Last night I watched an Indian movie in which a reputed medical institution deceives couples with fertility issues by making them believe that the sperm is of the husband, while they actually use those of other people.
That took me to a pessimistic void — Which amazingly made me calm and which, I found to be beautiful!
HOW AND WHY DID I GET THERE?
It is not about whether the issue presented by the movie is prevalent and accurate. It’s not about the movie! It’s not related to anything personal either.
As I sat in my bed with my wife watching the movie, I thought of every single institution that must be doing some form of deception. Then I generalized and saw every single institution as deceptive in some ways. Then I generalized further and saw the entire human race as deceptive and cruel.
That view…that view of the human species as deceptive and cruel took me to that pessimistic void!
And then I was calm. I felt good. It was beautiful!
Humanity and all its affairs appeared as a giant South-Parkan turd.
I saw no beauty in any achievement of ours. I saw no charm in any glory of ours. I saw no value in anything human. The only beauty was in that deceptive view of humanity.
I then paused the movie and said to my wife (which annoyed her of course)—
‘Looking at how deception is trending these days — from government and companies to people around us — I wonder if there will come a day when anyone who is even slightly conscious will get disgusted beyond repair, pessimistic beyond hope and will start living life just for the sake of living! Without any values to live-for, without any beauty to pursue, like playing a mundane mobile game. You are just living to live. To pass time. To die! Nothing excites you. Nothing impresses you. Nothing deceives you. ’
I said that, she thought for a while and said something.
I fell asleep with that beautiful pessimistic void inside me. No values. No excitement. No deceptions. No care. No anxiety!
This is not a religious thing, it is psychological. It is about our mind!
I am not a religious person. I am not a theist. I am not even an atheist. If anything, I am a person who has gone full UG on things —who has denied every system of thought and deleted all reverence from me. Which makes me a person whothinks that not enough has been known about the mind to know higher truths and who likes to find his own truth and reality his own way. This probably makes me an explorer. A mind and self explorer if you want to be precise.
But I have grown up in a Hindu family around Hindu myths, gods, stories, narratives, spirituality and philosophy. Which equips me with certain information on what lies within this religious system.
I am currently into mind and self exploration which takes me into the components of mind and their functions. I dig through my past and my present to see what I am all about and what I can make of myself.
While into this process, I observed something about the Hindu trinity that finally made them relevant and significant for me. It was their basic and commonly consented definition and description that gave me the idea of using them for my exploration and made me hypothesize that they may have actually been created not for worship but for mental exploration and idea programming. But I don’t want to get into whether they created us or we created them debate here! I also do not want to get into the history of the religion, it’s various sects and all that.
All I am concerned about is on using their basic description and definition for mind exploration and experimentation.
Before I get into how I think we can use them for creating new us and destroying the old, let me share a few things I have discovered as of now and how I got here:
The best way for us to see ourselves is through our desires.
Desires — apart from basic ones — are ideas. We create names and concepts, identify with them, get shaped by our environment, mix them all up and project basic desires into ideas. Eg. basic sexual urge turns into fascinating choices and preferences.
We can program our non-basic desires ourselves. That is, we can delete or modify old ones and create new ones. This is idea programming.
This means, we can create new versions of ourselves by modifying and experimenting with our desires.
We can use the Hindu triad for such a task.
This is how idea programming works:
You identify the prevalent idea
You identify its history and components
You design a new idea
You destroy the old idea
You persevere with the new idea until it is time to move on
It can be generalized in this way:
Now, into the general and common definition and description of the Trinity.
Vishnu: Preserver and protector. A personification of preserving power. Calm, Relaxed.
2. Brahma: Creator. A personification of creative power. Restless, Innovative.
3.Shiva: Destroyer. A personification of destruction, reproduction, change. Meditative, Aggressive.
Let’s add them all up:
Identify: Desires that exist in you at present. The desires currently preserved. Enjoyed. Desires that are there. Just in themselves. Not as good and bad. To do this, you need to dig into your past, observe your present, notice everything that excites or frustrates you. You have to list them all down. Generalize them. Shove them into categories. Understand why they might be there. Understand their cause and effect. In simple words, you need to know the things you want and not want; desire and not desire; like and dislike. You need to know the identity you attach yourself to. You become Vishnu to do all this. Accept things as they are in order to know them and enjoy them. Approaching them with good/bad will make them elusive. Just be them. Preserve them. See them. You need to be calm and unimaginative in all this. Be Calm and Relaxed.
Design: Desires that you would want in you. At this phase, you should be imaginative and creative. Think and feel what you would want to become. What you would want in you. Judge your pre-existing desires. List the desires you want in you. Generalize them. Shove them into categories. Understand why you want them there. Understand their cause and effect. In simple words, you need to know the things you now want and not want; desire and not desire; like and dislike. You have created a new idea! You become Brahma to do all this. Don’t accept anything until you are fully convinced. Keep searching, keep designing. Until you reach the sweetest of spot. Once again, you need to be extremely imaginative and creative in all this. BeRestless and Innovative.
Destroy: Desires that you would want modified or destroyed. After you have identified the existing desires and designed the future desires, it is time to destroy the old ones. Destroy the old ideas. Destroy the old you. You need to operate at the emotional level for this. Like a surgeon. Like your own surgeon. You got to be able to feel things. You need to be able to suppress. You need to be able to ignore. In simple words, you need to get rid of all emotional residue of the old you. Get rid of all ideas of the old you. You become Shiva to do all this. Be savage. Be detached. Be both Meditative and Aggressive.
Q: But how do you actually use them?
A: Remember their basic definition, description and characteristics and use their images as symbols. Place their image in your phone or computer wallpaper as per your phase.
You can modify the image as per your requirement. You can use symbols and metaphors as per your need. THIS IS HOW THEIR IMAGES HAVE BEEN MODIFIED AND PLAYED WITH FOR CENTURIES, ANYWAYS!
It’s evening and you sit here with your laptop in your room
while the world rushes home closing their desktops at work.
You’ve always been this way. You realize.
You and the world have always been this way.
When you were a kid,
while they learnt real politics outside with their imaginary guns
You learnt imagination inside because you couldn’t understand the politics of the world!
When you grew up,
while they played kings and slaves in streets, classrooms and playgrounds
You played god and designed and destroyed sportsgrounds and movie-sets inside your head.
But you were not as strong or stylish as you present yourself here
You were weak, bleak and you were scared of their breath
Not because they spat fire. But because they stank!
But you couldn’t ignore them because your horizon was still a virgin
And so you sat with them and even tried to impress them!
Even their bad breath you thought was a norm
So you stopped brushing too…
You were not at all as strong or stylish as you present yourself here.
It’s always been this way.
And then when you reached an age where boys made girls cry
You yourself cried in a classroom.
And then you were stared-at, kicked, teased, yelled-at:
By insecure blokes who saw nothing when they looked at themselves in the mirror.
You didn’t understand then that their expression towards you
was their expression towards themselves
You couldn’t understand that because you didn’t play with them outside.
And now they look at their watches at work, nervously waiting for the time they get to go back home
while you get to sit here calmly in your room writing magical words like these that turns them into whatever pleases your mood.
You’ve always been this way the world and you
First, the world throws shit at you and then you throw the world into shit.
And now the world plays king-king down there at Troy
While you play god-god up here at Mount Olympus!
Whatever you go through in your childhood will have a profound impact on the rest of your life. This is because in our lives – like in the world – a thing will cause the following event and that event will in turn be the cause of another and so on.
While this holds true for all phases of our life, childhood is especially significant because it is then that we change the most. That’s the phase when we are the most passive and relatively unconscious of ourselves and the surrounding. This passivity and lack of proper consciousness means we are not at all in control of ourselves and whatever happens to us happens without our consent and will. We are at the mercy of other entities. Which means, our actions of that phase are reactive. We are malleable.
I reach back to the days my childhood whenever I try to understand the thoughts and feelings I currently behold. Almost everything takes me back there. Everything seems to have its roots there and then.
For example, today during my evening walk, I tried to understand my passion towards the unacceptable things in society. My digging took me to the stage of my life when I was mentally ill-treated and bullied by someone who was acceptable in society. I can’t recall being fascinated towards the unacceptable before my close encounter with that person and the ill-treatment/bullying I got from him and his supporters. This must have developed a sense of rebellion in me which prolongs to this day and which has largely shaped a lot of my crucial decisions.
Of course, that person must have been valid from his point of view for his ill-treatment and he might not even consider it to be an ill-treatment, but what that did to me shaped not only my behaviour but my character and entire personality. He was conscious, I was not!
Of course, I don’t have an issue with how I ended up, but I could have ended up worse if I hadn’t dared to work on my self and if I hadn’t dared to stand-up to rotten values.
What do I take away from this?
Be careful with things that are malleable and sensitive. Tougher things will resist you and will probably shape you instead. Don’t express that frustration of yours on weaker ones. Take care of softer things if you’ve got balls. If you’ve really got it, try to shape things bigger and stronger than you!
P.S. Maybe that person was more unconsious than the childhood me?!!!
A trick for Self-Improvement. Unfasten all the seat-belts that bound you to seats. Wear something comfortable. Stretch your body parts. Take some deep breaths and get ready to go for a long thought drive.
A thought drive is a drive where you free yourself from the cycle of static sitting or sleeping and hence, free yourself from many shitty and sleepy thoughts.
A thought drive is a drive where you move around in such a manner that it sets the platform for your thoughts to take you to amazing mental places to see spectacular things.
A thought drive is a drive where your movement acts as an accelerator and the thoughts that you will have inside as the views you would see from your physical vehicle window.
How do you go for a thought drive?
First, you have to be willing to see what your thoughts have got to show and tell you. After that, you have to move around. But, you have to let go of all those meditative, sedative mind-control, self-control, god-focus, self-focus lessons that shitty and sleepy gurus have preached to you. You have to be ready to listen to your thoughts. Listen to what they have always been meaning to tell you but you have always been shutting them off because you fell prey to the scam of some philosophical conman.
