4 – What do I do

Once again, I found all the habitual enjoyments and everything I am doing or plan to do in near term as completely inconsequential.

I am blank again. I do not know what is right and what is wrong. I feel suffocating. I do not know what to do. My mind is no more working. O God, save me from this death. I do not want to die. God, help me. But does God actually exist? Whom am I praying to? I am all alone?

Where have I got trapped? If death was so certain, why the hell did I take birth in first place? Where was I before by date of birth or nine months before that? Everything is so fraudulent! Every theory is full of only loopholes! All religions are hoax! They claim solution to this problem and fool people. But how can they be true? If Quran is true, Bible and Geeta cannot be true. If Geeta is true, Purans and Quran and Bible cannot be true. If God exists, modern science cannot be true. If earth is round, Bible and Quran have to be false. But earth is proven to be round. All of Bible, Quran, Purans have glaring contradictions within themselves and between themselves. Many of their theories have been proven wrong. How can I believe them then?

But even modern science is fraud.  If modern science has to be true, it should tell me who is feeling this blankness right now and having this confusion? And if it is indeed true, then also there is no solution. I am bound for a miserable end into zero.

Everything is a hoax, I am trapped, I do not know what to do. But I do not want to die. I have to escape death. But how do I do it? Everyone seems to be fooling me by making tall promises of what will happen after I die. No one is able to give any evidence or logic for today. They tell me to believe and not question. If that be so, why mind has the capacity to analyse? Everyone seems to be fooling everyone else. But that’s least of my concern. I just want to escape this brutal death.

Even if I escape it for some years, it will still come. Even if I live for thousands of year, still time of death will come. In few million years, even sun and earth will be destroyed. So I have to die then for sure, even if I escape death now somehow. There is only a solution, if at all, to postpone it. But there is no permanent solution to get completely rid of it. Nothing except that permanent solution will help me. Or else I will be blank forever..dead forever. No more sensations, feelings, consciousness, thinking, imagination going in the mind. No more memories, no more will I know what is happening. And that will continue forever. For billions of years..trillions of years.. and even more…I shall never live again, feel again, think again ever.

This is killing me. I want to get rid of this fear. What do I do? Let me distract myself.

I went out of the room, came down on the street, roamed about and came back. Then I opened a book. I felt better. Now that desperate suffocating feeling was no more. I still had memories of the bout, but I was now more in tune with my immediate world and feeling comfortable. The feeling of suffocation was no more. But I knew, this was only a postponement and not a solution. The bout will come back sooner or later.

I realized how the entire world is in a way busy in all sorts of things to either pre-empt or distract themselves from this bout. Just as I took a stroll, or read a book, someone would immerse in loud music, or pornography, or socializing, or depression, or anything and everything. No one knows what the purpose of their actions and passions are. Its merely an avoidance reaction to this bout. That’s how the whole world is running. Some get so used to pre-empting it that they perhaps never have the bout. They equip themselves in multifarious activities, but ask them why they do what they do, and they will have no clear answer. We are living in a world of utter confusion, even the most intelligent do not know why they are doing what they do, why they are living, what life is all about. Suddenly all the intelligence of the world also appeared as completely phony and hollow to me.

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3 – Optimal solution

The only other hope for me was the domain of spiritualism. What modern science cannot observe through its meters and scopes, a spiritual person can decipher through introspection and spiritual knowledge. Very closely associated was the concept of religion.

I was born in Kolkata, the den of communism in India and was exposed to two sharply contradicting theories – “religion is opium, science is truth” and “all religions are equal”. The first one was the basic mantra of communism, and second was the political agenda of Left Front. And thus both these themes continued in my life for most of the time. They both provided me with swords to cut each other. Ultimately I found that both ripped off each other so much that both turned out to be hoaxes in the sense popularly or commonly understood. What I mean is that both failed to give me a satisfactory solution which is scientific, rational, logical and intuitive to this problem of death.

That was why I found myself having more and more of such bouts. More I dwelled into the prevailing solutions for this fundamental problem, more I could observe their loopholes, and more skeptic I became to everything in life.

I went behind all the major spiritual schools of thoughts and religions. Be it Advait of Shankaracharya, Vedanta of Vivekananda, the Puranas, the Geeta, the Mahabharat, the Ramayan, the Upanishads, the Quran, the Bible, and so many other religious texts, I hardly left any to dig out the solution to my problem.

