In Defense of Superstition – Part 4

“This is your commander Kobra speaking….and this is nothing less than amazing. I wish that you could see the might of extraordinary absurdity that has enveloped our aircraft for the night. If you can’t see it then you probably have the wrong set of eyes in which case you should head to the back of the plane where we have a water-snake eye transplant center.

Since I am speaking from the cockpit, you may have assumed that I am a professional pilot. I don’t blame you for this common misconception because your need for security is just too damn high. It is true that I am in the business of flying – in fact I am very much the uncrowned prince of the untamed skies but not in a sense as typical as you would like. I would like you to bring your mind’s eye into the realm of the analogy and see how far we have actually come.

Our collective flight would be as much ecstatic as is mine in solo mode only if you could learn how to deal with diminishing marginal returns associated with joy.

I have seen all sorts of sad and dejected people but none with a basis as esoteric as mine. When I was in ancient Greece, Heraclitus had a profound effect on me. So much so that I became the manifestation of his blatantly crazy theories. What I can’t seem to forget is that mortals are in fact immortals. I really want you to understand that. The intelligent ones aboard probably know by now that I am absolutely clueless as to how to fly this airplane. Mortals are Immortals. Thank you for being the subjects of this very dispassionate experiment. Over.”

Something has happened

Something has happened – of that I am sure. Like that currently indistinguishable off-beat accent that sets the whole song into a new perspective. It’s like finding a way through an unknown city with so much ease that you doubt if this is your first time here. It’s like an unassuming gate above your head which is holding an entire ocean and you somehow know that it will break but inside you know that nothing is wrong. It’s like that ray of light shining on you which would be inevitably purely divine to the insane man but you ascribe it to coincidence.

When there is something going on which you can’t define, you can only make up stories to maybe somehow convey that emotion. How would you define love? How would you define quality? Who are you anyways? I can see that my thought is just a recollection of all that I have experienced in the short-term past. It’s absurd that I should attach so much importance to it. It isn’t really logical. It isn’t really all that rational. It’s not classic and neither is it romantic. It’s just like a recycling bin which takes me nowhere and keeps me suspended in circles of deluded self-importance. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to look under that heap of pretentiousness and see that you are nothing but a fool, just like everybody else.

It makes me feel like an enlightened idiot. I feel like a kid who just woke up to realize that his favorite toy is yellow in color, not red. Why did he ever think it was red? It is so obviously yellow. In retrospect, the color on everyone has gotten indelible now. There is a sick yellow all over the place. In the kid I can i see the stingy old man. The lines drawn by time are eroding yet they are still as strong.

I am trapped by my inability to define. I am trapped by the absence of identity. I am trapped in time. I am trapped by my own thought. Everywhere I look I find myself cornered. Is it not so that when need exists, that which satisfies it also exists? Do you not find food as you have found hunger? Do you not find water as you found thirst? Is it not so that the recognition of the need alone is the proof for the existence of it’s opposite? Where is that need which has no fulfillment? The implications are absolutely astounding.


The Human Condition

I don’t know what to call it anymore. It is usually impossible to make a definite statement which would hold true for all time. This is the very problem that scriptures suffer from. There are those who dive into the symbolism of words while holding on to their own conscience as the ultimate guide. Then there are those who do not trust their intellect and imbibe everything literally. I find both these positions to be flawed.

In the mind of the artist, the one who holds symbols in high esteem, contradicts himself by relying on scripture in the first place. I would side with Osho in this debate when he says that we don’t really need to read scripture. We need to follow our heart or our conscience which would never lead us astray. While reading scriptures often makes us feel relieved, virtuous and closer to the divine, I must state here that there are deeper mysteries associated with scriptures which I don’t fully understand yet.

On the other hand, those weary of the intellect satiate their curiosity by taking everything literally. It results in a definitive belief in every cosmological narrative. This is the kind of mind set that brings about violence through clash of ideologies. For instance the cosmological narratives of Islam and Hinduism are in direct contradiction of each other. Which one should you believe? The answer to this question is usually a function of heredity, not logic. There are chinks in every cosmological narrative which have to be plugged through making statements which we don’t entirely understand as of yet.

