This post has been published as a part of ‘The CBC Tablog – 2. Where a group of bloggers from CBC Chennai Bloggers Club) have come together to write on the topic – “One aspect of Chennai that I would like to change”
The Baton was passed on to me by Gayu Venkat who is claims to be a Juvenile Dreamer and a Jejune Sketcher who loves to find happiness in small things.You can read her post here
So, what aspect of Chennai I want to change? Hmmm..Let me try a relative sketch here.
Though born in Chennai, I grew up in a tier 2 city where people enjoyed many luxuries of nature that Chennai vaasis don’t. The biggest luxury of all was the interconnectedness that every occupant of a particular locality shared. I still remember how many families lived in my street for every time there was an Independence Day celebration, all the kids in the colony will team up for “collection” and the money collected thus will be spent on organizing games and fun events for every age group. Every game would have it’s season except for cricket for it was a perennial sport. Two months for Top and Marbles ( Bambaram & Goli), Two months for Badminton and Gilli, and last few months of the year would be dedicated to making Manja ( String used for fighter kites ) and Kite flying , endlessly running behind every single kite that loses the deal with a long pole or Kavvankal (a stone tied to a Manja string to pull kites stuck between tree branches or electric poles ) . These were the constant ones, other games like kabaddi ,Ice boys, Seven Stones, Countries will pop up depending upon the collective mood of the colony. If anyone one falls ill, the entire colony will know and at least half a dozen grannies from the colony will visit with some homemade remedy or some wise advice. There was something in everyone of the colony that kept us interconnected and that is what I think Chennai has lost in the name of growth and modernization. Now Chennai must have had it too but when and why did it lose it? My guess, the city has become too fast. Too fast to even stop for a moment and help someone who has just tripped, get up. Too fast even know who your neighbors are. Too fast to even acknowledge the new hairdo your wife had had hoping you would notice. Too fast to have a proper dinner with family every night. Too fast to stop for a moment and relish the subtleties of present than can give you happiness for a lifetime. It is this pace that I would like to change in Chennai. This pace is killing the present generation from true learning. Just like a wisecrack once said ,“It puts them all in a rat race and in the end, no matter you win, you end up being just a rat”
I see lions turning into rats deluded by this pace. So if you ask me, I wish Chennai slows down a bit. A bit enough for the human touch and feeling of interconnectedness to seep in.
I now pass the baton to Prashanth Ashok who happens to be a very close friend of mine. Known for the super friendly aura that he carries, he is fondly called as the Singapore Santa by fellow CBCians. One can talk about anything under the sun to him for his ears are as big as his heart. He blogs at AP’s (S)crap
There was a boy who lived next to our house in Trichy whom I never saw playing. Forget playing, I hardly saw him in the first place. There were few occasions when I did see him and am pretty sure he had a textbook in his hand. His room was pretty close my room and I have often (read daily) heard his mother barging into his room and talking high about a certain boy called Pravesh who happens to be from the same class as her son. A typical conversation would go like this :
Mom : You haven’t given your daily chemistry test . You know that you are weak in organic chemistry don’t you?
Son: Maaa… Its Sunday ma. Plzzzz
Mom: Did you skip eating because it is Sunday?
Son: Ma plzzz.. don’t start it again.
Mom: I was talking to Pravesh’s mom today morning. He is giving full test every Sunday.
Son: He doesn’t have to study like me. His parents went to IIT, he is a born genius.
Mom: His grandparents were illiterate farmers. Don’t talk like a Know-It-All!!
After a series of thuds there would be a brief silence and a few minutes later I would hear distant guttural mumbling of a hyperventilated mom.
I am pretty sure that many would have experienced or at least come across such drama before, but have you ever wondered whether intelligence can be genetically transferred?
You would have definitely come across many intelligent couples having intelligent offspring or a musical genius having a lineage of sons, daughters, grandchildren who are good at music. This doesn’t necessarily mean that intelligence or music runs in blood AKA genetically transferred.
