Live and Work Successfully and Blissfully in 21st century

Here is a 15 minute opening speech, as the chief guest at a management conference in Dehradun in India. Building on the colorful theme of Holi festival just gone by, and the onset of a popular cricket season just coming up, I paint a big picture for life and work in 6 colorful charts, like six balls in a cricket over.

The key messages are:

1. Know thyself, as a specific person, and as the most unbounded being.

2. Human beings have complementary sets of needs at the global, interpersonal and the spiritual levels.

3. We need six capabilities of confidence, compassion, creativity, collaboration, courage, and consciousness to flourish in 21st century

4. Do the actions using SEAMS model – Straight, Strong, Enough, Adequate, in the Moment, and Wholeness on the move.

5. The life must be balanced with peace in the world and peace within

6. Finally in the last chart, I exhort the audience to paint life colorfully on the biggest canvas. Live life not just for yourself, but for the civilization and the universe.

Comments are welcome!

Capabilities we must develop in 21st century business schools

The world in changing exponentially. We are all students now, and forever. Perhaps the most important meta-skill is to learn how and what to learn. Business schools need to develop the capabilities of the heart that will make the students ready for productive and fulfilling work in the 21st century. They need to prepare students for creating the likes of Uber and such companies that work in an era of abundance, which is very different from the earlier era of persistent material shortages.  The young as well as more mature business student need to be able to feel and articulate their deep sense of purpose, and to be able to flourish through a non-ending stream of transformations.

The required capabilities are Confidence, Creativity, Collaboration, and Courage.

  • Confidence means being able to holistically know oneself, the desires and expertise, well enough to stand for one’s words, decisions, and actions. Confidence has been the most important thing to work well, even in the last century, though technical knowledge has also become progressively important.
  • Creativity means thinking outside the box, beyond what has been done in the past. It also means helping others find novel solutions to the problems they face, and helping people grow. One needs to be open to continuous learning and admitting errors of mis-perceptions or ignorance,
  • Collaboration means teamwork, asking for help, not being focused much on course grades and comparative markers, and keeping one’s ego in check. One needs to take complete ownership of the work or the project, along with the team.
  • Courage is an attribute of the soul, and means the ability to function despite adversity and fear. It includes resilience, grit, determination, and the practice of discipline in the face or uncertainty and ambiguity. It means taking ownership of one’s life and purpose through thick and thin.

The way to develop these skills is through group exercises, projects, travels, celebrations, paid internships, and the like. These are not communicated through words, even though we are using words here to communicate these ideas. These exercises should be graded in an appreciative manner, with rich positive, timely feedback from a nurturing teacher / mentor.  

These capabilities may however be underdeveloped during the earlier years of schooling. The grade schools work on a process model, leaving little room for digressions and diversions to account for different ways of learning and different life goals. Just like schools have different course streams for science or commerce or arts students, and just as there are special education systems for the learning impaired, so also there should be different ways of teaching students of different kinds.  As Einstein said, teaching a monkey to swim, and a fish to climb trees would not be productive or fulfilling. The race to get admissions into desirable and prestigious colleges is intense and can have major impact on the quality of future life. Admission into the top colleges like Harvard can be very beneficial in many ways. However, the rat race to prepare for that single objective may rob all sense of joy in the formative years of the students.

Development of consciousness through regular practice of contemplation and reflection, such as Transcendental meditation, may help prepare the heart for developing these capabilities throughout life.

A Philosophy of Data: Flourishing all around.

Advice for an advanced student: Ask yourself good questions. Are they flourishing now? Are you flourishing now? What do they want and need? What do you want and need? Who are they? Who or what are you? Are they being creative? Are you? Are they having good feelings right now? Are you? Do they love what they do? Do you?

Ask more good questions. What is this world? Where did it come from? Where will it go? What is space-time? Where did it come from? Where is it going? What is quantum thinking? What is quantum reality?

Ask some mathematical questions. What is possibility? What is probability? What are numbers? Where are there numbers? Does God need numbers? Do you? Is God infinity? Are you infinity? What is infinity? We have an abundance of numbers. Do you like numbers? Do the numbers like you? Are you friendly with numbers? Numbers are not distributed uniformly. Except when we think of uniform distribution. What are the kinds of distributions of numbers? Mathematicians created new distributions. Binomial. Poisson. Exponential. Etc. They also created and identified relationships between numbers.

