Getting to Zero

I came across this blog post by Callie Oettinger on Steven Pressfields’ blog.  The part about ‘Getting to Zero’ spinned me into an introspective mood.

…My read on Boyd’s “zero” is that getting to zero best enables you to live the person you want to be. You don’t have to get rid of every need (such as food), but everything else. . . Getting to zero gets you to your heart. It could also be that place that allows you to zero in on what’s important to you.

I started wondering how many times in my past have I touched the lowest point. And I mean, in life as a whole and not just in career or relationship or family e.t.c. If it is the ‘point-null’ then it is a crucial point in your life (not for a part of it).
This post is not about ranting – it is about looking at reflections of myself from the past. Pardon me if it gets boring or tiresome(and sorry, I for no pictures). Things like this is not what I talk about to anybody; it is all reserved inside. This is to let everybody in and let them also reflect back on it.

“Getting to zero gets you to your heart.”

This line poked through my brain, not heart. Because my brain now understands why it happened. Heart is an innocent one – it can only know the feeling of abyss not the Whys & Hows of it. The point is ‘Getting to zero’ does gets to your heart.

In this emotional state, one can only have his/her heart to grab on to – for help, for support, for hope. And in that moment of void – the action one takes defines him/her. The action directly comes from ones heart and pushes out the most powerful facet of the will of a person.

So, in the quest to know myself deeper – I want to know my ‘Zero-points’ in the past, and what action I took, and why.

As far as I can recall, I think one point came to me during y school days. When all your childish and childlike notions and the views of the world crumbles in the face of reality and competition. I cannot pin-point the year or any incident – but i think it was the ending 2-3 years of school. When I actually faced competition and had to take it serious.
So, what i did? – I went with the herd. I did not have enough mental sharpness to think of my own – I was simply an innocent being. I am clueless about what happened around me at those time. (Yeah, even at such an age.)

The next came when I faced the next wave of reality – graduating from college. By this time, I had started to read voraciously and was on a crazy ride to learn everything. I had acquired a personal way of thinking and reasoning. With all this knowledge – i became confused – too confused. I  had diverse and volatile interests. I can look into any direction and see some path which can be tread or which I can carve out. Made it so hard to choose any one of them.
( I find myself still in that same state confusion, but now I have started to walk on few of them – simultaneously – thinning myself at times)

 So in those moments of chasm, what i did ? I blamed. Blamed my fate. Blamed myself (mostly). Blamed all the unbaked and incomplete knowledge. Blamed the system. Blamed my education. Blamed my parents even. A frustrated, cynical, self-critical, negative… – these words would paint my inner mindset at those time. However, outside I was not like that – I was more or less normal – defending the inner vulnerable fool. This point placed me into more practical path to life – let’s just say I became a realist(or rational optimist not pessimist).

Any other ‘Null-point’ moments after that??

Two word Psychology and knowledge. I have come to unravel my inner psych and started to acquire external knowledge after the last ‘Null-point’.  Recently, when reading one of Dan Ariely’s book – I found these lines pointing to my reality –

“We are storytelling creatures by nature, and we tell ourselves story after story until we come up with an explanation that we like and that sounds reasonable enough to believe.”

I have become too good at self-story-telling. It does not mean I am living in my delusions. My stories have touch of realism and facts. It is the balancing of the ‘blacks’ and ‘whites’ of life to get a ‘Grey’ of my suiting. That is perhaps why I can give people a good advice grounded in reality, and yet shooting for the clouds.

Lately, I am feeling that I am getting close to my next ‘Zero’ moment in life. My curiosity is clamouring for it. My heart is anxious about it. My brain is avoiding it all the time.

I need some body or only a single soul to point to me the reality when it strikes me. Living in ones own delusional reality is far worse than the actual painful reality. One can remain in that void forever,if he/she does not stands up to the reality. I hope that person breaks it to me when the time comes. Or Perhaps I have found such person or I am still waiting for him/her.
(yesterday, when one concerned friend pointed it to me, i revised my story – I am yet to get to zero.)

Have you had such ‘null-points’ ? What did you find about yourself ?
(If you want to share it with me – I would be glad to hear it.My mail info is on About page for sharing it privately.)

