Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Elephants-Nagawagga-Thoughts


320. As an elephant in the battlefield withstands arrows shot from bows all around, even so shall I endure abuse. 

There are many, indeed, who lack virtue.

321. A tamed elephant is led into a crowd, and the king mounts a tamed elephant. 
Best among men is the subdued one who endures abuse.

322. Excellent are well-trained mules, thoroughbred Sindhu horses and noble tusker elephants. 
But better still is the man who has subdued himself.

323. Not by these mounts, however, would one go to the Untrodden Land (Nibbana), as one who is self-tamed goes by his own tamed and well-controlled mind.

324. Musty during rut, the tusker named Dhanapalaka is uncontrollable. Held in captivity, the tusker does not touch a morsel, but only longingly calls to mind the elephant forest.

325. When a man is sluggish and gluttonous, sleeping and rolling around in bed like a fat domestic pig, that sluggard undergoes rebirth again and again.

326. Formerly this mind wandered about as it liked, where it wished and according to its pleasure, but now I shall thoroughly master it with wisdom as a mahout controls with his ankus an elephant in rut.

327. Delight in heedfulness! Guard well your thoughts! Draw yourself out of this bog of evil, 
even as an elephant draws himself out of the mud.

328. If for company you find a wise and prudent friend who leads a good life, you should, overcoming all impediments, keep his company joyously and mindfully.

329. If for company you cannot find a wise and prudent friend who leads a good life, then, like a king who leaves behind a conquered kingdom, 
or like a lone elephant in the elephant forest, 
you should go your way alone.

330. 
Better it is to live alone; 
there is no fellowship with a fool. 
Live alone and do no evil; 
Be carefree like an elephant in the elephant forest.

331. Good are friends when need arises; good is contentment with just what one has; good is merit when life is at an end, and good is the abandoning of all suffering (through Arahantship).

332. In this world, good it is to serve one's mother, good it is to serve one's father, good it is to serve the monks, and good it is to serve the holy men.

333. Good is virtue until life's end, good is faith that is steadfast, good is the acquisition of wisdom, and good is the avoidance of evil.

Dhanapala, The Elephant


Buddhist Monks who own elephants shoulld read this verse from Dhammapada
Verse 324: 

Conversion

Conversion
Lack of imagination and insight leads to a state of mind called conversion. It is a fix or rigid state of mind filled with prejudices, be that it may, religion, nationality, race, caste, creed or any other cultural dogma.
I believe this is where the cultural instinct get ingrained.
If a particular population is isolated and not exposed to the rest of the world civilizations, and when there are many such isolations, it is easy for many dogmas to spin off independent of the others.
Man’s irresistible urge of migration has brought these dogmas face to face with conflicts. As a result of these conflicts some dogmas disappear and some get established.
This is probably residing in our genome.
Religion is one exit point.
The black and white race is another universal dogma.
Race is another.
All are end points of conversion strategy of mankind.
Any other dogma falls within this frame work.
The existence of god and a creation of an almighty wisdom are byproducts.
Once inside this dogma, science takes a back seat.
Albert Einstein put this succinctly.
Science without religion is lame and religion without science is blind.

Imagination

Imagination
Children are born with imagination to make up for their lack of conceptualization of a given situation. Once one becomes an adult and able to conceptualize a given problem (at his or her level of competence), unfortunately, one loses this ability to think imaginatively.
The man’s creativity lies in this faculty of imagination.
The religion uses this transition period (lack of creative thinking ability) to insinuate bizarre concepts.
The god created this world is one such imaginary concepts. I do not blame anyone for looking up, at the sky, for an imaginary god and then find stars as gods.
The concept of god is an example of human capacity for imagination. There is is nothing wrong in it but this imaginary world is put as a dogma, the problems start to crop up. More and more dogmas are put in this realm, often without insight.
The scientific reasoning is muted from the  very beginning.
It becomes a dogma when enough followers take up the same conviction. 

It leads to a belief system and there is no end to its influence and expansion, very often not tested for credibility.
Unfortunately, “Big Bang Theory” of creation of the universe has fallen into this trap. We have not put an alternative theory to counteract it. This has made the science to ignore the Dark Matter and its hidden physics.
In material world one can use imagination to create an end product and one can test it for its suitability (fit for purpose).
But in the immaterial world or paranormal psychology there is no way of testing the empirical (verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic) experience.
It is an individual experience, not verifiable by a third party.
One avenue to verify, if something is imagined or real is insight into the given predicament. It has to be done by the individual who has imagined it in the first place (with average intelligence).
What the individuals with higher intelligence should do is to help them into insightful thinking. What has happened in history is the exact the opposite.
We have more people with average intelligence and only a minority with superior intelligence. The intelligent lot knows the predicament of the less intellectual soul and coerced them into either realm of fear or dogma.
The end point of imagination is the creation of a dogma.
That is something worthwhile avoiding.
Keeping an open mind is the exit strategy.

Insight

Insight
The meaning of insight in medical terms is  powerful.
In psychiatric terminology one who has lost insight to his or her predicament is actually has a major psychiatric disorder.
It is the marker of insanity.
Most of the other disorders with insight into the plight of an individual in a given stressful situation are minor psychiatric disorders.
In depressive illnesses, one who has lost insight to the given predicament is said to have Endogenous Depression.
One who has insight into the predicament is called Reactive Depression.
Insight into a scientific problem is what propels the science forward.
What it means is given a certain scientific problem, one has to delve into its core and bring out a meaningful explanation for the occurrence of a particular phenomenon.
Often there are no measurements or data.
A hypothesis is developed to explain the phenomenon and thereafter it is tested for its validity.
Insight by its nature predates the hypothesis.
 

Insight can be of used outside the scientific arena and may herald clever resolution of complicated conflicts, especially political. We could say Nelson Mandela’s approach to apartheid showed his mature political insight.