About me

A very brief biography of myself:

My name is Ardeshir Mehta. (Mind you, that's not who I am, that's just my name. That's what people call me. But even if I were called something else, or if I decided to call myself something else, I'd still be who I am.)

I was born in India during WW-II and spent the first 21 years of my life there; I then travelled to Europe where I spent about three years, most of them in Italy (with some months in Germany and England also, plus a week in France and a day in Switzerland). I became fluent in Italian, having lived mostly with Italians when I was there. I then went to Israel where I did my university studies in agriculture, having earlier dropped out of university in India after passing my high school with the highest marks in my class (because I thought university in India was crap, pardon my french). I spent nine years in Israel, became fluent in Hebrew and lived on various kibbutzim for about six years. (I am not Jewish, by the way.) After this I returned to India and worked under my Dad for eight years, helping out with his various projects, which were many and fascinating. You can get some idea of them from the links to his website. Both my parents were close associates of Mahatma Gandhi - I myself was given my name by Gandhiji when I was born. My Mum insisted, when I was born, that Gandhiji should give me my name, but he was art the time under house arrest at Aga Khan Palace in Poona, the city where I was born. It was only when he was released a few months later that I got my name! For months I had no name, and was, I suppose, just called "The Baby" (or "baba", as it would have been in Gujarati - my parents were Parsis, as I suppose you'd have guessed from my name). The astrologers had said that my name should begin with an "A" (or rather it's devanagari equivalent), so Gandhiji picked for me the first name of the "jailer" at Aga Khan Palace who had been in charge of seeing to it that he didn't evade house arrest, Mr Ardeshir Kateli! It was Gandhiji's principle, you see, to do good to everyone, and especially to his "enemies". Actually, he had none. Likewise with me: I have no enemies (and it's not because "They are all dead", as the corny old joke goes. ;-) My Dad was very well known in India by everyone from Prime Minister Nehru down to the common people.Y
ou can see links to my Dad's website here: they explain a bit about him (but by no means everything, or even everything publicly known in India about him). His "Nature Cure Clinic and Sanatatorium", where Gandhiji stayed after his release from Aga Khan Palace, is now the National Insitute of Naturopathy, Pune: my Dad gave it away to the Nation as a gift while he was still alive. In fact the room in which Gandhiji stayed (and in which he was phtographed by LIFE magazine phtographer Margaret Bourke-White - see the famous photo here) is also the room in which I had been born a year earlier. I came to Canada in 1985 because I fell in love with a lady from Ottawa, Claire Kelly, a most remarkable woman whom I married in November of that year. She passed away several months ago. Here are links to articles about her.

My chronological age (February 2012) is 68, my health and fitness level (according to an online test I took a few months ago) is 56, and my mental/psychological age (according to an online test I took in January 2012) is 45. And I am likely to live till I am 95. (Not to mention that I hope to live till I'm 100 or more!)

Besides, it's entirely possible that the real "I" is altogether deathless.

My interests:

My main interest is in finding out the truth. To me, as for Gandhiji, Truth is God. In fact, truth trumps everything: even God. For instance, suppose God were to tell you things that simply aren't true, such as "The Earth is flat like a pancake" - should you believe Him? Clearly you ought at the very least to challenge Him!

Indeed, truth
even trumps itself. For suppose there were no such thing as truth: even then it would have to be true that there's no such thing as truth ... for if it weren't, why should we believe the statement that there's no such thing as truth?

I differ from Gandhiji, though, in that I affirm that it is definitely possible to find out the truth using reason. Perhaps not all the truth, but at least in increasing degree. For finding out the truth, I believe the Mind is the most important thing one has. Therefore I call myself "A Thinker". Others might call me a philosopher. (Being a thinker doesn't mean that I am not into emotions, though. I took an on-line test a few days ago and I scored 45% right-brained and 55% left-brained. The designers of the test call me "center-brained", and add: "If you are center brained, you are likely both logical and creative, excel in the maths and sciences, and also art and philosophy." Neat.)

