“Graduate from Kindergarten”

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“Graduate from Kindergarten”

I began typing this with two thumbs on my tablet as I lay on my back resting from spinal torture some days back. As I was pondering through my pain about my existence and purpose , I tried to put my thoughts into words and wrote pages and pages of pure drivel. Then I realized others have said it in many better ways and some compiled what others said in many more ways.

I therefore begin by picking quotes from a TedX talk by Dada GunaMuktananda (Am not joking. Dada Guna is not me but some westerner dressed in flowing beard, turban and saffron calling himself Dada Gunamuktananda and finding it difficult as he says to pronounce it himself)
So here is what Dada Guna spoke and quoted:

Max Planck, the father of quantum theory, considered consciousness as fundamental.
“I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing postulates consciousness,”

this from the pioneer of quantum theory.

A bit later, the physicist James Jeans wrote:

“The stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality. The Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine.”

And I better throw in something from Einstein here just to give it a bit more oomph.

“The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is at the root of all true science. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power which is revealed in the incomprehensible Universe is my idea of God.”

Finally, I want to give you an example of a contemporary scientist who actually experienced higher consciousness first hand. Dr. Eben Alexander is a neuroscientist who had like many of his colleagues bought into the idea that the brain creates its own consciousness. Then, quite ironically, he contracted a very rare brain infection which put him in a coma for a week during which he experienced the heightened and enlightened state of awareness, despite the fact that he was clinically brain dead at the time. said: “During my seven days of coma, I not only remained fully conscious but journeyed to a stunning world of beauty and peace and unconditional love. I underwent the most staggering experience of my life, my consciousness traveling to another level.”

Dr. Alexander is now on a mission to convince the brain science community to, as he puts it, “graduate from kindergarten” and move on from the idea that the brain creates its own reality.

Dada Gunamuktananda went further in his talk to demonstrate how we can move to a higher consciousness through meditation but I won’t go into that here. Dada Guna titled his TedX talk “Consciousness – The final frontier” – you can find it on youtube if you want. But I think he should have talked about “Consciousness – The Infinite frontier’

Meditation, prayer, worship, namaaz and such have different forms in different religions and only the rare practitioners of those forms perfectly would have experienced the full benefits. My suspicion is that the really great souls don’t take any effort to convert their experiences into marketing brands and build multinational empires out of yoga, meditation or religion.

There are more recent and old scientific work in consciousness and even Quantum Physics/Mechanics that are published and some in progress that may enlighten you on the subject if only you seek to find.

Atheism to me was the first step I thought to a higher consciousness. When I got uncomfortable with Atheism or even what I know of science, as it did not explain some of my experiences, I decided to get into a tangible and practical (as I felt it to be) form of practice called “Karmayoga” where I did not have to worry about metaphysical stuff and focus on Work and duty. And before I could perfect my practice of Karmayoga I have now had more exhilarating experiences (No I don’t mean weed or other physical substances) . I won’t advertise those experiences here or ask others to try. (Find your own poison)

I will continue to try to be a Karmayogi as I started out a few decades back, but do my own backroom experiments into other mindblowing stuff. Meanwhile I will wait for the results from down to earth scientific experiments to propagate to the general population’s conscious knowledge and I hope I and my other friends that like to debate such issues “Graduate from Kindergarten”.

Added later:

Someone tells me “Karmayoga” is the Kindergarten of Spirituality. I hope I never Graduate from Kindergarten then.

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Need Change Managers

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When I joined an unrecognized post graduate course decades back, I was motivated by what the course prospectus claimed ” To create barefoot managers that the country needs urgently in large numbers”. I had MBA admission to two Universities but chose to become a ‘barefoot manager’ rather than a management trainee , progress to be an  executive and ultimately retire as a senior manager in some Corporate Group.

Not sure if the course made me a “barefoot manager” but I think we need skilled “Change Managers”

In this age of Rapid Change, we need Change Managers with skills to asses Impacts of change, list options to manage these changes, make choices and execute the change management plans. Such change Managers are needed at every level, from companies to Governments to local communities and organizations.
Market Research or Impact Assessments would also need to take a 360º view of peoples’ needs.
I have attempted to summarize different Impacts today’s changes may have on people & communities. Obviously am missing many Impacts. just sharing what I wrote for your comments.

impacts

  • These Impacts would have to be identified and assessed with evidence,
  • Solutions found to minimize the negative impacts,
  • Ways found to make people’s lives better-off,
  • Options listed to manage these impacts,
  • Choices made from the options, and
  • Change Management plans implemented.

