The Search 4 – the path

In our search we feel we found a way. We stick to it. We follow its practices and rituals.

By doing so we believe we can make progress. In fact, at times, we do progress a lot.

But simply sticking to rights and rituals are not ends in themselves.

Our goal is to free our selves from all concepts that build up in our minds and free our selves from all experiences that try to shape our identities since all of those are utterly false.

At the end of the day, it is we who are responsible for seeing our own selves.

It does not matter what we read. It does not matter what we hear. It matters less what we are shown. It does not matter what we have had experienced. In the end it is down to us and down to the present moment, since that is the only livable moment we have with us.

It is not possible for anyone to push us along a way strapped to a shopping trolley.

Whatever we need to learn, whatever we need understand and whatever we need for our internal happiness, peace and stability are presented right in front of us, in every moment. The reality is right in the moment we live. The reality that would form in the future is right in the moment we live. We just have to open our eyes and ‘see.’

The present moment has many things to teach. But we can only interpret the present based on our own present understanding and experience. So, in fact, it is we teaching our selves all the time. It depends on how far and how wide and how deeply we can see the present. It depends so little on our past understanding and past experiences, if at all. It simply can never be anything else.

We do learn something from teachers and gurus. They inspire us to see a path, engage with it, mull over the experiences that greet us and exchange our understanding with the world. But that is not the end.

Respect your gurus but set them free.

Find your own path. See it. Question it. Challenge it. Test it out. Change it if you may.

And that path lies in your mind.

The problem is we hardly see it clearly.

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Princess of the Blue Hills…

Once upon a time, in a far away place, hemmed by big and tiny blue and green hills, lived a young and beautiful princess who was about to leave the great comforts of her home and intense love of her family to join her newly wed, unfamiliar, husband in another far away land — barren, arid and hostile.

Naturally, she was worried, confused and nervous for most of her waking hours.  She thought about the uncertainty of her new life she was about to engage with. She thought about how she must interact with the new family. She thought about how would her husband treat her and how she would treat him in return. She grew increasingly worried about her new future. Slowly, she was become lifeless, dry and stiff.

Her brother noticed the fade of her cheeks and how she was slowly becoming disengaged from daily life — spending most of her time mulling over imagined affairs and about the ghostly demons waiting to pounce on her in future. So, one day he asked her about what was paining her so much and whether he might be of some help.

His offer came as a big relief to her. At least one person in the world, understood the dire state she was in – to offer help. She also knew that her elder brother was known to be wise, honest and skillful in negotiating life. Finding her brother by her side, she emptied her worries and asked him the secret of engaging with life from now on — since everything is set to change for her.

On this, her brother talked about the five principles one might follow to successfully take on life as it unveils. These five were — Wisdom, Love, Justice, Surrender and Patience. He asked her to imagine these five principles as five containers each holding something of those. He assured her that a proper mix and match of these contents helps one to skillfully sail through life.

But she could not understand any of these. She thought how can someone carry wisdom around like money or a handkerchief? Or does it seem to surface only after an event — sadder the better? What one must do to gain wisdom? Is there any step by step process to gain it? Can it be borrowed? If it were to be borrowed, who must she go to?

Then she thought about what is love? Is it about enduring pain? Is it about keeping quiet while one suffers? Is it an overt expression of happiness? Or is it about passion – unbridled? Is it about sacrificing oneself at the altar of compassion or idealism? Or is it doing something without judgment? But that would again bring judgment. Is it about giving others all you have when you have nothing much to give? Or is it about playing a role society determines for you? Or is it about listening to one’ heart, if that may really be listened to? What might be the art of doing that?

What is justice? Isn’t it only reserved for the rich and famous? Isn’t it made by those in power? Isn’t it a secret and clever weapon in the hands of strong men to protect their selfish interests and narrow thoughts? Is justice divine? Is evil always followed by retribution? If so, then why good people go about doing bad things? And why bad people go scot-free after their many crimes? Is it about how people; wisely or unwisely, think societies should run? Or is it about what society does to straitjacket one into particular modes of behavior?

Again, would surrender mean giving up on life? Is it about not having one’s will in anything? Is is close to defeatism? Is it about believing something without rationale and logic?  Is it about letting go and accepting life as it is? Is it about accepting meaninglessness in everything we do?

And then she thought how long can one stay patient about anything? What is the basis of patience? Is it about believing something when nothing is at hand? Is it about applying this theory or that with the expectation that things would work out well in the end or as expected? Is it about deluding oneself in the face of distress and torment? Is it a skill or a tactic? Or is it just a blind belief that things would spontaneously work out in one’s favor? Or is it about holding on tight with all that great nervousness boiling inside without expressing anything about it to anyone? Or is it about pretending to be a martyr?