Although I spend my life seeking the truth, however, truth is not its own justification. As the philosopher Henry James noted, truth is only valuable insofar as it leads to goodness - or more precisely, to bliss, joy, ecstasy, happiness. Since the only thing that does not need any justification is joy - since joy is its own justification - I consider enjoyment to be the best thing in life. I try to enjoy lots of things. I write books and articles, I cook, I go to performances, I entertain friends, I drive my WRX-STi car and hope to get a motorcycle, a sailboat and a rowing scull some time, I enjoy arguing finer points of philosophy and the law, and indeed I enjoy too many things to list here. I get turned on by lots of things.

Not much turns me off - but violence might be the one thing that genuinely does so. "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent" - Isaac Asimov. Violence leads to suffering - and how can suffering be enjoyable?

Sex - understood in its profoundest sense - plays a big part in my life: and, like Freud, I strongly suspect that it plays a big part in everyone else's life also.
I take grave exception to those who think that sex is somehow bad, unspiritual or "dirty". (This, unfortunately, includes such people as Gandhiji and my Dad, whom I otherwise admire greatly.) Sex is not only something to be unashamed of, but something to actively celebrate. Unfortunately, even Freudians don't actually celebrate sex. Indeed, I find that most people in most societies (Eastern as well as Western), no matter how liberal otherwise, have a somewhat negative attitude towards sex. Even in this day and age, when sex is thought to be rampant on TV and other media, few people have erotic art hanging on the walls of their houses. At best, in our societies sex is mostly considered to be merely neutral: not worth actual celebration. Certainly most people think that children should be shielded from talk or depictions of sex (as if there could have been any children without sex!) Even Freud, who pioneered the use of sex as a psychotherapeutic tool, appears to have been sufficiently worried that his work would not find a sympathetic audience among the psychotherapy community of his day to have urged his colleague Jung to reconsider the latter's delving into spirituality in order to find other causes for psychoneuroses, saying that Western academics and therapists would find it still harder, the way Jung was going, to take the importance of sex in psychoanalysis seriously. I am myself greatly into Tantric sex, which I have begun to delve into recently. The only disciple I know which actually celebrates sex, and indeed considers it indispensable to the highest levels of spiritual enlightenment, is Tantra - both Hindu and Buddhist. Tantra is about achieving a balance between male and female energies within the self and with a partner. Tantric sex is sexuality which directs energy toward free expression and breaks barriers internally and inter-personally, attained by elevating sex acts to a divine practice and uniting as beloveds for whom every touch and movement is considered a divine gift. It is aligning with another being and with the world through divine sexual experience. It celebrates sexual union as an honouring of all beings and creation; it liberates the soul to experience the highest levels of bliss.

Mind you, there's no question that love must be the basis of the best sex. There can be sex without love, but there can be no great and wonderful sex without love (using the words "great" and "wonderful" with the highest meaning they are capable of bearing).
It's true that love can grow after sex, but if it doesn't it isn't great sex. Most importantly, I believe that the basis of any true friendship, whether sexual or otherwise, is love. (Indeed, the English word "friend" is derived in the ultimate analysis from an ancient Indo-European word priya meaning "beloved"; and the French word ami, the Spanish word amigo and the Italian word amico - all meaning "friend" - are all derived in the ultimate analysis from the Latin word amor, love.) In seeking a friendship, I always seek primarily to love, and as importantly, to be loved. In general, I desire honesty and openness in my friends: even if they insult me but are honest about it, I like it. I prefer to be told my faults so I can correct them, rather than live under the illusion that I have none. And in my way of thinking, friendship is not binary: that is, "friendship with sex" (sometimes called "romanitc freindship") and "friendship without sex" (sometimes called "platonic friendship"). Friendship is, rather, a continuum, in which sex may be introduced - or not - in varying degrees, depending upon the "chemistry" between the friends.

However, love can't be constrained. "Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear." - So wrote the poet Shelley, and he was completly correct. As a result of myself embracing this philosophy, I am also polyamorous - and not just from a philosophical perspective; I am polyamorous by nature, and have been so since attaining puberty. I have been in love with many women, and all those with whom I have been in love, I still love: even those who have "dumped" me. (As for myself I never "dump" anyone - that's just the way I am.) I suspect most people are polyamorous to some degree: otherwise one couldn't explain so many instances of "cheating", as those who call themselves monoamorous (or - erroneously - monogamous) refer to the polyamorous nature of their mates. I suspect that most people just don't face up to the truth about the sexual nature of human beings - themselves or their partners. If they did, they would acknowledge the existence of polyamorous tendencies within almost all people: in particular, themselves and their loved ones.

