Monday, December 23, 2013

The Dilemma Of Absolute Permissiveness

In the midst of this fight for #equality, (which is perfectly due), we seem to missing out on a few important details - according to the premise of this post, the most important one. The moral one. Whether we defend a moral, a moral, part-moral or semi-moral stance, we all must admit to a form of morality. A consistent form of a set of rules which we consider sacred - however we'd like to define that. Even if we don't connote a religious, social or socio-religious form to it, we still have a framework that's, in some sense, sacred for practical and logical reasons, if not any other. One that we may circle around when in a moral dilemma but never change the centre of.

Morality (all kinds) is something we inherit, which makes our identity. The same factor when overdriven, as opposed to naturally ingrained in upbringing, causes rebellion against it. Society is built for stability. We are influenced, and influence so as a result - opposite its values (in rebellion) or otherwise.

When we don't do this (ignore the moral question), we promote, or enter into, a state of absolute permissiveness. It's like being on drugs. The opposition to any opposition to it, imposing or non-imposing, is control. The real big issue is not whose right it is and whose right it isn't to deny anyone any privilege they'll like to have. If we all clamour for the rights without understanding the ecosystem created by the values we profess, we're down a road headed for destruction. The world is not to be squeezed so that we can be happy, each one of us individually. We need to be happy together in a system built for that, and that involves squeezing for space - all of us.

While governments makes laws for, or against, homosexuals (some against their very existence as people), the homosexuals and activists for them start to claim litmus test status for it. If you are for them, you're alright. If you're not for them, you're old, archaic and not even listenable to. You have to buy their point of view without the bat of the eye lid, and then you're in their good book. Almost like virtual daylight bribery with the cops watching, it's like militia-ising a new part-morality and dump-imposing it on everyone like it's the dawn of a new order of something.

Now, I am for equality. No man or woman is less of a person and they need to be treated equally like one, all inclusive. I also have the compulsion of the moral dilemma we're in.  We can't be absolutely permissive, for reasons mentioned in the first paragraph. We have to ensure our freedoms and also recognise our boundaries - principle over all else. None of those conditions include militia-ising a new part-morality and dump-imposing it on everyone like it's the dawn of a new order of something. 2) A man must be free to do as he pleases, well, because we all, as human beings, understand the value of that freedom. We all universally recognize it and affirm it. 2) We all certainly do not recognise the we-must-all-get-into-the-heads-of-the-people-don't-agree-with-us-and-brainwash-them outlook. It is contradictory to the first one we all universally recognise.

The moment we hit a logjam between these two, we need to sit across a table and sort out this moralistic (as defined in the first paragraph) issue. We have to discuss what some perceive as an attack on the values of a free society as opposed to what others perceive as an equal attack but in the opposite direction. When we come to the table, we come ready, at least making the effort. We can't put default acceptance as a condition. The very reason we'd meet so is because don't default accept each other, to that little, certain extent. It negates the need of such a exercise and makes it a sham. Tolerance is a two way street when you're dealing with any form of moralism. There are no over-the-top privileges.

When we voice opinions, however radically opposite, we must make sure 1) is maintained, as long as no one's stepping on anybody else's feet. I am a Christian. The Bible tells me that homosexuality is wrong, plain and clear. I believe that, and it is my full right to. And my beliefs also extend to my life. It comes into play when I blog about it like this, tweet about it, tell someone what I think of this issue and in similar situations. No one may like me for it but rule 1) doesn't mandate that everyone must. If someone has a problem with that, we must go to that table again and reframe these moralities we follow till we can find something which is equally just and fair for all. Imposing is certainly not an option, or we agree to disagree.

Moreover, having a discussion across the table between different degrees of religious beliefs (from complete to none) does not allow a/quasi/semi/non-religious people to gain any sort of a rational advantage and root out religion and keep out religion on those grounds. If the apparent disagreement is rational, and is so because religion becomes automatically sidelined, the discussion has no value. Religion is a factor, like any other, and must be equally respected. That totally breaks 1) and causes 2).

A perfect example is the relationship I have with Christmas. I don't like Christmas. I find it most culturally blind celebration we celebrate for obvious reasons. I actually run mini non-Christmas Christmas campaigns to shine some real light into the world whilst they celebrate. But, at the same time, I know that many Christians who do celebrate it are not the people that a mindless celebration makes them, if we simply added up everything that's done during Christmas which is apparently all about the truth of Jesus Christ. Yet, in conversation during the 'season', I also ask a lot of them who do about "their Christmas" and what their plans are for it because I know that they do celebrate like that wholeheartedly. I'm opposed to the idea but I'm opposed to their stand on it. So, I don't discriminate in my behaviour with them while holding my stand.        

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bemoaning the loss of consequence

Dear Consequence, where have you been?
I've searched for you, high and low, but you're nowhere to be seen
From the bustle of the world's activity, from its very exploding centre
To the fringes of humanity, where its soul, its people, mourns
Once you ruled the world, you gave its endeavours meaning
Tangible, at least they were, without weird entertainment ceilings
Now without those bindings you imposed
You should look at life now- it's such a bore!
None of our ends meet in all the things we try
With nothing to direct us, we aimlessly shoot for the sky
Life, with any purpose at all, eludes us by and by
We're left only with our dreams, but an inkling, and a boredom-sigh
It's been so long without you, we don't even know what it means
To strive towards each other, without waiting to meet only on the other shore
We've forgotten that we're bound so close
However far from each other we may be
By these strings that bind us together
Which are written clear in the stars to see
Where have you vanished? Did we chase you away?
Come, Oh, Consequence
Come weigh this world down
Give it the perspective of the many lives trodden upon
We're filled with fluffy privilege, we don't know what we've got
We're living in our own corners, greedy much we've got  
This strange paradigm has become the norm
Perhaps that is why you're found to be gone
We fill ourselves with emptiness, without you driving us, Consequence
And we fill ourselves once, unsatisfactorily, and then again and again, believing the fluffy lie
We do this so many times, over again, we're too tired to even cry
Tired has become normal, and normal boring
Boring requires life, life that's real
Life that we all share, life that we're strung together by
Life that binds us all, with its sorrows spread uneven
Show us the loose ends of our endeavours
Show us where they must meet
Let's all meet there and have a great reunion feast

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Relationships are yucky, and must be so.

It comes as a big surprise to me that we, the human race, are the worst at the things that we should probably be the best at among all kinds of species in the planet - relationships. Basically being the stuff of life, over this many years of existence, we should at least have some hold over their hold over us. There should be a mandatory class taught in schools about their nature and how they work. But, so far, it's our biggest fail.     

They have a natural design - one that works itself out in context of the needs that need to be served. So if A and B have certain needs that play out between two people over time, they form a relationship that serves that need. That context justifies it. There is no great handbook of relationship formats, but there is a universality to most basic essential needs of people that specifically include people in our lives over long periods of time. And there is no great handbook of values of the sacred values we need to keep over these relationships unless they are based on how we would like it to be for us on the other side, and we all have certain basic lines we draw at respect and other such things.

With these two sets of rules, which there is no handbook for, relationships make themselves, and, yes, all relationships have motives (those needs I talked about earlier) without which they wouldn't even need to exist. When they don't have motives, it's called courtesy. Courtesy is driven by being nice, which, again, is based on the principle of what you would have done to you if you were on the other side of the interaction.  These are usually interaction you are not as familiar with. It serves those values which if violated end in hurt and rudeness. It is a good fallout of civilized interaction. It is temporary. It doesn't serve a need. Usually when it outdoes its course, it starts to get dry, something that becomes painfully obvious.

Now, motives are necessary to purpose and don't have the pseudo-moralistic stigma that is attached to them. We can't be all that charitable for reason of lack of that many resources to be charitable with and just plain wastage of time on over-courtesy. All long term and default relationships are based on need and can't exist without it. A relationship is not the cherry on the cake. It is the cake itself. With a good, well, baked cake, you don't really need any cherries on top. And a bad cake with a cherry on top is just a bad cake, nothing more.

A relationship is also strained when there isn't enough resource to meet needs symbiotically, economically, emotionally or just physical energy wise. Yes, it's as cruel a system as that. When it can't flow, it won't flow. A lot of times when that happens, we romanticise it but that won't do. We take loans of these resources sometimes when there is nothing to take from, and dig ourselves into the ground even further and then blame relationships, or the people in them, or life, or fate - but the fact is that relationships are yucky.

