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This piece is meant for all conscientious humans, except for those who call themselves fundamentalists. No scientist in the world has the capacity to turn a fundamentalist into a conscientious human, because they possess the worst form of broken minds. And we scientists do have the power to fix a little bit of brokenness of the mind, but not the brokenness of the fundamentalist. We do though have the ability to play God and make that brokenness go worse, and make that fundamentalism ineffective, without killing the host, but that would also mean killing the soul of an individual, which if we commit, would make us the same kind of sectarian barbarians as the fundamentalists and their loyal slaves – the holy warriors.
The point is, even if a handful of scientists come together, we would easily outsmart and eliminate the so-called terrorism from the face of earth. But the scientific community has lost its original sense of responsibility. Innovators with resources and smartness, are more busy with pompous dreams of colonizing mars, while their own kind suffers on earth. If we really wanted, we could end terrorism once and forever, right at this very moment, but in reality, no one really cares – they only pretend to care! Those who have the sense of responsibility, do not have the resources, and the ones who have the resources are chasing their self-centered dreams. Seeing all this, what appears to me is the irony of being the smartest species on earth. We may be the smartest species on earth, which we undoubtedly are, yet at the same time, possessing all that smartness, we are also the most irresponsible species on earth, desperately chasing after instant gratifications. We are always running, from one gratification to another, never to really fathom the true beauty, value and gravitas of human existence.
And as for scientists, who are somewhat interested in religious issues harming the world, they are more obsessed with criticizing religion as a whole, than to go deeper into those issues and construct a solution. They are just plain old intellectuals discussing plans in a room, and going to the grave with those plans with them, with almost no practical impact upon the society. Religions, i.e. organized religions do indeed inflict harm to the world, not because fundamentalists bring out the worst of religion, rather because we the conscientious humans on the other side, don’t do anything of real significance above and beyond the petty old acts of criticisms. Criticisms are pure wastage of time and resources. Actions bring change, that change could be either good or bad. The holy warriors act on their dogmas, hence they are effective in bringing destruction upon the world – that destruction is nevertheless a substantial change, however, negative that may be. If only we the genuine humans had the real guts, and sense of real responsibility to act as the holy warriors on our own beliefs and ideals, then you wouldn’t see any trace of terrorism in the world whatsoever, religious or otherwise. The so-called holy warriors are driven by a cause, no matter how disgustingly barbarian that cause be. If only we the conscientious humans were as driven as them, by our urge for real peace and real harmony, then we could, for real, not in theory, live in a world of pure compassion and hatelessness.
Now here is the real question, that matters. Are you driven? You, the person in front of the screen. Are you driven enough to do something really original, really novel, and not just walk on the paths paved by your ancestors who were as narrow-minded and conditioned as you are. Can you break free from that condition? Or rather you should ask – why haven’t you broken free from those conditions? What prevents you to do so? Why do man-made labels matter and not human life? Why is it that, labels have gained more importance than the core values of a human being?
As a child, I truly believed that there was some blue alien-like god named vishnu looking after humanity, and when the time comes, another angry god, named shiva, would destroy everything, and then the god of creation with four heads, named brahma would create the world all over again. That’s what my environment conditioned me to believe. It wanted me to conform to its delusional thoughts and beliefs. But as I grew up, I discovered something rather remarkable. It was that, all those stories were mere means for an uncivilized and ignorant people to be content with their lack of real understanding of the world. These stories are mere delusions imposed upon the mind to stay cooped up in a ship-shape structure of illusive security. The whole world is filled with such stories. And once you conform to these stories, you start to live second-hands lives like your ancestors did, and my ancestors did. Fortunately, some are crazy and driven enough to tear apart all that conformity, and begin to live as original humans. Are you an original human? I am not judging you, neither should you. Simply ask without any prejudice.
