The way we see…blinkers..filters..frameworks

We see but don’t SEE
We see what we want to see….fail to see what is right in front of us…..closest to us. ….the most visible ….but not seen…to our own peril ”
What are we missing out on ?
# What we see is what we get. A broken lens gives us a broken view
# An unbroken view is the imperative to sustainability (anti- fragility?)
# Multiple views are essential to ‘see’ through the heights of complexity
# What is excluded in the act of seeing might be even more significantThe way we see: Blinkers….
When We Solve a Problem for India, We Solve a Problem For the World …..Says Google CEO Sundar Pichai..This is the way Sundar sees it ….his position statement for Google
What we see depends on where we stand…….the positions we take…..
India is the Everest of complexity.
Solutions that work here work….globally.
Did we ever have frameworks to address this complexity ?
We had
The lion capital of Asoka….Asoka chakra
If we go beyond the obvious ….both frameworks are essentially the same……..that reality can not be reduced to any one extreme….that all four lions are of equal importance…the coin has four sides …….not two
Compare 500 years since Buddha with 500 years since Luther ……
We might conclude…
We are as bad as our maps…
We don’t have a map…..
Amnesia….. ?
Map is not the territory…..without the map there is no territory….
Better the map….larger the empire ….

The way he showed me…….My mentor …he wouldn’t agree..
He is 76……way ahead of me….in every which way…..not just age
Tells me
I am past my current life expectancy here
My only purpose in life is to prove that you and your maps are all wrong….not to you … myself…..that all of history is one big lie…..for me it is post lie …..not post truth
So I stretch …..challenge myself….the one metric i keep track of these days is the distance I cover when I run …….if you take care of some such anchors in your routine everything else will be taken care of….
Now you know where I picked up one of my recent fads…..
More ……..later….we are traveling today ….tomorrow…
A day with my mentor at his farm
Here take this …give this to that monkey…tell him this is my take on it…
If you are a Mallu you can flash back here to your image of the proverbial monkey who had ginger for his breakfast
I know who he has in mind……a career bureaucrat ….a mutual friend..+ reminding me of his axiom ….careers to community
Who is interested in me ….a Robinson Crusoe ….I have only things to barter like this organic ginger…..can you make it digital…reduce it to a number for the economist?
Who is interested in your fishermen…the tribal…they are beyond numbers….how do you monetise them….make them smart?
If you pay peanuts?
You get monkeys…..I had an answer this time
What is the economics of a world class economist working as the Chief of the Fed for less than 1/3 the starting salary of a third rate MBA ?……
why not monetise it….you…..smarts?
I knew who he had in his mind ?
Now get out..I have work to do…..the Hammer is down……the strike …surgical…… is complete…….A surgeon par excellence
It will take many sleepless nights for me to heal my damaged internal networks..
another monkey map….the monkey with the coconut that he can’t break open…..then that of the First Monkey…..the 100th monkey…..Rupert Sheldrake….the angry old man……my mentor
Yet another one from Taleb- of somebody who can not identify a coconut in a coconut Island
Who is that mentor of yours whom I don’t know of …was the most frequently asked question from the few who called me these last two days
I follow the same tactic that HE does to me…..a different answer to each one
To my dairy friends ….Dr Nazki….a friend of 36 years
To friends from my fishing (not for fish) days…..Tony Michael ….a friend from my operation flood period…I first met him in 1971….you do the counting……the one who is yet to divorce his first love- the cow….
Both are on FB…..check if you like…interesting characters..
We are about to return. The car is loaded with the loot from the farm…all organic or at least natural to the extent that it can be natural in our times..
HE surprises me …..I am coming with you. He has a small shoulder bag….
He wants to drive…..enjoys it …is a far better driver than me…I too am relieved….I can do without the back seat driving. He is off grid to a ridiculous extent…car…power…food…money to a large measure. A modern Robinson Crusoe…demonetised………well almost…
He will clear a good part of the confusion that he has triggered in me and he is at his jovial best when he drives
We start. He is happy
I too shoot out ….my FAQ ….once again….who is your… ?
My mentor is a composite character….virtual….Imagine Dr. Kurien….as a centenarian….add a dash of MS Swaminathan…. Dr MS Valiathan…Prof NS Ramaswamy…..Whitehead …..Ashby….
you have a fairly good approximation of my mentor
He is as unpredictable as ever and I need to wiki ….
Good many mallus…? ….I can’t help it
The rare good mallu is a global Indian and the good Indian other than the dead Indian is a global citizen…..
Look at Aurobindo…Tagore…
Some more food for thought….I fall silent
He has a glee on his face. He knows that I have been silenced…he can enjoy the driving
Who is driving me now ?