Not just at a national level but Change Management skills will be needed at every business, organization, Government, Community and for our own lives.

just an early morning thought as I have started working after a long period of rest, recovering from an accident.

Look forward to your comments.

Barefoot Economics

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Posted earlier as a Facebook note on 17 September 2011 at 08:23

 What is “barefoot economics”

Chilean Barefoot Economist Manfred Max-Neef explains;

“Well, it’s a metaphor, but a metaphor that originated in a concrete experience. I worked for about ten years of my life in areas of extreme poverty in the Sierras, in the jungle, in urban areas in different parts of Latin America. And at the beginning of that period, I was one day in an Indian village in the Sierra in Peru. It was an ugly day. It had been raining all the time. And I was standing in the slum. And across me, another guy also standing in the mud — not in the slum, in the mud. And, well, we looked at each other, and this was a short guy, thin, hungry, jobless, five kids, a wife and a grandmother. And I was the fine economist from Berkeley, teaching in Berkeley, having taught in Berkeley and so on. And we were looking at each other, and then suddenly I realized that I had nothing coherent to say to that man in those circumstances, that my whole language as an economist, you know, was absolutely useless. Should I tell him that he should be happy because the GDP had grown five percent or something? Everything was absurd.

 

So I discovered that I had no language in that environment and that we had to invent a new language. And that’s the origin of the metaphor of barefoot economics, which concretely means that is the economics that an economist who dares to step into the mud must practice. The point is, you know, that economists study and analyze poverty in their nice offices, have all the statistics, make all the models, and are convinced that they know everything that you can know about poverty. But they don’t understand poverty. And that’s the big problem. And that’s why poverty is still there. And that changed my life as an economist completely. I invented a language that is coherent with those situations and conditions.”

 

He proposes 5 postulates and one fundamental Value Principle

1.The economy is to serve the people and not the people to serve the economy.

2. development is about people and not about objects.

3. Growth is not the same as development, and development does not necessarily require growth.

4. No economy is possible in the absence of ecosystem services.

5. The economy is a subsystem of a larger finite system, the biosphere, hence permanent growth is impossible.

 

And the fundamental value to sustain a new economy should be that no economic interest, under no circumstance, can be above the reverence of life.

 

Read more: http://www.democracynow.org/2010/11/26/chilean_economist_manfred_max_neef_on

IAC Activist Chanchal Sharma’s Diary Entry for 14 Oct 2012

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Chanchal Sharma is an IAC activist. It was a busy eventful day for India Against Corruption. She wrote this quick report of the day’s events (in Hindi).

आज के पूरे दिन के घटनाक्रम पर अगर नज़र डाली जाए,तो इसमें एक्शन,ड्रामा,इमोशंस सब थे…ड्रामा खुर्शीद साहब के हिस्से आया पर आन्दोलनकारियों ने जिस ज़ज्बे,और हौसले का सबूत दिया वो बयां करने के लिए शब्स्द कम पड़ रहे हैं,…पर कोशिश करती हूँ कि आप को सीधा प्रसारण दिखा सकूं,…आन्दोलनकारियों की आज की सुबह धरना स्थल पर चाय बिस्किट के साथ हुई….उसके बाद करीब 100 -150 कार्यकर्ता और विकलांग साथी 4 गाड़ियों मे भरकर वहां पहुंचे… सभी सुरक्षा घेरों को सफलता पूर्वक तोड़ कर इंदिरा गाँधी एअरपोर्ट पहुंचे, जहाँ पर हमारे कानून मंत्री का काफिला विदेश से शिरकत करने वाला था.,.आन्दोलनकारियों ने जमकर नारेबाजी की,और कानून मंत्री का विरोध किया…..पर दुर्भाग्य वश 10 :40 का विमान 10 :05 पर आ गया और मंत्री जी पिछले दरवाजे से दनदनाते हुए अपनी सफ़ेद गाडी में बैठ कर चलते बने…एक गाडी ने खुर्र्शिद की गाडी का पीछा किया

