Jul 11, 2007

Csikszentmihalyi Flow

In the flow state, Csikszentmihalyi found, people engage so completely in what they are doing that they lose track of time. Hours pass in minutes. All sense of self recedes. At the same time, they are pushing beyond their limits and developing new abilities. Indeed, the best moments usually occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to capacity.
People emerge from each flow experience more complex, Csikszentmihalyi found. They become more self-confident, capable, and sensitive.The experience becomes "autotelic," meaning that the activity actually becomes its own reward.
"To improve life, one must improve the quality of experience," he says. One of the chief advantages of flow is that it enables people to escape the state of "psychic entropy," the distraction,depression,and dispiritedness that constantly threaten them.
:Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Mee-high Chick-sent-me-high-ee)

May 25, 2007

One Talks, One Walks

George Orwell, defining the core of mediocrity :

The great mass of human beings are not acutely selfish.
After the age of about thirty they almost abandon the sense of being individuals at all — and live chiefly for others, or are simply smothered under drudgery.
But there is also the minority of gifted, willful people who are determined to live their own lives to the end...

Marsellus Wallace, you couldn't keep this man down, ever :
"Now the night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting, that's pride fuckin' wit ya. Fuck pride! Pride only hurts, it never helps. Fight through that shit."

Reincarnate my Buffalo?

It's well documented by Buddhists and other such deep-study religious mass opiates that we all seem to be involved in a cycle of birth and rebirth.I believe the Dalai is a reincarnate of,incredibly,the Buddha himself. Can he seriously even himself believe such crazy shit.
Now my point was if man is involved in such cycle and needs to perform some nifty deeds ( poorly documented and variously interpreted to add some thrill and keep the plebians cycling cluelessly) to get out of this vicious cycle of rebirth surely this rebirth/reincarnation thing cannot be limited to just humans.
It follows that the other living beings should be into this game as well,as humans are in all probability closer to God than goats lets say.So God wouldn't single out mankind for this rebirth/ reincarnate stuff and goats/cows/chicken/donkeys need come in only once.. no logic here.

So the religious leaders( those whose religions have been enlightened under various trees) now can spend their lives gainfully employed preaching ways and means to beat the rebirth trap while other morons preach radically different destinations(cushy or hellish) based on just one life's performance.

We can understand the industrious leaders of western religions who need to work all the time to market their spiel/raise funds/invest funds/guide women on abortions/claim their holy land militarily/indulge in more politics than govts themselves/ guide the George Bushes through their moments of doubt...these guys can easily lose the plot ,but what takes the cake are the gents like the buddhist monks .
These guys do nothing, just nothing except dwell on such topics like how to beat the rebirth all their lives locked up in remote monastaries with no distractions (or inclinations like the worthy catholic, celibately avowed priests). It cannot be that no monk has wondered if the sheep outside the monastary is going through the rebirth pangs too... it just seems like a lot of years wasted chanting knowledgeably,if the end is same for him and that sheep.

Finally if Dalai is a reincarnate of Buddha,he is doing a lousy job this time around..all he's got to show for it is Richard Gere in audience.Now here's a man who has been there,seen it all and now come to live with us..does he reveal anything..has he learnt anything from this all..do we see even a hint about the netherworld from him..what's the journey like..he could have given a talk to these astronomers at all the observatories around the globe at least where to point their stuff..nope, all he does is schmooze hollywood and watch walt disney.He's had it next birth.

..am just pissed he's in town to convert the biggest mass of nomadic tribals to his ways..bugger, they need some sensible vocational skills to sort out their lives in this here land, not inter-galactic musical chair skills that neither they nor their chicken will ever need.

It is a little sad to imagine these fine monks/exquisitely groomed Popes/TV evangelists(directly connected to God !)/Moslem suicide Martyrs(glory)/Dalai hisself ..it is sad to imagine them lying in the ground as dead as the dog that got run over by the car and no better prospects than him to escape(physically or spiritually) the Earth's gravity to the yonder land..
..and this after a life lived in that same fallacy..If there weren't so many taken in by this crap these guys would be only seen as complete lunatics.( Just look at the Pope's hats..God told him to wear that ! )
My buffalo needs to attain nirvana,freedom from cycle of rebirth..she has been milked for millions of litres of milk all her adult life and nary a complaint.. never a frown.. is God even fair?

