I can give you ideals, but expect everything of yourself and nothing of me

I can give you ideals, but expect everything of yourself and nothing of me. Internalise them and become them. For once you become them, you will expect nothing of me. For the caterpillar, in budding cocoon, knows not of flight, yet so willingly gives in to its natural tendency of morphing into a butterfly. Then, when it is finally a butterfly, will it not look upon the caterpillars with bubbling joy, knowing that they will eventually experience unparalleled freedom – to fly uninhibited among the myriad of watercolour-petalled flowers and share the perfumed scents with the bees? Such is the beauty of life. No matter who you are – poor, rich, lazy, ignorant, egotistical, insane, sane, selfish, altruistic – everything of freedom will become it; and everything of love and truth will become them both. And, while you’re living within the synchronicity of difference, focus not on the differences you selectively pick out but the beauty of their synchronisation that puts even like-minded people within a sphere of selfish abuse and hatred. If two people, exhibiting violence and sheer abandonment, can so frankly express their intolerance for one another, then are they not already one and of the same thing? They express themselves, therefore, they are.

The brain and the mind: film projector and projector screen

What is time? Causations of the Earth’s revolution around the Sun and the Earth’s rotation about its own axis to arbitrary sets of numbers (classifications or units) which can then be further redefined in smaller and even smaller subclassifications (hours, minutes, seconds, milliseconds,…). This is the whole concept of time in a nutshell. Now, let’s look at time in all its entirety. What is time? Not as a mere concept but the actuality of it. Is it not then the movement of a singular-point object from one point to another within 3-dimensional space (length, breadth and depth) that implies time? As a film reel would mechanically run with light passing through each and every filter (frame), so does the brain act as a film projector which casts this filtered light in quick succession on the screen that is the mind. Now, is then time not the continuous movement from one frame to the next without stopping? This implies that there must be a start and an end. For example, if I were to reach out my hand to grab yours, would my hand not have to go through each successive point along the straight-line distance between its original position (resting position) and final position (hand grabbing yours)? So, just like the film reel, this whole progression that is called movement can also be broken down into multiple successive frames – each capturing a fixed position of my hand suspended at one particular point of time. This is how deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning arise. Imagine a straight line with three points on it: A, B and C. An object is resting at point A (uninfluenced by any external forces and therefore suspended in a vacuum). I hypothesise that, in order for the object to arrive at point C, it must first arrive at point B. And then, by actually pushing the object in the direction towards point C, we can then observe if this hypothesis is true. And, if this hypothesis is true, we can then generalise it to other objects under similar circumstances. Inductive reasoning, on the other hand, is the reverse of the aforementioned process. Based on observations of the movements of objects, we come to a generalisation that objects pass through multiple points along a straight line when displaced from their original positions. Based on this general observation, we can hypothesise that, if the object is now at point C and we also know that it moved along a straight line, we can therefore conclude that the object must have originally been at point A (or B, but we cannot know for sure). It’s much like walking straight into a forest and realising that you’re lost, only to stop at your current position and slowly retrace your steps back to your original position at the entrance of the forest. A question now arises, “Can thinking, which is the whole frame-to-frame movement of thought (projected image), come to a halt?”. If so, how can it happen without derailing onto a parallel film reel of its own continuous progression? In other words, is it possible, as an external observer, to cut the film reel at the current frame and thereby prevent the further progression of thought? Without movement, would time not stop – would there not be but the present moment?

The whole world is but my own perception: I am lonely

I look around me at the neat row of plants seated along the pavement, the changing landscape from steel and concrete to exploding rainforests. I hear the rumbling of the bus engine and the rattling of the windows caused by the engine’s intense spurting and convulsions. I feel the vibrating floor under my feet as the bus passes over minute undulations formed in the tar roads through constant wear and tear of the hundreds, if not thousands of cars sharing the same passageways each and every day. Workers who don light-blue working shirts with black formal pants have their words spare. Apart from the convenient ‘sorry’ and ‘excuse me’, they shed no new light on their current preoccupations hidden up in their own minds. Their thoughts, concealed by the artifice of stoicism and blatant avoidance, manifest in a form of indifference. Overwrought expressions have overcome their faces while the bus driver is quietly forgotten in the front, attuned to his own internal state of thought processes and memory-harping. The objective is clear: get to work on time. Worry whilst you cannot, in any way, force the bus driver to speed recklessly across the highway and risk the lives of the many other passengers on board. The frustrated sunlight finds the rare opportunity to break through parted leaves or when there is a clearing on which sits a mass of murky water, only to return back to the unending greenery. Lush are the gentle touches of the green shapes and forms on either side of the highway, fenced out by barricades that prevent cars from incidentally straying off the roads and into any potential ravines lurking around. The mind recording all these observations down like a psychotherapist jotting down the patient’s set of woeful psychological signs and symptoms that have been of much trouble lately. And, looking at all these observations, can I not say that I’m that psychotherapist? For, without telepathic rapport with my patient, how else could I know exactly what he is actually thinking without misconstruing these spoken thoughts that have already been coated in the unsatisfactory dirt and grime of automatic misinformation? Can I know the true intent – the source of the beckoning calls to action or speech? For these beckoning calls are none other than desires. For, all this, I have carefully observed as a third party in my own mind and have seen the elaborate workings of a perturbed vessel. Sensory information that enters the brain awakens the mind to unfulfilled tasks: processing the data using past experiences, beliefs and their systems, memories and accrued knowledge, then storage of all the newly-conceived ideas, beliefs and perceptions. The casual idea or belief strays away into the wilderness and transforms into perception’s knowing of the external state as would a man transforming into a werewolf under the strain of what little sunlight has reflected off the moon’s surface. Perceptions, therefore, are just clouded sensory information that have been put through the sieve of logic and reasoning, of the past cumulative conditioning, of all the associations and circumstancial premises that allow us to think that these conclusions we have arrived at are in and of themselves truth. Then, is my intellectual understanding of this world not a product of thinking (thought)? Are my conceived perceptions not then mine to bear? That every word – sentence – that leaves the tongue of my peer has but become a subjective construct of thought and, therefore, understanding. Is it not then me, myself and I who stand challenged by the paradoxical nature of one’s truest nature? I am alone in this world – of all the blushing petals, colossal clouds, vibrant stars and all that reside across the continuum of intergalactic separation, I am in control of but a tiny unit – a literal speck of conditional living thing: I am lonely.