They are yucky because they are about allowing people to bloom, well, because people are bloomworthy - all of us, each one of us. No seed knows what it will be like till it makes it way up from the top soil, out towards the sun. It finds itself both in its very intrinsic nature to be what it is (and nothing more than it can be) and in how it gathers strength from its surrounding (sun, nutrients, soil etc.). The irony here is that we have a sorta-kinda great rule book already for these things which doesn't take into account the dynamics of what I've mentioned above - all the complexity of the seed blooming along with other plants and seeds, blooming themselves as well.

In this case, as opposed to a seed, blooming is an always-state. You don't stop blooming. You don't bloom and die, like a flower. The irony rings in when we think we bloom and die, and that when have, we deserve the upper hand in it all like some sort of status thing. The great leveller in a healthy relationship is when we don't assume this bloom-and-die stage. If we do, something inside of us has died for which we want one way support. That means our own lives are out of our own control.

The non-assumption of the bloom-and-die stage gives very relationship its life. It's not a drip-like support system. It avoids over-courtesy. Its instills confidence. It truly builds relationships to something that actually uplifts us and makes it into things that we do more stuff with. We won't be keeping relationships so that we can live on handouts of over-romanticised love and concern. Relationships will always be as strong, or weak (read life support inducing) as be the sum of individuals in them. The ones that are give us rock solid stability, which is what we need, rather than those handouts. Our self-identifying blooming selves are the only contributors to this stability, and, when so, we'd be on a journey of constant self-discovery together that makes none of us a pain in the ass to anyone else in our relationships. We'll break those boxes that we have and the world has set for ourselves to where we can remove the weird life support system logic they're built on.

Let us embrace relationship yuckiness because in it is what relationships have the best to offer. There is no rule book. We make the rules as easily as we break them. The only rule we need to follow is that we don't yank any of the rules back and forth according to convenience, or so much that we abuse them (both or either adding to the same effect). Any rule must have a yanking limit. We should create to sustain, build, progress and feed, something that we can build off after we're doing building that. Yanking rules at convenience doesn't help that. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

All these people, all these things that we please

*In the neighbourhood people watching me
Got to move to protect my sanity
Anonymity is all I want you see
You may think it's mediocrity, but

But this weight is just bringing me down
It's never satisfied every time I go to town

- Van Morrison, This Weight Which weight you say? 

The weight that you choose. There are two possible weights.  Everything must weigh something, if it has to be something, if it has to be anything actually. One possible weight is the weight down. The weight that only pulls down. The other is the weight that attributes free, soulful existence of anything. One can we compared to a permanent anchor. The other can be compared to a feather, which really has no real weight, but since everything must have some weight to be something, it has one. 

The thing with the two possible weights is that they are mutually exclusive. One can weigh like this, or one can weight like that.  You can't have anything weighing like both. This is the choice we have, and which is usually inbuilt before we can choose for anything to be weighed like the other.  

Then there's another weight. The actual weight. The weight that, even if you don't talk about, you feel anyway. The weight that's actually a part of the structure of things. If you'd like it, it's physical weight. The sum of all its structures. It's inherent weight. Even if you don't put it on a weighing scale. With real, fake or made up scales. It will still weigh as heavy. And that's a part of the game. It's a choice hazard, and usually one that you make the choice for. It comes along with a thrill that really doesn't feel as heavy. The thrill which is the weight. The thrill which is the weight like a feather, which is hardly any weight at all. The thrill which is like a feather that flies with the wind, and probably meets with other feathers that other winds bring.  I'll skip any obvious metaphor here.

So there. You have two kinds of weights. The inherent and the attached. The attached can be the yanked-only-downwards, or can be the feather.  The feather like a weight loss program that actually works but doesn't slim into oblivion, but freedom and confidence.

When you converse, act, share, be, conform and do everything else - what are the weights you allow? Are you really putting forward a self that is a feather, hoping to meet another feather that the influx of breeze has bought in? Or are you basically making an attempt, one that you're probably innocently aculturised to do, to weigh down and seek conformation to norms that you weigh down with. And in case those norms aren't reciprocated, sometimes almost immediately, does it trigger a threat to your mind, and start to act like the whole world started to fall apart because someone didn't conform to the weigh(t) down.  The weight down that everyone in the world confirms to because it'll upset the system that we've been following so far. It will ruin years, centuries and maybe generations of stability that we've achieved - that we, so fearfully and weigheddownly, hold fort because the world cannot fall apart. It will set us into a crazy imbalance. Even if we're bound in that stability, we should remain stable *at all costs*. Because below from stability is an unending abyss of doom and chaos which we will fall into.  Fluttering in the breeze like a feather is simply unacceptable, even when it offers much more freedom - individually and together. 

We are reputed and recognised by the increasing stakes that we carry on our shoulders, and more by how we manage them. We, all, so goes the rule, deserve cub scout like badges when we've managed not to tip the balance of a ridiculously expensive we strive to keep. It is the hallmark of our pride, respect and privilege in community and society. The moment we lose that control over our stakes, ironically, we get banished out of those positions, out into the club of the unprivileged. 

The question we usually refuse to ask, even if it comes to the tip of our tongue though is,  who are actually serving? Or what we are actually serving, for that matter. You'll find a huge straw man in the corner. You can poke at him if you please. Take a giant picture and throw darts at him as well. Or if you're thinking what I'm thinking, burn him down!          

* The verse from the Van Morrison song is taken because it fits into what I'm  saying. It may or may not be the actual meaning of it.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The confessions of an introvert

I was scrolling through TED's Youtube channel and I found this: and I was slowly inspired a bit write the rest of this post. That guy is right, we way undervalue mental health- even the kinds that are rarely dangerous but which make our minds oppressed and a pain to deal with every day. The larger proportion of people who engage with their own minds less, because that how's their mental make up is (not something that's supposed to be in anyway condescending), don't and won't ever understand the plight of the rest. It's hardly expected that they will be inclined to at all. Such is the stuff of life for this minority of people. What effort we make from both ends is the next topic of discussion.       

For about a year, upto sometime ago, I was undergoing enough of that stress to write this. It left me, excuse my french, postively mindf#&%*d. I was in a house that was a screamfest, in addition to being a fussfest and an obssessfest for most part of the day. Many things were unveiled about myself that I hadn't seen before but they weren't totally surprising. This was being pushed to the hilt, literally! I realised that people like me, probably due to the vulnerability our minds have to get used to ever since, build little rooms - like chambers in chambers in chambers in chambers in our heads... as vulnerable as we end up being till we reach some point where we are aware of it it, regardless how successful we end up being at managing and adapting to the larger louder, noisier and activity fraught world around us.

Like how we see offices of rich successful men (eg. Batman included), we just slip in to the next one when our minds get weary of what we end up being exposed to. We do this reflexively. Given our circumstances we have zero protection from incessant noise and activity, be it head noise or actual noise. And as expected, as we do this often enough, we end up having to ensure our sanity which leads to our partiucular (or peculiar) habits being built.                    

What happened with me is that I had to change inner chambers so often that the very point of having them was defeated... to a point that there were none left to resort to. I was crucified in my own little end-of-chambers secret chamber, right up against the wall most of the time.What's the point of a inner chamber if it's not respected?

Now that it's all over, coming back out is like an ordeal in itself. It's like you are in a long, deep, dark cave and you can see the light at the end where the cave opens out. And you're taking one step at a time towards the light, freeing yourself from your own prison - something that is not the result of your own doing, but something that is the result of someone else's privileges being rightfully taken. The question that remains to be asked is who set those privileges in place, and who apportioned the entitlement? Was I to pin a badge around me that asks people to be as sensitive, or was I to go around asking people whether they want to check their efficiency of their own actions on themselves and their goals and purposes?

I'm reading a book by E. Stanley Jones that says that when we abandon God, and we pursue lives in gay abandon for long, when we realise we need to come back, we find an absence of God Himself. The same analogy here. That I've been locked in my little inner chamber for as long leaves me both vaguely familiar and unfamiliar with the world that I am reacquainting myself now. Presumed decisions to converse and communicate with people with whom I would otherwise simply do so are multi-prethoughtabout affairs. Most of the time, I want to be sure I have the mental energy to support an interest to carry the conversation through. And most of the time, I don't. It's become scary territory to step into. Decisions to "get down to business" (once again, in this case) have a prerequisite of buffer zones that go way beyond the actual activity. The effort it takes to actually create them in a today's real world means it's a big step to make even a small step of even the smallest significance and progress in life.