My life became story of the eternally confused. Should I go for high moral character? Or should I become a lecher? The first guarantees spiritual success and hence freedom from death. The second provides me immediate gratification assuming that in end everything is going to end in big zero for everyone. But then, what is the sense in going for temporal enjoyments when it is so fleeting. And then, what makes an enjoyment, an enjoyment is merely the way my mind works. So in any case, it is better to change the way my mind function than run here and there pointlessly for sake of enjoyment.

As a student of science, at least the following was now clear in my mind:

a.       Either life exists after death or it does not exist.

b.      If it does exist, it is better to be spiritual. That will ensure trouble-free afterlife.

c.       If it does not exist, everything is pointless. So whatever you do is fine.

d.      Since I am in doubt, I should do what maximizes my profit in both cases. Thus I should better be spiritual. In case life exists, I shall be a winner. If it does not, still it is same for everyone, so there is nothing to lose.

e.      Now the question of enjoyment comes. If I run after worldly fun, I will have lots of fun as everyone is having. So on surface it appears that it is better to seek temporal enjoyments.

f.        However, happiness is a state of mind. Spiritualists and modern scientists both regard mind as inanimate object. This means the way I control my mind will define my happiness. Thus it is more efficient to change the way my mind works as per my will, rather than run like a monkey here and there to gather petty bananas thrown by master (nature).

g.       In conclusion, let me continue exploring the mystery of life and death. But meanwhile the most optimal solution would be to control the mind and live like a spiritualist. That may also help me get the solution more easily, if at all it exists.

This conclusion gradually firmed up in my mind and I found myself detached from most worldly pleasures. Not because I avoided them as source of sin. But because of two reasons:

a.       I found them so temporary and fleeting

b.      I wanted to control my mind further

Soon I observed that most of the so-called worldly enjoyments are sheer hoaxes propagated over a period of time but having no logical basis. Even temporal enjoyment was much more in those things which conformed to the spiritual practices.

Of course, there were many of them that I found myself hooked to more as a habit than anything else. Once into them, I would lose sight of my goal of finding answer to that fundamental problem of my life and be immersed in fun and enjoyments. They provide convenient escapades and pre-empt my bouts. But then, suddenly, the question would knock me loudly for answer the way it is knocking today in middle of the night!

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2 – Modern Science

EvolutionBeing from science background, I had turned pages after pages of modern theories of science and psychology in this regard. I recollected the hordes of information produced by scientists to prove that life is nothing but a chemical reaction, and with death the consciousness ends just like any other chemical reaction. But there were glaring loopholes even in this theory.

I could never get a satisfactory answer to what the source of this consciousness is. If I fear death, feel pain and pleasure, who is this I actually? Agreed, it is all a game of chemical reactions. But which particular cell or atom or subatomic particle feels it all? I browsed through the literature and found that the seat of consciousness is yet undiscovered. Modern science has vague answers to how physiochemical reactions happen and where they happen to give us various feelings. But they are at dismal loss to answer “Who ultimately feels these feelings?”

I could well appreciate the efforts put by modern scientists and the reasons for their dismal failure to answer the fundamental question which would give me a clue to seek solution to this problem of death. After all the tools and apparatus used by modern science are equipped to observe only physical manifestations. Anything that is not measurable under their telescope or microscope or meters etc does not exist for them. They do not have any conclusive logic to justify how they are so certain that no world apart from what can be measured by their scopes and meters can at all exist. Their situation is no different from the popes of middle-ages who used to believe that earth is flat because the tools and technology they had then, and the books they used to follow could no way prove that the earth is round.

Modern science, which evolved as a sharp reaction to biblical dogmas of late middle ages, is today no more than yet another dogma or cult. It has its own set of beliefs or assumptions which it refuses to even question. Even if it does not have satisfactory answers to several questions, it would refuse to question these assumptions. Instead it would either refuse to accept existence of such questions or phenomena, or try to confuse through jargons and equations. It has eyes of a cockroach. It sees too many things at the same time but its scope of vision hopelessly limited.