May 13, 2007

Is there still time..

The true tragedy of a routinely spent life is that its wastefulness does not become apparent till it is too late." (Amitava Ghosh)
..and how are we supposed to have gotten in on this earlier?
Nevertheless, since we seem to be fast running out of higher purposes for human existence,we may as well push some boundries on this one here.. an unlived life sure smells of wastefulness.

May 12, 2007

Existentialism - not for weak hearted.

There seem to be two defining feelings which shackle the millions walking this planet, completely negating the phenomenal ability to *think* developed over millions of years of evolution:

  • Anxiety :The insecurity we feel in the face of realisation of our own radical freedom..the freedom to decide ,freedom to choose,freedom to live basically any way we want ..the anxiety of basically being in world where you can make any *choice* -such thoughts are so scary that almost immediately mind rationalises away any such notions of freedom..you are not free it reasons..society has rules,ethics,values which need be adhered and roles which need be fulfilled..sure, just what the doctor ordered..no more anxiety.
  • Dread : The dread of making above choices/decisions/whatever in the short life span before the inevitable death..living your life without clearly drawn rules and social reinforcement..this dread can only be mitigated by looking all around at other rational folks and following their good examples.
These two feelings stem from the fact that if you take away the hocus-pocus of all kind of bovine, unsupportedbyevidence *purposes* of life as propagated by different religious and non-religious groups, you are left with the cold fact about human existence,that there is no purpose, indeed nothing, at its core (exactly as in the existence of fish,maggots and cattle ,but then isn't the creator one and same for all) .This realisation of nothingness leads to very strong existential anxiety,the fear of being in the world where one is free to chart any course one desires...this can lead to severe anxiety and a pathological feeling of dread.
Now give me a nine-to-five with similar smart,rational buddies and I am back with a bounce and a purpose.

The problem is that doing so we are giving up the only plausible reward of our existence,the freedom,as Sartre says
To try to suppress our feelings of anxiety and dread, we confine ourselves within everyday experience, thereby relinquishing our freedom and acquiescing to being possessed in one form or another by the worldview of others and how they look at us.
Sartre believed that people who cannot embrace their freedom seek to be "looked at," that is, to be made an object of another's subjectivity. This creates a clash of freedoms whereby person A's being (or sense of identity) is controlled by what person B's thoughts about him are.

Sartre saw rationality as a form of "bad faith," an attempt by the self to impose structure on a world of phenomena that is fundamentally irrational and random. According to Sartre, rationality and other forms of "bad faith" hinder us from finding meaning in freedom.

There are several terms Sartre uses in his works. Being in-itself is an object that is not free and cannot change its essence. Being for-itself is free,it does not need to be what it is and can change into what it is not. Consciousness is usually considered being for-itself.

So the point to ponder is whether we can embrace this freedom and live as a Being for-itself or we give up this freedom and live life as an unperturbed Being in-itself,an object of another's subjectivity.

Finally,though the above all would generate some thought, purely detached or observational modes of thought can never truly comprehend human experience. Great individuals invent their own values and create the very terms under which they excel by following up the understanding with living the values.
How many of us will honestly line up amongst the in-itselfs, as Sartre again observed:
People lie to themselves and, underneath these lies, people negate their own being through such patterns.
Certainly, it is nice,cosy,less traumatic to believe that a God is watching from above and there is a higher purpose in life( as is common knowledge worldwide even though most interpretations are ludicrous).
..and sure it rests easy with conventional wisdom.

May 11, 2007

How stupid you got to be?

Ok the figures can be off by a few million (just get the idea).

In the Kashmir earthquake( at 9.00 am in the morning).. about 85,000 people died..40,000 were children..majority in classrooms.
The moot point is the same richter scale earthquake in Japan or L.A would have killed maybe 2 people.So what is crime of the Kashmir inhabitants ..they were poor..born in the wrong place.

