the extraordinary hidden in the ordinary

All around us, each moment is filled with extraordinary realities that we simply cannot see. Not because they are truly hidden, but because we have been enveloped in a veil of heedlessness that blinds us from perceiving them. Have you ever really pondered the humble apple before biting into it? Beneath that thin peel is a whole universe of complexity. The peel itself is an exquisitely designed package, crafted to lock in the fruit’s flavor and freshness to perfection. And what about the apple’s color, fragrance, and intricate texture? All springs forth from mere dirt through a process modern science cannot replicate. Or have you contemplated why you can so easily swat a fly, despite it beating its wings hundreds of times per second? The design of its anatomy allows it to hover through the air with impeccable precision and maneuverability.

We are surrounded by such astounding marvels, from the veins coursing through a leaf to the mind-boggling operations of our own cells. Yet we carelessly overlook them, like an audience member at a magic show who misses every astonishing feat happening right before his eyes. This is the spell of heedlessness that affects the majority of us – being so dazed by our inherited lifestyle habits and traditions that we remain blinded to the stark realities unveiling the majesty of Almighty.

But we have been blessed with the sacred gift of our thinking minds, that we may use them to part the veils and truly witness the brilliance surrounding us. To pause, ponder, and be struck with awe by the magnificent signs of the divine’s fabulous artistry everywhere we look. All it takes is making the conscious choice to embrace profound thought. To use the intellectual faculty that is bestowed upon us for its very purpose – as a key to discern and appreciate the hidden wisdom woven into every fiber of this universe. We have to wake up from our slumber of heedlessness. Pausing and deeply reflecting with intention on the marvels we are ordinarily blind to, will render us stunned by what our thinking mind can unveil right before your eyes.

the hidden marketplace within

Take a look around you right now. What do you see? A room, a building, trees, streets, the material world that makes up our everyday reality. But that’s just what things look like on the surface. The truth is, underlying all of that, an entire invisible ecosystem of constant transactions is taking place – a bustling, high-stakes marketplace of trades and exchanges happening at the smallest scales.

You see, from a biological perspective, every living cell in your body and all organisms on earth are teeming metropolises of ceaseless commerce. Busy hubs where millions of molecular currencies are traded, resources are imported and exported, energy gets stockpiled and spent. It’s an endless cycle of microscopic negotiations and power brokering playing out through every tissue, microbiome, even within each mitochondrial respiratory center powering the city-state of your being.At any moment, glucose molecules are being exchanged for ATP coins that cellular machinery then spends to accomplish tasks. Proteins are built on molecular assembly lines where information transcribed from DNA production manifests gets bartered for material supplies that keep cells humming along. Waste metabolites accumulate and get shipped out through strictly governed disposal channels.It’s like peering down at a vast, futuristic urban landscape of countless intersecting pathways, factories, refineries, and soil utilities hard at work trading and exchanging resources essential for sustaining the larger living infrastructure. Only this isn’t a man-made megalopolis. This is the covert micro-economy that each multi-trillion cell colony we call our bodies must intricately supervise 24/7 simply to remain operational.And the wheeling and dealing gets even more intricate when you zoom out to the larger ecological scale. Because out there, complex networks of symbiosis and mutualisms form interconnected global supply chains and trading guilds spanning entire bioregions. Delicately balanced channels where lifeforms as diverse as fungi, plants, microbes and animals perpetually trade resources, tokens, and energy in return for services that sustain the whole integrated marketplace of their local environment.

Just think about the breathable atmospheric gases you consume, the products metabolic guilds craft from soil and water, the resources that tree ambassadors trade for our derivative manufacturing wastes like carbon dioxide. It’s the unseen Stock Exchange governing the fundamental swaps that circulate the raw materials and energies powering all life on earth.Look again at the material world from a different lens, and the surfaces of reality reveal themselves as frontiers of nonstop commerce and negotiation happening on scales too far up or down for our limited human senses to directly survey. Everything you see around you emerges from the hidden trade routes and market forces of a ceaselessly churning global economy invisible to the naked eye.

fluid calligraphy

Through this post, I’m taking you through a hidden language we all have around us. Have you ever stopped to watch wisps of smoke swirling up from a campfire or curling off a candle’s flame? Noticed how ocean waves never crash onto the sand the same way twice? Or caught a glimpse of rapidly shifting cloud patterns in the sky?

