An Exposition of the Way in which a Man may Discover the Faults in his Soul.
Have you ever been tempted to do what you should rightfully be doing? Most probably not! For, the very definition of temptation is wishing to do that which you are not supposed to do! You are tempted to do the very things that you are warned against, eating what you are advised not to, and wondering about places that are declared danger zones! As old as Adam and Eve, temptation is what led the original First Couple to taste the fruit of that one forbidden tree, and commit the Original Sin that led to the Fall of Man! Temptation is very easy to give in to, and near impossible to resist.
The Devil outside may be easier to resist than the Devil within, which makes temptation a natural state of existence for us. Our natural urges are all set to be tempted and lead us astray. We give in to temptation when we rationalize the outcome and convince ourselves that we are doing the right thing by giving in. The body craves pleasure and so, all the wrong things; the mind, which knows better, tries to resist, but then rationalizes the craving and gives way. Curiosity is a huge factor in temptation. Curiosity, which is basically a function of the mind, is aroused by denial or unapproachability.
The mind kicks in and starts wondering about the denial, wishing to discover what would happen if we did exactly what we are warned not to do! When a man hears colleagues rib each other about extra-marital affairs, he starts wondering if he is missing out on something, an experience he may regret not having had? His curiosity and competitive spirit are aroused and he becomes a vulnerable candidate for infidelity. The mind plays tricks on us and we convince ourselves of the reasons we do certain things.
Notice how the day you start a diet also seems to be the day you crave all kinds of unhealthy food! You think of reasons to put off the dieting, or convince yourself that a little indiscipline will not cause much harm! The mind has its reasons that decide whether you give in or not. Temptation is the weapon used by unscrupulous people to control others. When Ravana wanted to abduct Sita, he took on the form of a golden deer that tantalises her. She sends Rama off in hot pursuit and Lakshman after him, thus falling into the hands of the evil Ravana! When Lord Indra wished to test King Kaushika (later Sage Vishwamitra), he sent Menaka, an apsara from his court, to disturb his meditation. Kaushika lived with Menaka for 10 years and they had a daughter — Shakuntala.
His arrested meditation had to continue thousands more years before he became Sage Vishwamitra and managed to overcome all passion and temptation. Temptation by itself is not a sin, though it may pave the path towards sin. To be tempted is normal, a natural state of affairs. Whether you give in to that temptation or not is what determines your character. If ever a married person were to tell me he or she has never felt attracted to a member of the opposite sex; if someone said they have not been ever tempted to cheat or lie, I would find that difficult to believe! We all have our weak moments, and to be tempted is not wrong. So temptation is a good indicator of character. You do not know you are honest unless tempted by dishonesty! How do you know you are faithful unless you are tempted to be unfaithful? The strength of your resistance is a measure of your faith, fidelity, or your honesty!
What fun would a life without temptations be? Temptation is also the stuff seductions and wild imaginings are made of! To be tempted by love and desire, to allow the mind to meander through forbidden pastures before resolving to resist them in the long-term interest, or to give in at times… Can you imagine life without ever being tempted by anything at all? What a pallid, colourless existence that would be! In Oscar Wilde’s words, “I can resist anything except temptation!”
Did Mahathir had a one night stand with the prostitute Ummi Hafilda Ali while they met behind closed doors to fabricated charge
A VULTURE NAMED MAHATHIR SAYS “The Americans would feel nothing because in their society this is normal. Their mothers sleep around with just about anybody,” said the controversial political veteran.
It is believed that the child was still alive when thrown but died due to injuries in the head due to the fall
Presumably, their mothers cannot light a candle to our Malaysian women of virtue
Ice Cream Seller
Lets get straight to the point.
Are you suggesting that the mothers of the following Americans slept around?
1) B Obama
2) George Bush – senior & junior
3) Hilary Clinton
4) Neil Armstrong
6) Muhammad Ali
7) Bill Gates
8) Henry Kissinger
9) Billy Graham
10) Steve Jobs
Presumably, their mothers cannot light a candle to our Malaysian women of virtue – such as mothers that throw their newborns out of the balcony, mothers that flush their newborns down a toilet, mothers that stuff the newborns in bags and leave them in drains and road kerbs.
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad suggested today that American mothers “sleep around with just about anybody” when he attacked the United States for defending free speech while PKR warned governments against exploiting Muslim anger to restrict freedoms as protests continued to spread across the Muslim world over a controversial film mocking the Prophet Muhammad.
Malaysia’s outspoken former prime minister said the West’s idea of freedom of expression as being a part of human rights was one that may not be accepted in the cultures of Asians or Muslims worldwide.
In contrast, PKR deputy president Azmin Ali said in a separate statement that “dictatorial regimes” should not exploit the anger of Muslims to curtail freedoms.
“Those who blame freedoms for the production of the film are leaders who are anti-democratic and anti-freedom of the people, and are exploiting the anger of the people to reduce democratic space for political purposes,” he said.
