Let’s talk about why nobody talks about the stars – the stars in the sky and why everyone talks about the stars – Movie stars, rock stars. From my vantage point, this is a conspiracy against human intelligence and extra-terrestrials are involved. What else can possibly explain the iconic irony and such a superficial way of living? Just kidding. No seriously.
The first man and women were an exception to the aforementioned harebrained lifestyle. When they walked the earth, they knew instinctively to pay heed to the stars in the sky. They found their gods in the sky, and in that, they were uncannily more cleverer and evolved than today's average man. They were ingenious in making that connection and in understanding the significance of the stars. That the origin of human existence was related to the sky and the stars and that we wouldn't exist if it weren't for the inhabitants of the sky - was a giant leap in human thought for the earliest man and woman.
What made them turn to the sky? Lack of TV and movies, some of you might say. Sure, the fastest and easiest way to kill a human endeavor and human spirit is to expose it to a television. But, thankfully, the earliest man lived in times when nothing remotely superficial lurked around. Curiosity led to wonder which led to studying and observation. This journey from ignorance towards enlightenment was a road they deliberately chose with the intent of survival.
In their quest for staying alive, the earliest man and woman read billions of wonderful stories from the sky and the stars. Some of it were scientific, some occult, some religious, some geographical, some philosophical and some meteorological. So, since the dawn of civilization, the sky has spawned legions of philosophers, painters, poets, musicians, physicists, astronomers, scientists, soul seekers - all awed and overwhelmed by the beauty, mystery, vastness and silence of our cosmos.
The concept of navigation and weather, day and night was born after countless nights of observing the pale, blue, black ocean above us. Constellations were charted, planets, solar systems, galaxies were discovered. The trail of discovery, since then, has not stopped and will not stop till we cease to exist. But this is not enough and is certainly not befitting of a race that prides itself on being intelligent and adventurous. The sky should not be reading material or inspiration material just for a handful of scientists and artists. It should be part of every human being's life because it has the most wonderful stories and experiences to offer. And currently, we trade that for a madman's shopping spree or a bunch of movies? We clearly are an absurd race with strange priorities.
Step outside and gaze at the sky. Take a good, solid look at the brilliant burst of colors at sunrise or sunset, look at the clouds, the moon, the stars, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Orion, Scorpius and other constellations, galaxy clusters, milky way and whatnot. Observe what comes to mind - boredom or a sense of wonder? Is your heart stirred or put off? Do you feel a sense of wonder, awe and humility? Are you looking for an extra terrestrial civilization? What kind of questions are dancing in your mind - Why are we here? How were the stars formed? Why does the universe exist?
Do you get a sense of how fragile, fleeting, frail, rare and inconsequential human existence is? When you have kids, do you want their eyes to take in TV or do you want them to be amazed by what's up in the sky and get curious about nature?
I have a bone to pick with the modern man. Our self-indulgence and luxury, "growth and progress" has dimmed and obscured the glory and beauty of a night sky. When one looks at it, all one sees is a dark ocean. Its a far cry from the fiery and fierce show of billions of stars and galaxies blazing through the night sky. The sky reveals to us the most beautiful, startling and counter intuitive stories - that our universe is expanding, that black holes are for real, that stars evolve and die, that the dim echo of Big Bang still exist, that the fabric of space-time is curved in direct proportion to the mass of the body inhabiting the space-time coordinates and several such wonderful realities. Someday, maybe we could see a wormhole and travel through time. With the promise of a great adventure, mind-boggling mysteries, and the most profound truths about our existence and our cosmos, the sky calls out to us.
Most importantly, do people understand that they wouldn't exist without stars? That they owe the chemistry of their body to the nuclear fusion within the stars? Nature's imagination cannot be outwitted by man's imagination. Nature's soothing beauty cannot be outdone by the most accomplished artist. Nature's mysteries are far more profound than any man-made mysteries. Nature is far more elegant than man could ever imagine. So, why, is our race taking a step backward, shunning the sky and the stars and getting ready for a TV marathon and a dull, shallow existence?