Arigato. 🙂

P.S – Now after writing this I am wondering – is it also one of my ways to weave a story or is it a way to face reality?

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The Mirror

“You remember you told me that I am your confidante.Don’t you?”

“Yes, I trust you with all the crazy secrets and personal feelings”

Smiling & little concerned, he was confused whether to put the question or not. The time has come to confront the last issue which may create, so deep a chasm between them that they may never talk again.

Mustering all his courage he put forth the incredulous possibility to her, ” Have you ever considered the fact that you have never met me in person. So, I may be just a lucid illusion, an Artificial Intelligence or just a figment of your imagination?

What?!…….. What do you mean?…… That…….. I have been letting all my inner feelings & thoughts to…….. a non-human being.” Confused she spoke in broken sentences. She found that there was a sense sincerity in his statement.’Was he telling the truth’ she wondered.

“No, you cant speak so spontaneously to me if you are an AI or machine or program of some sort. Moreover, I am almost disconnected from the virtual grid. You are a real person – don’t trick me into one of your fantasies.”

He laughed at her and replied,” Yes, the possibility of an AI can be rejected,now. And I am not conjuring any fantasy of sort.”
His tone became serious, ” But consider that possibility from a clear mind. Don’t deny the truth in that statement. For that I know my reality – the non-existence of any entity like me. I am unreal, don’t you think?

She was left brooding after reading his words on the glass monitor held in her hand. She considered all the possibility and each time she came to a conclusion that he may be just an illusion. All the facts about him can be produced from anyone. And his thoughts & mind always felt like her own. As if he was a part of her, not a whole part, instead a distorted whole of her. His reactions & response were completely different from any other person she met in real. Her eyes widened & she noticed that all his reaction seemed to be her own. Responses which was her, may be originating in her subconscious or unconscious being. She was startled at the realization. She was getting anxious & agitated from inside. All this time she was talking to an illusion.

“No….No….you have to be real. I deny your crazy proposition. You are tricking me into your story,after all you know so much about me.”

“Don’t worry dear, you will be alright. It’s time to let me go.” He messaged her.

“Don’t go away. Don’t leave me isolated. Please, don’t do this.”, She wanted to talk with him more.She didn’t want the end of it.

The screen-light turned off. Her eyes looked at the black glass screen in her hand. Slowly, the black screen widened & engulfed the whole sight.

EEErrIss

Little Eris opened her eyes. She looked around in the dim-lighted room. It was a simple room of the castle, not ostentatious a bit. There lay only the bed, a table, a lighted candle and a disfigured mirror in the room. Eris got up from the bed and sat in front of the mirror. The reflecting surface of the mirror moved around its hinges as if to look down to the girl.

“Hey! EeerrIss “ Eris addressed the image in the mirror in excitement & cheerfulness. The mirror tilted a little in her response.

“I saw this amazing vision today in my dream. Will you like to listen about it ??”. Mirror nodded in response. Eris started narrating the story of the girl in her dream.

The Mirror was her refuge from all the dreams she had. Well, those dreams were the life of Little Eris. The mirror disfigured more and more each day as she was growing older. In some way, it hoped that the little Eris can handle it all, when one day it will crumble under the stories she narrated to it everyday.

Arigato 🙂

The post is part of the Dungeon Prompt : Seeking Refuge.
I was reading some Science Fiction of late, just to be fresh, while keeping up with all the serious studies. So, tried my hand at this looped up fantasy. 😀 I will also write the reviews of all those books in December month.

UPDATE: Other contributors

Be Still and Know – MarthaOstout

Nature’s Force – Traces of the Soul

Tainted Refuge – Dream Cloud Diaries

Seeking Refuge – SplitSpeak

Seeking Refuge in Illusion – Writing Works in Progress

How to deal… with it – Thirty, Start, Go!

Where Nothing Else Matters – The Seeker’s Dungeon

It’s Superbug

It has been eons since ‘It‘ has been suspended into the upper atmosphere. Its’ many generations floundered there & still does so. However, now It has been feeling a sense of loneliness living between independent clones of It. So, it decided to head way to the surface & meet the other lost brethren in search of fame and adventure. After all, it has survived for so long when others around it perished with the environmental changes.