Some people act from their head and their heads need to primarily be in fully working order for anything else to follow. While some people aren't so, a reasonably large bunch of people are so. And it's like denying them to the right to a happy life, all this ignorance is.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The sad tale of John and Sarah IV


Here, this story dies. It's natural end has come and is here to stay, unless it is sprung back to life mysteriously. John, alas, is but dismayed. He is amazed at the swish of reply that, only in this particular case, washed away all the positively reasonable social skills he had amassed over the years from the time he was born. More than just talking to a wall, it was like talking to a confused, disjointed thing. There was no other explanation. At least none was being offered. The prayer is that the obvious sane answer was right, and that so was the fervent hope, which John liked to believe, was being held onto. Only God knows what transpires between that belief and the reality of that situation indeed. What the world would be if we were left with no hope is a possibility which, not only John, but every other human being as well, would rather not engage with.

The one thing that John took back from the situation was that every relationship, however fragile, robust or both, has a science to it. You don't just meet amazing, cool, awesome, fun people and get to keep some of it with you just like that. By the grace bestowed upon the world, by Life itself, you should be thankful, and grateful, for every ounce of that. As much it was a certain magic all round, there is a mechanical function to the whole deal as well. You communicate. You reciprocate. You make the extra step. You step aside from the spotlight when the magic seems strained. 'You' implying any one person in the relationship.

At some point, a friendship stops becoming something that happens to you. It becomes something you seek to maintain. At that point, the science comes in the most. And most of the time people acknowledge it, except some of the time, like in this particular case. We usually respond to the perks, again in most cases. In some cases, like this one, we assume that the perks will be there anyway - like call bells or stuff that gets stored in the cupboard for later use. In the case of the latter example, sometimes that stuff rots.

"All this drama, you say?", John would ideally retort. "No", he would add. This is like the little girl who once innocently asked a question to a person she had come to trust closely, someone who struck that magical chord with her, and who had, in her heart, replaced her Dad who has passed away closely. Since the tragic day, the person gave up more things that he could care to count for being with the little girl, and that magic made the result of what was tragic into something just heart touchingly magical.

She asked, perched on his lap and hugging the person tight, "Who decides which people must join in a bond that brings out the magic between plain existences?". The person, as expected, had no answer except in the confidence that the little girl had already seen it in action, and was only responding in amazement to the phenomenon.

As John bid goodbye to Sarah as she moved towards to the horizon, he pondered that thought. Hard. But then again, it needn't be so complicated. It should just be reciprocated, at least.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The No-Plan Plan Is The Best Plan

From the few years that I've worked with officially run, and non-officially run, organisations and groups (society, family and friends included), I'm pretty sure this fuss we make about efficient organisation is all rubbish. We all have a really messed up way of organising ourselves, I've noticed. Most of the organizational systems we go by are only default from the last ones followed. More than being organised, or overly organized, we refuse to admit that we actually have no clue how the heck we're supposed to, or how we should, organise ourselves if we are to do it as efficiently as we'd like to. We'd rather be frantically output-obsessed (succumbing to that fear) instead of being wholistic, far reaching and sustainable in how we organise ourselves.  

We make the truth of the matter that there actually is no plan that we have self-elusive, and therefore something that doesn't interfere with our comfort in denying it. The only reason there's a/any/a particular plan is because without a plan, we would be planless and then all hell would break loose, naturally of course. And we can't let that happen. No! We can't let the world crumble down its own outdated infrastructure. Even the logical notion shouldn't exist, even if it's the most logical imperative. So, we just go with the flow. There's so much of the fear that plays out on its own, that it spurns us to go on this pseudo-organisational overdrive.  

We assume/have assumed paradigms that are circular. Deep down, the fight to not seem stupid in the light of our ways and our ways that are self-defeating at every step are at loggerheads. None's winning, leaving us the only losers. We're worried that we will realise our deepest fears already.  

So the conclusion I've come to is this: when we're stuck without a plan, it's the most fertile ground for the best one ever(yet) to emerge - but only if we let it emerge. A prerequisite for a plan is the need for one, and the need for one comes when there is lack of one. Logical probability suggests that if we had one up our sleeve, in such situations, we wouldn't end up in one such situation. And since we're stuck and we've admitted all of the above, any plan would do and the best plan is the next logical step - which may not always be the most striking. Nonetheless, it will do the trick. If we trusted the principles and methods that got us here, they're sure as hell not getting us out of the mess we're in, in any case. So the next progressive, logical step, however unassuming, is the way to go. Being objective helps. A pre-plan binds you to compliance. A no-plan leaves you open to plan afresh, effectively and better. Don't think plan. Just think as needed.   

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Beast Called Society: Not Another War Please

Society is an animal and breeds as it does, and ruthless it is as well. It's difficult when you are society to act unsocietylike and here starts the tragedy. As a bunch of human beings capable of much intelligence, when we live together, we self-establish an order - one that can be representative of any single or sum of our characteristics. Hate greed, love, care, respect, value, control, freedom... the list goes on. Strangely, we have less control than we think over them. We start reacting to our world faster than we gain control over our reactions. It's a sort of a self-protecting mechanism that doesn't really add up to anything worthwhile almost all of the time.

More than just a bunch of people, we're individuals first - sort of the basic unit of that bunch. Being the pieces of that bunch, we'd have to start considering the pieces first, and after that, what the bunch ends up being made of. As individuals, we are all, in our early stages (and in most further vibrant stages of life), in this process of growth. It's a dynamic stage where typically we don't fall back on previous moments but keep discovering and learning new things and perspectives to add to our previous repertoire of things and perspectives. All in all, it makes us better people, or at least should. That seems to be the idea behind the process.

I'll call it a war, not because it's violent, but because it rages on inside and it healthily must. That's how we develop and grow. It contains the life in us and of us. Without it, we are lifeless. Without it, society's self-protecting mechanism rules over all, and we serve society. But think again. Society is us. You, me and everybody else who make that bunch. There is no other entity that we serve other than ourselves. Even if were acting selfish in doing that, there is no one else/no other purpose we can possibly serve. So, this order can have one effective purpose only: to serve us - the sum of individuals with healthy wars raging inside pushing us on to newer realms of existence, experiences and understanding. But society's self-protecting mechanism does nothing but give you another war to fight that contradicts the first one, besides this one. It's like a monster unleashed, that has no soul, that deprives you of any. It makes us slaves to it and it has no master. It's not the case that your own war is any easier. It's not one you fight, but nonetheless, it takes enough energy out of you for you to worry about dealing with another one. It also takes the fun out of making the best of the process. 

Perhaps it's not a monster at all. Perhaps it's non-existent and is really just us - set in motion, wound up like toys and let go which is why we think there may be a monster. But then, there must be somebody who did the winding. No one we can see yet. So, as we speak, we greatly fear this beast called society which will cut our head off and exile us into oblivion if we don't conform to it. It will be interesting to notice that we fit in to that fear bubble very easily as if it's the way of life to be. I wonder why a numbed sense is more worthy a virtue than numb-free living.        

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I, too, want your lollipop.

Two children were walking down the road. One had a lollipop in hand. The other wanted it. It was made clear that it was his lollipop and, therefore, could only be his (because it was his). But the other insisted that he too has the right to it and he sat there and protested because it couldn't be his as well. He wanted his right to be #equal and exercise it. 

That how simplistic I'd make this whole #equality thing. There are a myriad of issues it represents and hardly solves but it had been made the face of all of them. For the record, I am not for it for many reasons.

#1 Sanctity

This particular kind of #Equality hippyises society. Sanctity is not relative. Sanctity is not a term you use to validate anything you want. If it is, then everything is sacred, and, at the same time, nothing is. It is a term that protects things unending. So then, what's sacred about marriage? Any marriage for that matter. We need to get that straight first. The promise is - 'till death do us part'. Check. But then till death do what us part? Two committed individuals? Check. But then what about what we may term as 'free civil unions'. There are civil unions in some countries in which bi-sexuals have two partners (that's three in all) and are in a legal civil union. So now sanctity has an increased scope? I can have committed to more than one partner and sanctity remain sacrosanct? Or must we, then, throw these words right out the window?

#2 Equating what?

What makes the world go round (romance is only a small part of survival) is not all that fluffy stuff but its social (and biological) functions as well.

