Evolution – The Alchemist.

I read The Alchemist recently. I had heard a lot about it, but I always felt like it will be one of those “trying to be spiritual” books. I mean there is actual spirituality and then there is this new age spiritual movement. Coming from the land known for its spirituality, I have always found the western take on it quite decorative and/or very rudimentary.

In here almost everything is a personal practice that, we never reached a conclusion about religion, food, clothes, languages etc. Every 50 Km is a new world and yet we all are somehow one, that is where real effect of spirituality is visible. Not to mention this country achieved its freedom by many sacrifices and non-violence. Also the culture teaches us a general sense of sharing and over-sharing. All this without any “supposed” spiritual awakening. This is where it gets more in line with The protagonist, Santiago, from The Alchemist.

Santiago was not given any special classes, he did not have any additional help, instead he left everything that he knew to find out all that he could and honestly that is what a spiritual person ought to be or that is what I have heard. Not that you have to renounce the world, but it would be helpful to renounce what you think is the world and start afresh because, what we think and what we know versus the reality is nothing but a huge gap. And this gap can be filled by numerous philosophies, but at the end of the day only truth wins, seeking which is equally tricky as it is next to impossible unless we widen our horizons in every sense of the word. And that is evolution.

There is a mention in the book about the heart of the world which I feel is definitely a symbolic way of suggesting the oneness that we all share with everything around us. It puts forth an idea that there is no separate universe and you, but universe alone working through you. We are as much a part of it as much we think we are individuals. Then there is a mention of how even the inanimate is a part of this ‘heart of the universe/world’ which reiterates that it is all one and the same. It could just be my interpretation but I found it very wonderful because, if everything is one and the same then everything is evolving. From coal to a diamond from monkey to a human… Sort of looks the same design to me.

I find this especially fascinating because what the Alchemist is saying resonates with the knowledge of many a yogis; many masters have talked about the oneness and evolution of human consciousness in their own way but always in the same context. They refer to it as the true-self also known as consciousness in English.

Evolution in this story, in my opinion and understanding, is being referred to as the process of refinement or purification. They keep referring to a purpose or a personal legend and that every human has to go through it, which again makes me draw a connection to karma and having to fulfil your bit and to be free of this bondage is called nirvana or moksha.

These are mere words. But what is nirvana if not Santiago’s oneness with everything which he could achieve only by following his own personal legend and making all those sacrifices. It looked like he was losing it all just to be beaten at the end, but in his heart he knew the truth and he clearly saw it all come to a full circle. So it is about how clear and how pure we become in terms of seeing the reality that determines the quality of this journey called life.

The treasure that Santiago searched was right where he always was but it was not his until he evolved. It was his evolution that gave him clarity and he could finally see it. His experiences shaped him and that allowed him to find his love. It was his willingness to venture out in search of something he believed in only to find out that it was all a lie. But he kept going that is the best part of the story. It is all a lie until you live it, and when you do, you will find things and experiences never imagined before… The ways of life as I would like to call it. Let it help you evolve!

 

The anxiety.

It is commonly seen that as long as things go our way, we are pretty balanced and easy going, but the instant something turns upside down, not many are capable of handling it. This is not really a problem, but is definitely a hurdle and a hassle if you compare your efficiency with others. Not all are equally capable and that is fine.

As kids we never knew anxiety. Kids are so care-free and some even care-less but that works for them. It is not that they are not aware of their feelings. On the contrary they are more in tuned with how and what they feel that they do not even take seconds to express it.

It is expression of our feelings that slows down or gradually and sometimes drastically decreases as we step into adolescence. If you look back at your younger-self (ten years ago), the first thing you would notice is how clue-less, anxious your younger self seems to you now. But understand this, you would say that ten years from now about your current version. This is what they meant by history repeats itself.

We do kind of stay the same but we keep psyching ourselves up and eventually fall prey to a false idea that we changed. Change is so external these days like changing places, food habits, religion, people we associate with etc. etc. We even change our way of thinking and it works to some extent but the result is not stable. We can’t think ourselves into a changed person, we can only be a new person.

Sure, conditioning is where it all  begins and change of thought patterns brings a huge change, but it is only experience that can really change someone, for it is your past experiences that have moulded you and now you can use this same tool to mould a newer-self by opening up to all kinds of experiences.

