Saturday, 29 December 2012

Who is Alfred E. Neuman?

Today we delve into the early days of our moronic mascot, Alfred E. Neuman.
One day in the 1960s a letter was delivered to the MAD offices bearing no name or address. Other than a postage stamp, the envelope bore only a picture of the magazine's cover boy, Alfred E. Neuman.

Clearly, the gap-toothed face of the idiot kid had become iconic. Alfred and MAD, to use an overworked phrase, were joined at the hip. Already the grinning face had shown up in unlikely places: placards of him as a candidate — "You could do worse, you always have!" — were flaunted at political conventions. His features were sculpted in ice at a Dartmouth Winter Carnival. Fred Astaire danced in an Alfred mask during a TV special. A party of climbers planted a Neuman flag atop Mount Everest.

Alfred owes his place in history to four men. The first was MAD's first editor, Harvey Kurtzman, who glimpsed the grinning face, captioned "Me worry?" on a postcard in 1954.

mad magazine the idiotical alfred e neuman postcard

"It was a kid that didn't have a care in the world, except mischief," Kurtzman recalled. The boy soon made his way into the pages of the magazine, though he was as yet unnamed.

Kurtzman had been using the Neuman name mostly because it had the ring of a nonentity — although there was a Hollywood composer named Alfred Newman. Misspelled, with the added "E," it too was integrated into the magazine.

When Al Feldstein replaced Kurtzman as editor, he decided to link "Alfred E. Neuman" with the face of the idiot kid. The idiot kid made his official debut in 1956 as a write-in candidate for President on the cover of MAD #30, and the magazine now had an official mascot and cover boy. In the next issue, Alfred made his second cover appearance pictured as an addition to Mount Rushmore.

Though others had their doubts, Nick Meglin, then an assistant editor, believed that MAD should continue to use Alfred as the magazine's cover boy. "You'll have to convince me," said publisher Bill Gaines, who had veto power over all MAD covers. Playing up to Gaines' interest in archaeology, Meglin submitted a rough sketch of Alfred in an Egyptian tomb (MAD #32) and one or two others that emerged as cover illustrations later. Having been convinced there were endless possibilities, Gaines agreed that Alfred should reign as the magazine's icon.

The Neuman face was created by Norman Mingo. Curiously, none of MAD's artists, though extremely versatile, has been able to render accurately the Mingo prototype. When Mingo died in 1980, his obituary in The New York Times identified him in its headline as the "Illustrator Behind 'Alfred E. Neuman' Face."

mad magazine the idiotical alfred e neuman norman mingo

What is the source of the "What — Me Worry?" Boy? MAD asked its readers to help out and was deluged by suggestions and theories. The kid was used in 1915 to advertise a patent medicine; he was a newspaperman named Old Jack; he was taken from a biology textbook as an example of a person who lacked iodine; he was a testimonial on advertisements for painless dentistry; he was originated by comedian Garry Moore; he was a greeting-card alcoholic named Hooey McManus; he was a Siamese boy named Watmi Worri. One reader dug up a 1909 German calendar bearing a version of the inane smiling face.

By far the most pertinent correspondence came from a lawyer representing a Vermont woman named Helen Pratt Stuff. She claimed that her late husband, Harry Stuff, had created the kid in 1914, naming him "The Eternal Optimist." Stuff's copyrighted drawing, she charged, was the source of Alfred E. Neuman and she was taking MAD to court to prove it.

Thus began the great Alfred E. Neuman lawsuit. The stakes were not small. If MAD lost, it would be liable for millions of dollars in damages. And Alfred no longer would be permitted to show his worriless countenance in any MAD publication or property...

mad magazine the idiotical totally mad excerpt 60th anniversary who was bill gaines william m gaines click here to buy

Saturday, 15 December 2012

The Five Sheaths of Existence

1. Let’s start from mouth

Mouth + Food = Food Body or Physical Body or Annamaya Kosha. A baby when in womb develops this Body through its mother with the connection of ‘umbilical cord’ and later on when out of womb, the layer upon layer upon layer keeps on coming as the years go by, whatever he or she takes is just through the mouth or if in hospital is feeded by nurses or doctors through the veins. The physical body is composed of gross elements whatever we eat, it affects, builds or destroys our body. We owe this body to mother earth, father sky (ether), and other sisters and brothers: water, fire, wood, air. In a line, this body is made up of gross elements that are decaying.

2. Passages of body + Limbs = Vital body or Pranamaya Kosha. It also grows stronger or weaker in proportion to Food Body and Mental Body. And it grows stronger with clear mind and intellect and with healthy Food Body. Moderate Pranayama and Physical Exercise are good for it.