She could not think any further and felt sleepy out of exhaustion. Soon she was dreaming… and the tautness of her face started melting bit by bit… she seemed enjoying her dream. Soon a glow of happiness engulfed her.

She wasn’t aware of how long she slept. But when she woke up everything was still around her. Few palace lights were still flickering. The moon on the horizon was waning but held on to her dreamy lustre. Far away on the banks of the silent river small dimly lit earthen lamps were floating on the water, casting the magic spell of their reflections. She knew someone died in the night and the relatives were performing the last rites. But the birds, completely unaware of that fact, started chirping one by one — first the sparrow who lived on the cornice of her room followed by a melodious nightingale roosting on a distant tree standing alone in the pale darkness of twilight.  Somewhere, a lonely cricket chirped to keep pace with the birds. The first shafts of light were breaking free from the pall of darkness — how soothing it was — like the cool turmeric balm her mother applied when her delicate skin got bruised in play.

Her mind was clear — no restless waves disturbed its tranquility. The delicate sun rays while kissing her face with warm kindness, kept whispering — there is hope, there is energy, there is kindness of life nestled inseparably in the deary darkness of every night, however dark that might be — have faith that light would emerge effortlessly to unveil something new. Look at it with awe and wonder…. the darkness and despair would melt away — keep dreaming; the rest of it is a big lie.

As the haze of the night lifted by degrees and the solid black yaks, hanging their heads, stood silently on the dew drops of the green valleys, the distant hills seemed a bit more blue. She was dreaming of the great and exciting life that impatiently awaited her arrival.

In the stillness of the moment her brother’s words took life.

 

(Excerpt from a forthcoming book that follows #powerofsee)..

 

A letter from a friend

This letter is from a friend of thirty eight years. He wrote this after reading my book —

Winning Anywhere-the Power of “See.”

My Dear Dibu, After a long wait the book was delivered. The wait did me a favour in terms of arousing curiosity as well as an urge to devour the contents at the first sight. But I preferred to go slow and it was worth. I don’t know how to and what to talk about the book-it was so enlightening and refreshing. I have never come across a book which deals with power of mind in such a lucid manner without jargon and preaching. You deserve my first hug on this. The stories from mythology and old teachings used in the narration seamlessly fits into the scheme of thoughts and strengthen the focus and understanding to a great extent.

We as human being are groomed and tutored to see objects separated from the whole scheme of things thus missing the whole for the sake of parts. Its similar to judging a person by his actions on a particular instant without trying to understand the situation in totality which has compelled him to behave in a particular manner. This reminds me of the story about a person in a park sitting unmindful of the noise  created by his two young sons playing around and disturbing others. Irritated by his indifferent attitude, one person who was not able to concentrate on a book he was reading,   complained to the father demanding that he would better control his sons. This was an immediate reaction of anger based on what he saw through the eyes without applying mind. But his reaction changed when he came to know that the young boys have just lost their mother and were returning from the funeral with their father. The anger was replaced by sorrow and deep sympathy and the noise created by the sons no more disturbed him. How was this possible? Its our mind which lets us see the whole. Mind trained with NEMEtics develops the skill to see the whole and the divide between inner and external materialistic world exists no more. This is what our philosophy terms as state of bliss where one remains in pure ‘Ananda’.

To me the book essentially deals with seeing through the mind beyond the normally visible frame captured by the eyes. The book is best described in your own words ‘…there is no divide between our inner world and the external world. The secrets of both worlds can only be revealed through the power of ‘seeing’ or paying attention by a still mind…..the divisions that we create between materialism and spirituality and our inner world and the external  world are all in the mind, which stops us from seeing anything as an indivisible whole.’

The successful application of the principles of NEMETICS not only to an individual but to society and organization, as dealt in your book through examples and personal experience, is an eye opener and will go a long way in shaping the future.
Before I conclude, let me tell you frankly that the book could not fully quench my thirst rather it created in me a renewed urge to know more about each of the elements covered in your book with similar narrations and wonderful stories. Looking forward to more such creations from you……..A big HUG for you and Madhumita and my regards for Mesho and Mashi….  Yours forever-Gautam

Review of #PowerofSee by Michael Josefowicz

I believe that my long time friend and collaborator, Mr. Michael Josefowicz, of the US, was the first to buy my book, ‘Winning Anywhere – the Power of See‘ from Amazon.

This was the first feedback he gave through email, on reading the first few chapters; for which, I am grateful:

“It is lovely. The cover looks great.
When I read the words it’s as if you are in the room. Crystal clear, gentle. Power of See demands a slow read. Not just because of our collaboration but because of the style of writing. Unlike every other “business book” I’ve read, there is no strident, “what you should do is..” nor is there any hint of “Look what I have discovered!”
Truly a breath of fresh air.
You should know that I didn’t expect to learn as much as I am learning.”

A public discourse on The Power of ‘SEE’ – The Nemetics Way

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A national conference on Asset Management towards Zero Breakdown was organized by Quality Council Forum of India, Mumbai Chapter on 21st and 22nd of February 2014 at Mumbai. It was sponsored by Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Limited (RCF).  I was invited to present a paper on achieving zero failures  through minimal design intervention based on the Power of ‘See’ — the Nemetics Way.

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Having tea in the breakfast session of the conference with Mr. Ray (0n my right), a QCFI member.

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The audience (about 100 strong)

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Opening my presentation — telling stories from my forthcoming book ‘Winning Anywhere – The Power of ‘See’ – the Nemetics Way.

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The author’s photograph that goes with the book, which incidentally is also my profile pic on twitter.

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Engaging delegates in dialogs over the stories told; allowing them to form their own perceptions and exchange those with others.

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It was about fun, flow, movement, improvisation and emotions.

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Engaging delegates to take part in the process of ‘seeing’ the invisible in the form of ‘energy flow’, ‘oscillations’ & ‘interactions.’

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The parting message with the path —  a) Listen to NEME stories b) Learn the NEME mantra c) Apply it and be free. As I rose to leave, a spontaneous standing ovation followed. This surprised & overwhelmed me.

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Offer: Buy one copy — get a big Thank You. Buy two copies — get a big Hug! ‘Winning Anywhere – the Power of ‘See” is now available on Amazon.com  http://tinyurl.com/o4q8kxq  (paperback) and would soon be available on Flipkart as ebook.

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Receiving a fine memento in form of a plaque from Mr. Bharati, Chairman of QCFI, Mumbai Chapter and Mr. Potdar, Council Member of QCFI, Mumbai Chapter — two of the finest gentlemen I have met. They offered me a life membership of the Quality forum, which I gracefully accepted with a big Thank You. This was followed by my chairing a session on Reliability Management.

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A group photograph with the Mr. Abir Banerjee, ED of RCF and other dignitaries.

Tentative Future Plan with QCFI, Mumbai Chapter:

Open a cell for Nemetics Study with the aim of applying the Nemetic way to — a) Asset Management towards zero failures b) Leadership & Manufacturing Strategy c) Special skills Training in the Manufacturing sector d) Re-Design of Products, Machines, Process and Systems in the manufacturing sector.

Acknowledgement: QCFI, Mumbai Chapter truly lived up to their reputation of quality. The whole conference went off without a glitch. It was seamlessly smooth and effective. The delegates left with hope and smiles on their faces.

Photo credits: Mr. Ashesh Ghose, MD of Rollspack, Mumbai and Dr. Tarapada Pyne, VP Tech of JSW Ispat.

Contradiction and Nemetic View of Leadership

This is a video conversation between John Hagel III and John Seely Brown talking about negotiating fast paced changes in today’s world that does not even blink to throw surprises at us on a daily basis. They suggest that we look at underlying structures, sense changes and respond as best as we may. Great advice.

However, the Nemetic perspective about this phenomenon is similar yet different.

In Nemetics, the ‘ripples’ are events both helpful and unhelpful, that happen spontaneously. Such events are called R waves. Leaders need not focus much on such events to fix them but it is necessary to take note of those since R waves are just symptoms of deeper truths waiting to be uncovered.

The underlying structure that creates such ripples of the R wave is the G wave that denotes ‘behavior’. Leaders also need not focus too attentively on the G wave but take note of that too. This is because it is the best place to capture ‘signals’ to detect incipient traces of R wave events taking birth.

And the underlying theme that modulates G wave is the B wave, which stands for things like intention, management consciousness and public consciousness manifested as design, policies, rules, guidelines, etc. It is the source of all the energy that flows through any system causing it to evolve over time within authentic and/or inauthentic constraints. So, it is the B wave that calls for intense leadership focus. It is here that dramatic and long lasting changes can be brought about through minimal and effortless design interventions.

RGB is the Nemetic view of leadership to negotiate complexity.

Exchanges: The Global Economy — Taleb

This is a dialog between the celebrated Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Justin Rowlatt about Exchanges: The Global Economy.