Numbers are data. Is data all about numbers? Are images and sounds all about numbers? Are primordial sounds zero? Are primordial images blank? Can we experience those primordials? Numbers are things and their reflections, and their patterns and models. People come and go, but numbers are forever.

Primordial numbers are 1 and zero: On or off, there or not-there. This is where dualistic reality begins. Numbers help tell the story of the world. Can we live without numbers? Are numbers a resource? Is education all about acquiring numbers? Numbers are language. Just like we have other languages, of other kinds of symbols. Language is culture, or the core of it.

What does it mean to acquire the language of numbers? The decimal language is derived from the number of fingers in the two hands together. Binary number language is simpler, and is based on presence and absence as the two values. Like flow of current, or not. Quantum computing is creating a new language of having multiple values simultaneously, potentially. We call this super-position, coming from positions of numbers on a line. By the way, the number line is primordial geometry. A line is a number or length. A line can be infinite. Or it can be segmented, into numbers of all locations. The distance of a number from zero becomes the line’s size.

Numbers have been integrated into sound languages such as Sanskrit and English. A description is not possible without numbers. Even colors are numbers on a scale of vibrations. Sounds are different vibrations.

So, what is the relationship between vibrations, sounds and numbers? That is something to ponder about. Take 1 day. Write 100 words. Post your comments!

Quantum Sciences, Consciousness, and Manager

Quantum sciences are an all-inclusive way of knowing the self-referral world at various levels of discrete quanta with different observable properties at different levels of granularity and aggregation. Nanoscopic reality at near absolute zero levels of temperatures exhibits multiple modes such as a wave and a particle, which is different from the solid reality perceived at a human scale, which is again different at the cosmic level where super large black holes create singularity fields that collapse space-time and light. The unified field of all the laws of the universe manifested in the interconnectedness and the confusing nature of all existence, can however be experienced by human beings in their own selves as pure consciousness.

Consciousness is all there is. It is the knower, the known and the process of knowing. Mass and energy, solid and vibrations, are all interchangeable manifestations of this consciousness. Through techniques of meditation, by settling the mind enough to exclude all the human scale objects, Vedic seers have been able to cognize the multidimensional truth about existence as pure vibrations. Major quantum scientists such as Schrodinger, Oppenheimer, Planck, Heisenberg, Bohm and more have suggested and acceded to the idea of this Vedic unified reality. These Vedic cognitions have an unfolding quality, in that consciousness can be known at increasingly granular levels of detail and manifestation.

Human managers can be different levels of consciousness from the ordinary waking state of consciousness to transcendental and unified non-dual states of consciousness. Knowledge is structured in consciousness; and knowledge is different in different states of consciousness. Effective managers of people will likely need to have a higher state of consciousness from where they can perceive a higher moral reality of a team or an organization. The accumulated human knowledge can also be abstracted to be manifested in non-human information-processing systems such as computers or gene editors. Artificial Intelligence systems can learn from human interactions and develop abilities to achieve human levels and beyond. Increasingly robotic systems are being deployed in organizations to accomplish a range of functions and activities. Human beings at higher states of consciousness may also experience quantum empathy as a useful construct to potentially experience total interconnectedness even with strangers at a distance. To build on Einstein’s famous phrase, action at a distance may be blissful, not necessarily spooky!

Increasing self-awareness

Do I know the context around me, the neighborhood and the neighbors, the friends and family, now and over the many decades of my life? The answer is that I hardly know things and people around me. I barely know my own full reactions to most of the situations I found myself in. I have a few pet theories of who I am, and who were responsible for guiding me. These are super simplifications that do not help come up with productive and promising ideas for the future. I think it is important now to know all or more around me.

What does it mean to know a person? How does one define a person? By their accomplishments or their goals, by their friends, or by how they carry themselves? We can seek out and learn about their interests. And accept whatever they are, positive or negative. It can take a long time to know people.

What does it mean to know a neighborhood or a situation? The neighborhood is about its support for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Safety. Limited regulations. Liveliness of activity. Plenty of wealth around. The situation would depend upon its difficulty and its impact on oneself, and how much one can do about it.

I think it is important to retain a sense of personal agency about oneself and the situations one finds oneself in. It is helpful to stop obsessing about one’s own interests and goals and accomplishments. The world is deeply interconnected and there is hardly anything one can accomplish without support from and alignment with the context around oneself.

 

ABCDs of Life

ABCDs of Life

  1. Absolute. We are Absolute or Pure Beings. Eham Brahma Asmi. I.e. I am Brahma, the Totality. I am unbounded, infinite, and therefore invincible. I am the transcendent: bigger than the biggest and smaller than the smallest. There are no walls or limits. We are without any defining qualities.
  2. Bliss. The nature of life is bliss. Sat-chit-Anand or absolute-consciousness-bliss. Bliss is the highest level of life energy. Bliss is the only thing that matters. The taste of even a drop of bliss can transform our life. Bliss naturally creates world peace.
  3. Creative: We naturally feel the urge to create when we feel free. Forms and structures effortlessly arise and dissolve when we transcend. Expressing our inner creations is a great source of joy. A lot of the world that we live in is created by ourselves.
  4. Data-driven: We are naturally curious about the nature of the relative. We want to understand and enjoy the totality of creation. With fine quality of perception, we invent and use tools to gather and integrate data, with which we in-form our thinking and patterns.

Absolute and Bliss are internal and unmanifest. Creativity and Data are focused on the external and relative. The inner Absolute Blissful Being is more powerful than the external reality. The inner qualities of awareness and blissfulness should be developed to guide creativity and learning. Meditation is the best way to experience the finest levels of bliss and creativity in life!

Browsing for ABCD,  I found some lovely organizations and descriptions.

  • Any Body Can Dance
  • Art Building Children’s Dreams
  • Assuring Better Child Development
  • Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development
  • Access to Baby and Child Dentistry
  • Ashley Brown Cake Design
  • And finally … American Born Cute Desi!

Have a blissful Day!

 

 

Travel adventure – going overseas without wallet

This is a travel adventure of going overseas without one’s wallet and still coming out whole.

A few days ago, in December 2017, I traveled from Delhi to Seoul in South Korea. I was an invited speaker on Data Analytics at an international conference. I got dropped me off at the Delhi International airport, went through the immigration and security counters, and sat down near the flight’s departure gate. A little bored, I look around and saw my favorite snack counter close to my gate. I walked over to the store and found my favorite snacks. When I tried to pay for it, I discovered that I did not have my wallet with me. I rummaged through my pockets and then my bags but could not find it. I became a little worried that I had lost or dropped it somewhere.

A sweet and beautiful young Indian lady, from Los Angeles, was shopping in the same snack store. She heard me saying to the shopkeeper that I had lost my wallet, and was very sympathetic. She asked me how much money I needed. I said that at the very least I needed $15 for a one-way ride to the hotel in Seoul. With great effort, she managed to scrounge $15 cash from the various pockets inside her handbag. Very cheerfully she gave the money to me. God bless her. I took her phone number and will try to return the money, even though she said not to bother.

I then frantically tried to reach out to my parents in Delhi by phone. They looked around and quickly found my wallet on my bed. I was a little relieved. I realized that I was trying to remove some of the unneeded cards and cash from the wallet, and in the process I forgot to pick up the wallet. I had checked that I had the passport before I left, but did not check the wallet. My father, a retired UN diplomat, was worried how I will manage without the wallet. But I told him it will be an adventure. We both laughed, and he was relieved.  Now the correct story was that I had ‘forgotten my wallet at home’. I texted my daughter in the US to be ready to wire me money in Seoul just in case. I also texted a friend who was coming to the same conference that I may need his help.

In the plane, I tried to meditate and keep calm. I lost all fear, and became determined to find someone who would be willing to help. I was a little concerned about the currency conversion process at the airport that I may fall just a little short of the Korean currency needed to get to the airport. I looked around for who could help.

A young Korean man sitting right behind my seat. I asked him if he could convert for me $15 worth of Korean currency to pay for one-way bus ride from the airport to the city. He talked nicely with me but found it ‘unusual’ how one forgets one’s wallet at home. He said he will think about it. I also asked the Korean flight attendants for help. They said that none of them had any Korean currency, and could not help.

I wanted to ask another Indian person. I had seen an Indian family with little kids in the departure lounge right behind me. I looked for them in the plane. I saw a family sitting close to my seat. It was a different young man. He looked pretty blissful sitting there with eyes kinda closed. I approached him. He said he lived in Seattle, and had worked with Microsoft till very recently. I told him about my situation. He agreed to lend me $15. But then he said his wallet was in his bag up in the storage, and he will give me later. I came back to him with a copy of my Big Data book which had some brief description of me as an author. Finally, when we landed in Seoul, he gave me $15.