What is on your mind……….?
Shooting my Mentor
My God died young …Sasthi Brata ….1968
If you meet the Buddha on the road …..kill Him….Sheldon Kopp …1972
Leader …..follower
Only a Vysya can design a product like Twitter and a sick mind can accumulate followers around her
Learning begins when you graduate from the stage of the dwapara….. the dualist …..the world of yes or no…..and move on to the thretha ….third stage…..yes…no….yes and no…..
In very rare cases one might graduate to the fourth state…..the satyayug….the domain of the adult …….Of course the curious innocent infant lives in the Kaliyug…….we need it all through…..
As we flatearthers see it …….the model is not a linear framework…..
Nagarjuna was not a flat earther….he was a Brahmin….Kshatriya….Vysya…Shudra..all in one …….at the same time..
You peel of the first skin ….of my friend Shankar….a modern Shankara….Hindu …..he was born with it… will find a Buddhist….a Christian more loyal to Christ than the Pope and the Queen….a Moslem and if you go further ……even a Jewish one…
nor was Chanakya..or …..the Greeks..
The tetralemma and Catushkodi are multistage.. …dynamic……real time frameworks..all the four stages are co terminus ..multi level..all four Lions …are aspects of equal importance….
a culture which gave birth to the only language for process…Sanskrit…can not be …..flat earthers….
Of course……..morons are free to get stuck and rot in any one of the hells…stages
Every disciple will have to do a Judas …betray your guru….
Thirty sovereigns were a huge fortune ……if you work out the present value of the blood money….
Traders that we are ……we sell a country …monetise it…..for much less
If you are still searching for a mentor ….the adult is yet to take birth.
The fate of your God is no different….mot mine…one of quality not numbers….
Some day you will have to shoot your mentor….
I am no mentor of yours…Fxxx you
He slowed down ..stopped the car …picked up his shoulder bag and merged with the flow
Still searching for a Mentor ….?
Join….CAN…..citizens’ adult network
Wiki …..Google … connect the dots
What is on your mind ?


MOS. The Monkey Operating System

Continued from A Lesson in Strategy

He dove for cover and ran for his life, tracing the path left by potaotoes rolling down to the beach. This was taboo country. The noise from the crowd was faint; no monkey in his ‘right’ senses would go up the taboo mountain. His second ‘first act’ of the day will not go into the story books of the old world. It was hot. He walked leisurely exploring the virgin territory on a path not traveled by any monkey. There were bananas aplenty in all stages of growth and the new nut, the game changer. There were many others, big and small of all sizes, shapes and colours. Perhaps it might become a little too lonely once he was through with this explorations. Will think of that when it comes to that. Towards the middle of the mountain he saw a ledge of a rock, jutting out. Would be a nice place for a nap. He walked up to it seeking shelter from the hot sun and found himself staring at the entrance of a cave, big enough for him to walk through. He was blinded for some time but as his eyes adjusted to the darkness inside he realised that the cave was much bigger than he thought. He looked up to the ceiling. It appeared as if the roof rose to the top of the mountain. There was a lot more to explore on both inside and outside the cave.

He found a place to lie down and he fell into a deep sleep. In the dream he was floating in the gentle breeze that came in through the entrance and the cave was illumined in a bright golden yellow. He passed through a series of high arches and on the wall facing him he saw a gallery of maps painted in bright shades. He made a note to himself. I would remember them when I wake up. He found himself sailing down to the spot where he had left his body and took possession of it . No sooner had he done it he woke up to find that the cave indeed was as he had seen in the dream with the setting sun making the place a lot more brighter than when he went in.He remembered his Mom’s lesson, make a note to yourself the first thing in the morning of your dreams of the previous lest they fade out with the flow of the day. He looked for some shrapnel to etch the image in his mind. He didn’t have to search much as .there were plenty all around. It seemed as if some mysterious creatures had occupied the cave and they had vanished from sight ages back. He knew what he had to do and went ahead in wild abandon. When he was done, he moved away to admire his own monkey art of the day.