To be an original human, you must die to all labels. This death brings the real vitality in life. Now one may ask, how can one achieve it? And there is the problem of the so-called modern humans. They all want somebody to tell them, how to achieve something. Here is a fact, calculus can be taught, quantum physics can be taught, molecular biology can be taught, but not freedom of mind. And why do you need a path in the first place? If there is a bottle labeled poison, on the shelf, you don’t just bring it down and drink the poison to know whether it will kill you. Likewise, once you really see the poisonous implications of the socio-culturally passed on labels, you simply tear them apart – throw them away as far as possible. Does one need to deceive oneself, to understand self-deception! If not, then why do you deceive yourself, by conforming to the social labels, be it a religious label, a non-religious label, a nationalist label, an intellectual label, or a gender label. You are a human – that’s it. And once you recognize the simple fact that labels only destroy the world and disrupt peace, you simply are no longer bothered with those labels and terms. And that’s the time that you are really born as an original human. An original human would never consciously hurt or kill another person, in the name of any book, institution, messiah or god. And this original living is real religion – it is not instructed by any book, by any institution, by any priest, prophet or messiah.
Why should any book have any authority over human life? Books are supposed to give a helping hand to humanity’s progress, not to instruct humanity how to progress. Plato wrote his books to help humanity understand knowledge and wisdom. Tolstoy wrote his books to help humanity understand morality. Einstein wrote his papers to help humanity understand the universe. Darwin wrote his books to help humanity understand the biological history of lifeforms. I write my books to unify humanity beyond all labels. But the point is, none of us ever said that our works are the ultimate measure for humanity to behave properly. None of us ever said that our books are the authority of human life and that only through us humanity can find salvation. Your life is a vehicle that is driven by you, and books can be the helper in the journey, but never the driver themselves. And the moment you let books to drive your existence, you inadvertently set yourself out on a course for imminent collision with other creatures whose lives are driven by their own books.
I must make it clear, I am not a teacher or a preacher or a messiah. I cannot teach you anything, for I know nothing. I have nothing to preach you either. I have only this one ultimate sense of responsibility to make you think, seeing all the disastrous incidents that are taking place in this world. Even before I was a scientist, I could not sit still and accept things as they were, so I thought being a monk would somehow solve the situation, since most prophets walked that path. Then as a monk, I experienced what the prophets experienced – I met God, I became one with God, I became God. But that’s the time when I really began to question the authenticity of such experience, and the significance of it in elevating conflicts and misery from this earth – an experience which apparently has been hailed throughout the world as the ultimate state of spiritual enlightenment. As I have stated in my book “The Film Testament”
“After I attained the Absolute Divine state of Unification with the Universe, I realized that the purpose of life is not renunciation of anything, but the realization of the purpose itself.”
These are all experiences that can happen to anyone, given either enough perseverance or enough hallucinogenics. But this experience does not in any world make a person an authority of humankind. Attaining god or nirvana or the so-called ultimate truth has nothing to do with everyday, ordinary, worldly problems. These worldly problems are to be solved by every single human being. These problems can only be really solved when you have freedom in your mind – freedom from all labels. And, you do not need to follow me or any other, in order to understand freedom or make it manifest yourself, because freedom does not come through me, or any other thinker, teacher or messiah. A human mind is born free, it is only the society that ties it up with the chains of bigotry, prejudices, biases and self-centrism.
Why do we need to hate anyone on earth, for whatever reason. What makes others lesser human than us! Nothing. To quote from my treatise on parenting
“No other being is lesser human than the one who thinks of others as such.”
So, if one thinks of others as lesser human, because one’s own so-called holy book says so, then that one is the real lesser human. And unfortunately this whole world is filled with these lesser humans. So, one wonders, how could we ever change this disastrous situation?
It begins with you, because from you a new generation of humans is to be born.You the human – the one being courageous enough to ask questions and not give in to conformities. If only you become free, then you, my dear sister or brother, will give a truly liberated family environment to your child, and that child will give the same free environment to his or her child – and it will go on, and eventually make the world filled with enough conscientious free original human souls to outweigh all the negativity of the remaining tiny portion of second-hand humans – the real lesser humans. Raise your kids and grand-kids not as strong men or strong women, not as good Christians, Jews, or Muslims, not as responsible Americans, Europeans or anything else, not as efficient professionals or smart academics, but as strong, good, responsible, efficient and wise human beings.
