Monday, November 20, 2006

Observing the world witout desire

The ancient Chinese sage says...
"Constantly without desires, and you will interact with the mysteries of the universe..."
"Constatntly with desires you will interact with its manifestations..."
What the above means is simply that if we are totally caught up with the way of the world, we will always be chasing an illusory world created by our human mind. In this world we will be always looking for the illusive happiness which will make our lives fulfilled. How many has found this fulfillment? Even those who have made it by the standards of our conditioned mindset, has found the world to be so traumatic that they end up taking their own lives.
On the other hand there are some who can see through the 'falsity' of this mind created world and managed to stay sane in this world of collective insanity. These are people who have managed to observe the world without desires. Observing the world ithout desire is actually much easier than what most of us think it will be. For example, if each day we can just take short breaks of a few seconds or a few minutes to forget about what we are doing... close our eyes and just... observe how we feel inside... we are actually practising looking inward and away from the realm of our mind created world... More to come in my next post.
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Monday, October 09, 2006

CAN YOU FIGURE OUT HOW BIG IS THE UNIVERSE?

How large is the universe? This is a difficult question to the average person because it is a subject that does not normally occupy our minds. Further we cannot use the normal measures to state the physical size of the universe. The best way for the average mind to appreciate how large the universe is; is to be aware that:

  1. There are billions of galaxies in the universe. About 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe (Source: Wikipedia).
  2. Our solar system lies in the smallest galaxy called the ‘Milky Way”.
  3. The nearest galaxy to our home “Milky Way” is the “Andromeda Galaxy” which is 2.5 million light years away from us.
  4. It takes light (traveling at a speed of 300, 000 km per second) approximately 1 second to reach the moon.
  5. Therefore to reach Andromeda, the light must have traveled 2.5 millions years before it reaches its destination. That is the distance of the nearest galaxy to our Milky Way galaxy.
  6. Considering that there are 100 billion galaxies in the universe, the size of the universe is beyond the capability of our mortal mind to comprehend.


It is indeed a humbling experience for me to realize this fact. We are really insignificant. The Force or Thing that created the universe must be such an Awesome Power that it is beyond the conceptual mind of us humans to be able to understand.

The more we try to study and understand the universe the more question arises. However the human mind being what it is will never try to stop analyzing it. Will man be able to find out the truth about the universe one day?

I believe the answer is YES, but it will not be in a scientific way because our conceptual mind will not be able to unravel the mysteries of the universe. It will be the spiritual awakening of man that finally enables man to ‘CONNECT’ with the mysteries of the universe:


The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao

The name that can be named is not the eternal name

The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth

The named is the mother of myriad things

Thus, constantly without desire, one observes its essence

Constantly with desire, one observes its manifestations

These two emerge together but differ in name

The unity is said to be the mystery

Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders

-Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu

In this short but very profound verse, Lao Tzu spoke of the Awesome Power that created the universe... And how "WITHOUT DESIRE" we can observe its "ESSENCE".

Next: What is "Observing the world without desire?"

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

CAN THE HUMAN RACE SURVIVE THE NEXT 100 YEARS?

After reading the arguments put up by both the Christians and the Muslims, I am convinced that they are both inspired by something greater than ordinary man. However great these two books may be and whatever the author of these books meant it to be for us Human, I suspect that in so far as we remain detached from our true inner self, we may never appreciate the true message in these two books. Despite the advancement of modern technology to enable us to prove the truth in the claims that the Bible and the Quran were divinely inspired, instead of rejoicing in this great gift, we, Humans instead continue and insist on seeing the small differences between the two books and become more strongly assertive of the small differences. Worse still there are others who choose to make changes to the book to suit their own narrow believes so that they can impose their imperfect knowledge on others.

We continue to emphasize our differences. We have only a partial view of life. We do not know yet that we are only a minute part of the greater whole called the Universe. We think we know the Truth of life with great certainty, but we do not know that our perceptions and conceptual abilities are limited by our experiences and the tools we have in this realm. We caused the world so much trouble by asserting our partial views of life over those of others. Our time here on earth is limited and each of us will eventually meet our end called ‘death’. We are all travelers here in this world on a journey called… LIFE:
Some of us just stumbled along blindly, some just follow the herd, and some of us travel with AWARENESS.

Unless more and more of us start to travel with AWARENESS, the Human race may not last for the next one hundred years. Professor Stephen Hawking, author of the book the best seller “A Brief History In Time” had asked this question:

"In a world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?"

