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Knowing the future is useful and exciting. We can only see a part of the future as most of the variables that define future are in a state of flux and are subjectively exclusive. This means that though the patterns in future will be same for everyone their influence can be benign or malignant depending on our position and understanding in the present.
I shall consider the trends or patterns in only two spheres of life, Spiritual and Economical. Changes at the spiritual level effect the economic status of the society is my belief. Arnold J. Toynbee, whose twelve volumme book ” A study of History ” traces the decline of civilisation concludes that excessive interest in political and economic issues was responsible for deterioration of human life.
Spirituality follows the path of encompassing everything within itself. We may be believers or atheists, dualists or monotheist but spirituality does not consider it as distinctions and follows a path which hems in all faiths and all beliefs. It is concerned with morality only and if an atheist selflessly acts without expectations of a reward , he is spiritual and more closer to the ultimate power than a ritualistic person whose actions are selfish but believes in God.
The next few years will see people becoming truly spiritual rather than expressing their religion by rituals and the outward display of their faith. They will start believing in morality as the only path towards truth. This shift has already started and people have found that religion without being spiritual inwardly has only confused and caused mental pain. This realisation will establish itself firmly as people look within to connect with the outside.
The fallout of such a movement will be that a lot of spiritual shops could go out of business. Commercial establishments that promise nirvana and take advantage of seekers by showing them a path that exploits their emotions leading them to grief and disbelief may find no takers.
Rituals make people superstitious and generate fear in many. Since the journey of mankind is from fear to fearlessness and lower truth to higher truth, it is natural that people choose those ideals which give them more freedom. In every age after following a certain way humanity changes its direction by charting a new course.
Historians and sociologists give many reasons for this shift in human behaviour, which define their life by embracing a new practicality. But the truth is that we are following a trajectory set in motion by our need to manifest the qualities of the God we worship and in the process make the finite experiences enduring and endless.
A collateral development would be that our perspective would turn from the physical to the psychical. The concept that action is a consequence of thought and thought is generated by the mind which is a non physical entity is slowly gaining strenght. In medicine and evolution, our psyche has been found to actively change our viewpoints and even create a new reality from the exsisting objective world. The power of positive thinking and using our mind to gain a creative advantage over our hardships will get a new stamina once our consciousness leaves the plane of physical rituals of action to non physical and spiritual levels. By shifting the ballast from Kinetic to passive activity we may also inherit a new field of vision which will allow us the see an hitherto hidden dimension. It may also happen that we may gain more physical energy in the process , since the source of vital energy is our spiritual body. It is believed that when we pay more attention to the physical aspects of life and rituals are a part of physical religion , we are disconnected from the spirit which is the source of all fortitude. It is no surprise for most of us to see that immorality manifests more at religious places and inhuman acts are committed more by religious people. Spiritual persons on the other hand believe that since all souls are one , harming or helping others is doing evil or good to oneself and in turn nature. Hence morality in spiritual people is firmly rooted.
Let us see how the above changes can effect the second most important aspect of our life, economy. Money has the tendency to course from one place to another. Money cannot stay long in one place. It needs to keep moving . It usually flows to a place from where it senses it will be able to have easy passage ahead. In simple words to a place where it is not hoarded but allowed to move freely. This is the reason why once countries of affluence are now in need and where there was poverty are now enjoying bountiful wealth.
So what does the future hold for the economy ? Countries which open up their money flow will be booming and those countries which devise strategies and means to control the flow of money will find being controlled by money in turn, and slowly squeezed by it ( money ) to release its movement in the process creating a void for the nation and its people.
Only by giving and distributing and spreading wealth can prosperity be assured for men and countries. But money has another tendency. It takes offense if it is used on vain show and exhibism or to damage and sabotage the goal of others. A country or a business that keeps the circulation of money and effectively reduces the disparity between the poor and the rich is likely to generate more wealth.
This is also a trend started by Warren Buffet whose frugal economic sense has caught the attention of many. By not spending on unnesscary things and being content with little inexpensive pleasures , we are not only reducing the inequality between the haves and have nots but also respecting money. The more we show our money to the people who do not have the basic needs of life, the more further we go from spirituality and the more we widen the gap between the two classes. Since Vedanta believes in the unity of exsistence, it is nessecary that we bring our underprivileged brothers first to a level where they are treated better than animals by spending on their health and education. Swami Vivekananda says “ So long as the millions live in hunger and ignorance, I hold every man a traitor who, having been educated at their expense, pays not the least heed to them.”
