Eduaction, Ethics, Humanity, Philosophy, Religion, Self development, Symbolism, Wisdom

The SOUL


Soul

I had been trying to find the exact meaning of soul and/or spirit and what I have found is an ambiguous meaning attached to both the words. At times, I found that the two words have been used interchangeably.

So instead of getting into the nitty gritty of exact meaning of the two words under consideration, I am using the word soul to express my thoughts in the blog rather then getting my audience confused with the jargon.

The reason why I want to make use of the word soul for this blog is that I have read the word ‘soul searching’ quite often but never spirit searching. And since my current blog is more about exploring ‘self’ through soul searching, so it is more appropriate to use the word soul for the title of my blog.

The moment body of a baby gets soul, all the metabolic functions are activated inside the body. In quite a few management related training, specially on ‘Change’, quite a few trainers (humorously) quote the example of an uncomfortable baby in diaper by saying that in the entire universe, only a baby wholeheartedly accepts change (changing diaper). As the baby grows and comes out into the world, mother’s top priority is to keep the baby clean and baby by nature is more uncomfortable when he pees or poops. This practice of keeping the body clean continues by all sane humans till the end of their life.

Recently my elder brother died and since his entire family was outside the country, so his dead  body was kept into the cold storage for a day. Upon asking the reason why it was kept into the cold storage, I came to know that, the dead body, if kept in open, it starts stinking within hours, as it decomposes.

At that very moment, the idea to write this blog clicked my mind. What I conclude from the concept just shared is, by nature the soul is pure. The moment it enters the body, it tries to keep the body clean from all kind of filth. The moment we (humans) accumulate pee and/or poop, it has to be excreted out of the body, even the fart cannot remain inside the body, else we become uncomfortable. Here the distinction of human is made because animals don’t have to wait to get rid of their poop or pee, they do so wherever they are without being careful about keeping themselves away from the filth.

When we die and the soul gets out of our body, the body either has to be buried or cremated or has to be kept in cold storage, if the descendants want it to be preserved for long period of time, so that it does not stink. What an amazing concept, we seldom care about looking at the nature of soul, which is pure and free from filth and stinking and where ever it goes or rests, it keeps it (our body) pure and filth free as well.

The sweat (having bad odor) is also excreted out of the body, but it remains on the body and causes uncomfortable feeling. So, if we are able to take shower immediately, we do so, else we have deodorants and perfumes to keep the body smell good, but keeping the soul good is more important then the body, as the body will be buried, but the soul will last forever.

I have added this question after I received a comment from one of my friend Sulaiman Dawood.   “Soul keeps the body alive and does not clean”.

To make my point clear let me tell you that there is a difference between ‘ME’ and ‘MY’. I have MY hands, eyes, ears, legs tongue, heart etc. but I am wondering to know where is ME.

I have eyes, can they see if I close them? I have ears, can they listen, if I don’t want to? I have hands, can they work, if I don’t ask them to, and the list goes on…

It is ME who asks MY eyes to see, it is ME who asks MY ears to listen, it is ME who asks MY hands to work and the list goes on…

ME is my soul and MY is my body. My body is useless, if I don’t have soul, because it is my soul, which has the power to govern my body.

So for any reason, if we have yet not tried to keep our soul (by virtue of the power it has to govern the body) as pure as it was in the beginning, it is time for us to re-think and make it as pure as possible, by continuously reflecting through soul searching and acquiring wisdom.

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Listen to the sound of SOUL.

Sajjad Hussain

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Eduaction, Philosophy, Self development, Symbolism, Vision, Wisdom

360 Degrees Plus


The credit of this blog goes to Mr. Hamza and Mr. Kamran, students of PAF KIET, who raised the question in my class and incited me for the idea to write this blog.

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This is an extension of my previous blog ‘360 Degrees’, wherein I have documented the answer to a question “what is the difference between ‘Vision and Imagination’?”, in the form a blog.

This time again I was asked a question by one of my students during a lecture, while I was explaining the concept through the diagram [similar to the one above, except the ‘observation part]. He came up with the question; where is ‘observation’ in the pic and I was kind of lost at that time and thought, how on earth, I didn’t think about it in the first place. I am now documenting my answer with more elaboration, explaining the significance of colors used for making this pic.

Again, I may be wrong, and would love to read your comments for clarifying my understanding.
[The picture above is my brain child, it clicked my mind when the question was raised].

Everything is data for a kid until the age of 5 or 6 years. The arc representing data has been colored red, as it reflects danger and the understanding of a kid about that data could not be taken as authentic, at this very tender age. The data is way too difficult for the kid to comprehend and the meaning s/he could get out of that data could be dangerous.

When s/he starts schooling s/he is disseminated with information [which is wrongly perceived as knowledge by most of the people, specially the parents] until 12th grade. The yellow color in the pic depicts that by now, s/he has developed in him/her self an understanding of the information s/he has acquired, and is now getting ready to converting it into knowledge, through practically experimenting/implementing the information into his/her daily routine.

The knowledge arc is depicted in green color, as s/he has been through data [red color] and information [yellow color] and is now ready to face the challenges of life [ready to go, depicted by green color].

Once having enough knowledge, by virtue of age and been through enormous experience over time, s/he has wide ocean of wisdom [blue color] in front of him/her to explore and find ‘self’ through reflecting and self actualization.

The line demarcating the circle of ‘360 Degrees’ through the center, cutting it half up with Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom and half down with Imagination and Vision, is ‘Observation’ [360 Degrees Plus, depicted in various colors], as it is observation of the colorful world around him/her, which is enabling a kid to have a deep insight [through observation] into data and convert it into information through schooling, with the help his/her teachers and based on his/her personal life experiences, to convert that information into knowledge.

The journey to understand life begins with imagination [depicted in maroon color, as it can be useful, if proven, scientifically and/or logically, or may be dangerous, if based only on personal biases], which is the driving force to understand data, information, knowledge, and wisdom, through observation. Again it is the observation, which enables him/her to open up a whole new world of wisdom while visualizing life through his/her mind.

Everyone has his/her vision [depicted here in white color], that vision would be small if s/he is limiting himself or herself only to data, it grows with information, knowledge and wisdom.

Vision is seeing the invisible, and invisible is only visible when there is light all around, and light is depicted with white color. White color also reflects, that there is no ambiguity and the person can only be clear about his/her purpose of being alive is through acquiring knowledge. Knowledge is wide spread all around and we can get that knowledge by making use of imagination through close observation.

The real vision is completed when the circle of life is completed after the completion of 360 degrees through imagination, and you get wisdom, that’s why Einstein once said:

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Yet another student came up with another explanation of ‘observation’ line and told me that it touches all the arcs in the diagram, showing that data, information, knowledge, wisdom and/or imagination can have meaning, if and only if, we observe everything with deep thinking, to understand the hidden meaning of life, thus comprehending the very purpose of our existence.

PS:
Since this blog is the continuation of my previous blog adding OBSERVATION as the addition, I like to add one final point here:
“That is one of the reasons why, we have OBSERVATORIES, which are a huge source of information gathering. The information thus gathered, when processed at the ground station, will open up a whole new world, full of wisdom, before us.

Sajjad Hussain

Eduaction, Philosophy, Self development, Symbolism

Beautiful Mind


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The other day I asked my wife to cook something really mouth watering, as I was fed up with usual stuff every now and then. She cooked a wonderful meal for me yesterday and while I was having my dinner, I came up with this idea, which I am sharing here for my audience to rejoice.

The preamble will not make any sense with the title, I have chosen for this blog, but that’s the beauty of the concept, which I want my audience to understand. Whatever you have in your mind should be something to cherish, if you really want to live a meaningful life. I am also compelled by the title of my blog i.e. Life as EYE see to come up with such absurdities while writing blogs and I love it.

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, a wonderful saying Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, will make you cherish, if you start looking for cues spread all around us, to test the beauty of that wonderful gift called MIND, given to us humans, by none other then Almighty Allah.

The concept is that even after having a sumptuous dinner the other day, I kept surmising that, what if I eat the same usual stuff which I usually eat. What difference would it make, if I eat a meal, mouth watering or otherwise? What makes it mouthwatering, except its taste, which is only felt by the tongue through the taste buds on my tongue, for a while. The moment it passes into the stomach through intestines, it is nothing but the usual meal. It is then churned out by the stomach and the needed ingredients are extracted out, for bodily use to survive and the remaining part is excreted out.

Most of the time, these costly meals only serve the purpose of satisfying the insatiable taste buds of our tongue, whereas actually the need of our body is to have the required quantity of vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates etc, which are equally available in usual meals and even at times are more abundant in usual meals then the junk food, we crave. Yet we keep searching for such outlets which provide a meal worth having for fulfilling our tummy.

The picture down here correctly depicts our state of affair. All of us, most of the time run after quenching the fire burning inside our stomach, yet many of us have to fight with the emotional appeal of our burning heart. Did we ever crave to let that wonderful gift (mind) ever taste the beauty of knowledge spread all around us? The more I started making use of this ‘gift’, the more I am coming to realize that knowledge is ubiquitous and I am not even feeling the tinge of it, as I am grossly engaged in my day to day chores to the extent that I don’t even bother to look around for it.
Picture2Do we ever even bother to look for that wonderful knowledge, which is spread across, like we search for the food, when hungry? Do we try to find such people around, who know, where to look for such knowledge? Did we ever feel the urge to quench the fire raging inside our mind to find our purpose in life?