Dr Mahathir (picture) was unrelenting, however, in his attack against the US which has officially condemned the film.
“It would seem that the liberal West believes that free speech is licence to curse and insult other people without limit. I think Western values have gone crazy,” the now-retired Dr Mahathir wrote in his blog today.
“How would one feel if someone comes up to you and calls you ‘a bastard, the offspring of sex between your mother and some man who is not your legally wedded father’?”
“The Americans would feel nothing because in their society this is normal. Their mothers sleep around with just about anybody,” said the controversial political veteran.
Such a practice would be considered a norm in an American society, he said, adding that apart from American mothers, fathers behave much the same way.
“It is an expression of the equality of the sexes,” he said.
The mid-life crisis is no longer bad news for women. It’s an opportunity for new opportunities
Are you a woman in your 40s struck by strange restlessness, angst, and a feeling of something missing? Wonderful! You have hit the mid-life crisis, which today is nothing short of an opportunity to reinvent your life and live the way you wish to.
Kids flew the nest? Marital problems? Bored with your job? Lonely? Or, just irritated with the sameness of everything? You could be facing questions in your personal or professional life, or accosted by existential queries — do not just go with the flow. Get a grip on life and lead it where you want it.
I recently attended a Life Alignment group healing session with healer Jeff Levin in Delhi. Whether or not I managed to align my life through his revolutionary healing system is a moot point, but the day did turn into an interesting session that included therapy, some confessions, non-religious chanting and vibrational healing.
This group had almost all women in their middle years. The themes that emerged were: being taken for granted, forced to conform to social conditioning, arrested dreams, and unfulfilled aspirations. As Jeff encouraged each woman to speak, what reveal;ed itself was a group of women, who have purportedly lived a wonderful existence, undisturbed by major upheavals. They all considered themselves a happy, blessed lot with caring families — and yet there was a feeling of something vital missing.
Most of them had led protected lives, conforming to societal expectations. As one woman put it revealingly, “I went to college, got married, had children….and my husband has never restricted me. Yet, I always wanted to be an architect, and now I think it is too late.”
This panicky feeling of having done one’s duty to others, but not enough for oneself is a repeated motif in the lives of women of a certain age in India. As the years move on inexorably, women start feeling deprived. They have lived as daughters, wives, mothers and friends, but not really as themselves. What is it that you really want for yourself? What is the true purpose of Your life?
A tough question for women, especially Indian women, who grew up before the media explosion that brought in Hannah Montana and Lady Gaga into our living rooms. Few of us were lucky to have enlightened parents, who taught us to think for ourselves. For the rest, submission was the norm; rebellion, very rare.
Thankfully, today when mid-life crisis strikes, there are still a good many quality years left. Good education and independent incomes have ensured that women at this stage can still bring in powerful changes that give a new wonderful twist to their lives.
As natural creators and lifelong multi-taskers, women are far better equipped than men at reinventing their lives. But deep emotional attachments make it tougher for them to move on. Reaching for what you want involves a trade-off and so we tend to stick to our comfort zones.
However, so long as you are clear what you want, it is never too late to salvage a dream — so what if we can live out just certain aspects of it? And so, if not an architect, what stops you from creating beautiful spaces around yourself ? If you wished to be a doctor and couldn’t, what stops you from healing now?
After all, what’s in a name?
A plumpish overgrown girl, around 10 years old, fell in the middle of the mall with a resounding thump. She lay motionless for a stunned halfminute, and then was helped up by her concerned parents. She looked around with a sheepish grin, and finding many looking at her with amusement, burst into loud weeping.
She may have lapped up sympathy, but couldn’t stand the amusement at her expense. Understandable. We all live in fear of the world laughing at us. The Germans have a word for it — schadenfreude, the pleasure one derives from the misfortune of others! There are many feelings and emotions we may wish to arouse in others, but amusement at our expense is certainly not one of these. The Buddhist concept of mudita is the opposite of schadenfreude — happiness in the good fortune of others. So what did the girl do? She tried to change the amusement to sympathy by indicating that she had been hurt. I wonder if that made a difference to any of those having fun at her expense! But certainly her parents looked even more worried, and maybe that was good enough for her at that age.
I found it interesting to think of how even as kids, we try to manipulate the way the world looks at us, such is the significance we attach to it. Most of our activities, decisions, conversations, dreams — in fact, all our lives — are dictated by our need for others to look at us in a certain way. And born manipulators that humans are, we set around not just manipulating the world to look at us in a certain manner, but also manipulating our own selves to suit what we want the world to feel for us.
