A huge thank you to all you wonderful people who even attempted to read the poem I shared in my last post here. I’m guessing it was somewhat confusing and difficult to decipher? Yes? I wonder if some of you thought it was very deep and intelligent, but if you thought something like: this chick’s lost the plot, I don’t blame you!
You see, I am no Confucius or Kabir, I am no profound poet. In fact, I have only written one poem in my life which is here and I wouldn’t even call it a poem because I’m sure it’s so technically flawed that a real poet wouldn’t look at it twice. In short, I know nothing about poetry.
What you read (and some of you I’m sure rightly guessed) was simply a series of RANDOM SENTENCES!
It has absolutely no meaning.
All I did was go to this Random Sentence Generator site and generate a number of random sentences.
What you read in this poem are eleven sentences as I got them in my first attempt (no cheating and searching for different sentences that might fit better), in exactly the same order they came up in. All I did was change any he’s to she’s to make it uniform throughout and I added words like ‘so’, ‘and’, and ‘for’ to connect the sentences. And Voila!, I am a genius (thanks, Komal ji 😄).
The feature image is also random by the way. I just typed the word ‘random’ in the search bar of the free photo app Unsplash. The photo has no specific reasoning behind it. I just liked the colours.
Why did I do all this? I’ll come to that in a moment. First, here is the poem again in case you missed it:
How Wisdom is Acquired
She had that tint of craziness in her soul that made her believe she could actually make a difference,
All she wanted was the answer,
But she had no idea how much she would hate it.
Two seats were vacant.
She obviously didn’t heed the warning,
But it had turned out surprisingly well.
She decided that the time had come to be stronger than any of the excuses she’d used until then.
Her son had quipped that power bars,
Were nothing more than adult candy bars.
So, though the light in her life was actually a fire burning all around her,
She waited for the shower to warm,
And she noticed that she could hear water change temperature,
As the ocean,
When a three-year-old girl ran down the beach,
As her kite flew behind her.
“Please wait outside of the house,”
Wisdom is easily acquired,
When hiding under the bed with a saucepan on your head.
And here are some more random examples from the site so you get the gist of it:
(A tip for you creative writers out there: I also found that a random sentence generator can really help spark some ideas for your writing and broaden your mind.)
Now, why go through this effort? Not to dupe you I assure you.
The other day I was thinking about something Swami ji had said in a discourse (please forgive me for not remembering the exact details, if anyone finds the video of that particular discourse please do paste the link in the comments), that a study was conducted where someone with supposed good credentials gave a full talk – it was 30mins long – on stage in front of an audience and spoke using nothing but a string of completely random sentences.
(Edit: Thanks, to Yash ji who found the video. You can watch it here. The experiment is explained at 6:25)
Almost all of the audience members later said that it was a wonderful talk. The speaker got rave reviews.
And that’s what people do, Swami ji said, they assume that if they don’t understand something, it’s probably because the other person is so intelligent and wise.
It is not always so, He explained. In fact, it’s hardly the case, especially with many spiritual teachers and gurus who purposely use difficult to understand words, or speak in riddles, giving roundabout, vague answers to questions; they speak so cryptically that we feel stupid and assume they must be so brilliant, so intelligent, and so wise because we cannot understand them with our limited intelligence.
I have never read a blog post or book by Om Swami ji that I did not understand, and I’m not the sharpest tool in the box. He puts all the wisdom of the Universe into perfectly palatable, easily digestible, bite sized pieces. He explains complex concepts that are written in scriptures, which enlightened ones have been expounding on for centuries, into simple language and in such a way that everything just makes sense. We know He is a genius and could wax philosophical with us until the cows come home, but He doesn’t engage in such conversations, because for Him, spirituality should be explained so simply that even a child can understand it.
It got me thinking, how is it possible that much of the audience didn’t realise there was no meaning in the talk? I wanted to experience it for myself. Out of curiosity, I Googled ‘random sentences’ and found the above mentioned site.
A dear fellow devotee and ashram resident, Divya Om Manoharan and I read the random sentences that I’d generated and we were amazed; to us it made some sense! To me it felt like it was talking about my spiritual journey (which it clearly isn’t), and Divya ji found it so interesting she wanted the story to continue. So, we wanted to see what all of you would make of it, and thanks to my partner in this crime, I posted it and Divya ji wrote a lovely comment to make it sound as legitimate as possible, and we watched the comments roll in.
And you guys were absolutely amazing! I loved reading every comment. Some of you are so clear hearted and straightforward you simply said you didn’t understand it (Swami ji’s post on lying is clearly working 🙂), the seasoned poets among you shone with brilliance and broke it down giving your perspectives which I was blown away by, especially Anitosh ji’s. If you haven’t read it yet, please do, here.
I got some wondrous private messages too saying that it was incredibly inspired writing (thank you, you know who 🙂).
Some of your feedback really made me chuckle, I could see how hard you were trying to be polite. It felt good to have a couple of days of laughter after the seriousness of my Confessions series, so thank you all so much for that!
But star of the show, who clearly saw through our mischievous enterprise, was the ashram’s very own Brahmachari Prabhu ji. His highly evolved thinking and honesty gave us this gift:
“Thank you Sushreeji for sharing what seemed to me random thoughts. I shall not attempt to derive or superimpose or fit any further meaning into them or even try to stich a continuity or relation between subsequent sentences. There is a kind of sense of relief while reading the random rhyming sentences. Because the mind is then unburdened of the task of finding and understanding the meaning while reading, which has kind of become its second nature due to habit. There is a school of thought that in reality there is only randomness, the idea of cause and effect is the superimposition of the mind and cause of bondage… Now let me not make the comment longer than the post and sorry for not allowing the meaninglessness to remain.. 🙂 Jai Sri Hari!”
Very grateful, dear Brahmachari ji! 🙏🏻
Divya ji and I had assigned meaning to these completely random sentences because that’s what we humans do, we search for meaning in randomness.
And, I see that it can be used to our advantage. An average human mind goes through approximately 64,000 thoughts in 24hrs. Most of them whizz by and are barely acknowledged. If we assign no importance or meaning to a thought it has no intrinsic value. Each thought, if meaningless to us, is ignored and it simply disappears. But if it causes a reaction in us, positive or negative, it means we have assigned meaning to it and it can then become an emotion or an action.
So, my life has no value either unless I assign some meaning to it. And how I do that is up to me. I can choose whatever I want anything to mean in my life.
I choose to believe in God because of my experiences (and the meaning I assigned to them). This belief has undoubtedly made me a better, stronger, happier person. And I love to revel in thoughts of the Divine, they mean everything to me but might mean nothing to someone else.
And, I choose not to dwell on any negative interactions with other people. I don’t give any extra meaning to those thoughts. I simply ignore them each time they pop up, so (after learning to practice this), they disappear. They might mean nothing to me and are forgotten, but they could mean everything to someone who is holding on to such thoughts and is emotionally caught up in them.
How beautiful! I thought. I can go about my life and pick and choose exactly what I want in it. Sounds too simple? Well, it really is as simple as that. In this world of so much randomness, YOU decide what you give importance or meaning to, YOU decide what to ignore, YOU choose what you want to believe in. If it doesn’t mean anything to you, then it doesn’t exist in your world, including all distractions, unwanted habits and negative emotions, they just cease to exist.
Speaking of which, before I leave you, have you by any chance ever accidentally mistyped a page in os.me or followed an inactive link. If you have you might have seen this:
I do apologise if I hurt anyone’s sentiments in this experiment. You all left such wonderful comments and they were so helpful because some valuable thoughts (and a lot of smiles) came out of this for me. I hope it was helpful for you too.
And if not, oh well, it doesn’t mean anything anyway. These are just a bunch of words on a page. You get to decide if they mean anything or not.
And that, my friends, is how wisdom (or an illusion of it anyway 🙂) is actually acquired.
I hope at least it made you smile.