Now I was confident that I will be able to make the trip without any hassle. I had enough money to reach the city. I had friends at the conference. Hotel bill was prepaid. I did not need any additional money, as I did not need to buy anything. I had carried some home-made vegetarian food from home. I returned to Delhi from the conference safely two days later. I contacted them both my benefactors so I can return the monies. I can’t thank them enough.

I believe there are no ‘accidents’. It all happens for a reason. We don’t know how many dots get connected for some event to happen. Somehow I developed the confidence to manage an international trip without carrying my wallet. Anything is possible!!

Lessons: check your documents and wallet before you leave for a trip. Do good to others, so nature will provide support back. Both the US-based Indians whom I approached, helped; that warms my heart!!

 

 

Bliss is me

Bliss is me

 

Bliss is my current state

From Bliss I come

Into Bliss I am going

Bliss is the source and the destination

Bliss is all there is

In Bliss all distinctions arise

In Bliss all distinctions merge

Bliss is the alpha and omega and everything in-between

Bliss is #1 and #2 and #3 and all the way

Bliss is here there everywhere

Bliss is inside and outside

Bliss is with everyone

Bliss is everyone’s fundamental right

What gets in the way of Bliss

As Bliss is all there is, Bliss gets in the way of Bliss

How so?

Lower forms of Bliss … pleasure and happiness get in the way

How to remove the obstacles

The obstacles too too must be Bliss as Bliss is all there is

By being aware that we are Bliss here and now, and we do not need to traverse any path to get to it. The obstacles will reveal themselves to be a gross form of bliss that our senses and mind are able to perceive. Mind and body develop preferences for certain grossified bliss forms based on how often and close they appear to them. The game of more, more, more is unending like a dog chasing the tail. Higher bliss and knowledge can pull one out of that chase and catapult to an awareness of infinite bliss within. Then all is within and without.

We have everything; we are everything. That is the nature of Bliss. That is us.

 

 

Technology and Spirituality Coexist

In the last couple of weeks, I had long fulfilling conversations on spirituality and Moksha with two young people in their 20s. Both are Computer Science students, with one doing a bachelor’s degree and the other doing a master’s degree.  One is a male and another is a female. One is a student on my own university campus and the other is on another university where I had recently visited to give a technology seminar based on my Data Analytics book. Both students happened to be from Hindu backgrounds, but neither is from India.

Both said that they were deeply spiritual people, and they were always concerned about how might technology and spirituality co-exist. I said I was a living example, and they felt reassured. Of course, there are many other IT people who have even become full-time spiritual people. I also said that spirituality is all encompassing, and it includes everything including technology, management, society, and all other fields. In fact, spiritual technologies can accelerate the path to moksha.

Both also said their conversations with their classmates and friends were not too fulfilling since others could not communicate with the others at the level that they found fulfilling. One described the conversations as being more about questions and answers about manifested things, and it was difficult to describe to their friends their deep spiritual experiences that had changed their view of the world. The charm they found in their inner journey was very enjoyable, but not necessarily describable. The other student was curious whether spirituality could help technological solved problems more creatively.

I wished them great progress in their spiritual journey. Enlightenment is very easy to achieve if one innocently wished for it, but does not obsessively try hard to find it in the world outside. It will come when one is ready.  This is the same message I gave my two friends in the summer when they said that don’t give me this Bliss s**t.

 

Conversations With God: Bernie Sanders

A really enlightening but imaginary conversation.

Bernie.jpg

God: Welcome to God’s house. What do you want?

Bernie: Please make me the democratic candidate for President.

God: That is a good idea. But why do you want to become President?

Bernie: The country is up for sale. All politicians are corrupt. They are busy filling their own pockets. We have to save the country. We have to give hope to the people.

God: That too is a good idea. But do you really want to become President? It is a tough job.

Bernie: I have been a mayor. I can run the country too.

God: Ok. How will you run the country? The entire political establishment is against you.

Bernie: This is a political revolution. It will throw up new leaders. The Constitution does not give any political establishment the right to power forever.

God: Logically you are right. But your revolution will create a lot of uncertainty. Who knows what will happen. Even we Gods see a danger in this.  People may even refuse to follow us.

Bernie: People power is absolute. Anything is possible.

God: What if robots take advantage of this power vacuum? They can snatch power from the people!

Bernie: Right now, there is little chance of that happening. But you are right. Anything is possible.

God: Will have to think some more. Meanwhile ask for something for you personally.

Bernie: I have heard these days you are easily giving away long life to people. I am already 73 years old. Give me 30-40 more years, so I can take this revolution pretty far.

God: So shall it be.