Sunday, March 21, 2010

kabir rules big time

God, is perhaps the least understood and at the same time, the most exploited concept in recorded history. came across this beautiful verse which cuts through the confusion, and calls it for what it really is. n'joy

Moko kahan dhundhere bande
Mein toh tere paas mein
Na teerath mein, na moorat mein
Na ekant niwas mein
Na mandir mein, na masjid mein
Na kabe kailas mein
Mein toh tere paas mein bande
Mein toh tere paas mein
Na mein jap mein, na mein tap mein
Na mein barat upaas mein
Na mein kiriya karam mein rehta
Nahin jog sanyas mein
Nahin pran mein nahin pind mein
Na brahmand akas mein
Na mein prakuti prawar gufa mein
Nahin swasan ki swans mein
Khoji hoye turat mil jaoon
Ik pal ki talas mein
Kahet Kabir Suno Bhai Sadho
Mein Toh Hoon Viswas Mein


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sampling Theorem

so how often do you sample life?

apparently our whole waking lives can be split into two alternating states. one in which we are thinking about the world and doing stuff in it. habitual tasks (eating, commuting, etc.), vacations, sports, movie watching, working, the list is endless. second state is when we think about the self, am i happy? what am i doing here? why do i want, what i want? who am i?

first state is the waveform of life. every life on earth possesses it. a cell is dividing, a tree is growing new leaves, a sheep is eating them, a tiger is stalking its prey, a human is commuting. the level of sophistication may vary according to species but not the fact that they are living (or leaving :P) out their lives. 

the second state is when you sample this waveform. instead of going about living your life, you stop and look at yourself as an outsider. at the risk of sounding spiritual, i must say it is the state when you become 'self conscious'. it lasts a few fleeting moments before giving way to first state again. but it strikes hard and deep.

first state is nice and simple, but do i really need this confusing second state? i mean what can i possibly gain by asking 'who am i' or 'am i happy' to myself over and over again?

simply put, "i" wont exist without the second state. 'cogito ergo sum' really means that 'i think (about my own self) therefore i am' or 'i think (about thinking itself) therefore i am'. it is this second order thinking that makes consciousness and in turn, self consciousness, possible. a lioness is also thinking when she plans an attack. but she does not _know_ that, does she? she does not even know that she _exists_. it is our ability to turn the subject of our lives (ourselves) in an object of contemplation, that makes us exist.

point being?

the more you sample the better fidelity you get (we all remember Nyquist dont we?). so, to truly understand life (and not just live it out) you have to be in the second state as much and as often as possible.

philosophy is cheap, show me the money.

No. philosophy is cheap when it comes from a loser like me. what about when a Nobel Laureate talks about something similar? 

you dont think that is cheap, now do you? :P (actually its a good working approximation to first look at _who_ is talking rather than _what_ is being said. as long as we dont forget its just that, an approximation. but i digress.) 

the only way to reduce distortion between the experiencing self and the remembering self is to sample life as often as possible. the remembering self aggregates all the points that entered our consciousness. more data points will only make it more accurate.

and yes, about the money. you can save on that vacation you don't really want ;)

(video link via Anand)