In light of stranger dark things!

A quick homage to Stranger things and Dark from Netflix. We’ll talk a bit about both in a little while from now. In light of the stranger dark things is a quick comparative study of stranger things, dark things and Light.

And so my heart broke again. Heart a bit broken, I stood deep in contemplation. The story does not start there though. It starts on a much happier note.

The retro rock of 1980’s blaring, I had found myself getting hooked on to the series called Stranger things. Like a junkie, it was the right time to binge on the seasons. Two seasons vanished under a week. Ah, time well spent. Most junkies feel that kick from withdrawal. I needed my thriller/horror fix. I found that fix in DARK, another series. The two series now watched, my mind had reached it’s normalcy. A nativity that I find in stitching thoughts together.

Staying cautious of the spoilers , I’ll refrain from the plots. Funny that. Fiction and life, sharing a common trait of keeping the plot points concealed. Perfect. Both stories are about the existence of more than one dimension. Both deal with that other dimension in their own unique way. Stranger things is a funny , goofy and feisty. Dark is a grim tale in comparison. The duality of the circumstance baffles me. One is light hearted and other is heavy with its undertones.

Both explore the possibilities of the existence of other realms. I’ve spent a few moments trying to guess if such a dimension(s) really exists? Different people have very different names for such parallel worlds. Instead of setting my eyes towards in the infinite vastness of the world around me, I turned my gaze towards the world within in. The mind. A mind offers limitless possibilities. We change our perspectives based on knowledge and experiences gained. We base our perspectives based on the people in our lives and the nature of company that we keep. We rest our faith in many things invisible but struggle to back the reflection that we see when we view ourselves in a mirror. The mind is a world of its own making. Understanding the clockwork of our mind is just as herculean task as trying to pin the infinite vastness of the world that surrounds us. In effect, we, our cognisance is a thin line that separates the two infinities that are found within ourselves and found everywhere else.

When I heard the things that I heard, my heart broke. The snippet of information was first heard, then listened to a million times as a reverberating echo that my mind kept replaying. Once I had listened, I dug deeper within to see what I had done to bring such a fate upon myself. All the actions in the past were now ripe and apt to be charged with guilt. Even before another word was said, I had sentenced myself.

When the dust settled, A walk under the cloudy sky was in order. The walk helped me brush aside the broken ego and guilt trips. I believe I was finally ready to accept things that I hadn’t even had the time to contemplate before. I reasoned the causes, only this time I managed keep myself and my guilt away from the equation. Things fell into a perspective when I was no longer the charged instigator of events that had transpired. I assessed the situation and could call out the subtle difference between doing what’s right and doing what’s right by me.

Now armed with a progressive cause and effect of things, with acceptance now under the belt, I felt ready to talk about things with the heartbreaker. When things aren’t personal, there aint much to feel offended about. This helped the conversation plenty. Emotional conversations are hard while neutral conversations are easier to manage. A quick tete-a-tete later, RCA was simple enough. Just so happened that the decisions were wondered because of circumstances that in no way related to me. I just happened to be the guy in the place when the message was passed.

Now , how is this any different from weird things that spill over to our side across the many other dimensions? The unknowns managed by our minds are nothing short of a fantastic scripted mystery. We make everything real. The ridiculousness that truth offers is lost to us because we are what our minds make of us. A blink of an eye later, I had succumbed to the many failures of my life. A walk later, I had accepted them and had made a choice to rise above them. All the while, it was an exercise not worth the while. My mind had made it a necessity.

We live with Stranger , darker things residing in our mind. Call it buried deep within the heart or call it a biased reflex response to stimuli, we are a product of our own making and conditioning. If only our mind could be personified, it would have been easier to confront that bloke and set things right. Battling a mind is twice the challenge. It takes an effort for the mind to rebel against its hardwiring. It takes an effort to contradict it and pick a side. The exercise is difficult because the mind executes the judgement and the same mind accepts that sentence and still it’s the same mind that tries to challenge that agreed status quo.

It is in the light where our absolution rests. In the light where the stranger dark things dissipate. The irony is, it is the mind that is darkness and it is the mind that is the light!

