Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Blessings from a Tree

There are several posts on different kinds of trees in this blog that are widely read and popular posts. Truly, to commune with a tree or to raise one from a sapling is a blessing as the words in the picture describe.

Blessings from a Tree


Read more on trees in this blog here:
http://someitemshave.blogspot.in/search?q=trees


Some well argued recent studies indicate that planting more tree will do much more to control adverse climate changes than controlling carbon emissions. For example see this post that has a summary and links to much more information on this issue that is in the focus of world attention nowadays

http://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2014/04/a-new-perspective-on-climate-change.html

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Simple steps to becoming a better human, even Super Human




There are many articles in this blog about life and how to improve mind, body and soul so as to become a better human. Since the collection is rather large a reader may wish for a small list that can be read quickly and followed easily. Just five earlier articles are selected here that can set any person on a quick path of evolution while increasing happiness substantially. To begin with you may wish to read what the purpose of life is in this post:

Now if this article convinces you that it is the purpose of every life to evolve into greatness let us get started. A good place to start is a simple practice called entropy yoga. You probably already know of it and follow most of it anyway. It is described here:

The next step is a practice called mindful breathing that may now be added to your routine and you shall be on your way to the stars.

While the previous articles describe how to improve health, peace and efficiency in life it also mentions that something more is required for attaining happiness. A belief in God is immensely helpful in this. If you are of modern scientific bent, you may have developed a disinterest in God as described in some religions. A modern view of the Almighty can be found in this article

An exceedingly simple practice developed around a belief in God is called Kriya Yoga as described by a modern Himalayan mystic - Baba Haidakhan. You can find out about this at the following link. The article is a bit long since it includes some biographical notes etc. but you may skip that safely and head to the central and brief description of Kriya yoga  included in that note. It is easy to understand and simple to practice.

If you like the practices described in these articles, save the link or better still make a print for filing in the order quoted here, for easy reference later. At the same time you may wish to browse through other related articles in this blog whenever you find quiet moments for that. They are based on a consistent line of logical thought and philosophy. Best wishes for your exciting journey called life that involves a few bumps in the very best of cases but you shall end up at the right destination provided you catch the right trains or planes, some as suggested in this note.



Image before cropping and alteration from
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Kingdom of Piland –Protecting the Planet




Kingdom of Piland

It has been mentioned in various places in this blog that mankind needs to do more to protect our environment and forests. While different parts of the world have been under the jurisdiction of different countries of the world and the responsibility falls upon them, surprisingly there were still a couple of areas that were Terra Nullius, at least until a few weeks ago. Aside from protecting the environment,  it would also be good if different countries use the area under their control to help at least some others such as refugees fleeing their countries under severe distress or violence and much has been written about that in recent posts.

The two new countries have now been declared as two new Kingdoms, the Kingdom of North Sudan and the Kingdom of Piland. The first is a very tiny desert area and the second an icy sector of the Antarctica. It is not known if these claims would stand the test of time since they are very new. However, either they will or someone else will claim them or perhaps they shall be placed as a common heritage of mankind. Fortunately the second, the Kingdom of Piland has already done that in a way. It has declared that any citizen of the world may regard himself or herself as an adjunct citizen and live/visit this Kingdom provided they do not undertake any activity that damages the plants, animals and environment of the region, and that is the message of this new Kingdom for the entire planet too.

The primary objective in the creation of the Kingdom of Piland is to make contributions towards protection of the planet from environmental degradation aside from the fun of a nearly out of the world, almost fictional adventure.



FREEDOM OF BELIEF

 
His Majesty, :), has strong spiritual beliefs but none that belong exclusively to any one religion or philosophical system. They arise from both the east and the west, from ancient beliefs as well as modern ones. However he believes strongly that every human has a right to his or her own belief or none at all, and that any fanaticism in such matters is detrimental to further evolution since no finite mind, not even saints and angels, may ever know fully the mysteries of the infinite.
 



The pronunciation is not like Pee Land but Pie Land  (more precisely like the Pi of mathematics)   :)

Learn more about the Kingdom of Piland on Facebook and become a citizen with a click:

Territorial Claims in Antarctica, July 2014

Monday, July 14, 2014

Are child migrants to America illegal?





There is a lot of misery around the world and a lot of refugees. America or any one country in the world cannot take them all, but perhaps America could take a few as its share, as long as the practice of hosting refugees continues around the world, a policy that America has actively supported and even encouraged in the past, as far as other countries are concerned.

It is now America’s turn to host its share. There are about ten million refugees around the world and around 192 countries, discounting tiny city states. The share per country if divided equally comes to around 52000 for America, 10,000000/192 = 52000. However, if the division is done on the basis of size of a country the share of America would be much larger. The difference between illegal immigrants and refugees is that whereas the former arrive as a steady trickle, the latter come as a flood.