Just like any other cult, it has its own bigoted mindset and agenda. Thus, while it will resort to craziest of extrapolations to prove we descended from apes or conclude that there was a big-bang, it will chide away more fundamental questions like “And what was there before big-bang?”, “Who guided atoms to become humans?”, “Why not slightest of evolution take place in documented history?”, “Why no dead body could me made alive again?” No wonder, modern science has been unable to make any significant new discovery or theory in the last 50 years at the least.

The theory of chemical reaction as propounded by modern science had a few more glaring contradictions.

By its own admission, life is nothing but a chemical reaction, which started as a process after the big band that happened some 14 billion years ago. Thus, all those who are analyzing the theory of life or universe are also nothing more than chemical reaction. And the ones whom they are teaching the same are also chemical reactions. So it is one set of chemical reaction interacting with another. And mind you, how these chemicals will behave was decided long ago during the big-bang. Thus there is no separate “doer” or “analyzer” apart from the reaction itself, and its fate was decided in the first nanosecond of big-bang or even less. So what these modern scientists want to teach as the true explanation of everything is also nothing but a fatalistic chemical reaction. They are just repeating what they should be after 14 billion years x days y hours as pre-decided in the first moment of big-bang. There is thus no concept of right or wrong here.

Also, if life is actually a lifeless chemical reaction, then all concepts of right, wrong, good, bad, civil, criminal, compassion, love, support etc fall flat as sheer nonsense. Life is nothing more than what happens in a test-tube when two acids interact.  A reaction is just a reaction, nothing good or bad, kind or rude about it. Just as water never shouts back, “Hey pour me slowly, you are being rude.”, similarly no one is actually expressing any feeling in the world. What we observe as a feeling of pleasure or pain, is merely manifestation of a lifeless chemical reaction. Put simply, if there is no life, there is no feeling, no right, and no wrong. Thus, even the arguments of modern science are sheer nonsense by their own logic. After all it is only a chemical reaction happening in a test-tube and there is no observer of the same. Whom we call observers are yet another set of reactions happening. Thus the world is only pre-decided chemical reactions happening, without any observer or doer. Even you reading this or I writing this is only some chemical reaction happening. In reality, you or I simply do not exist!

All these conclusions of my expedition so far filled my head. In brief, I was even more confused after my exploration of modern science than I was before start of the journey.

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1 – The Bouts

Confessions

This series features my frank confessions of life. An ostrich digs its face in ground when it faces a danger. I find myself no different from an ostrich who tended to ignore the daring question that life raised again and again from time to time. I tried my best to sustain the ostrich within me whenever I faced one of those bouts. But the few glimpses that I caught out of curiosity were sufficient to change the entire direction of my life. Read on the Confessions of an Ostrich…

Part 1

I woke up in the night and found myself sweating profusely. I felt like being choked. My mind felt all blank in fear. It was again one of those bouts I recall having since my early childhood. The same fundamental question engulfed my mind – Is this all going to end?

So I shall die one day. My parents, my relatives, my friends all are going to die. And when I die, it will all be blank. Even the peace I have during a deep sleep will not be there. Because, I shall no more wake up to discover whether the sleep was peaceful or not.

The oldest person I have ever heard of is around 156 years old. Even if I assume mythologies to be true, I could be several thousand years old but still I have to die. And if I live that long, it would mean, all my dearest ones will leave me forever much before. So either ways I am cursed.

All the rest of my plans and their accomplishments are uncertain. The only certain thing is death. No one ever escaped it and I cannot be an exception. Suddenly I felt as if everything and everyone around me is already dead. It’s all so meaningless. The whole concept of life and living is so meaningless. Regardless of every success and failure I have in life, regardless of the number of friends and enemies I make, regardless of the amount of fame or disgrace I acquire, it’s all going to end in the same manner as it will end and as it has ended for all others.

Nothing else matters. Be a success, be a failure – it’s all very temporary. Scientists say that the universe is 14 billion years old. Sun is a middle-aged star. And yet it is 4.5 billion years old. Earth is almost as old. A human life of 100 years is insignificant compared to that. If we assume the entire universe to be as big earth, the size of earth is no more than a pencil dot. That defines the magnitude of domain of human influence.

