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Archive for July, 2009

My perfect holiday is when I can sit back with a book on an easy chair and not answer for my idleness to anyone. I do not mind what book I read really. Books are meant to do something to me and it is all that I expect in a holiday as well.  After having fortified myself with some solid breakfast a book stays with me for the day till sleep claims me. I casually dip into the page where I stopped last only to make a free fall. I have no intention of finishing the book on hand but let an accidental word or passage to trigger certain responses to set me free. By such manner one might take me for a traveler who has circumnavigated the globe many times over. I am a traveler non pareil who never got wet even when I went after Moby Dick. I have been with Crusoe and not a speck of sand got into my shoes by that experience; even as I followed him around on that desolate isle I was as affected as he. He may not have had me much as a company but I had him and it was great. Holiday is where you get your pleasure without others exacting theirs out of you. Books on that score alone top the list of essential items that make up my holiday travels.

Looking back I can quite recall my first holiday with my father. The school was closed for summer and three months I could claim as my due for having mastered multiplication tables. My slate and pencils were thrown into a heap along with books as of no use. No more I would need rap on my knuckles with a ruler from my master but let to be myself. It was something. How often can a child of 8 be told to act his age? I could have wished to go to the zoo or for a movie. No my father had decided sea air would do some good. How thrilling that notion was! A child of seven or eight is wet behind the ears so he wishes to see an animal that is something of a rarity. He wants to see something else because he is bored. His world is so small. But the suggestion coming from my father had something of a new world. An adventure! Only when we walked along the magical sea shore I knew I had come to an important point in my life. The sea would take me faraway places. On that moment something seemed to open my understanding. It was a liberating moment. The sea and I. I watched in fascination the waves riding towards me.  Bedazzled as though the wave that surrounded my ankles cast a spell. It will take me on a journey, after all.  I must have shivered at the thrill of it.  My father intuitively took hold of my hand. Clutching my hands harder he said, ” You have learned multiplication tables. Division isn’t a big deal.” It would have been so if he had not set about teaching me division. Then and there. Since then I decided the idea of holiday travels will have an altogether new definition for me.

Of course I used to think seeing places made the holiday travel worth the while. No more I subscribe to the Philistine notion that seeing places is essential for a man’s education. You go to Washington D.C, London, New Delhi or Amsterdam. I speak from experience. If you think you soak up culture by such a visit, perish the thought. Without any exception all that you see will be the same: McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Subway and so on. Holiday travels, when all said and done, help you renew yourself. Allow me to do it my way.

benny

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Sleep

As a child I thought sleep was glorious.  I still think so. One would think certain habits like hitting the sack at a regular time or waking up by break of dawn would pall with passage of time. No. Man goes to sleep like a beggar with his worn out nerves and thoughts soiled by activities of the day. Even a saint is somewhat dented by it. I go to bed poor but wake up rich, feeling a power that I never thought possible. Every time. Over a cup of coffee when I have the whole world all to myself I command it to silence. My power is such even a cock crowing from a barn nearby cannot annoy me. With all that power at my command what I do? Like a beggar I polish my ivories that are ready to drop off,  clear the nasal passages that are chokeful of phlegm and drag about  my bones almost breaking apart,-osteoporosis sounds solid uh?don’t you believe it!, and make water. Indignities heaped over me by day do not end there. I am an unmitigated fool to attend to great many silliness of not my making.  Come day my age shows its unseemly, sordid side. Only company of people, those who make much of me can make me survive till I once again go to bed. Asleep I do not need the world or its uses. Even the one who warms the cockles of my heart is left out. Sleep, it is too potent to be shared with anyone.

Sleep is where I come to my proper estate. The whole universe and even God, host of angels belong to me, me alone. With such company who can tell me I am a nobody?

benny

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“Organic food has no nutritional or health benefits over ordinary food, according to a major study published Wednesday.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said consumers were paying higher prices for organic food because of its perceived health benefits, creating a global organic market worth an estimated $48 billion in 2007.

A systematic review of 162 scientific papers published in the scientific literature over the last 50 years, however, found there was no significant difference.

“A small number of differences in nutrient content were found to exist between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs, but these are unlikely to be of any public health relevance,” said Alan Dangour, one of the report’s authors.” (Reuters-London)

I am quoting the latest news from Yahoo.News. Organic food is the latest mantra and there are so many takers for a healthier style of living. Naturally so. When big money dictate the kind of food we should eat and start strong arm tactics to make us fall in there ought to be some protest. It must also succeed. Afterall big Czars of Belly like Monsantos would want to see more greenbacks for every cent they invest we only want to see some green like peas or spinach. Between this unequal struggle which has been fought so many times through ages a third front shall always close ranks. This group has not money power but knowledge. It also acquires  voice echoing from many thinkers who have  ever been dissidents. The school of thought who rephrase such savants have in the past showed skepticism. Take the split between the Church and Paganism. The third front is rational belief. Science naturally takes to it.  When one group was for blindly believing in spirits of the woods,rivers, air and so on the Church was for transubstantiation and similar concepts.  Whereas the Church having grown in power (of unshakable supremacy) could burn the other as witches  we have to see the age of Enlightment as historical necessity.

It is in these fight between two ideas Science has come to play a role.

