Musings Of An Idle Philosopher

Strange indeed are the ways of the world!

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Ennobling thoughts are archived  away (to a pen-drive), while

enfeebling ones are retained by one’s mind

(for ready access and constant regurgitation).

End

 

 

Source: Pinterest Original in Hindi is not translated word-by-word.

 

 

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Upended Wisdom

Strangely inscrutable are the ways our mind abstracts, indexes and stores away incidents in our lives. Not infrequently incident A dredges up memories of a long-ago incident B. A recent instance of this was a newsfeed item from Time instantly taking me back to the day some thirty+ years ago:

Our second-floor office in Prabhadevi was in the shape of an unfinished rectangle with a long side and two short sides. The long side was laid out as a large hall with cabins for mangers on one side and, on the other side, a line of tables, one behind the other, for the staff, and a passage-way in the middle. Being the central office for coordinating all commercial and engineering support for other regional offices spread throughout the country, there was a large volume of paper documents tracked and processed at this office.

An obvious corollary was the need for storage space for keeping the large box-files holding these documents. While fitting out the office, the carpenter-by-appointment had provided a two-rack shelf that ran along the length of the wall. Each staff got some three feet of shelf-space above his side-table and easily accessible standing up from his seat.

The Big Boss routinely took rounds of the office like a tiger on prowl. If ever the files did not sit neat on the shelf, there would be on-the-spot fireworks in the hall leaving their owner badly singed.

On this day, just before luncheon break, we suddenly heard a sound of a kind we had not heard before. When we looked up and around clueless, we saw, somewhere in the middle of its length, a segment of the shelf coming down with the files dropping off like panic-stricken folks jumping off a building on fire. It was quickly stopped in its descent by the side-table directly under the collapsing segment of the shelf. That was not all. Before we could lift our jaws up, right before our eyes, we saw the contiguous segments on either side also coming down in a wave. Within a few seconds, to our horror, all of the shelf – some sixty feet of it – was resting down off the wall.

Luckily no one was hurt though many of us took a while to recover from the shock.

It took several weeks to get a new shelf and the files back in their place.

Now, let me switch to the newsfeed item from Time that triggered the recall. Here’s an extract:

Watch: Store Shelf Collapse Shatters 7,000 Wine Bottles

…It wasn’t exactly a sparkling day for workers at Superior Discount Liquor, after a 78-foot shelf gave way, sending nearly 7,000 wine bottles crashing to the floor to form a reservoir of booze.

Staff scampered to safety with a river of red wine hot on their heels as the entire store flooded. According to one employee, wine was pouring out of the front and back doors of the Sheboygan, Wis. shop.

Visiting salesman Nick Haen had almost finished restacking the shelf on his weekly visit to the store, when a peculiar sound caught his attention.”I heard a little shift and all of the sudden I looked up and just saw bottles start coming, and so I turned around and booked it as fast as I could,” Haen, 23, told Sheboygan Press. “It was a little bit of a rush, a little bit of a, ‘Holy man, did that just happen?’ It was unbelievable.”…

Not resting at the office shelf and the store shelf, the mind jumped to Bond novels where cut-outs limit the damage caused by a breach and to the story of the Titanic with its bulkheads not quite serving their avowed purpose of compartmentalization and saving it from flooding waters.

What could possibly tie up these disparate’s together in the eyes of the mind?

Perhaps the cluster is filed under the abstracted wisdom: ‘United we fall, divided we stand!’

End

A Guru Speaks

This post is the result of applying an author’s license to what I heard years ago in a pravachan by an Acharya of a great lineage living among us today. A rationale is built up lucidly for what is common wisdom about things good:

———-

He sought out the Guru who was an acknowledged master in meditation.

‘I want to learn meditation. Teach me how to still my mind. All kinds of thoughts, good and bad, swim in my head like fish in a tank.’

‘You want to void your mind of all thoughts? Is that all?’

‘Yes, for the present.’

‘And be a like a stone? A stone has an absolutely still mind and no life.’

‘Yes, but only in sessions.’

‘So stone-dead for twenty minutes and then back into the hustle and bustle of daily life?’

‘Yes, something like that.’

‘What can be pleasurable about a mind that does not work? If a leg doesn’t walk, isn’t that a disease?’

‘Isn’t it more like resting the leg? Every wise man before you and now living has said sessions of meditation cleanse, provide relief, liberate and elevate.’

‘You know nature abhors vacuum?’

‘Are you saying it is not possible to empty the mind?’

‘For most, an empty mind is a more unnaturally stressed state than the life’s stresses you’re seeking relief from and is easily vitiated.’

‘So?’

‘It’s always easier to fill your mind with good thoughts crowding out the undesirables instead of trying to void it completely of thoughts.’

‘That’s neat. But, wait – If I could will good thoughts to walk in, I might as well order all of other stuff out. Presto, I’ve emptied my mind!’

‘Most of them before you have walked away without asking – you’re alert and perhaps in need. Well, when you drive your car what do you think about?’

‘My eyes are on the road, hands on the wheel and foot on the brake. Safe driving is the upper most concern. Though occasionally the mind does drift off the road for a few moments.’

‘That’s what it is. You know it already – it’s simple. The same, with an athlete or a singer. When the mind is largely preoccupied with sensory inputs or actions, there’s very little space for other thoughts; in fact it continues to linger on long after the inputs have passed. Look up in your science books – I’m sure they would concur. So immerse yourself in seeing, hearing, speaking and doing good things in life to soak up a free-wheeling mind; also surround yourself with good people. All, do-able? Go back to your world and live your life practicing it – no need to closet yourself in tortuous postures or go to the mountains. Before long the undesirable cravings will wither away, good thoughts will become a lasting habit. Well, that’s all for the purpose you came in, I’ve nothing more to add.‘

End