Actually once spirituality manifests in the real sense sometime in the future, we shall develop more self confidence and resist all exhorbitant expenses that we incur are to give us more belief and faith in ourselves. Rituals take away the belief from our spirit to an entity outside us.
The future of man points towards more freedom and less disparity on the outside and the inner man shall develop more resilence and faith in the working of this world which now because of our physical approach looks chaotic on the outside but will look organised and purposeful after going beyond the obvious .
“He who is the Brahman of the Vedantins, Ishvara of the Naiyayikas, Purusha of the Sankhyas, cause of the Mimamsakas, law of the Buddhists, absolute zero of the Atheists, and love infinite unto those that love, may [He] take us all under His merciful protection”: Udayanacharya — a great philosopher of the Nyaya or Dualistic school. And this is the Benediction pronounced at the very beginning of his wonderful book Kusumanjali (A handful of flowers).
As a sapling tries to grow , a hedge is created around it so that it may be protected against animals. We are all saplings trying to grow unto God. For a warrior on the battlefield his uniform is also a shield. What is the shield that we have against the onslaught of crass comercialisation on one side and falling ethics on the other. In between these two enemies that halt spiritual development do we find wanting an armour.
Since both the adversaries are fighting the battle within us how does one vanquish the enemy ? Luckily we are all provided with a sword of wisdom which if used alongwith a kavach (protective covering ) of yoga ( not to be confused with asanas) can counteract any attack.
Spiritual energy cannot be obtained by talisman, amulets, charms, spells, rituals or any person. Spiritual energy comes from recognising that we are a spirit endowed with a body and our nature is spiritual not physical.
The more powerful and original a mind , the more it will incline towards the religion of Solitude…… Aldous Huxley.
Advancing Science leaves little scope for Solitude. The gadgets that are mobile finally end up stalling our inner progress.
Sartre was right in saying that people who feel lonely alone are in bad company.
Why is solitude important for our advancement ? Or why cannot there be no progress without Seclusion ?
Allah said in the Qur’an, in Surat al-Kahf (ayat 16), mentioning the story of the companions of the cave, they were ordered, “Betake yourself to the Cave: your Lord will shower His mercies on you and dispose of your affair towards comfort and ease.”
In the Quran it is mentioned that the prophet used the cave of Hira in Makkah to disconnect himself from everything and connect himself to God. http://www.naqshbandi.org/topics/seclusio.htm
Swami Vivekananda believed that solitude brings out the power from within. ( In His conversation with Priya Nath Sinha )
In His lecture on Prathyahara and Dharana , Swami Vivekananda extols the benefits of staying alone without any companionship and without any distractions. In fact moderation by not working working or speaking more are recommended to be a Yogi.
Why should seclusion be preffered over excitement of watching a TV programme or Joining friends or spending time chatting on the net ?
Neither do I want to get closer to God , nor do I want to derieve any power from within nor is there any intention to become a Yogi. Then why do I need to shun excitement and enjoy seclusion ?
Besides developing Insomnia, an aggressive behaviour , even death are responsible for over excitement. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,583351,00.html.
In psychology today , psychologists Ester Buchholz says “ Now, more than ever, we need our solitude. Being alone gives us the power to regulate and adjust our lives. It can teach us fortitude and the ability to satisfy our own needs. A restorer of energy, the stillness of alone experiences provides us with much-needed rest. It brings forth our longing to explore, our curiosity about the unknown, our will to be an individual, our hopes for freedom. Alonetime is fuel for life. ”
Over connectivity is the root of all diseases in modern times. Our body is programmed to fight any disease , any virus with a little help from our mind. According to Swami Vivekananda, our mind can bring calmness and tone down the nervous excitement , which in turn will make our temperament better and our health better. Sound Health will be the first signs of a calm mind. Over agitated nerves due to excitement are responsible for a weak disposition resulting in a diseased body. A person whose needs are moderate and craves some time to himself enjoys abudance of energy and power from within, which makes him stronger and healthier.
Not only we enjoy a healthy body but our creativity due to solitude is also enhanced.