Thus in the entire scheme of things, I am no more important than one of the tiny microbes on entire planet. Nothing is in my control – I had no choice over my birth and I will have no choice whatsoever over my cold fast-approaching death. Emotions, feelings, memories – nothing matters at all. They all would evaporate into nothing, as and when I evaporate into nothing under the grip of death. Nothing is more certain than this.

I recalled a faint childhood memory. I was around four or five years old. In the night, while I was sleeping with my mother, I asked her, “Mummy, will I die one day?” She had no clear reply. She said, “No, nothing will happen to you. Go to sleep now. You have school tomorrow.” I again asked, “Does everyone who takes birth die? Will grandma, grandfather, you, papa also die?” She said, “You should not talk like this about your elders. You should respect them. Now go to sleep.”

I did not ask anything more. But I was far from satisfied. This was my first experience of this bout that I can recollect. Next day, I asked papa, “Papa, how long will I live. Please see my hand.” He smiled and brought my palm closer. He pretended to analyze it carefully and replied, “You will live for 102 years. Don’t worry!” I shot back, “That means I will die after 102 years. And will you, mummy, grandma, grandpa also live with me for 102 years?” He tried to deviate from the topic, “You should currently focus on your studies. This is your immediate priority. 102 years is very far off.” I was not convinced, “But that time will also necessarily come na. And then I will die.” He said, “If you study hard, you will never die.”

I almost forget that incident soon after. But it did make me a bright student though. After all, I had no other alternative to escape the brutal grip of death. Soon, I even forgot the reason, but got addiction of studying.

But now, I was having a much clear recall of this forgotten incident. I recalled that this is one question for which no satisfactory answer has yet been deciphered by me. And even if that reply of father made me a good student, it hardly matters. Because with death, everything and everyone shall end forever – including what I studied and learnt.

In a snapshot, my entire life came before me. The theme was my frantic search for solution to this most fundamental problem of escaping death. I recalled how this recurrent bout will suddenly open my eyes each time to a reality that I could not face or understand. And how it would make me even more frantic. (Cont…)

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फूल नहीं धधकता अंगार हूँ

Fireफूल नहीं धधकता अंगार हूँ मैं।
थके स्वाभिमान को झकझोरती ललकार हूँ मैं।

सो‍ई भारत की वर्षों से अन्तरात्मा
नवजागरण की पुकार हूँ मैं।

ग़ुलामी बस चु्की है ख़ून में
पर क्रांति की टंकार हूँ मैं।

सर अब हमारा कभी न झुकेगा
विजयमाला का शृंगार हूँ मैं।

भस्म होगी सब दासता मानस की
सच्चे स्वाधीनता की चिंगार हूँ मैं।

बुझेगा न ये दीपक चाहे कितना ज़ोर लगा लो
हर आँधी तूफ़ान की बेबस हार हूँ मैं।

अग्निमय हूँ अग्निरूप हूँ अग्नि का उपासक हूँ
अग्नि मेरी आत्मा सत्याग्नि का ही विस्तार हूँ मैं।

अग्निवीर

The power of Now!

NOWयां मेधां देवगणाः पितरश्चोपासते। तया मामद्य मेधयाSग्ने मेधाविनं कुरु स्वाहा॥ यजुर्वेद ३२.१४॥

O ever glowing, brilliant Lord of all beings!

Give us the same intellect that you gave to our legendary ancestors, the great men and women of history, the best of the best ever born.

Give us the same intellect through which the heroes of past achieved greatest of wonders and miracles.

Give us the same intellect which our role models transformed into noble efforts that dazzled the world.

Give us the same intellect that the greatest performers used to worship you, through noble thoughts, noble words and noble actions.

Give us the same intellect that is the jewel of the best of the yogis, the best of the scholars and the best of the achievers.

And give us that intellect RIGHT NOW!

Vedas do not conceive of a God or Paramatma who would change his course of actions even a bit to accommodate our prayers. Then what is the use of such prayers or innumerable similar ones, which He would never listen to?

The fact however remains that Vedas contain no prayer which is impossible. The mechanism of action of Vedic prayers is already built into our system. Paramatma has already supplied us with all necessary arms and ammunition to achieve whatever we desire within the framework of Vedas. The Vedas provide the tools and techniques to use these arms and ammunition and convert any of our prayers into reality. We perform, and he dispenses – as per definite unchangeable laws, as provided in the Vedas. Its a fair game:

  • The laws are unchangeable absolutely
  • The laws are made available to us in form of Vedas
  • The necessary tools and resources for application of the laws has been provided to us in more than abundance

Thus no single prayer of Vedas is futile or wishful thinking or a promise extending up to unforseeable future. Instead, each prayer is nothing but a goal that is realizable within our finite lifetimes – given that we follow assiduously the steps required for fulfilment of the goal.