Science of alchemy over ages has given to a more sober approach to inquire into nature of things. These were quite men some living in their ivory towers never wanting to draw attention to themselves. But now even scientists are ever in a hurry to shock the world with some dramatic news. So many dodgy scientific papers where data are lifted from the inquiry into anthrax to fit on papers dealing with anthracite, have become the norm. I am sure benefits of organic food as touted by such charlatans take a life of its own.  One lie told in innocence and believed unchecked shall snowball into a avalanche. The public fads are myths and often have looks of intelligence. A scientific temper cannot be acquired unless one is prepared to pay in patience and make sacrifices.  Modern education, alas, produces clever men but not wise ones. (note: Recently we read about Science debunking the myths surrounding full moon. There was also another interesting news. Some witch doctors in an African country were found guilty of killing albinos for their supposedly curative powers. b.revised: Sept.2009)

Our societies often work on premises untested. What is the happiness factor? Material riches? In a consumer society what constitutes happiness? There are those who think a family that has money to burn is a happy family. My friend who is in the USA is affluent and yet he told me a couple of years ago with a touch of envy about his neighbor. He said his wife also shared his envy. My friend cited her words and sighed, ‘Why Ben, she can have beauty treatment every month and stop from ageing. Before her breasts could sag she had a breast implant for instance. It must be wonderful in these cash strapped times.”  When I sounded skeptical he said, “She can have her own oil reserves right at home.” Yes oil per barrel was near $100. I could see his line of thinking. Of course he had got facts mixed up.

benny

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“I can think for myself the big issues but you gotta solve small issues for me, like where my next meal is coming from.”

Mahatma Kane Jeeves II

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Religion is for man. Quality of religion is such an abstract quantity that makes no sense unless it is shown in practice.

Religion requires a base from which anyone may show off the merit of belief-systems that he subscribes to. Man is one such. He or she may demonstrate its color and other qualities. It is said of Cicero that even as a child his fame was such parents of his schoolmates came to see for themselves the pupil who carried such an excellent  report. Religion is now debased that each one chatters the quality of his or her religion and we see no one ever showing the proof in their lives. Megachurches hold thousands of listeners where the preacher gives his performances. One would think he has some serious personality problems that he requires so many lights on him and he needs to show his best side, in terms of his looks and morals, in order to keep the crowd’s attention. Take any religion and you see those who preach too loud so often are farther from demonstrating the merits. Speaking doesn’t mean proof. Love thy neighbor as thyself. One may speak of it every hour and it doesn’t demonstrate one is proving love that he so vigorously declaims. Praying five times a day  for this reason means nothing.

Idiots are everywhere in churches or in mosques and they are degenerate idiots who preach in order not to fulfill the very demands of their religion.

2.

Man as a social animal needs to belong and he often continues the traditions of his parents without questioning whether the merits of their belief were proved in their own lives. Churches over the years have been getting leaner. Is it because people have found religion had not filled their pockets with cash or larders with goods? No. Those who were placed in positions of trust to lead the children of men into ways of righteousness have misled their flock. Out of their own personal ambitions or out of their stupidity. He who preaches his infallibility and also hides evil priests is a Satan’s disciple.  Protestant and Catholic churches are not freed from this. How can such evil men lead the men to better themselves? Or Mullahs who preach hate and use children in the name of Jihad to pull chestnuts from fire for their own ends? Christianity and Islam alike have failed in their practice.  Take religions from all over the world. Do they make the Earth a better place?

It is not the fault of religion which are ideas but men who have lapsed in their thinking. They have fouled up the earth with their stupidity. No more proof is needed as to this than seeing the environment pollution around us. Recently an astronaut seemed to have observed the Earth has changed for the worse. In Hebraic tradition of Creation God gave Adam domination over the Earth and the Rule is still valid. Aren’t we all guilty of flouting it? Christianity has always given an undue emphasis to man, his soul and his obedience to body of men whose merits for commanding such honor have not been always proved beyond doubt. Think of all the witch hunts throughout history. How the Church has treated women for witches? Their sins? They loved the earth and worshiped the spirits they didn’t understand. We say we understand our spirits and yet we do not follow them. What difference is then between organized religion and paganism? Will slaughtering suspected members of the cults help? If pagans let nature cure their ills the Churches relied on their own cure miracles and their members, the so called  physicians try their cure.  In a way it has been detrimental in developing a respect for environment.

Now the Earth cults are gaining ground but how much responsible are they? Many of them may have genuine desire to live close to the nature but do they have a cohesive and positive plan based on universally acknowledged facts to reclaim the Earth from deteriorating  any further? I do not see any such body that holds the credentials. There are many cult groups each flexing his  muscles in his own fashion. Private revelations and gifts are not the answer but a clear scientific temper that can enthuse all men to respect his own hearth and backyard; who dares to claim his or her moral soundness for the good of all. Neither Pope nor a shaman has it in himself to speak of religion without his credentials of humanness. Science speaks for discipline and education.  If these cannot make a man to think for himself what is the purpose of science?

Religion is for man. Is man for such religions that are short of proving with deeds?

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Overheard: Thank God! I am an atheist!

An atheist is a silly man who denies God but cannot understand how close to Him he is nevertheless. It is to be proved with his life and from his context with all things living.  If his humanness cannot make him rise above some contrary beliefs or atheism he is foolish indeed. Merely mouthing the tag of his non-belief proves his foolishness.  Religion and lack of it should not hold unearned influences. Neither should Science.

benny

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“Life is like a Ponzi scheme…” I will let Bernie Madoff complete the sentence.

Mahatma Kane Jeeves II

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A Quote

Marriages are made in heaven but those who pull the strings behind, over the time, seem to lose track of reality.

benny

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