The Ego is a serpent which has two tongues: “This” and “I”.

3. This + 5 Senses = Mind or Sheath of Mind or Manomaya Kosha. All of its tendencies are outgoing, it is autostart and no auto-stop (it only stops when — a. it is absorbed in the object, b. when we witness it, c. when we seek its source, d. when we control it by watching breaths, e. when our understanding regarding it is deep, f. in deep sleep). By nature it is addictive and intense to addiction: touch, sound, color, taste and smell, these are the 5 senses and it is ‘mad’ for them or for their combination, as they exist outside, it is hard for a beginner to control the mind.

The mind is nothing but the bundle of thoughts made on the objects of 5 senses. It is as transient as the Food Body.

4. I + 5 Senses = Intellect or Sheath of Intellect or Gyanmaya Kosha. It is our CPU, where we store information, process, analyse and reach to a decision. It works according to the stored information, true information makes it shine and false information hangs it just before starting or at the time of processing. The predispositions and beliefs system (tested or untested) are its production and it shapes its reality by them. It feeds on accumulated information and nothing else.

5. The Last Sheath = The mind in sleep (without dream) turns ignorant to it, mind doesn’t know what is happening and so mind is not working. This ignorant state is called — Bliss or Sheath of Bliss or Anandamaya Kosha. Some advice to be in this body to gain pleasure but the sages say that it is just the sheath and nothing else and no wisdom is gained in it.

The above five bodies are mentioned in Upanishads, and each of them is transient, they feed on externalities, self-realization is nothing but to recognise the “Self” (or say, Atman, Brahman, Spirit, or Soul) is not these transient bodies.


Saturday, 8 December 2012

The Death of a Brand - RIP Indiatimes Mail

Indiatimes Mail
Dear Indiatimes Mail users,
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You are advised to immediately download all your emails/contents/data from your Indiatimes mailbox via IMAP at the earliest before 18th February, 2013 - 12 P.M (Indian Standard Time), failing which Times Internet Limited shall not be responsible and / or liable to provide you the content of your mailbox as the same would stand deleted.
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You are advised to visit our FAQ page or write to us at anytime till 18th February, 2013 12 PM (Indian Standard Time) for assisting you through the aforementioned processes.
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Warm Regards,
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04th December, 2012

Saturday, 24 November 2012

What is Tantra? a simple explanation

Mansi carefully placed her offerings of flower, fruits and sweets on the altar of the Kali temple. Her guru invoked the devi. Once the chanting of mantras was over, Mansi contemplated in meditative silence. In the angry face of Kali, she saw a compassionate mother, ready to hold her hand and walk her through the ups and downs of sadhana. Through her puja, Mansi was able to experience a sublime state of consciousness, and she could find answers to all her questions. With this ritual, she was initiated into tantra, the practice of invoking the Divine Feminine, to experience the para prakriti or the supreme soul of Brahmn.

Tantric texts say that goddess is energy, the force behind Creation. Everything in the universe is an interplay of different cosmic energies. To Vedanta the world is maya, an illusion. Tantra goes a step further to say that yes, the world is God’s play, but it is necessary, so that God can experience His own nature — that the world is real and is an expression of the Lord’s will. Shakti is a way to know the Supreme Being, because she is the reflection of ultimate reality.

Sadashiva says in the Mahanirvan Tantra, “From thee has sprung the entire universe. Whatever there is in this world, of things which have and are without motion, from mahat or intelligence to an atom, owes its origin and are dependent on thee.” The Divine Feminine is the soul of the universe, reflecting ultimate reality. She is gross and subtle, manifest and unmanifest. The goddess changes forms; she becomes Durga, slayer of Mahishasura, she is Mahakali, representing raised kundalini with Shiva lying under her feet. As Tarini, she is the shakti that helps you cross the sea of samsara. As Bhuvneshwari she is the queen of myriad worlds. Mahanirvan Tantra says that it’s through invoking the goddess that a sadhaka can be united with Brahmn. 

Left And Right 
Tantra includes both right and left paths. The right-hand path is that of sublime devotion and surrender to Shakti. The left-hand path defies convention and mixes physical with spiritual.  Some practitioners use tantra rituals for controlling someone with the help of mantras — vashikaran, ucchatan or making life difficult for someone at a particular place, maran or trying to harm someone and mohan or forcing someone to become obsessive. These are common rituals used usually to unsettle rivals or obtain favourable judgements in a court case. Says tantra practitioner Yogi Ashwini: “Most people use these practices to solicit mundane benefits — whereas tantra in its positive connotation is meant to gain siddhis or certain powers to transcend and experience eternal bliss.”

