Thursday, September 11, 2014

Quietude

You know that awkward moment when your family does the things that you have indicated vociferously numerous times that you just can't put up with?
It happens frequently and then there's something that remotely resembles an apology that comes along after the fact and then it's family after all. So you act big-hearted and move on, until it happens again with another apology gift wrapped and then again and then again and again and again.
The apologies tired of this charade skip themselves out of the loop along the way, but the thing that riles you up doesn't and is damn persistent and without the pretext of an apology backing it up is even tougher to handle.

How does anyone handle all this in a sane manner?

After years of ongoing struggle, here's the answer - Resist all temptation to speak, communicate, opine or react and in that quietude lies the path of detachment - of being able to look at oneself as just another thing.

It's amazing how most solutions to tricky problems have their origins in quietude. Have you ever figured out a solution to something complex when you were totally involved doing something else or after a good night's sleep or while taking a bath?

Silence is totally underestimated in today's society. The people hogging the limelight are all the ones who talk incessantly. Everyone is constantly striving to be busy, everyone wants to be distracted - with work, with music, with chatter, with gossip. Most people just love to talk. Society rewards this. I've experienced it myself numerous times at work. It's not important what work you do, but how you project yourself about what you do/might do/didn't do.

Silence is underestimated. Quietude is underestimated and it's only in quietude, one can see this.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Spiritual Paths

Was talking to a spirituality minded friend and he remarked that for most people, the path of bhakti (path of devotion) and it's variants is a more colorful path and that the path of jnana (path of knowledge) is a boring negative path.

I thought that was a very subjective remark cause if they all lead to the same goal, how could one be more colorful and other not so and for the last 3 days have been completely confused grappling with this question and yesterday felt like a break through, which culminated in the creation of the picture below.
So like the picture says - From utter confusion, arises utter clarity, which are nothing but at two poles of the axis.

End result, I don't think one path is colorful or boring; though I can now appreciate why the majority of people would like to think so; cause life is to make a generalized statement more colorful when you add stuff than remove stuff.

Why so many paths then? Depending on your personality, I guess you can choose what you like.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Goals

Everyone tells me that I should have goals. There's apparently no point to life without goals.
So I hear.

It's a big circus with words like ambition, role models, goals thrown in at a regular uniform pace.

I used to have some heavy (read long term) goals and the only thing they helped me achieve was more stress. So I've decided to do away with all of them.

Wanting to become a writer - Out of the window
Wanting to become a music teacher - Out
Wanting to build the next big SaaS - Out
Wanting to become a cartoonist - Out
Wanting to compete in bowling professionally - Out
Wanting to become a blender animator and make a 30 min animation movie - Out
Wanting to become a language designer and design the next programming language - Out
Wanting to become a Lisp guru - Out

There's no pressure to do any of those any more or any other wacky things that might occur in the abysses of the mind in the future.

In their place, I've decided to just have much more simpler achievable things (say things that take a week or even lesser. A day would probably be ideal) That would be much more tangible and the beauty of it is after that's done, there's no pressure to even continue cause the focus is on some other smaller thing, which could be totally unrelated. While doing these little things well enough, eventually the sum of the parts might just add up to a whole or it might not or it just might.

It doesn't matter.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Family

I've never enjoyed Visu's movies. Let's be honest. Which would you rather watch? A Rajnikanth plot where the hero has revealed the huge challenge that lies before him at interval time and then when you go out and buy more popcorn and worry about what will happen next,  the hero non-chalantly sings the inevitable song that turns the tides and the day is saved or a visu family drama where you bunch a group of people in a joint family situation and each one tries their best to torture the other and make you pull out your hair as well?

Some scenes of his do stand out though. There's one movie where everyone lives in a joint family and they all constantly tread on each other's toes and then finally they all realize that, go their separate ways and get together only on festive occasions like pongal and diwali. Good riddance to living together. You can't fault the merit of that idea even if you can fault other aspects of his movie making skills.

I think the reason people start their own families is that, that existing thing that they call a family has become too authoritative, too dictatorial, too unbearable and too stressful. So the thinking is - Let's start a new one, where we are the boss. There will be some niceties along the way - someone to converse with, sex, shared goals and others.

And then there will be kids and everyone likes to say that they want their kids to grow up as independently as possible, but all the time knowingly and unknowingly feeding all sorts of ideas, beliefs, superstitions, restrictions into the kid's mind.

The kid grows into an adult, takes care of himself and yet the forces that need not be mentioned continue to exert their mis-guided and unwanted influence until it can be taken no more and then the whole cycle starts again.

This new adult however has fresher perspectives. So the next generation kid will be more independent. There will be lesser threats to the next generation kid's way of life, but they will still exist. This will go on and one day some lucky generation will have total freedom on how they want to live their lives. No one judges anything. No one dictates anything. No one has power to affect the individual.

The concept of a family will dissolve then and morph into something much more beautiful than that ugly thing that we call a family today. Maybe it will be the emergence of the commune that Osho spoke about in such glowing terms. Maybe it will be something else, but if it allows individuals to just lead their lives and get together on occasion without any judgement or control, that will be a beautiful thing indeed.


Reality today is not so cozy. No one in the family knows where to draw boundaries. It is no longer a place of support. It fosters fear in you, just like the news channels that I have stopped watching. Your ideas and beliefs do not matter. They are dismissed because they do not conform. Something as simple as taking a car key from my father becomes a stressful incident. The key is offered and you promptly try to take it with your left hand because it's not convenient to twist your body around and take it with the right hand and that leads to a sulking face, a dramatic moment, menacing words and inevitable hurt and that's just the simplest of the incidents that I can talk about right now. The big ones just make my blood boil. It is pretty much at this point I realized that all the self taught anger management was no good. Am back squarely at square one.

And the hits just keep on coming. It's all too stressful and hurtful for a sane individual to keep taking them. The solution to all this is to not start another family, which is what am expected to do, but to learn detachment from the existing one.