Tuesday, August 8, 2017

New Hub

While overall good feeling is associated with lower levels of corruption, there is very little evidence that corruption leads to slower economic growth. Published a hub:

Is Turbulence Inevitable?

Why should human society be turbulent!
I think every pack behaves as the leader does, which is clearly observable, when we watch other beings like birds. And they live in harmony. What about humans?
We can be as we want. Or, as far as we are concerned, the choice is unlimited. Or, is it?
Actually human choice is not of things, but of an abstract property associated with things, which we define as it's attribute.
Everything is a mixture of attributes, some of which makes us like a thing, and some others, cause us to dislike. When we compare things, we actually match the good attributes of things we like, with the bad attributes of things we dislike. Obviously, things we like, always will be coming out in brighter colors. Also, since one man's comparison can never be right for anyone else, all things will get it's turn to be assessed as desirable, sometime. And all members of the human society will be living in total harmony. This is how we should have been.
But what is actually happening with human society is something different. We have, some of us constantly engaged in such comparisons and making various decrees. And the remaining many of us quietly following those guidelines or limits. Now there is always a possibility of some of these limits being unacceptable to some of us. But, we cannot make a change, since those limits are very much acceptable to a reckon-able few. As long as all people does not fancy the same thing, our society will not be at ease.
But both are happy. The ones who make, can find fault with others for not following those decrees. And others can blame, for making decrees that can't be followed.
I think this is how, human society happens to be turbulent!

Sunday, August 6, 2017


'INDIA: WHAT CAN IT TEACH US?' A Course of Lectures by MAX M√úLLER, is a concise commentary about ancient India, of its rich literature, and, more particularly, of its religion. The object noted here is, not only to place names and facts before the readers, but also to make one see and feel the general state of affairs persisted in some of the oldest chapters of the history of the human race. Accordingly, the Veda and its religion and philosophy is discussed in planes more than mere curiosity. Attention is also paid adequately to link those things with the general concerns of people at large. 
As the author mentions at many places in the book, everyone can learn lessons from the Veda, quite as important as the lessons, one learn at school from Homer and Virgil. With suitable examples, the lessons from the Vedanta can be cited to be as instructive as the systems of Plato or Spinoza.
There are many aspects of our life or society that needs more study, the author mentions. Learning Sanskrit, and further study of Vedic Sanskrit is certainly beneficial. "I do believe that not to know what a study of Sanskrit, and particularly a study of the Veda, has already done for illuminating the darkest passages in the history of the human mind, of that mind on which we ourselves are feeding and living, is a misfortune, or, at all events, a loss, just as I should count it a loss to have passed through life without knowing something, however little, of the geological formation of the earth, or of the sun, and the moon, and the stars--and of the thought, or the will, or the law, that govern their movements".
In seven chapters marked LECTURE I to LECTURE VII, author discusses the complete range of knowledge hidden in ancient Indian writing. Veda, organization of vedic deities, and discussions about the abstract tenets hiding among those, proliferate these pages. Quite tough to read, given the archaic style of writing. However, there is much to learn new.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Is There a Superior Will?

Is there a superior will? How did such an idea enter into human thought? I think our proclivity in abstracting fresh ideas from the similarity of patterns, experiences, and other things is well known. In such instances what really happens is that we derive information from things that are independent of the things itself. I think the idea about a greater will too, originated in such way, that is, out of our interactions with fellow beings, both living and nonliving.
Humans, by closely observing natural events of births and deaths of living things would have acquired greater insights into life. They would have been struck by the fact that almost all things happen in sequence with some other thing. Which could have laid the foundation for a vast area of spiritual search, probably because, the instances where an obvious connection could be found with something real might have been few and far. Remember, people only had certain rudimentary ideas of the material world and it's composition, the prime one being the preponderance of cause and effect. And they would not have been successful in identifying a material cause for every effect, which could have better responded by the spiritual.
Now that the recent progress in science, notably those related to quantum theory, is suggesting a change to our, rather solid ideas of cause and effect, shouldn't we rethink the notions of a superior will?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Book Review: Conscious Body Language

'Conscious body language: Your most sensational soft skill' by Kurt Larsson, as the book mention, is a little primer of conscious body language and soft skills. This book invites us to taste how much more of life is there for actual experience. It also explains how rich, one can make one's professional life too. The book begins with a discussion about Peak hard skills, observing the way people are moving towards soft skills in their effort to conjoin one's success, health and peace of mind. How the fast progressing digital world has altered the old habitual behavioral patterns people were used to.
Next chapter is devoted to learning and practical application of soft skills in a way that one can actually feel the transformation of one's message from “business as usual” into something sensational. This is followed by a talk on inspiration. As can be expected, the discussion veers around certain unseen aspects. "Inspire comes from Latin and means to “breathe in Spirit”. Breathing in Spirit is actually the advanced version as just the process of inhaling more air can make a very inspiring difference." How, getting permission beforehand prevents intrusion into listener’s personal space, how to get one's thoughts, words and body language in line and aimed towards a common goal, and how, resonating with enjoyment makes one's message more contagious, and thereby more effective, are some of the deep meaning topics elaborated here.
The book looks at many practical issues. "Will you still have the capability to respond if you are mad, have a tight deadline or an irate boss standing over you?"  Instead of merely answering questions as and when they arise, the book speaks of the need to ask oneself "What impression my answer will lead to, and to what effect?"
What one picks up from this book will be of instant use. The author has provided a variety of cases as examples, showing one the correct response. 
I enjoyed this book. It looks at the gamut of body language, rather than as an academic discussion, as a dynamic component of social transactions. Over and above the illuminating, intelligent descriptions, an 'author's mark' is visible throughout the book. For example, while exhorting the need to be decisive, the book mentions, "decide originates from the same family of words like homicide, genocide, or suicide. It means, to kill all alternatives". 
A brilliant effort indeed.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Book Review: Rationalism

The word rationalism have been used in so many senses that they cannot be said to stand quite definitely for a particular sense. Empiricist (going by “facts”),  Sensationalist,  Materialistic,  Pessimistic, Irreligious,  Fatalistic,  Pluralistic, and, Skeptical, are some of connotations this word can carry to the general mind, says J. M. Robertson, author of 'Rationalism'.  Rationalism, which broadly, implies the habitual resort to reason, to reflection, and to judgment, should feel uncomfortable with the professed religious beliefs, even of the more educated, he continues. Also, how a rationalist is continuously assailed by cooler attempts to demonstrate that his method will lead to moral harm, with religions becoming the prime opponent in this. 
Further chapters discuss the philosophical questions in this regard. Like, how the defenders of faith, appeal to reason both for arguments against and for supporting rationalism. The special position of 'reason' is then examined. That "no belief whatever concerning life and death and morality and the process of nature can be justified by ‘reason’; and that accordingly no religious belief whatever can be discredited on the score of being opposed to reason".

I liked the views expressed, which are quite logical and thought provoking. Is there a great difference between the rationalist and the religious, the book asks, and so will the reader too. For, "every religion sets aside every other: the rationalist only sets aside one more. Every theist has negated a million Gods save one: the rationalist does but negate the millionth as well." An interesting book, it gave me a lot to think.

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