“Tantra means a network of energy. Manipulating energy fields can affect the manifestation of that energy in someone’s life. Some principles of tantra are similar to the theory of probability and possibility,” says writer and tantra practitioner Niladri Moitra. Swami Samarpanananda of the Ramakrishna Mission says, “Ignorance of the general public and abuse by irresponsible practitioners of Vamachara or the left-hand path has made the whole science of tantra suspect.” Further, words like bali (sacrifice) scare people away. If tantra is the path a sadhaka chooses for himself, he has to remember that using the practice to gain material, mundane benefits or to harm others won’t get him anywhere.

Transcend The Mundane
Most of tantra practices have hidden meanings and profound spiritual nuances. For instance, in panch makar sadhana, “Madya means intoxication through awakening of the higher senses and doesn’t just denote getting drunk on wine. Similarly, matasya symbolises ida, pingla and sushumna as they crisscross each other at several points in the body, thereby forming a fish-like pattern. Maithuna refers to the merging of male and female energies. In this process, one partner has to sit atop another so that sexual energy can be harnessed. The concept of bali, too, is different in tantra, meaning to sacrifice something that is your very own. Mudras represent various forces of nature,” says Yogi Ashwini who points out that tantra practices raise the kundalini and ought to be used only for self-protection. Worshipping the Divine Feminine not only energises the sadhaka, it makes him more aware of himself. Through the various rituals, the sadhaka finds control over the self and transcends the mundane to experience bliss. Tantra is not about denial, it doesn’t divide things and practices into pure or impure. The Mahanirvan Tantra explains, “When Brahmn gyan has been acquired, there is no distinction between pure or impure. For to him who knows that Brahmn is in all things and eternal then what is there that can be impure.”

Shakti is there in everything, from the flame of the lamp to the rays of the sun. Energy is everywhere, in different forms, always moving, creating and energising objects in the universe; a sure sign that we, too, should keep moving, doing our duties well and sharing our joy with others on the path.