But is that what we do? NO. We tend to cave in after a few down-falls. And for the rest of our lives we get stuck with fear, and the anxiety of repeating that experience. Anxiety is real, fear is real, feelings are valid. But do we have to give thoughts so much power that it can mess up our mind, mood, physiology etc.? No, thoughts or any other forms of triggers are just triggers. Triggers are real, your reactions are real, but this association of triggers and reaction can be broken with new experiences.

“What if the new experiences are worse than before?”
If you are someone who asked this, then you need to stop it. As you can see this is the root of all anxiety. And if you are gonna have negative thoughts then just label them as negative and let go. Do not let these thoughts consume you.

And not to undermine anyone’s problems but what is inside the head is not the reality, the past, the projection of the past into the future, is not real. It is like self-inflicted pain. The anxiety vanishes when we focus and centre ourselves in this truth. Only this moment is real and only this moment can be changed. Repeat this to yourself, Only this moment is real and only this moment can be changed. And if nothing needs to changed then just let it be. That is how I keep the anxiety at bay.

That dim feeling.

Thoughts are such a beautiful aspect of being a human. I wonder if other beings can have thoughts. They might not have discernment but in my opinion if animals can feel things they can at least think about basic things. Instinct in itself manifests as a thought and as humans we are offered a choice to whether act on that thought or not, and that seems like a distinguishing characteristic.

It comes so naturally to animals and birds to just act on their instincts they do not care about anything more than their needs. But our free-will allows us to have a thought after the first thought. They call it intellect and it does this beautiful job of freaking our wits out with confusion. I guess this is why school’s encourage students to question often – just because we can and because we should. Think and question!

On one hand, it is a beautiful and powerful tool to be able to pause (think) before we act. But there exists a very fine balance between thinking and over-thinking, just like a few other things in life, how much is too much? When does thinking become over-thinking?

Experientially speaking, It is possible to be mentally exhausted and still be perfectly fine. A good night’s sleep should fix you up. But if you wake up the next day with a hang-over of lingering thoughts; when you have a dim feeling of uneasiness the entire day or night, it is at this point when one must stop. This easily qualifies as losing the balance.

Just like any other part of our body brain utilises the fuel of the body, energy from the food, but at a much faster rate. You do not have to wait until the physical signs appear and you lose some of your body weight just because you have been expending more than you should.

As fascinating as our thoughts and mental faculties are, burning out this system is an actual possibility. Do not let it get that far. Two things are very clear one, thoughts are a mental response to an external stimuli or an internal one (old memories or imagination).  And the most empowering aspect of this capability of re-living the past and/or making-up the future is that we choose to carry out these mental actions.

We choose to condition ourselves with what we like or dislike, we mask what we want to hide and show only what we want to show, even with all this practice when it comes to controlling our negative thoughts – negativity –  we lose the battle like a novice.

I mean it is our mental space, good or bad, we have been day-dreaming all of it. Why lose creativity now? It is better to immerse yourself in your story – one with a happy ending instead of tragic. Use these exclusive capabilities for yourself and for others. The moment you feel a dim feeling hovering upon you, remember it is time to sail into a new direction.

The shock.

There is a glass with water in it and we are trying to figure it out whether it is half full or half empty while the question should be why is there a glass with water in it just lying around like that… Ghosts? haha. I am just trying to look at it the way it is.

I feel it should not be about how or what we perceive. It should be about how much of what we perceive like, do you just see the glass and the water or the reality surrounding it. What is even a wide or a narrow perspective and how could it be wrong or right? Perception could only be true or false and half the truth is not truth because the rest of it will be an assumption so, it is a hit or miss.

Half the time we choose to close our eyes hoping that the reality would change, other times we are not even conscious of this and some times we are just blindsided. The last one is okay but in the first two situations when we are faced with reality, we are shocked and that is not fair on anyone.

It is easy to get engrossed in ‘how’, missing out on ‘what’, and then finding a ‘who’ to blame it on while searching ‘why’ for a loonng time. So why be shocked if time slips away. It is easy to miss on reality when we live in our own world, but for how long? The longer we stay the bigger the shock.

 

Tailoring.

The world is our oyster, but that does not mean we go around jumping from one thing to another, all the time. Sometimes what I need is not out there in the world. The world is still my oyster but does that mean that is where I stop, it is like limiting the possibilities of “I”. I mean, what the world offers is what the world has in store for me, but what I am or I can be, must not be over looked, and sadly no one else but I would be the first one to give up on myself. Unfortunately, many would relate to this.

So it becomes more like world is our oyster and we shall try to fit ourselves in what they have to offer, after all what is world? You and me and if I am not where I a want to be then I am just looking at you or them. But if everyone looked at you, we all would be you. What kind of world would that be?