Unconditional Love - These words found their way into my brain this morning and refused to leave. So, in a cold, analytical, scientific way – I began thinking about this concept.
Why does something like unconditional love exist in the cosmos? What if it didn't exist?
Thinking this through, lets step into a world where a person is indeed afflicted with the debilitating condition of unconditional love. It could only ever go two ways. Either it will be a curse leading her to a special kind of madness or it would be a fortress from all the storms of the world or so she will claim. Nevertheless, I am skeptical of this whole starry eyed, over glorified, over simplified view of love.
That you love someone regardless of what they do or who they become - is a disturbing notion, to say the very least. It seems to be an excruciating, blatant and a brazen surrender of one's individuality. The psychological scars from a broken heart can run deep. Many have gone over the edge and killed themselves over the pain and hurt caused by the one they loved. There are so many scenarios where it would be a nightmare to be attached to someone in such a crude, barbaric fashion. Many people change frighteningly fast in this day and age, and many others are highly skilled in the art of deception. You might have started with someone who seemed so right only to find that he's now someone not so right. What would you do then? Countless women endure domestic abuse under the illusion of love. Countless naive girls forsake their identity, ambitions, personality and intelligence as they begin to live for that "special someone". You compromise, you sacrifice and you sanctify this bond with a madman's zeal.
My biggest problem is that you hold on when you should have let go long ago. A year, two years, a decade, a lifetime - how long do you keep your eyes shut, your heart shattered and your mind closed? In a way, you refuse to move forward and to see the big picture. You miss out on your youth, exciting opportunities, new challenges, new friendships and relationships and new beginnings. You look for ways to make the other person happy at your own expense and you forgive every excruciating mistake. You wait and you give and you give and you wait.
If you do fall for someone who doesn't feel the same way about you and you keep persisting because your heart cant look away, your mind will process the rejection over and over again. It will do strange things and create a pattern of inadequacy, frustration and will paralyze you into indecision. It will leave you unfulfilled, negative and your confidence will plummet down an abyss. So, stop the madness before the neural networks in your brain reconfigure to turn your life into a misery filled black hole.
In a universe so vast and strange, once should be enough to know if someone's worth the trouble. And yet, people stay attached and doomed for ages under the deception of unconditional love. Its probably the only time when you willingly let someone treat you badly, expose your true self in the most vulnerable way and risk being crushed, when you let that person hurt you with a smile and a tear, and when you give up on your sanity. Maybe, human brains are wired for love and companionship, and a overarching fear of loneliness. If that is true, what could be the scientific reason for this feature?
The law of evolution is the law of survival - strength and intelligence is what matters; the weak and the stupefied will fade into oblivion. So, where does unconditional love fit in the law of evolution? That's where babies come in. The unconditional love of a parent for their child is probably what is preserving the existence of human race. Imagine a scenario where love did not exist. There would be no families, abandoned children raging and dying, the very fabric of society as we know would not exist. Chaos would ensue. And probably the human race would not accomplish as much as it has and the race might not have survived as long.
In conclusion, I don't think unconditional love is always a good thing. And certainly, the lofty definitions for this term are pure drivel. Be open to the probability that unconditional love could destroy you, could make you go insane and it might not be good for you.
Over and out.
I had this notion that 27 was a cult age - a period of transcendental culminations and revelations. Why did I think so? Somehow my mind had built a trail of thoughts around three characters that no longer existed but had left an enduring legacy, questions and mystery.
How would I describe the three without plunging into the depths of a lengthy prose?
Died at 27.
And, now for some clarity about the three.
What made them geniuses? Such prolific authorities on creativity and aesthetics? What stirred them into frenzied bouts of artistic endeavors? Where did they get their edge? Where did they get their madness from?
From what I could gather, they were self-made, self-taught, had discovered their calling and were single minded in its pursuit. They made chaos in every other area of their life, it seems they were built to suffer and endure the intense melancholy and paroxysms of inspiration that are true of most iconic artists of their time. They weren't made for anything else, they couldn't function in any other way.
Jimmy overdosed on sleeping pills. Jim allegedly accidentally overdosed on heroin. Kurt shot himself.
