Monday, June 29, 2009

no 'me'

In my unblemished nature there are no elements,
no body, no faculties, no mind.
There is no void and no anguish.
For me, free from the sense of dualism,

there are no scriptures, no self-knowledge,
no mind free from an object,
no satisfaction and no freedom from desire.
There is no knowledge or ignorance,

no 'me', 'this' or 'mine', no bondage, no liberation,
and no property of self-nature.

-Ashtavakra Gita

Sunday, June 28, 2009


"Wheresoever you go,
go with all your heart".


Friday, June 26, 2009

The Power of Silence and Zero

“Humility collects the soul into a single point by the power of silence. A truly humble man has no desire to be known or admired by others, but wishes to form himself into himself, to become nothing, as if he had never been born. When he is completely hidden to himself in himself, he is completely with God.”
- Isaac of Nineveh (AD 600)
A current affairs reporter was talking on TV about the Global Economic Crisis, and told viewers to brace themselves for "a whole lot of zeros", as she was going to talk about the 2.7 trillion dollars that have been lost on world markets. Seeing all those zeros after the 2 and 7 on the screen made me think about how important zeros are. Without nothing, nothing could exist. It's one of the apparent paradoxes of mysticism that to become truly nothing is to become everything.

One of my aunts mentioned that she has been reading a book called The Book of Nothing, in which the author reflects that Indian philosophy was unphased by the notions of zero and infinity, while Western schools struggled with them.

PS think of how many zeros that would be if you converted 2.7 trillion US to Zimbabwean dollars!
This 100 billion dollar note would buy a kilo of apples.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Eric Joyner, Sweet Buddha

Hollow at the centre; donuts symbolise our consumerist society.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Economic Anarchy

It is only a slight exaggeration to say that mankind constitutes even now a planetary community of production and consumption. I have now reached the point where I may indicate briefly what to me constitutes the essence of the crisis in our time. It concerns the relationship of the individual to society. The individual has become more conscious than ever of his dependence upon society. But he does not experience this dependence as a positive asset, as an organic tie, as a protective force, but rather as a threat to his natural rights, or even to his economic existence. Moreover, his position in society is such that the egotistical drives of his make-up are constantly being accentuated, while his social drives, which are by nature weaker, progressively deteriorate. All human beings, whatever their position in society, are suffering from this process of deterioration. Unknowingly prisoners of their own egotism, they feel insecure, lonely, and deprived of the naive, simple and unsophisticated enjoyment of life. Man can find meaning in life, short and perilous as it is, only through devoting himself to society. The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of evil.
- Albert Einstein, 1949

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


"Existence is illusory and it is eternal."
-Fyodor Dostoyevsky

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
-Albert Einstein

To the universal Self, the world appears as a play or an illusion. But for human beings this is not the case.

The subtitle of this blog sounds like a joke, but it's actually quite serious: philosophers do not agree on what is meant by the word 'existence'. It begs the question: If they can't agree on something as fundamental as that, what could they ever agree on?
The Vedic Hindu idea of Brahman, pure existence, or a universal Self, is usually classified as 'pantheism'; however, a more accurate label would be 'panentheism', since even deity emerges from Brahman. Pantheism has been generally despised by Western thinkers, partly because of an historical contempt for the beliefs of traditional peoples such as the American Indians.
Many ancient cultures such as Vedic, Native American civilizations share similar views on omnipresent nature; the ancient Greeks and Rome did not worship an omnipresent being. A form of omnipresent deity arises from a worldview that does not share ideas with mono-local deity cultures. Some omnipresent religions see the whole of Existence as a manifestation of the deity. There are two predominant viewpoints here: pantheism, deity is the summation of Existence; and panentheism, deity is an emergent property of Existence. The first is closest to the Native Americans' worldview; the latter resembles the Vedic outlook.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Rhapsody of the Sea

While I write,
as my creative sentiments draw towards cessation,
I no longer sense other people to be outside my Self.

Disturbance is always the lot of physical forms,
but Truth only remains unmoved.
It is externalities that are caught up
in all kinds of happenings -
the Tao itself is without mind.

- Shang Rong (442 - 497), Rhapsody of the Sea