Since we all agree the almighty controls mostly all and loves and protects us etc.etc ..it emerges he just might be a tad biased in handing out his *love* and protection.
These little children with crushed limbs(but mostly skull injuries) lay waiting for days and weeks in pain..but no rescue workers reached them.Finally they joined the Lord.

In Ethiopean and similar God's countries hundreds of children,infants mix mud with water to eat thus giving temporary relief to the acute hunger pangs in their final days before joining the Lord.

In Iraq,King Shit(pious,church-going,commander-in-chief to boot) ,bombed the shit out of hundreds of thousands of men,women,children in his quest for global glory ..and I think he believes God ordained him to go ahead..and so was rewarded with a second term. Justice?

..and the lopsiders are battling royal about calling an end to abortions.It is Papally decreed that that crapball foetus is important life requiring global debate(only western nations I notice) and electoral issues whereas these poor mud eating kids(who have known pain like we will never ) don't qualify for much of Pope's and other such worthies time and concern.

You could say it is *him* punishing them for past sins or this is their final test before deliverance..but all I can think of is how long will the stupidity of religions last on this planet.

The bottom line is if the Saviour could not be moved by the plight of the above( you need to see some pics..) you really got to be kidding yourself he has any inclination to help fortunate fools like us or our ailing loved ones despite whatever the bishops,priests,clerics,rabbis(take your pick) ..tell you ..it is their livlihood to feed on the ignoranceof the unwashed masses and it pays real well seemingly....but are you unwashed?
I suspect each of them as clueless(maybe more) as you or me.

..so how stupid you got to be,not to see this amazing hoax through?
The size of the lie boggles the mind,but no one seems to notice..

I am not finished yet..

May 10, 2007

Dalai Llama

It is undeniably traumatic when another one of the crapballshit fables of one's growing years gets exposed as what it is - a fable.
It is undeniably shocking when one also gets the full extent of the crapshitbull that one was fed when one was impressionable and amenable to fairies,gods and ghosts.
The full import of the skewness of this world came across quite innocuosly through watching an interview of the his Holiness Dalai Llama - who came across as (to be charitable) a moronic delinquent ..who really had nothing to say and made some vacuous remarks (appeals?) about peace and tranquility and forgiveness... I think he was forgiving the *Chinese* if I recall..( to their immense relief)
The point is that is when suddenly a major fog cleared for me and I saw him(nobel laureate to boot) as what he really is.To be fair , he may not be an entertainer or orator or tvgenic or whatever.. but I saw a man plucked as an unsuspecting village(if the dozen odd huts qualify) boy from some remote hill and grandly informed that he is the incarnate and now gotta lead the hilly masses to salvation.
There is no meritrocracy in this ,what was his claim to fame ( other than geographic happenstance if I recall)..at least the Pope always has to fight off scores of other conniving,political,tallerhatwearing multiracial candidates to claim his throne and the cosy hotline to Jesus ,so gay paedo priests can be overlooked and women kept at bay from the Vatican(among other holy teachings)...but sadly Dalai has no such competition..it is straight from skipping in the hills to holding forth on peace and cycles of rebirth(between enlightening hollywood jocks and ,I hear, all disney movies to pass the time in the holy palace.).
The thing is you can be the dullest jack boy on the hillside but if you got spotted ,they'll make a holiness out of you.
Today he says is unsure about future and "..is looking for answers too....acknowledged yesterday that he is not certain how to motivate the people of the world to care about issues he sees as threatening to humanity." .. great, at the fag end of his life..if he'd spent less time on..

If only he'd spent some time preparing his flock to take on some respectable vocations while weathering the cycleofrebirths ,instead of droning chants and spinning Chorten wheels towards the unmoved skies .. but then he has never known competition,knows not what success/failure is,has no other skills and finally leads his flock to nowhere.
The question is, is there any answerablity in this line of work,is one ever held responsible ( as in public office) for completely failing,in all respects.. or,as is the case of GOD ,we cannot question..