Maybe the objective of such narratives is only to satiate curiosity. It would explain why science is never the objective of the mystic. Modern civilization is edified on this very curiosity. Perhaps Jay Shetty is right when he says that today we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, gadgets are getting smaller and smaller but egos are getting bigger and bigger and we are trotting the globe with so much speed but the flight of the spirit hasn’t even begun.

Thinking has very limited uses. Mostly what we consider logical thinking is only a reflection of our emotional states. It is like the water in a lake which assumes the color of either the sky or the plants which grow at its floor. It gives us the illusion of arriving at conclusions but it in fact it has ended up making us doubtful. It convinces us of our intelligence but does not satiate our pain. It gives us victory in arguments but not over our own selves. Constantly we are in search of that secret thought which will set us free but somehow we never arrive at it.

The human condition can sometimes be very painful. We are in pain because of the time which has already passed. We are in pain for those who have already left us. We are in pain when our desires are unfulfilled. We are in pain because we are afraid that one day we will be no more. Perhaps what we don’t realize is that our mind is our creative canvas. We can choose to think and feel what we think and feel. True joy is not found in being a philosopher or a thinker, but in not thinking and emptying the mind so our true thoughts can become manifest.


In Defense of Superstition – Part 3

18th Zilhaj
4:12 PM

Before I found these words typed, I had the urge to delve into my usual exasperation with current times. As a natural consequence, I ran. Each step took me deeper into the blindingly bright light of clarity. Now that I am here for this after-noon, I must admit that I am feeling quite peaceful.

I am feeling peaceful even though there is a barrage of a diverse nature of unmet responsibilities looming on my head. For instance I have a pistol in my hand, I am half naked and I am running down a narrow street with cops on my heels. The pistol belongs to the cop and my shirt to him. This will be the second time I have had to take the law into my own hands.

I must admit that even in this viable circumstance, there are a few things that still disturb me. As I am running faster and faster, conclusions are coming to me at as rapid a pace. Firstly, the origin of my passionate disgust with the modern world is a reflection of my own self. I find that if there is contempt or hatred in your heart, it will morph into emotions such as disgust or jealousy. So when your mind finds a symbol onto which you direct your derision, it is essentially you being derisive at your own self.

The second thing that disturbs me is language. My frustration with this whole system is that words fall short of detailing the true worth of experience. For instance you may know me. You may have went to College with me, or might have met me in the asylum but you don’t really know me in my entirety and exactitude. For instance you don’t know why I’m running half-naked with a gun in my hand. You don’t know why this is the second time that I had to steal the pistol. I can narrate the depth of all such events and considerations, but you would never truly understand until you are me myself. Either that or some transcendental body rent-out possibility.

As an unassuming relic of the past, I can see that science is filling the void created by the perhaps insatiable curiosity of man. The man of today is no longer as amazed as the man of yesterday. Science has already, and very rightly so, filled many gaps between truth and mere conjecture.

If you look at it, ‘truth’ in itself is not as definite as it is in the physical reality. The truth of the mind is such that you are the writer of your own destiny. If I told you why I am being chased, you will probably not sympathize with my cause. As I am from the time of the ancients, my wisdom surpasses yours. I implore you to take the leap of faith over the darkness that surrounds my endeavors for tonight and really just see that this deluge of irrationality is just the hibernation cave of supra-rationality. If I told you that I could see the future and that I am diverting this cop to save a life of an innocent, would you believe me? No you wouldn’t. The problem with you new world folks is that you need nothing short of a God-sent to be trusted when it comes to these super natural qualities – but that too only in retrospect after you have subjected him or her to ridicule and pain. Yet you wish for these powers so deeply that whenever I am found you take me to those god forsaken laboratories.


Self Help 101: Wealth and Desire

The confusion will start as soon as you start talking. The problem is that I can barely recognize the source of the words. You are pretending to talk about me but in fact you are only talking about yourself. As I gain more clarity over my own self, I become a mirror which fends off idiots. They see themselves in me and are actually laughing at their own selves without even knowing it. If you understand this fact, your silence in such situations is graceful yet most know not.

