Stuck in certain patterns of conversations

 Conversations in my group revolve around:

1. Statistics, trivia, information or gossip related to jobs and companies.
2. People – husbands, seniors, double seniors
3. Regions in India and language discussions, Indian culture
4. Professor, their achievements, courses – related to their market value
5. Movie and actor trivia
6. Indian politics, little bit international
7. Thoughts about longing to buy a car
8. Aggressive teasing with an element of ‘looking down upon’

Langauge is just a form of reductionism?

Language IMHO is basically an abstraction created to describe concepts and share thoughts and ideas. So it is a sort of packaging and labeling of concepts. We derive meaning of the words from experiences in our lives – (situations, talking with people), we extrapolate, interpolate OR use analogies to combine concepts.The label itself does not have any significance like notes of money with numbers written which are just a pieces of paper. Why do we only use some 1000-2000 words in our daily spoken language? I guess this is because it is enough for most general communication purposes. If you apply the bell curve phenomenon for society, a large amount of vocabulary is rarely used. Now finer vocabulary terms have been created to convey thoughts in more resolution, but still the meaning is derived in the same way. So if I use the word “Pleasant”, it may indicate one of the 10 notable feelings which I consider pleasant. But which one of the 10? Even if I narrow it down to one, is that the real thing? I think the real feeling is infinite, everything is reality is infinite. We just assign this approximation depending upon the breath and level of subtlety we can perceive. In terms of breath, a person can have significantly different thoughts about the word pleasant. One person may think of the feeling he had in a flotation tank while another may think about his easy chair. They are very different feelings, but both get tagged under pleasant. So I guess, the vocabulary and combination of words we use to convey thoughts can indicate the breath and level of subtlety of perception.

Also, things thoughts can be conveyed and understood by another person only if he/she has had a similar experience or something to extrapolate on.
Think about the following examples:
1. Can you explain to a 10yr old, what can orgasm might feel like?
2. Can you explain what a lucid dream might feel like to someone who has never heard of it?
3. Can you explain what colors look like to a blind person?
4. Can you explain what an alcohol high feels like to a person who has never touched it?
5. Can you explain what is music to a person who has never heard any?
6. Can you explain humor, or what makes us laugh?

Magic goggles and mirrors

When I speak to some people to share my problem and get perspectives on it, sometimes their stark lack of awareness is revealed OR in case our views absolutely oppose(which is very common because I’m kind of a free thinker) while opening up to them the whole environment becomes an egoistic showdown. Each offends/defends with their point of view or tries to withdraw. Esp when it is with a person with whom I’ve spent a lot of time, they think they know me too well and this exacerbates the miserable feeling and the other person’s life starts looking rosier because of their lack of the problem which I’m so involved in. If i visualize it it kind of looks like the goggles which I use to see the world get distorted and I see my life as a stormy cloud and their life as even rosier, like say a rainbow shown in the left part of the diagram.

Sometimes, when I’m deeply admired by someone and they really understand me and share their vulnerabilities with me, I feel the exact opposite(shown in the right side of the figure) and this good feeling overflows as love/compassion towards the other person.

I find it hard to believe how this goggle filter distorts so much between these 2 experiences. What is the objective truth then?What can I infer?Is the goggle what we call as ego/image of self which transform the way you perceive reality? On examination I feel I cannot trust this perception anymore.

Each person I meet is like a magic mirror since I look totally different in these mirrors each time depending on that person’s state of mind and my own state. For e.g.: If I drink alcohol with a friend whose similar to me, both of us start reflecting off the pleasant state from our mirrors making us look much better in each others’ mirrors.

Random musings

Dis-identification is freedom. Each level of it adds a new degree of freedom. As we move up layers and dis-identify with the lower layers, we get liberated from those lower layers. The prison breaks since we no longer have any investment in the dis-identified layer. Its like all the walls of that prison(metaphorically its attachment) become invisible and you get to see what that space really is.