Despite the great advancements in science and technology made by Human, the Human Race still faced threats to its survival:

War
Melting Ice Cap
Deliberate release of genetically engineered virus

The above threats unfortunately are all created by us Human. Such threats arise out of our partial views of life. Are we destined to go the way of the dinosaurs in the next 100 years or is there hope for us Human?

I believe that unlike the dinosaurs, we will survive for the human SPIRIT is great. It is the greatness of the human spirit that enables us to fly although we are not given wings, swim in the ocean although we do not have gills like the fish, and travel the great vastness of space although we appear bound to earth by her gravity. Our SPIRIT is great and needs to explore the HEAVENS to realize her greatness. I believe that there will come a time when there will be a mass awakening among Humans and it is this awakening that will connect us to our INNER SPIRITUAL SELF. When this happens on a mass scale, the human race will be saved from the brink of extinction!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Is the Quran truly the Word of Allah?

I had a hard time trying to find some material regarding the authenticity of the Quran. My perseverance finally paid off when I stumbled upon this site:

http://www.masjidtucson.org/quran/appendices/introduction.html

I re-produce below an extract of what was said about the Quran by the author, Rashad Al Kalifa, an Egyptian Muslim who moved to the United States as a student of biochemistry in 1959 and later become a citizen. He established an Islamic group called United submitter international whose beliefs include the dedication of all worship practices of God alone and the rejection Hadith/Sunnah as a source of doctrine. For many years he was Imam of a mosque in Tucson, Arizona.

Proof of Authenticity:Physical, Tangible, Irrefutable.
With the advent of the computer age, we discover that the Quran's mathematical code is "One of the great miracles" as stated in 74:30-35. While the miracles given to previous messengers were limited in time and place, the Quran's miracle is perpetual. Only a few people witnessed the miracles of Moses and Jesus, but the Quran's miracle can be witnessed by anyone at any time. Furthermore, the Quran's miracle documents and proves all the previous miracles (5:48).As detailed in Appendix 1, the Quran's mathematical miracle is based on the number "19." To share this awesome miracle with the reader, the word "GOD" is printed throughout the English text in bold capital letters, and the cumulative number of occurrences is shown at the lower left corner of every page. The total occurrence of this most important word is shown at the end of the Quran to be 2698. This total is a multiple of 19. Additionally, when we add the numbers assigned to every verse where the word "God" occurs, the total comes to 118123, also a multiple of 19 (19x6217). The cumulative sum of verse numbers where the word "God" occurs is shown on the lower right corner of every page. These simple physical facts are easily verifiable by the reader, and they suffice to prove the super-human nature of the Quran's mathematical composition.
Total Count of the Word "God"(Shown at the lower left corner of every page)2698 (19x142)
Total Sum of Verse Numbers(Shown at the lower right corner)118123 (19x6217)

Proof of Authenticity to be Verified by the Reader
In addition to the Quran's extraordinary mathematical composition, wefind a large number of Quranic facts which are proven or theorized bymodern science. Here are a few examples of such advance scientificinformation:
The earth is egg-shaped (39:5, 79:30).
The earth is not standing still; it moves constantly (27:88).
The sun is a source of light, while the moon reflects it (10:5, 25:61, 71:16).
The proportion of oxygen diminishes as we climb towards the sky (6:125).
The "Big Bang Theory" is confirmed (21:30).
The "Expansion of the Universe Theory" is confirmed (51:47).
The universe started out as a gaseous mass (41:11).
Evolution is a fact; within a given species, evolution is a divinely guided process (21:30, 24:45, 32:7-9, 18:37, 15:28-29, 7:11, 71:13-14, Appendix 31).
The man's seminal fluid decides the baby's gender (53:45-46).

The number '19' does show an uncanny way of manifesting inself in the Quran. More details can be found in the link below.

http://www.masjidtucson.org/quran/miracle/index.html

Most of us are also aware of the book that tells us of the 'Bible Codes' in which events that has happened in the world seems to have been foretold in the Bible and events that will happen in the future are apparently foretold. Only time will tell if these will come true.

So which book shall we believe is the TRUE WORD of GOD?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Is the Bible truly the words of God?

When I witness the events taking place in the world today particularly the on going debate between the Muslims and the Christians, the fight between Isreal and the Arabs, the most recent happening of 'War on Terror'; I often wonder about which book is the Truth - The Quran or The Bible?