We all want to be someone. When was the world even seen as an oyster, I do not think it’s always about what is out there for us, sometimes it is just about what life drags to us. As I see it, I am being made by what I get, more so by what I choose, and even more by what I do not choose. Why necessarily be them when I can take a little bit of this a little bit of that and tailor it for myself.

What we are offered and our choices based upon that might make us. But accepting and becoming part of the norm lacks the tailoring that becomes a possibility only when you deny, when you reject, and rather choose to blossom on your own or choose to watch yourself blossom – just a flip side of the same coin.

None taken.

Disagreements are pretty common and many people get over them easily. Some require a little more than a talk to get over things. Misunderstandings are a part and parcel of people with reactive attitudes. This does not mean that the entire blame lies on them. The one who misunderstood would get the gibe (most of the times), but an equal responsibility must be shared by the one who said the things that led to all this.

Ha! this is one of those really confusing situations but it totally depends on the kind of people you are dealing with. You know how sometimes things just come out wrong or in a way that you did not really intended them to sound. Nonetheless, the immediate realisation by the speaker hints that, they understand what they have said does not really sound correct (or as these days politically correct).

Well life is not meant to be politically correct all the time and it is alright to be conscious of this when in dialogue with strangers but mostly misunderstandings happen between two very close people. Ha! another of those funny but real-confusing realities of life.

Now, this does not mean that one speaks, the other gets hurt and that is the end of it all. Neither should it mean the one who “supposedly” got hurt unleashes a wrath on the speaker nor is it all meant to be ignored. But none should react,  its just a chain reaction; I say, you misunderstand, you react, I defend, you do not let go, I do not accept it, I react and we fight! So choose none, just be one.

Looking back, as kids nothing really mattered there were no misunderstandings because there were no preconceived notions, no hurts carried over from past experiences, nothing to really correlate one thing with the other and make a mess out of it. It was plain and simple. That is the only thing that changes as we grow up. We start believing we just know it all, and we do but unfortunately without much clarity.

From none to a ton. Tonnes of thoughts get processed and we like to read between the lines a little too often. Where ever the trust has gone? I feel like understanding the fact that not many people really give a second thought to things they say or do while others are exactly opposite, should bring  an acceptance of each others’ harmless comments.

So while the only truth is THE misunderstanding the problem takes a shape of “you never understand me” “well, how am I suppose to know that. I do not read mind” etc etc etc. It goes back and forth, and the egos would not let either just take the blame and move on. In the process neither would bend but won’t mind breaking each other. That is just sad.

So to save ourselves the pain let’s just handle this the way we do it with strangers, “no offence!” “Oh, none taken”.

OTD

Not OCD, OTD! Obsessive Thinking Disorder. Not a compulsive behavior but a deliberate process of thinking more than required. How many people suffer form OTD!? I know I do. What a freaking waste of time and energy! But the very fact that I am writing about it clears one thing that, I am aware of this disorder and awareness is the first step to acceptance and with acceptance we can move on to next step – rectification.

We should be aware of our thoughts, that is very basic understanding. And once you know about OTD, asking your mind to shut up should actually help. Unfortunately, it does not work that way. You can not stop your thoughts. It is easier to be filled with fear of something wrong happening while being very happy but doing the opposite; feeling happy while having sad thoughts is impossible. And that is another belief. Yes, this is where ignorance becomes a bliss, the less we know about the world made beliefs the more of self-belief we have.

Anyway the point is OTD is so common specially among the young ones. We just like to think so much and create vivid images of what might go wrong instead of just going for something. What went wrong, where and when!?

I believe that as kids we just lived care free and that is the trait we need to bring back. Careful is okay worrying all the time is not. And it is okay to think…. Actually no, it is better to just give “A” thought to something. Just a thought – singular.

Weighing the pros and cons is not similar to just looking at the pros or just the cons. Both are important, but are you thinking “over it” or about it”? That should be the question because there is a difference which will change the approach and the pattern of thoughts. Trying to stop a flood when it has happened is futile, but creating the diversion for that powerful flow, now that is possible. Do not stop your thoughts try to change them instead. This sounds like some famous quote.

You could check whether you are thinking over it, about it, or paying too much attention to the “supposed outcomes. And if nothing makes sense why not just take a leap?  Not necessarily a leap of faith, more like following your instincts, gut feelings and nothing else. It is faster and mentally less exhausting. Make your own mistakes; learn, fall, stand back up, nothing embarrassing in that. Come to think of it even that sounds like a trigger for OTD, fear of failure!! In its essence fear is the culprit.