Ever since Francis Crick and James Watson explained the structure of DNA many have lauded it as the discovery of the book of life which many mainstream scientists still hold on to. However, after 5 decades when the human genome project came into picture, the book of life turned out to be considerably less extensive than had been anticipated. Instead of the expected 100,000 genes, it was proposed that it contains less than 30,000. It is believed that genes, along with environmental conditions, determine morphology and behavior. Often the environmental conditions are disregarded by many and they tend to assume that behavioral and cognitive traits are genetically transferred from parents to offspring and it runs in blood. When it can be true with respect to morphology; Intelligence and behavior and even the so called hereditary genetic illness need not necessarily be so.
Imagine that our genes were merely building blocks, and a greater intelligence is in charge of whether or not we can crack the toughest of the examinations with ease or throw a basketball from the free throw line and every time it’s a shoot, or die very early like your family members due to a genetic predisposition of a hereditary illness.
If you were hoping that am going to talk about god then in a sense YES. The collective consciousness that runs through everyone one of us pretty much meets every standard that qualifies one as god. We often tend to neglect it as a determinant.
Instead of our lives being determined by our genes, they are more likely determined by what science now calls Epigenetics. Our genes grow in a soup of resonant fields created by thoughts and intentions. Rupert Sheldrake, the noted biologist and author of over 80 scientific papers on the subject has been trying for long to break through this dogma. According to him:
Organisms inherit a memory from previous systems like how humans acquire behavioral traits from cultural and traditional conditioning. He calls this system MORPHIC RESONANCE.
“MORPHIC RESONANCE is a process whereby self-organising systems inherit a memory from previous similar systems. In its most general formulation, morphic resonance means that the so-called laws of nature are more like habits. The hypothesis of morphic resonance also leads to a radically new interpretation of memory storage in the brain and of biological inheritance. Memory need not be stored in material traces inside brains, which are more like TV receivers than video recorders, tuning into influences from the past. And biological inheritance need not all be coded in the genes, or in epigenetic modifications of the genes; much of it depends on morphic resonance from previous members of the species. Thus each individual inherits a collective memory from past members of the species, and also contributes to the collective memory, affecting other members of the species in the future.”
– Rupert Sheldrake
It got way too technical didn’t it? Let me explain it in a simple way sans all the scientific jargon through the story I started this article with.
Pravesh is not intelligent because his parents were intelligent and they transferred it through their genes to him. He was intelligent because he grew up in a system/field that had intelligent beings (parents) right from his childhood. His brain developed in a highly intelligent environment which was a resonant field created by his parents by virtue of their cognitive and analytic abilities that earned them their places in India’s topmost technical institute.
Dr. Bruce Lipton, a controversial biologist, has pointed out that one set of gene blueprints can result in over 30,000 different possible outcomes. In multiple adoption studies conducted in the 1880s and 1990s it was found that children in the same family have an important causal role in gene expression, regardless of their biological origins.
Researchers found that even children who did not have particular gene combinations that would predispose them to certain types of cancer, but were adopted into families that had attitudes or prevalent emotions that resulted in this health outcome – also often developed the same cancers as their host families did. Social context also played a significant role in whether these adopted children developed a disease. It was surprisingly uncommon for the genes themselves to play out deterministic health scenarios.
Genes are not locked into a specific code. Gene activity, can change on a daily basis, and does. The heretofore accepted scientific paradigm of genetic determinacy is being turned on its head. As Lipton explains in a lecture:
In a study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, “after 8 hours, meditators showed a range of genetic and molecular differences, including reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes. This correlates with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation.”
There are now over 100 music neuroimaging studies from which it is clear that the brains of musicians and non-musicians differ. These relate to size, morphology, density, connectivity, and function that occur throughout the brain and support a range of cognitive processes that are often improved in musicians.
Now…does becoming a musician cause the brain to change, or do musicians have different brains to begin with? Try putting a pin there ;)
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How would it be if we can see music? Or taste colors? Or touch emotions?
Our senses generally functions separately. The fragrance/voice of your loved one can lighten and brighten you up. We can see a flower bloom and perceive the ripeness of a fruit by its color, hear the sound of danger. Every sense has its own characteristics and functions independently, but there are few for whom these bodily senses are merged.
