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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Illusory world fascinates - awareness doesn't - why?

I was taking a brisk walk in the city during lunch and I couldn't help notice the illusory world in all its magnamity. So, I was wondering why was such beauty, complexity and intricacy created as distraction for us.

There are some people so oblivious of the inherent awareness, and truly live the joys of the world day in and day out. Are they missing out on something? Or is it me who is missing out on something, when I just try to reach into the depth of my awareness, constantly reaching out and trying to feel it, for that instant of gratification that I crave for so many years now - but is still beyond reach. Is it time to give up and just live.

But then if God really wanted me to be aware, I would be aware? As Ramesh once said. Why am I in this ephemeral world when the whole purpose is to be in the state of bliss, enlightenment, buddha, moksha - call it what you want? So why am I really here? Why this the path? Couldn't it be easier? If I cannot hit some basic objectives of this life, how can I expect to get something that Buddha obtained after 14 years of deep introspection and meditation casting the pleasures of life. Adya thinks it is not necessary, as we are already in the awarenss. But, I don't see that

Why do I have to go through this cyclic joys and sorrow? Why do I have to go through these emotions of want, weaknesses and strengths, egoes and other complexes? Why do we have to go through these thoughts - zillion battery of ideas floating in and out? What does that all lead me to? Why is this necessary? Are the people who don't know of this awareness thingy- happiness? Wasn't Tony Soprano living a carefree life?

It seems like I ignore the fact that I too will pass on some day. It happens when it needs to happen. But, seems like I know that I will survive ... thus I ignore death. It is tragic, but I never really relate it to myself as I (as in my awareness) knows that it never dies. That confidence keeps me ticking. If I knew I have to die someday, that would make me a nervous wreck. I am on a verbal onslaught here, but still unable to pinpoint what I felt today.

I think I am trying to question God's reasoning in thrusting me into this illusory world, and for putting so many temptations along my way. Does it make me superior not to yield to some, or it is OK to give in and indulge in some? What really goes on when I yield to the temptations and indulge. Does that make me a bad guy? Who are the bad guys? Are they really the good guys who are bad without any pretenses? Maybe, in aspring to be the good guy I have this baggage that really makes me a bad guy?

But the true question is WHY? All the restrictions of the human body, why? Why all these unanswered desires? I guess I am still not making my point.

---- Here I had to table this in in Draft status not knowing where this is going ---
So I continue....
But, I guess I am amazed at the fascination of this illusory sensory world. Why so?
Case in point, this write up on Steve Wozniak's book IWOZ - why does stuff have that appeal, some thing catch our fascination, and some things don't. How people's mind seem to converge into a fascination for an ipod, an actress, a rock star - while we seemingly ignore the truth of our real self...I just wonder, why we get so caught up in the details of the day and miss out on the real big picture...I really wonder

Wozniak describes prankster days, harrowing adventures in his book

The following is an edited chapter from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak's book, ``iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon,'' ($25.95), to be released Monday by W.W. Norton and Co. In it, Wozniak describes his prankster side, playing with a device called a ``Blue Box,'' that allowed a person to make free telephone calls.

Losing my Pinto changed my life completely. One of the major parts of my life at Berkeley was taking groups of people down to Southern California or even as far south as Tijuana, Mexico, on weekends. Actually, my first thought after the crash wasn't, ``Oh, thank God I'm alive,'' but ``Man, now I'm not going to be able to take my friends on wild adventures anymore.''

The car crash was the main reason that, after this school year, my third year at Berkeley, I went back to work instead of coming back to school. I needed to earn money, not just for the fourth year of college but also for a new car.

If I hadn't gotten in the car accident that year, I wouldn't have quit school and I might never have started Apple. It's weird how things happen.

* * *

But for the rest of the year at Berkeley, I kept playing with my Blue Box. Captain Crunch's design had given me an idea: to add a single little button where I could preprogram a ten-digit number.

