Thursday, November 27, 2014

Forgiving is a Necessity



White Roses in the Author's Garden

A human being uses many of the planets resources just to live. Humans in prehistoric times began clearing forests for agriculture and then cleared some more to cook that food. Modern humans may not depend on wood fire but make use of many other chemicals substances that harm the planet. The conclusion is that just through the process of living we tend to damage the planet as well as all life that lives on it. An ecologically sensitive human can minimize this damage but not eliminate it.

Aside from the damage to the world at large, humans also end up causing harm to other humans, even near and dear ones, at times intentionally and at other times inadvertently. Small perfectly reasonable actions of ours, at times produce harm, sometimes grave ones to someone we love dearly and any human may realize this through introspection. What is the consequence of all this? A person who believes that his or her intelligence is about the highest one in the universe and there is no intelligence higher than that may ignore all this and move on with a modern philosophy, the past is gone, forget about it; and when sometime later a brick falls on his head he may put it down to bad luck. However there are others who believe that the human intelligence is just a tiny portion of an infinite universal intelligence that brings all actions to account. Every action has an opposite reaction. Some call it God’s law, some retribution, others karma and some merely as a universal balancing and educating mechanism. 

What can a human then do to mitigate the adverse reactions of his adverse actions? Reflecting on ones actions and repenting for wrong ones while resolving not to repeat that helps. On this path of repentance there is no forgetting about the past and living in the moment. Time has to be set aside for this past. Some adverse actions of ours may get mitigated by our good deeds. Thus a person who helps in forestation efforts and planting trees helps to mitigate the damage caused by the trees that have been cut down to produce his food or the carbon dioxide and methane he has added to the atmosphere through his breathing and the cow pharts that produce his milk. Meditation by mystics attempts to cancel their good and bad deeds for which they may be separately rewarded or punished by Nature.

Aside from what has been described, a powerful mechanism that is available to all of us is to forgive those who have wronged and harmed us. When we do that, we set up a similar reaction of being forgiven for our own wrongs. True it seems hard to do that when someone has willfully and intentionally harmed us but then those who trust in the Universal intelligence leave any consequences of that to the Universe while forgetting about that wrong on their own part. They do this for they own well being and not as an act of generosity or goodness. While forgiving may be seen as a noble act by many, for a spiritually enlightened person it is a necessity required for their own peaceful existence in the universe.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Entropy Yoga Mats

Yoga


Based on my interest in both science and spirituality, several years ago, I had coined the term  entropy yoga in this blog to interpret some principles of yoga from the point of view of classical thermodynamics. Some articles were also posted on ezinearticles.com. At that time it was not expected that the term will become popular with some yoga enthusiasts and some yoga schools but it has and as with most everything it has undergone varying interpretations by those who transmitted it.

Someone has even produced entropy yoga mats but not having seen one at close hand, this author is not aware of their specifications.  The original ancient specifications of yoga mats do need modifications because of availability of modern materials. Ancient materials were things like grass and animal skins that are not necessary anymore. If there is a manufacturer out there who would like to produce entropy yoga mats, please do get in touch and I shall gladly share my idea of it. The use of modern materials for entropy yoga mats is most appropriate since entropy yoga too is simply a modern interpretation of timeless yoga principles elaborated in an ancient historical period, however it is best to incorporate ancient sensibilities in this connection.

The ideal surface color for a yoga mat seems to be white or one of the natural colors found in deer or tiger skins. It is best to have it in a solid color although if a design is preferred, it may be that of a tiger or deer skin. Ancient yogis when using a deer skin often covered it with a cloth of solid color so the skin design was not in view in very many cases. Its width may vary between two and a half feet and three and a half feet while length is best between six and seven feet because some yoga postures such as Shav Asan require lying down on back.  Perhaps a small size ( 2.5' x 6') for traveling with the mat rolled up and a larger one for base (4' x 7') are ideal for the regular practitioner or perhaps an all purpose medium size of (3' x 6'3"). The materials for construction are more complicated and I would pass them on to an interested manufacturer since it would be too technical for the usual reader of this blog if interest was expressed in comments to this note.