Franz Liszt, a Hungarian pianist, composer and conductor, was well renowned in Europe during the early nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was considered to be the most technically advanced pianist by his contemporaries.
When Liszt first began as Kapellmeister (Conductor) in Weimar (1842), it astonished the orchestra that he said,
“O please, gentlemen, a little bluer, if you please! This tone type requires it!”
“That is a deep violet, please, depend on it! Not so rose!”
First the orchestra believed Liszt was just joking but later they got accustomed to the fact that the great musician saw colours where to others there were only tones.
Arthur Rimbaud, a famous and mysterious French poet in his sonnet “Vowels” assigned color to each vowel:
A black, E white, I red, U green, O blue: vowels,
I shall tell, one day, of your mysterious origins!
Mysterious, because he started writing poems at a very young age, while still in primary school, and stopped completely before he turned 21. He was mostly creative in his teens (17-20).
“His genius, its flowering, explosion and sudden extinction, still astonishes” (quote in wiki)
They are just a couple of examples of great masters in whom the bodily senses tend to overlap .There are many others who walk among us with similar capabilities.
A study from the University of California, San Diego, suggests infants perceive the world differently than adults. For them, the senses are joined.
The authors of the study, Katie Wagner and Karen R. Dobkins, observe that early childhood development is characterized by “a period of exuberant neural connectivity” that may facilitate “arbitrary sensory experiences in infants that are unlike anything experienced by typical adults.” These experiences are similar to the condition found in some adults that is known as Synesthesia, a neurological condition in which two or more bodily senses are merged.
Famous neuroscientist,Dr. V.S. Ramachandran , in his book,The Tell Tale Brain, writes that these so-called synesthetes live in a wonderland between reality and fantasy. They taste colors, see sounds, hear shapes, and touch emotions in myriad combinations. He also goes a step further and argues that we are all Synesthetes .The use of metaphors like ‘feeling green’ ‘Hot Babe’, ‘Flat Soda’, and our ability to understand and deliver pun and seeing art as analogy for work of nature is the basis of all creative thought. This leaves us wondering if great masters and artists and poets are all in a way synesthetic?
Pablo Picasso once said,
“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child”
Picasso understood the richness that lies in synesthetic perception which is nothing like the ordinary. It takes something very special to be that, something that would make you a master not because you have perfected an art, but because you have learnt to be one with reality. You have learnt be like a child, like a synesthetic .
Yesterday’s fiction is today’s reality.Many wildest fictious gadgets of the past have later become reality .Books and films are filled with such examples,
- Jules Verne came up with the idea of a fax machine in 20000 leagues under the sea*
- Arthur C. Clarke talked and wrote extensively about Geostationary satellites,
- and Edward Bellamy’s novel featured telephone and credit cards far before its time.
- In 2002, Phillip K. Dick’s short story was produced into the Hollywood movie called Minority Report. In the film, a computer allows the user to virtually drag and drop objects in a holographic screen which is now a reality.
The most recent of all, researchers at the University of Southampton have announced that they are able to store and retrieve huge amounts of five dimensional data on quartz crystals.
They have nicked it “Superman memory crystal” – after the “memory crystals” used as storing devices in the Superman films.They claim that using ultra-fast lasers, we can now encode a piece of quartz with 5D information in the form of nano-structured dots separated by only one millionth of a meter.If their claims are true, then,
the storage allows unprecedented parameters including 360 TB/disc data capacity, thermal stability up to 1000°C and practically unlimited lifetime.
The fact that humans have now stumbled upon something that would survive the human race is as thrilling as the fact that our ancestors might have done the same thing in the distant past.
In few of my previous posts I have discussed about the possibility of a highly evolved and a far more sophisticated and technologically advanced civilizations existing in our antiquity. Our history is filled with artifacts and religious metaphors that point towards the possibility of the same.The Sumerians talk about extraterrestrial beings whom they call Annunaki (star gods).Vedic texts are filled with divine beings called DEVAS who come in flying vehicles called vimanas.There are biblical references which suggests alien visitations and the list is endless.