Usually our thoughts are what keep us from getting what we want. If you ask a random road side heroinchi if he will ever become a millionaire, he would probably laugh at you. If he had really thought of himself as one, he wouldn’t have been getting toked out on the streets. It takes me to a Buddhist doctrine narrated by zen master Thich Nhat Hanh who says that our thoughts are not us. I adduce further that thoughts act as barriers to what we really want. We only end up doing what we can sincerely believe.

The essential doctrine of belief often takes us to the frontier of the metaphysical. I find most of these notions to be utterly useless. For example, it interests people to predict the future, to enter other people’s minds, to fly, to walk on water and other such non-sense. I find them to be useless because what is primary in life is happiness. Would these super powers enhance your happiness? No. They will make you a lonely weirdo. At the outset, there is no point in going after them. However if you do develop such prowess, it’s best that you never use it. It would be a very big burden to carry and is best suited for those chosen for it as opposed to those who yearn for it for the wrong reasons.

Money is a highly sought after resource in this world. I’d like to take up the entire breadth of negative ideas associated with having money. I’m heavily quoting ideas from Sadhguru and Swami Nithyananda who has designated himself as Avatar (which I highly doubt). Money in itself is not a bad thing. In fact it is worse to have no money at all then to have a lot of it. In poorer echelons of the society, the lack of money is often mistaken for sacredness. Most of the time, it is simply not true.

To see why, I quote Sadhguru here on the subject of desire. Sadhguru says that desire in itself is not a bad thing. In fact unfulfilled desires are a source of sadness. If you look at it, each and every action of humans is based on desire. Even if you want to get closer to God, it’s root is desire. Hence the essence of desire is not bad. The excess of fulfillment of that desire is bad. The Sadhguru says that excess of anything is a source of perversion and depression.

As human beings, we can not let go of wealth completely. Even the great Buddha carried a begging bowl. After achieving enlightenment, he even had a Sangha which was very much dependent on earthly wealth. Even Mansoor al Hallaj had to eat at least a few bites of bread after spending the whole day in worship.

If you try to emulate the Buddh or Mansoor without first defeating the right ideas, denying yourself food and wealth will result in negative emotions. I firmly believe that this road must be taken when you have defeated all desire for wealth from the root. It is only possible when you have realized the secrets of first fulfilling your desire.

The concept of God in our heads sometimes prevents us from seeing the truth. We tend to see ourselves as holy because of our shortcomings. The common human being does not understand that a great many things are placed in the hands of human themselves. Depression, anxiety, fear etc. is all something which can be defeated. As the Sadhguru says, ‘unless you have done what you are supposed to do, God will not even lift his little finger for you.’ That may be why many prayers never get answered.

There are answers that you have to find by yourself first. As you progress into inner meanings and deeper truths, you will realize that there are a lot many things you have to do before you can truly start talking to the golden voice within. It is the voice that Socrates heard, it is what gave Shiv the secrets of Yoga, it is the voice which spoke to the great Buddh. It is the voice which has sent down the revealed religions. The mystery is deeper then what you thought. Rationality and intellect do not have the answer.


Super Power for Junkies

There are strange things happening all around us. What is even stranger about these occurrences is the fact that they change as the beholder changes. In a black bird by a rivulet in the ravine, I saw how life leaves once it’s had its fill. I saw that story to not only enshroud events yet to unfold but also, in symbols, the story of everyone. You have to find your relation to the analogy. This is the frontier of schizophrenia friends, we are reading the unread. We are now travelling a dangerous road. The only security is our temporary distraction yet safety lies in alienating yourself from the imaginary constructs of danger. Fear is only your perception. It exists only in the mind. In fearing what you fear, you are entering insanity. In your pretended normalcy, what seems normal to you is what is insanity in the light.

The darkness we behold is stranger than what we thought it’d be. Simple things are not simple things. They are bundled in layers and layers of complexity which sometimes seem never ending. This darkness is in fact an inverted perversion of the truth. In the flight of the intellect and in the dawn of supra-rationality, we break forth from the chains of logic into a sea of utter madness – but it is not madness, it is only a shadow of your vantage point. It’s like looking at the sky through a calm lake. Stand on your head, and the sky will become the lake. It will however continue to be in reality a lake but those standing upside down will hold it to be the sky. The problem with standing on your legs, in this
context, is that you will have very few friends here.