“Humans are not evil – humans are not good – humans are just humans – a unique combination of both good and bad.” – What is Mind
In this talk, Abhijit Naskar discusses the age-old question – what is the nature of man? He starts off with the correction of the very term “man” referring to humanity.
What is Mind?, 2016
I want you to do something today. I want you to get rid of all the things that you have heard about meditation so far – everything – all those things about focus, attention, sitting upright, closing your eyes, focusing on breathing, sound, this and that – everything – even the things that you have heard from me. Let’s try it shall we! Let’s start afresh. Let’s take a fresh look at meditation. What is Meditation? Forget everything you know about meditation and simply think. Meditation simply means – thinking over – to think over something – to put your whole attention on something without pressure – anything. That is the simplest explanation for meditation. Meditation is simply thinking over.
Today meditation has become a kind of hectic practice where you sit upright and do a lot of breathing exercises, this and that – and they call it Raja Yoga, Vipassana or something else. They need to call it that way, because this way they can keep it mystical. And the more they can keep it mystical, the more they can gain from it. Simplifying it doesn’t make the whole business of yoga, meditation and all that, profitable, does it!
So let’s simplify it, shall we! Meditation has been proposed as a means to psychological well being – and that means usually comes along with specific methodologies. The Buddhists have their Vipassana technique – the Hindus have their Kundalini nonsense. I am calling it nonsense because of all the mysticism it brings along. The mystical advocates of all that kundalini stuff, truly believe that there are actual energy centers throughout the human spine, and by unlocking them one could attain glorious spiritual potential. The Hindus also call this method of unlocking the kundalini centers of chakras, Raja Yoga, as if its something supreme, and not an ordinary mental state to be attained by an ordinary human. So, when the very practice of Raja Yoga proposes the notion, that it is something not ordinary, and basically unattainable without a teacher – that it is something higher than normal human practice, you naturally feel like you are supposed to go to an expert. This makes it profitable. Hence rises countless spiritual institutions upon the edifice of the primitive elements of human mysticism.
Now let’s throw all that mysticism away and look without judgement and preconceived mystical illusions of intellect. Meditation simply means focusing on something, thinking over something. Now the question is, do we need to sit upright and practise meditation the conventional way – closing our eyes, focusing on breathing or chanting or say Aum and going through a million other rituals! Is it necessary? Well, if it suits your taste then of course it’s okay – nobody is condemning it. It will bring you obvious health benefits, surely. But it’s only the way of the novice, also the most robotic way. Meditation means thinking over. But think over what? Do you have something to think over – something that you’d just think over, simply to take the pleasure from it – to simply be yourself in it – anything – a practice, a habit, a hobby, an idea, anything – something you can think over without any pressure of technicality, ritual or norms – that you can pay your whole attention to, simply because you love it, not because some great so-called guru tells you to practise it or some great scientist tells you to practise it! Do you have something like that – do you – anything – painting, writing, going out for a walk of contemplation, filmmaking, photography – any human activity that you can engage yourself in, without all the pressure that comes along with the very term “method”!
When you love doing something, there is no method, there is no risk, there is no fear, there is no insecurity of failure, there is just doing it. You just love it and do it. Often we also use the term “passion”, but I think, the word “passion” is a petty human attempt to justify the activity in front of the society. Why do you need to justify it! You simply love it and you do it. When you love it and do it, you are basically meditating upon it. And when the humans have something they love to do, and they do it, which means meditate upon it, they give a certain amount of time from their daily schedule to that activity, not out of pressure, not out of the insecurity of psychological obscurity, not out of a revolting attitude against the social norms, but simply to be themselves in that activity. When you do that on a daily basis, or find time to do that every now and then, every week, you are basically engaging your brain almost in the same manner as anybody else does in practising the conventional way of meditation – sitting upright, closing their eyes and focusing within. The brain functionings in both cases are basically similar – and they bring the same kind of inner emotional stability, same kind of inner content more importantly – basically the same kind of internal well being, which is sustained in the long run, if you can simply do what you love to do on a regular basis. This way your brain goes through a kind of unique refreshment – that basically is the product of meditation – the simplest meditation – meditation upon the activity that allows you to be you.