It is impossible for any of us reading this to actually have gay biological parents. Well, that's because it is impossible to have gay biological parents. And, surprisingly, it takes the opposite of the same same cycle to go further on generationally. Of course, well, gay parents can adopt, surrogate or test tube but that was hardly the process that first ever kickstarted their existence.

So, as a norm to escape this biological construct, buying this natural process out from a woman is not any worthy fit to the actual process. Moreover, a person's right to make and keep a happy family is almost exactly the same as his responsibility in bringing up a child in this world. If you can manufacture that process, you can make it almost anything you like and address with almost any virtue you please by calling it a 'right', there's something wrong. You can't hijack the chicken and egg process per se as a bonafide process (in order to have a happy family), can you? That's some value there. Remember, sanctity?   

Straight parents do all of this as well at times, but then, this isn't about adoption rights; this is about #Equality. But then, straight parents do it either willingly to help people who don't have parents or because sometimes they are infertile. But then even homosexuals and lesbians are biologically capable to reproduce as well, yes, regardless of their sexual orientation, of course with the same exceptions. So, lesbians choose not to reproduce their own because they want to have their own child with their partner but they're not biologically designed to, together? Ditto for homosexuals?

So this is #Equality based on what now? I'm confused. #Equality we're born with, or one that we just simply demand? What's the reasonable fuss about really?

#3 Love and fresh air: good and healthy, but won't run the world

Being in love is alright and wonderful, so is being happy, and must be allowed, and was, all the while intertwined into the fabric of life. All that was how the world was till #equality was the measure and validator of the breaths everyone takes.

Now if you are queer and you have known the ultimate expression of love to be marriage, well, that's what your next logical step is - and that logical step is the very firm root of society. When you're gay and you get to start a family, you become that unit. It's one of the most important units of family. It, among other things, gives a child a healthy, steady, caring place to grow up in. It forms their identity. Well, a dad can't be a mom, simply because a mom must be a woman, and vice-versa. Woman and men each have their roles and moms and dads do them. Imagine when your daughter is going through her bodily changes, and she comes to you, what will you tell her, or vice-versa with a son? If you happen to be a legitimate triad or more civil union (in case of bi-sexuals), what will your children learn about sanctity of anything? There is also polygamy with straight people, but most of those cases are not to ensure consented sexual variety. What value base are you professing, larger and culturally?            

There are cases when single parents bring children up. There, the excuse is either divorce, or single parenthood. Then again, the child not made to be the dream-catchee for the gay family hopefuls who seek to redesign almost every identity and value system in the world. Is the fight for #Equality really just a we-want-to-do-what-we-please thing, and it's our right to happiness? If it is, there is no sense in even seeing reason in the demands.

Now the question: "We are gay, inescapably, and, being so, we also have the right to the family, love and happiness." Well, I'll say this. That lollipop is the other person's, not yours, not if you're going to systemically upset this entire natural cycle at whim and fancy. The idea is not to stall love and companionship. You can't just transplant happy ideas into systems of sustenance as you please. The idea is to not ruin the balance of how things were which we are discovering as we go along. Not to hijack the process.

It's not about #Equality. It's about #Equality of preference, and that's not how you gauge #Equality. It's about right precedent, with exceptions, not just plain outcome.

I'm not sure yet what the poster campaign is about, but even for the reason it has, it's overrated by the people of the protest. Any anti-thought is hate mongering. Any one opposing is homophobic. Why people who are for it with reason can't accept reason in return is another story. Opposition is always blindly questionable. Pro-thought is never. Any quote (in or out of context) that has the few keywords in support makes the guy who said it a superstar. Somehow, now everybody must be forced to accept it. Does it mandate loss of civility in existence and discussion? The arguments, hardly consistent, swing in any convenient direction to make it about an issue it's really not - divorce, love, bigotry. Again, it's hardly about equality. It's about lots more, or just lots and lots of frenzy. The issue is not a litmus test for society. There are graver issues. There's probably a better saner way to deal with it.    

As for gays getting married, the law will have to decide, and I have no problem with it, though I don't accept it personally, for reasons mentioned above. But I can't stop anyone with my opinion, and I'm all ears for a rebuttal. I see two options though. One, redefine marriage and let the opposers and religions decide whether they oppose and marry, differently to it. The other, there's civil union and granting the rights that bringing up a child come with. I'm not sure yet how happiness comes in the way, even if this is not done though. What's in a name and title if all that matters is, "I do", right? Am I missing any finer details?  

Monday, March 25, 2013

My coming out

Note: This blogpost speaks to two particular categories of people:

1) Me and people like me with respect to my confession (to any degree)
2) Everybody else who seeks to destroy the peace in my head, when they do* 

Confession: I'm an introvert - one who has learnt to enjoy the wonders of my particular inclination (and my particular neurocognitive traits), blessing or curse. It's amazing that I have the privilege and you* should envy and try and seek a peek in too, I think. I promise an extremely fun ride. You'll be intrigued to the depths of your soul. The warning's that it might just disturb your balance of existence, so much so that you can be as scared as you act cool about shoving it aside as acceptable differences, or just plain rubbish.

The rest of the confessions:

I love silence because I get to smell the flowers, and there are more flowers than you see with plain eyes. Get the metaphor. Everything smells as sweet as its beauty and it doesn't work the other way round.

I perceive more than you* do, because that's what I do. What extra I see, that you don't, is also perfectly objective and can be seen in a easy cause and effect relationship, and can be added up to form the same whole.  

I am more fulfilled** than you*. I don't feel an incessant need to fill the cup. I am, and am not only simply what I do. That gives my actions more credit than just empty movement. I don't seek, or feel the need, to define myself other than what I am  - which is a progressive, growing and changing entity. You should come over and have a chat sometime to find out.

Yes, I do get out and give myself the air I think I deserve. The air I don't care for doesn't interest me. I don't think it's worthwhile engaging myself with something I don't think I deserve.      

Now the problem I see is that there's a natural war raging - between you* and me. You strangle my mind with the exact opposite of the things I enjoy and thrive on. You almost seek the exact opposite while hoping to achieve the same goal. I sit there and stare at you in disbelief of how mindless you and your actions can be. I cringe at the very thought of it. Sometimes, you don't really care. Your only goal is to drive away the silence; mine is to keep it. Your goal is to fill the cup; mine is to make it a spring of life in itself without having the need to fill it. You almost ignore the world that passes by, shunning it and thereby robbing it of its intrinsic layers of art; I embrace it, seeking to understand it as something that exists, other than me and my kind. You fight; I don't.        

For the others (note 2) at the beginning of the post), I have a test of wits. Let's see who lasts. It's not a competition. It's about understanding why there is a war and how there can be peace.

Answer this question: What would you do if you were given the opportunity to not have to do anything at all, completely? If I assured you every single detail was taken care of - every single one, and you had a whole month/year to just do as you please, what would you do? There will be no one to satisfy, appease or please.

Do you face a fear of self/emptiness/boredom that you dread so much that you spend your entire life avoiding it? Or are you perfectly at peace with yourself? What thoughts come to your mind when you consider the option, or is it just another something you simply brush aside?

Tell me. I want to know. While I die a slow death everyday with your incessant need for activity and movement around me, while I'm in between being thankful for surviving and remaining sane the next morning, perhaps you can end this pain for me and it can be a happy world for us both?   

Think I'm crazy with what I've said this post? I have backing with backing :) 

** fulfilled in the true sense of being filled full, not simply being constantly entertaining to my fetishes, one after the other  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The perils (and lessons) from living in a competitive home environment

Taking from the last post...

I'd like to make a few observations that I've had the privilege (or misfortune) of experiencing the past few years living in what I can positively, and objectively, say is a competitive home environment. What I mean by such a thing is this:

Within the home, there is only a certain amount of potential from which the environment in it provides for happiness, peace of mind, space (mental and physical) and all other factors that contribute to a happy living environment. It's limited and can only provide so much, and no more. The more you crowd it, the less it will offer for your happiness, peace of mind and mental and physical space and such.

Just to note the Environment Factor: We cannot live separate from our environment. Our environment is almost us, save our response to it. It half-defines our existence and ensures that we comply to it. On the other hand, it is not independently existent. We create it, almost by default - sometimes like walking around with our elbows out (intentionally or unintentionally), sometimes like treading carefully so that we don't step on the flowers, sometimes like desperately grabbing from a box we ignore/were ignorant of (gross oversight) which is why were driven to the said desperation.

