Saturday, 23 April 2016

Religion and Mindfulness

Question yourself

Dearest Reader,

Thank you for looking into this obscure little post.

As always I will keep it short and make sure not to waste much of your time, while trying to give a good science fiction perspective on things.

By far my most favourite religions are the ones that see religion as one uniform line, progressing from an end with no clear beginning unto an end with no clear ending. They see a certain period named as “Christianity”, another one named as “Islam”, and yet another one named as “Buddhism”(using the most popular names is purely for easier reliability; there are more than 4000 religions out there). The message changes and evolves based on the needs of the time and a certain central figure is needed for those busy enough not to allow enough time to think and reflect on things(I am also guilty of this). Just looking at the practical terms, this eradicates any form of fundamentalism as it automatically counters any form of attachment to an excessive idea…such as prophet A,B or C being an ultimate prophet for humanity for all time. As cliché as it sounds, we all see the consequences of this. A better religion would take that into account while making fun with itself and pointing out the holes in it’s plot. Which is also very practical as it will nurture a more detached method of observation and create a more critically thinking “followers”(for a want of a better word).

American mindfulness is a capitalistic excess that just serves the busy times and provides a quick-on-the-go solution to creatures with messy feelings, such as we are(try and deny it). The so-perceived roots of this type of…”mindfulness” are supposed to be Buddhist in nature, but they are just born from an urgent need for reprieve in a society that has expanded too quickly without realizing the consequences of this. After all, scientific knowledge does double every ten years, but collective societal wisdom is still scarcely encountered. The notion that one is “ok” with oneself as they are can be destructive as it could slowly takes away the need to evolve the mindset. Psychologically, one can reduce oneself easily to just a set of pre-learned behavioural responses without questioning oneself. The changes begin subtly and continue on, until “spirituality” becomes a mockery of it’s former self. In fact, old Chinese philosophers, or any philosophers at all, will see this is a dangerous path; even the first Buddha(or Jesus for that matter). Another notion that we have to ridicule is the gymnastics of the new age, A.K.A. yoga. Very little of the old philosophy is to be found in the new age thing of relieving stress with some pre-constructed idea that getting sweaty elevates you spiritually. It does make you feel good, but I think it’s the responsibility of everyone practising such gymnastics to keep themselves reminded that this can only help so much. In other words, it’s a very small piece in a very big puzzle.

A better mindfulness would reflect on the insignificance of the single human and potential of the collective humanity. A cosmic religion and a global, open mindset would put ideas to more scrutiny, apply more humour to rigid thinking and seek easier, more practical ways to nurture the spiritual/social need of individuals within the collective.

We’re still learning.

Thank you.

New Language

   “So, tell me how you feel again.” The doctor’s calm, deep voice broke the silence, as he lifted his head up from the papers.
   Blue and purple waves appeared in front of him, intertwining chaotically; the projection blipped and disappeared completely for a moment, then reappeared again; agitated, like an angry river flowing. He had seen this one before.
   The doctor tapped the pad on his side and the ephemeral picture switched off, revealing a man in a bed, laying motionless; his head strapped with nodes and cables extending to a large plastic contraption next to his bed. His eyes were open, moisturised by special lenses. Directly staring at the doctor.
   “I wanted to try something more complex, my friend. I promise you, I wasn’t trying to irritate you in any way.” The doctor said. “I did recognize this pattern at the end,” he continued. “Was it just me, or you got slightly disappointed, maybe?”
   He tapped the pad again and the waves blinked into the air, projected from the large contraption. The arrangement this time was the clear “Yes”.
   “Wonderful. I just want to see the limits of what we’re doing here. Have you had enough? Do you want us to take a brake?”
   The waves were dancing in a way that was not defined yet. Then they settled into the clear “No”. It was a thought associated with his old house. The one he had lived in before the car crash.
   “You have become very consistent with these patterns. I must congratulate you. The “Yes” and “No” you’re doing are great. Fabulous discipline.”
   The projection was stirring slowly, not revealing anything in particular.
   Observing it for a moment, the doctor said:
   “Lately I am noticing something similar when we get to the point of …,” he stopped for a second, thinking, as he was gliding has hand through his beard, rhythmically. “Irritance?”
   The waves settles into the clear “Yes” and then abruptly changed into the well-familiar “No”.
   “Ok,” there was excitement evident in his calm voice. “Would you call it annoyance?”
   “Would you call it, anger?”
   “Maybe, discouragement?”
   The waves stirred for a moment quickly and moved into the “Yes.”
   The “Yes” was a thought of his favourite sport. The one he was playing competitively ages ago. It took him long weeks to master imagining the pictures associated with “Yes” and “No.” But he had gotten really good with them. So good that it was possible to have a conversation with him — a vegetable with a working brain.
   “Impatience, because you want to make progress?”
   “Impatience, because you want to communicate better?”
   “Are you tired?”
   The doctor smiled and bend his head slightly, looking away.
   “Forgive my ignorance. I have no idea what’s it like to be in your shoes.”
   The picture danced and flowed into an unknowable pattern. Yet.
   “Are you excited at the opportunity that you may be helping others?”
   “Me too,” the doctor said, looking at his papers again and writing down quickly.
   “I am sorry to be a let down. But I will need a short brake and a meeting with few of my colleagues. I want to work on this “Impatience” pattern we are seeing.”
   He took the pad.
   “In the mean time, may I interest you in some ping pong?”
   “Duck-shooting around the lake?”
   “Yes.” Followed by yet another chaotic and unknown pattern.
   “I will get Professor Williams for you,” the doctor said as he was standing up. “She is quite good at chess, no?”
   “I will be back later on today.” He said, going for the door.
   He nearly blurted “Don’t go anywhere”, but realized how stupid and rude it would be.
   “Stay sharp,” he uttered instead.
   “Yes.” Followed by yet another dance that only he knew the meaning of.