It crossed the moisture laden cold cloudy grounds to make its way for the settlement. It started feeling the increased heat & pressure as conditions changed drastically as it was reaching the surface. At its arrival, It was perplexed & astonished to find so complex & colorful structures around it. Some were even moving in unison with millions of different kinds working together with millions of others. All excited by the surroundings and eager to show its superiority it went near the immobile structures. But to its surprise they seemed to be deaf or sleeping – none responded. It then moved on to others but it looked none was letting it inside the structure, they’re busy doing their work.

“Hey man! You don’t look from here – what are you up-to  Why are you going to those imbecile ‘plantsiodes’. They are conservative & overprotective.” Came a voice from a group of misty looking skewed group.

Getting a chance to talk to someone ‘It’ replied to the mist, “I came from upper atmosphere to meet likes of me from here. What are you guys called? Who are your ancestors? Why does no one talks here?”

“We are flu virus and nobody of those huge structures will talk to a foreigner here. They see you as intruders & will kill you the instant you enter those structures. If you want a way in- stay with us, we all are heading to a host-body. There will be lots of nutrients there and we found its security easily breach able.”

Nowhere else to go & nobody else to talk to, It headed with them to the host-structure. They entered the huge organisation through special ducts which were sucking the air inside. From outside, the body looked nothing special – it was the inside which was the real marvel. The whole system was made from microbes of various kind and they all were symbiotically surviving, helping each-other. After looking around the space like a carnival they reached their destination. And as soon as they arrived there, the flu-viruses attacked the other inhabitants of the space. They poked inside their cell-wall distorting their internal structure and then taking their food source for themselves. After sometimes the distorted ones also mutated to flu-virus.

“What are you waiting for!! Dig-in and multiply while you can, they will soon send some anti-viruses to kill us”
“ But why are you doing it? Actually, what are you doing ?” asked It.
“You are really a foreigner!! We are the propagators of the anarchy. We pass our agenda to these healthy brain-washed cells and get food from it. They all turn to our form & finally all this marvel you are looking will collapse & die. And we’ll move to another one. Unless they bring in their security to counter us .”
“Why destroy this complex piece of beauty. There was plenty of nutrients outside – I have been living on them since eons. They do change with the environment but I can easily adapt to it. We have excelled in adopting & surviving harshest of the harshest condition and are at the pinnacle of the microbe world”
“That’s what happens when you go for excellence. Here we work by forming groups & try to do our work. And we have survived so far. Number is the power here – the more you are & the more you cooperate – the better your survival is. You see this host-body we are in – it is the result of cooperating numbers but they still are vulnerable to death, with time, like us.”
“I have developed ways to survive for eons. If I tell you how to do that you won’t need all the  numbers & co-operation…”

Getting annoyed by Its’ pontificating, flu picked one of the cell & injected it to Its’ body spike. First time in its life ‘It’ had a taste of such delightful nutrient. The taste of the cell got so engraved into Its’ body sensors that It started thrashing & infecting hoards of cells simultaneously. Flu-virus didn’t knew what it has unleashed upon the host-body. ‘It’ has developed a high level body structure which helped it to survive with bare minimum & with sudden infusion of nectar like cell nutrients, it has gone out of control. Within few hours the organised cells started to melt away which used to take weeks for flu-viruses.

After few more hours the host structure was at brink of death with millions of flu-virus & ‘It’ pro-genies contaminating it. Some of them headed for the next body. ‘It’ was taken by the greed for more & so its progeny split into many directions to try out new host-structures.

It found a human-body which was the most developed organization It had seen on the ground. But It didn’t stop to admire that & went awry there also. It found many others like him – TB viruses, HIV viruses etc. It took their help & camouflaged as them & went on feeding the body. Although, It was in for a surprise – this organization started putting in millions of powerful anti-viral bodies into the system. Many of Its flu friends got annihilated by them. ‘It’ – out of curiosity – infected them also & it came to know that they are much better form to mutate into. ‘It’ took to different forms with each incoming wave of anti-bodies.

