My every thought, word and action reflects me

Everything we speak about reflects our personality. That is how children primarily learn from their parents. There is this subliminal knowledge passed on. A parent may say something but in experience may indicate the exact opposite of that.

For example: I was talking to my parents on phone after many days. My dad described a place that they had recently visited. There was a lot of mention about a relative’s 4bhk bungalow, Honda civic car and interior decoration. There was also a mention about trivia regarding the names of all the places they visited, how much time it took them to climb the fleet of stairs, problems such as cold 7 deg C weather and details regarding all the hardships such as leg pain, unable to procure blankets, lack of sleep, space constraints etc. A lot of procedural trivia, like how they booked the helicopter, made other arrangements for food etc. Details about the exact distances they walked etc. 

What it means is that, out of the super-set of reality, these specific details were filtered and stored in memory and a lot of importance was given to these aspects. At a different level, attention flowed to these aspects. There might be a lot of unsaid information too but this definitely indicates to me what this person considers important, important enough to be stored in memory and shared with people.

My parents always seemed to verbally convey the impression that they do not value material possessions and money much. But there was a tone of fascination and explicit descriptions of the bungalow, car and interior decorations. What does this indicate to me? They do heart of hearts value these else they wouldn’t even notice it so intently. It does impress them. Its like the love hate paradigm. They both operate like 2 sides of a coin. The real essence is attention. So the opposite of love-hate would be pure indifference.

It seems like whatever we talk about reflects us. The style and tone we use to describe something, the specific content or details we extract and choose to present from our super-set of reality, each of these speaks about what matters to me and my intentions. Every word I say, every action I do, my every thought reflects me.

In reality, as quantum physics would agree with, everything is everywhere. You see and talk about what matters to you. The entire reality is filtered through beliefs and we see through our own set of them. Different people live in different realities and have multiple perspectives on everything. Society has made a gigantic effort in creating ‘sameness’ and has succeeded to a great extent. However at a microscopic level our individual differences will always be there just like 2 flowers can never be exactly alike.

Any model is still within created constraints

Nothing can be truly explained in terms of a block diagram model. There are tons of layers and these layers are connected too. They may have symbiotic relationships, different types of dependencies and also circular, iterative and probabilistic relationships. Once we move to the metaphorical level, each thing can be not only be connected to everything else but also in myriad ways. I strongly believe each thing is connected to everything else at a higher level (like the concept in avatar movie). A mega chain of relationships may even connect something as remote as beavers in central america and  the quality of tea in japan or something like that. Each thing is inseparable from everything else, almost like a hologram or a fractal.

It seems that, the only way to construct any kinds of abstractions in reality such as block diagrams is to impose artificial constraints. The limits could be on boundaries and complexity of relationships.

For example:

  • The stretch of imagination required to relate 2 fields should not be too much(subjective constraint depending upon audience)
  • Metaphorical relationships are to be kept minimum(subjective constraint, in truth metaphors are equally valid)
  • The chains should not be longer than 20 arrows across(to limit complexity and scope)
Everything is constrained whether, its anything I do in a job, the way a house is built, any kind of design etc. Along with nature’s rules human beings too have a ton of artificial rules. Its a complex dynamic system among humans and I think the primary reason for conformity and rule creation is to create ‘sameness’ in society. People cannot work together if they do not want the same things. Language itself, the most powerful tool in our communication, is inherently constrained. When I say I’m happy, its an abstract concept and there could be tons of feelings grouped under this category.

Music volume analogy – social gravity and perspectives

Like higher music volumes, certain perspectives and social gravity dominate our views. Once we de-condition ourselves by staying alone for a while (keeping the brain active), we once again regain most of our original views and feelings.

To me, a good analogy would be soft and loud music playing simultaneously. Say there is some mild music leaking from your neighbors house. It is possible to hear it only when the room is totally quiet. Then say you switch on the television at a moderate volume, the sound from your neighbors house is drowned. At the next level, you could put on headphones and blast some loud trance/rock music. Now even the television sound is drowned. You can once again quieten the place enough to hear the faint sounds again coming from outside your house.

I guess in a similar way, social gravity(societal influence, especially when you are in a heavy social situation) dominates our thought patterns and perspectives. It is difficult to regain your original thoughts when there is no much noise. Once alone, in a quiet place, the original thoughts return just like the faint sounds.

