Friday, July 28, 2006

Spicy & Sweety: Revealed

The answer to the Sense-itivity quiz is here. For the sane amongst us - a friendly version is in the diagram. Study it, be happy, sleep well. For the mad, the following:

The epiphany occurred, as it usually does with me, during a conversation. Ahad A. and I were talking about where is knowledge found when I drew up the shapes of Spicy & Sweety and quizzed him. Actually, I gave him the more mathematically correct but less glamorous version: which of the two is Spicy, and the other Mildy?

The answer came after I drew up the shapes. I found a brand new angle on the old quiz: Why would we call Kiki, Kiki? Why not call it Booba?

If you have no idea what I am talking about and think I just delivered the latest in high street insults your way, you will be de-mystified shortly. But I am not talking about curses; I am talking about a famous test on synaesthesia.

Synaesthesia – or the synthesis of senses – is a fascinating subject. You will usually hear of it in eccentric tales of “colors of music” and experience it closer at home when you decide the taste of food just by its smell. Those very smart with audio-visual effects will also know instinctively that synaesthesia also occurs when music is represented by the exotic visualizations of most modern audio players such as Windows Media Player.

Syn+aesthesia. A synergy of aesthetic senses. How, when senses combine, they create a whole larger than the sum of the parts.

I have been researching, experimenting on, and theorizing on a unified theory of senses for some time.

Separately, I came across the Azeemi (Indian Sub-continental Sufi silsila) concept of “wavelength” meanwhile while learning about spirituality and understanding how God’s design works. Yet the Azeemis are only marginally educated in the fields of physics, mathematics, and art – and they have not explained the concept in terms other than purely spiritual/ esoteric.

The Azeemi elders suggest that there is a “wavelength” and a “light” going around in and sustaining the Universe. They suggest that everything has a “wavelength,” but stop just short of explaining it more sophisticatedly.

While I drew those shapes Spicy & Sweety for Ahad, I was drawing a variant of the Kiki & Booba test.

Then suddenly, the dots connected.

Wavelengths. Graphs, that I had just been thinking about. Mathematics.

I remembered asking myself those very days why I could not separate the math of the graph from the shape of it, and the shape of it from reality of a traveling particle? Why oh why is the sharper shape Spicy? Why is the more toned shape Sweety/ Mildy?

Funny how things come together. Synthesis!

Allow me to use the more correct term Mildy to explain the answer.

These shapes in the quiz are two different graphs. We know that the taste of spice is caused by molecules of certain chemicals (Vitamin C, potassium, etc.) when they come in contact with our taste buds.

The more taste buds a person has, the better their sense of taste. A taste bud is like a catching mattress. The larger the mattress, the bigger can be a falling object to catch on the mattress. The more taste buds one has, the more molecules of a chemical they catch. But suppose a limited number of taste buds, says 10,000 on a tongue. Then take a bit of a sauce with 1,000,000 molecules of potassium. That’s 100 molecules per taste bud.

Take a bit of a sauce with 30,000 molecules of potassium. That’s 3 m/tb. It will taste "Mildy” and perhaps even “Sweety” if taken after the first.

If you plot a graph for the first, it’s sharper, like A. If you plot one for the second, it is closer to the baseline, like B. (B gets its curves from continuous tasting, but that’s irrelevant.)

These graphs are also wavelengths in shape!

So. Think about it. Even taste has a “wavelength.” That wavelength has a shape. Somewhere in our minds, we can associate that shape with the taste. Spicy is sharper looking. Sweety or Mildy has gentler, smaller slopes.

As I said earlier, we have been seeing music represented with wavelengths all our lives. For a sense of touch, we can quickly develop a Thorny/ Grainy/ Smoothy test.

Does this mean that our minds have a de-coder where all senses get processed based on the very unfunny shapes of wavelengths? And do these wavelengths lead us to a theory of universal aesthetic?

(And does an overload of waves lead to certain psychologocial disorders?)


Quiz: answered

The answer to the Spicy & Sweety Sense-itivity quiz is here!

According to me, those who said A = Spicy and B = Sweety got it right!

And even though we have a statictically insignificant number of answers, the answers tend to largely affirm the theory.

Thank you all for participating!

Thursday, July 27, 2006


If you believe in as many as six incredulous things before breakfast, this may be one for you:

This amulet, if embroidered upon black satin, followed by a chanting of the mantra "Nades, Suradis, Maniner," would make a jinn appear.

Be careful before you make a wish, though. This story about those who wish more than what fate ordains (and get it) would curb any amount of enthusiasm you might have for such an activity, unless you are You-Know-Who himself.

P. S. My opinion? I actually believe in most kinds of non-sense, in that they can happen, if only to find life entertaining.

No actually I do believe in most kinds of things. Anything can happen in a theoretical world. With my love for mathematically warped worlds, I cannot say something cannot happen. It can. But will it?

Whether we must do something or not is a question to answer which we have been given a highly well-functioning brain. I don't recommend any silly practice. And I am serious. For a witchy reason.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

How sense-tive are you?

The five senses do not operate alone. We decide whether our lunch tastes good or bad based on its smell. The more we can put two or more senses together, the more sensitive we are.

Here is a test I have created, the likes of which exist already, to understand how we understand senses.

Question: Which of these two shapes on the right, A or B, is "Sweety" and which is "Spicy"?

Give the first answer that comes to your head.

Post updated; picture previously not visible to some.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Secret of the World

I am going through the archives of Quest & Lust, creating themes from posts. Found this comment by Stargazer, a very profound commenter and sometimes advisor, on losing my religion. I have differing views on everything; yet I have enjoyed the thoughtfulness of a few readers, and Stargazer has been the best of them.

About the following, my view is that our approach to the World's Secret is of bafflement and sometimes a sad recognition. For some it is a shock so hard they can never take it - the realization that we live in a Matrix within a Benevolent Matrix.

This is the Secret of the World. It is often - in fact invariably - revealed in intense moments of pain. Like the splitting of an embryonic sac, this process of coming out from a protected delusion to the world of reality is the result of intense pain, followed by intense realization. The Secret of the World is not easy to understand.

Yet once known and then realized, it is tremendously liberating... so empowering... and so obviously been there all along...

On to Stargazer's observations.

The search for an identity, apart from one associated with your convictions and principles, is shallow -- relative at best.

The problem with this quest is that it will bring you no...what is the word? Absolution. The human race's history is nothing but deja vu ad nauseum. Times change but we don't. A negative way of looking at progress is that it is nothing more than the discovery or invention of new tools and techniques for committing new follies that fit the ages.

Our aspirations, our ambitions, our ideas, our goals never really change. We just adapt our manifestation of them according to the era. Half a millennium ago, "Colonization" was the word; 500 years later you refer to it as "Globalization". Only the lexicon has changed, the meanings within have not. Barbaric wars between armies facing each other have been replaced by high-tech weapons in which the opponents simply don't see each others faces -- remote controlled destruction. The agrarian-based feudal system has given way to industrial and commercial capitalism. Three decades ago, letting your hair down and wearing trousers was in. Two decades ago, covering up was the order of the day. Now jeans and nice hair-dos are back in style again.

Don't confuse welfare with political correctness. Torture is politically incorrect; creative information extraction techniques are in vogue.

The reason I find the search for an identity shallow is because everything around me is constantly changing. I have no reference point per se that allows me to seek and claim an identity. Take our relations with our arch-enemy (India) for example. For half a century we had clearly drawn battle lines and we knew everything there was to know about "us vs. them." There were no gray areas. Suddenly in a few blinks, loyalties have shifted; priorities are realigned with the advent of the new millennium in the face of a mercurial globo-political system. Yesterday's enemies are today's friends and more ironically, people whom we were actively supporting for decades are suddenly persona non grata, the hunted. Who's to say whether we were right then and wrong now, or wrong then and right now -- or more so -- right then and right now, or wrong then and also wrong now?

How many people do you think sought identities in those circumstances? How many people do you think thought they knew which side of the line they were on? Where do you think they stand today? Or take our-Western neighbor for example: Afghanistan. The very government that our establishment nurtured and put into place over years has been dismantled and is being hunted down and wiped out by the very same establishment, because it is the need of the hour. What a morbid irony! Yesterday's heroes are now today's villains.

This picture that I have painted was over a span of -- what? A few decades? Now let me step back and give you a wider view, over centuries and millennia. Every few hundred years, nations will rise and fall, borders will be redrawn again and again, civilizations will come and go, sworn blood enemies will become indispensable allies, and long-standing comrades will become victims, empires will come into existence and perish. Wars will be fought, peaces will be made. Constitutions and all man-made laws are mere tools of convenience that allow systems to be put into place that serve the needs of the hour. Place no faith or belief in any constitution, except The One by God, because ours will change in the blink of an eye. Concepts like "liberties", "freedom", "rights", "justice", "sovereignty" as defined by any human being or system can be changed (or the word is "twisted" to indicate its vile implications) the moment it goes against the group in power, the establishment. This is our history-immemorial, in a nutshell.

In such circumstances, don't try to be a hero, don't take sides, and don't try to unnecessarily find who you are. Don't try to identify yourself with anything, any cause, any group, any system, that is not within your control to define. Because the day it changes, there's no telling where you will end up and you will end up questioning your own beliefs. You may be all the better for it --or you may suffer for it.

Either way at the end of the day you will be Judged and remembered by your convictions and principles and how you lived your life therein. Everything else is relative.


. edited. because I am always publishing the first time in a hurry. where am i running to?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A particle, travelling

This afternoon, I wondered what is the trouble with scientific education?

I realized that the study of science has initiated with visualizers, but it's imparted by verbalizers.

For a long time, I never understood the difference between a particle travelling in a straight line, at accelerating speed, and its rising graph. No one could answer the simple question: why was the graph curving when the particle was travelling straight? The teacher, if I heard correctly, was always saying, "This is a particle travelling in a straight line...."

No, darling, this is the mathematical representation of the slowly-swiftly-slowly rising speed of a particle which is travelling in a straight line and there is a difference between this and what you are saying. If you don't believe me, ask the curve about the straight line!

Having a highly visual-artistic mind, I for one could not separate the two... it was perhaps my exceptional geometry that earned me an A in the GCSE Maths, but I got a D in Advance Maths, because my mind always got entangled in the graph.

I know now that it's not a handicap but a talent to visualize. Mathematics is a reductionist branch of knowledge that simplifies the complexity of world. Mathematics is best enjoyed visually, not be verbalizing the formulae. We need, at least in this century, schools that stop preaching and make room for visualization and experimentation.

We need more experiential schools!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

God's secret love

Does God secretly/ not that secretly love mad people?

The prayers that I see getting answered are often the zaniest. Consider the latest, came true this evening:

"God, why doesn't my cat get 'tranquilized' in my presence like Fudge, my dear pal Tani's cat? And why would my unnamed cat of several years not join me on the prayer rug like the very spiritual Fudge?"

Now Fudge is this little kitten Tani was bringing up - and it reportedly was spiritual and therapeutic. It lent me an air of notoriety when my presence started dozing it off. Either I am boring, or I am "peaceful," Fudge can tell when it speaks English. But what we enjoyed most was Fudge joining us in prayers. She'd claw and bite the rest, and get a little mad-dancy... but on my prayer rug it simply dozed off.

Among other reported miracles of Fudge is also mood-alleviating and flu-eradicating presence. I can tell you the kitten had an intense stare and it *did* exude a certain peace and exactitude.

Now what does exactitude mean I know not, but God has put that word on e-paper through my keyboard pen so I will not re-word!

Anyway. My unnamed cat listened in to my prayer. I was a bit - ummm - today. It gave up its usual "Got Milk?" campaign and sat pressed to me. This cat is a stray cat of once-upon-a-time, with the apparant assumption that we live in its home - humans! humans! - so this graciousness is a little... overwhelming from this attitudinous cat.

When I did realize, in the middle of my sitting barefoot on grass reading a book routine, the warmth of its/her* presence, I felt mildly surprised. And I felt a little un-ummmed. This cat is also therapeutic, I registered.

And then minutes later it joined me on the prayer rug, stretching properly. It slept immediately. I stepped off the prayer rug, and prayed on the grass, partially. Oh, and, I do pray in the lawn, amongst bird songs and cat meows. That is the nature of this animal, me.

I wondered during prayers, "When is God listening? And how come He listens to the maddest of prayers and wishes? And if He does, have I been mad enough for Him?"

For I am certain that when I am that mad He would accept me all; for I am certain that God has a love for unusual things, and the madness of wakeful humans.

* Aside: Why on earth have I been thinking of this cat as an "it-cat"?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Not a Mango Orchard

We are not mangoes. We are not apples either.

They say that the birth of each new child means that God still has hope in the world. I feel that it also means God still wants to get some work done. I believe that God sends everyone with a purpose, and the abilities to fulfill that very purpose.

What is that purpose and who determines it? Only the Creator of the scheme of things knows and determines the purpose. Who in this world figures out this purpose for each one of us? Now this is an interesting question.

It shouldn't surprise most of us if we say, "I am the only human who knows me the best." The abilities that were given to each person were given to them, and so, I believe, was the sense of purpose given to each individual. To a child, it's very clear: I like electronics. I like coloring. I like sitting and thinking. I like talking and making friends.

The child does not criticize or judge their ability – their innate talent. And there is a direct and positive correlation between the purpose and the talent. A talent is the tool to fulfill the purpose, which is a task. Like task, like tool. Like purpose, like talent. You cannot fit a hammer into your sole and dance the ballet.