While ‘It’ was going on with its feast – it was suddenly sucked out of the system. It found itself stuck into a liquid environment. The human-organization has isolated ‘It’. Then followed the multiple attacks of anti-bodies on ‘It’. As ‘It’ has become hungry because of non-availability of nutrients for hours – it started devouring each wave after wave.
The humans were perplexed by this peculiar behavior of ‘It’. It was resistant to all the anti-bodies known to the humans.

Thus, ‘It’ came to be known as the ‘Superbug’ – a name befitting to Its traits.

Arigato

P.S – part tell-a-tale series. I was reading about the super-bug, so decided to have a story over it. I mixed it with curiosity & innovation concept, search of excellence with different organisation structures. But decided this much was enough. 😛

 

A Whole New Mind

 

Finished reading it in Two months, what a disgrace(not this book).

A Whole New Mind (Why Right-Brainers will rule the Future)

By Daniel H.Pink

Rating: 3.5/5

You know TED Talks , yeah you must have heard about it.If not check it out – they are amazing. I picked up this book after I watched the Daniel Pinks Talk on New Age paradigm shift. His concept looked enticing from the first sentence & I looked up his work & got to this book. This type of books are my cup of tea – Non-Fiction Contemporary work. The book proposes the idea of the next paradigm shift in the human society from L-directed thinking to R-directed thinking. Pink puts some convincing arguments to support his idea. And as for me, I do believe in him to certain extent.It is written in a narrative style where it seems Pink is giving a lecture on the whole concept.

The book starts with Pink inside an MRI machine giving out cognitive tests. The cliched idea of L-directed thoughts & R-directed thoughts are put forth. The main point was only to classify the two types of thinking style. By no way it acknowledged the one-sided thought process( as it is not so, we all are bi-lobed thinkers with some imbalances between their utilization). After that comes the three basic questions which are changing the world at present.

1. Can someone overseas do it cheaper?
2. Can a computer do it faster?
3. Am I offering something that satisfies the non-material transcendent desires of an abundant age?

Try answering them. The answers to these questions are, what has been tilting the scales in favor of R-directed thinking : Asia, Automation & Abundance. The presence of these in a globalized world is pushing the Mans’ ability(read Wests) to R-directed working style.The book then goes on to put facts & some western world trend supporting the influential power of above three factors.Pink then puts his idea of ‘Moving to the R-directed Thinking‘ – well to save the west from getting overwhelmed & perish.Then he presents the six aptitudes required for the R-directed thinking in the conceptual age viz.
Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play, Meaning.

After that Each section takes up one of the above aptitude & explains through it using quotes & anecdotes from various research, reports & people.At the end of each of that chapter there is a list of things which one can use to inculcate that aptitude.And that’s it, the book ends at the ‘Meaning’ aptitude.

Now about my take on it. I read through some criticism of it before writing this review. And I agreed to some of them. Though one thing was common in all of them( even the criticisms)  Daniel Pink proposes a plausible & convincing idea. And he really does – we all can see that world is getting saturated now with abundance & paced production centers of goods & services. To get noticed in this deluge of items one has to innovate & there comes the R-directed thinking. It is obvious by now that creativity has to show the path now, the time of smoothing out techniques using technology & skills are over. Now is the time to innovate – awesome,amazing, crude, ugly,beautiful, crazy… – stuffs. Then again the L-directed thinking will come into play to streamline & smooth-en it.

However, all that looks good when seen from the Western world perspective.But what happens to country like mine(India) which is in Asia. I think it’s obvious that we will also be soon shifting to the R-directed thinking(Very soon). The peculiar point about Indian diaspora is the social structure & the work structure. The no. of people getting affected by this change will be huge but the no. of people who would be able to shift to this new culture will be too small. The most active players in the changed situation will be the Indian Middle Class.Only they can even care for such transition & they will surely ignore & criticize it.From the look at the present scenario & thought-process with the added problem of ‘risk-averse’ attitude if Indians, this transition will be very tumultuous here. Some who will take the lead here will fail in near future but may be also able to ride the new global trend wave in India.Well, it is only a topic of speculation to think of that way for Indian mind-space.The future will tell about the truth in it.