Knowledge of impermanence

Though I have been reading about this concept for ages, it seems to get clearer and clearer by the day as I associate to my other reading as well. The latest insight was when I thought about my behavior when I knew I was seeing something for the last time. When I was suffering in my childhood days, I never imagined that my mind would be like my present state 12yrs later. Now in retrospect I wonder, had I known this, would my behavior have been different? I strongly feel it would have made a significant difference. I operate and think in a totally different way when I know its the last time I am seeing something.

There have been so many small instances in my life where I have noticed this. Once a guy dropped into my apt and was going to leave for India the next day. I had briefly met him in a trip previously that lasted for 3 days. He had a strange personality and not very sociable or welcoming. I thought the trip was just a temporary thing and that he was going to return to US after the vacation. Later, I discovered that he was permanently going back to India. This revelation totally changed my thoughts and behavior towards him. I started giving him much more attention and spoke to him for long since I knew it was the last time I would ever see him.

The deeper I think the more I realize that there are a lot of things we see for the last time in our lives. Its like stepping twice in a river, the river is actually different every single time. There are so many people we meet just once or places that we may never see again. You may say there is a probability of seeing them again, but a LOT of times that is extremely low especially if your traveling around the world, studying abroad etc, or a lifestyle that involves a lot of changing environments.

Even the stuff we take as constant are actually not on close observation. My thoughts are continuously changing if I observe them keenly. Even my mental state of mind and physical sensations are unique at every moment. There is nothing to grasp, unless I put a huge amount of effort to maintain a status quo. For example: Say I regularly fantasize about sex related content, but sexual content is just a concept, the kind of feelings, quality of mental images and creativity is very different even if I do this twice everyday. Even this effort is just a trap that makes us do the same thing over and over again.

The word ‘balance’

The word balance always made me feel uncomfortable for a long time. Now when I think back on why I felt uncomfortable I got some interesting insights. Earlier my concept of me = all the experiences I had + my future experiences. So the word balance meant, I’ll have to live within a narrow band of experience – not going too high or low. This was imprisoning by itself. I felt it was too stifling and restrictive.

Now I look at the same word in a different way. This comes from a paradigm shift in what I think of me. Now, me = the blank screen on which all experience happens. Also, the fact that all experience begin and end. They have different life times but being born and dying and distinct start and end points to them. So now the word balance means something different to me. It is about you having the freedom to choose and control your experiences rather than being a slave to them. For example: if I get addicted to coffee, then it becomes a need and that controls me vs me choosing to have it. Now, balance for me is maintaining this freedom of perspective, choices, actions etc.

Deep learning however happens when you go far off the mean. If I take an atom analogy, say your experiences are the electron. If you are close to the nucleus, you would have a limited range of experiences but live a content life. On the other hand, if you are an electron with tremendous energy you could orbit very far, have journey’s, extreme pleasure or upheavals. Orbiting far away would make you have much more intense experiences and may result in high wisdom, knowledge and deep empathy.

Cause of suffering

The cause of suffering is said to be resistance to “What Is” of kind. This statement is so profound. Everyday I see new meanings for this simple saying. Almost any kind of suffering can be explained by this simple statement. When I get an injection, I do not suffer because I am ready for that pain which lasts for 4-5 secs. Whereas if someone punches me, that is suffering since I am resisting that person’s anger towards me.

Suppose someone asks you the question, where would you rather be right now, the more dreams you can come up with would show how far away you are from living your actualized life and this causes suffering. Dreaming causes suffering if you believe that the dream you conjured up is a much much better state than the present.I like to be in a state of day dream since I have freedom compared to real life which is much more restrictive. This addiction to dreaming of wonderful possibilities or free exploration coupled with a high desire for perfectionism manifests itself as torpor. This too causes suffering since I resist ‘what is’ in the social world and all that it expects from me. At a higher level beyond concepts etc. raw emotions need to be accepted for what they are. Anger is anger, fear is fear, joy is joy etc.

Relationships beautifully bring out your entanglements, attachments, obsessions, passions, fears and aversions  in an experiential way. Its one of the greatest teachers especially when the relationship is a deep one lasting at least for a year.

This needs to be disentangled. A dream is a dream, a concept is a concept, seeing is seeing, hearing is hearing etc. and lastly , ‘what is’ is ‘what is.

Seeking and Non-seeking

I wonder if I simply alternate between Intense seeking and a contentment phase where I just flow timelessly doing things by habit. Can all action be classified under seeking? It is said that even at attempt to be desireless is a very strong desire. Probably, there are just 2 states, desire/seeking and desirelessness/non-seeking. I think this state of desirelessness can be attained through a deep enough understanding of yourself. But however, it is sort of a plunge into the unknown. So all fears need to purged out one by one first.