When I was a child, I had a friend in the neighborhood. A smart (and slightly nerdy) kid, not unlike myself. We used to hang out, play badminton and do physics experiments. By the time we were teenagers, we kind of drifted apart, as our paths diverged. Mamaya sa, I went the IIT-USA, global-citizen-route and ended up in Singapore. He, of more modest ambitions, stayed back at home, and got a job roughly similar to what my father used to do. I kept hearing of him, although I never really ran into him. He got married, probably had a couple of kids, and everything must have been going smoothly, even a bit dully. But a couple of years ago he suddenly died of leukemia.
Another day, another American school shooting. The predictable aftermath will be “thoughts and prayers” (although people use different words now because of the current climate of skepticism), another pointless debate over gun laws, and a few “never agains” and “never forgets”. Instead of those exercises in futility, I thought I would write about some other curious aspects of America’s deadly romance with guns.
Buhay ay puno ng contradictions,,en,Dumadalo ako sa mga pananaliksik retreat sa alumana at mapagnilay-nilay kasanayan sa maganda,,en,Garrison Institute,,en,Ako pag-aaral ng maraming mga kagiliw-giliw na mga bagay-bagay,,en,at pulong ng isang pulutong ng mga,,en,tulad ng pag-iisip at mahusay na mga tao,,en,ang uri ng mga tao kung kanino ako maaaring magkaroon ng malalim na pag-uusap tungkol sa mga hindi tunay na likas na katangian ng katotohanan,,en,hindi tulad ng karamihan ng mga tao mula sa ibang mga kalagayan sa buhay ay magalang at mataktika patawarin ang kanilang sarili kapag ako makakuha ng isang bit unreal,,en.
I am attending a research retreat on mindfulness and contemplative practices at the beautiful Garrison Institute. I am learning a lot of interesting things, and meeting a lot of like-minded and excellent people – the kind of people with whom I could have deep conversation about the unreal nature of reality, unlike most people from other walks of life would politely and tactfully excuse themselves when I get a bit unreal.
At some point in our life, we come to accept the fact we are closer to death than life. What lies ahead is definitely less significant than what is left behind. These are the twilight years, and I have come to accept them. With darkness descending over the horizons, and the long shadows of misspent years and evaded human conditions slithering all around me, I peer into the void, into an eternity of silence and dreamlessness. Ito ay almost time.
Kabilang sa mga relihiyosong mga teksto ng Hinduismo, the Bhagavad Gita is the most revered one. Literal ihahandog bilang mga salita ng Diyos, the Bhagavad Gita enjoys a stature similar to the Bible or the Koran. Tulad ng lahat ng mga kasulatan, the Bhagavad Gita also can be read, hindi lamang bilang isang gawa ng debosyon, ngunit bilang isang philosophical diskurso pati. Ito ay nagtatanghal ng isang pilosopiko paninindigan sa pag-unawa sa mundo, na form (para sa mga mula sa Indya) ang pangunahing at pangunahing pagpapalagay sa pagharap sa buhay, at ang unknowable katotohanan sa kanilang paligid. Sa katunayan, ito ay higit pa sa mga pagpapalagay at hypotheses; ito ay ang batayan ng commonsense ipinasa pababa mula sa henerasyon sa henerasyon. Ito ay ang pundasyon ng pag-iisip, aling form ang katutubo at emosyonal na pag-unawa ng katotohanan na assimilated bago logic at hindi maaaring hinawakan o aralan na may pagkamaykatwiran. Sila ay ang mga mythos na tramp logo sa bawat oras.
I used to have a pretty sharp mind, particularly when it came to simple arithmetic. I think age has begun to dull it. Case in point: recently I had to check a friend’s pulse rate. So I felt his pulse for 15 seconds and got 17 beats. Sa puntong iyon, I wanted to call out the heart beats per minute. And at that point, my mind suddenly went blank. It started going through this chain, “Ok, I got 17 para sa 15 seconds. So what is it for a minute? It should be, what, 60 seconds over 15 beses 17. Hold it, where is my iPhone? I need a calculator. No wait, ito ay 17 for a quarter of a minute. Kaya 17 beses 4. Where is my calculator, dammit?!” Granted, it was a slightly stressful situation. But this is not at all the way my mind used to work.
I read on BBC yesterday that the richest 62 people in the world now earn as much as the poorest half, which would be about 3.5 billion people! Although there is some confusion about the methodology, it is clear that the wealth and income have been getting more and more polarized. The rich are certainly getting richer. Income inequality is more acute than ever.
I haven’t heard many concrete arguments against the conspiracy theories except those based on the belief that the government wouldn’t do it, and some emotional ones. The latter boils down to name-calling and accusing the conspiracy theorists of insensitivity, lack of compassion for the victims and their loved ones, lack of patriotism etc.
It has been a while since I posted a new article in this series on 9/11. Recent terror events have made it unpalatable to dwell on the 9/11 conspiracy theme. Nevertheless, one has stand up for what one believes to be true, even when the stance is unpopular. So I will press on with the series, and wrap it up with two more articles, despite the warning from a friend that I will never be able to visit the US again without risking a lengthy interview at the airport. Or worse. Gayunpaman, some truths have to be told, even when they are too true.
Akala ko ako ay tapos na sa seryeng ito paniniwala sa diyos. Gayunpaman, Ako ay nagmula sa talatang ito mula sa librong Wayne Dyers ni, Ang iyong sagradong buhay. Isang kaibigan ko kung ano ang sapped ito bilang isang uri ng babala sa mga sa atin na hindi naniniwala.