Making Sense

Notice the turbulent streams of human passions and feelings about the directions that societies, nations or mankind may take.

Now contrast this with the day to day problems that the individual faces.

Irreligious apostates, liberals, progressives confronting orthodox, racial, religious, prejudiced reactions.

The rallies of the right coming face to face with demonstrations by the left. Outraged shouting matches and calm debates.

These are outlets for peoples’ frustrations, their anger against establishments, fears about real risks, perceived injustices or alleged conspiracies.

But after the rallies, protests and revolutions you still have to open the store in the morning or commute to work. The mass movement doesn’t help put bread on the table for the masses; though it does butter the toast for those who give the call to assemble.

The rallies serve a purpose of distracting bored shopkeepers, frustrated employees and it gives vent to the energy of the laid-off. That’s why they assemble.

An agitation is a promise to the poorly paid and the overworked and an insurrection may appear to be the fulfillment of that promise.

For a stabler society, the only requirement is an increase in empathy, and a decrease in the intensity of oppression.

But stability is too boring for most people. Especially because there is very little scope for superhero role-playing when things are going well.

Hence the turbulent streams of human passion and all the rest.

Dump that Load of Regret

If I keep wishing for stuff that I don’t need,  I might just end up doing something that I don’t want.

Examples: 1-Wishing for stuff + Loans =》Acquire stuff =》Work hard to payback.
2-Want something + Crime =》Acquire something =》Then do prison time.
3-Want to please =》Work to please.

Desire is the oriented energy that leads to all actions by the living.

But not every single act appears to drip with desire.

A lot of action goes on even after the desire has kind of dried out. The energy has changed direction, or there are multiple commitments, all crying out for some vitality.

That’s the action of paying back what is due.

Because promises are like taking out loan amounts that have to be paid back.

So what passion makes us promise and commit, other than the life inside us?

When we regret something we did in the flow, of life, is it because we think of ourselves as being separated from and independent of (the river of) life?

Regret results from false narratives that we may believe in.

Life will rush, swirl, change directions or move deep and placid into the ocean of truth.

You did right

I mean it. Now don’t you sweat or worry about whatever it was that you did. Because whatever happens is for the best, in this best of all possible worlds.

Right now, this is most important. I mean that which you do now. Till you are done.

Do the right thing, choose the precise word, weigh, measure, calculate, make, sell, correct, draw, sing, strive, dance, improve. In this moment, what you do was meant to be done, what you write was meant to be written and what you say was meant to be said.

What you did choose, you were always intended to pick and if you left it, that was how it was planned.

Despite everything if you are sticking to it, then that’s your lot. But if you just chucked it and feel better now, then it’s not worth another thought.

Family Boat

The small family Boat starts with a dream. It sails the waters of earning, education, spending, playing and growing.

Few boats sail placidly in calm waters.

Most (family) boats observe others, benchmark behaviors, copy, compete and generally base their own actions on the observations that they make.

A boat is kept together by ropes or strong adhesive. The family boat is bound and glued together by strong bonds of love.

Dreams are physical; but they may also be cultural or social. Ecstatic dreams are spiritual.

The family starts with love and it is also sustained by love. With time the family grows. But the growth just happens. The family doesn’t notice growing except on significant breaks. Days follow each other and may appear to be duplicated copies.

The growing family reaches a critical point when there is a parting, a bye-bye; for education or for earning.

Then, after a gap of necessity, there’s a pause, short or long, full of expectations.

The pause is often followed by the starting of a new family Boat, a fulfilling of expectations.

A new family dreams for a child and the child starts a new dream.

Deranged Leaders Do Destroy Democracies

What is being attempted in the US now is not the first instance in history. There have been countless examples of leaders getting their own way and in the process totally decimating any opposition from what appeared to be strong democratic institutions. Throughout time and space there exist heads of states whose very word is the law. We all know of several such names of people in power, but every one he’s favourite example is a dead fuhrer.

Of course this will be a first for the USA at such a high level, though bullies have ruled wide spaces in different spheres. A bully who never appears to feel empathy but seems only to be moved by sensations of blood running to different parts of his body was elected president by mainly two groups of people.