It is interesting to study the emotions we wish to arouse in others and those that we would never want others to feel for us! We all wish to be liked and loved; some wish for a staid, passive kind of loving, others for deep undercurrents and passion! But obsessive love is best avoided. Apart from this, we would rather attract empathy, not sympathy, and never pity. Empathy is when someone is able to relate on an equal footing,while sympathy normally implies an emotion by someone better off, and pity is worst of the lot, indicating superciliousness. Envy is a desirable emotion so long as others feel it for us, but jealousy makes us uncomfortable. For there is a destructive edge in jealousy that we wouldn’t like directed at us, while envy implies we have something better than others, which they covet.
We wish people to be indulgent towards our mistakes, not unforgiving and angry. We want them to laugh with us, but not at us. We may still be able to tolerate amusement, but never derision. That humiliates us, and even more so when witnessed by others.
What are the emotions we actively seek to arouse in people? “Liking and love,” said a female friend instantly, not stopping a minute to think. Another said, “Love and envy is fine but I certainly don’t want hatred, jealousy, or vengeance!” She went on to add, “This may sound dumb, but it’s very important to me to come across as a likable person; I even want the maid to know I am nice and it’s important to me that she likes me!” A female colleague answered, “The emotions I wish to arouse would have to be confidence (trust), and calmness. What I would never want to arouse would be… disgust, I suppose!”
A male friend’s instant reply was, “Passion, respect and fear is what I would wish to arouse in people.” Fear? “Yes, basically fear. All else springs from there. Genghis Khan, the great Mongol said that!” Another friend adds, “I wish to arouse awe in people, but never fear!” Yet another man says, “Obviously jealousy, love and anger! I’ve never bothered about the noble emotions, am comfortable looking at life like Duryodhana. Maybe not awful, but awesome… and it is fear or awe that makes you awesome.”
To each his own, but what is true is that getting to know how someone wants the world to look at him or her reveals the essence of an individual. Ask friends and think about it — what is the one emotion you would like to arouse in others, and the one emotion you couldn’t stand others to feel about you?
We have heard that the end of all learning is humility, the realization that we actually know nothing compared to all we need to know! If you believe this, you believe that all learning and knowledge lead you to a feeling of nothingness, a feeling that you are shunya, a zero.
Sounds alarming, but the zero you feel after a lot of learning is a very different place to be in from the zero you feel before you embark on that learning! Recently, some probationers were surprised when a senior bureaucrat told them, “Please walk into my office whenever you need to. I am nothing, I’m a zero.” Used to the pomposity of bureaucracy, they may have been taken aback. But this is how the officer explains her comment, “What I meant was that they should not stand on ceremony or hierarchy with me. In the vast structure of government and the general scheme of things, each one of us is nothing. The
emptier you consider yourself, the more space you have to learn; the more insignificant you believe yourself to be, the more effective you are, and the more receptive you are, the more you absorb from all around. I am as willing to absorb learning from a probationer, as I am from my seniors.”
Impressive! We started talking. We discussed how most problems occur when we fancy ourselves meaningful and substantial. How if we thought we were zeroes, we would have no expectations, and so no disappointments; if we had zero chips on our shoulder, we would not suffer any affront to dignity; if we had zero mental clutter, we wouldn’t suffer from useless feelings of guilt or fear. If we had zero memory, there would be no bitter carry-overs, no half-truths that prevent new learning. A person who comes to a situation with zero understanding or in other words, an open mind, can understand a new situation afresh, encouraging creativity. If we are zero in ego, we don’t take offence easily, while forgiving and forgetting fast. Zero brings peace; it brings a feeling of calmness and power over self and over situations.
Training ourselves to clear the clutter and enjoy the quiet of emptiness helps build better relationships and better lives. Complicated relationships are the result of past baggage; try approaching a situation afresh, forgetting past bitterness and start with a clean slate. In a corporate world, keep a hierarchy-less approach, open your door and learn more about your organization, tuning in with the vibes you feel.
Perhaps, it was not a coincidence that zero was discovered in India by mathematician Aryabhatta. When we meditate we are told to look within into nothingness and to think of nothing. It is in that space that enlightenment comes. The Bhagvad Gita and Vedas talk of the Universe being created out of nothingness, shunya or zero. God in his unmanifest form is also shunya; in his manifest form, He is ananta, or infinite; and so, from zero comes infinity. God was one but manifested in many forms — that is the power of zero!
Keeping your mind a tabula rasa is a great point to begin —- and an equally great point to end at! This is not the zero of ignorance, illiteracy, lack of knowledge or confidence. This zero is the natural outcome of knowledge and supreme wisdom; it is the zero of extreme self-confidence. It is not that you don’t know anything; it is more that you are willing to learn everything! A zero mind is accepting and receives, hears and registers, and notes critical points. It is the abode of peace, quiet, bliss and solitude. It means you have everything, you know everything and yet are willing to begin at the starting point!
A farmer lost a watch in a haystack. He asked a group of children to help him look for it, promising a reward. The children hunted for hours, but couldn’t locate the watch. Sometime later one of them came back and looked again. He found the watch within a few minutes. Asked how he did that, the child said, “I sat still and concentrated. I heard it.”