A much larger number shall arrive in the near future until America assists affected Central American countries in overcoming the violence and the mess. America may have contributed in several direct and indirect ways in the past in creating this mess through things such as much liberal sale of guns, supporting sycophant yet unworthy leaders and love of drugs while declaring them illegal. It is only now that some are waking up to realize that Alcohol and illegality has killed far more than the drugs by themselves ever would, as they did not for five thousand years of civilization. The ways to stop drug violence is legalizing drugs, supporting honest leaders and controlling guns. Legalising drugs makes it unprofitable for criminal gangs to develop around their trade. Some of the money saved on the drug war can then be spent on education about drugs and treatment centers for those caught up adversely, a far more civilized activity than bang bang games that is scaring the wits out of the kids and making their mothers paranoid with fear for their safety. One may muck up one's backyard until the muck overflows into one's home. That time has come now and the way to clear it is to clear the backyard and not just build a higher wall because then the stench that would pass over the wall would become unbearable.


What the reluctant bride said 

Whatever be the share of America, refugees cannot be expected to cross a border legally. They have never done so anywhere in the world. They just make a run for it anyway they can as they flee their original home that becomes untenable because of violence and war. That is the way of the refugees and cannot be called illegal anymore than a man can be charged for obscenity for stripping in bed on his honeymoon night because that is the way of a honeymoon. The point being made is that an inappropriate act becomes appropriate in a different set of circumstances.


Children of drug wars,
Refugees fleeing violence need protection as long as violence continues in their home countries and children detached from their parents need protection as long as they are detached from their parents. Just in case one happens to be both, a detached child refugee how much more is the need of such a protection? The younger the child, the greater the need. 

Trying to place such children in shelters within existing communities is a very bad idea. If the community is unwelcoming as most are in such situations, it increases the trauma of the children. It can only be seen as an attempt to harass these sweet distressed children further. That is not how refugees are handled in any country usually. When that is done it creates avoidable stress for the refugees and the hosts. They are best housed in independent camps. More on as to how this may be done is in the earlier posts of this blog on the issue, even in innovative ways so that this becomes an opportunity to help the economy rather than become a burden on it, the bridges, schools and roads President Obama has been trying to put up desperately as a job creation measure.
Rise up America! Listen hear ye angels sing, an opportunity to earn a joyous blessing,  has arrived at your door today.


UPDATE JULY 16, 2014

Pope Francis has  voiced his message on this issue here The message is essentially the same one that this blogger has voiced now for weeks in this blog and elsewhere.This blogger is not a Roman Catholic. The common element is humanism
The Pope has called for tens of thousands of unaccompanied child migrants to be “welcomed and protected” as they attempt to enter the U.S. from Central America and Mexico.


 IMPORTANT NOTES


NOTE 1: In some recent releases in the press, it seems that some incorrect/misleading information is being given e.g. see this , while it is being mentioned that political/religious reasons are grounds for asylum, the fact that fleeing violence is also a valid ground as per 1967 amendments is being withheld,  perhaps because that is the only ground that applies to these unfortunate unaccompanied child refugees. Please see
http://ashokmalhotra.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/who-is-a-refugee-and-why-america-does-not-seem-to-know/. 

NOTE 2: Another fact that is leading to confusion is mixing up several issues i.e adults and unaccompanied children, at times intentionally to confound the issue perhaps. Ilegal immigrants i,.e. undocumented immigrants and refugees. All of the blog posts of this author are restricted exclusively to unaccompanied minors only arriving as refugees fleeing violence. He has neither fully reflected on the issue of adults nor has he any comments to offer as regards adult immigrants, legal or illegal. The inspiration for this as well as earlier post of this blogger is simply and exclusively just one thing - compassion for children in distress, detached from their parents, and younger the child, greater that compassion.

NOTE 3: The shot term, medium term and log term solution to the problem lies in legalizing drugs. The crime, gangs and violence as well as dangers of drugs will vanish overnight. The money saved in fighting drug crimes can then be utilized for drug education and rehabilitation. Check out this study: http://www.urban75.com/Drugs/drugten.html

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Changed Profile Photo

me on a boat in Nainital
It struck me today that my profile photo being used in the blogs is from work whereas I write on everything else besides work in the blogs. Therefore today I changed it to another more informal one. it shows me on a boat in the middle of Nainital lake a few years ago. The picture was snapped by Shankar, the driver who drove me to Nainital every weekend, and everywhere else besides with the blessing of the goddess of Nainital. He was sitting on the other side of the boat while we were in the middle of the lake. My home, provided by work place, was in the foothills region of Nainital District at that time.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Yoga for Everyone - Entropy Yoga


The various asanas (physical movements) and breathing exercises come later. If done before steps like entropy yoga or what Patanjaili described as Yama and Niyama, they may not amount to much more than improved physical abilities and freedom from common ailments afflicting persons who lack physical exercise and activity. For a broader benefit and success in life begin with entropy yoga. The maximum benefit from physical yoga movements is derived when thoughts do not wander and are focused on the physical movement alone, for in the very first few lines of his text on yoga, Patanjali, the father of yoga describes that yoga is to still the activities of the mind. Entropy yoga prepares the mind for such a focus.