Now let me compare the analogy of mouth watering meal with the usual meal we often have most of the time. We don’t have to read voluminous books to get the knowledge, like we usually go for sumptuous buffet over the week end [mostly]. Rather we need to look around tiny bits of frivolous cues spread around to appreciate the beauty of knowledge they [cues] carry, through deep observation.

Since we can not digest luxurious meal, if taken on a daily basis, similarly, we cannot absorb tedious jargon contained in books on difficult subjects, as we are not expected to be Einstein, for that matter. That is one of the reasons why, we have ‘mind filters’, which eliminates such information, which is going to be of no use to us in the long run, thus providing enough space to accommodate new information.

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To make our lives easy and relearn new knowledge, we as ordinary souls, are expected to look for the symbols spread around and try finding the hidden messages they carry for us to investigate the meaning of life.

Till such time that we start feeling the taste of knowledge, through thinking, like we make use of those taste buds we have on our tongue, for finding the mouth watering food, we can never appreciate the beauty of that ‘Beautiful Mind’ we have, for finding the purpose of our life.

Sajjad Hussain

Eduaction, Motivation, Philosophy, Self development, Symbolism, Wisdom

Eye Opener


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The key to open your eyes is ‘THINKING’………….~Sajjad Hussain

Since I started writing blogs, I kept surmising, why until now, I never thought about the things happening around me, as I am now thinking.

The answer is quite simple; before, I was living for the sake of living; now, I am living with a purpose in my life. So, if you want to understand the purpose of your life, start THINKING, and you will be shocked to see the symbols around, leading you to the very purpose of your life. Finding the meaning of life is, to give life a meaning, and a meaningful life, is hidden inside knowledge, which is available for free all around us, the only thing required on our part is, to open up our eyes, and see for ourselves.

The other day I was sitting idle in my room, enjoying my vacations at home, after a hectic semester at the university. Usually in our pensive mood, we close our eyes to go into the past, I did the same, to recall my interaction with my students.

Though it was 11 am in the morning and there was a bright sun shining in the sky and there was ample light in the room, but when I closed my eyes, it was complete darkness.

I am wondering to know what is unusual about it. Nothing as such, because it is obvious that when we close our eyes we are bound to see darkness, as retina behind our eyes is not being hit by the cones of photo-receptors getting the light.

Image result for how do we see things

I am bound by the tag line of my blogs, i.e. “Life as EYE see” and as in my signature blog Silent Vibes: Voice of My Mind, I wrote that I will be writing unusual experiences of my life in my blogs.

‘Ignorance’ and ‘Knowledge’ are usually depicted by two colors ‘Black’ and ‘White’ and when it is night, its darkness [black] around us and during day time, it is light [white] all around.

When it is night and there is no light, and my eyes are wide open, even then, it will be difficult for me to see things around me. But when its day time and if I don’t want to see something, I simply have to close my eyes and its all dark.

What I am trying to say is that knowledge and ignorance both are ubiquitous, for keeping ourselves ignorant, we don’t have to strive i.e. even during day time when we are able to see unusual things happening all around us, we seldom care to see to find inside meanings. So it is not the EYES, which need to be open to see the invisible, we have to open our MIND as well, as it has the capability to see the abstract realities of life.

If I don’t want to explore the world around, I simply have to close my eyes and I am done with avoiding the knowledge [light], for finding the meaning of life, I have to learn to seek knowledge by opening my MIND along with the EYES. To say the least, I have to keep my eyes (mental eyes) wide open [be it ignorance (night) or knowledge (day)] to see  knowledge [light].

And ‘Thinking’ is the key, an ‘Eye Opener’ to get you into the wide ocean of knowledge away from ignorance.

Sajjad Hussain

Eduaction, Ethics, Philosophy, Self development, Symbolism, Wisdom

Opting for a Religion


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Disclaimer:          This blog is written for people across the world keeping in view various beliefs and religions existing, and to give the reader a thought based on logic, without any intent of asking my reader to change his/her belief.

This time around, I am replicating my answer to a question posted on Quora, “Which is better Buddhism or Islam”?

There is an Indian movie named PK is worth watching to understand the underlying message of how people react to, when asked about the authenticity of a religion.