The first necessary prerequisite for realizing any goal is to possess the right intellect or frame of mind. The rest would follow naturally and logically once this first prerequisite is fulfilled. This is the hardest and the most critical step.

We need not even refer to Vedas or any other scholarly book to understand this. We just need to look around in our world. All things – good or bad, great or not-so-great – that mankind has ever achieved till date was only an idea in someone’s mind at one point of time. The right application of intellect alone transformed that intangible idea into electronic gadgets, engines, vehicles, rockets, computers, spaceships, rules of society, laws of the country, codes of ethics, books of knowledge, arts, philosophies,…..,…,… the list is endless, which is the reality around us.

Once this intellect is there, all the raw material for fulfillment of our prayers aka goals are already in place.

So the question comes, how soon can I acquire that intellect so that I can move on to the next step?

This mantra from Yajurved, as mentioned above, gives that answer. It categorically states that, regardless of your past deeds or misdeeds, level of knowledge or ignorance, capabilities or incapabilities, performance or failure, and everything else you have or do not have, you can acquire that intellect RIGHT NOW!

One of the mantras from Shiv Sankalp sukta of Yajurveda elaborates it further by saying that the essence of all the Vedas are already inside you.

Thus, that intellect is already there with us from the same instant as we desire it. Its an instantaneous process. And its a fair process. As much of intellect as we desire, and with as much intensity, in exactly the same proportion is the intellect being made available for us.

Thus technically speaking, if we can generate a tremendous amount of will power to reach ultimate perfection, we can achieve that RIGHT NOW.

In other words, we can change your destiny through one resolve RIGHT NOW.

Yajurveda says:

Once you make a resolution, you will be made available all the tools and resources necessary for achieving your goal or dream or prayer, immediately without a nanosecond delay. As you start applying the  tools and resources made available to you in form of intellect, you will start observing the results. As you observe the results, you would generate even more conviction and will power. This process will further enhance your intellect and generate even better tools and resources. Thus the results get even better and conviction is strengthened even further. The process follows recursively generating a positive feedback loop. Something analogous to a nuclear chain reaction.

Thus, if we are able to generate a minimum critical mass of conviction in the first go and sustain it, the most ambitious of the goals or dreams are achieved.

The successful personalities so far in history have applied these mantras of Yajurveda in some form of the other. The principle works with almost anything and everything.

However, the entire Vedas and even the स्वाहा at the end of the mantra also provide us directions on where the mantra should be applied.

Vedas conceive of a human potential that can achieve its ultimate achievable and is not restricted by petty goals. Thus the mantra prays for possessing that level of intellect where all petty and not-so-petty desires, aspirations, dreams and goals are made स्वाहा or sacrificed happily in pursuit of the ultimate goal.

Thus, the mantra prays for that intellect where we only aspire to achieve the ultimate – achieving whom, nothing else remains to be achieved. And achieving whom, the rest of the achievables are automatically made available to us as and when we need it. All the petty intermediate achievables only become temporary tools to facilitate achievement of the ultimate goal. But all eyes of the prayee are steadfastedly fixed on the ultimate, the biggest and most ambitious goal, the most exciting and exhilerating goal, simply the best goal – to become a Yogi.

And the prayer from Yajurveda is Paramtama’s insurance note asserting that,

“Regardless of anything and everything that has and has not happened till date,
Regardles of anything and everything that you could or could not achieve till date,
Regardless of the whatever deeds or misdeeds you performed till date,

You can aspire to be a Yogi from this moment.

And you shall be inducted into the previleged academy of Yoga RIGHT NOW!”

So let us all thank Paramatma and take this resolve RIGHT NOW.

And let us all become Yogis who have:

  • No illusions, no grief
  • No tensions, no frustrations
  • No doubts, no disbeliefs
  • No fears, no guilts
  • No limits, no bounds
  • Only bliss and total bliss
  • Complete peace with self and world
  • Unflinching affection with truth
  • Complete mastery over mind and body
  • Perfect examples of Yam and Niyam
  • Singleminded goal to achieve the Ultimate One!