About:

“Do you underestimate the risk you are under? Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s ideas on probability and risk challenge assumptions made by markets and mathematicians all of over the world. His ideas on our blindness to the impact of improbable events have lead him to be described as a ‘super hero of the mind’ and ‘the hottest thinker in the world’. He is the author of the mega-selling books on randomness and the impact of the improbable on life and on economics – Black Swan and Anti-Fragile. His official title is Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at New York University and he continually ranks as one of the most influential people on the planet. He joins Justin Rowlatt and an audience at the Grand Amphitheatre of the Sorbonne in Paris for a special event, staged in partnership with Paris Dauphine University.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01p174q

So what is prediction?

It is indeed unwise to predict the future. It just isn’t possible. Our traditional ideas of probabilities to ascertain risk is flawed. So the question ‘When something is going to happen?’ is pretty useless.

It does not serve any purpose predicting the past. It is only trying to answer the question ‘Why?’. When done, it is only a story with no certainty of being right.

Then is there any use of prediction?

Possibly yes, when we ask, ‘What is happening now?’ The future is unfolding now. The incipient seeds of the future have already taken roots in the now. Those give the clues. So it is useful to check what is happening right now.

But how do we look at it? Do we do it by thinking? There seems to be very little scope of doing so.

So do we frame a story? That could turn out to be a myth.

The only plausible way is to ‘observe’ or see or notice the present. Then only we have the chance to ‘see’ the future. In other words ‘predict’ it, even if it is a potential ‘black swan’.

Hence the most important question to predict anything is to ‘see’ what is happening now and not ask why something has happened or when something is going to happen.

That is the best way we can predict anything and remain useful.

A review – “Winning Anywhere – The Power of ‘See’ – The Nemetics Way

After submitting my manuscript to my publisher, I shared the manuscript of my book, ‘Winning Anywhere – The Power of ‘see’ – The Nemetics Way to one of my good friends, Mr. D. C. Padhi.

After a few days, he shot back an email with his review, which I wanted to share, with his permission.

Review of the book, expected in print in the next 5/6 weeks — [‘Winning Anywhere – the Power of ‘See” is now available on Amazon.com  http://tinyurl.com/o4q8kxq  (paperback) and would soon be available on Flipkart as ebook.]

Quote

Saw through the manuscript. Congrats on writing your first book and handing over to the publishers. This is going to be very very unique book for Indian readers. This is in form of short stories. There has been many books of short stories by many authors, however all stories are based on the same type of emotions. Your book is totally different in that aspect. Every story would invoke a different emotion of the reader and would offer the reader a different challenge. Yes, challenge–that is the most imp factor in the book. It would challenge the conventional thinking of the readers. Hence honestly I am little apprehensive if readers would be willing to face that challenge. Though most of the book has already been read by me from your blog, the book in its final form would surely be one of my handbook for the rest of my life. I have to start the study again and again from the beginning. The challenge would always remain to see coherence among the many non-coherent stories of the book, to see the central theme or the essence of the book which is made from many stray stories. The book would keep on asking me for the rest of my life ‘Can u really see?’. And whenever I would be able to see something in the journey of life I would recall the book and say to myself ‘Yes, this is the power of see”

Unquote

Excerpts from the book “Nemetics — The Power of See”.

….Is there one way of seeing anything? Though the answer is deceptively simple, most try to ignore the obvious and try to see things in one particular way. A businessman would see the world in one particular way and no other way is acceptable to him. Similarly Capitalistic economies see the world in a specific manner. They are relentless about their way of seeing things in terms of expansion and growth even if they trample upon millions of lives and Nature. Same it is for Marxists. They even want art to reflect their ideology. But why should it be so?

For example, if we are viewing a simple window, there are many ways of seeing it.

We can see it as an opening that lets in fresh air when we feel stuffy inside a room.

We can also choose not to see too much of the window but the perhaps see and enjoy the excellent view of Nature that it might offer.

We can then see the connection between a window and the hygiene of a room. We can see it as a medium of exchange that lets in sunlight and fresh air and drives out bacteria and dust that accumulate in the room.

We may also see the state of economy and material prosperity by paying attention to the quality of the window materials used and the way they are arranged and painted.

We can see a window as a window to the culture of the place like ‘bay windows indicating ‘surplus’ of leisure; ‘jafri’ windows of Rajasthan as a means to protect privacy of women from unwanted gaze of strangers or the ‘jali’ windows of old Kolkata displaying aristocracy of the household.

We can look at a window to get an idea of the climate of a place. Hotter climate calls for smaller windows and use of less glass. Colder climates necessitate use of larger windows and glasses to trap the available heat of a weak sun.