The Lessons:

The sky will not fall on your head ever

Repeat this to yourself everyday. Hang it up on the wall. Maybe even paint it on the ceiling in case you end up taking yourself literally when you choose to believe so. It will never happen, like (literally) that's scientifically and mathematically proven. So entertain yourself in that fear, if you do, all you please, but it will not be of any profitable avail to you.

Don't fear decision-making moments

There's a certain vibrancy to life when it's real, and it's real when it's an actual reflection of the moment, actual need and necessity inclusive. To keep it real, in all respects, decision-making moments are as important as the decisions themselves as important as the quality of those decisions are. This factor will count in terms of efficiency as I will explain in the next point. The best decisions are the ones you take in the light (note: not the heat) of the moment, not the ones you take prior to the moment so that you do away with taking decisions, as you easiest can, which you percieve to be a burden. Keeping the decision process noble, pure and brave will bring decisions, more often than not pleasantly surprising and refreshing ones, that:

1) respond aptly to moment and therefore have a sharp, precise and efficient result
2) use all possible resources to make those decisions (and prevent the gross oversight of the box I mentioned earlier)        

Any soul without that healthy war going on inside of them is a dead soul, or slowly getting there. Life's not an inane cycle of mandatory events that each one must go through to gain the honour of it. Embrace that war and you will learn to be free from your walls. It will not stop raging. It will only pit you against more challenges that you will embrace as well and wear as you reveal to yourself a world of new things that you discover everyday. The true adventure of life is lived courtesy embracing these moments of decision where you really realise the potential of what you can do with resources (and the different kind of resources you have around you). If you don't know what an awesome epiphanic phenomenon that is, you have to try it. Once done that, you'll never preempt or avoid them but wait for those moments of decision and jump in and embrace it all the way to the next frontier, and the next one, and the next one, and the next one.... 

Give yourself thinking space: Mental space is determined largely by physical space and its quality. If you don't have any space at home that's simply inviolable, you're not helping yourself make better decisions.  

Fussing is the exact opposite of efficiency

What does a dog do when its threatened? Bark and howl his life away. We, who have lived in Bangalore, will be familiar with their late night affairs like this. This is the same for all organisms including ourselves. Being threatened is alright but, for us humans, we are surely worth our pompousness to be a little more worth than that. It is not intelligently human to dwell on a threat in a similar manner. That's exactly what fussing is - dwelling on the threat because that's the best you got. It's the exact opposite of dealing with it, and it's not healthy when you do it over and over again, every single time. It's the opposite of efficiency of action, in which case result and effort put in are equally proportional to each other. Fussing is a sign of ineffective functioning and inability to handle situations. You can do way better than to blow your trumpet and scream supremacy in claiming inability - anything better than fussing. Clue in the next point. 

Purposeful activity is the happy key

The problem is not with busyness or activity. It's about the efficiency of that activity. If it's one of those things you just need to do, it's best done away with quick. If it's one of the other things where the journey's more important than the destination, it can be always be enjoyed better. When your activity is filled with purpose, everything you do has a specific reason and your effort all goes into an outcome that is always equal, and sometimes more than equal to input. When you fuss, it just spills over and keeps your anxiety pangs cooled in its own strange way, only for that to happen over and over and over again. So decide what you want to do (specifically), figure out what it'd take, get yourself up to speed and get the help and involvement you'd require. Instead of screaming yourself hoarse about how you're not able to and that it's such a mountain of a task, use that energy effectively and you'll see the wonders it does. Think as much as you need, till you've got the perfect plan. The world doesn't need half-baked plans handled by incapability.       

The Human Race wasn't made for doom

Man has survived thus far and he will further more. He was made to adapt and survive and bare minimum is not asking for the Universe. All will be well because we are made that way. Men survived, grew, developed, and progressed that way for centuries. Denying yourself the privilege to adapt is like advancing a degression back to them Stone Age thinking days.

Like John Keats says in Dead Poet's Society: "Because we are food for worms, lads. Because, believe it or not, each and every one of us in this room is one day going to stop breathing, turn cold and die."

Fussing all the way through life is not how you see yourself envision that inconspicuous time on Earth, do you?

Practical steps to take:

Setup an activity meter and a permissible limit and swear never to cross it. Max. limit: 60%. Don't define yourself by your activity. Be something before you do anything about it - even if it's a dependent role that keeps your world stable. You are not what you do.   

Don't be scared by what seem to be daunting tasks. Life's generally simple because when it makes sense, it is a logical assortment of units/blocks, and better results can be achieved when you mix and match them so that you do what you want to do. Any combination that works will work.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Dilemma Of Managing A House

I've faced a strange dilemma of late - one that has sort of self-blown up in my face.

The Dilemma Side 1:

I've quit work to continue studying and, in the process, decided to come back home (I was staying in another city when I decided to do so), and one of my subjects includes Sociology. On my list of prospective subjects to take in college this year or the next, it brought to the fore the other side of the dilemma.

The Dilemma Side 2:

My home for the past 4 years or so of my life has been quite intriguing. Here's why. One of the biggest things that made life for me during those years (especially since I was much of a home body) was this incessant drive of people at him to (quote unquote) manage the house. Over the years, when I could afford the energy, I did spend time on trying to decipher what that meant. More than four years hence, I'm even more clueless than when I started.

So there. The dilemma was between the enlightenment I got while studying Sociology and concept of managing the house. I didn't ever remember emphasis on the word or the idea the word presents when home was being taken care of before those four years. When I considered it, there was some managing that needed to be done. I mean, things don't happen by themselves. We do things with our hands and feet and we do them pretty consciously, but that was never a word we used so heavily like it's a gold-plated agenda. It just happened. We usually also needed to do the things we did. You don't manage drinking water when you're thirsty and if you want to drink water when you're thirsty and there is none, you go ahead and boil some. You don't need extraordinary skills or wisdom. All you need is pretty much common sense and you're there. If you consider your house awareness evolution, you cross these barriers almost every now and then. It's not exactly rocket science from where I was coming from - but then apparently it was.

At home now it's a sacred rule book that if we deviate, we are all doomed - and it deserves our rapt attention every second. It's sacrilegious to even stop repeating the words of that rule book or violate any of its precepts.

None the less, it still seems a mystery to me. The folk at home tell me it's way more than rocket science and their paranoia seems to justify that, but I'm done deciphering the code. It's brain-damaging. I've tried a Complexity Theory approach i.e a system is more than just a sum of its parts. Making the list of objective things to manage is apparently just plainly ignorant of that mystical connection between the parts. Woe be unto me. Even making that objective list is sacrilege.

I've tried the Self-Organising Theory i.e all men and women are have the natural capability to organise themselves according to their needs and requirements. In a household, they naturally cooperate with each other to achieve that effort, and any system or set of rules comes about as a result of that. When control is hijacked in the name of managing, you defeat the very possibility of  mutual cooperation. You don't give the people in the household space to mutually respond to each other, to start with. By the theory of managing the house that they go by, you have to at least have to be able to do that and that should cover everything you'd need. Managing doesn't even fit into the picture there. By this definition, it's a level of self-organisational advancement that beats all sociological research so far.

But that has a road block. Does this state of self-organisational advancement also include excessive amounts of fuss and panic? Panic and fuss is not a quality of self-organisation. It's a quality of inability and incapability.  It's like a king who has a royal, authoritative throne but wields a powerless scepter. He can only scream and send his armies out. The obsession for control as a result of a lack of ability and capability is really a scramble for it. Why the heck? It beats the heck out of me.

What's satisfying about power or control at home is something I simply don't understand. I'm not even going to try to see what theories will help explain it. It seems to be fear of the sacred rule book. That fear seems to be based on the assumption that if we don't follow the rule book, the sky will fall on our heads and all hell will break loose - only because we didn't follow the rule book. The interesting question to ask now is where the rule book comes from? Wait, we wrote it! Here's another truth: the sky will never fall on our heads and all hell will never break loose, least of all because of the things we do or don't do. So everybody should just simply relax. We will do what we must, like how all of the human race developed up to now, and of course, make it a point not to drive ourselves to desperation in the process.      

So I'm putting this question out there. What is it about managing a house is worth all the fuss and panic? Does anybody else also have the same or a similar situation at home? Would any Sociology or Psychology Doctorate hopeful like to investigate this phenomena? Do share your research when you do please!     

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The fire must come from your belly, else it must fall, or reconstruct.

