Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Unborn

That was the day when the child in her had died. Literally and figuratively.
What she had felt was grief, free of all associations with the rest of the world. "Why me" was not a question that popped up in her mind at all. Because the rest of the world didn't exist in the feeling of void she had felt. That was the day which  had made her feel irreversibly vulnerable to the difficulties of being a grown up. Of being in the real world.

That child had lived only for her and only in her. Hidden from the rest of the world for ever. She was the only one who could claim to have ever known it at all.

The loss of the unsaid, the could-have-beens had haunted her forever through out her life.
Trying to stay afloat while being sucked down to the depths of her sorrow, she realized that the could-have-beens were what created her present and immediately felt free from the phantoms that haunted her. Her present in itself was the consummation of her could-have-beens.

In the middle of that deep immense grief, she was able to find profound joy in the realization that all her parallel universes, the ones in her head and the ones that her world lives in were now all in one and that she could move on without anything calling out to her from behind.

The child had united all her worlds in her head  which would have otherwise thrown her in the dark dungeon of insanity.

Anything conceived and nurtured can not just cease to exist. Something remains- A tear, A change, A thought.

Monday, March 20, 2017


Time is a scale whose linear and constant nature is very illusive.
The most watched epic serial of the 90's in India- Mahabharat,  was brilliantly narrated by Time, personified.

Time is not a constant, it is highly flexible, variable. This experience of time seems to be closely connected with how many experiences your brain can handle.  Time converts to brain power.
Whatever happened in the past is all in our memory. That is the only evidence of the past time. Time here essentially becomes memory, brain power. Projecting this theory to future - viewing time non linearly which allows you to "remember" or "see" the future - this prescience makes your Life and Time exactly the same-  all in your brain, all in your memory.

It is said and understood that as one travels through space , time changes and the way one experiences it changes too. I took my daughter to the planetarium yesterday and it blew my mind to hear that it takes light a billion years to travel from the Andromeda Galaxy to a viewer on Earth and if we were to have a direct view of the galaxy, what we would be seeing at present is the view of the galaxy a billion years ago!
Similarly, traversing one's brain, the matter in which is made up of  the same atoms that make up the entire universe, it should only be consequential that time should seem transcendental and relative just like in space. Just like in space, there is a whole arena of unexplored stars and galaxies in our minds.

"Life is a journey, not a destination" This is a mantra that yogis live by and the "Enlightened" understand. They seem to have understood some part or the whole of the non-linearity of life and time. 

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Parallel Universes

 Unhappiness usually roots from the knowledge that parallel universes are possible. There in lies the paradox of choice and free will. Conceived with the seed of a particular choice, a particular word or silence, the universes develop and fill one’s mind presenting one with the endless possibilities of interactions.

When one lives multiple universes at the same time, not knowing they are different, that could be what is known as multiple personality syndrome or in some cases, schizophrenia. The only difference here is that they are not aware about these alter selfs in other universes. When schizophrenics "hear" sounds or "see" things, that may be a cross connection transmission from a different universe of theirs which the rest of us do not have access to. Who is to say that it is less "real" than anything else? Could that be a way to counsel schizophrenics?

When I was interviewed for my first job, I was asked about my biggest achievements in life. I had not planned on this answer, but I answered with "my relationships". This was in college. And I still think that that is my right answer, any day.   When a whole bunch of people from a phase in your life vanish, one could wonder- Could I have been just living as my alter self in another universe and not known about it and suddenly brought back to the home universe with traces of those memories?Could I have been a schizophrenic in my home universe? Or am I really a schizophrenic (in thoughts) in what now I think as my "alter/parallel" universe? When people, with or without their own choice, forgo a universe and accept a whole new universe, it feels strange to overlap characters from other universes. OR sometimes, it may feel ecstatic. Those are the unexpected events. Surprises.

(Originally composed in 2012)

Elephants in the clouds

Finding patterns . That is what human beings do all the time.
Finding patterns from past experience and keeping it ready and adding the algorithm for future actions into the wiring.

I was reading God Delusion and I realized that if I want an entity called God to be existing, it is because I would like to believe that the things happening to me and around me are not entirely random and chaotic. I would like to see a pattern, a theory with which it works and having an unknown called God is the best way to achieve it. It helps me be optimistic. This in turn helps me dream and want to achieve more.

I read the book at a point in my life when I am really practically not a complete believer of God or am agnostic at best. It was nothing but co-incidence that I happened to read "Fooled by randomness" right after this.

I was again fooled by the randomness of this coincidence to identify a pattern- a pattern which led me to believe that it is for some reason that I am meeting head-on with the same idea again. The idea that I am wired to see elephants in the cloud.

That is my final explanation(for now) to what I call God: God is that which wants to make me see patterns, learn from mistakes and believe that there is a reason for everything (guess these are functions of my brain, among other things). God is what gives me purpose. Everything else, like religion is just a side effect.

(Drafted some time in June 2011)

Monday, March 06, 2017

Matters of the Mind

 Whether God created Man or Man created God, we are all tiny specks of matter with infinite possibilities.

The most futuristic prediction ( or the most interesting sci-fi, depending on your orientation on theism)  that the human race has made is that of the concept of God, a superpower that creates and maybe controls everything.  Man imagined and believed in a power that can create something in its own form.  And then civilizations later, he went ahead and actually did it.
At one point if humans get wiped out, one can imagine a world of self-thinking bots contemplating and debating if they believe in the humans that created them or in the machine learning algorithms(like evolution) that created itself and made it better or both. And it would just be like the great God debate of today.

