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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Self, Realization...

Disclaimer : This is not written to demean, blaspheme, accuse any individual(s), sect(s), religion(s), philisophy(ies) that are out there. It is just a random collection of thoughts that sprung up. It is long, does not have a structure. It is simply there to promote thinking in you. It may be too 'heavy' stuff for you to take or it may be 'right in the alley' for you. You can call it aimless, you can call it philosophical, you can call it junk.

He was always known for his thoughtful outlook towards life. There would not be a single moment that would pass-by in his life, without him thinking about something. It could be,'how could i have arranged the forms correctly, so that the teller at the bank need not have gotten the doubt as to whether i filled all of them correctly' when he had gone in for a loan application and the teller as part her normal process doubly checked to make sure all forms have been brought in. or 'should i have walked to the front door while the bus was still preparing to come to a stop' when he got off via the back-door, so that he could have been in office 30 seconds earlier.

He'd always wonder about taking lesser tissues than grabbing a whole bunch that his fingers can manage, at fast-food places so that, there would lesser need to refill them, hence lesser expenditure, thereby helping to keep the increase in costs of consumer prices lower. The less said better , about the ketchups, sauces, salt, pepper, water and many more items.

No one had ventured to ask him, whether him eating one packet less of ketchup would really keep the prices lower. He was prepared to meet that eventuality as well. "How would one say a definitive 'yes' or 'no' to the question, hence the benefit of doubt should go towards saving it". He would think of electricity, water and many other resources like that.

He will conduct an elaborate mock-interview about every situation he imagined he'd have to confront. He would think about various uncomfortable questions that people would ask him, if he had to say 'no' to them, when they will ask him for a favor.

He will go back to the grocery store and point out that some item had been charged less and would pay it promptly. And at the same time, think thousand times before nervously stepping in front of the counter to tell them, that they have charged him higher than what he should have been charged.

It was not him. It was his upbringing. He was always trained to think about 'others' first. He used to construct complex theories about 'God'. He would think about whether 'God' really had thousands of forms of appearance. He would think about whether 'miracles' can happen. He would try to construct a conspiracy theory to every such act. At the same time, he would believe that a super-natural power did exist. Any thing that happened after such thinking sessions would be ascribed to 'God' not being happy at him trying to think bad about 'him'.

He'd always tell others that the more scientific one gets, the more agnostic one gets. He read a lot about philosophy. Conflicting theories about purpose of life, about self-realization, all dished out by other people who are all mortals, like him.

He would ask the question that has been asked million times before, 'If everything is God's creation, why does evil exist?' or 'If world is a stage where all of us play out our parts, why does the world need to exist'. He would immediately recoil in horror, thinking about how that question meant, 'questioning the motive for the existence of life and hence existence of God'

He believed in prayers. He'd seriously ask for peace everywhere. He believed that if only everything happened peacefully, how wonderful life would be. He would ask for fulfillment of his loved ones 'wants'. If only his parents' prayers were fullfilled, it would mean he would be happy, since his parents would only wish for his well-being, he would argue.

He read somewhere that, removing 'wants' from life is the first step towards detaching self from the materalistic world. He will argue within himself, 'is not removing a want, a want in itself ?'. He will think 'is not praying for something, wanting something ?' and then he'd be back to reality. He was out of milk, he can never get a full night of sleep without a warm cup of it.

He would once again think, 'if all of us do what we feel is good for themselves, as judged by one's moral values, then why is there something called evil. Since there is nothing absolute in the world other than 'almighty' why would anything be always good or always evil. What is evil today might be good tomorrow he would reason. 'Hence, why should', he'd ask, 'people judge. Only HE can judge'.

He would always ask himself, if there is nothing absolute in this world, except for 'the absolute' there is NO way of knowing what is the 'right answer' to the questions that anyone in the world might have. That would mean all his thinking so far, can produce answers, but never to be ascertained as 'right answer'.

He badly wanted to meet with some old wisdom filled soul that can enlighten him. But he knew deep inside him, if he got the same answer he got right now, he'd still not stop thinking about life or if he got a different answer, how did he even know he got the right answer.