Karthik

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Book Experience : Autobiography of a yogi

“May you find peace” – Oct 2015

It was a simple message that adorned the book when I received it. It’s taken me a lot of time to read through the book. Have I found peace? I wouldn’t know the answer for that. Have I found questions worth asking? Absolutely. Have I found answers to all the questions locked away in the universe of my mind? March 2018 is probably not the right time to assess the answer to that question.

It’s neither modesty nor humility that encouraged me to revamp the title from a book review to a book experience. I accept and acknowledge that I’m not yet ready to comprehend the book in its entirety. One also cannot deny the experience that is called reading this wonderful book. This is by no means a review. It’s a scribe of the experience that I’ve had reading through its pages.

I’m a novice at best, in the road of spirituality. I jot my experiences for two reasons, 1. To serve as a milestone so that one day I might reflect and see how far I might have travelled. 2. Blur the lines of spirituality and simple well being. This is important as the tag ‘Spirituality’ can be a bit too overwhelming to us. This is a kind of book where you get what you read. Viewing it through different eyes still offers wisdom that we stand to gain from.

I classify the book into 3 sections .

1. Where are we in the vast wideness of the universe

2. Have others been here and done that? What is so special about them?

3. Is it real? What is real?

I’ll elaborate on the second point first. It sets the context for the book.

Have others been here and done that? What is so special about them?

A considerable portion of the book accounts the experiences and lives of many people. From scientists to faces that none of us might have heard of, the book offers us a peek into their wonderful life. This aspect of the book, to me, is very important. The book is not about yogis locked away in the Himalayas, far away from the societal civilization of the modern day living. Different people from all walks of life experience a happy fulfilling life. They are awake to a wisdom beyond the books that our educational institutions cover. These folks are amongst us. Some as entrepreneurs, some as common folk, some as full time spiritual aspirants and some as skeptics. The book does not intend to have a focused target audience. It rests open to all.

The biggest takeaway is also along the much sought after purpose of life. Many people , whose experiences have been elaborated in the book, did not start with Altruistic , global peace and wellbeing in their minds. Just like you and me, they wanted something normal. They put their faith and it changed their way of life. One needn’t set their eyes on the lonely mountains to connect with this book. Have your eyes on the trinket, and put your faith and maybe you’d end up with your share of the loot.

What is so special about the people that have been quoted in the book? Apart from being normal as you and I can ever be, there is nothing special about them. And that is a level playing field. The book banks on our ability to be the best that we aspire to be. It helps along the way. I’ll get to the simplicity of it shortly.

Is it real? What is real?

Reality is a floating baseline. For some of us, reality is a bucket load of system issues waiting to be fixed by the close of play today. For some, reality is that we live in a world of illusion. We’d like to see what is real. For some, science is the yardstick that determines what is real and what is not. This book is a convergence of all the realities around. Reality is what we want it to be. Reality is challenging the status quo. When we are happy with everything about and around us, there is no further quest for reality. When we aren’t happy, our efforts to make things better, that becomes our reality. When we aren’t happy and we feel trapped by it. That also becomes our reality. All of it is real. Coincidentally, none of it has to be real as well. It’s all about perception and what we want things to be. As I said, reality is a floating baseline. It is what we want it to be. Through time, as we evolve, our understanding and our acceptance and tolerance to the said reality also changes. This explains why we constantly evolve and alter the realities around us.

Where are we in the vast wide universe ?

The answer to this question really depends on who is asking that question. The book offers wonderful, realistic examples as a response to that question. As a skeptic, what I got to see in the words were that put your faith in yourself. Do what you possibly can. Improve where you can improve. That’s precisely where you are in the vast wide universe.

To the believer in me, the tells me that there indeed is a god. One god, many faces and names. It recommends god as an idea. The book explicitly doesn’t, but it draws parallels across religions.

To the spiritual aspirant in me, it opens a million more thoughts and questions. It offers some answers.

Regardless of what you believe in, the crux of the conversation is around Experience. Anubhava. One doesn’t find the truth, or the god, or whatever. One experiences it. Most of us would have experienced love. We call it, ‘found love’. Finding love can either result in having it and holding on to it, or losing it. Experiencing love on the other hand, it stays with us. Irrespective of the outcome, irrespective of where time has taken us, One cannot un-experience what that was experienced. That is the nature of all the truths around us. We try to find it. We seldom try to experience it. The risk of finding is that by virtue of objectifying it, we also stand to lose it.