After all this, go for it. Move around in whichever pattern you feel comfortable. Long walks, short walks, to and fros, stand and stares. Find the sweet spot of movement, like you do with your car seat. And then welcome your thoughts. Accept them. Invoke them. Do not use dull philosophical theories to understand them or control them. Let them flow. Let them come. Accept them.
But how do you make sure you don’t get lost?
That’s a good question. Thoughts are stingy and lethal at times. that’s why you have to learn to be strong. You have to learn to be able to take every sting with a smile and you hve to be able to respond every slap with a deep breath.
Once you are ready with that and good to go for a drive, you have to begin with a single thought. It could be an image, a sound, an idea, concept, desire, goal, person, computer, star, whatever. Yes, right before you go for the drive, begin with a single thought. Then, finish the drive by coming back to the same thought. Finish it by bring the original thought back. And notice how that thought looked before the drive and after. If you manage to do that, you will not only have discovered a lot of things, but you will also have returned to your home safely!
Being Visionary is more about will than originality.
I don’t know how it goes with entities such as stars and rocks and rivers but with those of us living with cell (s): we are always forced to make decisions.
An ant crawls on my table and I for my own leisure block its path with my finger. Now it has to make a decision: persist with the obstacle or go a different path. The ant has obstacles apart from me: The dog, the wind. Which means, it has to make a lot more decisions in life. However, regarding the approach to making those decisions — looking at its circumstances — I believe it has only one: pragmatic which tells it to go to the currently most beneficial place.
I, as a human, am similar. I go along with my business and for some god’s leisure, a thought comes and blocks my path.
Then, I am left to make a decision: force myself out of the thought or go a different one. Lots of thoughts and events occur, which means I have to make a lot of decisions. But, when it comes to approach, I have observed two in me:
Within the pragmatic approach I am like the ant. Whatever thought or obstacle I face and have to make a decision, I decide to do that which seems currently the most beneficial.
While taking the visionary approach, I become a human in that whatever obstacle I face and have to make a decision on, I decide to do that which seems in line to the vision of myself I have in my mind. It’s like the ant going, ‘I have to climb this finger thing and die so my vision of becoming a martyr is realized.’
Pragmatic approach is understandable, you do that which ensures your survival and life-success. But where the hell does this thing called vision come up on me?
Where does the vision come from?
My observations of myself have shown that I do not in fact envision a future for myself. What I do is simply decide to not be pragmatic and allow my mind to drift along the inner voices, the rest is done by my mind. This way I don’t think it should be called vision. It’s more like natural is the correct term.
While I envision myself, I am in fact, not as creative as I think I am. This is because I am not designing a certain type of me from scratch. Rather, I am merely imagining (projecting) a me who has fulfilled all the desires that exist in me during the moment of envisioning. It is like the perfect balance of all my desires. THE SWEET SPOT. This way, fulfilling my dreams or realizing my vision is more like me being that which is natural to me: achievement of all desires, with the desires being the things which are natural.
Pragmatic approach is more about advantage. I will have to sacrifice a lot of my desires in the process. Success is the key here.
Let’s stay with the visionary approach:
Even if it’s not about free designing and creating, there is a certain skill required to envision yourself.
As mentioned above, firstly you need to agree to listen to your desires and let go of certain pragmatism (Of course, mixed approach exists in people but let’s not talk about that here). Even after agreeing to listen, the path won’t be easy. Your mind will make you scream, yell, cry, want-to-die in its search for the perfect image for your desires. It’s like pulling out a healthy tooth. But when your mind finds one, it fills you with ecstasy. You are freed. You are free to work on the how’s and finally forget visioning and decision-making!
And then the sad part begins:
The desires you have inside you are not constant. They change with new knowledge and experience and so has to your vision.
The irony of it all is that even if you go after the vision and reach the situation envisioned, there is almost complete certainty that things will end up being something completely different!
Do you also worry you are not doing enough or learning enough? Given your standard of yourself, do you think you aren’t productive enough? Do you feel like something is stopping you from being a certain place, feeling a certain way?
Even when you do manage to get rid of all distractions and do the things you ought to work on, do you feel a certain rope kind of thing pulling you into something — away from your deed? Do you also get anxious if you do not allow yourself to be pulled by that rope?
Do you feel anxious, nervous, sleepy, tired, insecure, confused, jealous, etc. most of the time?
If your answer is yes, than it implies that you too — like me — have been falling prey to the Seven Deadly ills of modern life.
I’ve been successful in avoiding all seven of these ills as of the time of this writing.
Yes, at some point of my life, I have experienced all these which makes me sit here and think that I should be sharing these ills with the world. I — with confidence — hold these ills responsible for many of my weaknesses, unproductivity and misery. They have threatened me, sucked life’s joy and beauty out of me and have almost killed me. These are serious diseases and should be cured/removed/avoided.
I will now share my personal experiences with each and communicate why I consider them to be ills.
Here we go then…here are SEVEN DEADLY ILLS OF MODERN LIFE:
Facebook: It’s been a dozen years since I deleted my personal facebook account. In between, I have created random accounts to manage my business accounts.
The major reason I deleted my personal account all those years ago was because certain people I didn’t want anything-to-do-with started appearing there. Those included distant relatives and school-bullies (teachers included).
I was going through a transition in my life which included a lot of pdf learnings in my devices, and the last thing I wanted was their face in my sacred temple. Whenever any of those people appeared through suggestions or through posts of friends’ friend, I got agitated. I was clear with myself on the fact that I did not want to befriend them at any cost. Yet, facebook didn’t understand this! It got to a point where opening a facebook app meant anxiety. I thought: I can talk to my family members and close-friends on a cellphone, having them on facebook has less reward than the risk of those unnecessary craps appearing on my screen. I deactivated and have never had a personal account ever since.
A few years ago, when I started a publishing company, I felt the need for a facebook account. I created one with the company name and created a few business pages. My sole motive was to use facebook for work. A few months later, I was fighting with a random stranger in a stupid group! I was checking my account every ten minutes. I wanted more likes and comments on my post. I was getting more anxious. Things soon started to get personal. I began adding a lot of friends…and yet again, some unwanted people appeared! I deactivated the account soon — my business didn’t go anywhere through facebook promotions (paid/unpaid) anyway. Illness because: Facebook thrusts you into the rat race.
Instagram: Oh, facebook’s younger sibling:
how late you came into my life
and how early you disappeared! If facebook is racing in a crowded city, Instagram is you reaching the posh-area. It’s not just about running here, it’s about how hip you look while you run.
As in facebook, I opened an instagram account when I started that company. I was told that it was THE platform to reach out to young and ‘cool’ people. I created my personal account and a couple of business accounts. Looking back at it now — considering how uncool I am — I wonder what was I thinking back then!
I tried to use it for work — which for me is all about expressing who I am. But what I ended up doing was checking if each post I created fit into the norm. While this may be looked upon as being business-friendly or staying relevant to the trend, my experience was such that I had become something completely different. I didn’t say what was to be said, I said what should be said!
The original me vanished and was slowly being replaced by a cool funny youth. Once again, I am neither cool nor funny and I am proud of myself for that. Whenever I went to a place that looked nice (by posh standards), my eyes searched for a spot where I could take a photograph of myself and post it with a stylish caption. When I did it, I spent every five minute refreshing the page and scrolling down the human coolness. I hated it. My account got relatively relevant, but it was me no longer. I deactivated it. Illness because: Instagram pressurizes you to fit-in.
Twitter Where do I even start on this monster?!
During the course of my life, I must have activated-deactivated twitter on more than ten instances. I start one, gain a few followers, get fed up, deactivate. I start another, gain a few more followers, get even more fed up, deactivate again…
The supposed platform for the intellectuals attracted me for the same reason. I thought I could share wise opinions and change the world. How it ended up was, I found myself intoxicated in half-baked thoughts — always looking for a line that would increase more followers than one that was actually wise. Another thing that happened to me while I pushed for those words was I hoped some significant celebrity would retweet my stuff and I would be popular forever thereafter!
Of course, that didn’t happen, so I must have been fed up due to that too…but the bigger reason I suppose for being constantly fed up was that twitter was more for show than for a pro. I was getting exposed to mediocre thoughts disguised as world-changing just because a person with a great following had said it. Words have quick impact on me and twitter’s impact wasn’t healthy. I should rather spend time finishing, polishing my thoughts and reading finished, polished ones, I concluded. And so I deactivated. Illness because: Twitter is seeming intelligent, not being one.
Tiktok Okay, I am not familiar with this as much I am with the ones above. Yet, I have been around those who are and what I have noticed is: It’s goddamn addictive!
Uninterrupted supply of short-length videos with provocative music in the background that give you everything from the dance moves of that relative of yours to the review of that obscure restaurant in town means Tiktok has enough going-on within it to make you forget to turn off the stove. It doesn’t even allow you to get bored.
Although I do not use this platform as much, what I do know is that the more you enjoy shorter content, the more tedious longer works get for you. This means your patience dies and only quick stimulation can satisfy you. Depth gets boring. I don’t think all those are qualities you would want to miss.
Given Tiktok’s popularity, it has facebook’s rat-race quality within it. Also are twitter’s half-bakedness and TV with even more mediocre channels within it. This could only mean one thing: DISASTER!
Tiktok also seems to normalize otherwise embarrassing behavior. While it’s good not to get embarrassed at what you do, it is better for us all to not have normalized certain things. And there are lots of those certain things in Tiktok! Illness because: Tiktok satisfies your darkest urge.
Reddit While I had — without much intent — used Reddit a long time ago, I went back to it with purpose last year when I wanted to promote a link. I created a username and joined subreddits I thought would be relevant for me. Within a few days, I forgot the work purpose and started enjoying the opinions I and discussions I could read there. A few days later, I started posting comments and posts. A few more days later they started to get noticed. I wanted to post more. Comment more. I let my urge flow. I let it flow to such an extent that I still remember a morning where I shivered, fumed in anger trying to think of a reply to a comment of mine. This continued for a while.
