Childhood imagination

In my childhood, I had a very cartoon like view of the world. I saw reality in a very simplistic way. Most people consider this stage to be a passing phase and will tell you grow up, become mature, understand reality and other such things. Along with those comments they would also include ‘Enjoy this childhood phase while it lasts’. Underlying all these comments is the opinion that child like thinking is inferior to what an adult might think.

In my opinion however, childhood is a magical phase and is no way inferior to the way an adult perceives the world. The consciousness is the same but the experience is still so radically different, just like how you are the same person during deep sleep, dreaming and while awake. These states from the surface seem completely disconnected, but they are all connected at a higher plane.

In creative professions like designing things first start of with very rough and ambiguous sketch. You might question, if the person is so good at drawing, why should he draw a sketch that is devoid of details and why should it look rough and ambiguous? Isn’t that a quality of a non artistic person? The idea of drawing a rough sketch is to explore the breadth of ideas and to stimulate imagination. If the drawing is concrete and embellished with shading and color, it is very difficult to explore ideas using that as a base. Such a drawing would be a prototype and not a sketch. A Prototype is generally used towards the end of the design phase after narrowing down all the ideas. The rough nature of the sketch stokes our imagination and we try to fill in all the holes. A child;s view of the world is similar to the rough sketch. There are so many holes to fill. The child fills in the gaps using his/her imagination and this is not limited to the plethora of constraints the real world poses: social, ecological, anthropological and psychological. So in essence all of us have passed through this magical period where we begin to conceptualize the world and we actively use our imagination. In adulthood, the view of the world resembles more of the prototype stage. Your imagination no longer functions as vividly and freely as before since you are aware of a whole new HUGE set of constraints and most options get dismissed right at the start. It should be noted though, that most of the creative geniuses like inventors and artists did find a way to access this free association state and that is what lead to all the extraordinary work and groundbreaking inventions.

Virtual worlds of the future

In a dream, we are practically unconscious, but we still retain conscious traces of it for a short while immediately after waking up. We go through so many virtual worlds which are sometimes so intense and filled with so much emotion. There is this unreal element to them. What happens to us during this period? Its still a mystery. There are so many theories floating around. Some say it metaphorically fulfills our day’s residue of expectations. Some of the other neuro-scientists consider dreams to be random electrical activity in the brain and after waking up we try to interpret this random electrical pattern using our conceptual or rational mind – prefrontal cortex.

Somehow a dream sleep feels more fulfilling than a dreamless sleep in my experience(assuming you are sleeping comfortably for more than 6-7hrs). I sometimes feel that dreams are a higher form of communication far beyond things like language we have in our waking life. The communication through dreams happens at a different plane or dimension itself. Its might probably be the next breakthrough after language. We may be able to communicate with others directly by using thoughts or visualizations. Basically all that we see with the mind’s eye can be transmitted directly as electrical impulses to another person’s brain. So in essence the person on the other end would see exactly what you see. Maybe language itself might become obsolete and we could share far deeper bonds with people than is ever possible today. The virtual world and the real world might become almost indistinguishable. Each person might choose to live in his or her own concept of utopia. Choosing to live in the real world might actually become a ‘choice’ or we could slip in and out of it at will. We could explore crazy depths into our imagination potential in a collective way. Artificial intelligence can be created to address exactly what you need in the visceral form itself and not what you think you need. So you would kind be living in a miracle world where everything is a miracle. Such inventions would fundamentally change the concept of how we view ourselves and may open up new vistas or paradigms for exploration itself.

Concentration as a goal by itself

Among all the numerous goals we have in our life, concentration and awareness lies beneath all of those. Everything stems from that. Awareness is an effortless state reached once you reach a certain level of concentration by training. Awareness is our natural state. When we just entered this world, we were fully aware. After that there are numerous things that happen to us in childhood and the unfortunate part of that is we are quite helpless at that age. Most of us have lost huge amounts of ability to really see reality due to all our childhood conditioning. Our every thought and action is conscious at first, it only becomes an ingrained habit after doing it plenty of times. Maybe the habit or behavior created was the best option at that time but it may not apply anymore. Even after we identify that we are still not able to adapt since habits, beliefs and conditioning seep into our unconscious mind like a tetris game. So many opinions, beliefs and habits prevent us from seeing the real multifaceted nature of reality. These opinions, beliefs, habits and over reliance on rational thinking are like a prison. We need to undo this conditioning to free our attention.