This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Lure of the Devil, the Lure of God



The devil of this note is not that guy with horns but mere symbolism for all those things in the universe that keeps our souls, our inner selves, from growing but rather pulls it down into miserable and less evolved states. God on the other hand is also not a guy with a spotless and shining white robe (or cute pretty colors) surrounded by angels singing - holy, holy, holy,  but as in the rest of this blog is recognized as the Almighty universal consciousness and power of infinite extent of which everything in the universe is a part (including the less evolved parts). However, for convenience if one wished to give a picture to these things, one may do so.

Developed from image at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:VonSatanicBloodAngel.jpg

Whereas it seems that the Almighty wishes all beings to evolve and become just as evolved as the most evolved part of the universe, the job of the devil is to do precisely the reverse. The lure the devil uses is sex, money, power, fame and success etc. The Lure of God on the other hand is peace and happiness produced through things like love, compassion, truth and simplicity. Understandably most tend to fall for the first because gratification on that path is quick whereas peace and happiness is a bit abstract.

However the end result of continued pursuit and indulgence on the path of the devil after an initial gratification is misery and a sinking of the soul. Sickness and health issues are often a byproduct. When a soul suffers from this misery it remembers God and attempts to switch sides. Eventually peace is restored through this switch as a prerequisite to happiness. However, the lure of the devil is very tempting and the taste of what he offered persists; therefore it is common for souls to revert back to the devil as soon as they have found their feet on the ground again. This essentially is the story of living souls in their journey through many life times in the universe. Through all these ups and downs, a soul tends to acquire wisdom and then eventually goes for God out of wisdom and not just an escape from suffering. On that path a soul is more likely to stick longer on the path of peace and happiness (a soul that came to the fold merely because of suffering would tend to leave just as soon as the suffering is lifted), the end result of which is bliss . A soul that has experienced this divine bliss then loses the taste for the stuff the devil has to offer. Such a rare soul then becomes a candidate for eternal bliss and liberation or Nirvana as Buddha called it. In spiritual history there are stories of the devil trying to lure the mightiest such as Buddha, Jesus and many others away with promises of lust, wealth and earthly kingdoms but they had then become embedded in infinite beauty and evolved enough to brush it aside.




It is not that those who pursue a godly path are deprived of money or anything else that is required for them to conduct their lives with ease. How can a starving homeless person be happy? However whatever are the needs and requirements of such persons is arranged for them by the Universal Intelligence with utmost of ease. There have been cases of kings and queens on a saintly mission that have been provided with kingdoms, if that be their mission, according to their personalities. Many humans do not realize that fortunes of humans vary far more than abilities and efforts of humans. Such vast differences are produced by doings of the Universe and while some humans with exceptional wealth may call themselves lucky or assign it to their destiny, some with bloated egos assign it to their exceptional smartness, but there are some who see the hand of God in all this. There can be no smartness that is so many times larger than others that has made it possible for a less than hundred humans of the planet to own wealth equal to half the humans on the planet (See an older post for that). If it were so, the brains of these hundred would have exploded by now. What happens to us eventually is more the result of universal forces rather than our own doings. All it requires is faith on the part of those pursuing a Godly path that their needs shall be met by the Universe without them having to worry about it or compromise their chosen path in any way. 

Some months ago I came across an article by a well known modern preacher (name withheld) who had written an article on how to become successful on linked-in. It is a popular modern subject. As a comment to the article, I asked- Why not be happy instead? I never heard from him since.

An introspective thinker will no doubt inquire: If there is an Almighty God in the Universe, why has he allowed the devil to flourish? The answer is where there is light there must be darkness, where there is lumps of mud and turds, there are flowers and butterflies. Creation is born of pairs of opposites.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Design for a Cottage

Also: A Residential Complex for senior citizens



This blog has posts on design of compact cottages suitable for countryside living. Here is another design of a compact two room cottage. As a engineer my attempt is to design cottages that are simple and sturdy to construct from an engineering point of view. The present design consists of three nine inch brick walls set apart by eleven feet only to provide an economical and sturdy roof supported on these walls. A Kitchen towards the back and a bathroom towards the front is carved out by partitioning walls along with closet spaces. Since side windows are not necessary in this design, such cottages can be constructed in a row as well of two or more cottages for a group of persons.