At the end of the day, he will tell himself, that he is no-fu(a)rther in his understanding about life and it makes fullest sense, that his ancestors did not promote thinking along such lines, since he knew, at best it could only be thinking. There is NO WAY of knowing *the truth*. One might as well continue living in the material world, catering to carnal pleasures he'd console himself and proclaim that whenever he is idle, his mind becomes 'devil's workshop', get his warm cup of milk and sleep

29 comments:

Ganesh said...

Arvind kulla ippadi oru thathuvavathiya
excellent post

Arvind said...

Thanks Ganesh !

Anonymous said...

hope u'v seen the matrix ... u can parallel answers to question like "why evil exists" n "y life exists" ... esp if u can understand smith ... n s bout "living out a life" as well ... not many realize the crux of the movie ... profound thinkers wud ;)

the matrix has sooooo many short pithy's ... fits will in the story ... luk'd @ alone they wud answer lota ur questions ...

my favourite one tho - "To deny our instinct is to deny the very thing that makes us human" ... ha ha ...

as for right n wrong ... well i'd say everyone lives in their own world of rules ... n its a matter of personal values that dictate whatz right n wrong to every individual ...

n my guess wud be u'd appreciate objectivism too :) ...

nice post ... ;)

Arvind said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for the 'detailed' analysis on the post :-)

First of all, this is assimilated philosophical ramblings that are outcome of my discussion with many of the people i've known in life...friends, colleagues, relatives etc......

Second of all, objectivism a.k.a Ayn Rand's theory...i should say, at first glance, it was nothing fancy :-), but i am planning to give it one more chance ! ;p

Third of all, the goal of the post is to share and promote thinking, despite all the stand taken in the post lol ;)

Ganesh said...

Aravin
I called you, but its going to voice mail
whats going on dude ?

ROBBIE said...

I wonder why you start off defensively as if the whole world is against you. The disclaimer was unecessary and dumb. You do not need to be worried about the world because in the end everyone has a brain to decipher his own philosophy. Anyway, your concern for hurting other peoples sentiments is well taken and now about the post, the person you imagined is someone seeking a logical solution to living everyday life. He is full of arguements and counter arguements about what he believes in. He questions every arguement and tries to bring out the best counter arguement. This is what we all need to do as human beings, try and live the logical path but in the process we should also learn to isolate ourselves from our observation. Anyway, well done! I appreciate the thought that went into your post and the philosophy behind it.

Arvind said...

Well Robbie, it is not about the world being against me or for me.

Essentially the character in the story is as i said in the comment above, a facade to all the different emotions and thought processes that people go through

Thanks for the appreciation of thoughts that went into it ;)

Enjoy !

thennavan said...

Arvind, can you send me your phone number to the email address I have on ChennaiCentral (the indusguy account) ASAP? Would like to talk to you. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

philosophy *IS* rambling (for most)...

objectivism is nuthin fancy (tho therz this group which considers it crazy) ... it is the plain truth which ppl have been trained for generation to detest ... "We'v been trained to deny the very thing that makes a human" ... "unfortunately no one can just be told what it is ... u have to realize to by yourself" ... gluk

as for the share n promotion of thought - "most ppl think by the system arvi ... when u luk around what dyu c ... the very mind of the ppl ur tryin to provoke ... u hav 2 understand that most of these ppl are not ready to quaff this idea ... they r so inert n so hopelessly dependent on the thought process that the wud denounce u for advertising it" (morpheus speaks)

ha ha ... guess there is a point in the disclaimer ... n besides what else is a blog 4 but to pronounce such thoughts ;) ...

ROBBIE said...

Anonymous,
1."Philosophy *IS* rambling" (for most)-I totally disagree with this. Philosophy is not rambling for most people it is what they live by. It is a paradigm for most people.