Source: She Is Everywhere

Saturday, 17 November 2012

What gives me hope? Get's me High? Read this if you want to know

The mind is neither diseased nor healthy, the mind itself is a disease. To say that the mind is silent at times and not at other times is incorrect. The mind is never silent because mind itself is equal to noise. Some say that the mind becomes ‘mad’ at times, but that is not possible because the mind itself is madness. It will remain chaotic because that is its nature. Therefore, never attempt to silence the mind.
Mind can never become silent
Silence of the mind is an empty set, a delusion. The mind can become subtle; it can become powerful, but never silent. As long as the mind exists, there will be noise. Silence is not a state of the mind. It is the absence of the mind. It is disassociation from the mind. Transcending the mind alone will bring silence.
A renowned Zen monk Rinzai lived in his Guru’s ashram, struggling for years to silence his mind. The mind, being the mind, did not become silent, on the contrary, it became stronger. He attained many psychic powers and his fame spread far and wide but he was not able to silence his mind.
Once as he was meditating, his Guru sat down beside him, noisily rubbing a brick against a rock. Thinking that this was a test, he decided to remain unperturbed and steadfast in his effort to meditate. The Guru too, carried on his chore for the whole day. Finally, Rinzai could not bear the noise any longer. He opened his eyes and asked, “What are you doing?” “I am trying to make a mirror out of a brick by polishing it with this stone”, came the prompt reply. Amused, Rinzai stated that it was an impossible task. The Guru responded knowingly, “Just as it is impossible to make a mirror by polishing a brick against a rock, the mind cannot be silenced by fidgeting with it. The brick may become smooth, but never a mirror. Similarly, disciplining it may make the mind subtle, but not silent.” Silence manifests only on leaving the mind, by taking away the controls from the mind.
How does one become free from the mind?
Transcending the mind is not possible so long as one identifies with it. Therefore, to sever the identification, keep witnessing the drama of the mind. Neither fear the mind, nor fight with it. Neither listen to it, nor try to make it understand you. Just observing the play of the mind will reduce its fluctuations.
Do not be influenced by the mind. Do not dance to its tunes. Do not try to stop it. Do not even guide it. Keep watching its manoeuvres. Just observing the vagaries of the mind will reduce its oscillations: Its vacillations will diminish and the mind itself will begin to dissolve.
Once you reach a point where you pay no heed to the mind, it will start giving up its unsteadiness. But as long as there is even a speck of hope in the mind that you will pay attention to it and do its bidding, it will attempt to trap you. It will play many tricks in its fight for survival.
The mind is cunning
Battling the age-old identification with the mind, the aspirant bravely sets out to overcome it. He challenges the mind saying, ‘If you think you can shake me, if that gives you pleasure, then by all means try, but I will remain steadfast in my goal and persevere diligently.’
Even after giving this ultimatum to the mind, it will use various ways and means to trap you. When you feel you are truly ready, the mind will lay its trump cards on the table. It will give rise to greed, ‘Oh, you could have gained so much happiness from the world, which you are now giving up – Why are you doing that? The world has such an abundance to offer and you were almost there. Now look where you are heading. Your goal was not very far; you were all set to achieve success. Why turn towards the Pure Self now? All your hard work will be in vain. It’s just a little more effort to actualising all the dreams you have cherished. Don’t stop now,’ and so forth.
Alternatively, the mind will create fear, ‘Can you really live without me? Where will you go if I am not with you? Won’t you need me at every step of the way? What if you don’t get what you are looking for? What if you waste this life and don’t achieve success? Why trust the unknown and unfamiliar? What if you have to return empty-handed? What if you are abandoned? Why do you want to make your life difficult and painful? Why are you moving towards your own death?’ and so forth.
If you get entrapped in this game of the mind, then your instincts of greed and fear will prompt you to follow it, reducing your strength to work towards liberation. Your thoughts will turn in the direction of continuing to live as you have been living for so long. You will decide against penance and renunciation. Beware, these are the pitfalls of listening to the mind and they will arrest your efforts towards liberation. The mind presents myriad arguments, and if you get convinced by any of them, that spells disaster.
Why fret over the insane?
Recognise the mind. It is crazy. When you come across a mad man on the road, you may see him prattling to himself or even abusing you. This will cause you to lose your temper or even fight with him only so long as you are unaware of his mental state. The moment you realise he is mad, though you may have proceeded to beat him, you will abandon the attempt with the thought, ‘If he is not aware of what he is doing, there is no point in getting angry.’ Then, even if he praises you, it would not bring joy, as you know he is insane and not aware of what he is speaking. The Wise Ones say that once you recognise the insanity of the mind, you will not listen to it. And once the mind understands that you are not going to listen, then it will let go.
You tend to like the mind’s advice, as you do a friend’s, because it will speak about enhancing your happiness and getting rid of unhappiness. With that, the mind will motivate you and present a pretty picture of the future, but this is not the truth. It will try with all its might to delude you. For want of strength, if you stop, that is, listen to the mind and act accordingly, then you will miss the opportunity. But if you can remain strong and refuse to budge, if you can remain uninfluenced you can transcend it.
Be a witness
You have two choices. Either listen to the mind or just remain a witness. Whether you agree or disagree with the mind, you are still listening to the mind. In either case, you are making your identification with it stronger. Therefore, the mystics do not advice you even to fight with the mind. They only ask you not to pay heed to the mind. Neither guide the mind nor be guided by the mind.
If the mind feels that you will soon return to it, that you are gullible and can be induced with greed or fear, it will remain active and not get dissolved. But if you remain steadfast in this practice of witnessing the mind, then the mind will realise that you have broken all relationship with it, and throwing tantrums will not help. Because there is no one to listen to the mind, the mind becomes inactive.
A wondrous divine state
A sincere aspirant remains steadfast and advances towards transcending the mind. With a firm resolve, he puts in efforts towards this. At first, he tries to understand the mind, by analysing the thoughts and then he only observes the gimmicks of the mind with alertness. He remains apart and unaffected by them. In this way, he progresses in the practice of separating himself from the mind and goes beyond it.
Going beyond the mind, one experiences a wondrous state of being. A state where there is the experience of light. A profound silence, an incredible intoxication, unfathomable peace and supreme tranquility  Divinity manifests in the aspirant. The notion of ‘I’ dissolves. The droplet merges with the ocean. Supreme awareness remains


Saturday, 10 November 2012

The Businessman and the Fisherman

An American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied only a little while. The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.

The American then asked, but what do you do with the rest of your time?

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, señor."

The American scoffed, "I am a Wharton MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But señor, how long will this all take?"

To which the American replied, "15-20 years."

"But what then, señor?"

The American laughed and said, That's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."

"Millions, señor? Then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."


Saturday, 3 November 2012

Lateral Thinking

This puzzle is called Lateral Thinking .
Scroll down slowly and be honest to yourself.

Think like a wizard . . .


1. ------------


Ans. = man overboard

Okay, let's see if you've got the hang of it.


2. ------------




Ans. = I understand


OK . . .
 Got the drift ?

Let's try a few now and see
 how you fare ?

3. /r/e/a/d/i/n/ g/


Ans. = reading between the lines


4.   r 

Ans. = cross road


Not having a good day now, are you ?

Redeem yourself.


5.      cycle 


Ans. = tricycle


Not easy to figure out ha!


6. ------------ 



Ans. = two degrees below zero


C'mon give it a little thought ! !