         It has been suggested in a few studies that consciousness originally developed in a social context to construct meaningful models of other people’s minds in order to predict their behaviors.
Dr V S Ramachandran, (a neuroscientist, known for his famous Mirror Box for curing Phantom limb pains) says the mirroring nature of  neurons helps one do an internal virtual reality simulation. He also calls them  Empathy neurons or Dalai Lama neurons as they dissolve the barrier between self and others. And this was not just metaphorically coined, it is said that the neuron does not know the difference between self and others when fired. This sounds very much like the NonDuality (Advaita) theory-“Everything is a part of and made of one non-dual consciousness”
This also points to the recursive nature of creation with the advances that humans are making in
creating simulations and experiences that feel "real".

       I was, at one point, hooked on to the futuristic AI series based on Michael Crichton's creation, West World. What hit me most in this is how it ultimately connects science to the spiritual.
It helps one realize how small he is ( despite being humans and not bots) in the bigger scheme of things, provided one exists.

       You could believe in a superpower called God and in its manifestations or you  could believe that God is the ultimate collective brain power or simply as the best that self and everyone else can collectively be. Whatever it may be, there is this irresistible recursiveness of mind that makes it conscious to be able to create or fathom the idea of God.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Her Stroke of Insight

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist affiliated with the University of Indiana. At the age of 37, one morning, she woke up with a throbbing headache due to an exploded blood vessel in the left hemisphere of her brain. As she realized that she is having a stroke attack, she found herself thinking "‘But I’m a very busy woman! I don’t have time for a stroke!’"  She took  the opportunity to observe and study the brain circuits during her own stroke while keeping herself busy calling for help.

In the 4 hours that followed, she witnessed her different brain faculties shutting down one by one but became aware of certain other changes in her self.
She desribes the feeling of knowing what a number looked like in her mind, although when she reached up to the phone for help, she could not identify the numbers on the keypad.  She remembered knowing what to say in her mind when she was  finally able to contact someone for help, but when she said it out aloud, it turned out to be gibberish.
As she watched her language centres,  mathematical abilities and the very capability of thinking in a flow, (all related to the left hemisphere)diminish, she also  felt a strange peace and calm.  She felt the continuous brain chatter diminishing and she felt  the physical boundaries between her own skin and the rest of the world diluting. She felt happy and at one with the entire universe. The dominating right hemisphere had opened the door to a peaceful, spiritual experience.

She managed to get help and was out of danger from the stroke after a surgery. In the following 7-10  years where she spent her days regaining her language abilities, mathematical learning and even her own gait, she learnt that everyone has a choice as to which part of the brain to use to respond to a particular situation.   The experience is a story of determination of Dr Taylor to find help and survive the stroke through those 4 hours. The narration reveals her passion towards neuroscience which she took interest in from early on as her brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia. It is also a story of how determined she was in her path to re-learn all the skills that she had learnt over 37 years of her life which were unlearnt in the 4 hours of her stroke.

This experience is a sneak peek for the  reader into the different functionalities of the different parts of the brain. It helps us analyse our own personalities as a consequence of the combination of the left and right faculties that we put to use. The "thinking with the head"( left) and "thinking with the heart"(right) aspects of our own minds are distinct manifestations of the circuits of the 2 different sides of our brain- the 2 different potential personalities of our own self which we experience as one.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

"My purpose here is to deeply enjoy my life and fulfill my potential by developing and deriving pleasure from my unique talents."

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Its been years of discovering a lot of new things. A lot of those deep solemn moments of the past casting its light on the today.
As I listen to these songs with a content heart, I recollect the hopes and dreams they carried, while I was listening to these songs far away long back in time.
Its funny how you sometimes have a nice time going back to the past and some other times have a kickass time thinking of future , with hopes about future.
Its almost like how people appreciate the natural beauty by comparing it to a painting and a painting is well appreciated by exclaiming how real it seems. We seem to always find the Other as the ideal.

Most of those dreams from the past have come true. Guess it is the passion in which I dreamt.

I remember the yearning, the optimism, the hope to be with people I love, wanting to travel and prove myself to myself. I remember how difficult I found it to put the excitement of those dreams away before going off to sleep. I realize that is why I like speaking to someone while falling asleep. If I have been dreamy at one point, I guess it was a good thing; because looking back, I haven't just been dreamy, I have got them come true somehow. Guess if I stop dreaming, I'll probably have no reason to feel content about when I look back years later, when I listen to the past of years later.

I have even started to think that the lyrics of a lot of those songs might even have shaped my life because of the passion with which I had listened to them. I do not listen to any music with so much passion anymore. Somehow I now feel it a waste of time to go into the finer details of a song and how it makes me feel. I would rather read a book and get some more knowledge about something under the sun. Its like all of a sudden fiction seems to have lost its glow and knowledge has taken its place ( another sign of ageing, perhaps?). I am not sad about it, but what will I look back at, years later? How will I feel sometime later in future the way I felt years back? These songs have actually helped me time travel. I see myself in my room in my house where I grew up, listening to the same song. I can remember and feel the things I have felt. I can feel the hope. the twinkle in my eye. the reason to the spring in my step.

Contentment is a good thing because that is what helps me look back and smile., Without it, I would have been heart broken and disappointed.

HOwever, There should be hope still. I would want to look back and smile again. I would love to feel this again.

I think I was just lucky. Nobody had told me that I could dream away. that I would get all of it. Some people even told me that I may have to settle for less! But I just loved the feel of it when I dreamt. So I dreamt on.

I wish to dream more. Always. That is what makes life soulful, thats what gives it color.

The Unborn

That was the day when the child in her had died. Literally and figuratively. What she had felt was grief, free of all associations with t...