Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cultivating a Sense of Proportion

For some people, a primary goal in life is to enjoy its treasures, such as beauty, goodness, harmony, and wisdom. These qualities have balance and symmetry and show little or no trace of excess.  If they are tainted by extremes or become disproportionate, they acquire opposite characteristics; for example, when distorted, beauty turns to ugliness, goodness to evil, harmony to disharmony, and wisdom to folly. Cultivating a fine sense of proportion in our thoughts and deeds is key to attaining a dazzling mind. This way of thinking provides us rich insights and perfects our judgement.

Balance and proportion are found abundantly in nature. Notice the beautiful geometrical patterns of snowflakes or the majestic display of colors in a rainbow. The multi cellular pattern of a honeycomb and the intricate design of a maple leaf also show symmetry in nature. Over the centuries, artists have embodied this symmetry into their works by freely imitating patterns found in nature.

Paradoxes to Ponder

I believe that contradictory statements are fascinating. They challenge our minds to think deeper about what exactly is the truth.

Here is a paradox for you to ponder:

What is hard than rock or softer than water? Yet soft water hollows out hard rock. Persevere.  -Ovid

How did you figure that out? Do not give up easy. 

Here is a statement for you to be a little humble in order to realize why some people are so confused. The nature of truth is such that it is ambiguous. Consider this statement:

The only certainty is that nothing is certain

This statement makes me more humble, and more tolerant about the opinions of others. People who are 100% sure about a societal issue are putting themselves out on a limb. 

         You have to study a lot to know a little.

It has been my good fortune to interact with some of the worlds greatest minds, all of whom were nobel prize winners. What distinguished them was their learning, but they were very humble people. They showed their greatness by making a little guy like me feel great. 

            People have one thing in common: they are all different. - Robert Zend

The author of this brief statement was indeed a genius. What a remarkable insight it contains that opposite features can be true.  It helps us to appreciate how all of us are more different and the same at the same time. 

              When people are least sure they are most dogmatic. - John Kenneth

We do not know for sure what will happen to us after death. Heaven and Hell could be a state of mind and weather they really exist we do not know for sure. However, we can accept them on faith. Sometimes it troubles me that some people are 100% sure about the existence of Heaven and Hell, they are to my mind, being dogmatic.

                We learn from experience that men never learn anything from experience.  -  George Bernard Shaw

Did you get a chuckle from that statement? I surely did! 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Give Yourself a Dazzling Mind

The human  mind is infinitely richer than any gold mine. The mind embraces the vast universe, peers into an atom, composes melodious music, and designs a plane that can fly faster than the speed of sound.

While it is true that animals are able to think to some degree, the power of the human mind is infinitely superior, our brain stores knowledge and uses the information whenever it is needed. In a sense, we are walking libraries.

Nimbleness is an extraordinary feature of our mind. Within seconds, it can shift its focus from one phenomenon to another: from answering a simple question to the working of a complex crossword puzzle, playing an easy game of cards to a challenging game of chess. The mind is indeed very nimble.

In this chapter we shall discuss many ways to give ourselves a dazzling mind and explore how to achieve our real potential. Because the mind is a single entity, the following points are interrelated and reinforce one another. I hope this discussion will enable you to acquire flashes of wisdom and moments of delight.

A diamond with many facets will shine brilliantly.  Similarly, the mind will shine best when its many facets can radiate with the light of reason. It its objective and subjective, or scientific and artistic. It is able to glow with its latent power and be luminous about reality in a dark world of doubt and error. In a word, the mind is a gift endowing us with a divine quality.