With the changing times, the ways to teach and learn have changed drastically, thanks to the internet and ubiquitous sites offering free courses. Since anything available for free does not have an appeal to entice, so to inculcate among students, an urge to learn (since they are not paying for the course and also when it is available to them at fingertips, so they seldom care to get deep inside into understanding the concept, and they are more into playing with their high-tech gadgets, which are available to them easily due to low costs) is way too difficult for the teacher to teach and the student to learn and comprehend.
In primitive times, we had candles to light in the dark. When someone wanted to light a candle, they had to bring that candle close to the one that was already lit. Teachers do the same thing, they burn themselves to light (literally) the ways for their students, trying to understand the concept as they have perceived it to be.
But those were primitive times, bulbs have replaced candles now. Unfortunately, a lit bulb cannot light another bulb just by bringing the unlit bulb in close proximity to the lit one. It (the unlit bulb) needs to have the current passing through it to get light.
Being a teacher, I am from the past, my students are born after me, we are meeting together in the present, and I have to lead them into future, for which, I have two options, either to push them or pull them.
People usually don’t like to be pushed, they like to be pulled. But how can I pull them into the future, which is physically not existing at the moment? So I need to develop my mental faculty to a level where I can pull (inspire) them to lead into the future.
This pulling is the inspiration for students to get ignited from within. To light the bulb within (the mind), they need current, which is flowing through them but it needs a spark which is very much ingrained in them (by nature) to ignite the bulb (mind) kept on top of the head.
In order for students to learn, the classroom strategies have to be changed drastically. The smart kids are now way ahead of their teachers (who have a primitive mindset) using high-tech gadgets and are way too smart to outwit their teachers. The teaching philosophy now should be to ignite the spark inside the kids and rote learning is sooner than later going to be obsolete.
Now if a student fails to get hold of the knowledge available to him at his finger tips, it is he, who is to be blamed for the failure and not the teacher. As he (the student) has failed to capitalize on the spark within.
Look at the beauty of the concept, in order to light the room, the bulb is placed on the roof usually in the center. Similarly, the mind in our body is placed on top of our heads in the center.
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.
Listen to the sound of SOUL.
I was wondering to assign a title to this blog, initially I thought to name it ‘Maze’. I knew another word for maze, i.e. ‘Labyrinth’, but I was not certain till such time that I checked their dictionary meaning, as I always try to make relevance of the concept with the title and pics, I select for my blogs. Here is the dictionary meaning of two words, to avoid any misunderstanding by my readers.
“In English, the term labyrinth is generally synonymous with maze. As a result of the long history of unicursal representation of the mythological Labyrinth, however, many contemporary scholars and enthusiasts observe a distinction between the two. In this specialized usage maze refers to a complex branching multicursal puzzle with choices of path and direction, while a unicursal labyrinth has only a single path to the center. A labyrinth in this sense has an unambiguous route to the center and back and is not difficult to navigate.”
What difference does it make, if we are entangled in a maze or a labyrinth? If we take this question on face value, it has no such bearing on our life, but I want my readers to look at it from my perspective to get a deep insight into the maze and/or labyrinth.
In a way, I suppose we have been sent in this world to get lost in the maze [if you consider your life as a path way filled with trials and tribulations] and try to find the way out of the labyrinth [if you consider your life as a journey through self].
[Exploring others is tedious, but exploring self is not that difficult, as one is 24/7 with him/herself].
The beauty of the concept can only be understood, if we visualize our life as in a cardiogram. We are alive only till such time, that our heart beat [systole and diastole] is intact i.e. UPS and DOWNS, as soon as the cardiogram shows a straight line, we are dead.
I think, you would be feeling lost, as to, what exactly I am trying to explain. The concept is bit philosophical and that is why tedious, yet amazing to learn, to appreciate the true essence of the blog.
On one hand, the concept is motivating us, not to be afraid of hardships, our life poses to us, and on the other, it tells us that it is our choice of getting lost into the maze or getting out of it, successfully [considering it to be a labyrinth, as the way out of a labyrinth is unambiguous and not difficult to navigate].
In a labyrinth there is only a single path to the ‘center and back’ [*Did you focus on the word ‘center and back’? Did it ring bells in your mind?], where as in a maze, chances are that we might get lost and fail to keep track of our way out. As such we will be going through process of hit and trial to get out of it [life].
Reproduced here from second paragraph above: “maze refers to a complex branching multicursal puzzle with choices of path and direction, while a unicursal labyrinth has only a single path to the center. A labyrinth in this sense has an unambiguous route to the center and back and is not difficult to navigate.”
Compare the dictionary meaning just shared and relate it with my previous blog Center of Gravity, excerpt of which is reproduced here for ready reference.
“There are four corners of the world, namely East, West, North and South. I have never heard Middle West, Middle South, Middle North, but I know a place on earth called Middle East.
I did come across Mid West states in US or Mid North in Australia, but not an entire region as Mid West or Mid North as Middle East. I am wondering to know whomsoever named these corners and places, what he had in his/her mind while naming these locations.
If I want to light a room such that light is spread all across the room, then I will have to put the chandelier right in the center. Sun rises in the EAST a Universal Truth, and if the entire universe is to be lit then that source of light has to be in the middle of the EAST. The location of Holy Ka’aba, is exactly in the center of the earth and is a source of light for the entire humanity, if it (the mankind) wants to get that inspiration.”
This is purely my analogy and you have the right to disagree with my point of view.
We only have one life to live, which has a beginning and an end. Every single individual has his/her life given as a project, to find his/her ‘self’. If s/he wants to get lost into the maze [by losing track of his/her existence] and never find an exit on his/her own [die without knowing], that is his/her choice and the project of his/her might remain unaccomplished and s/he will be out [die] from the maze without him/her liking or abhorring it. And if one’s life project [a successful one] is taken as a ‘Labyrinth’, his/her life has an unambiguous route to this world and back to, from where s/he came.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Do 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.
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.
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.
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.