Leaving the ideas apart, the book was like a composition of great mind-titillating thoughts. I would have loved to quote someone the stuff i noted down from the book. Being a design lover & creativity seeker, this book was one to own.The best things were the references given in the book (a lot many of them).At the end of the book there is a long list of references & books  for further reading- I wish I could have also gone through them( perhaps I will). The section of Design, Story,Symphony & Meaning appealed the most to me. The part of Meaning & Play where psychological studies were given was interesting to know about.If you like you can also take some of the psychological tests (links from the book), I went through them & got to know something more about me.

(click on them to take them)
EQ (Empathy Quotient not Emotional)
SQ (Systemizing Quotient not Social)
Eyes Speak (Aankhein Bolti hain :P)
Fake Smile Test (Teri Muskaan hai Jhooti  :P)

I would recommend this book to you if you have similar taste as mine.Or if you are in an industry or work-area where such transition will affect you or is affecting you. After all (quoted) – “Today we’re all in the Art Industry”.(For Indians, we will be or we are going to be) 😉

Aarigato.

P.S – This book presented to me some moral work dilemmas like Will it be OK if the new work will be low-pay? & would not require much education/training? or will leave a major population into more destitute level of life-style? They are for later posts(if i get time to contemplate over them)

#amwriting uptill now

I started this personal illustration project based on tag #amwriting.Check here.

I made around 6 illustration by far.Because of all the year end festivities I was not able to continue that.And *sigh* I will not be able to continue making that.
Reason being that I am going to Delhi on 12th for studies (hopefully) & would not have my laptop with me. 😦 (I will blog though).

So, I thought why not tell you how many #amwriting ideas I got from all of you & some by myself.

#amwriting

Writing My Story
Writing My Passion

Writing To Discover
Writing My Love
Writing On Paper
Writing My Book
Writing Is Job
Writing My Blog
Writing My Thoughts
Writing To Escape
Writing To Be Me
Writing Is Magic
Writing Bleeding My Heart Out
Writing My Mind
Writing Anonymously
Writing For Happiness
Writing To Be Happy
Writing Is Freedom
Writing To Clear Head
Writing To Contribute
Writing To Move Hearts

Okay, so I got 21 ideas by far.And as I am so lagging in creating them…I will be busy enough with them.
Still If you have any more Ideas – Do tell me. & #keepwriting 🙂

Aarigato

Just Working

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

It was raining heavily on the terrain, the visibility was less than 2 meters. Amir picked up his primitive glasses and pressed the left screen. It was connecting to the server and he has to wait there, hidden in the camouflage. The data was downloaded, now he can view the contours of the forestland ahead of him.Still it was not clear, the dense woods were obstructing the view.He then clicked the right screen of his eye-piece.Infrared visuals were started.Now Amir decided to come out of the hiding and move forward.

Highly exasperating , his heart pounding fast he paced to the left. Amir had to penetrate the enemy-lines and signal his team.He was moving in a zig-zag fashion to evade any snipe shots or laser beams.To his surprise, something came from behind and stunned him at his place. He tried to move his head but coudn’t. His pupils dilated to look for the coming entity towards him.He heard something pouncing the ground, moving towards him, roaring.He was waiting for the stun to wither down.He saw an incoming glowing light towards him, it was a big white polar bear – glittering in an armor with blue crystals.Amir regained his conscious and dodged the incoming threat.It was run for life now – he got on his legs and sprinted.Throwing down bombs on his way and expecting that the bear might get caught in it.*Boom* *Boom*

Amir heard the blasts and decided to go for the enemy lines.He again camouflaged and hid into the bushes for evading any pursuer.Suddenly he found himself chained by a yellow rope and getting pulled away from his hide-out. A warrior woman was pulling him towards her.He felt his body heating up. He knew he would melt away from inside if nothing was done.He jumped towards the woman and pulled a battery size switch from his belt.She was taken aback by this move and was pulling her glowing staff to hit him with.Too slow of her,Amir touched her hand and pushed the button.A red lightning shrouded both of them.The warrior shrieked and the rope was let loose.Not letting anytime waste, Amir pulled another switch which was attached to his back. He pulled the warrior towards him, planted a kiss on her lips and pushed the green button.Ten mile of the surrounding area was consumed by a flash.After the light dimmed, the whole area became an inferno and in the center lied the skeletal of both the warrior woman and Amir.