Reddit is like school. There is knowledge there but you don’t pay attention because it is not provided well. There are bullies, and there are good guys. There are teachers. But one thing there is that, you don’t matter. YOU the person, the individual with an identity, with a context, doesn’t matter there. While it may be a nice thing considering how all other social media platforms exploit YOU, the discussions in Reddit don’t get humble and serious for that very reason. Illness because: Reddit devalues ideas.
Quora: It’s not at all a good idea to search all of your curiosities in Google. We should be able to answer certain questions ourselves — by reading and thinking about them. Yet in google you have the option to listen to credible people. It’s worse to ask random people about your curiosities in Quora. The flux of opinions you get means you will forget about thinking-for-yourself and turn into a mere pinball in the game of opinions of others. Illness because: Quora habit won’t let you think your own answers.
(Bonus) Entertainment Websites: Websites about sportsmen, movie-stars, musicians, etc. They are built and written to prove to you that the heroes they present and the works they do are superior to you in every way. That you are not like them. That you missed out being like them. That you should consume this and this to even slightly resemble them. Illness because: You can do better!
With experiences in all this, I have finally found some respite on Medium. It has allowed me to freely express ideas as these without having to worry how my neighbor will judge me, or how unkempt my hair must be, or will a Phd. from xyz trust me.
As of now, I don’t consider Medium to be among these ills. Hope it won’t get into the top seven anytime soon!
For those who live by the ultimate questions of their existence and yet cannot satisfy themselves with the religious-spiritual view. Who cannot convince themselves with the scientific-evolutionary narrative. For them, the whole situation of existing is like a long scary dream that just doesn’t stop. The meaning of life isn’t readily there!
In a world where we are taught to seek reason in all thoughts, feelings and actions, the perspective that there is still room for dissatisfaction on that ultimate question means the existence is the biggest joke, the biggest irony, the biggest paradox.
I don’t have enough courage to walk in the streets without reason. I can’t make a call to those whom I call friends without reason. Yet, here I am existing — without an indisputable truth on why I do so. Yes, if I believe hard enough or think casually enough I will be able to ignore, satisfy and convince myself on one view-point/narrative or the other, yet the fact that a question of such magnitude and relevance is open to interpretation is itself the biggest irony. Joke. Paradox.
This feeling is nothing new as far as I know. The history of philosophy is the history of this realization. Notably, there has been a Russian novelist, a German philosopher and host of French thinkers who have come up with one or the other solution to this ultimate irony.
Yet, to each generation and each individual who is foolish enough to go through it again, this problem hits newly in new places. It hits so damn hard, sucks the taste out of the juice, juice out of your life, and life out of you. It turns you into a zombie if there ever was one. You are already dead in your mind, the thing which thinks inside you is only there because your body hasn’t stopped breathing yet. In a world where they question you why you want to visit their venerated nation, you are mocked if you are the type who ponders upon the most important question that can ever be raised by any creature. Man is an animal after all. The most ironic. The most bizarre.
You have looked at animals and birds and have tried to learn the meaning of existence from them, haven’t you? But they don’t seem to care, do they? Or maybe you don’t understand them just like you can’t understand the meaning of your being. Even when you do interpret them, they all seem busy. Each and every one of them. Busy finding the next meal, busy finding the next mate, busy finding the next shelter, busy finding the next joy, busy in alertness from the next threat.
There can only be two explanations for their behavior: either they have been whispered the meaning of existence by their creator or they don’t have the ability to question. Either way, they go about fine. While you don’t see them laugh and giggle much, you don’t see them smoking and drinking in sorrow too! This perspective makes you realize that many of your human counterparts and indeed animals. Yes, they wear clothes, they speak well, they drive, they earn money, but they go by life just like those animals. But unlike in the case of animals and birds, you do know that they haven’t been whispered any secret by any god. You know that for sure, you have talked to them, you have been friends with them. You know them. They — given their quality — walking around as modern-humans with cell phones in their pocket and english in their tongue appear to you as yet another irony of existence.
But it’s not about them. It’s about you. If you could have been like them, you would have already been like them. You wouldn’t be writing or reading this line. And for you the fact remains that in a world where we are taught to seek reason in all thoughts, feelings and actions, the perspective that there is still room for dissatisfaction on that ultimate question means the existence is the biggest joke, the biggest irony, the biggest paradox.
Where is the meaning of life?
For one, the relentless search for meaning of life itself is a meaning.
Apart from that, the idea to create a meaning for yourself while you seek the real meaning can also be a meaning. This means, the things you do independent of the ultimate answer can be the penultimate meaning. You can mean to be happy, you can mean to be intelligent, popular, powerful, whatever. If the smell of money makes you get out of bed each day in excitement at the prospect of the day and the prospect of the progress you will make on the ultimate-meaning-finding process, money can be a great meaning. It ticks almost all boxes of human psychological yearns. You just have to ensure this forward-moving meaning isn’t engaging enough to distract you from your real meaning — the search for meaning.
Whether you will unlock the ultimate meaning isn’t that important. The fact that you have lived your life questioning the views that dissatisfy you and searching for your own way is, however, meaningful.
It’s beneficial to step back and observe the human race from a distance, forgetting about your own goals and concerns for a while. In the true Schopenhauerian ‘will-less contemplation’ sense.
The distance has to be perfect. In true Nietzschean sense:
Do not stay in the field!
Nor climb out of sight.
The best view of the world
Is from the medium height.
The view from this distance is worth every sight of it. I mean, just look at us:
The leader of animals, dwelling in this blue marble sort of thing which itself hangs in empty space in a monotonous cycle. Yet, we aren’t inspired by our mother: we don’t want to do the same thing over and over again. We want ‘progress’, we want to grow into something else.
‘Everything has to evolve,’ we say, ‘the earth that you see today wasn’t the same a million years ago!’
We are unique in this sense. We come up with these half-baked theories and understandings of the world and justify our actions. In fact, we come up with particularly those theories that justify our actions. It’s like we as beings only see what we want to see. Our desires are primary. Knowledge comes later. For instance, we don’t say, ‘look how disciplined earth is towards her father…’. We don’t say it because we do not like discipline. We do not want to settle. We want to eat and grow. Eat and grow even if our diet turns us into matricides. But we will come up with some theory to justify that too!
Who are we, by the way?
Some say they have evidence that some god created us, some prove that we are a result of a natural process. But I think both those views are misleading. Distractions. To hide a simple truth: we are nothing!
Yes, we are monsters who like to consume and grow but apart from that, we are absolutely nothing! Kill us now and I don’t think that ‘god’ will even notice. Yes…yes the universe is conscious through us…But what I also get is that it is yet another justification for our existence and appetite.
So the answer to the question above is this: we are nothing apart from greedy monsters. We should have long ago said to ourselves that we are greed manifested in physical form. But there’s nothing wrong with that. Greed is a virtue. It is a virtue because it ensures survival. How else does a creature like this, which believes it has conscience and knows of what it has done in the past, continue on?
Another verification of our nature is through what we worship. Among us, we revere the ones who are the most greedy. While we do this, we are doing nothing else than appreciating our essence. There’s nothing wrong with it. Once again, how else do we go on?
Enough about greed. It’s our driving force. It’s our essence.
Yes, we love science not because we love to learn, we love it because it equips us with powerful guns — and a shot at a good career, of course!
Then there’s entertainment. Our fuel. We of today need it more than the real one. Once we thought the grass was green on the other side and that was our meaning, but then globalization happened. We saw the reality.
If we had meaning other than greed, we would probably be celebrating love and all other feelings. But we have no time nor energy for those things because they consume more. They trigger our imagination. They do things to us. They make us think more. What we need is the emptying of the thoughts. How else do we reset from the exhaustion of constant want? — No, not with a Dostoevskian novel in hand. That’s why, the bulk of us today watch people review movies instead of we ourselves watching one. The former is engaging, the latter stimulating.
‘I watched it, so you don’t have to.’ = ‘I live life, therefore I don’t want you to.’
Humans = Greed + Entertainment. Where everything done for both is pragmatic while if you seek to feel the truth with your flute, you waste your time.
‘What’s your real job?’
Where are we now?
Our biggest achievement is that we have managed to build computers. If we ever needed anything to prove to ourselves that we are superior than the rest, computers have done that for us. They have shown to us that we are capable of creating an entirely new being from scratch. They are our ego inflations. No wonder the most greedy do business on it! And we talk about artificial intelligence now as if we are scared, but what we are actually doing beneath is gloating at our accomplishment. We won’t allow any other being to rule over us! The so-called best among us don’t even allow a normal human being to enter into their territory without years of worship and application.
We have created vessels to take us to the stars. We look at the sight of rocket launches and floating stations with a deep glad sigh. ‘We have achieved so much,’ we pat ourselves in the back. It’s another one of those things that has validated our superiority. One has seen fishes swim and birds fly in the air, who has seen a creature reach the outer space! We try to convince ourselves that going to a different planet will somehow solve our problems where in fact all we are doing with those dreams is trying to fill the void: we are nothing! With a fantasy:
‘May be we will encounter god — who has been sleeping — along the way and wake Him up. Or we will encounter other clever beings like us and life will be meaningful again.’
Meaningful as in new wars, new politics, new golds…
So what else do we aspire to?
What is happiness, anyway?
A neurological condition arising out of the perception that an individual has attained what it set out to attend. It could have meant a lot once upon a time, but not anymore.
What has the individual of today set out to attend?
A piece of cake in this celebration of human coronation. A few more views, a few more likes, a few more subsribers, a few houses, a few more sex, a few cars, a few more countries. A few more hours of forgeting of the existential dread.
What is the lesson humans teach each other?
Don’t kill yourself. You too can eat and grow. That’s the meaning you’ve been after.