2."We'v been trained to deny the very thing that makes a human" ... "unfortunately no one can just be told what it is ... u have to realize to by yourself"- I don’t understand what you mean by this, seems like you threw this in to confuse and confound. We are not trained to deny anything, this would make sense if you were talking about religious or cultural backgrounds but by saying something vague like this you aren’t making any point.
3."Most ppl think by the system arvi ... when u luk around what dyu c ... the very mind of the ppl ur tryin to provoke ... u hav 2 understand that most of these ppl are not ready to quaff this idea ... they r so inert n so hopelessly dependent on the thought process that the wud denounce u for advertising it" (morpheus speaks)- this seems to be influenced heavily by one stupid movie called 'THE MATRIX'. Something or the other influences everyone and everything in this world. You cannot be totally unbiased on anything. That’s the point Arvind made in the post. What you are trying to say is not clear; you might want to rephrase your sentence.
4.guess there is a point in the disclaimer ... n besides what else is a blog 4 but to pronounce such thoughts ;)- you have contradicted yourself in the beginning and the end of the statement making it null and void again.
I appreciate the time you have taken to write all this but the thought process is very abstract and not very clear. Your argument is very reminiscent of some of my friends (so called Hindus) who rely totally on abstract explanations.

Arvind said...

Well Robbie/Anonymous,

Besh Besh, sariyana pOti....

What is *rambling* is also subjective. Even though a drunkard's speech may be illogical to the outside world, only because he thinks about what he thinks, does he speak those words ! A madman is crazy because, his actions are out-of-scope from the normally social-stipulated behavior, but to him it still makes sense !

Anonymous said...

robbie man!!! okie this is interesting ... something abstract is what we (n most) cannot comprehend (in my view) ... n It was by intention to let ppl think ... n infer stuff from those altered dialects from the matrix ... sorry but I'm a matrix buff ...

1. Everythin is a perspective (as arvi rightly said) ... that was my point ;) ... talk philosphy n most ppl wud run away ... itz 2 hot for many (that I know of @ least) to handle ... i.e. until they get buzzed :D

2. I was implying that the principles of objectivism has been deprecated by ages across all cultures unanimously ... it defines the very spirit of the hallmarks of history ... the human spirit ... yet its denounced ... well thatz just my opinion n point ... n most ppl are not ready for it ... I'v seen revulsion's from soo many when it comes to this ... blind sticklers

3. the contradiction was the whole point ... arvi had to keep himself safe n yet express it all ...

every culture takes to abstract explanations ... I dun like 2 digress from the topic but to make a point - if u study the lifestyle of ancient civilization @ mohanjodharo n harappa ... these so called hindu's follow those virtues (for most part) ... since ppl dun always yield to decree, they have been made into fables, morality tales and those abstract explanations (many of which I have rationalized with much deliberation) which u'v encountered ... unfortunatly it has lost is charm (chineese whispers effect) over the ages ...

think arvi proly goin bonkers ... Ill proly resign with this ... hope this was lucid enuf

- SamY

Anonymous said...

robbie man!!! ryu an arian by any chance??

okie this is interesting ... something abstract is what we (n most) cannot comprehend (in my view) ... n It was by intention to let ppl think ... n infer stuff from those altered dialects from the matrix ... sorry but I'm a matrix buff ...

1. Everythin is a perspective (as arvi rightly said) ... that was my point ;) ... talk philosphy n most ppl wud run away ... itz 2 hot for many (that I know of @ least) to handle ... i.e. until they get buzzed :D

2. I was implying that the principles of objectivism has been deprecated by ages across all cultures unanimously ... it defines the very spirit of the hallmarks of history ... the human spirit ... yet its denounced ... well thatz just my opinion n point ... n most ppl are not ready for it ... I'v seen revulsion's from soo many when it comes to this ... blind sticklers

3. the contradiction was the whole point ... arvi had to keep himself safe n yet express it all ...

every culture takes to abstract explanations ... I dun like 2 digress from the topic but to make a point - if u study the lifestyle of ancient civilization @ mohanjodharo n harappa ... these so called hindu's follow those virtues (for most part) ... since ppl dun always yield to decree, they have been made into fables, morality tales and those abstract explanations (many of which I have rationalized with much deliberation) which u'v encountered ... unfortunatly it has lost is charm (chineese whispers effect) over the ages ...

think arvi proly goin bonkers ... Ill proly resign with this ... hope this was lucid enuf

- SamY

Arvind said...