The book, in so many different ways, through so many people’s lives , explains the simplicity of our lives. We can be special, if we let ourselves experience the things that we call special and miraculous.

The book is polymorphic in nature. Based on the maturity of thoughts of the reader, the words it imparts can/will offer grander answers to some of our questions. It still is not a one stop shop for every Q that bothers us.

Karthik

Foothills of solitude

solitude

 

I couldn’t go on this way. I felt unable to think or act. I struggled to reconcile a choice. A choice that I’ve been putting of for months now. I let my true self down. I defeated my instincts and pretended to go against the grain. In the name of keeping low expectations, I knew I had wandered away from things that kept me complete.

 

In my hour of struggle, I tried to calm myself down. It is a little strange that I didn’t perceive it as an act of desperation. It felt like the thing to do. I closed my eyes and decided to give myself a shot. I feel lost. I feel like an imposter. Have I pretended for far too long? I can’t wake myself up and decide to call all of this my world of make believe. I can’t turn the clock back and opt to ‘unbelieve’ the things I’ve accepted into my belief system. In that regard, I feel like an imposter. An imposter who started to fit into a role and was left behind filling into that role even after the last of the curtains fell down.

 

I decided to calm myself down and closed my eyes. Of the blue, I tagged states of emotions to ground with the earth. My fears , symbolized by my root. My desires, by my sacral. My expectations , by my solar plexus. My wishes, by my heart. My ego, by my throat. My dreams , by my third eye. Finally this self, by my crown. One by one, I tried to move the energies to the ground. The trace of light falling on my closed eyes seemed to fade away. I felt engulfed in darkness.

 

This felt contrastingly different. I usually associate dark to the energies and when I try to ground them, I remind myself that I’m refilling myself with light. This time around, the tables were turned. This felt comfortable. This felt right. With the distractions and clutter moving away, the illusion of light seemed to dissipate.

 

Protected in a bubble of white light, I felt secure again. It showed. It felt safe. The thoughts , now called out, there was finally a distinct lack of noise within. It was in this silence where I first observed the pulse of the body. It was disharmonious. It felt like the different parts of the body were vibrating in their own distinct course. It felt like a concert where none of the instruments were in tune or followed a rhythm. I decided to focus on my breathing in hopes of finding a balance.

 

Om Namah, I’d breath in and hold. Shiva ya, I’d breathe out. I didn’t keep track of the changes. I felt an order restored. There felt a balance. The vibrations were now in tune. To what? That I do not know.

 

As I focused on my breathing, in and out, I felt as a fetus; all alone in a vast span. I could arrive at the mistake of calling it as a fetus , all alone in a vast land. While I could perceive it as a desert, I was also sure that it wasn’t one. It was neither barren, nor it felt lush. I couldn’t identify it as a land, or a place. Vast span.

 

I felt the minuscule nature of the fetus that I was when compared to the vastness. I neither felt insignificant nor intimidated by the smallness. It was a moment of acknowledgement. Acknowledgement of what? That I do not know.

 

The feeling remained unshakeable. I opened my eyes after a while. Staying curious, I lingered to see if there was a meaning to it all. I couldn’t articulate the thoughts right into google. I didn’t know what to find. I didn’t know what I was looking for. I stumbled upon a gist on Vipassana. The name, not a coincidence. It was only last week where a colleague of mine spoke to me about it. It spoke of solitude. Not of the body, but of the mind.

 

If there is a sense to my delusion, maybe it’s about the right time to start trying to understand the nature of that solitude. It’s not about being alone or lonely. The solitary mind is at ease, because it’s unaffected – a line from the article.

 

Maybe I got to learn something. Maybe I got lucky. Maybe there is always ample time for all the lessons waiting to be learnt.

 

Karthik

Misguided , lost but not lost

“So are you still meditating?” my dad casually asked out of the blue.

I found the question both repulsive and felt a little invasion of my own private space. ‘Nope. I don’t have the time’ I replied. It was the truth. As abruptly as my journey began, It seemingly had also ended. It was not a quest for the realisation of the self that had pushed me along that road. It.. It was what it was. It wasn’t anymore and I had rightly so predicted a few times that I would be a shameless quitter. I had given up. In mind, in thoughts. Traces of curiosity did linger on. I couldn’t explain why it stayed behind. I know I didn’t pretend this adoption. I knew I didn’t force my exit. I knew my fate rested in things beyond my control. Cat on the wall I guess.