Yesterday was the first day of my new experimentation:
Stopping the flow of a regular habit.
The habit = Regularly watching senseless videos on YouTube.
Yesterday, I successfully tolerated all my impulses to touch the YouTube app on my phone or press y + Ctrl Enter on my laptop web browser.
The reasons of experiment were:
I got aware that I was watching way too much senseless videos
I worried about how those videos might be affecting my feelings and imagination
I wanted to find out if watching videos contributed to my constant agitation and anxiety.
The worst part was that I had developed the habit of playing nonsensical cricket discussion videos on YouTube in the background every time I tried to go to sleep. The app on my phone tells me that Monday alone, I watched around 4 hrs of videos on YouTube.
So, yesterday morning I thought it would be a nice idea to go cold-turkey on my video-watching habits and see what changes take place in me.
Achievement: I didn’t watch a single video.
I’ll go over a couple important things I was thinking yesterday. It was surprising how long it had been since I thinked with such flow. It appeared as though my habit of watching videos had turned off my brain.
One major change I would like to express right away is that I slept well and dreamt vivid after a while.
Anyway, here are the thoughts:
Be careful on whom you listen to: Listening to ordinary people on a regular basis can be disastrous to your life. Ordinary people: They are those who aren’t related to us and who aren’t our friends; they are those who aren’t mature in an intellectual and emotional sense. Now, it’s not hard to notice that platforms like YouTube, TikTok and more or less all social media are filled with such people. Regularly listening to them, especially on sensitive topics, means we are being deliberately or unconsciously led by ignorance because they don’t care about us (since they don’t know us) and because they aren’t mature enough to teach us. Which, as you may imagine, is not at all healthy.
People who don’t know us but have have devoted their life to learning— even if they are strangers to us — might have acquired some wisdom to impart. If their hard-earned knowledge might not be useful to us, they might not be harmful either. But any bicky-dicky with an opinion can provide us nothing but senseless information.Even the advice that they give can have serious consequences to our thinking as what they provide aren’t the product of care-for-us or hard-learning.
There are many with the habit of sharing their intimate information on the internet, which gets videod and then commented on by random strangers. My point is, if sharing our feelings on social media (or hearing about your problems there) was to solve our crisis, why would we need friends/families, why would we need art and why would we need education and learning? It won’t work. Our issues work deeper than the level at which social media interactions occur!
Is my video watching, my mental weakness? — Noticing how even a short abstinence from video watching had opened the floodgates of my thoughts, I wonder if I watch videos or stroll around the internet when I am afraid to think for myself or weak to use my own imagination.
When I go on a YouTube video watching binge, I have the choice of selecting from millions of videos, which allows me to skip or fast-forward a video if I don’t find it to be as mind-numbing or enjoyable as intended.
Which may imply that I have been using videos as a means of sucking-up all of my thoughts — to escape from my own head — which I do think is a weakness because, in ideally world, I would want to solve my thought-problems rather than ignore them.
What I did during the break, however, was read books and what I found amazing was that reading a book now feels like a meditation. Now, considering how some thinkers of the pre-internet/TV days condemned too much of book reading as a sign of reading-so-you-don’t-have-to-think, one can imagine how deep they lived than us!
Is video watching a form of manipulation? — When I was younger, I remember learning a common success lesson from my grandfather and from some ‘you can do it’ book: ‘Successful/great’ people don’t spend their time around petty people or gossiping. They dwell in great ideas and deeds. While thinking on my bed, I wondered if any successful person (not in financial/social sense but as in the master of his/her art) of today would spend their time watching senseless YouTube videos. They would probably be either honing their craft or reading a great book on life.
This made me question if senseless video watching is equivalent to spending time around petty people and gossiping. Which would mean such watching is a form of manipulation from the ‘system’ side — to keep you ordinary, to keep you a sheep! Why else would such platforms exist?
That’s it, those are some significant thoughts that I thought during the break of a single day. I will see if I can sustain this discipline for a little longer. If I can do it, I will definitely share what days of absence has taught me. But if I can’t, there wouldn’t be much point sharing.
If I can continue this break, it may teach me the advantages of video watching and I may end up watching even more of them. It may also mean I will quit video watching altogether and maybe, become an activist.
Before getting into why I consider physical pain to be the greatest teacher, let me give some background.
I am one of those who constantly and intentionally creates problems for himself. Even when there is nothing significantly alarming in life, I have the habit of questioning and worrying about things such that I miss everything else going on, every emotion flowing in and need someone else to remind me of the absurdity of what I have been thinking and worrying about. That someone doesn’t have to be a highly intellectual or spiritual person. That something doesn’t have to be sophisticated or philosophical. Hearing a ten year old kid react while playing a video-game can do the trick. But such encounters rarely occur.
Believe me, I have read and heard the best of preachers preach and the greatest of teachers teach.
‘Thou shalt not do this…’, ‘You have been viewing the world wrong…’, ‘This is the proper way…’…they say.
But for me, what they preach and teach has always been like listening to some music you don’t like. You can hear the music playing, you understand what’s going on…but it just doesn’t touch you.
That’s my character.
Now I want to share my present situation:
I am going through excruciating pain in my mouth because of a couple of rotten teeth. It has persisted for a couple of days during which it has grabbed my attention, sucked my energy, has made me scream in anguish, has taken buzz away from beer, clouds away from smoke, taste away from food and relaxation away from a cup of tea. It has eclipsed my entire being and my thoughts haven’t been able to focus anywhere else apart from the region that hurts.
Under this situation, however, when I move my mind around things, I am amazed at my stupidity for constantly and intentionally creating problems for myself when there are none!
‘Everything is so simple…why was I complicating them?’ I ask myself.
‘This goes here, this there…this fits here…that doesn’t fit there…It’s all so simple. WHAT WAS THERE TO WORRY?!’ I question myself.
This is why I call physical pain the greatest teacher. While I sit here as a being suffering from the complications of its own body, I don’t have time nor space to get lost in mental forests of gloom. For one, it is because I don’t have the energy. Which makes me question whether my anxieties and mental issues are the result of me not being able to apply my energy appropriately. While all the energy of my being is sucked by the consciousness of physical anguish there is little left for the reveries of mind. This is why, perhaps, the mind focuses on the real.
Other thing I notice is the absurdity of problem-creating itself. While I sit here trying to figure out ways through which I can rid myself of this anguish, my state-of-mind is that of the issues of the body. The body which is real. I think I look at the thing that usually bothers me with the same state-of-mind which crops all unnecessary parts and perhaps, the mind focuses on the real. Here there is no place for problem-creating. Things are the way they are!
I don’t know how long this pain will last. In fact, I am about to go visit a doctor. But I don’t want to forget the lessons that this pain has taught me. Lessons about my reality, human reality. About my energy, human energy. Lessons about attention and conscience. Lessons I could never learn from gurus and philosophers.
This physical pain has given me hints on what I shall do and avoid. What I should try to constantly realize. Some part of me wishes some kind of physical pain always remains in me. But again, it’s not comfortable. I have to get rid of this anguish and this is what matters as of now. I need to go to the doctor for I have tried toleration and bearance but none has worked. I have tried homemade ways to avoid pain killers, hasn’t worked. The pain is real. I need to trust the system now. I need to trust a doctor. I need to focus on what is real. I need to do that which is there — not worry about that which may not be.
Right now, I don’t have enough energy or time to question the morality of medical systems!
You notice your anxiety and it burns such that you cannot help but question why you are feeling that way. By then, you have tried everything: distraction, inspiration, perspiration.
Questioning the reasons for anxiety is the only thing left to do and when you reach to that phase, half of it is already gone. ‘Why didn’t I do this before?’ you wonder. You begin digging, imagining, hypothesizing: what is causing this anxiety?
You go through multiple scenarios: past, present, future. Friends, family, self. Mental, emotional, physical. You trial and error through them. One moment you feel you have found the cause: memory of your bullies from school is causing this anxiety…but something doesn’t fit. ‘I have solved it before,’ you say and move on. Another moment: fear of failure! But still something doesn’t feel okay. The anxiety doesn’t leave! ‘No there’s something else,’ you say.
‘Oh, the absurdity of choosing a career of a writer’
‘Yes…but no not this time…I have dealt with it already. I have ideas about it…I don’t need to be anxious…it’s something else’.
And then you think:…it’s not the cause that’s the cause. It’s the anxiety that’s the cause. It’s the anxiety — which like a python dwells inside you. Yeah, it sleeps a lot too. But when it wakes up…it consumes you. It sees complications where there are none. It feels wrong when there are none. It sees another python when there is none. It may not only be the effect of sharp perception which sees the fragility in everything, It may be the cause of wrong perceptions. It maybe behaving like the way they call quantum particles do. In this case, it is both the cause and effect.
As long as it is effect, you can put the python to sleep (by digging the cause)and move on until the python wakes up again. And then you do it again. But if it’s a cause? What do you do? — Medication? Meditation? Masturbation? But, they’re all temporary!
Since I have mentioned the term ‘quantum’ above, I once read Einstein saying this:
…Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.
I don’t know in which context he said it, but he said it good. The anxiety as the cause is similar. It’s some sort of weakness that lurks inside you and creates problem after problem. Time and time again. Why?!
It doesn’t let you have fun with your family, your food, your film. Doesn’t let you be at peace with your pet, your poetry, your plant. Nor does it let you do anything. It lurks and it hurts. Burns and it…It sucks!
It sucks color out of you, joy out of you, love out you, life out of you. And they say it is the sharp perception of the impending threat! I don’t wanna be sharp.
A better question then:
If you are constantly suffering from anxiety, are you shrewd or ill?
(I have written this and now the python seems to have gone to sleep. I wonder when will it wake up again? Oh, wait…it’s back! Apparently, my thinking about it woke it up)
The pursuit of truth for human beings (Human knowledge) is often depicted as being a linear affair. It either goes up:
We, evolved from apes, have managed to create computers, peek into our cells and now we have rockets and now we are heading into unknown space, time, and new dimensions and it is only a matter of time until we will discover the truth!