And as per Vedas, we become Yogi RIGHT NOW!

Spiritualism: An analysis of some subtle currents of power shift

Abstract: This paper analyses some subtle currents of power shift which according to the author’s belief are potent enough to transmute the whole debate on Balance of Power in the recent future. First, the paper briefly discusses the present boom in technology and its impact on the environment, society and mind as a system. Next, it discusses some important features of the growth of materialism as a way of life.

This is followed by a holistic appraisal of the future scenario in the light of technology and materialism, and a look into what went wrong. Finally, the paper hypothesizes why spiritualism would evolve as the dominant source of power in the coming few years.

(For sake of relevance and brevity, the author has avoided delving into history and philosophy to the extent possible.

Technology rules supreme

The present era is hailed as the era of technology. Technology drives the world. Especially after the IT revolution, technology has had perhaps the greatest impact on our lives than anything else. Our whole social fabric, thinking patterns, economic structure, lifestyle; almost every aspect of life is being shaped primarily by the emerging technological innovations. We are rapidly surging towards a completely wired world (without wires though!) where communication occurs at the speed of thought and distance is no more a constraint.

And this ‘seems’ to be bringing immense benefits to one and all. Be it the medical sciences, education, business, economy, production, communications or entertainment; pages can be filled on how technology is proving to be a boon for the particular field. However let me now discuss some other aspects of technology, which as I will discuss later, can lead to its own downfall from its present position of power supremacy.

The cruel face

Technology has its own its own share of negativities, the most discussed one being its impact on environment. This is definitely one of the issues which can force mankind to look beyond technology. However, I would explore two other facets of technology in this discussion which can be equally or perhaps even more impacting in snatching this balance of power from it.

The paradox of convenience

This is an interesting paradox which we all experience, but often fail to realize. Technology is supposed to ease our lives. Typically a technological innovation takes place to fulfill a need, solve a problem of past or facilitate comfort and convenience. However, the very fact that an innovation is at our disposal adds to the complexity of lives and puts further demands on technology for more solutions. Lets see how.

Please note that I would be using the word ‘system’ often in my discussion. For the purpose of this paper, it means social, economic, psychological or any other relevant domain considered for analysis.

Suppose a particular technological innovation X has taken place that has ‘eased’ our lives in a big way by addressing an issue I. For example, the internet technology or even the automobile technology.

First, the very fact that this innovation X is at our easy disposal brings down the issue I from the category of ‘challenging’ or ‘insurmountable’ to that of ‘expected’ or ‘basic requirement’. In other words, the system has now transformed itself by incorporating this solution as a basic feature. The search now begins again for newer solutions for the issues of this transformed system. And this process continues on and on. This is just as if one is attempting to catch her own shadow. It always seems as if the shadow is within grip in just one more step, but ironically it always eludes us.

Second, every innovation X brings with it the issue of managing the system under the transformations that this innovation has brought in into the system. For example the automobile technology brought with it the issues of managing the traffic and fuel supply. These issues themselves were so challenging that ultimately new needs arose in the system to displace and even exceed the previous ones in magnitude and complexity.

In brief, we can say that today’s solutions give rise to tomorrow’s problems and the solution itself proves to be a source of problem. I will analyze this issue in further detail later.

The paradox of easy Information

This is the age of easy flow of information. Unfortunately, this itself is increasingly becoming a challenge for most of us.

Relevance

Though the amount of information at our easy disposal is huge, but filtering of useful information has become a issue. You type a few words into the Google search engine and get a list of a hundred thousand links matching your search criteria, but sieving of the relevant ones itself becomes a daunting task.

One can argue that technology can help us overcome this problem in future. However the very fact that the life is demanding upon you to search for so much of relevant information frequently implies that you have to cope up with an increasingly large amount of information in future. This is because as discussed previously, the need for coping with so much of information is becoming a basic requirement in the system and the transformed system now demands even more information to tackle.

The effect of this information bombardment is evident with the increasingly large number of cases of nervous-breakdown, hypertension, depression and insomnia occurring round the globe. Psychiatry is indeed becoming a demanding career!