President Obama in a Yoga Asana at the White House!?!?  :)


INTRODUCTION

Yoga is an ancient Sanskrit word.  Since the term was invented a few thousand years ago, a lot of water has passed under the bridge and many new meanings having been given to it. Although some of the original yoga (not all) were associated with religion, modern techniques need not necessarily be associated with any. The ancient text by the father of yoga - Patanjali makes no reference to any religion and does not use any existing name for the Almighty, defining him as the Supreme being with infinite knowledge. The simplest way to understand yoga in the modern context is any technique or practice to improve mind, body and soul. There are many different types of yoga, some very simple, some complicated and difficult to practice, some good for certain personalities and some good for others .

However, here we shall describe a very simple yoga, simple yet profound in its inner meaning.  It is so general in nature that it is beneficial for all humans. It is called Entropy Yoga. This yoga is not something that is practiced for a few fixed minutes or hours daily but rather it is matter of lifestyle that governs every moment of our lives.

Entropy yoga along with inculcating principles of non-violence and truth in life is a prerequisite for any other form of more specialized or advanced yoga as deduced from the principles described by the Father of Yoga - Patanjali- as well as the later experience of mankind including modern science.

The term Entropy Yoga was born some seven years ago as a result of study of both the physical and spiritual sciences by this author. While earlier descriptions of it by this author described some of the science behind it, the present note shall skip that and focus on five simple steps that may be employed to practice it.  The interested reader can find out the theory and background from additional links at the end if he or she so desires. Instead of five steps of entropy yoga they are better referred to as five aspects. The reason is that steps convey an image of something that is done one after another whereas the five aspects of entropy yoga may be followed in any order.

When we introduce entropy yoga in our lives, we become more and more peaceful and efficient in anything that we do. Besides, it leads to an evolution of our personalities. There is a mystic side to entropy yoga. Its practice increases our inner energy in a mysterious manner that can neither be fully explained nor fully understood but it can be experienced easily  

It must be pointed out that not just Sanskrit speaking persons but all cultures have proposed practices for developing mind, body and soul. Such practices are different types of yoga even though not known by that name. Therefore, when it comes to entropy yoga, it is something that has been practiced by the most efficient humans and cultures on the planet since ancient times. Countries where it is practiced much are the most well managed and progressive countries in the world. Wherever its violation is widespread, the country as a whole is undeveloped and full of poverty, mess and strife.

Now let us consider five aspects of this yoga. They are so simple that on reading them you shall say that you already knew. However, it will serve to remind if you are lagging in any one aspect

THE FIVE ASPECTS OF ENTROPY YOGA

1 Cleanliness

The first aspect of entropy yoga is cleanliness. This begins with a cleaning of the body and proceeding to clothes, living spaces and surroundings. This is something that has to be done daily and on a regular basis as far as one’s body is concerned at least. If you have been living in dirty surroundings do not get worried and frantic about it. Just take a bit at a time. Over time, you will end up with clean clothes, bedding, rooms and surroundings. Dirt in the wrong places is a mark of a high level of disorder in placement of matter, leading to large entropy increases and thus huge loss of efficiencies. Cleanliness restores order.

2 Organizing Stuff

The second aspect of entropy yoga is to organize your stuff, from your clothes to everything that you possess. If you are having difficulty in that, perhaps you have collected more than you can handle. Get rid of some. Here again, if you have a lot of clutter around you, you shall not be able to fix it in a day. Just handle a bit at a time and within months your stuff will be organized. Once it becomes a habit, you shall begin to put away things where they belong right from the start. Just try and organize one corner or cupboard and see the amount of peace and clarity of mind that gives. It is not surprising then that those who keep their things organized at all times function with immense clarity of mind and efficiency as compared to those who do not. A profound sense of peace surrounds them.

3 Organizing Time

Organizing time implies being punctual in appointments with others and also in ones activities such as meals, sleeping etc. Time has to be organized over days, weeks and months. It implies that you would schedule all your activities and appointed hours and minutes after due deliberation and once having done so stick to it precisely. Just check how the most developed cultures of the world such as the British, particularly during the Victorian era, Swiss and Germans are rigid about time and how they developed as a result of it.