Instead of having a lot of discrete goals I was thinking why not have a single goal, that “I would be completely aware and mindful of whatever I experience and am going to be completely honest with whatever I feel w/o any judgment”. This would initially be a strong resolve and an endeavor and later it would transform itself into a state of higher consciousness itself which is awareness. Wont all the other things just follow? You might even discover what really matters and what doesn’t? Get some new insights into reality – like your perception, beliefs, conditioning and how all these aspects influence you in your daily life, interactions and dreams? If you are mindful at every moment, you would obviously take the most optimum decisions and choices since you are completely in touch with yourself all the time? Its kind of like moving into another dimension itself. Wont you be living a self actualized life in such a case which is also deceptively simple in its rules?

Concept of momentum

Momentum is everywhere. In the wind which carries the leaves and moves the blades of grass. There is so much momentum even in the small waves of the beach. Roller coasters, tsunamis, hurricanes etc. show us how powerful this force can be. Even partner dancing like salsa, jive, tango etc involves creating momentum and maintaining it and that creates excitement and flow with the interplay of push, pull – domination and submission.

We need to create sufficient momentum to achieve or learn anything. Its so easily observed in sports too. I noticed this making the transition from badminton to tennis. Badminton is more about flicking with the wrist while tennis needs an entire shoulder motion. When I was learning football for the first time, a small kid with half my strength was doing a far better job than me. Momentum is classically used even in martial arts or boxing. Even while swimming, in my initial stages, my movements were both pushing me forward and backward, thus canceling each other. So I would never generate any speed. Similarly, while learning roller skating the same thing happened. After pushing with one leg, when I would go to the other I would lose all momentum. So that is like the difference momentum can make. This is taming and utilizing momentum in the physical world.

In the mental world, there is so much of invisible momentum. Its like an invisible force. I think this is what high achievers generate within themselves. Our fears, preoccupations and habits usually prevent us from acquiring the required momentum to achieve our goals.

Personally, with work related stuff, I procrastinate till the pressure starts channelizing the mind and a stage is reached when I know that the work needed would take exactly all of my time and probably even a stretch. At this stage, I start working with momentum directly proportional to the pressure. Towards the end of it as i race towards the finish I almost reach a state of flow. That kind of gives me proof of how much momentum I can generate. However, this momentum depends on external factors and situation. I need to explore and find a way of generating that level of momentum internally, at will, independent of the external context and situation.

Other ways of looking at money

Becoming a millionaire seems to be an exciting journey. Its a rich experience and can be very rewarding if you have the right motivations and if your inner world is relatively free of conflict and rich too. Even the people working in regular jobs do not work much less than a millionaire. In fact the millionaire has the option to quit anytime and still lead a very luxurious life. He has basically freed himself of money scarcity and stepped into abundance. Abundance is what allows us to be free and who we really are. Free from this preoccupation, the person can decide to pursue any dream from that point. Keep yourself fully mindful of all the possibilities where social value overlaps with personal value and that is the first step to finding money. Keep doing the things you like to do and be free in your expression. At any moment of time, you are working towards what you really want. Is just that you are unaware of the deeper parts of your mind. So a behavior may look ridiculous at the surface but if you actually penetrate to the level of core beliefs and view the entire picture, you would realize that you were indeed doing what was best for you. The awareness needs to be increased a great deal. Your motivation would come more from ‘What do you want to do after getting rich? Is it purely a personal goal?. Generally higher the goal, higher the energy. Like if a person decides I will do my ultimate best in whatever I do with an extreme determination, then getting a promotion in a company or winning the appreciation of his colleagues may be a reward he would get effortlessly. Whereas if the persons only goal was to get promoted, he may manage to achieve it but the motivation would lack the power and effortlessness of the former. So a strategy could be work an keep in mind your highest goals, the lower goals would automatically get fulfilled, maybe even more than what you may expect. In any case life is about finding out how you really are and all the experiences you feel along the way. It is also about penetration from the gross to the subtle in terms of both depth and breadth. The western world professions do a very good job at identifying and utilizing subtlety in the material world. Every profession functions at this high level of subtlety. Money is an instrument that helps you express yourself in the material world. Once a friend told me, it is like petrol for a car. The car can then be driven anywhere. If the car represents your material needs then this analogy fits well. I think as you lead life, if you are extremely honest with what you feel and act according to that, you are truly being yourself. I believe this simple higher goal control everything and the rest of the lower goals and thoughts are more like a game.

