Prof Sen walked from the elevators towards his office and asked if we were there to meet him. (There was a student sitting on the same bench too) I got up and said yes, thinking he might ask one of us to come in with him. He said “Sorry I’m late. I have to take a call, could you come in 2-3 minutes after I go in?” So I waited 4 minutes to be polite and went to the door.
It emphasises the need to protect the experience of childhood from adult stresses and pace of life, form rhythms in the daily routine, limit the adult information they have access to which may worry them, slow down to their pace of life, expand their physical space by uncluttering their room/corner, increase their sense of time by allowing them to do nothing, and increase the sense of relationship with the people around them who they can rely on.
The only light after sunset from the full moon and the well placed candles. Picture perfect. The garden was also well laid out and colourful flowers had bloomed. It had been pouring all morning but just at the time of the party it cleared up.
Gottingen itself was also quite pretty but I’m sure my impression was strongly influenced by the fact that I saw it on two lovely spring days with the sun shining bright and florescent green leaves peeping out of the distrustful trees.
Love and relationships themselves take so much effort. They are so emotionally risky, divorce rates are climbing and extramarital affairs are so commonplace that people talk about them almost casually. So why do people get excited about falling in love? Why do they still try to get married? What keeps them so optimistic and happy? Why don’t they feel an immediate dread when they feel like their connection with someone is deepening into more than friendship? Why doesn’t it scare them off?
I believe the time has come when, just as children of the Occident grow out of Santa Clause, we as humanity need to grow out of the delusion of an external god.
If god is everything, there is no need for a god at all; merely the understanding of the interconnected nature of existence itself, and the laws of physics, discovered and undiscovered, that govern it. At this early point in our spiritual evolution we, as a species, may seek more growth at the material level in the form of accumulation of monetary assets and comforts, but I would dare to hope that at some point, more of us would look to less limited realms; towards our highest mental, emotional, physical and spiritual potentials.
When I expressed my moderate and tolerant views to him and asked why not respect everyone’s faith and let them believe whatever they want, he opened the books one by one and showed me sections in which there is use of extreme violence towards children, unfair treatment of women and the brutality with which they dealt with non-believing communities in the name of god. This violence was justified and considered right in the religion. I was so utterly disappointed in these ‘holy’ books. I was so disillusioned and emotionally affected by these sections…
Of equilibrium and harmony between the mind and the body. Of the layers of existence beyond the material level and how some advanced exercises lead to more optimal use of the brain and body. I have come across several papers since I started my career in neuroscience where meditation has been used to reduce chronic pain, depression and other ailments.
I felt drawn to Hindu mythology and symbolism like never before. I also understood that most Hindus don’t know of these wonderfully stimulating ideas because it is never taught or they are satisfied with the ritualism of it. In fact, degrees in philosophy even in India focus on Western philosophy. I also found that there are very few Hindus who study their own religion from an outside, academic perspective.
It sounded to me like the Christian god was playing around. Creating a species in his image, making it impossible for them to be perfect with so many rules, making them flawed by birth and nature, sending his son, who was himself, to be tortured and killed as an act of kindness to his flawed species, and making it so that the only way to gain his favour again was to believe in this sacrifice and praise him constantly. If he wanted to be kind to humanity and forgive us for our sins, surely as an omnipotent being he could do it directly? Why put Jesus through such violence?