The first group is the smaller one. It is formed of the rich cronies who always want to get their own way and don’t like inconvenient rules obstructing them. These rich cronies could feel growing discontent in the second larger group of the angry people who didn’t expect their lot to improve in the usual way.

Myths of a deep state were implanted mostly using social media that thrives on sensational conspiracy theories. But conspiracy theories do not necessarily need Facebook to survive. They have always been around (remember the devil). Whatever catches the fancy of the idle.

The kind of people’s movement that allows a bully to get elected president merely needs sloth, apathy, fear and greed, all of which are around aplenty.

The kind of environment that would not allow such a thing to happen requires courage, honesty and alertness; please don’t snicker!

No institution can withstand a big bully unless people who care about society and institutions stand together and upto the bully. Because institutions are often headed by people who are not used to saying no to their bosses. If you have gone along with the boss once too often, you will turn into his advocate soon enough.

America stands at the cross roads. The World is watching.

Two Wheeler Psychology

If you have driven only cars or trucks, you can’t imagine the pain a scooter rider feels each time she is forced to stop on the street.

Because a motorbike or scooter has only two wheels, the riders can’t just let their vehicles idle and sit back. They need to put their feet on the road and use the strength in their legs to balance the vehicle and stop them falling over.

No rider or driver likes to press the brakes because everyone is in a hurry to get nowhere. With the driver though, it is easier on the red lights or when someone is in front of them.

The riders want to make it easy too. Many of them do stop at red lights. But its more natural for them to want to zigzag and drive around other vehicles than to follow peacefully.

If two people are riding a scooter and the lady is wearing a skirt or Saree, she’s is likely to be riding with both her legs on one side of the scooter. This makes it immensely more difficult for the other rider to balance the scooter at each halt, unless she gets down every time. But she doesn’t get down, nor would he want her to.

With such challenges, many riders decide early that life isn’t fair and so they don’t have to follow traffic rules. This is why we see more riders breaking red lights, using wrong lanes and zigzagging.

From not following traffic rules, to not following other rules of society, is but a small step. The basic rule of forming a queue to maintain order is an example. In societies where people often get from one place to another on scooters, people also find it difficult to wait in queues. Do I need to give examples? You know what I mean.

“Scooters lead to disorder in society” is the conclusion we are trying to arrive at. Tell us below if you agree.

Attack Tonight

(That which worries you)

Night and day,

follow each other,

without fail.

Life has a rhythm

the blurry regularity of seasons

At the scale of hours and days

rain is unpredictable

even in the season of rains

living in the realm of the uncertain

yet bound by certainty of physical laws

Did I miss something?

the signs that were there

for us to observe

and act upon?

watch your mind

see where it goes

let it not skid

on the slippery slope

of thought

When the eyes and the mind are open

the tightrope of life

is like a highway.

Seal the breaches in your defense

It will calm you down.

Planning tonight’s attack is exhilarating.

——————————————

Low Blows

In the first round, the kickboxer, in track pants, totally dominated the Thai boxer who wore dark shorts. There were two knockdowns in three minutes and it also appeared logical as the kickboxer looked stronger and perhaps more stylish.

In the second round, the diminutive Thai stubbornly continued the fight that he appeared to have lost already. He raised his right leg and tapped the kickboxer on his calf, who, in irritation, swung a massive fist that hit the smaller man’s raised gloves.

The kickboxer had a variety of attacks that included front or side thrusting or rotating kicks, elbows and jabs. He aimed at the head or the body.

The Thai attack was repetitive; The low kicks were hardly spectacular as he hit the kickboxer’s calf and thigh again and again while absorbing deadly blows on his gloves.

The low kicks had the cumulative effect of wearing down the kickboxer who just didn’t know how to block or prevent a low attack. He was a champion kickboxer, the best in his style. But he was up against something new.

The tap on his left leg just couldn’t be blocked. He had never faced such attacks and even when he had seen it on television, it just didn’t appear significant or something to be impressed with.

The kickboxer didn’t manage another knockdown in the second round, in fact he kept trying to save his leg from getting hammered. The kicks on his shin and thigh became more and more vicious and he was swept off his feet time and again before the match was stopped.