I have found and condensed something written about the bible from this website (http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-God-Word.html):

Is the Bible truly God’s Words?
Internal evidence:
1. The Bible’s unity despite being written by more than 40 authors living on three continents and over a period of 1500 years. From the beginning to the end there is no contradiction in the bible.

2. Detailed prophesies in the bible. The Bible contains hundreds of detailed prophecies relating to the future of individual nations including Israel, to the future of certain cities, to the future of mankind, and to the coming of one who would be the Messiah, the Savior of not only Israel, but all who would believe in Him.

There are over three hundred prophecies concerning Jesus Christ in the Old Testament alone. Not only was it foretold where He would be born and what family He would come from, but also how He would die and that He would rise again on the third day. There simply is no logical way to explain the fulfilled prophecies in the Bible other than by divine origin.


3. The bible has a unique authority and power seen the way countless lives have been transformed by reading the Bible. Drug addicts have been cured by it, homosexuals have been set free by it, derelicts and deadbeats have been transformed by it, hardened criminals reformed by it, sinners are rebuked by it, and hate has been turned to love by reading it. The Bible does possess a dynamic and transforming power that is only possible because it is truly God’s Word.

External evidence:
1. The fact that the Bible accurately and truthfully records historically verifiable events.

2. The integrity of the human authors. God used men from many walks of life to record His Words to us. They were not honest and sincere men. Examining their lives and the fact that they were willing to die (often excruciating deaths) for what they believed in.

3. The indestructibility of the bible. The Bible has suffered more vicious attacks and attempts to destroy it. From early Roman Emperors like Diocletian, through communist dictators and on to modern day atheists and agonistics, the Bible has withstood and outlasted all of its attackers and is still the most widely published book in the world today.

In my next post I will find some material about the Quran.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Finding our TRUE SELF

I remember watching a documentary about the beginning of a human life… from the fusion of ovum and sperm till the day the baby is ready to see the world. What is unique about this documentary is that modern technology has enabled us to see in great detail what is happening inside the womb of mummy. It is such a wonder to see the foetus transform from…..

- a cell, a mass of cells,
- physical features,
- first movement of the limbs,
- now its sucks its thumbs,
- its eyes are formed….

There was a close-up of the foetus’ face…. I can never forget that image till today although other details are getting fuzzy. The look on this face…. It is unlike what we see among us. The expression of the foetus’ face is so serene and peaceful as its large eyes looks (not a distant look) with total awareness. It is as if while being confined in its mummy’s womb, it is aware of the entire universe outside, it is aware of its entire being… it hears the heartbeat of mummy, its own heartbeat, it feels the flow of its mummy’s nourishing blood into its body.

A PICTURE OF TOTAL AWARENESS
AWARENESS OF ITS TRUE SELF


The moment we are born into this world, we begin to lose touch with this ‘self-awareness’ or our TRUE SELF. We are subject to all kinds of conditioning: Of what is right or wrong behavior….. A happy child will spontaneously breaks into singing and dancing. Her parents are so proud. They praise and encourage her. She becomes aware that by dancing and singing it brings praises. Then she becomes shy when asked to ‘perform’ for relatives and friends (actually for the parents who wants to show off). She loses her naturally spontaneity and becomes stiff and unnatural. And so we begin to lose touch with our natural or true self…… Our perception of the world become shaped by our subjective view of "I" and "The World".

Nature is funny.... As we grow old, we start to become more reflective and return to our child like simplicty. We become more contemplative so that we are more centred and therefore better able to handle life’s natural cycle of ups and downs.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

FINDING THE RIGHT TITLE

The title: "Return to simplicity" simply expresses my desire to be just a simple and uncomplicated person.
SIMPLE=CONTENTED=HAPPY

However, being simple is not at all easy. For instance, in my effort to find a meaningful title to my blog, I realised that a lot of the difficulty I had arises out of my own perception that I have to find a title that will be 'eye-catching', 'meaningful', 'impressive' etc. etc.

Why can't I just use the first word that pops into my head and forget about what other people might think? That would be the first step to achieve "RETURN TO SIMPLICITY", wouldn't it?
We are conditioned to judge others by our own biased frame of reference and therefore we are also acutely aware of being judged by others. This is the first lesson I learned since starting this blog is... forget about what others think of you. Just BE yourself.