Meditation is a method-less act – an act of contemplation – an act of being. And this contemplation or this being is not a buddhist thing, a hindu thing or a jewish thing – it is simply a human thing. No pranayama, vipassana or kabala has any kind of exclusive authority over meditation whatsoever. All these ways are merely the means of the novice to begin the journey. But the means is not the real act itself. Seeing the method of meditation as meditation itself, is like confusing the menu for the meal. The real journey takes place when there is no means whatsoever – when the self does not need to make efforts to be the self – that’s real meditation – the meditation where you simply are who you are and do not seek methods to attain a superficial state of mind.
If you find something you love and make that your profession, then you’ll never need to practise the conventional meditation in your life, in order to be psychologically well, because your very profession would be the best meditation for you. If you don’t exactly have that dream profession, then simply taking time out from your daily schedule to do what you love to do, would still be a better meditation for you than the conventional one. And if none of these is an option for you, then you can resort to the conventional form of methodical meditation. The final call on this matter, would be made by nobody else but you. But bear in mind, kids meditate on things, the adults meditate on the self. Meditation on the self is the highest form of true method-less meditation, for it brings self-awareness – which is beyond the everyday joy and sorrow. True meditation does not put you in control of your sorrow, rather it takes your mind beyond that very sorrow, as well as joy, into the kingdom of contentment – a kingdom without ideology – without cognitive extremes, such as radical rationalism, radical romanticism or radical emotionalism. In that kingdom, you simply are a human, with no name, no nationality, no tradition, no culture, no religion, no gender and no social image – simply a human.
(Simultaneously published on Goodreads.)
You don’t really get to the truth, you walk on it everyday.
A new talk discussing the nature of the so-called truth.
What is Mind?, 2016
“For self-educated scientists and thinkers such as Charles Darwin, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Leonardo-da-Vinci, Michael Faraday, myself and many others, education is a relentless voyage of discovery. To us education is an everlasting quest for knowledge and wisdom.” – The Education Decree
In this talk, Abhijit Naskar discusses the nature of what you call Education, in context of modern human society.
The Education Decree, 2017
Motion Picture – it can be a great tool to inspire and shape the thinking of the masses, yet the harsh reality of the so-called modern society is that, most of the films that are made today have not the slightest bit of nutritious food for the mind, rather it is all a cocktail of various cheap stimuli. They can, if they want, make movies of great taste, capable of getting inside the head, or rather the heart of the people, and make them feel sentiments of utter significance both in the paths of individual and social progress, yet they choose not to. And their excuse for not making such movies is that, they do not sell – their excuse is that, people won’t go to the theaters to watch an inspirational and thought-provoking movie – their excuse is that, people want entertainment, not philosophy!
However, regardless of such petty notion about film-making, there are some true filmmakers, who give their heart and soul to make movies that are most incredible in their ability to touch the heart as well as the brains of the masses. A Film has the potential to kindle such a spark of inspiration in an individual that it can alter the course of human progress. Today the thinker whom you know as Naskar, had his inspiration from not only the world of science and philosophy, but also from the world of motion-picture. Back in the years, when I was in the pursuit of recognizing my real self, movies did not only fuel that pursuit to some extent, but also, they taught me to speak languages other than my mother-tongue Bengali, such as English, Telugu and others.
The reality is, films that are made solely to sell, instead of touching the conscience of the masses, feed on the ignorance and confusions of the people, on the other hand, films that are created to both inspire and entertain at a deeper level, are more likely to have fewer audience. But remember this, my dear film-maker, the few viewers that your film receives because of being more inspiring and less entertaining, have the potential to shape their society in the line of the idea conveyed by you. Now you choose, my dear friend, what kind of society you wish to have – a society full of dumb manikins who love nothing more than pure, pedestrian entertainment, or a society where the very term entertainment is defined by the message conveyed by your film. A film with no message, is a film of no value in the society of civilized humans. You can tell the level of intellect and advancement of a nation, by the kind of movies its citizens watch.