Design for a Cottage

More on First Floor

Either as a row house or an independent cottage the present design is eminently suitable for creating more residences on the first floor if desired. The first floor rooms can be single room with washrooms or two room suites as shown. They would require a staircase on the side of the building to reach. It goes without saying that while constructing the ground floor roof required beams should be placed along the kitchen and bathroom to make this possible and avoid unnecessary load on roof. This is a simple engineering detail that can be worked out by any architect. The window and door openings on ground floor have been placed so as to make possible the creation of identical single room units on the first floor.
 
 
A Complex of Apartments ( Suitable for a group of Senior Citizens)

Since the present design has no side windows, a row of such cottages can also be set side by side. The following figure shows a complex consisting of such cottages adapted as 20 ground floor apartments for seniors owned by the seniors and more apartments for rent on the first floor in a community complex with a central club on an approximately 2.5 acre complex. The twenty apartments are broken up in four groups of five each to break the monotony of a single long row. The present plot is rectangular but if the plot is odd shaped, the elements of the design can be moved around to fit the shape. The design can easily be scaled up to 25 or thirty apartments too but larger groups may make management more unwieldy although perhaps somewhat more economical.

A luxury complex on the same concept can be developed by making the apartments more spacious and with more land for swimming pool, sauna, lake, meditation and music cottages, Japanese tea room on an island in the lake, bar amidst the orchard, more agricultural and horticultural activities etc.but in this latter case it may be better to rent out most on the first floor as resort/retreat to select clientele for short stays rather than longer term rent.

A Community complex owned by a group of 20 senior citizens


Read why residential complexes for seniors are badly needed in the modern age here


Compact Version

A more compact version of the cottage based on the same design concept is show in the figure below

DESIGN FOR A COMPACT COTTAGE


Check out these older posts for more cottage designs



top most cottage image from:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Simplifying Taxation



Simplifying Taxation
While in many ways modern humans have progressed, there are some things that have become horribly complex in modern times. One of these is the taxation systems that exist in various countries of the world. Humans appear to have literally tied themselves up in knots when it comes to taxes, tax collections and regulations that are like fat books full of much unnecessary gibberish in very many countries of the world. It goes without saying that such systems not only lead to harassment of citizens but also high costs of maintaining these systems and poor tax collections. The fact is that in the modern world far simpler ways to collect taxes are available and any country would do well to discard much of its revenue and tax services along with many regulations and replace it with two or three simple types of taxes. Three that may be mentioned are

  1. GST
  2. Bank Transaction Tax
  3. A Corporate tax on corporate profits

With that will end the pain of filing annual returns (except for corporations) and the huge infrastructure required to maintain existing systems. An enlightened form of corporate taxation that encourages small businesses to grow and prevents large ones from becoming too big for good is described in an earlier post here:
http://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2014/06/rule-of-ninety-step-towards-reducing.html

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Economic Inequality and how to overcome it



A Brief Introduction to the Economics of Greed and Exploitation
Some of the posts in this blog have been about economic inequalities and its tragic consequences - such as hunger, homelessness and early mortality - that seems to be increasing in some of the leading capitalistic societies of the world. The wealth of the world has become concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. It has given rise to things such as the occupy movement and a demand for a return to communism. However communism and equality created by it have not worked since some amount of economic diversity and inequality are natural and required just as it is with the size of trees in a forest. At the same time, given the opportunity, humans can become extremely exploitative leading to unsustainable inequalities. The new revised version of the book – A brief Introduction to the Economics of Greed and Exploitation – suggests simple methods to control extreme economic inequalities in modern capitalism i.e easy and practical ways to put a cap on greed.. The suggestions can be easily implemented given the political will. They contain the rule of ten (see here) and the rule of ninety, extremely simple ways to control high compensations of top executives and low wages of others, as well as extreme exploitative profits by some corporations, that have been discussed in this blog earlier (use the search tool in the left sidebar to reach them) as well as other suggestions on how to rationalize taxes and control inflation that hurts the deprived most. The book can be found at all major online retailers, for example at: