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Belief is Nothing; Perception is Everything

A Buddhist Story about Acting in the time of Crisis

A Buddhist Story

This is a Story on the importance of being able to be in moment, no matter what the circumstance.

It is possible to be alive in any moment only when one is Prepared for all Eventualities.

A Buddhist Monk was walking along the forest path like he did every day when he was confronted by the danger of a lion charging at him. He ran and started climbing down the wall of a nearby well to seek safety from the lion.

Unfortunately for him, he noticed a poisonous snake in the water as he was descending. Half way, he froze and held on to an outgrowing root on the inside wall.

Now he had a hungry lion peering down at him and a poisonous snake from the bottom waiting to devour him.

Just as luck would have it, a few rats appeared from another crevice on the wall and started gnawing away at the roots on which he was hanging precariously.

Just then, some liquid dropped on his forehead and when he looked up, it was sweet honey dripping from a honeycomb. He stretched himself and started enjoying the honey dripping into his now open tongue.

Being in the moment is the calm and connectedness that one can bring into any situation. Being Prepared helps being Meditative and not Vice Versa. We as a human race need to stop looking for Predictability and start looking Predictability.

So how does the story end?

We don’t have to be a monk to be meditative, do we?

Well, just as our protagonist was enjoying the little drops of nectar on his tongue, a totally new experience in his life, despite the existential crisis around him, the situation began unravelling around him.

The lion leaned into the well and slipped and crashed into it breaking the spine of the poisonous snake below. The rats were rattled by all the commotion disappeared into their hole and the monk just managed to climb the wall again and go on his way; before the precarious root he was using to stay on the wall snapped.

Things happen around us, some that we can’t and some that we can control. Being prepared for those that we can control will afford us the composure when things around us happen that we cannot control.

Genetically humans are control freaks. And the control comes from the many beliefs they form, not just born out of their experience but usually out of others’ narration.

This is a very important aspect of human life that must Transform; not just Change. The world around us is changing to very new realities that will often question the truth of the past.

The Technology of Fire transformed to Technologies of Internet and now to Technologies of Digital. People are constant but not the age demographics; as each new demography begin to establish a context / truth of their own and perceive the existence through that lens.

Conviction must replace Belief. Because Conviction is born out of one’s own experience rather than belief that is born out of hearsay. Belief is Nothing.

Perception is Everything

Making meaning of anything is Perception. But that meaning has to be moored to a context for it to be intelligent. And Context keeps evolving as life does. Which of course is the changing nature of data.

The nature of data is first governed by the relationships. From closed local communities when society harnessed the technology of fire, we came to harnessing the power of internet with Social Media.

The communities moved from Trust to Mistrust and now we have an opportunity to turn a full circle when this social media that has created deep distrust will be replaced by digital communities of Interest & Practice; where digital improves the trust quotient with reducing the chasm between the Physical and Virtual presence.

The cornerstone of a trustful society will always be data ownership and the respectful privacy and security it operates within.

The process of data transformation for a machine is no different from human. Modern Machines are more powerful with their depth and width of computing as compared to humans. And therefore, instead of thinking about replacing jobs, machines must be looked upon doing more mundane tasks while humans connect with one another.

Just the greeting and gossip at your local grocery store or the local bar is equally important to life than all commercial transactions that generates cash. Humans must find a deeper meaning and purpose to the life that generates true wealth. One that arises from Sharing and Collaboration.

Simplify. Modernize. Disrupt. Not Discard. Not Distance. Not seeing the Devil but the Divine in the new Shape of Things. Every aspect of life has both the pros and the cons. We need to “Learn” to Live again.
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