Saturday, May 25, 2013

If Childhood Could Not Influence You

I am going to take you through a very unfamiliar ride. You will have to trust me completely and prepare to be thrown around. The idea I'm about to give is going to shake your fundamental beliefs and core values. And that is invariable owing to the nature of it. So, if you have your seat belts on.

Let's start with a complicated question.
How much of her skin can a woman expose?

You might have an answer to that question. But that is irrelevant to me. I'm asking you to think of how many answers that question can have.

Men and women will have different answers. Those answers will vary from country to country, region to region, culture to culture. And within men or women, the young and the old will have different answers.

No, we are not here to resolve human morality. We are here to observe. Why do different people have radically different ideas about something as simple as clothing?

[Think for a minute]

I am going to propose an answer very soon. Before that, let's explore one more question.

What do you eat? Fruits and vegetables? And milk? And eggs? And meat?
Why do people have preference for different food based on where we get it from?

[Think for another minute]

Here is the answer.

Your childhood.

Not as ground-breaking as you thought? Think again.
All your biases, all the unconscious decisions you make, your intuition, and emotion -  everything is a learned response. Your brain which was more or less like dough when you were born has been getting remodelled and shaped ever since.

And anything that you do, is only an output of all the existing logic gates the stimulus has to pass through.

You have now begun to question. You are now claiming that all your decisions are built upon carefully weighed out reason.

Ah, now you realised the folly of that argument too. Even the way you reason depends upon how you have learned to reason, when a child.

Any statement that you make now is a product of the neurobiological circuits already in place in your brain. There is no way you can escape the clutches of your past.

Or, wait, is there?

Is there a way by which you can get rid of all the unconscious influences on you and think with purest reason?

There is, albeit a difficult one. All you have to do is revisit all the assumptions that you have made in your life. Go back and recheck each and every "fact" that has been thrust upon you when your guards were down. Meet the defences of your own mind with the spearhead of question. Persevere in eliminating all those contaminant ideas that have occupied your brain/mind without a reason. Challenge all existing presumptions. Keep questioning the integrity of every single thought that comes to your mind.

"Have I thought about the validity of this thought, or is it seeming naturally true for me?"

If the answer is the latter, you need to think, examine, dissect that thought. Make it answerable to all the assumptions it thrives on. Do not let it survive if it does not have strong pillars of undeniable logic supporting it.

Keep doing this for a while.

"Why do I feel my country is better than any other?"
"Why do I feel my culture is better than any other?"
"Why do I feel passionate about this particular job?"
"Why do I have faith in this?"

Keep questioning.

Slowly, you'll evolve into a fully grown man.


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