The recklessness, the demons, the anger, the isolation, the pain that drove them to their end also drove them to their greatness. You cant separate the artist from the person in their case.
In 2012, as I turned 27, another artist - Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning at 27. It reinforced my notion of the number 27. I had been blissfully flailing and fumbling, aimless, miles away from a meaningful life and waiting for the universe or something or someone to put me on the right path. Sometime during that year, I did reach a conclusion. A decision was made. I had found my calling and my path of reckoning. I told myself I was to be a writer.
I was looking outward and not inward, looking for melodramatic signs from the universe, a spontaneous psychedelic experience, a sudden rewiring of my consciousness, subliminal messages from my subconscious, powerful interactions with people. In a clarity filled moment, I understood that the universe might not have screamed but it had already whispered what my calling was. I had been waiting for someone to tell me what I should be when I knew all along what I should be. That I had to decide for myself, declare it, uphold it and act on it by myself and that it needed me to go in a completely new direction than where I was at present - was something that I processed and made peace with at 27.
Reading and Knowing the story of these intense geniuses helped me. At 27, it put me in a dire straits mode, anticipation mode, contemplation mode, seeking mode which ultimately led me to the greatest truth of my life. It was a wake up call.
Have you had your wake up call? If yes, what was it?
Ask questions. Its good for the soul.
What does your personal hell look like?
a. Doomed to a cubicle
b. Cursed to be different
c. Afflictions of the mind
d. A broken heart
e. Physical Pain
k. An unfortunate mishap
Who are you?
a. Someone who can fit in
b. Someone who can’t fit in
c. Someone who will fit in
d. Someone who won’t fit in
What's your life like?
a. A struggle with your demons
b. A bed of sweet roses
Where are you?
a. The road frequently traveled
b. The road less traveled
Who put you on your current path?
a. Your mind
b. Your heart
c. Your fears
d. Society, family, friends
Who defines you?
a. Your experiences
b. Your genes
What drives you?
a. The noise from the outside world
b. The silence from within
c. Your inner voice
What are you seeking?
b. Approval/Acceptance from others
e. Your calling
f. Your promotion
g. A relationship
What are you?
a. An Introvert
b. An Extrovert
c. Someone who skilfully deprecates introverts
d. Someone who hails extroverts
Who is your best friend?
a. A person who talks non-stop and listens superficially
b. A person who says little and listens more
Which label best defines you?
a. A minimalist
b. A snob
c. A hedonist
Which of these do you have?
a. An observing mind
b. A judging mind
c. A condescending mind
d. A closed mind
e. An open mind
Where would you rather be?
a. Under the stars
b. Across from a TV
What do you live by?
What do you play more with?
c. A TV remote
d. Credit Cards
Which of these is the "great quest" that "beckons and cant be reasoned with"
b. Shopping excursions
c. Movie theaters and TV marathons
d. Your car
e. Marriage and Kids
f. Career oriented
g. None of the above
What's your philosophy?
a. Make everyone happy
b. Make the most important person happy
Why do you do something?
a. Because its right
b. Because its easy
c. Because its your calling
d. Because they are doing it
e. Because it will make you look good
f. Because your family expects you to do it
What would you prefer?
a. To look good
b. To feel good
Who's going to rescue you?
a. Your calling
b. Your spouse
c. Your friend
What's your make?
a. A Seeker
b. A Dreamer
c. A Practical person
Let’s talk about – The Calling.
Call me crazy or conceited but it bothers me how people talk about the movies and fancy restaurants but never or rarely about their calling. Almost as if we would prefer to stumble in the dark with the flickering candles put in our path rather than find our own path out of the darkness and into the light. Why isn't every living soul on this planet contemplating or acting upon their calling? Yes, there are responsibilities and obligations we have inherited and we are bound by expectations and rules and norms and whatnot. Debilitating fears, crippling insecurities, over-sized egos, anxieties, distractions – agreed, we all have our demons. But darkness can’t exist without light as counter-intuitive as it might seem. The very definition of darkness is the absence of light. So, obviously, if you have your demons, you also have your warriors. It’s up to you whose bidding you chose to do. As light and darkness battle each other for your soul, as the calling and the falling beckon your mind - in a universe so old and mysterious – you make the decision of a lifetime.
How do I find my calling?
How do you find the right phone? Or the right lipstick? Or your life companion? How do you find anything?
The first step is a jolt - an awakening - to put in simple terms - a want or a need. If we are determined and not deterred, we make the decision to chase after our pursuit. We wear our thinking hats and jump into a world of research – we look at the internet to educate ourselves, seek kindred spirits with the right knowledge and expertise, and then venture out into the open and experiment and try different things. We weigh in the pros and cons, the value and the cost and make our decision. Sometimes we compromise on the value and sometimes on the cost based on our priorities. Well, at least, some of us that are not rich or are afflicted with a mind that equates splurging with a decadent existence devoid of meaning – we are compelled to compromise. So that’s it – the trail ends here - you have found what you were looking for – more or less. The lipstick that makes your lips look fuller, bigger - so you can pout and smile and bring out the diva in you; the phone with the right features and apps that entertain and elevate your status and a life companion that nurtures you and loves you.
Really, it’s that simple - there's a process in place. You are miserable and your life feels bleak and empty but you believe every life has a calling and so does yours. So you undertake the first and the most important step – to seek. And most of the times - seeking something over being willfully ignorant makes all the difference. The role of a seeker is not an easy one – you question relentlessly – you shrug and brush it off when others hound you with their expectations - you are in search of the absolute truth – the truth about your existence – the purpose for your life. A larger than life adventure - essentially you spend your days and nights with a restlessness and frenzy known to artists that are trying to paint the most beautiful and iconic painting upon the canvass of their life. Our minds are wired to ponder the deepest and most difficult trail of thoughts and to solve the most challenging and the most profound of the mysteries. Your consciousness comes inbuilt with your calling; its you who chose to push it to the sidelines while you were busy trying to be like everyone else. So, whenever you are ready to break away from all the deception and delusions, the universe and your consciousness will answer your call if you don't give up easy.
And, while you can conjure a billion reasons and justifications to shy away from it, frankly, seeking something is a powerful endeavor, a healing exercise and a good for the soul undertaking. It will lead you to the truth, which really is chicken soup for the soul. Lies, pleasure and settling for a life without a calling are nothing but junk food for the soul. Sure, it all looks good and taste good but then one day in the sorry future, something cancerous will seize the day and it will be over before it even began.
So, what exactly does seeking your calling mean?
Well, you just about stop short of tattooing on your forehead and wearing a placard that reads – Calling, where are thou? Everything else is pretty much fair grounds. So, get cracking with those genius brains that you unfortunately condemned to a billion travesties – travesty of intelligent pursuits, travesty of meaningful ventures and a travesty of a rich life. Seeking means being on the lookout; questioning the universe and yourself, not getting mired in meaningless and petty things, not comparing yourself to others, becoming aware of your own consciousness, strengths and weaknesses and being honest with yourself. It means not taking the path frequently traveled but forging your own path. It means knowing that you don’t belong in your current destination and having the patience to wait to get there. It means not giving in to temptations, distractions and not fitting in. It means being your authentic self.
Now, how do you get to your authentic self?
When you are on a right path, you become the right person or when you do something for the right reasons, you become the right person. Or when you go on the inside which means you stop creating all that noise and try to be quiet – basically, you meditate. You stop following others and you heed your inner voice. You have conversations with yourself, with the universe, with your diary - just any medium that lets you express your true self. The journey to your authentic self is not the one that you make with a friend or a mom or dad - its your path and you traverse it alone.
How do I know if I have stumbled upon my calling?
If you are on a path less traveled, then you are there, because a path less traveled is seldom chosen for the wrong reasons.
The concept of failure doesn't exist. You will tread this path for the journey no matter what the challenges or the cost or the obstacles.
Your mind and heart approve of it in a way that they never approved anything else.
You are doing this only and only for yourself and not for anyone else.
The answers come from within and not from an outside source or an outside stimulus.