The number I chose to dial was this weird joke line in Los Angeles. It was called Happy Ben. When you called it, this cranky old guy -- he sounded like a real old guy -- would answer in this old voice like gravel: ``Hey,'' he'd say, ``it's me, Happy Ben.'' And then he'd sing, off-key, and with no music:

Happy days are here again

happy days are here again

happy days are here again

happy days are here again.

And then, ``Yep, it's me again. It's Ben.''

Don't ask me why, but of all the joke lines in the world I now had free access to with my Blue Box, that one number always cheered me up and made me smile. It was just the fact that this grumpy-sounding old guy would sing that song in such a truly happy way. Somehow that style of humor made me laugh. I hope to do the same thing myself some day. Maybe I can sing the national anthem on a joke line. I still might.

* * *

Now that I had a Blue Box that could call anywhere, even internationally, I had a lot of fun calling joke lines all over the world. I'd walk up to a pay phone, dial some 800 numbers, seize the line with the Blue Box, push the automatic button -- beep beep beep -- and there he was again. Happy Ben singing ``Happy Days Are Here Again.'' It was my favorite thing.

But I hadn't forgotten what was supposed to be the real mission of phone phreaking: not to mess up the system, but to find flaws and curious things and secrets the phone company never told anyone about. And I really did stick with the honesty thing. Even when I made my calls to friends, relatives, to people I normally would've called anyway, I made a point of paying for those calls. I didn't use the Blue Box. To me, that would have been stealing, and that wasn't what I was about.

But I did like to use the Blue Box to see how far it could get me. For instance, I would make a call to an operator and pretend I was a New York operator trying to extend the lines for phase measurements, and she would connect me to London. Then I'd talk that operator into connecting me to Tokyo. I would go around the world like this sometimes three times or more.

And by this time I got great at sounding official, or doing accents, all to fool operators around the world. I remember one very, very late night in the dorm when I decided to call the pope. Why the pope? I don't know. Why not? So I started by using the Blue Box to call Italy Inward (country code 121), then I asked for Rome Inward, and then I got to the Vatican and in this heavy accent I announced I was Henry Kissinger calling on behalf of President Nixon. I said, ``Ve are at de summit meeting in Moscow, and we need to talk to de pope.''

And a woman said, ``It's five-thirty here. The pope is sleeping.'' She put me on hold then for awhile, and then told me they were sending someone to wake him and asked if I could call back. I said yes, in an hour.

Well, an hour later I called back and she said, ``OK, we will put the bishop on, who will be the translator.'' So I told him, still in that heavy accent, ``Dees is Mr. Kissinger.'' And he said, ``Listen, I just spoke to Mr. Kissinger an hour ago.'' You see, they had checked out my story and had called the real Kissinger in Moscow.

Ha! But I didn't hang up. I said, ``You can verify my number. You can call me back.'' And I gave him a U.S. number that would call a loop-back number so they wouldn't find out my number. But they never called back, which was too bad.

Years later, though, I couldn't stop laughing when I saw an article about me where they were interviewing Captain Crunch. He said I was calling the pope to make a confession!

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Welcome to the spirituality blog

This blog is an offshoot of a website that I had conceived as a result of the spiritual grace and resultant inspiration during Shivaratri Y2K (http://www.jyotirlinga.com) on the joy of Shiva Bhakti and my quest for spiritual progress. Not finding the time (yep, bad excuse!), this blog suits me fine in quickly adding content... my spiritual forays and thoughts - helps log them too. My spiritual journey started with Hinduism and it's simple stories/ teachings as far back as when I was a 2nd grader, with Lord Shiva and has now found convergence with Advaitism / Duality. The Advaitism gurus like Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi, Nisargadatta Maharaj; they have provided that spiritual boost of energy in many lagging moments and have tremendously influenced me ... little baby steps at a time... that will hopefully all lead upto a final crescendo. The merits of satsangh are many!

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