Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy New Year 2013

The Last Sunday Morning Sermon for 2012

Where did 2012 go? 364 days have already passed us by and suddenly its December  30, today, leaving just another 24 hours before we step into another dawn of the 21 century. For those living down under the time is even closer and may have already come to pass by the time this sermon is delivered and dissipated all around the tribe.

The present Mag-10 (upgraded from Mag-7 just a few days back) must sincerely appreciate the fact that we have been able to stay in close touch, on email ,and share, with great honor, respect, as well as some very positive, juicy, nostalgic, revealing, and hard hitting criticism, the trauma and treats of life, from knocking Abbots, fixing the World, to seeking the Company of the 72 Virgins upstairs, by hook or by crook.

Thirteen, some say, brings bad luck, especially in the developed world. Some hotels do not even have a Room #13, while some folks wont even move into a house with a #13 on the front door. Superstition and myth has always been rampant in the mystic orient but it also prevails very much in the hearts and minds of so called "emancipated" humans on this planet.
The mind is a strange creature that always delivers a concoction based on the ingredients it was originally fed with. Many of us rarely stop to look back and ponder what it may have been if we didnt have to come through the same road we already have. Would it have been smoother, sweeter, happy or sadder? Would we think and act in the same manner as we do, today? Would we believe in the same things we do now. Would we have food on the table?
In a changing world of technology, cyber space, Facebook, Microsoft, & Blacberry's, the need to try and establish who we are, what we are, why we are here, what we are doing, and where we may be going, becomes extremely valuable and pertinent.

"Never ventured, never won!", is the old adage that my grand pappy taught me in the 60's and it has proved extremely valuable to me throughout my life.
A big "Hallelujah!" to all for having kept the fire burning and helped to foster 
the valuable discourse we have been able to keep running, through hard fought views, and even throwing punches in the air.

Without all the thoughts and ideas that have been exchanged throughout this year, life would surely have been rather boring and tasteless for us, no doubt.

The humor, bouquets, brickbats, and bruhaha have also raised many interesting views, thoughts, and responses, throughout the year.

May 2013 see the continuation of this valuable Friendship and Camaraderie that started off more than half a century ago.

Happy New Year Mag-10! 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Poya Post

Existence of God: Philosophical Arguments

Almost all of the arguments ever developed for the existence of God fall into one of the following categories. Chances are, if you come across anybody proposing an argument for God, on Hub Pages, on a blog, or anywhere, it will fall under one of the following types. The details of the argument may change, but if you can understand the essential type, you will be able to understand how it works, and how the logic fails.

1. Cosmological argument

The claim: Everything has a cause, and therefore reality must have a cause. That cause is named God. God was the uncaused cause of everything, the uncreated creator.
The flaw: If everything has a cause, then God also has a cause, because God is part of everything. Therefore God cannot have been uncreated. Separately, if God is indeed uncreated, then not everything has a cause. Therefore perhaps reality itself has no cause. In other words, reality is uncreated and eternal--if it can work for God, then it can work for reality.

2. Design argument

The claim: The universe exhibits design and complexity. Things which show design must have had a designer who is even more complex. That designer is named God.
The flaw: If the universe is complex, then surely God himself is even more complex. Therefore, since everything that is complex requires a designer, God himself requires a designer, who must be even more complex than he is. However, if God was not designed, then not every complex thing requires a designer. In which case the universe does not require a designer. Once again, if it works for God, it works for the universe. In addition, the argument's second premise is incorrect: things which "show design" do not necessarily need a designer.

3. Argument from life

The claim: Life cannot arise randomly or spontaneously from inanimate matter, and yet life exists. Therefore a God was necessary to create life.
The flaw: In fact, it is possible to explain the origin of life without God, and without any supernatural force.

4. Argument from revelation

The claim: Scripture says that God exists. Scripture also claims that it is the inspired word of God, therefore whatever it says must be true.
The flaw: Circularity. God exists because the Scripture says so, and we should trust the Scripture because it is the word of God. This argument assumes the very thing (God) we are trying to prove. The same argument and logic can be used for any text that is considered revealed -- the Quran, the Torah, the OT, the NT, the Book of Mormon, or anything else.

5. Argument from miracles

The claim: The presence of miracles points to a supernatural force or god; miracles do occur, therefore there is a supernatural force or god
The flaw: The fact that miracles exist does not prove that they were caused by God (they could have been caused by an ancestor spirit). Thus this argument commits the fallacy of begging the question--it assumes that which is to be proven.
Separately, it is impossible to prove that miracles occur because in order to prove that an event occurs, you must use the laws of nature, but miracles by definition are violations of the laws of nature.

6. Ontological argument

The claim: God, by definition, is perfect. A perfect thing, by definition, exists. Thus a nonexistent God is absurd because God, by definition as a perfect being, must exist. Logically, referring to a "nonexistent God" is analogous to referring to a "four-sided triangle." A triangle logically cannot be four-sided, and God logically cannot be nonexistent.
The flaw: Yet again, this argument assumes the very thing it seeks to prove. It first assumes that God exists, and then designates him as "perfect." The argument has the relationship between existence and perfection backwards. Perfection is a quality enjoyed only by things that exist. If God exists, then he is certainly perfect. But the argument has not demonstrated that God exists. In essence, it claims "if God exists, then God exists."
The argument treats existence as a quality of an object. According to Kant, "existence" is not a quality that a thing can either have or lack. A thing must first exist, and then, as a condition of its existence, have X or Y quality. To speak of a thing having the quality of "existing" is absurd, as only existing things can have qualities in the first place.

7. Moral argument

The claim: Morality exists. Morality's existence cannot be explained in the absence of God. Therefore God exists.
The flaw: In fact God is not needed to explain the existence of moral sentiments in people. Evolutionary, psychological, anthropological, sociological, cultural and historical explanations can be made for the existence of morality.

8. Purpose argument

The claim: Without the existence of God, people would have no reason to live or be good. Therefore there must be a God.
The flaw: This is not a proof of anything, only a wish or desire. The fact that people have no reason to live in the absence of God does not mean that God exists. Moreover, people do have many reasons to live and be good in the absence of God, as countless atheists, agnostics and secularists demonstrate.

9. Argument from faith

The claim: The existence of God cannot be proven through reason, but only through faith. The use of faith shows that there is a God, therefore God exists.
The flaw: Faith is not a reliable means for "proving" anything. The fact that the theist chooses faith as the means for proving God indicates that they are assuming (on faith) the very thing they are trying to prove. Faith, by definition, is nothing more than saying "I believe in God" which does not prove anything. The theist's faith shows there is a God, but perhaps someone else's faith shows there is not a God.

10. Argument from experience

The claim: Many people claim to have a personal experience with God, therefore God exists.
The flaw: The fact that someone claims to experience God, or feels a feeling that they call "God" does not mean that it actually was God. Feelings are frequently unreliable.

11. Pascal's wager

The claim: We have nothing to lose by believing in God, but everything to lose by not believing in God. If I believe in God but am wrong, I am not harmed. But if I do not believe in God and am wrong, I am harmed. Therefore the prudent thing to do is to believe in God.
The flaw: This is not a proof for God, but rather an encouragement for believing in God, which has nothing to do with God's actual existence.
Separately, it is prudent to believe in God only if you define God in the correct way, and pick the correct religion. Moreover, this argument assumes that God is not omniscient, because God does not know one's heart, and one's true cynical calculus.

12. Transcendental argument

The claim: Laws of logic, morality and knowledge cannot exist without God. God is the necessary, prior condition for the existence of logical, moral and natural laws, as well as the basic objective intelligibility of the universe. Such laws exist, and the universe is intelligible, therefore God exists.
The flaw: This argument is subject to a logical bind of the same structure as the cosmological and design arguments. If logic requires a designer, that designer by definition must be logical. But if the designer is logical, then who designed his logic? If, on the other hand, the designer’s logic does not require a designer, then logic does not always require a designer, and therefore the logic of the universe may have been undesigned.
Separately, this argument puts the cart before the horse. The "laws" of nature and of logic are simply human interpretations of how the world works. There is nothing in the universe written "this is the law." The conception of a "law" is entirely within our own minds.
The real question, then, is not "why does the universe operate precisely to these laws." The real question is "why are we able to measure the universe and its behavior this precisely." And the answer to that should be obvious. The fact that we are able to imagine a universe with slightly different laws is irrelevant. Nobody argues that "the fact that we are able to imagine a unicorn existing requires us to explain why no unicorns exist in this universe."


These are extremely brief summaries of each of the main arguments for God. Again, almost all arguments for God fall under one of these categories. There has never been a reliable, logically coherent argument presented for the existence of God, in all of human history.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Peace on Earth

Sunday Sermon Dec 23 2012

Xmas is just round the corner and millions of Christians all over the world will be celebrating the birth of their Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, on December 25. Many non Christians also celebrate the occasion, not necessarily from a religious perspective but more so from a seasonal aspect in keeping with the end of the calendar year, holidays, and the forthcoming new year, with all its revelry, atmosphere and "spirituality".

All three Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, are supposedly from the same God, irrespective of what names are given to Him and were supposedly meant to reform humanity from a totally barbaric (The English were referred to as Barbarians in medieval times) tribe to a more decent, peaceful, and compassionate species. Prior to these three faiths being present on earth we do have the advent of Hinduism and Buddhism, who also preach the same thing from their own perspectives.

Sadly, what we see on the ground today is far from love, goodness, and compassion. Even with the massive development of science, medicine, technology, and learning, it appears that man, in his own need to sustain his power, status, and presence, keeps oppressing his fellow man in order to control and rule. Human rights, freedoms, and other simple common sense needs are seldm seen to be present even in the so called "democratic" and first world "emancipated" and "educated" nations.

Why do we have to face this dilemma on the ground today, I wonder? Any answers from the floor?

The religious parish would usually claim that the sufferings of humanity are brought upon themselves by their own hands in neglecting God, Prayer, and His Teachings. If that be the case, then why does not God step in and make a difference by removing the evil ones and allowing the so called "Saints" to take over and implement his plan? The secular folk may claim that its just a matter of greed for power and wealth thats driving humanity into this abyss as can be seen from the economic debacle that Wall Street has showered across the globe. The atheists may simply attribute it to nature taking its own course, based on instinct, as seen among the creatures who live in the Amazon and other forests across the divide.

If neither the fanatics, secular folk and the atheists, do not come up with a solution to put out all the fires burning across the planet and rid us of the sufferings that we see all around us we will probably only see another new year unfold with the same events happening over and over again in various nations, cities and towns.

It doesnt look like there will be an end to the madness.

Merry Christmas
A Happy New Year 2013


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Crying for the Kids

Crying for the Kids

Watching CNN this week, where President was getting all misty while he made his statement on the killing of innocent school kids in Connecticut, one begins to wonder whether these are real feelings of emotion for the sadness caused by such unwarranted deaths in a nation who claim to be the best on the planet. Or, whether they are just a scene from a drama that world leaders like to portray in such emotional situations where the hearts and minds of the common people, irrespective of politics, are usually moved? Thereby getting some attention and even popularity?

The death of any innocent little child in any form or manner is always a most depressing and sad event to any human being, be he single, married, parent or adult. ven the death of a little puppy or kitten would  move most people to tears.

Why do we, "humans", Grieve?

Is it because we feel guilty, inside us, that we are a part of the problem that causes such horrible events? Or, is it just because we feel that it could have been one of our own kids who was caught in thus quagmire? Or even more so, is it because we all love children, any child, on account of their innocence? 

Grief, is generally assumed to be a multi-faceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something to which a bond was formed. Grief can also be associated with sadness at someone else's loss. Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, it also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, and philosophical dimensions. While the terms are often used interchangeably, bereavement refers to the state of loss, and grief is the reaction to loss.

Some psychologists do conclude that the grief that one succumbs to when you lose a loved one is basically a selfish grief in may ways. This conclusion is made, based on tge fact that the loss of the loved one is making you sad because YOU are the loser and NOT the one who has passed away, thereby concluding the fact that the grief you display is basically a grief for YOUR OWN self and  not really for the departed.

Then one starts thinking of all the little kids who get killed on a daily basis, across the globe, by human actions, be they justified or not, and thereby resulting in massive grief for so many parents, family, friends, neighbors, and the community at large. Such killings even get to the depths of human hearts across the globe, living far and wide, through the 24X7 real time TV networks that we have at our disposal in these modern times.

Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Burma, Sri Lanka, BanglaDesh, The Congo, Rwanda, and many other strife torn nations have seen the killing of many such innocent women and children in recent times through conflicts caused by man made, "human", decisions. Then there is also the grief that one succumbs to when you see the poverty and squalor  being suffered by many children across the globe.  All such events do bring a sense of grief into our human hearts.

Yet, we only choose to cry for some while we do not bother about others. Or even more, do not feel they warrant any crying at all.

Is this a human double standard gene in side us that prevails when we act in this Dr Jekyll and Mr Hide manner? I wish I could have asked this question from President Obama when he was tearing on TV.

Think about it!


Saturday, December 8, 2012


Morning fellers,

Many of us have some form of eternal bliss or Heaven as our apparent goal often contrasted with eternal torment or dissatisfaction. The source of all mentally created dissatisfaction appears to stem from the ability to compare and contrast experiences and find reality as one is living it to be less than ideal. The monotheistic (Abrahamic) faiths of Judaism, Christianity, & Islam, believe this was caused by man eating of the forbidden Tree (FRUIT, APPLE etc) of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Man's eyes were "opened" to know the distinction between good and evil (Genesis 3:5). Other faiths propagate the Karma theory of rebirth based on good and bad actions. The solution is to seek out ways to either make experienced reality conform to the ideal and/or to lower expectations to the level of the experience.

It is pretty obvious that when one can live in the moment with expectations in harmony with experiences one has achieved the greatest mental contentment possible. Variants of this pursuit are found in many religions and manifest in different forms of meditation, prayer and rituals.

The American philosopher, Robert Bruce Raup wrote a book Complacency:The Foundation of Human Behavior (1925) in which he claimed that the human need for complacency (i.e. inner tranquility) was the hidden spring of human behavior. Dr. Raup made this the basis of his pedagogical (science of education) theory, which he later used in his severe criticisms of the American Education system of the 1930s.

Pedagogy is the science of education which requires an instructor who develops conceptual knowledge and manages the content of learning activities in pedagogical settings. The learner requires assistance to develop prior knowledge and integrate new knowledge using Verbal/Linguistic and Logical/Mathematical intelligence. The learner must learn how to learn while developing existing schema and adopting knowledge from both people and the environment. This is low order learning of conceptual knowledge, techniques, procedures, and algorithmic problem solving.

In many ways, Contentment, which can be defined as the state of being satisfied, can be closely associated with the concept of happiness. In Positive Psychology social scientists study what might contribute to living a good life, or what would lead to people having increased positive mood and overall satisfaction with their life. Happiness, in Positive Psychology, is defined in a twofold manner, which in totality is referred to as Subjective Well-Being. How much positive emotion (Positive Affect) as opposed to negative emotion (Negative Affect) does a person have, and how does one view one's life overall (global satisfaction) are the questions asked in Positive Psychology to determine Happiness. Maybe Contentment could be more associated or closely related to a person's level of satisfaction with his/her life (global satisfaction), but nevertheless the idea of Contentment is certainly intertwined in the concept of what makes people happy. Positive Psychology finds it very important to study what contributes to people being happy and to people flourishing, and finds it just as important to focus on the constructive ways in which people function and adapt, as opposed to the general field of psychology which focuses more on what goes wrong or is pathological with human beings.

People make choices in one of two ways. One type is a decision that one makes once his/her criteria is met. The other type is the one who won't make a decision until every possible option is explored. It might be intuitive to see how the research has shown that being the former is positively associated with happiness, and being the latter is negatively associated with happiness.

Is happiness genetic? is it possible for some who moves into a state of unhappiness to return back to an "original" state of happiness defined by his genes that he inherited from his ancestors?

Through factor analysis, personality has been narrowed down to the theory called the Big Five Factor, which are these five aspects of heritable personality traits: Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Research has shown that personality is 50% heritable. There are two aspects of personality which are related to happiness. There is a strong relationship between Extraversion and happiness, in that the more extraverted a person is (or behaves in fact) the more happy he/she will be. The other aspect of personality which has a strong relationship to happiness is the genetic predisposition to Neuroticism. The more neurotic (emotionally unstable) a person is, the more likely he/she is to be unhappy.

Achieving goals that are important to you, and, that are in alignment with your personality, can contribute to your feelings of confidence and mastery. It is important to establish goals that are neither too easy or too hard, but that are optimally challenging. It is also important to note that investing energy in avoiding goals will contribute to diminishing happiness as well as deter one from reaching one's goals, which can be quite intuitive to understand.

Many of us strongly associate money with happiness, and believe that being rich will contribute greatly to make us happier. This idea is increasing as the World society reflects this growing materialism. Although wealth is associated with some positive outcomes, viz; better health, and lower infant mortality, and can act as a buffer in certain instances, the overall relationship between money and happiness is marginal. That is, that, beyond a low threshold where the basic needs are met, money has a very small impact on happiness. There is also the concept of the Diminishing Marginal Utility of Income (DMUI), which is that money has no effect on happiness once a certain income level has been reached, and which represents wealth and happiness as having a curvi-linear relationship.

All religious teachings do concentrate on the final goal of happiness in the form of Heaven, Nirvana, Bliss, etc whereby the parish are expected to totally focus on a "happy" state after death while considering this earthly life a mere transition phase of materialism, based on pleasure and pain, rewards and losses.

At the end of the day it is very possible that one could attain peace of mind, happiness, and contentment by simply being nice to ones fellow human being and even the rest of the species that survive on our planet. This basic premise, as much as it is the foundation in all religious teachings, doesn't truly have the necessary impact on th human mind once he/she is attached to a system that has been nurtured from conception, sadly.


Thursday, December 6, 2012


Aristotle argues that the correct approach in studying such controversial subjects as Ethics or Politics, which involve discussing what is true about what is beautiful or just, is to start with what would be roughly agreed to be true by people of good up-bringing and experience in life, and to work from there to a higher understanding.
Taking this approach, Aristotle begins by saying that the highest good for humans, the highest aim of all human practical thinking, is eudaimonia, a Greek word often translated as well-being or happiness. Aristotle in turn argues that happiness is properly understood as an on-going and stable dynamic, a way of being in action (energeia), specifically appropriate to the human "soul(psuchē), at its most "excellent" or virtuous (virtue representing aretē in Greek). If there are several virtues the best and most complete or perfect of them will be the happiest one. An excellent human will be a person good at living life, who does it well and beautifully (kalos). Aristotle says that such a person would also be a serious (spoudaios) human being, in the same sense of "serious" that one contrasts serious harpists with other harpists. He also asserts as part of this starting point that virtue for a human must involve reason in thought and speech (logos), as this is an aspect (an ergon, literally meaning a task or work) of human living.
Aristotle believed that ethical knowledge is not only a theoretical knowledge, but rather that a person must have "experience of the actions in life" and have been "brought up in fine habits" to become good. For a person to become virtuous, he can't simply study what virtue is, but must actually do virtuous things.
As mentioned above, the Aristotelian Ethics all explicitly aim to begin with approximate but uncontroversial starting points. Aristotle's starting point is that everything humans do is aimed at some good, with some good higher than others. The highest human good that people aim at, he said, is generally referred to as happiness (Gk. eudaimonia - sometimes translated as "living well").
Aristotle asserted that popular accounts about what life would be happy divide into three most common types: 
- a life dedicated to vulgar pleasure; 
- a life dedicated to fame and honor; 
- a life dedicated to contemplation. 

To judge these, Aristotle uses his method of trying to define the natural function of a human in action. A human's function must include the ability to use reason or logos, because this is an essential attribute of being human. A person that does this is the happiest because he is fulfilling his purpose or nature as found in the rational soul.
The question of how to be happy therefore becomes a question of which activities of the human soul represent the highest excellence in using reason.
Aristotle proposed that we could accept it when people say that the soul can be divided into three parts: the Nutritive Soul (plants, animals and humans), the Perceptive Soul (animals and humans) and the Rational Soul (humans only).
The way in which Aristotle sketches the highest good for man involving both a practical and a theoretical side, with the two sides necessary for each other, is also in the tradition of Socrates and Plato, as opposed to pre-Socratic philosophy. As Burger (2008) points out (p. 212):- "The Ethics does not end at its apparent peak, identifying perfect happiness with the life devoted to theōria; instead it goes on to introduce the need for a study of legislation, on the grounds that it is not sufficient only to know about virtue, but one should try to put that knowledge to use." At the end of the book, according to Burger, the thoughtful reader is led to understand that "the end we are seeking is what we have been doing" while engaging with the Ethics (p. 215).


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sri Lanka, My Dream Home

It takes a minute to download and worth the watch. Great clip showing the influx of British and European families seeking a home in sunny Sri Lanka 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Instant Karma

Karma is one of those words we don't translate. Its basic meaning is
simple enough — action — but because of the weight the Buddha's
teachings give to the role of action, the Sanskrit word karma packs in
so many implications that the English word action may not be able to
espouse its luggage. This is probably why we've simply airlifted the
original word into our vocabulary.

But when we try unpacking the connotations the word carries now that
it has arrived in everyday usage, we find that most of its luggage has
gotten mixed up in transit. In the eyes of most western people, karma
functions like fate — bad fate, at that: an inexplicable, unchangeable
force coming out of our past, for which we are somehow vaguely
responsible and powerless to fight. "I guess it's just my karma," I've
heard people sigh when bad fortune strikes with such force that they
see no alternative to resigned acceptance. The fatalism implicit in
this statement is one reason why so many of us are repelled by the
concept of karma, for it sounds like the kind of callous myth-making
that can justify almost any kind of suffering or injustice in the
status quo: "If he's poor, it's because of his karma." "If she's been
raped, it's because of her karma." From this it seems a short step to
saying that he or she deserves to suffer, and so doesn't deserve our

Have you ever caught yourself in a position where you want to do
something, but you end up not doing it fearing the outcome of the
action? A few days ago, I met an American lady in one of the compounds
in Riyadh who is a dog lover. She was sharing how her friend wants her
to adopt his pet dogs. She refused the offer. Her reason was —“What if
something happens to the dogs or they fall ill while they are with me?
I will be held responsible and it will also add to the account of my
deeds. I will get caught in the web of karma because of them, so it is
better not to take the responsibility.” While she shared her simple
reason for refusing with me, I got thinking, “Is this what karma is?”

In my conversations with people from different walks of life, I have
realized that a lot of them believe that the principle of karma is
only a manifestation of guilt and the fear of being punished in some
way by someone. The belief is that there is an external source
somewhere keeping a ledger of all your deeds, good and bad, like
maintaining a balance sheet of your accounts. In the end there will be
a calculation, the credits (good deeds) and debits (bad deeds) will be
measured and that will decide the quality of your future life. There
is God up there. That supreme power is the judge of right and wrong,
and based on his judgment, we will get our rewards or punishments.

In my understandng, I find it difficult to believe that a reality
called "karma" does exist. There are people who believe that there
will be rewards, punishments, redemptions, and atonements but the myth
is that the accounts are external and unrelated and whoever maintains
them is also an external entity (like God, as they believe). They
presume that the judgment of our deeds is being done somewhere else by
God. Actually this judgement is always an internal process. We judge
our deeds and intentions; we decide their outcomes and impacts. There
is never an external entity keeping an account, the punishment is also
not decided by that entity nor is our quality of our lives. It is we
who decide what’s wrong and what’s not. It is we who decide what
punishment we deserve for a particular deed, if at all. The key word
here is CHOICE, in my view.

It is we who have the power to forgive ourselves, learn from the
situation and move on, without the baggage of karma. All of us are the
creators of our own lives and destinies.
I decide what goes on in my universe as I am the center of my
universe. It is from me that the universe originates, and it is as
much internal, as it is external.

In fact, just like we all understand or even do not understand, God,
differently and our understanding as well as our relationship with God
is completely dependent on our interpretations and perspectives, so is
karma. What He is for you is not what He is for me or anyone else.
Similarly, what deeds are good for you may be not good for someone
else. Hence, our karma boils down to how we interpret our actions and
intentions. If our analysis is based on guilt and fear, we will
accumulate a lot of karma to deal with.

All of us at some point decide whether to take an action or not based
on our fear of the outcome. At that point we fail to understand that
the outcome is not only a result of our action itself, but also of our
intention behind that action. When we carry out an action based on
fear or when after the action we feel guilty, we create negative
karma. For this action, we keep punishing ourselves directly or
indirectly. Little do we realise that we always have a simple choice —
to eradicate the guilt and fear. If we realise that our action has
hurt someone, we can simply apologize and work towards not repeating
the same action or intention again. It is easier to learn from a
mistake, forgive ourselves and become better persons in the process.

Karma is what we make of it. We all have our own versions of truth,
reality, right and wrong. Your version might be true for you and false
for me and vice versa. All I share here is my own thinking,
interpretation and understanding of this thing called karma, that most
people like to jump on to.

My morning started with the usual shit shave and shampoo, and driving
the girls and grandson to school. On my way to work, thereafter, my
thoughts raced to the fact that I will be turning 65 in February 2013.
Nice number, nice age. Only 4 short of the juicy oral fantasy that
most of us still enjoy and have also devoured during our early teen
years, be it Abbot, Housewife, or even a teenage Kella down Sagara

Then it occurred to me that all of us '59er dudes will be hitting 65
in 2013 while some ma have already reached the magic number in 2012.
It was only yesterday that someone sent me an email relating to the
life span across the many nations of the world and Sri Lanka was
placed at 74.3 or something. That meant that we still have a decent 9
years of power left inside us to ride the waves, play Bridge or
Scrabble, and even knock the daylights out of each other on email, be
it Tamil Tiger, Abbots, Rajapakshe romantics, or even business as

We do have a close and great bunch, among the six of us, who interact
on a daily basis on all these topics and more and keep laughing until
we doze off to sleep at night. What if one of us was to depart? How
would it affect the rest? Would we miss him as much as we think? How
sad would such an event be in our hearts and minds? Would we attribute
it to "KARMA" and feel that, "yes, he's gone and our time will surely
come, too"?

No doubt we have cultivated an even greater bond that we used to have
back at Royal in the 60's. This, in my view, has only been so
successful because of our age, maturity, openness, and the ability to
punch each other on the nose and still smile and be friends. A
tremendous leap from where we may have ended up not talking to each
other for weeks in the old school days.
So, there can be no doubt that we will all make that last train,
sooner than later. The question is, in what order?

Thinking loud, my own feelings are that we be thankful that we were
able to be what we are until the end. It’s a great feeling to know
that we have known each other for more than 55 years and are able to
stay in touch, thanks to old Mr Charles Babbage from Britain, and
still feel the warmth and goodness of our friendship over so many
decades, without any hidden agenda or conspiracies in our hearts and

Coming back to Karma. I don’t really believe in it based on my "out of
the box" life that I have chosen to lead in recent times. I observe
good people who are screwed over. I observe incorrigible people who
are rewarded for being assholes. The correct thing to do in life is to
try and be as "good" as possible. Some of you may then ask me, "what
is good"?. But it’s also important to be as true to who you are as
possible. And often this truth gets in the way of being good. There
is, I must confess, a great delight I frequently experience in being
"bad" or "naughty" if you may prefer the latter?. Of course, my sense
of bad is rooted in a baroque set of ethics that would take too much
time to explain. But I try not to go out of my way to hurt people. And
if I do hurt people, which is most often, unintentionally, I try to
atone with positive actions to others.

The standard understanding of karma is this: what goes around comes
around. I find this to be less true in practice than it is in
principle. I suppose I believe that if you are ultimately true to who
you are, you will encourage other people to be true to who they are.
And if karma is rooted upon this sense of personal truth, then I
approve of this. (And this seems to be more philosophical than
religious.) But this karmic idea is more rooted in action, as opposed
to some cosmic overseer who lays down the law for the universe.

If karma is rooted on coincidence, however, I cannot subscribe to it.
And I don’t see how any reasonable person can fully put their faith in
this. In fact, the sooner that other people understand this, the
sooner we can put the self-help industry out of business. Really,
they’ve made too much money exploiting human suffering.

The universe is based on one simple Newtonian precept: for every
action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. While this rule
applies to gravity, I think it likewise applies to life. But since
human beings decide how or when or if they wish to respond, one simply
can’t anticipate when that “equal and opposite reaction” will occur.
(And sometimes, it occurs from the unlikeliest of sources.) Hence, the
giddy values of chaos, which is a lot more fun than sitting around
worrying about when something will happen.

So I do look at any days unpleasant events and I figure that it’s
something I can write off as a reaction to something bad I’ve done
somewhere along the line. And I also look at the good things that
happened today, like the smooth ride I had to work on the road this
morning without even a single raghead giving me his overnight attitude
and gusto.
There’s certainly an ignoble self-justification of my own character
flaws here, but nobody’s perfect. (I’m certainly not a saint and I
even don’t want to be one if it is offered to me by the Pope.)
Certainly the universe isn’t. But if it were, then life wouldn’t be
nearly so interesting.