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June 7, 2006

"The Clean Slate"

To really understand oneself and the world better, one should start with a clean slate.

Erase all the criss-crosses of the chalk on it, all the dust that has settled on it, and wipe it clean with water and cloth.

Then restart writing on it, this time do it very carefully and slowly.....

Start with "Should I live or should I die? Why should I want to live?" Give this question some deep thought.

Then go to "What should I do with my time here? What do I want?". Throw in the "Who am I?" and "What have I been doing all this time?" in there somewhere.

After posing various questions, and writing the answers down, which can take days, weeks, months or years, you should have a new perspective on which to make judgements, decisions, etc.

Once the slate is clean, and has statements which only have been put there with deliberate thought, we become open to new ways of thought -- this is its biggest advantage. So at that point, you view whatever you had learned, or got misguided in the past, in a completely different light.

However, I have noticed that this sometimes, at least in my case (see this post and this post) and someone else's I know, results in an individualistic outlook. If one really starts thinking -- "what do I really want", he goes in the "alone, egotist, its-my-life" individualistic approach.

At that point, Yoga, meditation and in general spirituality start helping. Getting to know the world consciousness start having more meaning. "God", "religion", "spirituality", "yoga", "meditation" all start looking as synonyms of non-egoism and dissolved-boundaries-between-self-and-everything-else.

Science, spirituality, psychology, philosophy, technology, culture, relationships, etc start looking as the mirrors of the a kaleidoscope using the light of "ego" and "the non-living".

And then you go crazy, and visit a shrink. Just kidding! :)

UPDATE: Rishi pointed to his very splendidly written insights in this blog post, which I commented to as well.

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Comments

Gaurang,

A nice and straight fwd post. I come from the other end though. I started out as a spiritualist, a religious man.
It was after it that I had to wipe my "slate" clean. Here
I wrote something.

And it is this time when you are an individual, the time when you are "wiping your slate". It is when you are You, Yourself and no one else. In s/w world its the unit testing, before integration.

I also believe that intellectual awareness does not serve any purpose, cause everyone is aware about everything to an certain extent. The crux is what do you do with that awareness. I ve some more to add to "contributing"..plz let me formulate and add.

I beleive that we have gone thru a similar process before - of rethinking this world and deep introspection.

But we probably arrived at somewhat different conclusions. Well, conclusions is a bad word since the conclusion never happens. :)

Anyway, I also beleive that it is not useful unless it is used. Like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said "Wisdom is a burden if it does not make you free."

Please look at the comment I made at your entry as well...

Gaurang,

I read your posts on Nihilism and good (?) to see that you had a little drive thru that way. I had my own tryst with nihilism, only without being aware that anything like this exists. As I told you I come from the other side, it was while meditating and clear state of mind I wondered “why do I do it?” and that was it. You rightly said it takes a long time to take guard. And in the meanwhile I lost almost all material & abstract things I held dear.

But I now feel it is good to take a dip thru Nihilism, though you can never be totally free from it, it shows you the right way to realization, as some call it. From here onwards the ways are different; the way of taking guard is different. I now “choose” to be an existentialist and call my current state as a paradox, I am a hedonistic monk!

"Conclusion never happens" perfectly said!! I am a big admirer of Sri Sri...happened to do all AoL courses and meet him many times.

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