June 16, 2017

Realm of many possibilities

Imagine if the human race ceased to exist and the ruins were to be discovered centuries later by a new civilization. What would the thoughts be on the way we communicated and shared​ knowledge? Given the kind of electronic technologies we use today, most of the knowledge/ information is stored in silicon chips and transferred via cables and mobile towers. If these degenerated over years, the next race would question many things that we take for granted. For instance, how were we able to talk to someone without a physical wire over long distances? How did we know what is happening in any part of the world instantly? How did we know about the galaxies and stars?

The new race would restart their journey of discoveries and inventions. It is not necessary that the new technologies would be the same as the ones we use today. In such a situation, one would surely end up believing that any earlier race/ civilization would have been very primitive and staying in forests and caves without any advancements.

Any story that survived from this civilization would be looked at as myth. Now, if we look at us today and think of civilizations that may have existed millenniums ago; are we not in the same boat? We look at how advanced the older civilizations were, from the prism of what we do today. Since we do not understand that, we label many events as myths. How did the Rishis get the knowledge of the galaxies and stars sitting on earth? How did they figure out different types of weapons? How did they store and access knowledge? Were they able to communicate real-time across the world? We do not know these answers in the same way as someone would laugh off if they were told that we store information in small chips made of silicon and metal!!! And that there are invisible waves that travel all over the world and transmit this information!

Life on this planet and universe is not linear, not even circular, but spherical - according to Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. When we open up to the many possibilities that events can take, it gives us a much better understanding of life itself. While there may be some real myths, we also need to understand the limitations of what we can perceive and observe. There is a very small band of frequencies that we can see, hear, smell, taste and even feel. Acknowledgement of the limitations itself can open up the mind to 'Maybe’ and that is the first step on the journey… into the realm of many possibilities...

December 17, 2016

Use the ink before it dries...

If you have owned an inkjet printer, you have probably experienced the drying of ink cartridges, if not used frequently. The case is similar for a pen refill/ cartridge or paint colors. Each of these have a life span before which you have to use it, else it dries and becomes unusable.

Sometimes the inks or colors can be revived by adding water or some solvent and sometimes it can go beyond reuse. The only real choice you have is to use it or allow it to decay over time. When your usage is high, you can upgrade to a laser printer where the ink does not dry!

The same idea holds true for the skills we possess or learn. If we do not keep using those, we will lose those over time. Talents and skills have been given to us to make use of and not to keep in a show case. Many of us either do not find time or keep waiting for the perfect opportunity to use our talents. In the process, the talents become blunt and eventually go away.

The sacred texts also say that if you do not use your talents, then they would not be given to you in your next birth.

Even in a supply chain management context, we see production planners maintaining a minimum usage of old or niche technologies to keep the manufacturing skill alive. They do not want to be caught off guard when they have to produce large quantities of these products.

If the ink has dried, not all is lost :-) You can either hope that someone inspires you like Jamavanta (Jambavan) reminded Hanuman or you can go deep into meditation practices that can not only revive the parched skills, but also allow new talents to blossom. You can experience simple and deep meditation from the Art of Living here.

So, go ahead and use the ink before it dries…

November 06, 2016

Tracking cookies in real life

A few days ago, my wife and I were discussing about dhoti pants. And minutes later, I see ads popping up on my smartphone asking me to buy those online. I am sure many of us would have noticed that the smartphones listen to our conversations and present options to take that conversation further.

Not just your smartphone, your computer also tracks your moves on the internet using 'cookies'. These smart cookies tweak the content coming to you and show you relevant ads on the sites you browse. In case you have not noticed, there is usually a small disclaimer on each site informing you that cookies will be installed on your computer should you choose to continue browsing the site.

Some of these cookies are essential for managing your current login session while others like 'tracking cookies' are the ones that store your browsing history and patterns for future usage. This data is then used by corporations to show you content that is relevant to you. In other words, you are fed content similar to things that you are focusing on.

This also extends to social networks, where you are prompted with friend suggestions based on your profile, interests and the people you are already connected to.

So, the question that arises is - If an internet network built by humans can do all of these, why do we think the super network in the universe does not have these capabilities? It is said that what you focus on, grows. It is true, because the universe also has its cookies installed in our system. It feeds you a version of reality (content) that is similar to things that you are focusing on :-)

You notice certain things only after you have started focusing on it. For example, from the time I got actively involved in CSR activities, I have seen an increased coverage of CSR in the newspapers. During the same time, other people around me (colleagues, friends) do not recollect seeing any such trend. This concept has been elaborated in the movie 'The Secret'.

Many decades of experiments in Quantum Physics have now shown the smallest building blocks in the universe exist only as 'probability waves' and they turn into 'particles' the moment you observe it. It is proved that when you are not focusing on them, they move around like waves in an ocean. The moment you focus on them or try to sense them, they start behaving like small particles and move in straight lines/ defined paths.

Understanding this phenomenon is path-breaking. Reality is just a wave of probabilities and our focus on it condenses it into particles. So, watch your thoughts, watch your actions and watch the company you keep. All of these contribute to creating a personalized version of reality for you.

Can we delete these tracking cookies from our system? Definitely, yes! Like you clear the computer cache, you need to keep clearing your mind cache. Daily practice of breathing and meditation techniques surely helps in erasing the browsing history and patterns from your system :-)

You can learn more about the techniques from Art of Living here

(Images sourced from securelaptop.org and askleo.com)