Now,this wonderful discovery that enables us to store huge amount of data that can be retrieved even after millions of years, makes us think about the possibility our ancestors doing same hoping we would retrieve it someday.
It is indeed rational to question the possibility of such an advances race existing in antiquity. Modern archaeological findings supporting this idea are aplenty .
Michael Cremo in his book,Forbidden Archaeology: The Hidden History of Human Race published in 1993, discusses extensively about how archaeologists and geologists have unearthed skeletal remains and fossilized human imprints that predates the Jurassic age debunking Darwin’s theory of evolution.He also discusses on how they have been unscrupulously silenced by mainstream scientist as it negates the entire tenet of their belief and research framework.
Our ancient history is filled with architectural and technological marvels that are impossible to achieve even with the so called superior technological advancement of the 21st century.To quote a few :
Klaus Dona, an Austrian who devoted his life in collecting artifacts that throws light on unsolved mysteries of human past, has a baffling collection of artifacts including a pyramid with the an eye like the one that appears on a one dollar(US) bill.
There are several documentaries on these artifacts that suggest that human life existed far beyond the time frame our mainstream scientists believe.
You can watch this video to get a better idea about these artifacts.
It definitely appears as if our ancestors were far more technologically advanced and knew lot more about the secrets that nature holds than modern humans.
Am just spit balling here, what if… what if our ancestors knew that quartz crystal can store huge amount of info and had embedded answers to what puzzles modern humans in them and for long we have just seen them as plain quartz or artifacts.Its time that we examine crystals very closely next time we come across one while excavating.It might have been our ancestors flash drive ;) and you never know what information it holds :D
Ram ~ Knight 4ever
Am going to keep this really short!
I might be politically illiterate but my moderate understanding of human behavior can infer a huge resistance to change and abysmal amount impatience and misunderstanding among Indians with respect to present political scenario . Rather than seeing AAP as a party that poses a threat to ripe parties from left to right, national to state, we need to see it as a catalyst that has the potential to give the present political system a slingshot to effectiveness.
It has showed the Indian netas that a small upsurge from a common man can place a meek amateur starkly juxtaposed with a veteran. This act does not mark the birth of a foolproof party that would make India a paradise but it slaps a wakeup call to existing age old parties and makes them realize that they need to start doing rather than just promising, for in India, people vote against a party than for one.
Frankly, I neither see an ideal CM in AK nor great substance to be a trendsetting PM candidate. I am happy to see him as a catalyst. After all, a catalyst just increases the rate of reaction without itself undergoing any permanent change.
Ram ~ Knight 4ever
Today, I enter into my eighth year of blogging. Six years back, when I decided to shut down my first blog, for it housed nothing but poems of a loon engulfed by negativity, I told myself that once in every 3 years I would revisit all the contents of my blog and travel inwards to understand how have I evolved emotionally and intellectually (If at all..).Post inference, I would delete posts that have no semblance to the present me after saving a copy of it in my digital scarp vault. Of course there are posts that are exceptions, like the ones that are fact files. The simple reason behind doing this activity is that, I want my blog to reflect the present me at all times. The past is strictly for me to rummage :)
Why all this gyaan now?
Because it has been 3 years since the last review and it is time to lean back and travel inward again. But, this time I have decided to try something new simply because 2013 has been a great year for me, both personally and in blogging. Becoming a part of bloggers communities such as Chennai Bloggers Club, Indiblogger, Blogadda and Writeup Cafe offered me wider audience and in 2013 alone my blog visits were more than the collective count of 2010-2012 and had visits from 67 countries across the globe (At least that’s what the WordPress Annual report says). As a blogger with wider audience than ever before (personally), I feel morally obliged to include you all in my journey that reflects the past 3 years of blogging. So, I request you all to let me know your constructive criticism and feedback on my blog.
Also do let me know the change you want to see in my blogging and what you would love to read from me. I believe this would help me evolve into a better blogger.