Most of us observe these fleeting patterns and motions in nature without giving them a second thought. But what if I told you they were actually visible expressions of a complex hidden language, an intricate code that profoundly connects all things?

You see, the natural world speaks in a tongue few of us recognize – the universal language of fluid dynamics. Water, air, smoke, energy itself – all fluids follow a sophisticated molecular choreography too intricate for our eyes to fully decipher. Every ripple, eddy, spiral and vortex carries encoded information about the urges and stresses acting upon that flow. A crashing ocean wave isn’t just water blindly colliding with sand. It’s a three-dimensional script written in turbulent liquid calligraphy, recording in exquisite detail the literal physics of every unseen force and particle interaction involved.

The breaking foam, the patterns in the plume’s dispersal – it’s all data, a visible imprint of how the fluid negotiates with its environment. The same goes for that flickering candle flame performing its hypnotic dance. What you perceive as a quivering blaze is the language of heat describing, in swirling hieroglyphs, its delicate relationship with surrounding gases and the physics governing its intricate motions. Even a drifting storm cloud isn’t just condensed vapor droplets shaped by wind. It’s an ever-shifting poem etched across the sky each moment by atmospheric pressures, temperatures, and dynamics we can’t directly witness. The cloud’s form literally spells out, for those who can comprehend it, the invisible interplay of forces and fluid properties involved. Nature’s calligraphic scriptures are all around us, yet few of us realize we’re surrounded by cryptic texts narrating the deepest workings of the physical world through their elegant, ephemeral motions. All we need to reflect is to, look a little closer. Between every flicker and eddy lies a language written in flowing whispers. Not a co-incidence at all. Just like how you came now to read these lines was not a co-incidence. God bless.

authentic connections

In a world that often celebrates facade over authenticity, being vulnerable opens us to ridicule and judgment. We instinctively armor ourselves, maintaining surface relationships devoid of true depth. Yet it is only when we summon the courage to expose our fragile inner selves that we forge profound bonds transcending the superficial.

To be vulnerable is to exist without pretense, unafraid to reveal our hopes, fears, struggles and imperfections. It requires shedding the ego’s delusions of invulnerability and control. When we admit we do not have all the answers, that we sometimes feel lost or insecure or overwhelmed, we give others permission to do the same.

In these stark moments of confession, we are saying “This is me, with all my flaws and my humanity laid bare. Will you join me in this tender space of mutual truth-telling?” Those who answer that call by meeting us with acceptance, compassion and empathy become kin to our souls.

For within each human psyche, there is a primal yearning to be truly seen and known, a craving for the exquisite intimacy that can only emerge when we dare to be nakedly authentic. As counterintuitive as it may seem, vulnerability is the path to our greatest strength and the truest connections life can offer.

When we understand that our struggles, insecurities and emotional worlds are universally shared, shame’s grip over us begins to loosen. We realize our vulnerabilities are not flaws to be concealed but portals allowing others to relate to us on a visceral level. A warm authenticity becomes the great unifier, transcending artificial barriers of status, identity and ideology.

In truth, the human experience is an inherently vulnerable one. To simply exist is to embrace uncertainty, navigate perpetual beginnings and endings, and find the courage to feel our deepest emotions, even when the path remains shrouded. Each of us beholds an unfathomable universe of experience within that longs to be given voice and heard into existence.

It is vulnerability that reminds us we are never truly alone on this journey called life. At our most exposed and honest, we become mirrors allowing others to gaze upon their own fragility. This shared space of exquisite rawness, devoid of masks or facades, is where the healing salves of empathy and compassion are found in abundance. It is where the life transmission happens most vividly, where humanity’s unconquerable brilliance is plainly revealed.

writing magic.

Writing and the connection achieved by it sometimes have a transformative effect that’s often magical. It’s often how you discover your true tribe.