 

Not a joke.

Look at their face, look at their walk, the way they talk, oh those clothes and the funny voice…

That is how you describe a clown or a drunkard, uttering any of that otherwise is not funny. Say what now, it is just a joke? Okay that is no excuse to put any other person down. It is never justified to look down on anyone. It is never okay to unknowingly hurt anyone. One might say things without realising the repercussions, but even then why comment on someone else’s personal matters or personality attributes or physical features. Bullying is not synonym to leg pulling.

Shh, shhh, not a single thought about anyone. Like they say crticize slowly and appreciate quickly. No one is entitled to pass random remarks. Accept others and move on or just move on. People are not bus stops, they are not waiting for random strangers to make halts in their lives.

Seriously, whenever I hear or read about bullying, something that has also become digital and it is called cyber bullying, I am flabbergasted to learn of the arguments presented by the bully. It is not just the hate, the real question is what were they being fed? What agitates them to that point, where only abuse could work for them?

And sad enough not everyone gets help, not every one is strong enough to not give into these bullies. Sad as it is young ones suicide just because they can not bear it anymore. They find the world as a dirty and disgusting place just because of a few fellows who find pleasure in picking on them. Oh gosh, the seriousness of these matters is never felt unless personally experienced.

And if that is not enough the victimisation of the sufferer makes matters worse. Victims are not weak. There are so many stories flashing in front of eyes. Each one talked of the victims closest relations being unaware of the victim’s state of mind before they began discussing the cruelty of the bully. Honestly, it does seem hopeless. But laws do exist, people are still afraid, where is the hope? Just in the belief that one day it will change? When? Years from now?

Tender roots do not/can not differentiate water from poison. They will absorb what will be given to them. Hope is in nurturing those roots .

-Insach

How Profound?

Profound, anything that is even near this word is just going to be extreme. Anything defined by it would be of quite importance. And for sure that will lead on to having a huge impact.

Can same rule apply to the quality of our thoughts? I came across a piece of information that suggests that human brain is simply so strong that a single thought, if turned into a belief, could bring about the chemical changes mimicking the exact changes that take place when something happens for real.

It is exactly like being tricked into thinking that a massive tragedy has taken place, we would be extremely affected by the kind of thoughts we create after hearing about the tragedy (even when we have just heard about it).

Or in case when we watch someone else go through it (even if it is in a movie) like, while watching the movie – About Time – the moment Tim’s wife suggest they have a third child and Tim realises that it would bring an end to his time travel meetings with his deceased father, we feel for him because we create the Kind of thoughts he has.

“Kind of thoughts” this is important because thoughts have a profound effect on us and these thoughts get manifested into emotions and behaviours even before we know it.

Old sayings like “मन के हारे हार है, मन के जीते जीत” (man ke jeete jeet man ke hare har) meaning that if we think we’d lose, we’d definitely lose. On the other hand if we’d think that no matter what we will win, we will win indeed.

Need I say more the brain washing of many a people has created useless ruckus all around us. They do not need any mention. Some of them are in power and some are just sitting inside their bedrooms planning their next conniving actions. If “they” can have enough will power or lets say the control over their brains that, they can follow a single thought and take such extreme steps; completely illegal, completely inhumane, mostly stupid, just because they believe they are right, why should the rest of us stop our powerful positivity?!

As it seems the good does not manifest easily because the ones who know enough, keep on questioning themselves and the ones who do not know it too well…. we all know where that ends! It has come to this, we shall learn from the rebels and the extremists that believing is more important than having to know it all. But lets do it in a very good way!

How profoundly does the quality of your thoughts affect you now?

Admiration.

“Your admiration runs deeper?”

It is only of your making,

The qualities are in your head.

All I see are scars,

A broken arrow through heart.


It is dirty, it is malign.

Keep away or it might kill.

What do you seek from it?

Get it, do not be so still.


For the beholder has spoken,

He seeks nothing…

But a moment of revelation…

Of things beyond the forsaken.


Oh, if you could feel..

The mesmerising depth

The strong will…

That has me enchanted.


The arrow is broken.

That is what it shows.

The heart is alive.

That is all she owns.


Ugly is what is hidden.

Beauty is out in the open.

It has me emboldened

To restore, to mend the fallen.


No one sees what you see.

To like things this way,

To find beauty every where,

There must be good in thee.

“Your admiration runs deeper, indeed!”