You can either leave your feedback in the comments section or you can mail your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ram~ Knight 4ever
With no one to observe, will sky still be blue?
With no one to impose,will everything you believe still hold true?
Be wary of what is being said and the light that is being shed,
For in colours you were bred and by nature they tend to spread.
A room is cold for it is no longer warm.
Your mind disputes for it’s no longer calm.
Lo, in the absence of one, its counter is felt,
Only when a flower stoppeth bloom, it starts to wilt.
Your reality is tweaked by what you believe,
Be it the color you see or the warmth that you feel.
Be it the people that you see and the problems that you grieve,
Enjoy life , it is just a brief stint
The grass cant be green if your glasses have a dark tint
By Ram~ Knight4ever
We come across many wise beings who claim that they are in search of the Ultimate Truth. They are either a part of an organized sect that claims that they help people attain enlightenment through their unique and spiritual way of living or they have a following that believes they would eventually stumble upon THE TRUTH by following the ways of the enlightened(as they believe).
I call them organized because:
- They have a structure, a framework for what they practice.
- They have an agenda.
- They prescribe a systematic path to enlightenment.
On closer observation, many major religions of our millennium have been crafted in similar fashion. Religion like any other science is pretty much organized, which qualifies them as institutes that help people live on prescribed terms that have been proven successful. In my humble opinion this might offer a healthy way of living but can never guarantee enlightenment.
Enlightenment/Truth is a pathless land.
Every time a person sets himself free from these boundaries and bonding and starts to drift away from the religious tenet that he belongs, he gets closer to truth, but unfortunately when truth eventually dawns, he already has a following trying to fossilize his wisdom and make it a new religion. This is what happened when Jesus drifted from Judaism, when Buddha and Mahavira drifted from Hinduism, when Prophet Mohammad drifted from what the Banū Hāshim tribe followed.
Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or to coerce people along any particular path.
A belief is purely an individual affair; one cannot and must not organize it. If you do so, it becomes crystallized; lifeless; it becomes a creed, a sect, a religion, to be imposed on others. This is what everyone throughout the world is attempting to do. Truth is chiselled and narrowed under the pretext of making the weak man strong, when in reality they are not weak, just momentarily discontented.
Have you ever heard the small story about the devil and his friend who after a tiring day went for a stroll, when they saw a man few paces away stoop down and pick up something from the ground, look at it, and put it away in his pocket. The friend said to the devil, “What did that man pick up?” “He picked up a piece of the truth,” said the devil. “That is a very bad business for you, then,” said his friend. “Oh, not at all,” the devil smiled and winked “I am going to help him organize it.”
When things are organized, it conditions you and you are layered with multiple perceptions. This very system filters out vast majority of information that is available to us. Owing to this we only experience a tiny speckle of what exactly is happening around us.
Psychologists call this phenomenon “INATTENTIONAL BLINDNESS,” and it’s just one of many ways in which our beliefs, preconceived notions and expectations shape the way we perceive the world and cause us to overlook the obvious.
Imagine you’re watching a basketball game. Your favourite team is wearing white and the other team is in black. In the midst of the action, someone in a dark gorilla suit calmly walks to the centre of the court, waves to the crowd, and then walks off the court. Do you think you would notice this peculiar event? Most people might say yes. Most people would be wrong. Watch This:-
Our brains attention system allows us to actively select what we look at, especially when your mind is focussed on doing something prescribed but it also make us miss something really big. This is also termed as CHANGE BLINDNESS.
Worldview, like any set of cultural beliefs inculcated from childhood, acts like the blinders they put on skittish horses to keep them calm. Between the blinders we see with exceptional clarity, but seeing beyond the blinders is not only exceedingly difficult but after a while it’s easy to forget that your vision is restricted. This is what a religion can do to you if you are someone looking for the ultimate truth. Your beliefs and preconceived notions will never let you see what is around as it really is.
By this post, am not saying that religion or being a part any organization that advocates a specific way of living is bad. It just strikes me that with the constraints that they offer, it’s not possible to find the ULTIMATE TRUTH.
Ram~ Knight 4ever