With nobody to talk to, he broke into a monologue

“Good enough. As a kick off, this will do. I will improve it as I explore further, in and out”

“What do I call it, MyOS or MOS, the Monkey Operating System?”

“MOS will do, it could stand for both, shorter too”

He could feel his tummy crying for food. He walked out into the bright sun.

A Lesson in Strategy

Contd from: Of Peanuts and Monkeys

The algorithm on strategy flashed through his mind

  • fight
  • flee
  • play
  • context
  • select
  • flip….

“You will win as long as you have ‘n+1’ alternatives and your opponant/s has/ve only ‘n’alternatives.”

He knew he had infinite alternatives in comparison to the crowd, for them the only solution was the Hammer.

“ I may be an elder and vote to the Council of Elders. That is no proof that I am adult. The only legacy that I want to leave behind is you, an adult in the true sense of the term. It is time for me to go but I will always be with you”

The little one listened in rapt attention. The mention of her leaving him kept his monkey mind in check.

“You are young but you are more adult than most of our elders. The adult knows what is information/misinformation. With your natural curiosity which no other species has in such abundant measure, you will almost be invincible”
“Almost, that ‘almost’ can cost me my life ? “

“This one is more important than all the previous ones. The highest intelligence is your ability to mask it. If you are certain of your intelligence, make yourself appear to be a fool, allow them to take you for ganted. My certificate of your intellgence should not fool you. As a Mom, I can be very biased ”

“Is that all? “

“There is one more and I am done”

“Why are you here ? “

“ We are here to live, isn’t that pretty obvious?”

“ In that case why do all the elders pass on ?”

“I dont know”

Good, admit it when you dont know. If the elders used this three words more often instead of using their different hammers, this would have been a more livable place”

“ Tell me then, what is the purpose of life?’

“ The only purpose of life is to defeat death and that is the ulitmate game”

“How do you make sure that one is living and not dying?”

“Ask yourself

  • Where am I now ?

  • Where do I want to go ?

  • Am I getting closer to or moving away from where I want to go.

This is the last lesson. We wont be meeting again.“

The noise from the crowd arrested his reflections. The noise level was approaching the maximum permissible limits of the Republic. He decided to live.

Next : Who owns your body ? What is your O/S ?

Do we Think?

What is on your mind?  – FB

Whether to put out my Narcissus or Procrustus best

Can Asians Think? Asks Kishore Mahbubani since 1998

Is there an Indian Way of Thinking? Asked AK Ramanujan in 1990

Do we – humans- think?

We think we think

We don’t – as a species ! There is no ‘ us ‘ thinking. There may be U.S / American thinking !

The question is important since we are what we think we are!

I am tempted to provoke you.  Most of us do not know how to think

And the Powers that be do not want us to think!

What is to think?

That we think is beyond dispute. The quality of our thinking needs to be judged on the outcome of our thinking

If one thinks and thinks and reaches the conclusion that kicking the bucket is the best option that too is thinking. On the other hand, one thinks, connects and improves her and the tribe’s wellness we have thinking as it ought to be.

Asians do not think as one as the Chinese think that they are one, or the Singaporeans do. Indians do not think as one nation. In fact we are the most confused as to what is to be an Indian or even what is to be a Hindu, perhaps because of our heightened levels of complexity !

To be an Indian and to think in the deeper sense of the term has significant strategic implications.   If we subscribe to the view of “vasudhaiva kudumbakam”  we need to indianise the global community –  Indianisation is globalization as against the current paradigm of Westernization as globalization

When we understand the Indian way of Thinking we have a strategic advantage which enhances global community and offers us opportunities as a Global Solution Provider.

The Indian way of thinking vs the western

Read them as, more and less rather than either or

a little crude way of putting it for the more sophisticated

Fusion vs Fission

Analytic vs Integral

Wholeness vs Divisiveness

Process vs event oriented

Unification vs Fragmentation

Moderation vs Extremist

Tolerance vs Aggression

Realisation vs Actualisation

Renunciation vs Achievement

Inclusive vs Exclusionary

Neg-entropic- Entropic

Organic – Mechanistic

We can go on ad infinitum. One need not be an expert to see the obvious unless one prefers to pretend blindness.