और उनके घर तक पहुंची,…वहां पुलिस ने उसे सुरक्षित किले में तब्दील किया हुआ था….पुलिस ने आन्दोलनकारियों को गिरफ्तार किया,और थाणे ले गयी,..उसके बाद दूसरी गाडी आई,..उसे भी पुलिस ने गिरफ्तार किया और ले गयी…फिर तीसरी गाडी उन्हें छुडाने के मकसद से मंदिर मार्ग थाने गयी,…और वहां से धरना स्थल पहुँच गये…फिर 12 बजे के आस पास अरविन्द ने एक कनाट प्लेस में एक मार्च निकाला….फिर खुर्शीद साहब की प्रेस वार्ता हुई,जिसमे उन्होंने आमआदमी को सड़क छाप कह कर दुत्कारा,पत्रकारों को गरियाया,….पर अंत वही रहा धाक के तीन पात,…मंत्री जी खुद ही बेआबरू हो चले गये….इसी बीच नज़फगढ़ और विकासपुरी में बिजली बिल के विरोध में आइ.ए.सी. ने शीला दीक्षित का खूब विरोध किया और गिरफ्तार हुए…. फिर धरना स्थल से कई दल खुर्शीद के घर को निकले…आइ.ए.सी कार्यकर्ता,हरियाणा के जय हिंद कार्यकर्ता,और विकलांग साथियों का जत्था शामिल था….बदकिस्मती से विकलांग साथियों का समूह ही सबसे आगे था,तो उनमे से किसी छोटी सी बच्ची ने गलती से पास ही खड़ी पुलिस की जिप्सी से खुर्शीद के घर का पता पूछ लिया और जो दिल्ली पुलिस सरकार की वॉच डॉग बनी बैठी थी,उन्हें वहीँ पकड़ कर बस में भरवा कर मंदिर मार्ग थाने ले गयी…यही काम आइ.ए.सी. कार्यकर्ताओं के साथ किया गया,..उन्हें दूसरी बस में भर दिया गया…इसी बीच 15 साल की विकलांग माधुरी को मंदिर मार्ग थाने के एस.एच.ओ. सतीश शर्मा ने पीटा भी…इसके विरोध में 2 घंटे थाने के बाहर जम कर विरोध प्रदर्शन हुआ,तब जाकर पुलिस ने आन्दोलनकारियों को रिहा किया…पूरे दिन के लाज़वाब विरोध प्रदर्शन के बाद रात के 9 बजे एक महिला आन्दोलनकारी के नेतृत्व में खुर्शीद के घर तक कैंडल मार्च निकाला गया…वहां भजन किये,…और 10 बजे वापिस आये…अब दिन भर की थकान के बाद सड़कों पर खुले आसमा के नीचे आन्दोलनकारी फिर सुबह होने का इंतज़ार कर रहे हैं…………………………..(चंचल शर्मा)

Can People Determine Prices of Essential commodities?

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The Anti-corruption movement in India IAC (India Against Corruption) has started the process of launching a political party. A draft vision document and other drafts were released for inputs from public. Those opposed to IAC have naturally criticized these documents. Among these is a Party pamphlet titled ‘Political Revolution’ .The choicest abuses and criticism has been about a sub-section of the roadmap of issues targeted  by the party broadly laid out in 9 sub-sections. Sub-section 3 talks about tackling price rice and is sub titled “People will decide prices of essential commodities.”

Now how can People determine prices? what about market forces? Many such questions are being raised and abuses hurled such as anarchists, Stupidity, impractical, Utopian,  Do they know economics? and worse. Even the architect of IAC Arvind Kejriwal conceded on NDTV that perhaps the sub-title is misleading and may need to be re-examined when the draft is finalized.

Most of the abusers have not read the section and argument below the sub-title. There is no profound “Economics” argument here. The simple argument in the pamphlet is that the price rise is due to the acts of Government and policy in unfair deals with the private and foreign companies. Price rise can be controlled if the interest and consent of the people prevails in such  decisions. While the larger economic policy of  liberalisation is not discussed, liberalisation, growth and reforms cannot become excuses for crony capitalism and underhand deals between politicians and private companies.

A rough translation of the relevant sub-section is given below:

3. Mitigating Price Rise

People will decide prices of Essential commodities

Life has become very difficult for a common man today due to rising prices. The Government has deliberately kept the prices of many goods expensive to benefit large corporates. Corruption is directly involved in this. Essential commodities in the nation should not be expensive without the will of the people.