What do we do when faced with a situation like the kickboxer faced? Starting out confident in our ability to face the world, what do we do when we first experience the unexpected low kicks in life?

Can we cry foul and go on fighting the same way? If you do that, you’re not learning from experience.

First, the acceptance, then the learning.

Before we can learn from the experience, we need to overcome ill will that a loss may generate. Our opponents are only human, as are our teachers.

One thing that we lose when we are first hit by the low kicks in life, is a sense of innocent infallibility.

With an open mind we can quit stubbornly clinging to disproved hypotheses.

We can accept that there are other ways to defend and attack.

Sometimes the incessant tapping that is hurting us is too innocuous on the outside. Maybe we don’t even realize that it’s an attack.

We need to identify any attacks to stop blaming the pain on providence.

Having experienced, identified, survived and accepted low kicks, and myriad other blows, we can step out and go beyond the known, with increasing confidence.

And perhaps we shall someday decide to grab a biting toe with one hand and smash a shin with the other.

People of the World

People of the world, with the same count of limbs, rarely missing one or two.

With hearts beating quietly and steadily or loud and violent.

The Earth is full of bodies rested or aching and of hearts hopeful or in despair.

Living in communities, respecting laws; sick of rules.

Quietly bearing situations and rarely rebelling.

Guided by stories, in the news, in the books; forming opinions from that of their parents’.

Singing songs together about God, saints, legends, heroes, battles.

Yoked to community expectations.

Earning, eating, saving. Desires never ending.

People proliferate, they dwell on living space.

Moved by love, disturbed by tragedy. Warlike when community expects and demands it.

Often communities demand people to remove love from their hearts; prepare to go to battle; to kill others who are like themselves.

The will to kill is easily accessible even in people nurtured by love who peacefully lived through struggles.

Quick as a chameleon the colors will change. Friends will prepare the weapons for killing.

People who arranged poetry recitals; now feel insecure and wish to destroy those who were guests at the party with music.

Christian, infidel, kaffir, musulman, drawn by destiny’s noose around their necks, they arise from the same elements and there return. In the interim, they have choice.

Between the breath, out and in, we have choice.

Will China Rule the World?

It would appear so. No other nation appears as efficient, as well coordinated or as resourceful. None comes close to matching its growth rates. Yet those reasons do not suffice. We believe that China may well rule the World in the not very distant future because it shows aggressive intent with that aim.

Perhaps the aggression resulted from the lessons that the rulers of China learnt from history.

Chinese economy has been growing rather quickly for the last three decades, but the transition of that nation, from a seemingly benign power with a long history and ancient culture, into a bully that encroaches on smaller neighbors while challenging the sole superpower on Earth, has happened almost undetected, as if everyone else was sleeping.

Coming to the question in the title, let us make an attempt to find the force that may stop China from ruling the World. But before that, if the reader considers such an idea too far fetched, I remind her of history; of events that led to Great Britain losing the greatest empire ever. I remind the reader of military technologies that the best forces in the World were not ready for; remember the blitzkrieg. Of course, in the 1940s, Britain could seek the aid of the new World; but now, China is the new World.

Today’s sole superpower doesn’t have a very powerful ally to enlist even as it is a power in decline and to some extent, in disarray. In fact the President of the United States has never missed an opportunity to pick on the oldest allies that nation has. The EU has been careful not to blindly follow the US, at least since l’affaire General Soleimani and the subsequent posturing against Iran. Besides, this has pushed Iran into the arms of the Chinese. The United Kingdom has been a more faithful ally to the US, but it is not easy. China has made huge investments there that may make it difficult for Britain to take a tough stance.

Nations in the neighborhood of China; Japan, India, Philippines and Vietnam, Nepal and Myanmar are normally careful in their own actions not to challenge the dragon, even as they desperately desire deliverance from encroachments. India has bravely tried to stand up to the PLA, even at substantial cost. The quad grouping of US, Japan, India and Australia is aimed at the only tormentor in the neighborhood.

But any grouping needs direction and trust. Only a consistent, trustworthy and energetic leadership from the most powerful nation on Earth can unite the World and contain an aggressive China. Otherwise que sera sera.