What is it that you tell yourself so you can sleep at night? It better be something good. Don’t worry. Say it. Accept it. The problem with the mind is that in some ways it is a writer of destiny itself. Sometimes to break from thoughts that bring us down is to rationalize them.  Tell yourself whatever you want but don’t tell yourself things about yourself which you don’t want to be true outside the domain of your solitary tragic romanticism.

The realization of this fact is a super power. I wish to impart it into the soft-hearted as opposed to those ignorant of the misery of others. Everyone that I have seen on planet earth thrives on the success and happiness of others, I have seen no one who thrives on the misery of other people. I have seen that the only thing that separates good people from evil ones is how well you can ignore the misery of others. The saint is drowning in the sadness that everyone else feels. The sinner is living in ignorance of this misery. How far do you see the unseen? The laptop that I am using, the silicon in it’s chips – where does it come from? The clothes that I am wearing – where did the cotton come from? who plucked it? a slave child? a farmer under the clutches of loan sharks?

It is true that if each thing and person could convey the entire breadth of the emotion they have experienced so far, you’d be such that you’d want to drown in the seas and jump from the tops of mountains. The breaking of the status quo would turn your friends into enemies because no one will give up comfort. Only those who have transcended to comforts beyond comfort will give it up – and you will find very few. What if you had a third eye which enabled you to see what no one else can? Wouldn’t that make you lonely? Come on man, stand on your feet. Take off your shoes. The frontier is approaching.

The Source of all Pleasure

It has been quite a while since I have been quoting Heraclitus endlessly. What has provoked me to make seemingly irrational statements has been none other than Heraclitus but with due credit also to Shams Tabraiz. Shams has said, “All things manifest themselves through their opposite, God remains hidden because he has no opposite.” While I can’t offer any comments on the latter part of this statement due to the inadequacy of my knowledge on the matter, I do agree with the first part.

Till now the premise isn’t really that irrational. Thankfully Heraclitus throws me into the deluge of absurdity and irrationality which I seem to enjoy a lot. I hope that all this is supra-rational, as Titus Burckhardt has used the term in his essay on the symbolism of the mirror.

Heraclitus removes the line of differentiation between two opposites which points to the essential similarity of all things. For instance he says that mortals are immortals and immortals are mortals. This has led to me to contend, within this context, that there is no such thing as a line. There are only circles. There is no such thing as grey, there is only black and there is only white. By extension, we see that black is white and white is black primarily because there is difference in their consequence but not in their essence.

Sartre says that all conclusions emanate from the fact that there is no God. On the flip side, the mystics in Islam hold God to be the emanation of all conclusion. In this context, the existence or non-existence of God is irrelevant. What is relevant is the singularity of the emanation.

Like all human beings, I am afraid of being sad for a wide variety of reasons that probably everyone can deduce. Similarly I seek happiness and pleasure instead of melancholy and pain.

Like all opposites, pleasure and pain are very strangely intermingled. There is a very thin line between the two, if at all. It’s like how listening to music makes you feel so good but there is melancholy at it’s root which is shrouded in elation. Or like how we try to pretend that we are not really alone in this world but in reality love is just an escape from the fact that we will all become dust. I can see that pleasure is born out of pain. Like the birth of a child or a monk’s renunciation of the world in pursuit of the Zen. It is how Jason Silva puts it, a moment of pleasure is shrouded in the pain of the fact that the moment has already passed.

It seems that if we set out for pleasure, pain we will reap. It’s like how my friend Junaid Manzoor once put it. He said that the way of the mystic is the reversal of the pleasure principle. I’m afraid that he is right. I am afraid that the source of all pleasure known to man is pain.

It explains the symbolism of the crucifixion that has been undertaken by every mystic from Jesus to Hussain and from Mansoor to Shams. In the land of the wolves, the sheep will be eaten. The man of virtue is bound to be destroyed outwardly in a world full of evil. There is nothing more beautiful than the person of virtue who walks this path, knowing what the end will be, only relying on the faint voice of the conscience. The man of virtue is truly fearless and truly powerful.


This is my friend Jamshed Jhoomar.