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Archive for April, 2021

Elon Musk and the coming of the new Christianity

The name inspires awe in me!

How could a human being having not only attempted in so many fields, could have succeeded in most of those fields during his own lifetime?

May be it has got to do with the FIRST PRINCIPLES, which he has been advocating.

First principles as i understand it is not mere reductionism but cerebrally ascertaining not only the nature of the fundamental components but obtaining a technological infrastructure to make those components minimising the costs, thereby putting oneself under less strain and pressure during scaling.

For example, Elon Musk is stated to have bought rockets from Russia, not for launching but for learning the technology behind it. Indians did it by getting some cryogenic engines and finally making a superior product out of it from the USSR. But India has a huge body of dedicated scientists which without compromising on its innovative skills works, with all the limitations of a government funding, more for the Nation and the pride that follows. But Elon Musk is and has been a business man and he did not have any budgetary allocation, all the money he made by selling his shares in PayPal was deployed in SpaceX- with no assured return. And we all know that he was just a step away from bankruptcy after the failure of some of SpaceX’ rockets, yet he rose like a phoenix – literally out of his own ashes.

So what did he do which no human being dared to dream – let alone attempt or achieve?

Elon wanted human beings to colonise other planets and Mars

is the nearest!

To reach there we need vehicles, so he gets into manufacturing of rockets; and not just rockets which drop off, but which return to the Earth safely and would be ready for another shuttle service!

Each part accomplished by Elon Musk would be a lifetime achievement in itself.

Next is that he wanted cars with clean energy and promoted Electric Vehicles – to realise that he by using his ’first principles’ , focused on the charge of the battery for his car Tesla. He succeeded in getting batteries which could go up to 200 miles on a charge. Though he has been expressing that he could ideally strive towards 400 miles per charge. He’s said to be negotiating with the Argentine government for supply of Lithium, in case lithium ends up being the viable battery component in the long run!

But that’s not all – he has a plan to transport people within cities at super high speeds and that’s happening through his entity The Boring Company – by building tunnels under ground. So the equipment for Boring, which he is said to be using was his own innovation, which not only reduced the cost but many times more efficient.

Same applies to every business, but to have had the skill to take and give advice to NASA, is incredible.

The reasoning of Elon is even more interesting, while a normal individual would be able to perceive threats to himself, his family, his friends, his community, his state, his country, his continent and at best to preserve and nurture the earth to its pristine freshness, Elon Musk not only stopped with the threat perception, he thought up of a solution of settling human beings in other planets and becoming a multi-planetary creature, to avoid extinction of human beings as a species. Wow! That’s some threat perception – but possible.

Now, that needs a new brand of Christianity, with newer interpretations to the existing body of interpretations. Pauline ethical exhortations through epistles may have to be redesigned to fit those human beings who settle in other planets too.

Because, the concept of Rapture, which has been the cause of much interpretations, has to be expanded to other planets as well. It may not be just a global event, assuming that a Rapture is the taking away of the chosen live and then a period of tribulations followed by a millennium of righteous rule, then Rapture has to be an inter planetary event!

So what about the shuttle service between Mars and the Earth? What about the the event happening after Elon Musk establishes a community on the Mars?

If as Isaac Newton had predicted that the Rapture is not going to take place before AD 2060, by then a thriving community must be available in the Mars and the rockets carrying humans must be aplenty.

Rapture wouldn’t be a global event but a Universal event, wherever human beings had migrated to beyond the Earth.

I can foresee some zealous preachers starting the collections for trips to Mars to save souls there. That day doesn’t seem to be far away.

On the whole, Elon Musk is not only in the here and now, but in the there and the thereafter!

Spiritual excitement! Is it necessary?

If it is necessary, is it ok to tweak facts so that we as humans get excited or stay excited spiritually?

For example, if we look at the Life of Jacob, though in hindsight, he might seem to have obtained all the blessings from his father, mother and God, did he have the certainty of such blessings, during his life time especially at those poignant moments when he needed them most?

He had already obtained the intangible birthright from Esau; blessings of God, father and mother but when Jacob got the news that his brother Esau had a following of 400 men and that Esau was already on his way to meeting him, he did not rest on those birthright and blessings, Jacob took precautionary action to appease Esau, secondly he compartmentalised his entourage so that if Esau were to remember the deprivation of both the birthright and the blessings of his father, lost twenty years earlier, Jacob would still have the time to retreat and seek safety at some other end!

Notwithstanding the assurances of the blessings and the divine assurances, Jacob was meticulous in his human endeavour.