The Truth: We, created by God…shall return back to God.
Either way, it’s a straight line. A timeline.
But I am having other thoughts:
The entire existence exists in the form of entanglement in our mind(s). Everything we have known so far, Every religion, science, art, philosophy, Every simple or complex knowledge, All our understanding, All our discoveries: are merely the process of untangling part(s) of a larger entanglement. The entanglement being our knowledge of our existence as a whole.
We untangle a knot, get excited and like a game of crossword puzzle, it leads to untangling of many other subsequent tangles. We then think we have unearthed the truth. Get excited. Oh, the joy of untangling!
Until… we hit upon another crisis…Time to untangle some more! Yet we don’t look at things as being in a tangle. We like to think of things as being linear. It feels as if every untangle is the last obstacle.
a quality that you either have or want to have in yourself
In the traditional sense, this ‘special worth’ of Merriam Webster is socially given. If any qualities in a person of any given time and place is deemed worthy and ‘good’ by the society, that quality ends up being a virtue. But I don’t think that it should be the case. An individual should be allowed to determine what virtue he/she would want in themselves and fight or convince others that the virtue they have selected is more worthy then the one prevalent if that is not the case. It is about fighting for the true against prejudice.
While we’re critiquing traditional thinking, I am reminded of one Nietzsche from the 19th century.
In his book Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche talks about ideally have only one virtue. Saying how qualities evolved from the maturity of one’s passion is the best route to discovering one’s virtue, he also goes on to say that while it is illustrious to have multiple virtues, it is a hard ask. He says multiple virtues will eventually envy each other as they all vie for the highest position within you.
But I think multiple virtues can be managed together. For that to be possible though, we need generalization and a little act of symbolism.
At this moment, I want to share my virtues with you. (Not what I have, but what I seek in me.)
These virtues as of now are:
Now, what I did to make sure these qualities I want to have in me won’t fight and compete with each other as Nietzsche warned, I have used symbolism to turn all three into one.
First, let me quickly define what I mean by those words above.
Calmness for me is the quieting of thoughts such that they go about slowly, gently and smoothly.
Strength for me is when your thoughts stop and ignore fearly emotions. Strength is when your own thoughts dominate and beat the hell out of petty and harmful thoughts.
Depth for me is thoughts reaching the root of everything it encounters.
I initially didn’t want to write and publish this article because all this is my personal work in progress and I may not have the same thinking about these things tomorrow as of now. But then I wanted to go ahead and do it, for reasons I do not know yet.
Well then, with that out of the way, I want to talk about the generalizing and the symbolizing.
I searched for a single thing (symbol) that would successfully have all the three qualities I have in it.
What could that be which is calm, strong and deep? — And then I got it:
Ocean surfaces can be calm. Oceans are mighty strong. Oceans are seriously deep.
Okay, I do know how ocean surfaces are violent and disturbing too! Just like our thoughts. But since we are humans, we can decide how we would want the waters to flow.
In Nepal, it is difficult to find an intellectual unstained by Hindu/Buddhist or some sort of political ideology. This tendency might be a global phenomenon, yet, in Nepal, it stretches to a nauseating degree, so much so that you can correctly guess an intellectual’s entire idea-set by merely knowing his/hers religious/political inclination. The person I am writing about today is Laxmi Prasad Devkota.
He struggled with both those elements and yet managed to live and create in a way that included and transcended them.
You can’t predict him, you can’t guess him and you get both annoyed and exalted by his spontaneity and randomness: in other words, by his poetic genius.
There’s a lot of myth surrounding the man.
Stories of him giving away his coat to the poor; writing lengthy poems in cigarette packs; struggling immensely with money; being sent to Ranchi (a city in India known for mental treatment) — are abound. It was in this context that he was called a geographical mistake by a Brit whose name I cannot recall.
Yet some had enough sense to recognize him and call him a Nepali Mahakavi (Great Poet). But apart from that, his works and ideas aren’t popular in a folk sense and his presence is mostly limited within dull school-books.
Yes, such is the society of Nepal and such was the man born here: ahead of his time, inappropriately in space!
He mostly wrote poems (epic, short, metered, unmetered) spanning from Nepali Shakuntala to Prometheus. His seminal work Munamadan is still considered to be the greatest work of Nepali Literature. It is a tragedy about a man who leaves his wife and mother to go to Lhasa for a better financial life.
He wrote songs. He also wrote a lot of short stories and a novel.
His essays are brilliant and it is in this context that I would like to introduce his ideas to people who aren’t familiar with him.
A few years ago I published a collection of poetry in English named PARANOIA:
When I reached to the final stages the work — set to publish — I had the idea of using my work as a medium to interpret a couple of Nepali writers — in English. I translated certain lines I liked from Devkota’s essay collection and placed it in.
The translations include his thoughts on a wide array of things: creativity, art, science, philosophy, spirituality, education, life, god, etc.
I now want to quit this rambling of mine and insert those translations/interpretations so that you can judge and hopefully enjoy his ideas on your own.
Truth shines through feelings…
In the heart lies the luminosity of God.
Feelings or emotions are primary
Desiring and thinking come later.
To be devoid of these four is the sign of being a beast.
Difficulty doesn’t imply depth.
Difficulty doesn’t mean Art,
Incomprehensibility doesn’t have any value.
To manufacture machines.
And the soul desires a thing,
education provides something else.
All I’ve learned till B.A
in three years
I can put into little children’s minds better,
That we usually call Education
is making man stupid.
Creation Love Art
And love is the chief element of creation
Whilst Art is the chief action of love
I yearn to see:
What lies there in the heart!
I want to bow my head
As if the all pervading God is scolding me.
I know that I am a sinner.
The beautifully illustrated Truth is Art
Which springeth from the creative imagination.
The truth lies in our life
and unless it comes from the formlessness to the form:
we do not realize it.
Civilization hasn’t yet started.
We haven’t learned to respect life.
Real progress will start
The day our sentiment of brotherhood gets firm
As long as we aspire to become great in this world
or hold feelings to do things
and show our pride,
Vairagya is impossible.
To doubt is better,
as it helps understand,
Question is everything, answer is maturity.
It is cowardice to not move forward in opportunity.
We cannot live in a life devoid of danger.
What Science does not
Science cannot satisfy man’s curiosity
and he searches for glimpses
beyond the Sciences
through the magic of emotional and imaginative world,
where man feels self-satisfied as if he is near the truth.
What Art not
The works done by mathematical formulas,
even though are the works of brain,
do not deserve to be called Art.
Painting is Art, Photography is not.
Where Art springs
When the creative imagination sees new dreams
Rising from imitation
And maneuvers its works in its own manner,
Let’s get small
There is fun in being small
We can see others’ significance dance around.
There is pleasure in the peacefulness of ego;
We can see others’ pretense.
The energy to manufacture Art
Doesn’t come from the mere superficial darshan of objects
nor does it comes from mere intellect and knowledge;
It comes from those subtle consciences,
Which find emotional caressing from divine experience
rising above bestial eyes.
The beast merely looks and remains satisfied,
but man tries to touch the heart of everything.
Teacher and teaching
Science cannot locate everything
and our psychological studies end
within the darkness of the intellect.
This is why no teacher can teach.
In the divine talent of the Creator
The word was born
studying this creation
attain clear messages of
Divine Beauty and
In the creative imagination of God,
Totality works and provides beautiful
lines and colors and forms
to the Truth of God.
We realize the ‘beautiful’ through the sensing of Truth
and where there is no Truth there isn’t beauty.
This Self-Illustrating form of God
manifests in artistic creativity such that
truth becoming beautiful descends to the outer forms of the senses.
practicality is limited and
philosophy, intellect is blind.
I enjoy imaginative truth the most
and through it find the glimpses of God
I enjoy gambling,
As I find ample opportunities there
To engage my mind and study.
Why is God silent?
It is the consequence of the
Western Civilization that,
God doesn’t speak in
Wind and Water.
I speak with the shadows
The optical world is merely
The manifestation of the inside
And all solid objects are liquid.
In the heart of the poet
The rocks speak
And the leaves have tongue.
Those who say,
The world doesn’t speak
Those who say,
There isn’t life in the hills and the trees and the stars
Elucidates the affinity
Between man and God
It is Human-Heart and Imagination
Man seeks to
His identification with the unknown
And in the world of the known
Seeks for the kingdom of the unknown
For studying the life of any culture
There’s nothing more enlightening
Then the Arts of that culture.
We feel we’ve reached near to the Creator
When that eye in our inner world opens
Can bring to form the unavailable and the irregular
And fill it with colours.
A small spark of
The fundamental creative dream energy of God
He tries to create
Runs after fresh magic to improve the world
Listens to the call of the unknown,
Ascending beyond sights and sounds
Seeks for the inner sparks and sounds
He turns forms into sounds and words into pictures
He dislikes boundaries
He wants to fly and pluck
Peek from darkness and
Steal the fire from heaven.
Work and Art
In a simple table,
The work of carpentry is done
If a carpenter
Creates a table as if a beautiful dream
Art it becomes.
We call those creations Art
Which are within the boundaries of truth and beauty
If they’ve got the natural affect
For the heart of life.
Empty dreams aren’t Art
As long as they don’t get published.
Truth and Beauty
Beauty arises from the prodigious consciousness of truth
Before talking in detail about bad thoughts, let me give some context.
A terrible nightmare woke me up at 3 AM this morning. After that, I went into a 30 minutes or so of ridiculous post-dream analysis.
I felt terrible. Weak. The dream and its thoughts were miserable!
I restrain myself from using the lessons from Vedic and Buddhist spirituality I once learnt. I dumped them after practicing for a lot of years, because I felt they were limiting my world-view and perspectives.
But this morning I the petty thoughts were intolerable. The more I argued with myself, the more I suffered.