7. ------------



Ans. = neon light
 ( knee - on - light )


U can prove u r smart by getting this one.


8.                    ------------ ---

          feet feet feet feet feet feet



Ans. = six feet underground


Oh no, not again ! !


9.  he's X  himself


Ans. = he's by himself


Now u messing up big time.


10. ecnalg


Ans. = backward glance


    Not even close ! !


11. death ..... life


Ans. = life after death


Okay last chance ............ ......



Ans. = think big ! !


And the last one is real fundoo - - -


13. ababaaabbbbaaaabbbb ababaabbaaabbbb. ..


Ans. =  long time no 'C'
( see )


Saturday, 27 October 2012

Read It- and Believe

Wow! I've seen this with the letters out of order, but this is the first time I've seen it with numbers.
Good example of a Brain Study: If you can read this OUT LOUD you have a strong mind.
And better than that: Alzheimer's is a long, long, way down the road before it ever gets anywhere near you.

7H15 M3554G3
53RV35 7O PR0V3
D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5!
1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5!
1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG
17 WA5 H4RD BU7
N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3
R34D1NG 17
W17H 0U7 3V3N
7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17,
C3R741N P30PL3 C4N
R3AD 7H15.
PL3453 F0RW4RD 1F
U C4N R34D 7H15.

To my 'selected' strange-minded friends:
If you can read the following paragraph, forward it on to your friends and the person that sent it to you with 'yes' in the subject line. Only great minds can read this. This is weird, but interesting!
If you can raed this, you have a sgtrane mnid, too.
Can you raed this? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can. I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a word are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is that the frsit and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it whotuit a pboerlm. This is bcuseaethe huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! 

Saturday, 20 October 2012

The Characteristics of Mother

Posted: 18 Jun 2012 11:55 PM PDT
"No language can express the power, and beauty, and heroism, and majesty of a mother's love.  It shrinks not where man cowers, and grows stronger where man faints, and over wastes of worldly fortunes sends the radiance of its quenchless fidelity like a star."  -Edwin Hubbell Chapin
A mother is by character. A man or a woman or an elder person can play this role. However, for a woman who has such a deep connection with her child, being a  mother automatically falls to her smile as an extension of herself.

A MOTHER IS A MULTIDIMENSIONAL BEING. How much older a child becomes, but for a mother — the child is a child!

Her role is not limited. She takes avatar in various personalities: to care, to preach and to protect — and for couple of other things.

1. Caring: She takes care of physical, mental and emotional needs of her child. Though it's a huge responsibility but for her it's not a responsibility — it's some kind of devotion that doesn't have much connotations but only backed up by the deep love and the feeling of contentment.

2. Understanding: She understands what is going on in her child's mind and heart. She tries to understand everything: sometimes by asking and most of the time just by observing.

3. Connection: She knows what her child does and at which place. She never let the child go away from her even for a second — even in her dream she is constantly connected with her child.

4. Freedom: Though she is ever connected but gives freedom to let the child develop and grow itself. In the child's freedom she helps it: TO FLOW LIKE A WATER & TO BLOW LIKE A WIND.

5. Inspiration & Motivation: She helps the child to get connected with its inner-strength. She knows her child has the huge potential and she finds the ways to get it working.

6. Growth: She knows her limitations, so she keeps on updating herself to find the ways how she can contribute in her child's growth in the most advanced ways. She loves her child but doesn't want it — to be just the toy of her lap. She is ever concerned with PSYCHOLOGICAL, PHYSICAL AND EDUCATIONAL growth, and for this she makes consistent efforts.

7. Values in life: Life builds on values, they are the roots of life. The richer and profound the roots are — the great life will become. A mother knows this fact, that's why she keeps on installing good values in her child's personality. This is the great gift of a mother to her child.

8. Helping the dream: A good mother doesn't want her child to fulfill her dream but she wants her child to make its own dreams and get them. She gives her child the full freedom and be with it like an invisible angel.

9. Smile and celebration: This is the grace what she gets after putting so much day-and-night efforts behind her child. This is the gift to her, she doesn't need anything other than this — and a child feels so happy seeing her mother in this condition.

10. Truth of life: She first finds herself and then acts like–to her child–as a spiritual guru, she preaches whatever she can — and if feels incompetent at certain level, she asks her child to find someone who could help in exploring the truths of life.



Tuesday, 16 October 2012

“When God Created Mothers"

When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of "overtime" when the angel appeared and said. "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."

And God said, "Have you read the specs on this order?" She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts...all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands."

The angel shook her head slowly and said. "Six pairs of hands.... no way."

It's not the hands that are causing me problems," God remarked, "it's the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have."

That's on the standard model?" asked the angel. God nodded.