In the whole of the Bible, there is no other person who measures up to Jacob in human effort, despite the blessings and assurances.

Jacob wants his wages to multiply faster than the portion due to Laban, but he resorted to some home remedies to attain those objectives by placing those barks and streaks before the watering holes of those sheep and goats!

Jacob, did not Rest on those blessings and assurances, but attempted in every little way to further his objective. Jacob’s life, to put it succinctly was: GET THE INTANGIBLE BLESSINGS FROM ONE’S PARENTS, AND ASSURANCES FROM GOD AND ANGELS; BUT SLACKEN NOT IN HUMAN EFFORT AND TAKE ALL NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS.

It is not easy. Christians erroneously believe that once blessings and assurances are obtained, human effort could be minimised.

The only other person who comes at a distance is King David. Anointed to be the King stealthily by the erstwhile Judge and Prophet Samuel himself, yet when he is pursued by King Saul, David doesn’t merely meekly stay put; likewise when his son Absalom turned against him, he vacated Jerusalem and crossed the river Jordan for safety.

Both Jacob and David realised one of the most important truths of Life: Blessings and Assurances and Anointment are the intangibles, and for those to operate better create human situations of better opportunities – which could be achieved only through human effort.

Jacob would never take NO for an answer – may sound cliched, but we have no example of any other human being having wrestled with God, and God making a request to that human being to relent, as the dawn was breaking!

That relentlessness, that Hope and that purposefulness – one could assume were the byproducts of those intangible blessings, assurances and anointment obtained prior to those trying and exhausting situations- but both Jacob and David had exhibited their relentlessness and indomitable spirit to pursue their objectives even before they were assured of what they had sought and obtained as a promise!

But these examples, Jacob and David did not need tweaking of facts- they believed that they should not be found wanting in their human part for the Divine to express itself through them! After all those human efforts, when they prospered, they gave all glory to God, because they realised that those human efforts could have been laid to waste in the randomness of events, but had providentially not been!

But we, the living generation of human beings have primarily a tendency to believe that a priori certain events had been destined to happen and as such the unalterable conclusions would come to pass willy nilly – which is downright erroneous, if not a cardinal mistake.

God loves Human Effort – relentless effort! Jericho has been rebuilt, notwithstanding the curse of Joshua, and i am inclined to believe that God, as Jesus said, is more merciful than the Judge who neither feared God nor man, and when human effort is noticed, He in his infinite mercy, would even obliterate the curses – maybe, he may set up the foundations of Jericho at the birth of his first son and raise the lintel decades later, but God would not dishonour human effort!

But little realising that God loves human effort, the sermons and preachings have debunked human effort under the umbrella of Grace and predestination! All the shining examples of the Bible were not spared of defeats and humiliation, but the assurances gave those patriarchs the resurgent spirit to redouble their efforts without depleting themselves through despondency!

Spiritual reserves are more important for human effort, and therefore untrue facts are not necessary for building those spiritual reserves. In fact, i believe that depending on SPIRITUAL EXCITEMENT alone is a sure recipe to end up with the result of those seeds which fell on stony ground and for lack of moisture dried up.

A good blend of INTELLECTUAL DISCIPLINE coupled with REGULAR DEVOTIONS are a must to sustain one on the christian spiritual path.

Is it right on the part of a CM to live telecast a meeting convened by the PM?

One may, as a knee jerk response, ask a counter question: What is wrong?

Let me tell what is wrong:

1. When an elected representative discusses state matters relating to legislation in a legislative assembly, legislative council, Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha, he talks as a representative of the people, therefore for his constituents and the public to know what position he takes on various issues is a must.

2. But when some of the representatives are administered oath of office to function as a minister or in Constitutional terms an Executive, he dons the role of a legislator within the House; and as a link between the executive and the Assembly or the Parliament, as the case may be, when he is a minister of the Cabinet

3. Though the ministers are all elected or have to get themselves elected to continue, when they are a part of the Cabinet, the decision of the Cabinet is authoritative and has the force of the executive. That executive decision making process is not open to review even by the Supreme Courts, except on extremely narrow grounds because the Cabinet is tasked with a job, which has to take into account not only the broad policy but the implication of security, our positions taken before other countries, positions taken before courts, resources stated to be available but unavailable because of logistics; which may have apparent contradictions but in the broad implementation have to be given a shape with necessary alterations.