The Divine system of morality is centered on the individual: the individual is responsible for themselves and their acts. That is why it's equally wrong to commit a personal sin alone in a desert or at home in the city in front of your parents. If you must not take a drug, you may not take it even if you are the last person on earth (which will be very depressing, but!). Likewise, if you do something good, it does not matter where and how you do it and who's watching you.

Won't we all agree that we want our subordinates and dependents to behave perfectly morally in our absence? And that, if we think about it, those who supervise us want the same from us? (Hard, but true.) So what does this mean? The system of governing each person's life is within that person. Each person is their own judge. And if they are the judge of their conduct, they are also the judge of their larger purpose.

Let the point come home now: God created each person to achieve a certain objective – big or small in human eyes, but absolutely important to God. For God, each person's task is as important as another's. Just as to an architect, the nuts & bolts and bricks & mortar are as critical as the doors and the woodwork and the tinted glass-panes. He instilled that objective, that purpose deep in each person's psyche, and gave that person requisite talents to fulfill that purpose. Every person is born with an awareness of these.

It takes nurturing and development to make each person understand the use of their tools to do their task. You are a surgeon. You want to perform a surgery. You are taught the use of specific tools to undertake that surgery. With time and learning, you may use a more extensive and sophisticated array of tools.

The tragedy is that most of us are taught to lose our talent. We are not taught to understand and live our purpose, but to forget it. We are taught to live out a set of expectations set by this unnamed, iron-curtained thing called the "society" or "economy."

It's as if the parents, the teachers – as if this monolith called the "society" – bring up the children like mangoes in an orchard. The children are all prepared to be the same, look the same, taste the same. They are expected to ripen to near maturity when they can be picked up and sold. A lot of anxiety is part of the process; leading up to the sales, failing which, God forbid, a mango is a loser fit for the farmer's household chutney. The ultimate purpose of each child's existence is to sell well, and make sure it does not embarrass the farmer with some kind of un-ripened death, some apple-of-a-different-idea.

We are not mangoes. We are not apples, either.

We are humans, tuti-fruity: we have our own tastes, flavors, colors, shapes, sizes, seasons. We have our codes within us, and only we can read them right. Our talent and potential has no expiry date.

And we are certainly not up for sale: for we are humans, not mangoes.


Never sell dreams short.

-The Prophecy

Friday, July 14, 2006


Above everything, from this life, I want my life back.

-The Prophecy

Thursday, July 13, 2006

What is Sin?

From The Prophecy's Diary: May 10, 2006

When answering the question, "what is sin?" we answer with a list of don'ts. But that is a list of sins, not the definition of sin. Even the definition of sin does not tell why is sin, sin - and not a desirale act. For the thinkers, the ponderers, the jokers who pop up with philosophical break in the mundane - here is what I think of Sin.

Sin is a transgression beyond the system of God. If and when that happens, the sinner falls out of the safety net of the system, which no longer helps the sinner.

There are two examples of sin that I have. One is illicit sexual relationships. The other is consuming haraam food.

Once when a person holds an illicit relationship, the system of God becomes unfavorable. Why? Because the system is integrated and based on certain principles. If those principles are violated, the system may not help the person. Within the system, there are rules and regulations, and also a way of redressal. For instance, if a person rapes a woman, he can be punished according to the law. If two people have an illicit relationship before marriage, they are lashed and their status is restored. If they commit adultery, they are "eliminated" from the system – on which they become a perpetual liability.

Consider the case of temptation, however. That just shies from the limit (hadd) but is beyond the permissible. If the couple falls out, which they very often do, there is often a blame game. Now, who takes the blame, when they aren't legally obliged to? It becomes a private affair for which the society has no rule – because according to the society, both have sinned in the first place.

If one of the former partners chooses to curse the other – why would the system of God listen, when both have not been in accordance with the system? And also, there is no way of making certain claims on the unfair partner – such as the claim for return of gifts, or for providing partnership, assistance, or support.

Consider also the case of haraam food. Haraam food is generally one which is a bio-hazard. Introducing the forbidden flavors and chemicals in the food chain is upsetting the system of the food chain. The food chain and the bio-sphere do not support this.

We have certain tolerances and immunities against a few diseases. Those diseases are ones that are a by-product of the second law of thermodynamics, by which all things must deteriorate and wear down. It is called "attrition" or "erosion."