I must have been a soothsayer in one of my births. It’s just a feeling. During the best of my spiritual days, I had seen a light made from the energies of my chakra. I assumed it was me, my essence, the real me that transcended the body. It had spoken without words. Through thoughts, it had conveyed that things would be left unreconciled. It had hinted that this body might not see the liberation of the soul. I don’t know what the sentence means. I know there is some truth to it , somewhere. Not hidden. Just beyond my comprehension.

I hit the gym this evening. I came back home. Thoughts beyond my control, I felt that rush of harboring thoughts that I din’t want to hold on to. I took to the sound of a negative energy cleanse. On a whim, I closed my eyes to reach out to an old friend whom I had given up on. The universe.

Gone are the days when I’d meditate and find comforts in the warmth of a golden yellow light. The source that I could never see. A source ┬áthat , before now, I had never actually thought existed. I would be surrounded in that light and I felt special and comfortable. Gone are the days. I feel like an unwanted bastard child of the universe now. I had walked away from it’s love and grace. Shamelessly I still knock it’s door. If only the universe would speak to me, I wonder if it would be too honest to point out the treachery that I had instigated against it. I doubt that.

I tried to call for the universe to spare me it’s light and peace. It obliged. I decided to ground myself this evening. It’s been so long. I figured I could use a cleanse. Unlike the days of my prime, I decided to stretch my bond to the very end of the earth. All the way to the other side. I’d usually stop by the core. I felt I was way too tainted to stop at the core. The bond went all the way to the other side. The bond as wide as the earth itself. It was time to neutralise the doubts and misery that rested as blackness in me.

It wasn’t swift. It wasn’t easy. Root, cleared. Sacral cleared. I still saw black but I felt the clogs unclogging within me. I reached to my solar plexus. I saw a shimmer of light. I went higher to my heart. I felt the tears in my eyes. Hurt within, fractured by my own misery, I knew the heart charka had put up a brave front for the longest of time. It felt at peace finally. The tears had cleaned and mended the cracks in the heart. I feel blessed that there wasn’t any anger that I felt. I acknowledged the pain. I let it heal. It tried to heal. I don’t know if I’m healed yet. It would probably be way too easy and I’d be way to lucky if I call myself healed. I’m a work in progress. I guess that’s the same with the heart.

I felt the light once again. Throat, cleaned as I moved the energies back to the earth. Third eye. It had never failed me ever. I could see a future. It had always brought me misery. I could see it all thought. I refused to blame my third eye for it today. It was a gift, it was a luxury that I had squandered away. I felt thankful for all it had done. I didn’t want to call it my curse today.

Before I could reach my crown, the dark blackness started lifting off. I saw what I had never seen before. The soft pulsating fire. I could always spot the soul. I’m told it’s the blue core surrounded by black and blue hue. I failed spotting my soul today. All I could see was the pulsating fire. It grew and kept growing. What started as a soft gentle yellow red heartbeat of a fire, now grew stronger. Yellow vanished and I saw red. Soft gentle red. My mind thought of it as love. Loveless, I couldn’t explain it. I decided to neither understand it nor seek an explanation. It was what it was. I’d very much like to leave it there.

I reached the crown. Cleaned and flushed of blackness within me. I severed the bond with the earth. Thanked it for graciously helping me neutralize myself. I tried to raise a wall of white light of protection. It’s something that I’ve done a lot of times in the past. Only today, there was no white. I felt engulfed in the flame. I felt safe and protected and yet couldn’t quite fathom what it all meant.

With that I saw black. I knew it wasn’t the darkness in me anymore. This black was not intimidating. This black was not made of fears and doubts. It was a void of nothingness. It felt like outer space.

And that’s that. 22 minutes later, I felt at peace. I recognized that my body had not jerked back. It had not refused or thrown challenges at me during the minutes that had passed. Thoughts had not strayed, fears had not manifested. For what it is, Thank you universe.

I made a promise to help wherever I could. I intend to honour that word.

Karthik