Thursday, July 26, 2012

Be Fearless

"Be not afraid of anything. You will do marvelous work. it is fearlessness that brings heaven even in a moment." ~Vivekananda
What is the root of all miseries in the world? Worries.
Why do we worry? We are afraid something will happen. Fear.
What is one major reason we fear? We have done something wrong, something that others should not come to know of.
How do we prevent this fear? Do only right.

How do you decide what is right?

Choose your principles wisely, and stick to them.

How do you choose your principles?
Look at great others.
Gandhi had just two principles - truth & non-violence. (These are almost enough to live a safe life)
Buddha had an extra principle - unconditioned love.

And you could add other principles from other greats too. (Just try to avoid thinking people who live to please others, people who live to make money or people who live like slaves are great)

Not many principles are required for a blissful life. Choose whatever you feel necessary. And then stick to them.

When you do, you will find that you begin to fear less. And then you become fearless.
Courage is the absence of fear.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Proactive Change

There are 3 kinds of people. Let's call them versions 1, 2 and 3.

Version 1: won't change
These are the people who hold on to their pasts. Once they are labeled something, based on something that they did or something that they told; they tend to retain that feature forever. Change is not a word even in their electronic dictionaries.
The bug with this version is that people are never born great. Which means imperfections are engraved on marble for these kinds.

Version 2: will change when proved wrong
Upgrading to this version requires this version. It's a catch-22. In other words, if you can change yourself, then you can change yourself into a person who can change themself. Let's forget about the paradox for now. These people change when they are proved wrong. If they participate in a debate one of the following is essential: they win, or they switch sides.

Version 3: proactively seek change
This is the highest version one can reach. People of this kind change, and think of all the ways they can change, without the need for being proved wrong. They are like scientists - constantly redefining their theories, striving for perfection.
And an upgrade to this version is rarely complete. Most often than not people behave like v3 only in some aspects of life and remain in v2 or even v1 in others. But the very nature of v3 is such that it seeks out which areas have failed to upgrade to v3, and upgrades those areas too.
Thus, slowly, the person is readied to attain eternal greatness.

How to upgrade
The only glitch in the process is that upgrades aren't automatic. It always takes a self initiated command. And you are the administrator of your machine.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Complaining about Rape

All you idiots out there who want to castrate the guys who molested the girl in Guwahati, your anger is misdirected. It's not their fault, it is not the girl's fault, it's your fault that your society has problems regarding sexuality. And that's because you fail to talk about it. You consistently fail. And you make sure younger generations fail too. You can't even talk about puberty to your son, forget about talking sexuality with your colleagues. You ain't gonna get out of this mess till you begin to lose shame, inhibition. And you will certainly not grow up till you learn to admit that guys like breasts and girls like (oops, I don't know what they like, because I've never got a chance to talk) whatever they like.
And Indians fuck. All of them have sex. Because without that, you can't explain how we maintain the population competing with China. After all, divya garbha is only in our fairy tales. And you all have a dick or a pussy (if you lost it in an accident, I'm not responsible, shut the fuck up). And all of you, thanks to evolution, has the desire to get laid. And there's nothing to hide. So be it, be talking about sex.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Are your parents the best?

I believe vehemently that our character, intelligence, everything depends on nurture, rather than nature.
Whatever you do, however you respond in a given situation will have something or the other to do with what your parents/teachers/friends/books/culture/family/siblings/environment taught you at some point in your life.

And then comes the question. Do you have the best parents? Did you learn in the best school? Did you grow up in the best neighborhood? Did you read all the best books? Where you nurtured in the best way possible?

And, how will you explain your imperfections? Nurture.

Realizing that what you've been taught as a child may not be the right/best thing to do in a situation helps you also realize the potential for growth.
And that will lead you to sources - people/books/ideas/cultures/thoughts that will make you grow.
And then, you become perfect.
"Where you come from does not determine where you can go"

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Monday, July 2, 2012

What do you perceive as reality?

Just saw Shutter Island, and I should tell you it's the most amazing take on memories and how they define reality and what neuropsychiatry is all about and omg, what not!

SPOILER WARNING: If you've not seen the movie, and are planning to, then don't read ahead.

So, here's where it all matches what ideas I've been having about how the mind works.

Recap: There are only memories. Procedural, declarative, everything. And then, a stimulus appears. It rains, or someone talks, or you fall, or a lion appears behind you. And then, the impulse, the message travels from your sense organ to the brain; it's sorted out and sent to whichever memory/neuron it corresponds to; (again sorted) from there to the procedural memory that it demands; and then to the respective effector organ, and finally you have a response.
[I should tell that I've not yet learned about how this sorting out thing works. I'm assuming it does that, somehow]

So, that's it. The basics.

And then there's this experiment, the split-brain experiment, just google it: Someone has his corpus callosum, the main communication between left and right hemisphere, removed; and he's shown an image to his right eye, say that of ice, and he's shown too many other images to choose from, to associate this ice with, and he chooses a shovel (because you needa shovel the ice). And his left hemisphere is out of the story, it knows nothing about what just happened. And then, the guy is asked why he chose the shovel, while being shown a bird to his left eye. (Should tell you, it's the left hemisphere's Wernicke's area that controls all logic, reasons, etc in most people, sure you've heard that left is rationale and right is creativity). Here's a bird, and here's a question why choose shovel. And suddenly, the left side cooks up a story: "Because birds poop, and you need to clean up that"

Now, that's where Shutter Island comes in. The hero, all he remembers, is from the beginning of the movie, he's in a ship, to shutter island, as a US Marshall. And that's his observation. Now, he's gotta cook up a story consistent with the observations. And he's clever enough to make a perfect one. And there you have! You're insane!

If that didn't make it clear, lemme explain.
Right now, you have all your memories, from your age 5 or 4 (or to be very precise, memories begin forming whenever your nervous system develops, right? Because you do remember the first words you were taught while still struggling on your back) or from the beginning, and then you have a consistent story about the reality out there.

And that reality is based on all your memories. If all of a sudden you were to wake up with none of your memories from the last 2 years, what would you do? How would you feel? If you'd ever fainted for a while you might have experienced this. (Like I fainted, interestingly the first, and as of now the only, time I donated blood, and then I wake up, as people said, 10 seconds later, and all I see is people all around looking at me, and I don't remember what happened, and so instantly, in seconds I am thinking "I've just been in a road accident." And if I was lying down on the road with blood splashed all over my body, I'd just believe that forever. But gladly, I look around and then I remember I was donating blood and the people around, they fill the 10 second void in the memories, and ha! I'm back in my reality.

What if it was not that easy?
What if suddenly somewhere inside your brain, a stroke or something knocks out an year or a decade of your memories and nothing, nobody can explain to you or make you remember everything, everything that happened, to fill in that void?
Suddely your brain, without even letting you* realize it, cooks up a story to fit in all that it remembers and sees. And there you go, you're in a mental asylum which's your home, the psychiatrist is your family friend, and the nurses are your sisters or daughters or servants, and the whole world is crazy!

*Who's this you? Are your brain, your mind and you three different realities?

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