As part of the cycle of living, we face certain "frictions" each moment. These are elements acting upon us. These are primarily in the forms of Sun, Air, Water, and Earth. As a result of coming in contact with these forces, we gain some energy, and lose some matter. That is the attrition of the system, and it is natural. Now if we somehow misbalance the rate of creation vs. destruction, we will either create monsters of uncontrolled size, or pygmies that will be unable to withstand the forces of nature.

Introducing hazardous chemicals in the food chain leads to blocks and decay in the system. Blocks occur when an indigestible material gets into the system. Decay occurs when healthy bodies are poisoned due to the disproportionate presence of unhealthy materials. (Note to self: look up the definition of poison.) In either case, we harm the food chain, and the larger eco-biological sphere of which the food chain is a part.

The ecology is unforgiving to us for this transgression. Our bodies are unable to dance in synchronization with the forces of nature, and fall out of tune. Either they become obese, or emaciate through disease, for which there may be no cure in nature.

Creating a cure for these un-systemic diseases creates an unnecessary strain on the resources of the world, which could be better used elsewhere – say, on providing healthy food? It is therefore a transgression on the system to introduce such substances into the food chain, or to artificially remove the "dust bins" of the food chain – i.e. the swine. Why would we want to consume an animal that is introduced in the food chain/ ecological system for the sole purpose of removing filth by consumption? Would we decorate our homes with dirt-cleaning rags instead of the decent rug? No? If not, then why would we replace our diets with potentially hazardous and unclean food instead of the clean and the healthy?

It is a transgression, an excess to go beyond the system, or to introduce destruction into the system. The system of life is chaotic and dynamic as it is, and gives plenty of room for adventure without our need for misbalancing and dishonoring it.

To violate the sanctity of the system is to hurt us and all the constituents and members of the system. To protect us from this massive harm, the violation of the system of God is made impermissible. The violation of the system of God is made a sin.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Ilahi and the One Language

A late night muse:

Something I had been putting together - or apart - on bits and pieces of paper: the name of Ilahi - God - in various scripts and symbols. Abjad in the top line, alphabet in the second line, and symbol in the third, bottom line. The ones in red are calligraphic symbols created by me - whether they exist as de facto symbols, I know not. The red swastika, however, is close to an ancient Norse symbol (the Sun cross).

I am noting how Ilahi of the abjad script is almost a mirror image of Ilahi of the alphabet script; and how each of these two are not so distinct from the sacred symbol of Om (or the Nazi swastika) - all presented here with my analytic stylizations.

In all languages, symbols, and scripts, these similar forms mean God, or a concept of God.

The inspiration for this exercise is here, apart from in the vast world of languages and symbols: Will Robert Langdons of linguistics save the world?
Further information for lovers of languages is available on Omniglot.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Who are you?

"What do you do?" someone asks.

"I…," is my standard first answer. And then I spend a few seconds fabricating my reply, while thoroughly evaluating the expectations of the questioner. I give them the answer they want to hear so they will not persist with foolish meddlesome persistent curiosity. To those who can understand, however, I tell the truth.

"I get up everyday, and answer the question: what is the most important thing in the world to do, and how can I contribute towards doing it? Then I do it, and educate others about it." In short, I am a philosopher to the best of my curiosity. I am an entrepreneur to the best of my ability. I am a teacher to the best of my knowledge.

To the ordinary questioner, I give any of these answers: I work for a TV channel (I no longer do). I teach MBA students (also, no longer). I have my own business – if they ask what, I give a detailed plan and function of any business my mind chooses to create at that moment – after all, I teach entrepreneurship and it's fun to create a business on the fly. What's the use of imagination if it's not used to amuse?

The truth is, I do all these three, and then some. And I do not wish to be known by any of these identities, because one firing or resignation or business failure or success can terminate these identities or promote me from them, and I have no long-lasting love for temporary things.

It's like racing in the Monte Carlo Grand Prix and saying that I am driving to a pit stop. I need the pit stop, but I don't want it to define my eternal track.

In answering with temporary questions to people who have no sense of purpose and destination – people who I see stationed firmly at a place in time and believing that they are moving just because everything else around them is – I do not wish to etch on their minds a fixed notion of me, because it will, through the collective wisdom and knowledge of the world, somehow travel back and etch that description on my mind too. After all, there is no one-way force in the world and we all influence one other.

Yet this is a lower level of self-identification and courage for me. It is true that it is much better to just tell them, "I am a philosopher, I undertake enterprise, and I teach. I have substance, and assume any form using the capacity-to-choose that mankind is endowed with. Above all, I understand it's ultimately not my choice, but my calling. I wake up everyday, and answer the call."