  1. Prices of petrol, diesel, LPG and gas cylinders can immediately be reduced. On one side the government has exempted big and rich companies from paying Rs. 13 lakh crores (1.3 million) in the past 3 years. On the other side the Government collects taxes on petrol and diesel to the extent of 2 lakh crores a year from the common man. Bravo Government!  It exempts the rich and sucks the blood of the common man. This has to stop. Petrol can be sold at Rs. 50/- per lit and diesel at Rs. 40/- per lit if the taxes of Rs 13 lakh crores were collected from the rich. There would also be no need to reduce the number of cooking gas cylinders per houselhold. People can be provided unlimited number of gas cylinders at Rs. 350/- per cylinder.
  2. 1250 cubic kilometers of underground oil reserves in Rajasthan have been given away to foreign companies at throwaway prices. These companies extract the oil at a cost of US$. 3/- a barrel and sell it to the Government of India at US$ 100/- a barrel. Why cannot the Government directly extract the oil? What is the need to allow foreign companies profit so much? If some of this oil is taken back from these companies and given to the people,the prices of fuel could be reduced further.
  3. The Sheila Dixit Government in Delhi has colluded with he private electricity distribution companies and increased the prices of electricity 100%. The opposition party BJP is silent on this. Both the ruling party Congress and the opposition BJP collude with the private electricity distribution companies. These companies make huge profits. In other states like Delhi where electricity distribution is privatised too, there is a need to drastically reduce the prices of electricity.
  4. In Delhi and many parts of the country water supply is being handed over to some foreign companies at throwaway prices. Wherever such privatisaion is happening, there is a need to cut the prices of water drastically.
  5. If the prices of petrol, diesel, cooking gas, electricity and water are reduced, the prices of other essential commodities would fall. Such a system will be created by which people’s consent will be needed to increase the prices of these.
  6. The Government has started speculative trading on every commodity. The prices of food grains, cereals, every commodity have become a gamble. The biggest reason for price rice, these deals will be stopped.

Coworking in Delhi

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Delhi has 2 Coworking Centers :

1. Moonlighting
Located in Greater Kailash I. This is a social enterprise establishing coworking and cooperative cultural spaces. — Our first is a members house in South Delhi, having space to hangout, work and stay, both ad-hoc and long-term. We support independent professionals, social entrepreneurs, creatives, researchers, hackers, anyone with an open mind and some freedom to explore. Moonlighting is open for non members over the whole of Jellyweek till 20th January: if you are looking for a coworking space or an accommodation in Delhi, feel free to visit us. Moonlighting is managed by a couple of serial entrepreneurs who are passionate on building a strong community of social innovators and entrepreneurs in Delhi NCR region. It is one of its kind house which provides short and medium stay options along with coworking in India.
contact: https://www.facebook.com/Moonlighting.Delhi

2. Coworking Delhi
This was cofounded in 2011 by 3 independent persons. Shiva, a Delhi based social entrepreneur, Gunasekar a market research consultant from chennai who came to delhi to bootstrap his research agency, and Mary Kezo a travel consultant from Nagaland.
Located in the narrow lanes of mahipalpur opposite Aerocity metro station near airport.
The coworking center occasionally attracts individual consultants, small companies and NGOs that have work to get done with the Government or International agencies and the odd foreign visitors to Delhi who learn about the place from Twitter / facebook. The companies and NGOs besides getting contacts, advice and travel arrangements at the center, also sign a contract to use the address and space as their official address and when needed hires other coworkers there to do their tasks.
The coworking center has been the birthplace/nursery of 5 enterprises:
1. ShivaS Social Enterprise that distributes solar energy lights and products- now being registered as a Public limited company.
2. Methodlabs Services Private Limited that is a professional research & consultancy company
3. Third Eye Travels that is starting up its travel services.
4. Skillsindia Networks at its pre-startup stage
5. And a fifth real estate enterprise that is yet to take-off

While the ownership of the enterprises are clearly that of the individual entrepreneurs, the work culture is informal and collaborative without stakes. Anybody can work free at the center and get support and guidance too. Gunasekar inspired by the solar enterprise of Shiva, now lives 3 floors above the Delhi Coworking center entirely on solar power with zero electricity bills.

There were initial concerns about the survival of the center, lack of demand for the coworking space, unattractive location and facilities but these concerns have diminished with one of the enterprises born here, ShivaS showing growth and promise of success.

The Jellyweek agenda of Coworking Delhi is to introspect and take decisions for the future, Gunasekar as the Coworking Worldwide Ambassador in India volunteers online on tasks that help other coworking centers across the world.

contact: https://www.facebook.com/cowoindia

for info about Coworking JELLYWEEK click below to see our ABOUT page:
http://jellyweek.tumblr.com/about