One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, 'What are you kids doing in there?' when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn't but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say. 'I understand and I love you' without so much as uttering a word."

God," said the angel touching his sleeve gently, "Get some rest tomorrow...."

I can't," said God, "I'm so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick...can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger...and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower."

The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. "It's too soft," she sighed.

But tough!" said God excitedly. "You can imagine what this mother can do or endure."

Can it think?"

Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise," said the Creator.

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek.

There's a leak," she pronounced. "I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model."

It's not a leak," said the Lord, "It's a tear."

What's it for?"

It's for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride."

You are a genius, " said the angel.

Somberly, God said, "I didn't put it there.”
― Erma Bombeck, When God Created Mothers

Wishing Everyone a Very Auspicious & Joyful Navratri
Jai Shree Mata
Hail to the Divine Mother

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Heaven Is Real: A Doctor's Experience With the Afterlife

Heaven Is Real: A Doctor’s Experience With the Afterlife

Oct 8, 2012 1:00 AM EDT

When a neurosurgeon found himself in a coma, he experienced things he never thought possible—a journey to the afterlife.
As a neurosurgeon, I did not believe in the phenomenon of near-death experiences. I grew up in a scientific world, the son of a neurosurgeon. I followed my father’s path and became an academic neurosurgeon, teaching at Harvard Medical School and other universities. I understand what happens to the brain when people are near death, and I had always believed there were good scientific explanations for the heavenly out-of-body journeys described by those who narrowly escaped death.
The brain is an astonishingly sophisticated but extremely delicate mechanism. Reduce the amount of oxygen it receives by the smallest amount and it will react. It was no big surprise that people who had undergone severe trauma would return from their experiences with strange stories. But that didn’t mean they had journeyed anywhere real.
Although I considered myself a faithful Christian, I was so more in name than in actual belief. I didn’t begrudge those who wanted to believe that Jesus was more than simply a good man who had suffered at the hands of the world. I sympathized deeply with those who wanted to believe that there was a God somewhere out there who loved us unconditionally. In fact, I envied such people the security that those beliefs no doubt provided. But as a scientist, I simply knew better than to believe them myself.
In the fall of 2008, however, after seven days in a coma during which the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was inactivated, I experienced something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in consciousness after death.
I know how pronouncements like mine sound to skeptics, so I will tell my story with the logic and language of the scientist I am.
Very early one morning four years ago, I awoke with an extremely intense headache. Within hours, my entire cortex—the part of the brain that controls thought and emotion and that in essence makes us human—had shut down. Doctors at Lynchburg General Hospital in Virginia, a hospital where I myself worked as a neurosurgeon, determined that I had somehow contracted a very rare bacterial meningitis that mostly attacks newborns. E. coli bacteria had penetrated my cerebrospinal fluid and were eating my brain.
When I entered the emergency room that morning, my chances of survival in anything beyond a vegetative state were already low. They soon sank to near nonexistent. For seven days I lay in a deep coma, my body unresponsive, my higher-order brain functions totally offline.
Alexander discusses his experience on the Science channel's 'Through the Wormhole.'
Then, on the morning of my seventh day in the hospital, as my doctors weighed whether to discontinue treatment, my eyes popped open.
‘You have nothing to fear.’ ‘There is nothing you can do wrong.’ The message flooded me with a vast and crazy sensation of relief. (Photo illustration by Newsweek; Source: Buena Vista Images-Getty Images)
There is no scientific explanation for the fact that while my body lay in coma, my mind—my conscious, inner self—was alive and well. While the neurons of my cortex were stunned to complete inactivity by the bacteria that had attacked them, my brain-free consciousness journeyed to another, larger dimension of the universe: a dimension I’d never dreamed existed and which the old, pre-coma me would have been more than happy to explain was a simple impossibility.
But that dimension—in rough outline, the same one described by countless subjects of near-death experiences and other mystical states—is there. It exists, and what I saw and learned there has placed me quite literally in a new world: a world where we are much more than our brains and bodies, and where death is not the end of consciousness but rather a chapter in a vast, and incalculably positive, journey.