A society does not stay dumb because of its dumb co-called political leaders, but because of those large number of creative individuals with great public outreach, such as film-makers, actors, music composers, singers, and others, who are more interested in increasing their fan-following than shaping the mind of their preexisting followers with their work towards a progressive future. There is a difference between healthy entertainment and cheap, pedestrian entertainment. And unfortunately, most of today’s film-makers are inclined towards the later instead of the former, especially in the developing countries. In fact, to these directors, the only entertainment that there is, is the pedestrian entertainment – and as for the healthy entertainment, it is apparently a myth that is less likely to receive a broader audience.
So, now let’s try to understand, what the heck is healthy entertainment! Healthy entertainment is a beautiful blend of stimuli that can connect with the viewer at a sentimental level, then sow the seeds of a certain idea or feed the mind with inspiration and courage. In short, healthy entertainment does not evoke raw emotions in the mind of a viewer only to make them wreak havoc, rather it guides those emotions in a healthy direction. This leads to not only an entertained viewer, but also an inspired soul. And that should be the purpose of film-making, and indeed the entire entertainment industry, rather than feeding the general population with garbage. Remember – Entertain, but also, give the viewer something to think about. Without an underlying message to think about, there is no difference between going to the movie-theater and going to the bar.
(Simultaneously Published on Goodreads.)
What is Education? Can you think of an accurate answer to this question? Does the modern civilized society have any idea on the true meaning of the term? Has the society ever been able to understand the true psychological underpinnings of education? Or has it only constructed a sophisticated and hectic structure and stuck the label “education” on it just to gain authentication?
Education means nourishing the mind and make it develop in order to see beyond the limitations of current social perception. It means breaking the barriers of the rugged sociological system that impede in the progress of human civilization. It means trying new things out for the first time in human history and succeeding in a few while failing in some. That’s how a species grows and becomes more and more advanced.
Yet, somehow the craving for security has conditioned the society to perceive education not as an endeavor of the mind, rather as a preprogrammed task created by some sophisticated, illusory structure known as the “system of education”. Education means breaking free from the manacles of limitations put forward by primitive ignorance. Yet today’s fake education is gloriously founded upon the primordial element of “limitation”. And the authorities of this so-called education often take pride it in their ship shape structure where they manufacture dumb manikins.
As I have said in my book “The Education Decree”
“Psychologically speaking, a system is indeed necessary, for any kind of human endeavor. However, the moment the mind becomes dependent on the system and starts trusting the system more than internal faculties of the mind, the very element of education fades away from the system. And that’s exactly what has become of the modern system of education. There is a system alright, but the actual element of education has long gone.
A carefully constructed structure of education is supposed to smoothen the pursuit of knowledge, instead of restricting the flow of knowledge. The ultimate goal of humanity is knowledge, yet modern society has made knowledge secondary and the pompous pride of the system primary. The flow of knowledge towards the mind should be moderated by the faculties of the mind itself, based on the acceptability of nothing but the mind.
Mind is the Alpha – Mind is the Omega. There is nothing else in the pursuit of knowledge. And more importantly, there is nothing else in education. All systems of the society are meant to serve the mind, not the mind to serve the systems.”
Today’s system of education in most countries is based on rigorous indoctrination. This is what I call “Educational Fundamentalism”, which is quite similar to religious fundamentalism. The only difference between these two types of fundamentalism is that the later torments the entire human society, while the former tyrannizes the flourishing and vulnerable minds of the young society. Quite like religious fundamentalism, educational fundamentalism is based upon bookish creeds created by the self-proclaimed authority figures of the system. And this very fundamentalism is the cause of all the growing conflicts between the student-body of the education society and the teachers running that society. And these conflicts further become tools of exploitation in the hands of a handful of war-mongering, authoritarian, blood- sucking, politicians.
In short, today’s modern human society, perceives educational fundamentalism as true education, while the reality is, it is totally opposite of education. Real education opens up the mind to the vast world of possibilities and potentials. It enables the mind to come up with its own unique answers to questions that have been never answered before. Real education creates a complex mesh of neural network in the brain, solely concerned with delicate processing of knowledge, that allows the being known as human, to see something that nobody else can.