In the last two posts(1 & 2), I've spoken about a contributive economy - one which is created by the dynamic of individuals contributing to it, as opposed to just filling spaces that are vacated and being cogs in the ever-growing cyclic machine of the world today. Being a contributor in this economy is rather difficult, despite the noise and jargon the majority of educational institutions in this country make their sales pitches on and the  horn that the majority of the corporate world blows every so often. A contributive economy is one that is constantly original, in the sense that it only starts at the individual's conviction with what he injects into it (and which  plays out collectively, with each one contributing with this principle always intact). He shouldn't necessarily be playing by the rules, unless:

1) The economy serves/has been serving the interests it exists to serve, better than with the method of the individual.
2) The economy has less downsides than when practiced with the method of the individual.

This cannot happen when the economy in question ends up functioning for its own sake i.e is not self-sustaining in achieving its intent which is why it has constantly added in-built supports that only require further support. The fire must come from the belly, else the economy must fall. We are scared that if it falls, all hell will break loose. That's because we've created a monster that actually owns us, and we let it, when we keep adding support to it in fear that it will. We are scared because we haven't really encountered the idea, for ourselves, of active contribution to an economy, or just the idea of what we primarily need in an economy before relevant luxury should even come in. We've been brought up by a flawed one that has never let us out of its sight and the luxury and necessity of which defines our versions of what luxury and necessity is.

This has one essential self-contradiction - it denies its roots. Today, it won't take a step forward unless it can see a hundred steps after that, as clear as sparkling blue water on an ocean. Unless we can predict those steps, we refuse to get out of the mould - and a half-economy filled mostly with greed and an incessant hunger for 'more' which is strangling itself. While we constantly loosen the strangle, we only have that many resources that can actually hold it up. We can only squeeze so much, even if we're squeezing ourselves. We'll be martyrs for nothing, and it will leave us high and dry. The value which we've created in our riches will be nothing compared for the value of staying happy and peaceful, if alive, and hoping to live a few days more with all of that in our pockets, bank accounts and assets absolutely devalued, if not meaningless, when such an economy falls flat to the ground.

The very roots of our economy were hopeless, but necessary. It is like planting a seed that we hope will grow. We had some understanding of how seeds grow, but we had to have hope that the whole thing will sustain, and fill a field, and many more fields creating a growing security, sustenance and growth potential for a growing need. The only reason for a brighter future is a bleaker present, and the cycle must replicate - only this time, we're on the other side. The bleaker present is now and the brighter future is in the seeds we plant. The only problem is that we may not have a perfect foreseeable idea about how it unfolds, which is why we stick to our 'safer' growth graphs but that's what it will take - more risk than the sum of corporate and sales jargon that we belt out can afford. Our marketing agendas won't be able to afford them and we're inherently inadmittedly desperate even if we console ourselves, insufficiently at best, with all that our trained 'expertise' can vomit. The drastic steps we take in our economies today sometimes reminds us of this but we keep those steps to just when things are going to tip over - and then we're back again at making sure the machine runs when the band-aid works for as long as it does. 

What's more depressing is that we have lost confidence in our natural ability to cooperate with each other and make one, without worrying about any particularly academic understanding of what it should be, one that easily flies over our most of our heads. Have we forgotten to be human or have we been ingrained with the idea that a perfect economy cannot be anywhere close? The world almost thrived with a whole bunch of micro-economies before we made a mess of uniting it. Of course, it had its shortcomings, but as if we didn't have any. At least, they didn't cover them up. They rose from contemporary culture and the values of the time and were natural to the age. More importantly, it moved forward and made up for shortcomings in doing so. Society worked before we meddled with it, before we were obsessed with the smaller more important things and built them up into bigger, successful and self-sustaining things. The fire in the belly was from us, and not just from us. We breathed life into it. Now it sucks life out of us. The only thing dynamic about it is its defense.

As opposed this destructive-soon-to-blow-up chaos, a contributive economy keeps the fire coming from the from our own belly. It has a natural means of taking care of the needs of the ones it caters to and is sensitive too - that means its values are straight as well. It responds to need, and can be dismantled when needed and reconstructed to serve purpose. We wouldn't be servicing it. It would be servicing us. You don't build a monster unless, of course, the fire in the belly is coming from the monster itself.

It allows society to respond, individually and then collectively, to problems all round - in this case of demand and supply and every other issue remotely associated with it, most importantly, keeping the values that dictate the interfaces it has with us as solid as rock. If we don't watch our step, we might just become soulless and never ever know it. The best part of this will be that, with this freedom, we can look for open doors to the the unnecessary luxuries that actually take us to more holistic, higher and better versions of ourselves. We'll be well pleased with what we see in the mirror every time we look at it, instead of counting brownie points that we scored that we can claim at another corporate bum shed for nothing that will make us proud of ourselves when we look at that mirror, except for 'more' of that.

We will be contributing to, vibing with and co-creating a world that has way more peace-when-you-hit-the-bed-at-night potential because of the things you did during the day with our lives. We will also be less hungry because we recognise the benefit of this camaraderie as opposed to abject competitiveness that drives us now. It's almost the same as competitiveness except the spirit won't be cut-throat. It will be uplifting and ecnouraging with equal gusto.

When we are stuck with the many problems, which we now react to and simply endorse and defend the mess that is now, we will actually take the innovative, creative steps to advance over them casting the next most logical, reasonable and hopeless seed into the future in line with the best that we can make of the world and really hope to let the potential in us shine. We could also end up just breaking them down and reconstructing them. We won't be dictated by the comfort of a plan that stops letting out the power of our true collective potential over constantly providing life support to an ailing system. One that is self-serving and not humanity serving.

The thing about injecting our ideas and potential into it is that we can make real the potential in us that we dream about instead of cowering in a system that doesn't entertain anything but servanthood to it. We can imagine and explore what we don't know we have yet, each of us individually, together, and reach higher ground that fullly represents our potential and further humanity instead of simply serving an economy. As long we take care of ourselves, along with living our dreams, the economy will take care of itself. It's the means, not the end. In such a natural process, we will not ignore our needs. We needn't fuss over an economy, if we embody it and become it. When we are responsive, and effective, we become original, and more importantly, us. We don't need to tow the line if we don't see the reflection in the mirror. We'll combine our needs and our progress into one sweet ball of dynamism that moves, grows and progresses with us as we move along the same journey - a true living tribute to the power of human potential, not a static goalpost that myopically instills fear in us in the event that it may fall. With all our advancement, we should have known by now that a fear is best destroyed, than entertained - for generations together, at that.           

If there is no bleak present, and we're actually all happy and gay, we actually wouldn't need to do that and all. We will realise that we achieve a bright present, if we don't try - to restrict and box, but just let be and grow according to natural need and not have external greed that doesn't fit in the picture. 'Economy' would just be a word  then, not a phenomenon.

 It won't be survival of the fittest. It will be let's all make it to the end together

Saturday, January 26, 2013

It's not less, easy and simpler, dufus. It's more, a little more difficult and a tad more complicated if you want to set the world right.

Taking from the last post...

In this up and coming, upwardly mobile, modern, 21st century world, 'more' is the keyword. I needn't reiterate. What that has translated into is easy, simple, less... basically more for us. Any way that we can walk in, squeeze something of its worth, claim dream/goal victory and move to the next thing. It's like a drug. You can never be satisfied. When you can only see so much juice potential in something, and it clearly doesn't meet the present self-upgraded definition of 'more', you squeeze something else - and leave the juice in that ilk to rot because it has lost its value. Even a waste disposal system for all of that is of no use to you. Why concern yourself with it?

There's just one problem  - there is only so much you can squeeze. If that doesn't service your snort pipe 'more' enough, you're gonna be stuck, and the bad news is that you are going to be stuck. Positive thinking makes you think you can make your own world. Dream it and create it and that's the whole purpose of life and do it again and again. That's because the world has sold you dreams. But, dude, you only have that much clay to play with, only so much more wet mud to make clay with and so much more mud only to make wet mud to make clay to play with. There's that scene in The Lorax when the greedy Once-ler watches the last tree fall and then almost instantly (instantly, I'm sure, if just time and space contracted and allowed people to make their choices in quicker time frames with their already contracted small minds) everything also falls apart, just like that. Be thankful that the last tree hasn't fallen and you're not regretting those decisions while reading this blog post. Also be alert and keep a ear out to see that if it falls while you're reading it, just incase.