Can We be Utterly Sincere with Ourselves?

Can we speak our minds without the compunction nor regret of the consequences before and after respectively? Is it possible to catch each and every thought as it appears in each and every corresponding instance? Can we take the thought and look behind it – at the intention that is the swimming tail of the fish? Can we then, slicing off the tail, render any and every thought immobile? And even in doing so, shall we then also question our own individual motives and, likewise, sever their motors? If, as a policeman, you saw the faint silhouette of a bank robber fleeing with a bag of stolen cash in the serene darkness of the night, would you not shine your torchlight on him, thereby catching him red-handed? Or would you hesitate – thinking that you shan’t be troubled – thinking that someone else should assume your responsibility and therefore risk the danger of retaliation from the bank robber? Would you not then be troubled by your incessant guilty thoughts of having chosen not to intervene right away when you knew that you could? Would you not then spiral into the whole automatic process of incessantly replaying the very same scene of you letting the robber off scot-free over and over again like a broken tape recorder? Then, would you not suppress these additional thoughts and hope that they wouldn’t ever surface again by distracting yourself with other thoughts – family and friends, self-indulgence, work, what you’ll be doing the next day – all of which are akin to blasting music to drown out the shrieking lady’s cries for help just down the street? Is that why we turn to faiths – belief systems, religions and their institutions – so that we can box up what we simply do not want to face? Can we question the existence of this God that everyone loves casually tossing around for mere lip service? Shall we ask, in all earnestness, what it is that this God really is? Then, first of all, we must look at what the word ‘God’ implies in our minds. What comes to your mind when you think of ‘God’? His ‘son’ Jesus? Buddha? The Messiah – saviour? Heaven? Peace and lack of suffering? Lack of physical and psychological turmoils? Will you then so readily scrutinise and question the source of each and every one of these thoughts as you would the naysayer’s arguments against the existence of ‘God’ each time before countering them? Then, will you not eventually arrive at the same perennial question of what precedes the mind? Can we be utterly sincere with ourselves for sincerity’s sake (or rather, without it)?

I Behold Myself in the Mirror: A Calm Reference to Jiddu Krishnamurti

You have no name. I asked you what your name was and you told me that it didn’t matter. There’s nothing I can address you by – you have no name. How can this be? What is my relation to you then, if ‘you’ ceases to exist? Shall I then create a name for you, put it up on your forehead and call you that? Oh but that would be so misleadingly untrue for I very well know that that isn’t your name. You go by a very different one, albeit unspeakable. How can the ‘I’ come to fruition if the ‘you’ is not there to supply it with nutrients essential for its manifestation? Then there would be no way of referring to myself and that which stands before me. For, the thought and, therefore, utterance of ‘I’ or ‘you’ will only serve to create the image suspended in my mind. You are the mirror. The mirror without its frame and edges – without my even being able to call it a mirror – for the idea of ‘mirror’ was created in my mind. And any reference to it would simply and merely be a recollection of this idea. Any form of recollection is just data stored in the mind: it’s not what is actually standing before me. Every reference – every association made using my memory – blankets the thing or object that I readily observe with my mind. Like plasticine that moulds itself into almost any shape and form, so do thoughts replicate themselves in a similar manner. Therefore, my perception of this ‘mirror’ is the plasticine that was moulded by my mind. And, I can safely say that it is not a ‘mirror’ but what simply is. My mind’s thoughts can then be extracted from my mind and isolated in a vacuum, where they remain unperturbed until the mind decides to reclaim them by sticking labels on them. By labelling them, we have inadvertently created extensions of ourselves. Then, however these creations appear to us reflect upon our current state of mind – our existence in this current point in time. Mind and its thoughts are all that which we are. Then what isn’t? What is the unspeakable that is the form and substance of our minds and thoughts, the physical human body and its physiological responses, and leaves and their chlorophyll? Without any reference to their identities, what are they? In the entirety of their existence, what are they? And even as I’m asking these questions, I am inadvertently moulding new thoughts, which means that my existence is also being extended by them. My name is the mind and its thoughts. Anything that ‘I’ wants to be referred to as can be created – or nothing at all. I have no name.