I’m not the first person to have discovered evidence that consciousness exists beyond the body. Brief, wonderful glimpses of this realm are as old as human history. But as far as I know, no one before me has ever travelled to this dimension (a) while their cortex was completely shut down, and (b) while their body was under minute medical observation, as mine was for the full seven days of my coma.
All the chief arguments against near-death experiences suggest that these experiences are the results of minimal, transient, or partial malfunctioning of the cortex. My near-death experience, however, took place not while my cortex was malfunctioning, but while it was simply off. This is clear from the severity and duration of my meningitis, and from the global cortical involvement documented by CT scans and neurological examinations. According to current medical understanding of the brain and mind, there is absolutely no way that I could have experienced even a dim and limited consciousness during my time in the coma, much less the hyper-vivid and completely coherent odyssey I underwent.
It took me months to come to terms with what happened to me. Not just the medical impossibility that I had been conscious during my coma, but—more importantly—the things that happened during that time. Toward the beginning of my adventure, I was in a place of clouds. Big, puffy, pink-white ones that showed up sharply against the deep blue-black sky.
Reliving History: The search for the meaning of the afterlife is as old as humanity itself. Over the years Newsweek has run numerous covers about religion, God, and that search. As Dr. Alexander says, it’s unlikely we’ll know the answer in our lifetimes, but that doesn’t mean we won’t keep asking.
Higher than the clouds—immeasurably higher—flocks of transparent, shimmering beings arced across the sky, leaving long, streamer like lines behind them.
Birds? Angels? These words registered later, when I was writing down my recollections. But neither of these words do justice to the beings themselves, which were quite simply different from anything I have known on this planet. They were more advanced. Higher forms.
A sound, huge and booming like a glorious chant, came down from above, and I wondered if the winged beings were producing it. Again, thinking about it later, it occurred to me that the joy of these creatures, as they soared along, was such that they had to make this noise—that if the joy didn’t come out of them this way then they would simply not otherwise be able to contain it. The sound was palpable and almost material, like a rain that you can feel on your skin but doesn’t get you wet.
Seeing and hearing were not separate in this place where I now was. I could hear the visual beauty of the silvery bodies of those scintillating beings above, and I could see the surging, joyful perfection of what they sang. It seemed that you could not look at or listen to anything in this world without becoming a part of it—without joining with it in some mysterious way. Again, from my present perspective, I would suggest that you couldn’t look at anything in that world at all, for the word “at” itself implies a separation that did not exist there. Everything was distinct, yet everything was also a part of everything else, like the rich and intermingled designs on a Persian carpet ... or a butterfly’s wing.
It gets stranger still. For most of my journey, someone else was with me. A woman. She was young, and I remember what she looked like in complete detail. She had high cheekbones and deep-blue eyes. Golden brown tresses framed her lovely face. When first I saw her, we were riding along together on an intricately patterned surface, which after a moment I recognized as the wing of a butterfly. In fact, millions of butterflies were all around us—vast fluttering waves of them, dipping down into the woods and coming back up around us again. It was a river of life and colour, moving through the air. The woman’s outfit was simple, like a peasant’s, but its colours—powder blue, indigo, and pastel orange-peach—had the same overwhelming, super-vivid aliveness that everything else had. She looked at me with a look that, if you saw it for five seconds, would make your whole life up to that point worth living, no matter what had happened in it so far. It was not a romantic look. It was not a look of friendship. It was a look that was somehow beyond all these, beyond all the different compartments of love we have down here on earth. It was something higher, holding all those other kinds of love within itself while at the same time being much bigger than all of them.
Without using any words, she spoke to me. The message went through me like a wind, and I instantly understood that it was true. I knew so in the same way that I knew that the world around us was real—was not some fantasy, passing and insubstantial.
The message had three parts, and if I had to translate them into earthly language, I’d say they ran something like this:
“You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever.”
“You have nothing to fear.”
“There is nothing you can do wrong.”
The message flooded me with a vast and crazy sensation of relief. It was like being handed the rules to a game I’d been playing all my life without ever fully understanding it.
“We will show you many things here,” the woman said, again, without actually using these words but by driving their conceptual essence directly into me. “But eventually, you will go back.”
To this, I had only one question.
Back where?

