Thursday, October 30, 2008

Drunken poetry

I remember I used to write poems as a kid. I considered it the best way to communicate thoughts and feelings as well as an underlying deeper meaning. I haven't written anything for about 9-10 years. But today, a little drunk, I felt like writing something. So here it is


I move again
Running from myself
Out to explore
Seeking something more

What is it I want to find
Something that I already left behind
More I want, more I lose
Future or past I have to choose

Interesting thoughts
endless desires
Not materialistic but living
Experience's the strife

Is it enough to exist
Or more important to live
If former its easy
But if its latter
What does it mean?

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Meaningless conversation

Poor Guy: My situation’s bad. I feel deprived, cheated!

Uncommon man: Really?

Poor Guy: I am robbed of my wealth. Maybe I cannot get the things that I have wanted, in fact deserved, for so long.

Uncommon man: Why? Because you couldn’t get the most expensive furniture you wanted?

You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you're satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you've got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you're trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you.
Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need

Poor Guy: How can you say that I don’t need it? What do I need, what don’t I need?

Uncommon man:
If you don’t know what you want, you end up with a lot you don’t
It's because we're so trapped in our culture, in the being of being human on this planet with the brains we have, and the same two arms and legs everybody has. We're so trapped that any way we could imagine to escape would be just another part of the trap. Anything we want, we're trained to want

Poor Guy: It’s not all about what I own. My life is more than that. I am a fun and interesting person. I can tell you about one time when…..

Uncommon man:
People are all over the world telling their one dramatic story and how their life has turned into getting over this one event. Now their lives are more about the past than their future

The best way to waste your life, is by taking notes. The easiest way to avoid living is to just watch. Look for the details. Report. Don't participate

Poor Guy: Well I do participate. I am smart, well-educated, fun and outgoing

Uncommon man: Labels!
I want out of the labels. I don't want my whole life crammed into a single word. A story. I want to find something else, unknowable, some place to be that's not on the map. A real adventure

Poor Guy: We are seeing a real adventure. Look at the events that are going on. Life is going to change forever.

Uncommon man:
The moment when your addictions no longer hide the truth from you. When your whole life breaks down. That's the moment when you have to somehow choose what your life is going to be about

Look hard at yourself. Are you near it or far from it?
What this means:
This post is about materialism in today's Life. It intrigues me that so many people directly measure their happiness from material possessions they can obtain and/or the overall wealth as opposed to actions or feelings. The post and the thoughts are inspired by writings of the author Chuck Palanuik. All words in italics are direct quotes from the author. While the above conversation might strike as meaningless to many, I sincerely hope that it does instigate some to look for meaning rather than material.

The above post is an imaginary conversation that uses quotes from author Chuck palanuik to convey a message. The post does not claim that the author would respond similarly in this situation and should be interpreted as such.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Reaching for the moon

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

Famous words of Neil Armstrong when he first stepped on the moon in 1969. Moon has always draw our attention. From ancient mythology to scientific research we cannot get enough of it. Soviet Union were the first to reach the moon with Luna-1 in 1959. USA the first to accomplish a manned mission in 1969. From mid 1960s to mid 1970s there were 65 instances of artificial objects landing on the moon.Only 5 countries have manned to send satellites to the moon. Now its India's turn. On October 22nd India would launch its first moon mission Chandrayaan I. In past India has successfully developed SLV,ASLV, PSLV, GSLV launch capabilities and has launched numerous satellites many countries. This moon mission would be Indian Space research Organisation's first attempt at sending a satellite outside the earth's orbit.

Chandrayaan I mission includes a lunar orbiter as well as an impactor. Over a two-year period, it is intended to survey the lunar surface to produce a complete map of its chemical characteristics and 3-dimensional topography. The mission includes five ISRO payloads and six payloads from other international space agencies such as NASA and ESA. It is carrying these payloads for free. If successful this would pave way for a new era in space exploration. ISRO already has plans for a second mission Chandrayaan II and is considering building reusable space aircraft and future manned mission.

Wish us good luck in scaling the final frontier.
More Info:

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Narnia Revelations

I am just back from a talk by Rev. Dr. Michael Ward , a Cambridge scholar, on what C.S. Lewis is up to in The Chronicles of Narnia – and why it matters. The event was organised by the Darden Christian fellowship. Well! before I go further and comment on the talk I have 3 disclaimers to make

1. I have not read any of the Narnia books, I did read up the history of Chronicles and Narnia, the story behind the first book on wikipedia before I went to the talk.
2. I am an atheist and have been for a while
3. I know little bit about C.S. Lewis and I did attempt to read "mere Christianity" but could not complete it

OK, having read the disclosure if you are still reading this post you are probably an Atheist, agnostic looking for a conforming point of view or a Christian hoping that I was finally enlightened and have turned around in my ways. Well at least at this point I am going to please neither. I am just writing some observations, thoughts and raising some questions based on my observations.

Firstly let me recap what the talk was about i.e. from what I understood. Rev. Dr. Michael Ward conjectured that C.S. Lewis's had a central theme behind The Chronicles of Narnia that related to the planets and deeper all encompassing divinity. That C.S. Lewis believed that planets and heavenly bodies are not mere matter but more and divine presence is everywhere and all encompassing and hence hard for us to notice. The reason he left it secretive was that he believed in "kappa element of romance" i.e. the meaning/motive behind writing stories that does not immediately present itself. Hence we wanted to leave things to reader's imagination and hoped that they would connect the dots. This is probably not a very accurate description of what he said but what I understood and truly hope its close to what he was trying to convey. In either case its not very relevaant to what I am about to discuss.

Whats interesting to me is that while the "Chronicles of Narnia" is considered fantasy/fairy tales by many, others associate it with theology and mythology. Most people, especially people of faith, I found are trying to find a deeper meaning or association with theological concepts from some other text. Why? that's an interesting question. Why does it matter if there are connections or not? Maybe people are curious, they want to understand the intent of the reader. If we talk about intent there has to be some speculation on the conclusion. Maybe C.S. Lewis drew ideas from his belief and modelled each story on different planets and their mythological characters. Maybe this was just a way think about new concepts or stories. Or maybe he did intend to bring out certain subtle relations and connections to make a deeper point about "more than just matter" and "divine all-encompassing presence". Why is it so important for people to draw meaning from a primarily fantasy series? Maybe association is another validation to a belief derived from something stated elsewhere?

While I was listening to this eloquent speaker who really retained audience attention so well, I jotted down some notes. Key theme that reappeared were analogies. If something represents something in one context, it can help infer a similar meaning in another context. Example here was that of light illuminating series of dust particles and being very evident when we were besides it. However if we were in the path of light beam we could not see the light beam but only what it illuminated. I guess the point was not everything meets the eye. I think that's a good example to convey that point. However, I am sceptic. I believe in frame of reference so I see analogies skeptically. In sharp contrast I found that these were very reassuring to the audience. One of the reasons I went to this talk was to observe. I assumed that most people in this audience if not all would be devout Christians and I was curious to find what is convincing to someone with faith. I definitely need to research this more thoroughly but it seemed to me that associations and analogies were very important.

As an Atheist I totally understand and agree in finding meaning in everything. That's been the crux of my existence. Ask questions, find out how? why? what it means? So the question that is on my mind is why do people looking for associations when they try to find meaning in something? I don't know why yet but I hope someone can enlighten me.

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