I do believe in love at first sight. My late wife Claire fell in love with me at first sight - indeed, she even fell in love with me before we met, because she had a dream about me long before our first encounter - so not only do I believe in love at first sight but as far as I am concerned, it's a fact.

I like both the city and the countryside. However, I have lived in many parts of the world, including Italy, England and India, and find North American cities not quite up the class of European ones. Nevertheless Ottawa is among the best in North America.

I might describe my lifestyle as "eclectic" - deriving ideas, style, and taste from a broad and diverse range of sources. My home page gives you a good deal of information about how I think. Part of my lifestyle is also my children. I have three, two of whom live with me, even though my two older boys are 25 and 23 years of age (as of this date: February 2012). My youngest, a girl, is 12. They need my help every now and then - my daughter, the most - so I am not always free to pursue my own private and personal interests. But I enjoy helping them. You can see pictures of them in my "family, friends and neighbourhood" online photo album.

One of my most memorable times was a two-month time I walked al the way from the centre of Italy to the southern city of Brindisi, going across mountains and fields, sleeping out in a sleeping bag. I actually walked - about 8 hours a day. That was, however, more than 40 years ago. Nevertheless, my older son Cyrus and I are planning on a walking tour of Italy for a month next year or the year after that, perhaps some time in late May and/or June of 2012 or 2013. The year after that, my daughter Anisha and I want to go to India, where we will buy a motorbike and ride it all over the country.

Money is important to me only to the extent that I would not like to be living in poverty, or even to "feel the pinch". But beyond that point I have little interest in amassing money. Money is only good because of what it can buy - and it can't buy many of the great and most enjoyable things in life. Money can't buy great sex, for instance! And, as the Beatles sang, "Money can't buy me love" - yes?

As for expectations, I don't have any. I expect nothing, accept everything ...

What I’m doing with my life right now:

These days my life is filled with great activities. I write (right now - January 2012 - I am working on a book on Common Sense Engineering), I have intense discussions (often on philosophical subjects), I exercise (2 to 3 hours a day), I have a wonderful car (a Subaru STi) which I enjoy driving, I cook (I'm really, really good at it), I think (I call myself "a thinker", I think I mentioned that), in the warm weather I sail ... and of course I think about sex every six seconds. (Doesn't everyone? - they probably do, but they probably won't admit it, though.)

I’m really good at ...

... philosophy, engineering, writing, music composition, photography, art, drawing, cooking, gardening, entertaining, driving, hiking, biking, sailing, sculling, carpentry and joinery, metal work, learning languages (I am fluent in 8 and can swear in about 20), martial arts, and many more things ... and, of course, sex. (And I'm getting better and better at it every day.)

Some of my favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food:

BOOKS: My own take precedence (I think I write very well, and everyone likes their own works best, don't they?); then I suppose come the Vedas, Upanishads and Indian epics (I can read them in the original Sanskrit), the Bible (I can read the Old Testament in the original Hebrew), Lao Tzu (my favourite author - unfortunately I can't read him in the original Chinese), Homer's "Odyssey" (again, unfortunately, I can't read Homer in the original Greek), Dante and Machiavelli (I can read them both in the original Italian), Shakespeare (best dialogue writer ever, with more one-liners to his credit than anyone else), Bernard Shaw's works (I've read them all), Bertrand Russell's works, "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen, "The Importance of Being Ernest" by Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Living" by Lin Yutang, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Pirsig, "Dune" by Frank Herbert, "Stranger in a Strange Land" by Robert Heinlein, "The Rebellion of Yale Marratt" by Robert Rimmer, "Shogun" by James Clavell, and many, many more.