So, after a long gap, I took out that spiritual-weapon. Focusing, drowning and losing myself on a feeling of nothingness!
It helped me fall asleep.
But that episode is still haunting me right now. Like a wound it persists. I don’t know what to do with it. It is injuring and damaging.
I have decided to write about them here to see what happens!
Thoughts are the ultimate entities of this human existence of ours. I have elsewhere tried to justify this statement. Thoughts play a crucial role in our knowing.
True and False are also essential to us.
If I am hiking in the woods and a thought suddenly says — A tiger is approaching, my immediate reaction will be to be alert and then look around. I do this because I want a proof of that thought. If I don’t find any, I relax a tad and walk on. This is because I haven’t found any justified truth to what the thought told me.
But still why my thought may have told me that is a question that won’t let me relax completely. If I can relax a bit, it’s only because I found a certain false in the thought statement.
However, if I notice birds flying or other animals making hasteful noise when I look around, I have found some evidence to support that thought, which increases my heartbeat, gets me sweating and emotionally injures me after which I start to figure out mechanisms of defence. This is because I found a certain truth in the thought.
But the differentiation between true and false is not an easy task as thoughts in themselves do not provide us with any distinction. Thoughts in isolation can be either. False thoughts can be judged as being true and vice-versa. As happened to me this morning, I panicked because I took the thoughts as being true which may or may not have been the case.
This is where a faculty in us called thinking is to be used for — locating evidence.
the facts, signs or objects that make you believe that something is true
In the case of the tiger in the woods, I searched for facts, signs or objects that had to prove to me that the tiger was there. In the case where I did not find any, I relaxed and moved on, whereas when I found some, I panicked and began thinking self-defence.
But figuring out the evidence wasn’t so easy this morning. For one, the dream and the subsequent thoughts told me things that were detrimental which was followed by imaginative ‘evidence’ which then emotionally injured me.
Unlike the tiger-case, I had no way of identifying facts, signs or objects as the thoughts were not about my immediate physical environment. They were about my self-worth and poor-decisions.
I then tried to argue with the evidence it provided by searching for counter-evidences which were again countered…
Now, how do I correctly gather evidence to judge the true or false thoughts that are about things as subjective as self-worth and decisions?
In other words, How do I deal with injurious subjective thoughts?
If my thoughts tell me that I am worthless, justified by an immediate evidence of me not earning money currently, which then injures me; how do I deal with them?
The path I chose was of ignoring — focusing, drowning and losing myself on a feeling of nothingness!
Is that it? The best solution? Is it healthy?
My purpose behind writing this was to just interpret whatever had happened this morning with me. As I have been writing, I have been noticing how absurd but effective the spiritual method is. While it would have been a stupid act in the woods, it does seem to be a worthwhile act in the safety of bed. That is, in the domains of subjective thoughts.
But in the long-term it seems hazardous. Since it is like tucking away an object of discomfort, I think it won’t stop thoughts from haunting you after a certain period. As I said in the beginning, while I did manage to fall asleep, the wound hasn’t left me.
A long-term approach such as that is sure to keep one away from addressing the issues at hand turning one’s life into one with ignorance. It was one of the reasons I had stopped using their teachings altogether because I thought they were limiting my world-view and perspectives.
So what is the solution?
I think I have found a few:
(Please remember that I am only talking about injurious thoughts related to Self-Worth and Decisions)
Irrespective of the situation and threat, the only thing we can do that will not have any repercussions in both short and long-term and will only help us in dealing with the injury better is to be strong. Come what may I will deal with it could be the best thing to remind yourself during a crisis.
While seeking evidence may not be as easy as in the immediate and physical scenarios, I think we should try to look for real-life proof of the doubts we are having. Trying to answer questions such as — What is the basis of the thoughts I am having? How can I prove it? What may have triggered it? can prove to be helpful as they take us away from the injury into the lands of scrutiny, where we have control (somewhat). This questioning I believe is the apt method to judge the true or false thoughts that are about things as subjective as self-worth and decisions
Remind yourself of deeds done:
This is where every deed ever done comes into play. Reminding ourselves of each act of success achieved, however trivial, can prove to be very useful. Maybe it is a game won, a road travelled, an adventure, an obstacle that had been overcome!
For me the purpose behind writing this was to — firstly, interpret what had happened to me earlier and then to hopefully heal myself through it.
I think I have successfully managed to do it (for now).
Writing for me is very important for many reasons. I am feeling the beauty and reality of one of those right now.
I asked myself about the future of thinking after I noticed how alert I was getting using my phone, laptop and TV.
I tried to understand the alertness and discovered that there was a voice inside my head that constantly reminded me that whatever I do in those devices is being surveilled,monitored and analyzed.
What is happening now is that this alertness is getting contagious. The hangover from device-usage is getting into my head. I am getting alert while Ithink, see or talk sensitive stuff in the same manner.
As if my thoughts and views are being surveilled, monitored and analyzed.
Is this what will happen to our thoughts in the future?
I have often found myself in the middle of philosophical arguments fuming with anger, full of anxiety. Speaking or typing at the speed of light what my fast-beating heart and an inflating ego demand of me.
While my intention behind discussing ‘deep’ things with others is almost always to share and hear things about I have been reading, thinking or writing, I haven’t been able to stop myself from getting petty to the point of attempting to humiliate the other person with all kinds of insults to his/her intellectual capacities.
Thisgot me questioning:
How can I handle such philosophical arguments better?
There are a couple of things I am clear about:
I *want* to have such discussions
I *don’t want* to win the arguments. I just want to learn a thing or two, boast a bit and have a good time at the end of it all!
So, how can I stop such philosophical arguments from getting petty?
How can I handle such arguments better?
The first thing is to see what goes on during such arguments by trying to identify some significant factors at work.
We have to remember that Man – being an intellectually advanced (relatively) animal – is very sensitive towards its intellectual abilities.
No normal or dignified human being would ever want to be told that his/her cognitive abilities are of a low-grade. It would be like challenging a python on its strangulation abilities by strangulating it. The python would obviously want to prove you wrong.
I think this factor is at work our petty philosophical arguments.
The dignity factor
What I noticed was, most of us arguers believe that the ability to philosophize is the highest kind of intellectual ability. It’s just the way our culture is set up.
But it is justifiable because the ability to philosophize implies the ability to use our brains for something other than trifles. Everyone can trifle! Something other than practicality. Everyone can be practical! To dwell in the domains of abstractions and values. Now, not everyone can do that is what we believe! The same reason we value science, mathematics and engineering too. Apart from the money.
I think this is why no one wants to lose such arguments. As it would imply intellectual loss. Defeat.
From this angle, it seems as if philosophical arguments are the best test of cognitive abilities.
At this point we can wonder why it has never become a popular sport or a reality show. There is so much at stake!
The other factor I found was Cultural/Identity Sensitivity.
Philosophical arguments touch on areas that form the basis of any culture and identity. Religion, Ethnicity, Nationalism, all these have subjective worldview at their bases. Philosophical arguments are merely debates at core: The nature of reality, Creator, Rights and Wrongs, Why x is better than y, etc.
These are substantial stuff. No wonder people get agitated! Some even kill others for their views…This is a dangerous territory!
The other factor is emotional sensitivity.
If Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra has helped me get over severe nervousness and anxiety, then I certainly would be emotionally offended if anyone calls it merely a reverie of a madman.
These are the factors I have discovered as of now. I will update if I find more.
Now, what about the answers to these questions:
How can I stop the arguments from getting petty?
How can I handle such arguments better?
The best solution is to stop participating in such arguments altogether.
But as I mentioned above, I do not want to do that.
So, in order to stop it from getting petty to the point of anger and harassment, I should remember that the person in the argument who remains calm the longest has a better intellectual ability. This is self-explanatory.
Of all abilities, I believe that controlling and directing thoughts, desires and feelings are the most difficult. If I manage to remain calm throughout, then I believe my ego will be silenced.
At the same time, I should remember that I always have the option of walking out of such arguments or not participating at all. If I am having an argument it means I have voluntarily participated in it. Therefore, I should be able to reasonably listen to others and calmly defend my opinions and learnings. Even if it concerns me culturally and emotionally. If I can do that, my ego again will surely keep quiet.
I had developed a desire-management formula. I have been implementing it for more than a couple of years now. The reason for sharing?
It has proved to be very effective.
Now that I have fully committed myself to a life as a writer, there are a few elements which I think are essential to such a lifestyle.
This desire management is simply an allocation of those elements to the wants and needs embedded in almost all of us.
I had been very random and all-over-the-place with my thoughts, desires, time, work and life management. This particular formula has helped me get a little bit more organized. It may be of help for others as well, irrespective of the profession.
I hereby publicize this formula as The ABCD formula as it contains the (fundamentals) ABCDs of my existence and life.
ABCD = A, B, C and D desires. All four are distinct sets of various sub-desires. Those which are common with each other are organized in the same set. This way, each set is a whole desire or as I like to call it — the wills. Each will is named according to the most generic term that applies to all sub-desires.
Let’s dive into the desire management formula.
It stands for Ability.
Ability is the state of being able to do something. It is about skill, talent and capability. It is the absolute means, the foundation without which none of my other wills or sub-desires can be fulfilled.
My desires in terms of the abilities I want/need are as follows:
Ability to Think
Ability to Learn and Understand
Ability to pursue freedom
Ability to love
Ability to experience
Ability to enjoy
Ability for aesthetics
Ability to earn and survive
Ability to be strong
Ability of Wisdom
Thinking, learning, freedom, love, enjoyment, aesthetics, earning and surviving are my sub-desires. All these are grouped in the ‘A’ set.
With the A set, my purpose is — to remind myself that in order to look far, I need a good telescope.
It’s all about maintaining, polishing, updating and upgrading my abilities to do things. It’s about sharpening the tool, so to speak. It’s about the tool. It’s about the lenses and the vehicles.
It stands for Being.