We can also see many windows in the neighborhood to see whether the neighborhood belongs to working class community or to the privileged class.

We can with some patience wait to see the effect of traffic on the windows of our interest. Do they rattle with the vibration of a motor cycle passing by or the blare of its horn? If they rattle a lot then we can be sure that the life of the window panes would be short enough forcing the owner to spend substantial money on its upkeep if he or she cares to keep the draught out on a chilly day in December.

So many ways to see the reality! No doubt there is a diversity of views. But that is true of any reality. Reality of anything is made up of diverse views or ‘sees’. Wisdom lies in accepting all views and living with them but choosing one or some according to one’s intention, needs, limitations and constraints in a given context.

‘Seeing’ is the spiritual part of anything.

How is that?

In India, spirituality is described in a very simple way – it is nothing but the power of paying attention with a still mind and being aware of the possibilities such viewing unfolds.

If so, there is hardly any divide between spirituality and materialism because without the form, which materialism provides, there is no spirituality or nothing to notice or ‘see’.

Similarly, there is also no divide between our inner world and the external world. The secrets of both worlds can only be revealed through the power of ‘seeing’ or paying attention by a still mind and becoming aware of all possibilities. After ‘see’ all that is left for us to do then is rather straightforward and easy. We are then left to engage with the possibilities that compete for further attention in our awareness space and carefully choose (mull) the one that satisfies a given need in a given context within its existing limitations and then exchange the choice with others. However, whether the exchange improves the life of the individual and/or that of others would depend on the intention of the ‘seer’. …..

[The book: ‘Winning Anywhere – the Power of ‘See” is now available on Amazon.com  http://tinyurl.com/o4q8kxq  (paperback) and would soon be available on Flipkart as ebook.]

Perception, Sense-making, Enlightened Action

Right Perception and RIght Sense making are the fundamental outcomes of our cognitive ability that enable effective leaders take enlightened action. 

Possibly, most problems that we create through our actions are a result of wrong perception and wrong sense-making.

To me, Perceiving, Sense-making and Enlightened Action in life is something like this:

“Any real life System about which we care to perceive, make sense and take enlightened action, comprises of a meaningful set of ever changing and self transforming objects, diverse in form, complexity, state and function, interacting in periodic and aperiodic manner with each other and inter-related through multiple network of interdependencies through mutual feedbacks and signals thereby generating variable amplitudes of energy exchanged/transferred within variable/flexible space(s), mostly operating far from its equilibrium conditions; not only exchanging energy and matter with its environment but also generating internal entropy to undergo discrete transformation triggered by the Arrow of Time forcing it to behave in a dissipative but self organizing manner to either self destruct itself in a wide variety of ways moving towards void or create new possibilities in performance and/or behaviour from the void of creative potential owing to presence of ‘attractors’ and ‘appearance of bi-furcations’; thereby making it impossible to predict the future behavior of the system in the long term or trace the previous states of the system with any high degree of accuracy other than express it in terms of probabilities or possibilities since only the present state of the system might be observable to a certain extent and only a probabilistic understanding may be formulated as to how a system has arrived at its present state and what would keep it going, change or destroyed thus triggering creative human responses through right insights (not grossly based on emotions or thinking or memory) to manage, maintain and enhance system conditions, functions and purposes with minimal intervention to create superior systems of the future through enhancement of self organized interactions within and without the system interfaced with other connected, unconnected and overlapping systems operating within larger envelopes of human activity.”

Such a representation of an Perception, Sense-making and Enlightened Action looks quite involved.

Perhaps it might be stated in a much simpler ways but I would not attempt to do so since it would make it more complex that it should be.

Perhaps more can be said about resilience, agility, etc but I would not do so since those are really superfluous.

Perhaps more can be said about Black Swans and not so ‘black swans’ and predictions but I would care less to say so since saying more would be ‘redundant’.

The whole gamut of Perception, Sense-making and Enlightened Action takes place within five envelopes of human cognition, which are as follows:

1. Physical envelope

2. Energy envelope

3. Mental envelope

4. Wisdom envelope

5. Enlightened Action envelope

 

However, the crux of the matter is

1) how we ‘see’ reality (Darshan/Notice)?

2) how do we understand what the system is telling us (Sadhana/Engage)?

3) how do we create and choose our responses (Bhavana/Mull)?

4) how do we develop the necessary intention to implement our choices to life and living (Shankalpa/Exchange)?

 

notes:

1. Darshan, Sadhana, Bhavana and Shankalpa are Sanskrit words

2. The above post is an excerpt from or notes of a forth coming book “Leadership – The Nemetics Way!”