Instead of check mating yourself in pre-more-dangerously-innocent-than-you'll-ever-know pride, check mate yourself now. You only are as free as your resources. Wait, no. We are as free as our resources. We, not just the 'us' you can count on your fingers or in your head as you read this sentence. We, the human race. Every single, living, breathing, thinking, intelligent, college-educated cell-form that will be existent on the Planet, when that last tree falls, lest it should. This tree I'm talking about is both metaphorical and literal. I mean what I mean, by this blog post, environmentally and every other resource-wise.

We have proved one thing by our response to the world around us. We have a very short attention span, of course, along with tonnes of pride in our heads. The pride probably factors in more than we know. We cannot healthily boast of less, unless we mean so only terms in eventually used consumption (in the case of natural (and natural-based) resources. We cannot healthily mean easy and simple, unless only in terms of the non-commodification (non-cogification perhaps?) in terms of how we make use of the vast sea of all human resources (the people with the potential in them intact and used).

Any basic economics principle can be used to deduce that if you systematically squeeze the resource, the resource will go dry and, perhaps even cease to exist - or become a couch potato. It's sheer wonder how some people are used while being sold the idea of eventual couchpotatohood. We sometimes exalt in that, even the ones being used in this evil plan by their full consent, and claim success by it as if it is some sort of achievement. A lot of them will have a relative-to-the-recentish-past humungous bank balance to show, which has either bought them over or silenced them. As in all cases, in exceptions, there are ways to get that cash, incidentally or through means that I am not against as well. I address what I believe those means to be in the previous post, as linked.

When did selling yourself become a good thing? Do you externally define your value, or do you internally define them? Does it add up to a distinct, maybe seemingly selfish, individual contribution to the world that you know runs in your blood? One that mirrors a missing reflection when you see the world? If you do, it's not selling, but it could be self-entertaining. It can be either a celebration of sorts or an act of service of sorts - either this or that. Are you celebrating a privilege that few only have? You'll know if the celebration is with everybody, and everybody does not include the group you're cool with and you hang with. Check in circles way outside yours. It could very probable that your bubble's thick and sound proof. If the voices you hear outside are the voices you hear inside, you're relevantly safe. If you don't understand a bit of the voices outside, you need to remove your shell and level up. To have the things we want, like, fancy or simply demand is a privilege barely many people have on this planet. Even the small little things starting at the availability of electricity at your nearest plug point whenever you want it, or that yummy, tasty, maybe expensive snack that you open your fridge to find inside everyday. Just because it's available, that doesn't mean you should have it. Just because it's there to take and fits your desire, it doesn't have to be yours to take - finders keepers, losers weepers.That's only a privilege you will have if you are privileged enough to have the space to think like that. More people (than not) have the time of their life just finding enough to live by each day.

Sometimes the privileges we celebrate are so inbuilt we don't really consider them so until we see that the other half the world doesn't have them. Even if we can't give away some, being defined by them is a more worse state to live in. It's like living in a virtual dreamland. Irrelevancy like that should be criminal. Check its relevance to the world at larger levels, proportional to the size of the effort and the resources you plough into it. Can they be used to level out your world with the rest? Then, when you actually have that celebration and the roof comes down, it won't be so awkward from the outside of the party because there won't be any one languishing there.

Some further points to note. Each action done in the world had a consequent effect, and an effect that took place when a resource you have now became yours. No resource you use is yours, ever! It was always somebody else's before it came to you, and it should have been bought/got free, fair and humane on all possible counts as much as possible. Was there deprivation of any sort, even in the context of the accepted economic systems through which it came to you? Is it benefiting the many or the few? Is it riding on the principle of its affordability among the fewer who actually can pay? Or maybe the question is, more, who can actually access it in the first place, forget about affording it?

If that's the case, do you trump an elitist achievement conveniently to people who are taught that that's what makes dreams worth dreaming and a better reality than their other options, which is effectively based on stealing/half-stealing something that's not theirs? You'd go to that extent to endorse the survival of the fittest method? And, by the way, what exactly behind what was achieved is your genius? The conniving result of the exercise, or those really awesome marketing, consumer behavior or/and economics classes you took which, in conjunction with your genius, created a world where supply meets demands in a cycle that is just and fair? I know the world is complicated and it's near to impossible to achieve that - but you could be that guy who you are stamping on, while he is trumping the idea you are right now because of your decision not to look in to these things and go ahead with what the world sells you. Any dialogue on this topic is a better start to a free and fair acquisition system than just signing it off as well-camouflaged really sad economics.

We humans have certain few traits which me probably will never recognise, regardless of the amount of education, reasoning and free-thinking we may think we have/do. One of those is the one that seeks self-pleasure, and it overrides most other processes that have a say in decision making. We are in either side of it.  - like falling prey to ourselves - except that we will probably kill ourselves in the process. A very weird state of failed self-realisation. We fall prey to it when we, in the context of this post, market it as products and when we, as consumers, fall for it like some people fall for chocolate like we've never eaten it before - every single time. It manifests as the need to upgrade, grow, for better... when this translates as 'more', merely being augmentative, not a process that fills a real need anywhere at all - for you or for anybody else.

Here's a pointer as to how you can differentiate the two to start with. It's not necessarily perfect, but it starts you down the road to there at least. When you're doing or are engaged in something that you are unaware of, you have no time to check on what your soul's feeding on, or you have just enough time to make sure you get your dose. And the reason you're unaware of it is because it is necessary to you - either to your existence , or to your growth and development. The kind of things you would do anyway, either if you were left no choice (things you would do existentially) and if you were left all the choice (but only for wholesome, holistic indulgence, existential or not, in something that truly completes you and calls you). It's possible irrelevancy is something that you should cross-check even then. Sometimes, even the most basic things that will pass by this method will be irrelevant because the world is that cruel.

We can use precious resources, which the world has, for entertainment we demand for, when we have given the rest of the world what we have already, first - and we can all party together. Till then, the party will be out of place and just plain weird. Instead contribute to your world in a manner that does not merely serve profit margins and your self-interests. Any true sustained hope the world needs is not going to be corporate savvy because it is not going to be interest worthy because it is not going to give any returns. It will be hopeless given the circumstamces the world is in. It must be hopeless and the only other option we are left with is the possibility of it being hopeful and the corporate bums won't budge otherwise. CSR just tips their moral balance right so that they can sleep well at night. It doesn't do more.

So, it's not less, easy, simpler and extremely hopeful, dufus. It's more, a little more difficult, a tad more complicated and tonnes of hopelessness we need to be hopeful about instead as the only hope that will set things right. Make your alternative steps, at least individually, towards that ideal. At least let's dialogue about this, honestly. The world is not going to turn on its side while we rape its resources, hoping that it will.      

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Darwin is right, because of you.

Man's an animal. We've gone the old academia route to actually establish and tell our children that, way when they are in school. Before they can make a full and complete choice how, and what, they want to make of themselves in life. As this post will prove, even before they can see the potential of humanity otherwise. We layer on that teaching of good moral values and teaching that we must be human - because after all that's what we are.

The truth is that, whether man is a animal or not, man has become one. One with a tie, suit and a business plan. One with a developed knowledge and intelligence that masks his animalistic instincts and gives them a shine before turning them into accolades that generations that follow must aim for. One that has made himself into a self-industrious robot to do more, more and more... more, more and more... more, more and more... and more like that... always and ever more - else life is meaningless.

We have become that which our natural fate is, despite being given the intelligence to identify it. That indeed makes us no less than animals. Animals follow that religious cycle, generation after generation after generation. You don't tell a lion to think of the suffering he inflicts on the next organism in the food chain. He just eats it and everyone down the line plays their subsequent role in the chain. The lion has no clue what he's doing, but he's driven by hunger and gets what he wants when he's hungry (and I'm sure even angry) even if he has to do it himself. He's an animal. That's what animals do. They simply do what they do. They're not plagued by a morality. So they don't make choices on moral bases. They're wired. They are nature's version of robots.

That's what we've made ourselves into. Robots. We also just do what we do because that's what we do. Only thing: with that little layer of morality around us, we divide out animalistic tendencies into a few negative and a thousand fold more positives. The negative ones keep us from a complete moral collapse - more psychological than anything else. They make us feel good. The positive divisions are where the animal in us kicks in, creeps in and infests silently.

Darwin's idea seems to make more sense to us than the natural world it seems, with consequences it poses and costs it incurs - except that we call those 'unavoidable' costs. Some, we have become hardened to over time as well. We, in our unconscious animalistic response, endorse the survival of the fittest theory, mostly unconsciously. We endorse it with ways that seem way more noble than they actually are. We've been washed over by the greed that capitalist and corporate principles have bought us over with. Who paid the tab? Our ego, selfishness and pride, and they're squeezing every bit of the price out of our souls, again, without us knowing.