So Anonymous is not so anonymous anymore ;p

samy/robbie,

I am gonna steer clear of reference to 'hindu' beliefs at this point in time, even though you folks are welcome to ;)

samy,
the idea of same person, doing a split personality role of questioning the fundamentals of faith and recoiling in horror at the very next moment, amply sums up the transient nature of everything we are made of. be it our thinking, acting or living.

also, am not going bonkers, you are most welcome to continue your discussions :-)

ROBBIE said...

hey samy,
I am a capri and yeah I feel that was lucid enough. Being abstract doesnt necessarily make someone think, sometimes being clear makes a lot of things easier like this argument for example. Anyway, thankyou for going through the pains and explaining yourself.

Ram.C said...

Pretty long.. and it was a wise decision on my part to keep this for the weekend (when I noticed this post two days back). Thanks for reminding as well, Arvind.

Eventhough your thoughts were little bit jumping, you had brought out the points which you wanted to highlight.

I always feel that our soul searches for something, which is not in our proximity. Even if you realise that you have achieved something material, your next search begins... If at all, you feel that you had reached that eternal peace, you will become a saint. That's life...

So, where are u now Arvind?

Arvind said...

Che Robbie/Samy,

You should not called it truce so early ;)

Anonymous said...

hey arvi,

its prudent to make truce when its a viable alternative ... n its a kshtriya's duty to fight when so need be - bhaghavat gita

ur welcome to call off the truce n pitch in ;) ... if u do find some gaps that it :p

- SamY

sen said...

robbie,

'The disclaimer was unecessary and dumb'.

'Anyway, your concern for hurting other peoples sentiments is well taken'.

well taken, ok.when are u going to learn it?. :)

arvind,

Nice post.I think the problem with the character is cause it is in extreme's.either completely searching for truth or totally in false dreams.The key i guess is balancing it.

But the human civilization is what it is now, because of truth seekers and not those who accepted pre laid paths.Even the rule that the characters 'ancestors did not promote thinking along such lines' was a result of his ancestor seeking the truth and arriving at a certain conculsion at the end of the search.
so search shuld always be there.

Arvind said...

robbie,

no comments about Samy's latest shot at you ? ;p

samy,

truce ? ha ha - 'healthy' arguments are always encouraged, considering more so the theme of the article - nothing is right or wrong - so what indeed is truce or fight ?

senthil,

search *will* always be there, since we will never know what is *the answer*, we may know the answer, but never know that it is the *right answer* :-))

ROBBIE said...

sigh!! what do I say now? Samy said it all. I dont have a reason to question him/her. I am not a kshatriya, I aint the warrior class Sir/Ma'm. I am just a simple guy who occasionally tries to understand abstract comments from people like you. Btw it seems like I have been hurting people with my outright brash behavior. haha! trying to improve myself dude!

SamY said...

arvi: 2 be honest I took up the white flag coz I ran out'a more arguments @ that point of time ... had I kept my mind idle n blank I proly wudn't hav stopped :p ...

robbie: btw I am a he ... being incognito does have its repercussions ... n I give up ... I'm busted now!!!

I dun know of any kshatriya's left 2day either ... in true spirit n values ... n neither am I :) ... I just study the principles of such virtuous ppl ...

wow capri huh ... I felt otherwise @ first ... capris that I know of never make a conversation so ez ...

well sometime obscurity catch's attention u know ;) ... a gud marketing tactic 2 ...

maybe we cud resume more arguments on a different topic ... if someone's upto it ...

Arvind said...

samy,

So it took you as many comments, to shed your anonymity ;) ?

SamY said...

the xtent my lethargy's still not upto that of a sloth :p

besides ... when the heat turns on I better take the credit b4 someone else flips em ;)) ... ha ha

Arvind said...

:-))

cosmicblob said...

Very interesting - Glad I blog hopped to this one through Robbie's. I am running late though (the material life's calling) - so shall read later and comment.

Arvind said...

Will wait to hear from you :-)

Kasthuri Srinivasan said...

Arvind,
After reading the post, I think you are the kind of guy who thinks almost like me. I don't have enough words to appreciate your post, after all the world of words is incomplete. I have had almost all the things and questions that you have put forth but slowly from somewhere unknown I am getting some answers. I am finding a new joy in living. Great post.

Arvind said...

:-)

Good to know, you have begun finding 'answers' :-)