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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

KNOW THYSELF




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Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look there.”
-Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor (A. D. 161-180)

K is for "Know thyself":

Since the beginning of humanity, great philosophers of the world had been delving deep into the intricacies of our elusive selves.


The ancient Greek aphorism ‘KNOW THYSELF’ is one of the Delphic maxims inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi.  The curious believers since then always pondered over it.


Later on, Socrates expounded it in many of his discourses. For him “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates even maintained, “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing."

His disciple Plato took it up extensively in his scholarly creations. He was the forerunner of Western philosophy and science. He propounded, “Essence of knowledge is self-knowledge.”


The quest for knowing the truth and establishing identity has been going on since antiquity. Great philosophers and thinkers of the world have all tried to comprehend the mysteries of the self. They came up with numerous insights, which inspired humankind to carry on with this endless search.

The understanding of self-awareness, in fact, opens the doors for realizing one’s potential for a productive life. In our short odyssey on the earth, frequent episodes of inner dialogue happen.  They serve as revelations. A conscious individual always endeavors to extricate self from the limiting absurdities around.   


“The knowledge of self will preserve your from vanity.”
                                        
Miguel de Cervantes



However, in the rat race of modern life, is it possible to listen to the internal voiceless flow? It may appear paradoxical yet in spite of this fast-paced existence, a desire to make life exceptional and more dynamic has to be developed.
....

Here is an attempt at loud thinking based on  impressions gleaned over the years:

One thing, which helps in discovering ourselves, is our interactions with others. Reactions good or bad in specific or everyday situations of people close to us or our acquaintances or our friends or others throw useful learning lessons. Self-knowledge acquired thus help us in adapting our self-image vis a vis others.

In a way, the behavior of others educates us about those whose association leads to pessimism, brooding and pulling us down. It signals us to be friends with those who perk up our confidence and shun the naysayers. Developing links with people who raise us and enhance the positive aspect of life should be assiduously pursued. Being aware of this option becomes an inspiration for better management of our lives.

Self-awareness is akin to mindfulness, exhorting us to devote a single-minded approach to our life tasks. As Swami Vivekananda succinctly puts it,

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.”

Writings of great philosophers especially Socrates' polemics with his listeners and Plato’s dialogues are great influencers in clearing doubts and bigoted perceptions.

Looking inside for analyzing our fears and anxieties objectively is conducive to finding solutions. A free and relaxed mind expands the creative horizon.

A serious evaluation of our experiences can help in making better decisions for self-improvement.

Self-knowledge also means being true to one’s core values. Honesty truthfulness and probity are our treasures and under no circumstances should ever be compromised.

Our internal invisible monologue says a lot about our thinking process, which defines our personalities. All its warnings and appraisals nudge and activate our receptiveness to change and to act courageously.

Acquiring self-knowledge is an exercise, which continues throughout life.  It is rightly pointed out that we are always in the act of becoming.

Friends welcome here as always!               Images, courtesy Google.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

LET'S CREATE OUR OWN JOYS




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Early morning scene as the sun glides up at a retirement community in South India.



 There is so much joy to experience!  




J is for joy:

Celebrate the morning breeze and stillness serene,
Feel uplifted energized as if in a land of dream.

Rejoice at the crescendo of bird noises at dawn,
Sway with the mystic exuberance of the morn.

Experience delight at the sun’s radiant birth, 
Pause at the joyful blooms to savor their mirth.

Disallow the negativities your joy to steal,
Dive into each act with devotion and zeal. 

Grapple with failures relish each triumph,
Pledge to reach sublime ladders to climb.

Faith will maneuver nature on your side,
Undaunted pick the shells by the life's tide.

Ignite a spark at the threshold of gray zone,
Life fulfilled bid adieu sans groan.


Friends welcome here as always!     



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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

AN INTERESTING INCIDENT




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WHEN I’S CAUGHT IN A DUST STORM.

 I for interesting:

Figurines made from waste and discards embellish the famous Rock Garden in Chandigarh.

 
It happened a long time back in the 1960s. We were living in Chandigarh. I’s a college student then and used to cycle down to college. It was the early days of the establishment of the new city ‘Chandigarh’. It was called the city beautiful, because of its well-planned structure, openness, and overall cleanliness. The credit for its marvelous design went to a renowned French architect Le Corbusier. At present, it is a union territory and capital of two states of Punjab and Haryana

In those days, it was slowly coming into existence and lacked facilities. One had to cover a KM or two to even buy vegetables. There were no vendors passing through the roads with their hand driven carts. Below, an effort with PAINT for once.

It was summer and very hot. Mother needed vegetables for the evening meal. On that particular day every week, a vegetable market used to be held in a different sector in the open ground. I offered to do the job by cycling to the market.Though there were signs of dusty haze in the atmosphere, I’s not dismayed. Armed with a satchel, off I went enthusiastically. I pedaled fast and reached in no time. 

I had hardly parked my cycle when unexpectedly a strong dusty wind overpowered the area.  It’s certainly a dust storm. It attacked gaining its full fury very fast.  My cycle tumbled down. The sand circling around was blinding. I immediately slumped to the ground and sat there with my head in between my legs glued to the ground. It was as if I’d be blown away. Small pebbles were hitting me from all sides. The sandy wind was rustling furiously. I dared not open my eyes. It was like a whirlpool of dirt engulfing me in its fold. A total bombardment of raging muck. It was scary.

 Google images

How long I sat facing the ferocity of the storm I don’t remember.  When mercifully the storm started subsiding, I tried to open my dirt-filled eyes. After continuous blinking, it dawned on me that already it was dark and I should rush back home. I accomplished it somehow. Everybody was worried at home. On seeing me safe, their faces lighted up. Inside in the light, my hair and face powdered with earth presented an interesting sight. An evening ended as a damp squib.

Friends welcome here as always! 

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