Fortrunner-364 opened his eyes slowly, adjusting to the bright light coming from the window.He looked at his hand , his lips parted showing his white teeth.And his laughter broke the silence in the room.He was amused by what he has achieved – today he made it to the next hierarchy.Now he will get a raise and more perks.Now he can pay the loan early for his SFe-520 cruiser.Looking through his office hall he felt relieved, now he will get a cabin on the above floor.He will leave this floor, his colleagues. He was expecting that some-one might log-off from his work and he can share the good news.The happiness blooming inside him was making him impatient. He was repeatedly checking the back of his hand.

It was only 04:52 10/02/2090 [GTA +5.00] Wednesday.
Office hours will end at 5:00.

You have 8 more min.Please play and complete the working hours. [The message was flashing on his hand’s skin]

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

The Bankster

by Ravi Subramanian

Rating: 2.5/5

Like a lukewarm tomato soup dashed with pepper, ‘The Bankster’ runs down smoothly heating up the throat as it nears the climax. The thriller is as easily digestible as the popular soup , as slurpy and tangy. GB2- An MNC banks’ operations in India intertwined with events related to nuclear plant commission in Devikulam,Kerela forms the basic plot. Ravi Subramanian has prudently weaved the story, jumping between the situations at bank and at Devikulam. He has skillfully & credibly connected the recent controversy of Nuclear plant with fraudulent operations in a global bank.The revelation of the Bankster was the most satisfying part of the book for me.Keeping true to its genre it moves the reader into one direction presenting the corporate life in the Banking industry with snippets of events in Devikulam and captures the reader off-guard in the climax. If banking life fascinates you and you have a taste for thrillers, you can take up this book.

The book starts with background of two character – an illegal & covert broker of blood diamonds and a social activist.Then the different characters of the GB2 Bank are introduced presenting the melancholic & deceitful politics of Bankers.Right from the CEO of the Bank to the managers of Bandra branch are shown with their typical behavior toward each other and internal dynamics of the bank.The favorite executive of the CEO and his beloved HR plot to form a favorable hierarchy of their trusted sub-ordinates only to misuse them for personal benefits. There is acrimony between an experienced RM(relationship manager) and a new hot recruit RM, who enchants the customers & her seniors.The story keeps on jumping between the events at Devikulam – how the protest came into being, how they planned it and tried to rebuff the govt. stand.Half of the story,it unfolds like that, pacing steadily lifelessly.

The second half puts some spirit into the thriller when the murders portrayed as accidents starts occurring. The mind goes on connecting the facts & the disconnected incidents, trying to unravel the plot.But after going into 3/4th of the book, an ex-banker or investigative reporter puts the story on a high-speed train, figuring out the motives and truth behind all the deaths at the bank.This part is like ‘Sherlock Holmes’ movies, the investigation goes on proving the hypothesis with evidence coming out from under the carpets.And finally, the truth is reveled to everyone.Both the plots converge to present a big fraudulent scheme to stop commissioning of  Nuclear Plant involving key position of the GB2 bank and blood diamonds.The story ends with the culprit embracing death  and the resulting repercussions of the truth.

Reading this novel, confirmed to me that ‘Banking’ is really a boring trade and blase in taste.If people are enchanted by such stories of Bankers, in my opinion they require reality check. It’s same all where, even in govt. That’s why i was in a lull until the killing starts.Even to charge up the readers, the ex-banker was converted into a detective. It was this investigative character which made the book worth while reading.Though i will concur that i was confused till the last chapter about the culprit and the revelation surprised me.I never thought about that character.One more thing, what was the obsession with the Apple products most reader know how a touch screen works *duh*.In the last quarter of the story, it looked as if evidence were being created to support the hypothesis as in divine interventions.

For me it was not worthwhile to read it.It evoked nothing substantial in me.I think after reading ‘Red Jihad‘, i started expecting something new & exciting from Fictions.Though the simple creativity shown in weaving this story is truly commendable.As i said in the start, it was like a tomato soup for me – the popular choice of many but not mine.

Aarigato

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com . Participate now to get free books!