Being is about existing in a certain way with certain values and ideals. It is about personal ethics and feelings. It incorporates everything I am, want-to-be and will-to-be as a free-being, human-being, son, father, etc. etc.
My desires in terms of the being are as follows:
Life and World Experiences (including Travels)
I want to be as greedless as possible. At the same time I want to ensure I am not petty. I want love, freedom, strength, free-thinking, experiences, travels, aesthetics and joys in life. All these are grouped into the ‘B’ set.
With the B set, my purpose is — to remind myself of things that really make me who I am. My real purpose in life. My being. My essence.
It’s all about being who I am with this. I have settled on these sub-desires after years of hard work. My work with the B set is to ensure I don’t ‘sell-out’ (Whatever that may mean!)
It stands for Seeing. But is written C. Hence, C is an apt alphabet. Plus, it makes it easier as it perfectly fits well into the ABCD system which makes it easier for me to remember whatever I am trying to. I hereby use the term C-ing for seeing.
C-ing is about learning, knowing and understanding various subjects and elements of my life and of this existence of ours.
I had earlier mentioned about my life as a writer. My desire to — learn throughout my life was one of the things responsible for this choice. Now, it is also a necessity to sustain that choice. If I want to continue being a writer, I have to try to learn all the things all the time.
All the subjects I find interesting, relevant and important are covered under the C will or the C set which contains 3 distinct subsets.
My desires in terms of the knowledges of things I want/need are organized as follows:
All three are acronyms.
HG-HE-STEP includes knowledge of things that are somewhat social or humanitarian in nature.
E: Experiences (of People)
sPa includes knowledges of and via three tools of knowledge acquisition:
This sub-set includes looking at the previous subset through all three lenses (for instance, looking at technology from a scientific lens as well as from a philosophical one) along with studying the fields themselves and their interconnections.
For example, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Arts, Art of Science, Scientific Art, etc. etc.
POLE™ is all about my subjective, intuitive understanding and conclusions of everything possible.
™: Thought Management
Alternatively, I also use: EEEGSSTTPP
which stands for: Existential, Experiential, Economic, Geographic, Scientific, Social, Technological, Temporal, Political and Philosophical knowledge.
But it is difficult to memorize. C-subsets are much more convenient.
With the C set, my purpose is — to remind myself of things I want to and have to learn.
It’s all about organizing, balancing, selecting and choosing the subjects to learn.
It stands for Doing.
Doing is all about the actions I need to take and the things I need to do to fulfill the desires of ABC. This is through which I get things done. It’s about setting and implementing goals, objectives, strategies and tactics.
At the point of this writing, my D is threefold:
I got to write, publish and be active in various activities apart from those two. This part is subject to much change and adaptations.
With the D set, my purpose is — to remind myself and ensure I successfully do what I need to do.
You may have noticed how they are all interconnected. I think this is the beauty of this desire management formula (for me obviously!).
I intensely explored the internet for doses of wisdom. Philosophers, Spiritualists, Poets, Writers, Filmmakers, Artists, Scientists — I was on a mission to find and understand everyone who thought freely and deeply.
I used to jump around fields — at times philosophy, at times spirituality, literature, cinema, arts, science…where, finding a thinker I related to — I would consume everythought available on the internet of his/hers. I wasn’t committed to any specific field.
Deep inside however, I was in fact seeking ‘the one’ ultimate thinker to whom I could submit myself intellectually-whole-heartedly. And based on whose style of thinking, I could build and develop mine!
A case of seeking the giant on whose shoulder I was to stand.
It was during such explorations that I stumbled upon the ideas of an old person from India discovered under the tag: Indian Spiritualists.
I had followed quite a few from India before — Kautilya, Kabir, Vivekananda, Paramhansa Yogananda, Ramana Maharshi, Rajneesh, Aurobindo Ghosh, even one Vimalananada from Robert Svoboda’s Aghora. I was pro-vedic spirituality at that time and had great reverence for the System.
But this particular old bloke I discovered was something else!
He said Vedic Rishis were fanatics high on drugs (Soma) and called one Rajneesh a pimp. He openly said he was not anyone’s guru and that knowledge of the ultimate was absurd.
‘You cannot know anything
You don’t want to know’,
he proclaimed. He hadn’t written any books, so all that was available was through videos. YouTube has tons of it.
He yelled, sweared, and roasted almost every revered spiritual saint and system.
I was immediately drawn to these thoughts as he spoke unlike any I had heard and had ideas that would put even Nietzsche to shame. He was quite something ! He was UG Krishnamurti.
I am not going to write about his life here. My only purpose with this article is to share what I think he was and his perspective is.
And so as time passed I started getting heavily-influenced by him. I continuously watched his videos and his thoughts and ideas became the foundation of my own thoughts and thinking. I had found the shoulder. But the one I couldn’t stand on. There was none!
He was elusive and incomprehensible. The more I thought I understood the man the more confused I got. I tried to fit him into different systems of thinking. At times it felt he fit into Roussean style, at times to Postmodern thought, at times to Mahayana and eventually to Absurdism. But something or the other always didn’t connect!
Initially, he had felt so natural and easy to grasp but the more I watched his videos and read stories about him, the things he said, the more bewildered I got.
He didn’t seem to care to write, make money, enterprise his thoughts. He didn’t seem to care about anything. He at times calmly expressed his ideas while at times, yelled in the videos. What was he about? What does he care of? Does he even care for a thing? Even Buddha preached as far as I knew!
Who was this guy? What was wrong/right with him? Was he a hypocrite? Was there any marketing-propaganda I missed? Who was he most like: Camus, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Rousseau?
Years passed and the influence remained and grew. His perception of life and the world very much remained at my intellectual-core. I gradually separated from Vedic Spirituality as I discovered flaws and absurdities.
My every impulse of wanting to be a guru someday, revering some thinker, monetizing my thinking, pursuing the 4 Ps (Power, Prestige, Popularity, Pleasure) used to hit upon the wall called UG which used to shatter and destroy the desires mercilessly. Desires were gone alright, but I didn’t know what else to do. What to pursue!
UG Krishnamurti was there in his American/Indian home talking with celebrities and big-shots. He didn’t seem to have a concern for money. It all seemed to have been taken care of by his followers or however. But I was here in Nepal, struggling in semi-political institutions to make ends meet. He may not have wanted to be a Guru but he was one.
I quietly kept his thoughts and ideas inside a small compartment of my mind and called it UGian Philosophy. I didn’t want to discuss or debate about it with anyone. I didn’t even want to search for other people’s opinion on him on the Internet. He was a puzzle, a riddle that I was to solve — by myself. He was a philosopher whose philosophy had inspired me, influenced me and had formed the base of my intellectual thinking. I had to find a category for his thinking. There had to be a category!
This continued for a few years.
But now, as of today, I think I have an answer to him and his ideas. I think I have finally understood what his philosophy was. Although, I have to honestly say that the UG Krishnamurti that influenced me was the one I viewed and listened to on the internet. I have no idea what he was like in person and what the background of it all was. It is just about the UG Krishnamurtithat appears in Videos and his meeter’s blogs.
What I understood was that the process of assigning UG Krishnamurti and his thoughts to a school of thinking or philosophy was in itself an absurdity. UG Krishnamurti was not a philosopher. In that, he didn’t have a philosophy to teach or preach. UG Krishnamurti was merely a negater:
He was what remains if you remove all schools of thoughts from a person.
Let me explain:
All thinkers I mentioned above: Kautilya, Kabir, Vivekananda, Paramhansa Yogananda, Ramana Maharshi, Rajneesh, Aurobindo Ghosh, Vimalananada had some philosophical destinationto sell and achieve. This applies to all other schools of philosophy, science and arts. They all are about taking you to a particular intellectual space. A destiny, a goal.
UG Krishnamurti had none. He was not about anything or anywhere. He was only a denier. Once again, he is what is left in a person if you remove all schools of thoughts from him: Philosophies, Sciences, Arts — everything! With that removal goes every value, morality, perception related to those schools. Every ambition or corruption we have is indeed the mixture of countless confused schools of thinking!
Take Schopenhauer for instance, a denier but still had spaces to sell and achieve. Be it in the form of an aesthetic-genius who can perceive the will-in-itself or in the form of an ascetic who accepts the nature of will. Buddha had nibbana to sell and achieve. Nietzsche eventually had Uberman and perspectivism. Absurdists had existential-meaning to achieve. Science likewise has empirical evidence.
But UG Krishnamurti had none. He didn’t seem to profess any particular destination. All he did was deny all existing ones. The closest I have found to this type of thinking today is of the absurdists. Yet, the absurdists seek existential-meaning, the cause to exist and do. For example, through Camus’ Arts it is as if they seek justification to do things in life. But without pursuit, UG became a natural thinker. The what is!
I would even go as far as to say that he is Man in the natural form without a color of culture.
UG Krishnamurti seems to have firstly, denied everything and secondly, didn’t seem to have bothered to search for new avenues. He seems to have just settled in negation without bothering to seek further. Why he didn’t care is not for me to answer. Although I can make a guess that he might have thought that commiting to a seek would once again trap him in the rabbit hole. It would mean ambition, rhetoric and eventually —would have meant ending up like everyone else making the same mistakes. Just another system!
All systems eventually fail, and what begins as a naive pursuit of truth necessarily ends with forceful adjustments to opinions once hardships arise, he probably understood. Absurdism!
What all this has eventually meant to me is that UG has immensely helped me see the absurdity and negate all propaganda, marketing, hypes and promises of various systems of thinking. Yes, we all have seen how each system promises, asserts and presents itself as if it is the only credible method to the truth. Thanks to UG Krishnamurti I have had the courage to see the absurdity in each and negate all of them in me.
What this has done to me is — opened me to the exploration of brand new possibilities either through the invention of a new system or through the amalgamation of all existing ones. (Yes, I am risking inevitability but I have my tools of hope!)