Sanskrit, processed, India was the only culture which had a language for process and dialogue, the hallmark of culture. .We are not argumentative as some would say. We would pretend that we don’t know rather than pick up an argument which is counterproductive. This is not to say that Sanskrit is the way out but to reiterate that the product is in the process. Thinking is a process and the process need to be judged against the outcomes. If our outcomes are less than what we expected at start, we need to go back and improve the process.

Asia has been the source of all religions, the failed science of the past. As the Asian begins to think and the levelling happens we will be compelled to rethink  the science we thought scientific.

To conclude:

Most of our problems have roots in the way we think, which also includes our personal health. If we think we are machines, that machine has to break down however sophisticated it is.

“Nothing can be more important than being able to choose the way we think.”- Eknath Eswaran (1910–1999)

New Literacy: In search of the adult

“Most people die before they are fully born. Creativeness means to be born before one dies.” – Erich Fromm

What is it to be fully born?

Raj was 15 and Herman, 35. They were walking home from the exhibition grounds, a very long walk to the Ashram where they stayed.  Herman was a priest. The boy frequented the Ashram whenever he could.  The boy was tired, falling into sleep and forcing himself to remain awake.  They entered the gates and lied down on the grounds, both of them gazing at the star lit sky.

Raj heard him asking “what is the meaning of all this”?

The boy had no answers. Silence prevailed, something sparked in the boy’s mind. “Someday, I will know”.  He never knew what was in store for the wish to come true. It was much later and getting himself burnt many times over that he knew that there is a price to knowing, the price that Oedipus had to pay for his insistence on knowing the truth at all costs.

Herman did not last long in the Ashram. He broke his vows and walked out. Raj came to know of it much later. His efforts to locate him were not successful.  Meanwhile many gods died very young for him. He had to pass through his personal omega point before he could come to a reasonable resolution of what he had hoped for on that starlit night, a journey of twenty six years.

I had fallen into a reverie of our conversation the previous evening while Raj was preparing the ground for one of his workshops, talking to the group about the ‘The Thomas theorem’- “It is not important whether or not the interpretation is correct. If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences”, a theory of sociology formulated in 1928 by two Thomases. He was going a step further proposing what he termed the Thomas Principle.

The ADULT is the sacrificial goat, when

Master and disciple,

Teacher and student

Coach and the coachee,

Consultant and client,

Counselor and counselee,

Shepherd and the sheep,

Pope and the faithful,

are stuck in their respective positions; cannibalism and slavery are the outcome.

Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. – Mathew 7.19

The disciple has to fail the guru but Thomas never failed, the  other adult in the ring of 13. The other Judas fell to greed and the rest failed to realize their adults much like the unhappy younger brother. When the prodigal son finds the adult, he returns to his father. In recovering the adult he had to let go of a father and the father recovers his very self. The church that Thomas went on to establish was built on the rock of reason unlike the other churches built on the rock of faith. Both work  but whereas one thrives on dialogue, creates adults and community the other relies more on fear, manipulation and aggression, creating a setting that  makes crusades feasible.

Dialogue is possible only among adults, where reason prevails.

Raj was stirring up a hornet’s nest. There was visible uneasiness among the group. I was thrilled to see that the group was approaching its omega point, which I define as the point of maximum sustainable confusion any group can withstand. The group will either break up or come to a reasonable resolution of the issues to form a community of practice for the rest of the programme. A few of them would form new alliances and bonds that would last a lifetime. I was here after two decades of our first meeting in one of my workshops.

Raj appeared to be relishing the confusion. We want to create an environment of community here for the duration of the programme, he continued.  Organizations are not for adults, community is. It is natural/imperative that the disciple fails the Guru – do a Judas- the mentee the mentor, student the coach, counselee the counselor. Peter fails repeatedly.  Thomas, the rationalist, is perhaps the only adult in the dozen and his bible, the only adult version of the story of transformation.  The church that followed him stood its ground   in the cradle of all religions against successive waves of Buddhist, Jain and the Hindu revival.  Disciples go on reinventing the master, do a Procrustus, and cut the cloth to suit their own different sizes.