This, that or that…?

Another way in which information bombards us is through the plethora of choices that it disposes before us. Product/service customization is increasingly becoming the basic fuel driving our socio-economic engine. While choices are welcome in the crucial aspects of life, the necessity of making choices for every trivial transaction again puts upon immense cumulative load on our mental energies. The insidious effect of this on our mental faculties does manifest itself over a period of time in form of mental strain and associated health problems.

Are we intelligent?

Finally, the protagonists of free flow of information make an implicit assumption that a person knows what is best for her. This argument has no scientific basis whatsoever for the simple reason that to know the best for oneself, one needs to have the following:

a. Complete information of all related issues.

b. The ability to analyze the full set of information as a whole.

The first may be made possible by technology (though I have my doubts, especially, for subjective issues). However the second one is next to impossible given the quantity of data and the amount of subjectivity involved in even the simplest of the mundane issues. Thus, a person may opt for information which is, in fact, harmful for her. The spurt in pornographic sites in the internet world is a classic example of this.

Apart from these two, there are several other perils of technology (as it is developing today) like man-nature alienation, over-objectivism and over-extrovertism. However, I would avoid analyzing them in detail for sake of brevity.

Let us now look at a related but broader issue of growth of Materialism.

The paradox of Materialism

The world today suffers from an overdose of materialism. Everybody seems to be running blindly in quest of mundane pleasures and instinctive gratification. Desire, lust and greed seem to be the drivers of today’s world. We seem to be gathering more and more of instruments of pleasure day by day; however ironically, happiness is still eluding us. In fact if we take a global view, the world has become a more dangerous place to live in than ever before. Its waiting for one pervert to occupy a position of power and the next moment the survivors among us may find themselves in stone-age. And mental peace? We are as far from it as never before. An average person today has more issues to worry about than ever before. And the effect: the world produces more lunatics and psychos than ever before.

Materialism holds the balance of power today. However this very fact can cause its own downfall, as I will discuss later. But let me give a clue.

The very purpose of material success is defeating itself. After so much of technological advancement, development of the so-called scientific temper and rationality, infinite knowledge at our disposal, advances in medical sciences and control over nature, how is it that we have only increased the mess in which we previously were (except that the nature of mess has altered)? Doesn’t it ring a bell that somehow somewhere there is some fallacy in our “rational approach”.

The future…

Where do these paradoxes take us in the recent future?

The enhancement in technology and materialism has been continuing since several hundred years and more prominently since the Industrial Revolution. But with the emergence of Information Technology and silicon world in the last few years, there have been fundamental changes in this process.

One, the pace of this enhancement has accelerated tremendously. So fast that before the system can prepare to gear up for a new balance, new changes occur. Asymmetries within the system are getting more and more prominent under the advent of these changes. This poses further challenges for the system to deal with.

Second, the very nature of this process has changed with the emergence of the virtual world. This is like having a Matrix within the Matrix! Technology will sooner or later provide us with instruments to simulate almost each and every aspect of the real: the beauty of nature, the sweetness of vocals, the emotions and the feelings. Thus the gap between the real and unreal is rapidly vanishing. The challenge of reconciling the two and coping with this artificiality is going to be a major issue in the recent future.

One may argue that the process of evolution will ensure that the human species adapts to these complexities. Unfortunately though, the process of evolution is a much slower one by the most optimistic measures and given the rate of progress of technology, the ‘survival of the fittest’ theory can only predict extinction of the large majority of unfits among us.

Thus soon we have a situation where our own progress becomes a threat to our existence.

Mental peace becomes a rare commodity. Everyone is fighting just to cope with the complexity of the system and in effect making it even more complex. The difference between man and machine is thinning with the man becoming more and more programmed and machines getting intelligent. Upon that if Artificial Intelligence and Genetics synergize and click together, the situation can be even grim.

Each individual has infinite freedom of choice in every aspect of her life and information is free. This further implies that the potential of an individual in affecting everyone’s life is very high. Thus the world waits for one pervert to come up with something crazy and threaten the existence of everyone else. With the growing number of maniacs in the system, the probability of this is also increasingly high.

This will be the time of technology and material fatigue. And when this fatigue exceeds a critical limit, the system will breakdown. It will yield to the internal pressures and asymmetries to its ultimate limit after which it will implode.

