Sunday, April 21, 2013

Stop reading. Start smelling. Start feeling it in your gut.

This has been a conversation that Rajeev and I have been having for a while now. How much we let ourselves be bombarded with information! We consume so much information, but have less and less knowledge than our ancestors about things that matter to us the most – love, clean water, clean air, safe food, building houses, etc. That’s because we’ve lost our ability to smell and feel our way through life. We’ve lost our ability to intuit. Instead of channeling wisdom-guided information (i.e. intuition), we have become “thinking” consumers of information from external sources, very often oblivious of the fact that our minds are manipulated by distorted information.

When there is death and disease in every household in Kasargod, the government wants scientific studies and reports to prove that it is because of Endosulphan. And at the end of a long-endured series of trials, it has a way of saying it wasn’t enough proof.

My friend Dev once put it beautifully. “When I stepped into the US for the first time, I looked at the number of cars and sky-scrapers and said to myself ‘Oh my God. How is this even possible on earth?’ It didn’t smell right. But I didn’t pay much attention to it back then and went on with business as usual. After seven years of reading so much about global warming and our ecological crisis, I am now saying the same thing. But back then, I really didn’t need all this information to know what I did!”

Can we look at our milk packet that lands at our doorstep every morning and ask ourselves “What might it take for the milk of a living being be supplied to us in such quantities day after day?”

Can we look at all the cheap plastic stuff and soft toys that our stores are filled with and ask ourselves “What might it take for them all to be produced – raw material, production to sale?”

Can we look at our bottles and cans of water and ask ourselves “Where might these be coming from? What might its impact on life be?”

Can we look at our A/Cs and cars and ask ourselves “Where might this energy be coming from?”

Don’t google and read. Don’t depend on information. Just close your eyes. Place your hands on your gut and feel it. Breathe in deeply and smell it. What do you feel and smell? 


Sw. Raaj Neeravo said...

from the book "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson...
"Coming back to America was, for me, much more of a cultural shock than going to India. The people in the Indian countryside don’t use their intellect like we do, they use their intuition instead, and their intuition is far more developed than in the rest of the world. Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion. That’s had a big impact on my work.

Western rational thought is not an innate human characteristic; it is learned and is the great achievement of Western civilization. In the
villages of India, they never learned it. They learned something else, which is in some ways just as valuable but in other ways is not. That’s the power of intuition and experiential wisdom.

Coming back after seven months in Indian villages, I saw the craziness of the Western world as well as its capacity for rational thought. If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things—that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It’s a discipline; you have to practice it.

Zen has been a deep influence in my life ever since. At one point I was thinking about going to Japan and trying to get into the Eihei-ji
monastery, but my spiritual adviser urged me to stay here. He said there is nothing over there that isn’t here, and he was correct. I learned the truth of the Zen saying that if you are willing to travel around the world to meet a teacher, one will appear next door."

Sw. Raaj Neeravo said...

western influence & technology & knowledge is killing the intuition in us.

our smelling capability is really gone.

meditation is the key to get it back.

thats why the masters said, meditation is the golden key to solve all issues.

Sangeetha Sriram said...

Thank you for sharing that Raaj Neeravo. May I know your whereabouts?

Dev and Hema said...

I would like to quote from Daniel Quinn's "Ishmael":
"People now know how to split atoms, how to send explorers to the moon, how to splice genes, but they don't know how they ought to live." (that knowledge is long forgotten and just not available anymore in the modern cultures).

inside rabbit's hair said...

its absolutely right. i juat wish to add to your comments. smell, feel is fine but what leads to all this is the man made factors of Time and Money, and its pursuit without seeing the bigger picture or vision.