Other difference with me is that I have not concluded. I have not settled in negation. I still seek, search and pursue. And that immediately makes me a non-UG. And I have no problem with that! I believe in exploration and seeking. Not on settling and concluding. Hence, I look to learn and take important aspects from here and there. With UG, what I have done is follow a technique professed by Buddha with whom I don’t agree on much otherwise:
Just because a boat has taken you across a river doesn’t mean you have to carry the boat around with you further.
There is another way of looking at history. As the struggle of human beings to understand, organize and use their own mind. That is, their thoughts!
It won’t be wrong to paraphrase one famous sentence of history this way:-
The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of thought struggles.
To validate this silly argument, let’s start by suggesting that the struggles between good/bad, right/wrong, duty/passion, ideology/compassion, ego/emotion, gods – exist inside the human cranium (mind) in the form of thoughts and thinking. As struggles of the mind!
That is why, all struggles are the struggle between thoughts. A crisis of thought management. A crisis of mind management.
Identity is the way we define ourselves or the things which we identify ourselves with. This exists in the form of thoughts. Our very existence and the proof of existence’s existence is only possible through thoughts, said one Descartes, a long time ago. But we will not go in that end of the spectrum here.
Let us rather go into the ancient times where different tribal groups fought and killed each other for resources.
The thing that separated tribal groups from each other and made them go for each others’ blood and bounty was their identities. Members of each tribe identified themselves as a part of that particular tribe and not the other. This made them think it was right to kill people from other tribes and not one’s own.
History shows that tribal groups fought with one another until their groups united into one. The same continued later when small states appeared.
When multiple groups united, the individual members who fought one another suddenly identified with the nemesis as one and searched for new foes with a different identity. The latest example of it is the fact that more and more people today are choosing to identify themselves as a single species called Homo Sapiens instead of identifying on the basis of their race, ethnicity, caste, class, nationality, continent etc.
Of course, there are those who would like us all to be obsessed with minor identities to exploit the sentiment of such identities for their own power-game, but it is safe to say that we all are becoming wiser by the day and learning to utilize our specific racial, ethnic identities for cultural and emotional values instead of using them to decimate each other. It is only a matter of time, and, yeah, of thought!
Our difficulties in thought management and the absurdity of what will happen if it is not done well was understood very well by some of the ancients folks who being way way way ahead of their times, worked hard to find some method to the madness.
While some came up with the idea of One identity with the entire Cosmos, a person called Buddha came up with the idea that this entire identity bullshit is the most bullshit thing in existence and we all have to get rid of it from its source in order to stop suffering and ending this identity game for once and for all. Buddha and his subsequent followers established an entire religion which is nothing but a course in thought management. Mind management!
With the identity side of thoughts aside, let us talk about our earliest tool of thought management. We are not going to talk about various forms of chemicals, which basically alter the brain neurochemically which takes thoughts to directions as per the nature of the chemical and the default character of the user. We are going to talk about a thing without which it would have been impossible for Buddha to do what he did — Language.
Many thinkers on thinking agree to the fact that it was language which allowed man to actually take a giant leap forward. Not only did it provide man with a sophisticated mechanism to record thoughts, it also allowed man to conceive previously unconceived things and communicate with each other better which only improved as ages passed by. One can only imagine where man would have ended up if not for language.
Along with it, humans had been using techniques of arts — drawing, music, storytelling, dancing to make sense of thoughts by expressing them in a systematic way. While the arts had allowed people to express what buzzes inside the cranium it was far from becoming an actually serious pursuit.
Then the Greeks beginning with the fabled Socrates ‘seriously’ began working on thought management. Plato became so obsessed with the idea of thoughts that he thought all there is- is in that form, while Aristotle took the game a hell of a lot of steps further and began the establishment of an entire system of thinking. While we can go on and on about such theoretical managers, all we will do right now is stop at Aristotle and say that the works he did opened doors to a lot of things in the domain of thought management and utility, the fruits of which we are enjoying today in the form of writing, rationalism, philosophy, science, technology, etc.
And now that we have arrived at today, we have arrived at a point in time where our understanding of our thoughts and their management are about to go to a whole new level. Perhaps, we are entering a period of significance in thinking matched only by the advent of language.
The computer is a strange machine. While all machines and tools developed by man since his ‘rise’ had been to make his task of physicality, be it seeing or running easier and smarter, the concept of computing machines took tool usage directly into the domains of the mind. While various transport vehicles must have allowed ancient people to lessen the distance between their objects of interest which they had to count themselves, tools such as abacus allowed them to make counting easier and more reliable.
If language provided voice to human subtleties, computers provided tools to supplement the brain and mind in their tasks. Beginning with simple arithmetic operations, computers soon evolved into doing heavier and more sophisticated mathematical tasks, some of the type which is almost impossible for a human mind to do. But all this to supplement human mind’s labour.
If we are to stick to the definition of computer as a device that makes human thought management easier, then we have to include devices such as navigational compass, clock, recorder, camera to the list too.
The compass provided the ability to think through directions, the clock helped keep track of time, the recorder allowed to record sounds, which is an advancement of audial-memory and the camera enabled to record images, which is an advancement of visual memory. The difference between other tools for same functions such as a drawn map, notations and drawing and these tools is that the former tools cannot be qualified as machines, they are mechanisms/methods alright but are not automatic.
In regards to the camera, the reason it qualifies as a thought machine and tools such as binoculars and telescopes do not is that- binoculars assist the physicality, the eye while the cameras assist thoughts by saving space and effort for memory.
This brings us to modern gadgeteries. While smartphones with the internet are supposed to be such thought managers, their niche is limited to integrating all other forms of retro thought machines into them and enhancing communication. Along with it, they are important assistances for other functions such as selection (eg. shopping items), distribution, entertainment and information, among few. While the amount of information they contain can surely be said to be assisting thoughts, which they certainly do, they haven’t reached to a point where they automatically as a tool allow us to understand, interpret and manage our thoughts. They are merely existing in the form of content of someone else’s language or such other forms.
But there are three up and coming technologies that can make a difference — VR, AR and BCI.
One of the founding fathers of Virtual Reality, Jaron Lanier has listed a total of 52 definitions of VR in his book Dawn of Everything. Among those are definitions that talk about VR as a type of sensory and motor organs tricking devices which can make one identify with a whole other thing and environment instead of one’s own biological body and immediate surroundings.
VR functions as an immersive technology, in that, they temporarily disconnect all sense organs from the actual identities and environment and submerge them in some other scenario, tricking the brain/mind into believing that its actual body and hence responsibility is of that which is given by the device. This way of approaching the self can have huge consequences in the domain of thoughts and thinking. It directly toys with self-identification. But it doesn’t seem to have direct mechanistic implications in regards to our understanding of our thoughts and mind in general.
Augmented Realities on the other hand can be called extended and enhanced smartphones. They provide information better and easier but I don’t see them assisting in our thought comprehension.
And then come — BCIs
Brain Computer Interfaces in this context stands for consumer-end subset of neuroimaging which are fundamentally devices that allow us to send information of our brain directly to a computing device and vice-versa. It is a product that is and will be available to any human being. This is what makes it interesting and a serious contender for filling the shoes of language.
While still at their primitive stage, ideally, BCI can be that technology that allows us to see the happenings of our brain and mind in a system that is, firstly, not our own brain and secondly, is a machine. Language, Writing and Art allow the former but are not automated machines, meanwhile, a computer is a machine but does not have the ability to help us see those happenings if not for its usage in Language, Writing and Arts. BCI can be both.
With its capacity to map the workings of the brain in a computer in real time, we can expect to have greatly enhanced understanding of how our own brain works and which part of it does what when we are involved in x,y, or z. But as mentioned earlier, this mapping is still in its primitive stage due to the technique it uses called EEG which produces weak signals and is prone to interferences and also due to lack of information about brain-mechanisms, in other words on actuation.
Yet, they hold potential and no one can deny that. Considering the amount of investment being done on them in terms of both financial and talent resources, we can be sure that their limitations will surely be overcome in the not too far future.
Imagine being able to place a device in your head that is connected to your computer and being able to see the workings of your brain when you engage in xyz in real time. Now, imagine you being able to manipulate information in your brain, not by thinking but by making changes in the program in your computer which in turn affects the brain. Further, imagine your most important desire in life, say, taking care of your family, and imagine being able to computerally store that desire in a part of your brain via a computer and programming your computer to send you an electrical nudge each time you put on the device in that specific part of your brain where you have decided to keep that desire. Now we’re talking about thought management!
Imagine being able to see everything you have thought and your pattern of thinking in a computer device with you being able to press a few keys and play around with them! All this might be possible with BCI.
As with every other tool of importance, there will be vulturesque and hyenaesque humans to take advantage of your privilege.
Now imagine a corporation such as google or facebook being able to observe everything going on in your head and manipulating the information therein as they own the device or the system related to it! Not pretty now is it?
With great potentiality come great opportunities, ergo there will be opportunists waiting to cash in in your new found glory. But with the amount of control you have over your own thoughts, may be, you will be able to deceive them at that game and actually win! All this and much more is awaiting us with BCI.
We are on the verge of a paradigm shift in thought and thinking. Not only due to the technological sophistication but also due to the nature of our lives today with crazy amounts of information and complexities, we will be in dire need of thought assistance. Our brain will just not be able to handle the incoming times.
Name any kind of thought manipulating item and we are at a juncture where that item is getting more and more advanced with each passing day. This change is inevitable. All we have to do is think really really good now.
The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of thought struggles.
can be turned into:
The future of all society is the future of thought magic. Of mind magic!
We humans will have tremendous opportunities opening, the kind we are not even capable of imagining today once we get hold of the tools that will allow us to for the second time in history understand and manage our thoughts. Those tools are at our doorsteps. And so are opportunistic exploiters…
WILL WE WIN?
CAN WE WIN? but more importantly:
CAN WE BE FINALLY PUT AN END TO THE THOUGHT STRUGGLES?