What went wrong?

This process of technoxification can be attributed to several factors.

Deviation from goal

What is the prime purpose of life? This is a philosophical question but one can assertively state that happiness has to be a prime purpose. The goal of all the systems in place is to facilitate each individual to reach her state of happiness in the most optimal manner.

Somewhere in history, the human happiness was greatly dependent on nature and hence the quest for mastery of nature began. But somewhere down the lane, we missed our track and this ‘mastery of nature’ and ‘gathering of the greatest amount of material benefit’ became our prime goal. The whole system was thus reoriented with the increasingly strong belief that happiness is a function of external instruments of pleasure. But, the fact is, at least after all basic necessities of life are taken care of, that happiness is more of a function of one’s own attitude and control of mind. And ironically, more the artificial one’s life, more the happiness eludes her.

Wrong prioritization

If quest for happiness is the prime goal of life, it should be given the utmost priority in any system. All the other issues of economy, business, technology etc can only be secondary to it and cannot be prioritized above it. In fact, these exist only to facilitate the prime goal and should have no relevance beyond it. This wrong prioritization has been a major contributor to this mess.

Segmented view of life

The system today dominantly views life as segment with a definite beginning and end characterized by birth and death respectively. Without delving into philosophy, let me analyze how this seems to be counter-intuitive.

First, everything in space-time extends up to infinity, be it time, size of universe, number of particles. Thus, it doesn’t seem plausible that life is devoid of any extension up to infinity.

Second, if the segmented view is indeed correct, then all logics for values and ethics fall apart. Because, if it is only the present about which one needs to care, it is very rational to discard all ethics and seek maximization of self-gratification. This yet another paradox has been another cause for this chaos.

No one has an answer as to what the true picture is. However, it is more unfortunate that in the mad race for technological supremacy, neither did we bother to probe into these most pertinent questions.

Cause-effect separation

Cause and effect may not be closely related in space-time. The effect of some event in one part of the globe at one point of time may have an effect on some other part of the globe at a later time. This is why we keep on repeating the mistakes of the past.

This is manner in which most technological breakthroughs prove disastrous. The adverse effects of a new development or the lifestyle patterns emerging out of it are not immediately obvious. It is only after some time that the dark face becomes evident. By that time the technology is already established and change becomes irreversible.

Further, until the ugly face is manifest, we tend to even enjoy the ‘boons’ of the development. This is like one enjoying cutting the branch of the tree on which she is sitting.

Non-holistic approach

Further most technological developments take place with least consideration of their impact on the other aspects like society, value-system and mental health. These systems are left orphan to cope with the new developments. And more often than not, impact on these systems is irreversibly detrimental.

When it all breaks down…

Coming back to the breakdown, its exact nature and subsequent conditions are difficult to foretell but some predictions can be made:

(i) The mankind will be forced to reconsider this process of development

(ii) Search for mental peace will be the prime objective of the individual and the system.

(iii) The mankind will be forced to reconsider the futility of programmed instinctive pattern of living and research into the purpose of life and existence.

And then suddenly the whole power equation will change. With psychomania, depression and nervous-breakdowns spreading like an epidemic despite the best of medical know-how, spiritualists will be the doctors of the mankind.

Please note that what I mean by spiritualism is the art and science of researching into the meaning of life and ways of synchronizing the multitude of mundane activities towards the prime goal.

Suddenly all other issues except mental bliss and purposeful living will become unimportant. Thrust would now be on wisdom management rather than knowledge management. Rigorous research would now initiate into the wisdom of our ancient texts and art of living taught in them. Yoga, Zen and similar disciples, which are gaining in popularity even today, will be the basis of lifestyle.

This is not to say that technology will meet its death. However, the approach towards technology will change radically. It will now be more of a facilitator than a determinant of lifestyle. Thrust would be more on the actual judicious usage of technology.

Individuals and societies would now be in a mode of introspection, attempting to weed out deficiencies which can act as stumbling blocks to their prime goal.

And more importantly, mankind would now be looking beyond the segmented view of life to find a fuller meaning to life.

So far spiritualism has been largely discarded as an option. But the future will embrace spiritualism as its ruler, though out of compulsion. Spiritualism will reign supreme and in process transmute the whole debate on Balance of Power.