Frustrations with money

Becoming a millionaire seems like a very complex endeavor and the path seems so vague. There are so many beliefs that we have deep within us which kind of deter us in a way from achieving this goal. Books like ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ and ‘Secrets of a millionaire’ talk about these beliefs and how our conditioning and environment has played a major role at how we look at large amounts of money. Owning large amounts of money is potential. The real motivator is usually the experience of a service or product itself. So its kind of difficult to understand how people all around me are so motivated by money(potential). If you have money you get social approval, appreciation and respect. Is that so damn important in people’s lives?Would you like sacrifice a huge chunk of your free time just for that? Its ridiculous the things that people do just to fit into society. This is not a rebellion against society but I think people are just being paranoid about it. The herd mentality is so infectious we stop trusting ourselves which is the most unfortunate thing. How can you be bad for yourself? That’s a contraction and it makes absolutely no sense? How can someone else know the taste in your mouth? Why cant people just trust themselves and be happy? Or be more honest with their own feelings? It is understandable if primary needs are not getting adequately(subjective here) satisfied or if u have a loan, then you do have a very strong motivation to earn enough money.

But if a person is going to spend 9-10hrs+ at work, 22days a month for a period of say 40yrs, and we sleep 7hrs a day on an average.

So if I factor everything,
you have 8784hrs in a year
– 2562hrs sleeping – approx 30%
– 2420hrs at work – approx 30%
– 3802hrs of free time – approx 40%

This is assuming the typical working class white caller job. Usually offices demand much more than that. How much stress you carry home needs to be measured. After completing minimum 10hrs of work, you may need to work extra hours on many days and work on weekends too.

So it would kind of go closer to 40% – work, 30% – sleep, 30% – leisure

Now in the 30% leisure time, its barely all leisure, you got to manage a HUGE number of things even in that zone. Its a life full of juggling responsibilities. Why the hell do you need to do that?
Whats the use of buying a very expensive couch if I cant sit on it long enough without any stress or worry. That is like the most inefficient method ever.

Then other paradigm is that, if you are motivated to work. Some people have specific interests and even there, there’s a lot of variation. People with COMMERCIAL interests would be much more successful at making lots of money while there are plenty of people whose interests have no room for the typical large scale commercial options available. Every person on this earth adds value. Why is money making so narrow. It is 100 times harder to become a great artist than it is to become a manager in a firm even if you have the same ability in both areas.

Why is getting a job so hard? Why is it so hard to plug into social systems that generate value and create money? Aren’t work hour timings supposed to reduce with better technology? It has just got worse. Whats up with people. The difficult part here is, all these constraints of reality in this domain will make you reconcile to them and do the needful till you need is satisfied. But where do I get the motivation from?People expect you to be driven, motivated, passionate? Giving 10hrs of work per day minimum is hard enough, the mental state requirement makes it OUTRAGEOUS.

Concept of heaven

What is your concept of heaven?Is it universal or person specific?Whatever heaven we humans create, wouldn’t it be limited by our imagination?Would heaven be a place where we could create our own heaven just as we want it and change it at any point of time? OR would it be something universal? What is the most pleasurable feeling possible? What if heaven were filled with only things that gave pleasure? Wont pleasure lose its meaning in such a context since we know pleasure only because we know what pain feels like. So if we have positive feelings all the time, it would lose its value, meaning just like if we could convert stone to gold by alchemy, gold would completely lose its value. Pleasurable feelings exist only because their duals exist.

So if a universal heaven exists it should be higher than all of the above. It should be something incredible or inconceivable from our current state.

I think the below concept appealed to me the most!

There is no time, space, size, shape or quantity there so your mind cannot imagine it. There is no quantity like 5,000 people since there is only one thing which is a oneness. The thing that is there is feeling. Try to imagine all the greatest feelings you have ever had coming together and all the best feelings that everyone has ever had coming together in one place. It feels like total contentment, perfect peace, pure joy, limitless happiness and endless love. When you feel it, you know that is what you have always wanted to feel or experience.

Enlightenment might allow us to reach this state in our normal lives.