Are we really creating our reality/self at every moment? That thought kind of puts a LOT more responsibility. Do I really need to make choices at every single moment? Making choices once a way scares me enough! I can generally handle one moment at a time very well or even short plans for like half a day. What really hits me are long term goals. I absolutely have no clue. If there is so much of uncertainty even in such a short amount of time, how practical is it to make a long term goal. And what about my dynamic self. I’m so dynamic in my opinions, thoughts and beliefs that what matters now may not even matter after a short while. How can I be dynamic and have a long term goal? Doesn’t that mean I would have to lock my priorities for a very long period of time? How is that freedom? Most enlightened people simply live in the moment because they know this truth. This enables them to fully experience the present like a child. Maybe that is why they live away from cities. I do have certain long term goals, but aligning some of them with society’s expectations is a serious pain. Its like society has a road map set, which I have been following since childhood. The pressure from society to conform is absolutely overwhelming. Why are there so few free thinkers? (its a Q that still beats me)

I generally like to operate at the fringe of my reasoning, opinions and beliefs and continually expand that sphere in all directions. The larger the sphere the more expansive and free I feel. Generally, when I’m talking to a rigid guy about an unknown topic, he gives me a distorted version and tells me that is the truth. That is like walking through narrow paths with walls on either side and reaching a destination(the destination may be a highly distorted opinion). The problem is that, to validate whether the walls are real or not, you need to explore by yourself (see multiple perspectives on the issue). Most of the time, the walls are an illusion. So for me the destination is just the fringe of what I think is possible with my current level of knowledge, experience or imagination. If I reach the fringe of reasoning and go beyond it, then I place a new checkpoint flag and continue to see if I can expand. My thinking force is centrifugal in a 3D sense. I want to expand in all directions. I do not have any fixed destination. What I seek is not an end goal, but a particular state of mind which is open to everything, filled with curiosity and wonder, greatly enriching people’s knowledge and lives, with an extremely high level of wisdom.

Concentrating on music in layers

Since I had a synthesizer/keyboard in childhood, I kind of learnt to hear individual tracks separately in an accompaniment or song.
Percussion 1,2 – Drums…Bass…rhythm 1,2 – guitars, Pad chord – strings, melody 1,2 – special effects or inserts.
8 tracks in the accompaniment
1 lead track, 1 track supplementing the lead etc.

In a typical song, I can easily break up 7-8 tracks and hear them individually. I think this is a great concentration exercise and it really helps you get deeper into the music.

Phenomenological reality vs consensus reality

My beliefs would be more on the lines of Phenomenological/personal reality. I believe in some concepts/theories and I validate it with my experiments. Even me doubting my own experiment is a reality. My need for seeking more is a reality experienced both as physical sensations and in the mental plane as momentum and direction of thoughts. Even if I think about happiness as a concept and feel good, I consider that a valid experience. I first compartmentalize and then try to integrate everything.

Concentration stages

The analogy shown here is similar to that of iron filings orienting themselves to a magnet. The magnetic force here is what we may call will power. Using will power we direct all the neuronal energy towards a specific object. Perfect concentration would be when you become the object itself or feel that ‘you are the object’.

Jnana yoga talks about this in much greater detail.

Another way to look at breathing meditation is that, a surprising fact:¬† If you think about your hand, and at that instant or moment its there, before that you had no awareness it existed. If you choose to only think about the sensation of your right hand, then you would essentially only be your right hand, till you decide to change your thought. So in essence what this could mean is that, the body is just a machine which you are responsible for. So the “You” is not the body. What happens in deep sleep? your body is still alive during this period. I guess what we commonly refer to as “you” is our experience or observation of anything. I do not observe anything about my little toe until I have a thought about it/decide to think about/feel it. So the little toe is not me by definition.

At times while falling asleep we notice that we get lost in thoughts. During this period we have no awareness of the body until we snap back to it by a jolting sound etc. So we could assume, that you were too busy with the thoughts and not aware of the body at all. If extended further, you cannot be your thoughts since someone is observing the thoughts. So the “You” or “I” is something else altogether, maybe in some other dimension. It might just be pure awareness.

So, in breathing meditation I guess what we essentially do is gather all the awareness and focus it on the nostrils.

Diagram: Supposing the yellow, orange and blue represent increasing level of forces pulling the mind towards them. The blue might indicate some important college/office work pending, orange – wanting to eat something, yellow – just a faint feeling. In breathing meditation we relax the body enough that its signals become extremely subtle. This allows us to move all our attention to whatever part we want i.e. nose.

If this is mastered you have separated the concentration/awareness force from its objects. It’s like distillation of water. Preoccupations, desires are contaminants. Imagine the kind of power if this force is completed isolated. Almost all inventions of mankind were based on concentration. So you are isolating that force and you have complete freedom to use it wherever you want since you have freed it from all its obligations. Its like having a rifle in your hand when everyone else is fighting with sticks.