Illustrated by The Border Of a Mind Studios

“Writing, if nothing else, is a bridge between two people, a bridge made of language. And language belongs to all of us. If I enjoy a poem, that just means I am recognizing within it something of myself, something I must already possess. Therefore, to love a poem is to love a part of myself revealed to me by another person…I really believe that writing is the closest thing we have to true magic. Where else, but in words, can we discover each other out of thin air?”

― Ocean Vuong

The “world” is inside you :)

Vision is so magical if we ponder about its intricacies. A photograph of Netta that I took from Havelock Islands

The title of the post might make you puzzled. But I would like to take you through a small journey of thoughts and discover the secret embodied in the title! It’ll be good if you can be distraction-free for two minutes as you read this, as this is a very important reality that can blow your mind! I value your time. Let’s think together : )

Today, we are adding a slice into our Ponder Series. I read something along these lines about a decade ago through several books that profoundly changed my perspectives on how we perceive the world. If you haven’t read about this theme before, this could possibly be a key that could unlock many secrets of thoughts and perceptions about people and things around you and everything happening to you. Right now, you’d be reading these words on your phone/tablet or PC. If it’s the phone, for example, you’d be now scrolling with your fingers on the phone screen or touching your mouse/touchpad if you’re reading on a computer. Reality for most people is what they can see with their eyes & touch with their hands. You touch your phone now while reading this and believe that it’s real. This is the normal conception of reality that has conquered generations and their views. But there’s a deeper side to it if we ponder deeply. Everything we confront and experience – everything – the chair that you sit on, the bed you sleep on, the window of your room, the buildings near you, roads, cars, people you see, spaces, cafes, your loved ones, the experiences we go through in life, in short everything is perceived through our five senses. We know this well, but have you wondered how this magic really happens! Let’s ponder on how the information of the exterior world reaches you through your senses.

You and me have five sensory faculties – sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. If we think about it from a scientific point of view, all these senses work in the same way. For each sensory faculties, stimuli from objects in the external world and taken through these senses and nerves carry them to the sensory centers in the brain. These stimuli that induce these signals include lights (for vision), sounds (for hearing), smells, tastes, textures (for touch). These stimuli reach the brain only as electric signals.

Let’s take our vision as an example. Light rays (photons) emanating from different objects around you reach the retina at the back of your eye system and passing through several stages, they get converted into electrical signals. These signals then reach the brain’s vision centre through the nerves. This colorful and bright three-dimensional imagery that you see is formed at this vision centre, which is only a few cubic centimeters. So, when you hold your phone in your hand, you’re perceiving the “image” of the phone at the back of your brain in a minuscule space. This system of electrical impulses broadly applies to our other senses as well.

“Experiencing” an orange juice through sensory faculties

When you taste a glass of fresh orange juice, cells on your tongue surface transfer the stimuli into electrical signals that we perceive as taste. The aroma of the fresh orange juice near you is transformed into electrical signals by the cells in the epithelium of the nose. When you touch the glass cup, there are special sensors that are lodged beneath the skin surfaces that transform touch impulses and sensations of hardness/softness to electric signals. Similarly, your ear also have a similar mechanism that converts sounds into electricals signals. That’s how you hear the sound of the glass when you place it on the table. You perceive that you are drinking an orange juice when all these senses cohesively and harmoniously work together with these electrical signals for different senses.

Now is the important concept that needs to be thought about. Whether the orange juice exists or not cannot be known by us. The “orange juice” that you know is a blend or collection of its taste sensed by the tongue, its odour sensed by your nose, the color, and shape captured by your eyes, and only its attributes perceived through these senses is what is accessible to you. You don’t have access to the “original” version outside. It shows the limitation of ours to reach the physical world. Everything around us we are in touch with and our experiences are a compiled effect of different perceptions such as sight, hearing, and touch. All we can do is process the data of electrical impulses in our brain’s sensory centers of our brains. So, instead of the “original” of the matter, we are confronting its “copies” inside our brain. At THIS point, we tend to believe that the copies that we experience are the real matter outside, which is not the case as we just examined 🙂

Orange juice that you drank is only a simulation. Which orange juice is real? The one that is formed by your senses or the real one on the table? It’s no doubt that we are experiencing an aggregate of our perceptions throughout our lives. From every object you touch to anything you experience are perceptions. So whatever you touch, hear, smell and define as “matter”, or what you think as “the world we live in” is nothing else but an interpretation of electrical signals in our brain. The “original” cannot be reached, but only its copy is experienced in your brain! So that means if your olfactory nerve from the nose receptors are disconnected, you cannot feel the sense of smell.

