Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The very interesting and very funny "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotations (via). I hope they also include photos of those samples of the human species who mimic quotations with their hands whenever they speak (seriously, some of them think it is a style thing!)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

You know how you used to say 'thrice' and then a teacher corrected you to say 'three times' instead? Then you trained yourself until it became natural to say 'three times' and you raised your eyebrow every time someone else said 'thrice'. Occasionally an equally snooty usage conscious one tossed a 'thrice' at you and instead of raising that eyebrow, you started to show worry lines. Well, is it 'thrice' or 'three times'?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Direct Path - Atma Vichara

The 'direct' path is so called because it looks directly for underlying truth. However bad or good the world is seen to be, however badly or how well it is seen through personally, there is in the direct path no concern to improve that cosmic view. The only concern is to reflect directly back into underlying truth, from the superficial and misleading show of all outward viewing.

The direct path is thus no recent development. It was there from the start, before traditions and civilizations developed. And it has continued through the growth of tradition, along with the personal and environmental improvements that traditions have prescribed. For these improvements are inevitably partial and compromised; so that there are always people who aren't satisfied with such improvement, but just long for plain truth that is not compromised with any falsity.

To find that truth, no cosmological improvement can itself be enough. At some stage, sooner or later, there has to be a jump entirely away from all improvement, into a truth where worse or better don't apply. The only difference between the cosmological and direct paths is when the jump is made. In the direct path, the jump is soon or even now. In the cosmological approach, the jump is put off till later on, in order to give time for improving preparations to be made for it.

There are pros and cons on both sides, so that different paths suit different personalities. An early jump is harder to make, and it means that the sadhaka's character is still impure; so even having jumped into the truth, she or he keeps falling back unsteadily, overwhelmed by egotistical samskaras. Then work remains to keep returning back to truth, until the samskaras are eradicated and there is a final establishment in the sahaja state.

A later jump can be easier, with a character so purified that little or no work remains to achieve establishment. But there are pitfalls of preparing personality for a late jump, because a sadhaka may get enamoured of the relative advances that have been achieved, like a prisoner who falls in love with golden chains and thus remains imprisoned.

So what's needed is to find the particular path that suits each particular sadhaka, instead of arguing for any path as best for everyone.

- Sri Atmananda Krishna Menon


Filched from a blog I was reading this morning. Forgot to save the link.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Apparently, Atlas Shrugged, the book that one was living by several years ago (I know, so embarrassing...), was first published this day fifty years ago:
...the book attracted a coterie of fans, some of them top corporate executives, who dared not speak of its impact except in private. When they read the book, often as college students, they now say, it gave form and substance to their inchoate thoughts, showing there is no conflict between private ambition and public benefit.

It is often the case that Ayn Rand really converts one at age 17 or 18 turning one into the perfectly egoistic cynic with a totally warped idea of one's exclusivity. Some, thankfully, snap out of the spell in a few years. For the rest, the power of individualism and the attendant vainglory remain lifelong illusions.

It appears that Ayn Rand might be the most influential female writer of the last fifty years {Shudder}

You know, sometimes it is such luck that you don't meet a Howard Roark when you think he's God.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Choosing Brides, Suitability Lists, a little of Heyerian humour

A couple of days ago, I reread Sylvester. Over the last ten years I must have reread it quite a few times but it wasn't until this time that it struck me how very similar its basic premise is to Pride and Prejudice. I know you are saying that most romantic novels are similar to Pride and Prejudice. But I don't mean that. I mean how pride and prejudice can play havoc with a prospective relationship. No matter how the specifics of a context are, the reactions that spring from either pride or prejudice make for interesting story building. Anyway that's not what I wanted to say. Oh yes, digressing a wee bit, I still love to read Georgette Heyer. It is just that thing called literature that I can't digest at the moment. Ha, you admit Heyer ain't literature isn't it? (hush don't go around prompting people L) Err...this is sounding so much like a womanly burst of incoherents, so let's jump to the original intent.

In the book, Sylvester, the Duke of Salford has a conversation with his mother that goes thus:
Sylvester paused and then said quite coolly: 'I am thinking of getting married, Mama.'

She was taken so much by surprise that she could only stare at him. He had the reputation of being a dangerous flirt, but she had almost given up hope of his coming to the point of offering for any lady's hand in matrimony...Recovering from her stupefaction, she said: 'My dear, this is very sudden.'

'Not so sudden as you think, Mama. I have been meaning for some time to speak to you about it.'

'Good gracious! And I never suspected it! Do, pray, sit down and tell me all about it!'...

...Well, I realized- oh, above a year ago!- that it was my duty to marry...So I began some months ago to look about me.'

'You are the oddest creature! Next you will tell me you made out a list of the qualities that your wife must possess!'

'More or less,' he admitted. 'You may laugh, Mama, but you'll agree that certain qualities are indispensable!...(he proceeds to elaborate on the qualities)...

...'Have you discovered among the debutantes (e acute omitted) one who is endowed with all these qualities?'

'At first glance, I suppose a dozen, but in the end only five.'

'Five!' (At this point Mama Duchess becomes speechless! Sylvester then lists out the names of the five eligibles and asks his mother who will be suitable!)


In a recent conversation, a friend mentioned that along with the thought of settling down came the problem of abundant choice. To paraphrase him, I could choose from many suitables. The question is whom!

Ah well, some of us ancients still think that there will be light bulbs and sound effects to indicate the right one!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Grmmmm.....Urghhhh....err, is this that justjots place? It seems vaguely familiar but I am not sure. Ever since some fairy...umm....sloth fairy or some such appeared and sprinkled something on me...umm...don't know what that thing was called, I don't know what happened. Actually, what is happening now? Am I typing in that language called E something? Ah, s*d it.

I sort of recall liking those fat printed stuff (books they're called?) and those things that make sound from a machine (music I think?). But I can't stand the sight of them anymore. I still like Indian biscuits (the eating kind), so that is some consolation. Err...well, what I am trying to say is that I am slowly becoming appearing..no no, what is that word...visible! ah yes we see bill. So maybe I'll write about biscuits and Almack's and sloth fairies.

Yes, say that word...err...welcome?