We're like that metaphorical horse with the carrot hanging in front of it. The dream is achievement. In case you're wondering what achievement - any achievement. Anything that's pretty and backward proves your industriousness. Anything that's more than the last, better than the other guy (or the the guy you expect to beat you), fancier than you've ever seen yet... we're basically entertaining ourselves through and through. Only a well-to-do generation can afford that, like a more or less well to do urban yuppy rich kid who hits the mall and goes shopping every now and then because his pop made that kinda money making the career on the exact principles I'm describing. He (and we) barely need half of it, even if there weren't people who die in most other parts of the world who don't even have food to eat. Even if that wasn't true, we'd still have better non-(self)entertaining ways to use our resources as a generation of individuals who uplift the human in us (because that's what we are - humans) and serve needs and facilitate holistic growth of individuals, who are capable of much more than just toeing the line of that evil seed which is planted in us - not just mere augmentative growth.           
Our marketing strategies are only reflective of how we so easily recluse into that animal zone, with everyone else as well. When hungry, eat. When desire, get. Dream and achieve regardless of what principlic precedents you set for the world. Live like the world's yours to conquer while it's all yours to take - and the rat race helps build competition. It may make you bleed but it strengthens you to be stronger to do and achieve more and more and more.

Will we stop this mad cyclic rat race? Till when will we still 'follow our passion' because of switches that have been turned on in our heads? Till when will our minds be made of switches that people can switch on once they key in on our animalistic weakness with their animalistic connivery and support their actions with perfectly noble excuses? We gleefully run to the next thing that can buy us over, like criticizing a movie before it is even made because the director didn't choose to have your favourite stars in it. While he wanted to introduce you to a whole new world, you wanted him to entertain you.

The tragedy of the world, as a result of this, is that we live in a fulfilling economy, not a contributive one. It's advancements only provide replacements, or upgrades, that is while they are trying to fix its inherent flawed state and natural liabilities. It's not one which is, or that is allowed to be, representative of each of our potential. One particular statistic is the mismatch between the particular academic expertise and career choosing - most of us go for the moolah, which is there mostly in the service industry. It is only natural that an already existent/hidden client base funds an industry - but that just spins the same old circle faster and it's one of the most important cogs in the nation's moneymaking machine. A lot of these people are of potential that is more than just  the various levels of service jobs they do. Some are hidden artists, writers, creative people whose expertise can span so many levels of human requirement, entrepreneurs with brilliant ideas and so many other kinds of people... but they all simply, for a career, service the billions who give the moolah because the moolah is what we want right? Of course, it has its tags - prestige, respect, status, 'getting somewhere in life'. What is irking is that their mode of servicing the billions is not through breakthrough ideas that come from the breakthrough human potential but through glorified basic sales reasoning, masks over the consumer's face and conniving enticement to their minds to put money in the banks of the few who run the world and pay the bills.    

If one did notice, capitalism and the theory I purport have much in common - except they end up at opposite ends. One purports extreme individualism. Every man has the right to become what he wished and must be given the equal means to. He's the saviour of the world who actually provides the jobs - him and other folk like him. The system's all based on merit and trods on more people than it can ever amount to benefiting. The other is also individualistic in nature but it puts the hope of the world being all that it can be on each individual - their potential, insight, courage and confidence in their individual potential, held together against what it can holistically do to the world and how it can progress both the individual and man on principles that are human and not animalistic. Those that set precedents that allow us to reach the pinnacle of our human capability and score for the world in contributing to it while we build ourselves simultaneously - and not go right back to our animals ways, however glorified the day and age has made them.         

So, Darwin is right, because of you. You choose where to side, and only you can.

Click here for Part 2   

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The L Word

I'll start with this. Read that first. What kicked me about it is this bit -

"We’re tal­king away, when sud­denly I inte­rrup­ted her quite suddenly.
“Hmmmm…” I say, “You’re kinda cool… I’m kinda cool…”
A slight pause.
“We should kiss!” I exc­laim, rather jokingly.
Cindi looks at me for a moment, says nothing, then sud­denly leans over and plants a big one on the ol’ lips. Hurrah!"

Now I think you have sufficient reason to read it.

Secondly, I was watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and will soon continue onwards from where Harry and Ron are stuck with finding someone to go with to the Yule Ball. After being clueless about what to do, just when they sorta get their act together, the turn of events is unexpected. Harry runs in to Cho (who's been eyeing him a while) for the second time and she turns hims down because she was going with someone else, before extremely apologetic about it. This is after Harry and Ron take pains at figuring out how the heck to actually get a date for the evening, watching others do it way more graciously. Ron has a worse experience with Fleur Delacour. What hit me (while I accept that it's just a movie and representation of society's ways way particularly over in England) is the irrational social stigma that dogged everyone who hadn't got a date yet.

Now to the point. Love. As expected (with our miniscule minds), we have converted love, with all that it means, into a silly little word that we throw around like fishing hooks as a consequence of many things that we don't really understand about ourselves. What is wonderful, layered, fun, fulfilling and which has many more noble qualities has been turned into a badly abused meme that is confused and linked disproportionately with dating, romance and being "with" and "without" among the lot. We use it as an excuse for our insecurities, lack of identity and rather classy sexual animalism - like animals when they just do what they do because that's what they do. Like we just gotta have it.

The problem is that, while we barely understand it ourselves, and why we need it as bad in the first place, we have adopted very self-conflicting paradigms, or multiple paradigms to live with it in order to justify the conflicting nature of our beliefs about it. We are commitment freaks. One of the paradigms we follow is to commit, but commit first. Before we know what we're getting into. Before we discover ourselves in the light of each other. Before we know what the heck we are committing to. As long as we're committed, with no clause as to what should happen in case of that commitment being broken. It's a recipe for heart break. A date is no more just a date. It's a code word for the above, more so in case it all goes wrong. You don't go from dating someone to gradually being in a relationship. You get locked in immediately, into a relationship, and have to squeeze your way out at any point hence, like it is an obligation to stay in once you're in. You've default signed a contract,
of course absolutely without your knowledge, the consequence of which is only death by separation. Then when there is no space but squeezing out space, you blame "love". There are exceptions of course. Some people adopt sensible paradigms of response to the constrictions that life presents and don't choose to dig a pit they can fall in. Without them, love would really be buried six feet under. There would be no proof of happy romance at all.

Given that we barely have a clue about what we're getting into, why would we want to pre-seal the deal before we know what's going to unfold? If we like the danger, why do we then complain of heart break - a natural consequence of a bad choice of risk? Bad sportsmanship?
We're always "with" someone, as we speak. I wonder what happens when we're "without" them. Do we become half of what we were, and therefore incomplete? And now onto find a better half so we can feel complete ASAP? If no man is an island, we are all islands together, but a bunch of individual islands before we met. If we needed completion before we met another, we have some home issues to solve, or together we are just an awesome doublesome which, in any case, makes it more awesome. No security or identity issues there.

Instead of playing out our romantic dreams and aspirations and bringing them to life in these ways, as fast and desperately as possible, I suggest, in the midst of all this hidden confusion, to unname love and take out all these forms of expression - walls and barriers. We should let it be what it is and express it as it comes. The moment we give it a form, and box it in, it probably won't spread its wings to fly and take you along with it. Instead of being deterministic, we should be explorative. When in a box, we can get protectionist about it. It can be something we run and hide to, not in a warm, fuzzy manner. When out without walls, it will be something we run to like it's a green open field for miles and miles surrounded by beautiful waterfalls, hills, caves and the sea and its hush waves.

When we give it a name, it's a place we aspire to reach, sit pretty and get old after we get there. When nameless, we won't really know whether we're there yet to even think of that, let alone the possibility. When it's the word we've had it become, we trust those magical three words to capture our heart's desire. When it's not, it's so much more fun, and effort we look forward to to go along with. The poetry will start to flow and love will become just the word it can reasonably hold the meaning of. We will start to describe love in terms of what it makes actually do when we're actually in love like when free men are - bound men cannot know the feeling. Jump down a waterfall. Fly to the moon and actually bring it down. Go on an everlasting hitchhike. We will use roo (like Van Morrison), belong, keep... or even go with Hugh McLeod with his "
You’re kinda cool… I’m kinda cool…"  

Anything but 'love'. Bleh!