If I have a knife (knife here is used as a symbol to make my point) and I am a dacoit, I can take someone’s life, but if I am a medical surgeon, using that scalpel (knife), I can save someone’s life.

It is not the knife, which is curing or killing someone, it is the ‘user’ who is making use of that knife to his or her own advantage by virtue of his or her knowledge or ignorance.

Applying that same analogy to religions, not a single religion existing in the world, ever said killing people is justified. I respect all the religions and expect every one of us to do the same, yet it is a far cry in wilderness of ‘Manimals’ (sorry to use the word ‘manimals’, because when man starts behaving like an animal, what else can s/he be called).

In mathematics, when we want to draw graphs in two dimension, we draw X and Y axis. On X-axis, we have independent variables and on Y-axis we have dependent variables. X-axis is drawn horizontally, whereas the Y-axis rises vertically up.

There are two types of dreams, the dreams, which we see in the night, and day dreams. The dreams in the night are beyond our control, so we can put them on X-axis. The dreams which we see during day time are very much in our control i.e. they are dependent, so we can put them on Y-axis. In other words, we can say that the dreams which we see during day time are not dreams; they are our plans which we want to implement in our lives for success. When anything is done using proper planning, the chances of success rise.

When I look at my own body, I see quite a few things which are dependent and others are independent. My heart and lungs are independent of my acts, whereas my eyes and hands are very much dependent on me.

If I manage to use those body parts, which are dependent on my actions, effectively, I am bound to rise.

Our age is dependent on time and as such we can put it on X-axis and our mental capability, which is very much dependent on us, can be placed on Y-axis. So, as we keep making use of our abstract mind to explore the world around, we can see what is otherwise invisible to our naked eyes.

I would not emphasize upon anyone to follow X or Y or Z religion. You as a human are born with a free will and that free will basically is going to be judged on the ‘Day of Judgment’ deciding your fate to be in ‘Hell’ or ‘Heaven’.

If I am a historian and I have a leaning for religion X, I will write every good thing about my religion and in a subtle manner would portray religion Y as negative and reverse would be the case if I am the follower of religion Y.

Whosoever is born after say 500 years after me (as a historian) and tries to find the truth about various religions, and /she comes across my book (written as a historian), s/he would get confused as due to my personal bias and hidden agenda, s/he would not get to the truth. Before getting the truth, s/he would be required to go through various scriptures and instead of getting the right guidance, chances are that s/he would be more confused and distracted and as such s/he would opt to become atheist.

I do come across these kinds of discussions every now and then (as I teach Ethics) and I suggest my students not to follow blindly any one. Try to find the logical reason behind every talk given by preachers of various ‘School of Thoughts’ and verify their talk in view of what is written in various scriptures. If you head for the truth with an open heart and an open mind, I assure you that your own ‘MIND’ will guide you to the ‘right path’.

Now again a question arises, who is going to decide that whatever I am or for that matter anyone is following, is the ‘right path’? The answer is, it is way too difficult for us as humans to precisely find it, as we would somehow or the other always require to rely on the books written by various historians and the history itself, which is but written with a bias and with the hidden agenda of the writer. So, no one can guarantee that whatever you are reading is nothing but the truth. Ending up in more confusion is, but very much natural, as we humans are most of the time, biased in our wheeling dealing.

The confusion so created after going through history or reading the books, written centuries ago, is something to be cherished, because it shows that you are ‘thinking’ and this thought process at some point in time, will guide you in the right direction.

I may be wrong but this is how I think, and it is more than enough for me to find solace in my heart that at least I am not a blind follower and I am making use of that beautiful gift of ‘HIS’ called the ‘Mind’.

Sajjad Hussain

Arts, Eduaction, Motivation, Philosophy, Self development, Symbolism, Wisdom

Cherished Possessions


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The idea to write this blog came to my mind, while I was responding to a question on Quora. The question was, “What do 50-year-olds know that 20-year-olds often don’t? And here is my answer which I have put in this blog. 

Today while coloring my beard, I came to an unusual analogy, amazingly different then what I ever thought. I like to look young because it gives me strength to face the odds of life, so I color my hairs. By the way I am having less hairs on my head, which in fact made me think of the situation unusually.

In my 20s my hairs and beard were of dark black color, now down the line in my life, I have to color my hair and beard to look young. The question which would pop up in your mind will be, what is unusual about it (it’s very much normal) and when you raise this question you are rightly justified in coming up with the question.

My analogy in this whole story is that while you are in your 20s, normally you have less possessions, not because you don’t like to have them but because you don’t have spent enough time by virtue of your age to accumulate those possessions which you liked to have.