The universe as I experienced it in my coma is ... the same one that both Einstein and Jesus were speaking of in their (very) different ways. (Ed Morris / Getty Images)
A warm wind blew through, like the kind that spring up on the most perfect summer days, tossing the leaves of the trees and flowing past like heavenly water. A divine breeze. It changed everything, shifting the world around me into an even higher octave, a higher vibration.
Although I still had little language function, at least as we think of it on earth, I began wordlessly putting questions to this wind, and to the divine being that I sensed at work behind or within it.
Where is this place?
Who am I?
Why am I here?
Each time I silently put one of these questions out, the answer came instantly in an explosion of light, colour, love, and beauty that blew through me like a crashing wave. What was important about these blasts was that they didn’t simply silence my questions by overwhelming them. They answered them, but in a way that bypassed language. Thoughts entered me directly. But it wasn’t thought like we experience on earth. It wasn’t vague, immaterial, or abstract. These thoughts were solid and immediate—hotter than fire and wetter than water—and as I received them I was able to instantly and effortlessly understand concepts that would have taken me years to fully grasp in my earthly life.
I continued moving forward and found myself entering an immense void, completely dark, infinite in size, yet also infinitely comforting. Pitch-black as it was, it was also brimming over with light: a light that seemed to come from a brilliant orb that I now sensed near me. The orb was a kind of “interpreter” between me and this vast presence surrounding me. It was as if I were being born into a larger world, and the universe itself was like a giant cosmic womb, and the orb (which I sensed was somehow connected with, or even identical to, the woman on the butterfly wing) was guiding me through it.
Later, when I was back, I found a quotation by the 17th-century Christian poet Henry Vaughan that came close to describing this magical place, this vast, inky-black core that was the home of the Divine itself.
“There is, some say, in God a deep but dazzling darkness ...”
That was it exactly: an inky darkness that was also full to brimming with light.
I know full well how extraordinary, how frankly unbelievable, all this sounds. Had someone—even a doctor—told me a story like this in the old days, I would have been quite certain that they were under the spell of some delusion. But what happened to me was, far from being delusional, as real or more real than any event in my life. That includes my wedding day and the birth of my two sons.
What happened to me demands explanation.
Modern physics tells us that the universe is a unity—that it is undivided. Though we seem to live in a world of separation and difference, physics tells us that beneath the surface, every object and event in the universe is completely woven up with every other object and event. There is no true separation.
Before my experience these ideas were abstractions. Today they are realities. Not only is the universe defined by unity, it is also—I now know—defined by love. The universe as I experienced it in my coma is—I have come to see with both shock and joy—the same one that both Einstein and Jesus were speaking of in their (very) different ways.
I’ve spent decades as a neurosurgeon at some of the most prestigious medical institutions in our country. I know that many of my peers hold—as I myself did—to the theory that the brain, and in particular the cortex, generates consciousness and that we live in a universe devoid of any kind of emotion, much less the unconditional love that I now know God and the universe have toward us. But that belief, that theory, now lies broken at our feet. What happened to me destroyed it, and I intend to spend the rest of my life investigating the true nature of consciousness and making the fact that we are more, much more, than our physical brains as clear as I can, both to my fellow scientists and to people at large.
I don’t expect this to be an easy task, for the reasons I described above. When the castle of an old scientific theory begins to show fault lines, no one wants to pay attention at first. The old castle simply took too much work to build in the first place, and if it falls, an entirely new one will have to be constructed in its place.
I learned this firsthand after I was well enough to get back out into the world and talk to others—people, that is, other than my long-suffering wife, Holley, and our two sons—about what had happened to me. The looks of polite disbelief, especially among my medical friends, soon made me realize what a task I would have getting people to understand the enormity of what I had seen and experienced that week while my brain was down.
One of the few places I didn’t have trouble getting my story across was a place I’d seen fairly little of before my experience: church. The first time I entered a church after my coma, I saw everything with fresh eyes. The colours of the stained-glass windows recalled the luminous beauty of the landscapes I’d seen in the world above. The deep bass notes of the organ reminded me of how thoughts and emotions in that world are like waves that move through you. And, most important, a painting of Jesus breaking bread with his disciples evoked the message that lay at the very heart of my journey: that we are loved and accepted unconditionally by a God even more grand and unfathomably glorious than the one I’d learned of as a child in Sunday school.
Today many believe that the living spiritual truths of religion have lost their power, and that science, not faith, is the road to truth. Before my experience I strongly suspected that this was the case myself.
But I now understand that such a view is far too simple. The plain fact is that the materialist picture of the body and brain as the producers, rather than the vehicles, of human consciousness is doomed. In its place a new view of mind and body will emerge, and in fact is emerging already. This view is scientific and spiritual in equal measure and will value what the greatest scientists of history themselves always valued above all: truth.
Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander, M.D. To be published by Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Copyright (c) 2012 by Eben Alexander III, M.D.
This new picture of reality will take a long time to put together. It won’t be finished in my time, or even, I suspect, my sons’ either. In fact, reality is too vast, too complex, and too irreducibly mysterious for a full picture of it ever to be absolutely complete. But in essence, it will show the universe as evolving, multi-dimensional, and known down to its every last atom by a God who cares for us even more deeply and fiercely than any parent ever loved their child.
I’m still a doctor, and still a man of science every bit as much as I was before I had my experience. But on a deep level I’m very different from the person I was before, because I’ve caught a glimpse of this emerging picture of reality. And you can believe me when I tell you that it will be worth every bit of the work it will take us, and those who come after us, to get it right
Dr. Eben Alexander has been a neurosurgeon for the past 25 years. His book, Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife, will be published by Simon & Schuster on Oct. 23, 2012.