re not bound by the past; that is who you used to be. You’re reminded that your feelings are not who you are, but how you felt at that moment. Your bad choices defined you yesterday, but they are not who you are today. Continue reading
Born on the northeast coast of England, of Viking and Welsh ancestry, I grew up as a granddaughter of the Empire and daughter of the Commonwealth. As a young girl in the years following the First World War, I puzzled and then grieved that the men came back so hurt—legs lost, difficulty breathing––and so many dead. How could we have done this? I wondered. Why couldn’t we have talked it through? This was a question that really mattered to me.
Later, studying the armistice conditions ending the war, it became very clear that the lack of ongoing and authentic dialogue among nations created conditions for future conflict. I determined that, when I grew up, I would study ways in which these mistakes would not be repeated.
But then, instead of peace, World War II came, and I spent almost five years in the Royal Air Force. The overarching mission was simple: survive, defeat Nazism, end holocausts, and make the world safe for democracy. In the course of wartime, I lost friends, comrades, and home. One searing experience in Europe, in which I encountered ambulatory Jews being brought out of the camps, caused me to ask my commanding officer: Sir, how could we have done this? He snapped that of course, we had not done this, they had. Yet I knew that, somehow, our human community as a whole had failed in the face of these atrocities.
In my contemplation and study of these questions, it became clear to me that every societal change process I knew of started with an informal conversation in which men and women—young or old—were witnessed and “heard into speech,” sharing their dreams and hopes for making a difference around something they cared about. In being truly seen and heard, people discovered their mutual commitment to act and were transformed.