Steve Jobs

A Genius Who Discovered His Intuition in India

When different cultures meet, a creative spark emerges, ready to be captured
by those flexible enough to bring together the best of two worlds, geniuses
like Steve Jobs, Apple's founder who passed away in 2011. Though Jobs was
loosely affiliated with Zen Buddhism later in life, Hinduism and India were
fundamental in forging his views of the world.

A nonconformist influenced by the romantic 1960s, wearing long hair, Jobs'
dream was to visit India, inspired by his friend Robert Friedland who had
just studied with Neem Karoli Baba. Arriving in Delhi in April 1974, he fell
sick for days. After recovering Jobs headed to Haridwar, where a Kumbha Mela
took him by surprise: "There were holy men all around, people riding
elephants, you name it." But when Jobs arrived at Neem Karoli Baba's ashram,
the guru had just passed away. Jobs stayed in a room, sleeping on the floor,
where he found a forgotten copy of Paramhansa Yogananda's Autobiography of a
Yogi--a book he would reread every year, the only one Jobs ever downloaded
to his iPad 2.

Having missed the chance to see Neem Karoli Baba, Steve wandered. A peculiar
incident, perhaps an initiation, marked his trip: "I was walking around in
the Himalayas and I stumbled onto this religious festival. There was a baba
who was the holy man of this particular festival, with his large group of
followers. I could smell good food. I hadn't been fortunate enough to smell
good food for a long time, so I wandered up to pay my respects and eat some
lunch. For some reason, this baba, upon seeing me sitting there eating,
immediately walked over to me, sat down and burst out laughing. He didn't
speak much English and I spoke a little Hindi, but he tried to carry on a
conversation. Then he grabbed my arm and took me up this mountain trail.
Here were hundreds of Indians who had traveled for thousands of miles to
hang out with this guy for ten seconds and I stumble in for something to eat
and he's dragging me up this mountain path. He laughed and laughed. We get
to the top of this mountain and there's this little well and pond at the top
of this mountain up in the Himalayas, and he dunks my head in the water and
pulls out a razor from his pocket and starts to shave my head. I'm
completely stunned. I'm still not sure why he did it."

Steve discovered intuition in India. "The most important thing that had
struck me was that Western rational thought is not an innate human
characteristic. The people in the Indian countryside don't use their
intellect like we do, they use their intuition instead, and their intuition
is far more developed than in the rest of the world. Intuition is a very
powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion. That's had a
big impact on my work," Jobs later recalled to his biographer. "If you just
sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. But over time it
does calm, and when it does, there's room to hear more subtle things--that's
when your intuition starts to blossom," he said.

After returning from India, Jobs and his friend Steve Wozniak founded Apple
computer in his parents' garage. From there on, he changed the world.

Steve had two pictures of Neem Karoli Baba in his room when he died, 35
years after his India trip. His sister Mona Simpson wrote of his last
conscious moments: "Before embarking, Steve looked at his sister Patty, then
for a long time at his children, then at his life's partner, Laurene, and
then over their shoulders past them. Then he spoke his final words:


(source: Hinduism Today Vol Apr/May/June 2012.


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