A stage will come in every learning relationship – including marriages – when the travelers reach the fork on the road. when master and disciple turn adults or one has to let go of the other on grounds of greater love, if that is the only way the other faces the reality of the dynamics. Resolutions might/not happen. When the prodigal daughter returns she finds that there is no father or daughter.  In my father’s abode there are no husbands and wives, fathers or daughters/sons. The cheating wife is a product of this dynamics. She doesn’t want to cheat but has to cheat, destroy herself to rebuild herself. The other has to let her go even at the risk of her own death/suicide. Death is a normal risk to the human, but to die even before one is born is a greater calamity. Life will go on.

Hands were being raised. Raj paused giving in to the questions. He waited for all the questions before getting to continue with the conversation

The fifty year study of myocardial infraction is a recent example of the progressive decline in community among the Roseto. Probably we had better community prior to the beginning of settled agriculture among the hunter gatherer. So in one sense what we call progress was no progress but a decline and decay of community.

Perhaps the universe is perfect, says the digital philosopher, Rudy Rucker.  For the mystic the world is perfect beyond any uncertainty, he lives the connection with the whole and has repeated experiences of this connection which spills into his art, making it immortal.  For him nothing happens by chance, everything is a participative outcome of the grand design. Tolkien believed mythology to be the divine echo of truth. We don’t allow them to die. For them to die, we need to draw the principles they embed and realise them in our daily lives. In those days art deserts the museum walls, the opera and the cinema halls and occupy the Wall Street, virtual walls waiting to be painted.  Art is routine.

If myth is the measure of wealth, India is the wealthiest of nations. Weighed down by the burden of myths they labour more, asking more questions on Quora than others in the world. The wealth of their myths lies hidden like the Temple Treasure of Trivandrum. Unearthing hidden treasures could be opening the Pandora’s Box as the state in Kerala has come to realise the proof of the Matthew effect, (Matthew effect – Robert K. Merton) – the poor in spirit becomes poorer in health and wealth.

So what ?

Ask more questions !

More of fantasy is not the solution to the burden of our myths

To continue

The journey so far

Maturity Metrics,Stages of Growth and Levels of Awareness

“If 50 is the new 30 when do you turn into an adult?

“Adulthood is yet to be defined. We have different numbers for different purposes, contexts and cultures pegged at 13, 16, 18, 21 “

“You may be 100, but that is no guarantee that you are an adult”

“Most metrics are quite arbitrary and we give undue weightage to numbers”.

“Dealing with the demographic imperative necessitates bringing quantity; quality and time to be reckoned with at one go. Erikson’s eight is too inadequate.”

Most of us may never pass through the gate to adulthood if we define adulthood as maturity to self-regulate, take informed decisions that leads to continuous improvement. Adulthood in the information age is about discerning information from data, the competence to ask the right questions or search. Information is data that kill misinformation that takes us to more order than decay.

Collectively we do not even manifest the wisdom of a single cell in its ability to take care of itself. We are yet to graduate from the level of the clock/ simple machines. Perhaps our institutions partially exhibit some of the characteristics of advanced machines with limited self-regulation.

The cell is to the body as an individual is to the community. Let us look at the issue at this level before proceeding to higher levels of complexity.

Event Process Metric/s

Stage /  Event Process Metric/s
1 Conception One-ness, Ignorant bliss Dreamers
2 Birth/death Duality, Separation, Pain, paradise lost Conflicts, noise
3 Positioned Purpose Clarity, Work to fun Silence, voice
4 Map Directional Clarity Improvements
5 Clock Mechanical awareness Rituals, Measurement,Breakdowns
6 Thermostat Self-regulation Decisions
7 Cell Organic life Increasing order
8 Plant Rooted Glocal
9 Animal Perfection Design awareness
10 Human Identity, Independence, Freedom Gender intelligence
11 Community Interdependence Happiness Index, Community Intelligence
12 Meta maps Accumulated learning Expertise, Practice
13  Aligning with the unknown Balance Humility, sustained improvements
14 Graduate/Warrior Catalyst Adulthood, Continual Renewal, Servant leadership, Reflective

We are still struggling with improving this tentative proposition. The dialogue is on.

Why blue?

20 April

“So what is the new 21”

“60 and in perfect health”

” then the new 74 will be 222+”

“Yes, computationally speaking, otherwise no such limits. You are not your 58 kilos”

” oops”

“Then what are you?”

” You are your work”


“Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.”  -Buddha