Health and Creativity are not the only benefits of Solitude. We are all growing plants and just as a plant which is growing needs protection till it becomes a tree , till the time we are able to discriminate the harmful from the nessecary keeping away excitement can only benefit us.
4th July 2012. God Particle Found at Geneva
20th July 2012. The Dark Knight Rises
The Rest of the Days in 2012 besides these two eventful days will not be inconsequential.
As mentioned earlier 2012 is a historic year for humanity.
Why do I feel so ? Because I am a firm believer of the Chaos Theory and the Butterfly effect.
The basic premise of this theory is that very small changes can act as a cause of very big transformations and events.
Vedanta believes that the universe is composed of Force and Matter as the two main building blocks .
Force or prana is the subtle part and acts on Akasha or matter Force is the stronger aspect just like Shakti is more powerful than Shiva.
A new particle creates vibrations that can change the course of this universe or accelerate it to a new dimension or a newer form, because though insignificant the power it carries is tremendous.
Similarly our thoughts though invisible and weightless can destroy our physical body to dust.
Now the effects of July 2012 will be dificult to predict generally but the consequences will be different for different people. The only general prediction that can be done at this stage is that the consequences would follow choices faster.
We should only be afraid if we have not yet realised that by not accepting everything as they are we are making ourselves ready targets to be tossed about.
These days it is fashionable to speak about Corruption, Politics and the Degeneration of India. You are given credits for pointing out the deficiencies in our country and are considered a la mode and even intellectual.
This Motherland of ours is never hurt by these outbursts against her or her children by its own brothers and sisters.
She may wipe a silent tear when no one is looking but never let any of her children see her pain.
When you are born in India your birth carries the blessings of centuries of a race that created an eternal fountain of wisdom and spirituality for the whole humanity. It was from this land that Sages walked and showed the road to Heaven. It is this tradition that our Motherland keeps close to her heart. But when She sees her children cursing each other, vilifying and abusing each other especially those children whom She has willingly installed as keepers that bleeds her heart.
We cannot see our Motherlands pain today either she is concerned for us and hence hides it perfectly or we have given up on Her and refuse to see Her eyes which conceal pain , but we are her children and one day we shall realise that we are not trying to bring justice but only punishing her. As a Mother she knows how to punish children.
If there is any living God today it is your Country India. If there is anyone who can grant you a blessing today it is your Motherland.
The recent events at Denver where a neuroscience student gunned down people inside a theatre is not an isolated case. In fact such incidents have been reported annually in the United States of America and other parts of Europe.
Every disturbing event brings to fore a question Why ? Why did James Holmes the accussed leave his graduate work at the Anschutz Medical Campus at the University of Colorado- Denver and resort to this mindless release of inner turmoil and angst at passive moviegoers.
The Western society has seen many crimes in the past 30 years whose source seems to be temporary insanity.
Behavioural Scientists will argue to make this event into a spectacle making it the leading news story for days. But do such deliberations besides providing dollars for media even manage to come near the truth ?
If as a society we have progressed materially , did the spiritual counter balance degenerate ?
Swami Vivekananda in one of his lectures on The Mission of Vedanta says that there are times in the history of the lives of nations , when a sort of world weariness becomes painfully predominant. This is a spiritual symptom where men and women become weary with the brutality of their commercial civilisation inflict the agonizing choking within on others ruthlessly.
Such a tide of world weariness starts when we try to solve the problem of how much a man can possess.
Every desire every possession that we crave for leaves a residue of longing and the counter balance of values and ethics goes decaying forming a mix of passion with anger that results in insanity.
The world follows the western culture and its notions of morality. It will not be an exaggeration to say that the trend of emotional unstability will be the hallmark of mankind in future if there is no self control on desires.
No amount of political or social changes can bring about any change or can be a panacea to the disease of possessions and crass materialism.