4. The PM and the CMs are the heads of the respective executive branches they head, and there are bound to be facts which are apparently not so but could be managed to look so, and these Heads have an unthankful job of having to carry the mistakes and blunders of their predecessors and also the unforeseen benefits for which they themselves may not have been responsible, even though such Heads are eager to appropriate the benefits and malign those whose decisions have left a bad impact, they still have to manage not only the day to day affairs but also have a reasonably long vision to cover up the systemic deficiencies besides attempting to propel the State or the Nation in the path of growth.

5. As such, the meetings that happen among the Executives NEED NOT be accessible or made accessible to the public.

6. Further in meetings of such nature, where the vulnerabilities of the States and the Nation are discussed threadbare, the morale of the common man is likely to be affected and the not-so-well-wishers of a particular party are likely to highlight certain factual observations made in those meetings to portray certain persons in poor light, which is to be avoided.

7. Does the intent of the CM matter? No, not at all. Whether he did it to convince his constituents of his goodwill or to portray the foibles of others is not a matter to be looked into at all. Whether the CM did it or not, is a fact, which is the only thing to be considered.

8. Further, i know of no law which has a direct prescription on this. However, using logic, even if there was a direct live telecast, it must have been only done when the CM presented the issues relating to his state. As the head of the Executive of the state (though the Lt. Gov is the constitutional executive head), he should have known that there is a Doctrine of Notice, especially when even in public places, which are frequented by all and sundry, Notice is kept that the place is under electronic surveillance, therefore in a meeting chaired by the PM, if the CM had NOT NOTIFIED the PM and his other equals that he was transmitting his interactions Live, the CM would have had the opportunity to calibrate his behaviour as acceptable as he was aware of the live telecast and the others including the PM were not aware and could have reacted or uttered certain things, which could be portrayed to diminish their image and standing.

9. This NON NOTIFYING the persons is, to say the least uncivilised behaviour in oneupmanship and in total barbarous!

10. There may be disputes, between and among political parties, but to bring it to a meeting at a juncture of uncertainties -including multiple medical propositions doing the rounds as authentic prescriptions, confusing the population, the CM should have shown some restraint from these cheap methodologies.

11. The Prime Minister, despite such a provocation, maintained the dignity of office. I bow my head to the exemplary restrained dignity shown by the most powerful person in India today. That is very very difficult when one is powerful.

Voltaire on King David!

Voltaire on King David

David, who sometimes possessed a conscience tender and enlightened, at others hardened and dark.

When he has it in his power to assassinate his king in a cavern, he scruples going beyond cutting off a corner of his robe—here is the tender conscience. He passes an entire year without feeling the slightest compunction for his adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of Uriah—here is the same conscience in a state of obduracy and darkness.”

Did Voltaire miss the point? Or was he just being too kind to David?

If he had missed the point, how could he have explained the murder of his father in law to Michal – his princess wife?

What explanation could David have given to Jonathan – David’s brother in law and soul mate?

Most of all, how could David have had the whole of Israel – especially the tribe of Benjamin, after a murder of their anointed King?

Abner would have still been there after the murder of King Saul, would Abner have left Ishboseth, like Abner did later, on the flimsy grounds of Rizpah?

David was a consummate politician, whose sharp political acumen has been camouflaged by the devotion and humility expressed In the Psalms, ascribed to him. Was Voltaire also a victim of such positioning?

At best one could arrive at a conundrum as to how a man, so selfishly sharp been so devoted to God, not merely to a personalised God, but a God who had unequivocally proclaimed through Moses & other prophets that Righteousness in human conduct was prime?

In King David one arrives at a conclusion that the apparently incompatible traits could be harmonised with wisdom and relentless energy, but can hardly be a prescription to a common man.

Was David keeping Mephiboseth close by, to ensure that the fissiparous elements don’t rally behind him; or was David merely keeping his word given to Jonathan?

If the latter, when Mephibosheth’s servant Ziba accused Mephibosheth of treachery, why didn’t David not forgive Mephibosheth fully? In fact towards the end, after seeking clarification from Mephibosheth, David tells Zeba and Mephiboseth to divide Mephibosheth’s holdings equally!

Worse still is the specious reasoning in killing the children of Rizpah, I can’t imagine a God who would justify the reasoning forwarded in the context of the Gibeonites!

David left nothing to chance, wherever he could, he did something, and sometimes deploying even the name of God very efficiently.

Is that the reason why Jesus doesn’t prefer Himself to be called Son of David? I am inclined to think so – his life was hardly edifying and definitely not emulatable!

A greater scrutiny of what David did, would not have withstood the standards prescribed under the New Testament.

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