Contrary to this, usually you have more (if you lived your life normally based on your job, qualification, savings and experience) worldly possessions then you actually need. You do accumulate them not because you need them but because you have to save them for the rainy days.

If you don’t have quite a few life obligations to meet, you become less possessive as compared to someone in his/her early 20s.

‘Ignorance’ is depicted by ‘Black’ color and ‘Knowledge’ by ‘White’. So, when you are in your early 20s, you actually are more ignorant then knowledgeable, which is rightly quoted by someone that ‘Life is a journey from Ignorance to Knowledge’, so when you are ignorant you are more inclined towards engaging yourself into acquiring more worldly possessions. You come to realize the true essence of life only, when you have gone through bitter experiences, which compel you to think that the real life starts when you have exhausted all your resources to live a life, worth living.

According to ‘Maslow’s Thoery of Need’, in later stages of your life, you actually start thinking about ‘Self Actualization’, which is the true meaning of life, which you can’t even imagine in your early 20s.

That’s is one of the reasons why, mostly people after retirement opt for social work and charity, because now they have realized the fact that it is now time for them to give back to the society what they got from the society until now. Yet we see people like Mark Zuckerberg, who in his 20s made fortune, but understood the meaning of life at this tender age and donated his possessions to reach to the level of ‘Self Actualization’.

If you manage to capitalize on this understanding in your early 20s, then I think by the time, you cross your half century, you will be far ahead of me, and that’s how you will grow.

So, to conclude my blog, I would say, when the color of your hair turns to white from black, you start losing quite a few of your cherished possessions, like beauty and freshness of your face, your eye sight, and you are faced with other health related issues. At this time, you are left with nothing but cherished memories from your gleaming past, if you have lived it to fulfill your dreams, else it’s nothing but a feeling of remorse to live, yet another life.

Sajjad Hussain

Philosophy, Self development, Symbolism, Wisdom

Counterclockwise


This is the final blog in the series on counterclockwise.

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Picture Courtesy

While watching Oceans 11, I conceptualize this blog which is in continuation of my previous 6 blogs on counterclockwise movement, (namely Ticking Clock, Reverse Thinking, Discuss Throw, Scroll the Wheel, Listen the Silence, and Odd Man Out) and this one is the last in series.

In movies, when the bank robberies are committed, usually the palpitation of our heart beat surpasses the Ticking Clock, and when the bank vault is opened by moving the wheel in anticlockwise direction, we are mesmerized by the glitter of the gold inside the vault and wish, if we can have all the treasure inside the vault.

I also have a bank in my mind, the ‘information bank’ wherein a huge treasure of information is hidden. The beauty of this treasure is that I don’t have to worry about it being robbed, as it is invisible to the naked eyes.

The treasure inside the bank vault is reduced whenever we take it out and use it, whereas the beauty of the treasure inside my mind is that it increases as I use it. The more I use, the more I increase the net worth of the treasure inside.

The similarity between the bank vault (which can only be opened when its wheel is turned in counterclockwise direction and my mind vault is that it can only be opened when it is subjected to Reverse Thinking.

For reverse thinking, I have made use of the quote by anonymous, ‘If you continue to think like you’ve always thought, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always got’. For more on this thought read this blog by Michael Michalko.

If you try to draw a spiral using the center as the starting point, you will have to move the pen/pencil in anticlockwise direction, I call it ‘Inside Out’. But if the same spiral is supposed to be drawn the other way round, i.e. ‘Outside In’, then you will have to move the pen/pencil in clockwise direction.

While teaching in the class, instead of explaining everything upfront, I make a story line or a kind of drama to inculcate in them curiosity to know what would be next, so as to develop their thinking capability and finally culminate to the point where I want them to be, which I call ‘Outside In’.

I ask my students in the exam to write their answers such that, the main point of the question is answered first, and then elaborate further, to express their learning and then come up with their creativity through reverse thinking (counterclockwise) to generate new ideas to let me know their learning for grading purposes.

Since I started thinking the other way round, I have developed  in myself a habit to make analogies to understand the complicated intricacies of life to open up new vistas which has been the source of inspiration for me to come up with this blog site Life as EYE see. And in order to inculcate the same spirit among my students, I ask them to follow the unusual path by going against the normal learning in my lectures, and put that learning using creativity of their mind in simplified form in the exam for me to grade them.

I leave here to let my audience, think and try to find out things around, which when moved in the counterclockwise direction will open up insurmountable wealth of information scattered across the globe, to increase their own potential to ‘think out of the box’ to explore the hidden meanings of life for their own good and for the people around, to make this world a place worth living.

Life is beautiful and the beauty lies in the eyes of beholder.

Sajjad Hussain