Sarvam Dukham ( All is Sorrow ) Gautama Buddha commented as Prince Siddharth when he went around his kingdom after coronation as a prince. In this sea of misery that surrounds us how do we float or sail , or live efficiently ? Our Scriptures provide us with a detailed explanation on the process of sailing steadily in these turbulent waters towards our goal. As per our innate human tendency, environment and spiritual progress carried forward from our last lives we are described ways or different paths to keep our life boat steady in choppy and excited waters. All the methods described have a common aim and that is to know our real and apparent nature and work on bringing the two closer till they are one. This final amalgamation brings us to becoming one with the creator where we loose all individuality and identity. The scriptures extensively go in to details of creation of elements , and how they combine with each other to produce a universe which allows us to retrace our way back to its creator. By explaining matter and energy and differntiating between the gross , subtle and causal, we are shown the core of the apparent universe. By gaining this knowledge it is easier to navigate our mind , buddhi and the ego considered the prime movers or the fuel in our journey towards the truth. Since the Mind Buddhi and Ego are subtle and do not have an appearance and are hidden , and because of their make and relevance , they wield a higher power over us and are responsible for all that we undergo including pleasure and pain . But they are also the tools for attaining our Goal and the means to alleviate our misery. Why do these three aspects of us have so much say ? Not only do they store energy ( Shakti ) but science explains and so does Vedanta that our limitations are set by these three inner organs. They are also the organs that are responsible for our perception and the play of energy by generating fuel and setting the direction for survival and they also responsible for supplying us with the strenght required to evolve and can even bring weaknesses in our system. In fact our sacred scriptures contain a wealth of information about medicine , health, agriculture, astronomy , prayers , nature of the universe, principles of conducting duty without attachement and many more such rituals and practices that help man live a spiritually enhanced life which empowers him to reach his goal and overcome obstructions. By living righteously the spirit attains power which feeds the physical body with energy to enjoy this God gifted life and also develops our inner self so that we may reap the benefits in our next lives too. Living Righteously benefits in helping us enjoy this life and continue enjoying it in our next life too. Vedanta says that the causal body ( Brahman + Ajnanan or ignorance ) is the doer, the subtle body ( which has 19 parts , 5 sense organs which are the eyes, ears, nose, skin and tongue, 5 organs of action which are hands , feets, speech, evacuation and generation, 5 pranas which are prana or breath , apana energy moving downwards responsible for expelling the unassimilated food and drink, vyana pervading the entire body and capable of moving in any direction, udana which helps the soul move out of the body also causes vomitting, samana which helps in the digestion of food and drink and their conversion in to chyle , blood and other materials of the body, and the 4 inner organs which are Mind, Intellect, Ego and Memory ) is the agent and the physical body is the instrument through which everything is carried out in the universe. The body of a human being is like a chariot, the buddhi or intellect as the charioteer, mind as its reins, our physical senses are the horses and our selfish desires are the roads on which our senses ( horses ) travel. Mind is the connection between our senses and the physical body which is the chariot. This explanation is given by the Katha Upanishads. The importance of mind is accentuated by the fact that it collects information from the senses which they percieve and passes this information to the intellect which takes all the decisions. Pain and pleasure are experienced by our senses through the mind where it originates since it is our mind that controls the whole gamut of emotions, sensations , feelings attachments and desires. The mind has a few noticeable qualities which are helpful to us when we try to meditate. Meditating or concentrating the mind is actually resting or calming the mind. When the mind is running towards the world it is restless and fickle. These two attributes need to be made into calm and composed. But before we try to sit and meditate there are a few tips on preparing for meditation. These instructions are itself stand alone tools that open up the secrets of our inner nature by steadying the mind making the reflection of the universe so clear that we see another dimension open within us.
So What are these preparatory points that can help us achieve our objective ?
Earlier avataars ( incarnations) kept coming at regular intervals . The difference between their advent went on gradually increasing and now though the world is changing rapidly at a very fast pace, the avataars have stopped coming.
Has God forsaken us ?
At death Life goes out leaving the body behind. If the substance leaving the body has the power to give life to an inert body then even though it has left the body it can continue living. This is the spirit
The logic behind the statement that life is continuos is this spirit which cannot die. Life besides the observable has a hidden energetic part to it. This energetic part is what remains after death. Since the laws of physics state that energy cannot be destroyed , where does life energy go once it leaves the body ? The journey may be interesting.
Giving is spiritual. Even giving hate or hurt is spiritual . We are all spiritual beings ( we are intrinsically made up of spirit )
Living in a spiritual World ( inhabitated by spirits living and non-living in classical sense. doing spiritual things ( that is giving and taking ) .
The spiritual energy exchanged during give and take is what sustains us and not the physical or observable.
We are all exchanging Spiritual Energy amongst ourselves