Similar concept shall be extended to the sense of space and distance as well. When you read these words on this page, the distance between you and this page is emptiness perceived in your brain. When you think of stars or moon, you think they appear distant in the sky, but what you’re actually seeing is within you, in your vision center. So, as you sit and read this blog post now, you are technically not inside the room you think you are in, but the room is inside you! The body deceives you in thinking that we’re inside it. Like the orange juice we just discussed, your physical body is also a set of images or perceptions formed in your brain!

You may be able to comprehend this better when you think of how you dream. When you dream, you may experience that you’re riding a horse for example, but in reality, you’d realize that you were on the bed when you wake up from your slumber.

That brings us to the conclusion that our access to the external world is very limited. Now you would understand why saints say that the universe is within you! The way we look at our world changes when we understand and comprehend that our soul is experiencing and watching everything on a screen. Everything is inside you. Think about it. Ponder about this magic happening every single moment. Thank you for reading Ponder Series with me 🙂

Some of the chapters from the Ponder Series that you can read on :

> Perceiving Time
Ornate Blossoms
Visual Narrative – Ponder Series
Reflecting on Shadows
Stumble over Pebbles
Ethereal Quality | Petals
Golden Ratio
Vision – Pondering on the intricacies
Ruminating on Bird Nests
Living Embellishments
Pondering on Birds 
Perceptions

If you are reading this series for the first time, have a look at the intent post.

metaphor of sun

I photographed this with Netta from the Andaman Islands. What I like the most about this photograph is how the sun rising is spreading its light across everything. From the soothings waves to the rocks to the pebbles, we see its light on everything. This resonates with a theme that I read recently.  On a particular note, the example of sun is provided where the sun encompasses numberless things with its light. It says that a comprehensive outlook is required to behold the sun itself in the totality of its light. For the sun not to be forgotten, its manifestation is displayed on every shining object by its reflection. Further I read that all lustrous objects have a refleciton of sun’s attributes such as its light, heat and the seven colors in its light  (From the Words). The sun’s attributes is encompassing all things facing it. The same allegory is extended to divine mercy we find around us in several manifestations and specifically in man’s mirror like essence. From the food on our table, to the clothes we wear to our comforts, there’re manifestations of divine mercy everywhere.

vitreous worlds

It’s about having the eye to see the internal within the external. It’s to probe purpose and beauty in chaos and noise. It requires patience, intention, and humility.

“Intellect is the knowledge obtained by the experience of names and forms; wisdom is the knowledge which manifests only from the inner being; to acquire intellect one must delve into studies, but to obtain wisdom, nothing but the flow of divine mercy is needed; it is as natural as the instinct of swimming to the fish, or of flying to the bird. Intellect is the sight which enables one to see through the external world, but the light of wisdom enables one to see through the external into the internal world.”

Inayat Khan

intangible

This resonates well with my take on it. Remember when we talked about the vision? I had written that this space is a virtual studio of arts, ideas and minds built on the idea of embellishment of childish curiosity that we’re born with and to manifest it through fine writings, arts, visuals, and moving images. You cannot touch this space, but if you have been reading me, this humble space, which we call “The Border of a Mind” is in your memory, in an intangible realm of your mind. Keep reading and I’d put my heart and soul in curating this garden of ideas. God bless : )

“The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because its only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. If you can change the way people think. The way they see themselves. The way they see the world. You can change the way people live their lives. That’s the only lasting thing you can create.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Choke

illustration based on a portrait taken by dear friend M.H.P

pliable.

“A man is born gentle and weak; at his death, he is hard and stiff. All things, including the grass and trees, are soft and pliable in life; dry and brittle in death. Stiffness is thus a companion of death; flexibility a companion of life. An army that cannot yield will be defeated. A tree that cannot bend will crack in the wind. The hard and stiff will be broken; the soft and supple will prevail.” (Quote by Lao-Tzu)

Location: Corbin’s Cove, 2018.