A properly constructed system can aid in this process of the growth of mind and smoothen the course of learning. However, the reality is something quite pathetic and of utter concern for us scientists and other thinkers in the field of philosophy. We are concerned because, the modern pedagogy of the system in most countries does not allow the flourishing minds of the young generation to grow at its natural pace, rather it overloads their brain with preprogrammed stream of life-less information and expects them to regurgitate that information in an exact order. Those who succeed in standing up to that ruthless expectation earns the ticket to the next level of the system and eventually they emerge as heartless robots. And those who don’t are quite cold- bloodedly labeled as “failed” and are expected to go through the whole process of regurgitation year after year, until they either succeed or meet their doom.
This is not Education. It is a process of manufacturing computation devices that look like Homo sapiens, and thereby falsely and quite mistakenly labeled as “Education”. This “False Education” or “Educational Fundamentalism” is dangerous for the society, and moreover it is a threat to the entire species, because it takes away the basic cognitive capacities of the mind, which are quintessential for the advancement of the species.
The need of a safe and stable structure is ingrained in the mind as a primitive psychological characteristic. It is a basic instinctual necessity of the cavemen with us. Hence, it is quite easy for the society to fall prey to this innate instinctual need. And slowly it outweighs the urge for growth. It is plain biological evolution. As my dearly beloved Lizi often says to me in order to win an argument, “when Evolution speaks, even the Gods are silent”. And it is indeed accurate. Evolution drives all kinds of lifeforms as well as mindforms. And it is Mother Nature that drives the whole process of biological evolution. Here I’d take a step further and say, when Mother Nature speaks, even the Gods hold silence.
Instincts, drives and urges, all are evolutionary, and as such they serve their distinct purposes in the path of survival. However, these antique elements of the primitive human psyche are kept in check by the modern part of the brain, i.e. the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex of the brain is responsible for the modern rational thinking of the human mind, while the limbic system holds all the emotional elements of the mind, including the primordial ones.
Now the point is, primordial instinctual elements come more naturally to the human mind, than rational thinking. This is because all the basic instincts and drives of the mind have been there since the reptilian days, whereas rational and analytical thinking has evolved in the human brain far too recently. Naturally, it takes a lot of practice and efforts to become a rational free thinker, compared to the ignorant minds incessantly driven by the lizard within.
And that’s exactly what has become of this so- called civilized and modern human society and its system of education. Most of the human society as well as its system of education is driven by the lizards of the limbic brain. Hence, it’s not the fault of the system. Rather if anyone to blame it is Mother Nature. She is a wicked old lady, who always has it her way.
However, if you have sufficient insight into the whole process of evolution and can take into account all its correlated ups and downs, you will no longer be able to blame Mother Nature. Because, even though we have been living in the wilderness and surviving with our limbic instincts and drives for millions of years, we also have received from Mother Nature the gift of a complicated and advanced cerebral cortex, which enables us to carefully modulate the wild responses of the limbic system in this civilized world. We truly are an advanced species that has gained the brain capacity look beyond the basic needs of survival. We have learnt to take significant steps in the path of development.
And the most necessary tool in that path of advancement is Education. And here, by education, I refer to the real education of the mind, that endows the human psyche with vigor and expands its intellectual perception of the world. And in this whole process of progress, there is no place for the fake education of modern society that does nothing but condition the young human minds to become hypnotized hominid elitists.
To quote from my memoir Love, God & Neurons “indoctrination is not just demeaning to the human conscience, it is lethal for the flourishing psychology of the hungry, young mind. The purpose of education should ultimately be the advancement of the species. And for this to actually happen, the world needs the kind of education by means of which character is formed, strength of the mind is increased and the human intellect is expanded beyond its own limits.”
First the world needs teachers – teachers who have broken their own shackles of indoctrination – teachers who can go beyond the narrow- mindedness of the society. A handful of these young, brave and zealous teachers in every nation, shall be enough to rekindle the spark of pure knowledge in the entire species.
(This Article was originally published on Goodreads)