MOVIES: Kurosawa's movies (especially "Ran"), "2001: A Space Odyssey", "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly", the very first "Star Wars" movie, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", "Blow Up", "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", "Lord of the Rings", "The Matrix" and "The Matrix Reloaded", "The Blues Brothers", "The Life of Brian", "Nausicaä and the Valley of the Wind", "Spirited Away", "Terminator 2", "Leon the Professional", "Le Samouraï", "Don't Die Too Hard", "The Illusionist", "Tampopo", "Babette's Feast", "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly", Tim Burton's "Batman", "Men in Black", "Kill Bill" (Vol.s I and II), "Twelve Monkeys", "Brother", all the James Bond movies, "Le Mans", "Grand Prix", "Beverly Hills Cop", "Night at the Roxbury", "Snatch", "Hero", "Under Siege", "Possible Worlds", "Dr. Strangelove" ...

SHOWS: "Iron Chef" (best game show ever), "Samurai Jack" (best cartoon ever), "Top Gear" (best car show ever), "Agatha Christie's Poirot" (best screen adaptation of a novelist's works ever), "The Big Bang Theory" (best nerd show ever), "My Little Pony" (best kids' show ever) "Judge John Deed", "Jeeves and Wooster", "Law and Order", "Ally McBeal", "Boston Legal", "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine", "Coupling", "Spongebob Squarepants", "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch", "Phineas and Ferb", "House", "The Sopranos", "Boardwalk Empire", "Taxi", "Doctor Who", "Anthony Bourdain", "Cook Like a Chef", "Wings of the Red Star", and I'll add to this list as time goes on.

MUSIC: Most of Bach's works (especially the Art of the Fugue, the Johannes Passion, and his piano works as performed by Angela Hewitt), most of Beethoven's works (especially the Ninth and Fifth Symphonies and the sonatas Moonlight, Appassionata, Pathetique, Waldstein and Hammerklavier), many of Mozart's works (especially The Magic Flute and his Requiem), Ockeghem's works (especially his Missa Fors Seulement), Gustav Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, Raga Kirwani played on the Santoor by Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, many of the works of Anoushka Shankar (Ravi Shankar's daughter), Jim Hall's adaptation of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez, most of Louis Armstrong's singing, most of Edith Piaf's singing, Helmut Lotti singing many Russian songs, most of the Beatles' works, Britney Spears singing "Baby One More Time" and "Crazy", Adiemus, most of the songs from the album Getz/Gilberto, Gilad Atzmon's "Dal'ouna on the Return" and "Al-Quds", Ennio Morricone's theme for "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly", most of the songs from "Evita", many of the songs from Disney cartoons (including from the Jungle Book, the Little Mermaid and Aladdin), many of Yellowman's songs, and some of my own music.

FOOD: Any recipe by Fernand Point, Escoffier or Carême, many recipes by Taillevent (especially his sugarless apple pie), most recipes by Morimoto, most recipes by Chen Kenichi, most recipes by Thomas Keller, many recipes by Gianfranco Vissani (a.k.a "the madman"), many recipes from El Bulli, and a few recipes I and my son thought up ourselves which are up to this standard, including our one-year-marinated roast beef.

A few things I could never do without:

In no particular order, they are:

- My life.

- My mind.

- My body.

- My soul.

- My health.

- My family.

- Sex.

I spend a lot of time thinking about:

Sex. (Doesn't everyone? ;-)

Well, in general I spend a lot of time thinking about spirituality ... of which sex is an intrinsic part.

(I wonder whether I think so much about sex because these days I'm not getting any ... ? On the other hand, I think it's much more likely that everyone thinks about sex a lot, they just don't admit it - often not even to themselves. It all gets pushed down into the unconscious.)

The most private things I’m willing to tell people ...

... are details of my spiritual experiences. And I'll tell you about them them only if I know you very well indeed.

But by all means send me a message if ...

... you are spiritually-minded

... you are philosophically-minded

... you are open-minded

... you are into intimacy ("into-me-see")

... you are into Tantra

... you are polyamorous

... you are into love

... you are into cooking

... you are into art

... you are seriously into music

... you are looking for a great friendship

... you like lively conversation

... you are creative

... you are into fitness

... you are totally unembarrassed

I look forward to hearing from you!

My e-mail address, in case you want to write to me, are:

ardeshir[at]mac[dot]com , ardeshir[at]me[dot]com , mehtaardeshir[at]gmail[dot]com


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