A quick check of the daily punctuality of a nation is to go to the train or bus station and see if they arrived in time. A quick check of the annual punctuality of a nation is to check the school and university schedules of sessions and exams over the last ten years and see if  they remained fixed or changed. This author did a doctorate from UBC, Canada where at his university the schedules remained substantially unchanged over thirty years. This country has been rated as one with one of the highest qualities of life. Compare this with countries that disregard punctuality and end up as undeveloped.

4 Organizing Speech

The fourth important aspect of entropy yoga is speech. A well ordered speech is a mark of evolution and development whereas a chaotic babble of sounds, excited arguments, speaking louder than required, quarreling etc. is a mark of an undeveloped soul. If a perceptive human was dropped into a strange culture, he would immediately know from the manner of speech in a group, as to how evolved the culture is. In an evolved culture speech would be calm and composed and will not include things like cross talking, shouting, getting angry or emotional, speaking simultaneously etc. In the modern world one does not have to visit a country physically to make that observation. Just visit the popular TV channels of that country while sitting at home and you can make a similar observation. This observation measures the current state of evolution of the nation not a past or future one since these things change with time.

It goes without saying that talking too much involves the risk of violation just as speaking lies does, and it can easily be observed that the more evolved a culture the more profound is the silence. Conversely less developed societies and persons are constantly emitting a babble of sounds. Before you speak apply these four tests 1. Is it true 2. Is it necessary 3. is it kind 4. Is it the right moment; and if it passes the four tests speak but in the correct tone and volume as required by the situation.

5 Organizing Thought

The last and most important aspect of entropy yoga is organizing thought. This last aspect implies that we do not let our thoughts wander without control but rather focus them on the task at hand. More advanced improvements in organizing thoughts involve specialized meditative and breathing techniques but these are something that require training under guidance and cannot be practiced by everyone without it. They can also harm if sufficient progress has not been made in the other four areas just mentioned and if practiced improperly. Therefore, we shall leave these aside for the time being. It will also help preserve the simplicity of the present note.

In the meantime as a step towards it try and concentrate on whatever it is that you happen be doing. When taking a bath think of the bath and not a meal. When consuming a meal focus on the meal and when at work keep your mind at work and discourage others who start talking of the sports event instead during work hours, but when you return home from work stop talking and thinking of work. If someone does discourage them, If someone discusses plans for tomorrow, stop them and say it is not done in evenings. If done frequently, it shall first disturb your sleep and then your life. The British in the Victorian colonial era followed this strictly and went on to rule the world.

CONCLUSION:

It may be pointed out that although entropy yoga leads to high efficiency in anything that humans do and therefore success in life along with an environment for peace, it may not necessarily lead to happiness. That comes when one enhances values of love, truth and simplicity in ones life and by reserving some of the increased energy that comes from entropy yoga not just for one’s own selfish needs but also to help others and the world around them as well as the universe and mother earth that gives us all we need. A wonderful way to express gratefulness to nature is not to pollute mother earth and destroy its adornments such as trees and green cover but help restore it. It shall be a source of great happiness

People of Nainital, the author's childhood home, love to protect and plant trees


In fact not following up entropy yoga by the other things mentioned in the last paragraph causes the increased efficiency to create stress, a fate of present day developed nations that are high on both order and stress, often with tragic consequences, so that one wonders which is better, the poor third world relaxed and laughing farmer who says manana with a banana to it all or the stressed out and sulking developed world person, ready to snap at you at the first sign of provocation. Entropy yoga creates the conditions for success in life and an environment for attaining peace in it. If the focus of attention is drawn towards love and service rather than ones own needs and greed happiness follows otherwise it leads to stress.

However, entropy yoga called by that name or no name at all is a necessary first step to self improvement and improving lives. Happiness is not possible without peace, and the conditions to acquire peace not possible without a practice of entropy yoga. With entropy yoga both success in worldly life and happiness comes within easy reach of individuals, without it both recede. When practiced widely in a nation, entropy yoga leads to the success of the nation as a whole. 
Most of all, trust in God or a Universal consciousness that is in control of everything and watches over all is a source of great strength and support for those who believe in God.
NOTE: The top most photo was used with the belief that being an official government release on social media (Twitter in this case) its public use is permissible. If the White House or the President or guardians of baby have any objection to this use, please inform as a comment to this post and it shall be taken down at the first opportunity. May the Lord bless the baby in the photo and President Obama too for sharing a picture of human goodness with the world.

Supplementary Reading: 
1. Yoga- entropy yoga: http://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2007/10/yoga.html 
2. More on entropy Yoga: http://www.hotarticles.us/article/more-on-entropy-yoga 
3. Low Entropy Persons, Countries and entropy yoga: http://ashokmalhotra.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/low-entropy-persons-countries-and-entropy-yoga/

International Yoga day is June 21 initiated by the Right Honorable Shri Narendra Modi ji, P.M. of India, a yoga enthusiast