It’s an extension of your true self. The true self that you shunned as you danced to a billion different tunes from billion different people. Far from leaving you out in the cold and letting you become a shallow wretch as a rightful revenge, your true self welcomes you as a lost friend, when you reach out for it.
There was never a time when you did not want to do this. Think about it.
It doesn't surprise or shock you because it’s always been with you at some level of your consciousness.
You are able to get your act together in this one area of your life while you blithely crumble and flail at every other avenue of life.
Life never made sense to you as it did to others before you found your calling.
It gets you excited about your life, it keeps you up at nights, and far from minding the long and odd hours the calling answers, you are thrilled and happy and grateful.
Nothing much matters except this.
You will be patient.
You don’t agonize over how hard it is – you get up as early as you need to, you sleep as late you have to, you will have a certain glint in your eyes, and you won’t want to rest.
The things that you thought were impossible – suddenly you are doing them. The fears that held you back - suddenly vanish.
Your pain, your darkness, your frustration, your suffering becomes your strength almost as if everything you went through was to prepare you for this great adventure of your lifetime.
You have done this in bits and pieces all your life in one way or the other and have always loved it.
You are incapable of doing anything but this. You will never succeed and never will have the willpower to accomplish anything on any other path.
You will go mad otherwise.
I have found my calling. Now, what?
Time for gigantic amounts of action. You commit all your time, energy, and sanity to it. But don’t forget to celebrate, it’s a big deal. After love and for some - before love, this is the thing that our soul's after. So cherish the feeling and the moment as it represents the deepest level of awareness and an enlightened consciousness that has overcome the stifling and paranoid way of life that our civilization has come to be.
How do you know if you have bypassed your calling?
If you never ever wonder what’s the purpose of your life
If you are busy fitting in and have no qualms about it
If you rather please others than heed your truth
If you have bought into everything you have been told
If you are happy with the first thing that comes your way
If you have never had to question status quo
If you are a rebel without a cause
If you never think for yourself and never think differently
If you are not open to expanding your horizons
If you have a gigantic ego and are masquerading conceit for confidence
If you cant stay alone, be silent and reflect or contemplate
If you seek others approval
If you have never failed
If you have not suffered a misery that comes from a mind that's screaming - life doesn't make sense, this is ridiculous.
If you have never known the madness that comes from an empty existence
Who are we?
A torrential downpour of delusions and pretensions.
Why we are here?
To play out our delusions and pretensions.
What happens when we die?
Our delusions and pretensions still prevail - we pass our legacy onto the people we loved and cared for.
Will we destroy ourselves?
You mean we haven’t yet in so many innovative ways?
What is the meaning of all this?
Why does it all exist?
Because the probability exist.
Why does it all not exist?
It doesn't. In quantum consciousness.
When will it all end?
Depends if the “it” is cyclic or linear.
Within all of us lurks a madman - an innate madness bidding its time, waiting patiently and working tirelessly to find the tiniest bit of lapse in our armor of sanity. It's born the day you are born, it grows with you and lives in you till the day you die. It’s the most patient hunter and you are its only prey; it stalks your every breath and whispers in your ear, hoping to get your attention. Its hunger is eternal, its thirst is insatiable. Counting on your gullibility and ignorance, it does the best it can to ensnare you. Your heartbeat stirs it, your thought inspires it. It’s subtle when you are strong and the stars shine bright; it roars when you are weak and on a trail of darkness - it knows when to attack; it knows how to get you.
When the time’s right - it will break through your every defense; it will chisel tiny shards of your sanity; it will put you under the curse of denial; it will condemn you to a battered consciousness; it will wreck your perspectives and perceptions; it will craft a web of delusions around you; it will take you away from your friends and family; you will become a stranger to yourself. As it breathes into you the air of insanity, your lungs resist, your brain fights, your heart struggles, your eyes cry - all in vain.
This is not a fight you can win or a demon you can vanquish. It's invisible, invincible and it has the wisdom and power of a billion generations. Having been around for countless centuries, it’s scarred and crippled numerous people since the dawn of civilization, and now it’s your turn. In retrospect, you will realize that one situation, one person, one feeling, one moment is all it took to unleash the madness.