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When we talk

January 16, 2013 2 comments

This is something I found from my old files – more than 10 years old! I don’t find a word to change… still convincing as it is!

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Often we talk nonsense. All those silly matters that we go on talking about could be resolved without uttering a word even. Better we get detached from our routine course of   actions and avoid talking unnecessarily.

Someone says, True friendship comes when silence between two people is comfortable.”  Let us be at ease with each other with the silence pouring in.

And when we start talking we generally defend ourselves as if trying to convince others. We are so much afraid of differences that we always search for similarities and make groups of what we call as like-minded people. Let us not be afraid of differences. Someone puts it this way: “What matters today is not the difference between those who believe and those who do not believe, but the difference between those who care and those who don’t.”  Let the differences be highlighted, acknowledged and respected.

Listening to is an art. We seldom listen to anybody. What goes on is evaluation through comparison with our value system, ideology, concepts, and the worst of all our prejudice for the speaker. Let us listen to each other with no more presumptions.

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Do we need reasons? (6)

September 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Feelings, we say, are beyond reasoning. What could possibly be the reason that we appreciate beauty – of a flower, stream of a river or anything else for that matter! We may also like to believe that this is something special to us, humans. Sense of beauty, inquiry for truth and love – are the qualities very much unique to humans.

But before making an outright conclusion, we may probe it a little more. Can we appreciate the beauty of a beast? Is it that the ‘beauty’ has to have a ‘no harm, no danger’ sign for us to feel secure, so that our sense of appreciation can blossom? What if the rose had a sedative odor? Will it come in our way to appreciate its beauty? Will we ‘feel good’ about it then?

A finding suggests that while choosing a partner, humans also depend on the odor of the opposite sex. The attraction based on odor normally leads to a better genetic pool for the off-springs. Male- female attraction to their genetically healthy partners is more of a biological intuition then a divine intervention. The feeling of ‘made for each other’ could probably be justified by such biological factors rather than ‘feelings beyond reasons’.

While the above two arguments are indicative and not enough to conclude otherwise, but its role here is to pose a question as to how should we decide which ‘feeling’ is indeed a feeling and not an outcome of accumulated evolutionary behavior with its roots in strategy for survival?

Categories: Reasons

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

August 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Image

BE
Lost
On a painted sky
Where the clouds are hung
For the poet’s eye
You may find him
If you may find him
There
On a distant shore
By the wings of dreams
Through an open door
You may know him
If you may

Be
As a page that aches for a word
Which speaks on a theme that is timeless
While the Sun God will make for your day
Sing
As a song in search of a voice that is silent
And the one God will make for your way

And we dance
To a whispered voice
Overheard by the soul
Undertook by the heart
And you may know it
If you may know it

While the sand
Would become the stone
Which begat the spark
Turned to living bone
Holy, holy
Sanctus, sanctus

Be
As a page that aches for a word
Which speaks on a theme that is timeless
While the Sun God will make for your day
Sing
As a song in search of a voice that is silent
And the one God will make for your way

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If we have time to ponder over those – cunningly postponed for ‘some other day’ – thoughts, here is a movie to watch. This book, the movie, its songs and its music – all received many accolades; not for being extraordinarily articulate, but may be mostly for its content and message.

The book or the movie – whichever chosen – may end up giving us hints as to why not to be reasonable? And it may also end up suggesting us how pitifully bounded by reasons are we!

Categories: Reasons

Do we need reasons? (4)

July 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Not always but may be often, in the guise of ‘ideals’ we tend to defend our otherwise irrational conduct; especially so when the general opinion and expectations of people around us is quite the opposite. We find comfort in ‘ideals’ while confused. We seek to be reassured by people close to us or by ideals dear to us.

Most of us would cease to see beyond our chosen ideals.

If not ideals, we at least have some notions and beliefs regarding general code of conduct while judging and forming opinions about ourselves and others. When questioned, we may end up at some accepted norm or ideal in a given place and time. Although, the norm and ideals keep on changing with time and place, these subtly affect our judgments and choices. Challenging the same may not be ‘safe’ and perhaps this is why we tend to ‘stop’ at the boundary of ‘acceptable’.

Reasoning and questioning can take us through these boundaries. It doesn’t mean violating the boundaries. Seeing beyond the border is fortunately not considered same as crossing the one! A ‘not so bound’ mind can easily wander and explore a little into the ‘prohibited’. The search when not bound by the expected outcome is indeed a search, isn’t it? (Otherwise it’s a re-search!)

Such a probe sometime can make one wonder as to what we are up to, after all? What exactly is we are looking for? A funeral if ‘attended’ can easily bring back the person to one’s basics and question many of the activities and routines that we keep on repeating every day. But somehow, we stop or postpone that reasoning cunningly every time it surfaces. Continuity nurtures sense of security.

If we really are concerned about having only ‘one life’, is it not a reason enough to reason out certain basics?

Categories: Reasons

Do we need reasons? (3)

July 2, 2012 Leave a comment

“You have to trust me Neo”, says Trinity.

“Why?”

 “Because you know where exactly that road ends.” (In context, it means ‘You don’t want to follow destiny, you want to create your own’.)

Neo is convinced.

We want reasons to believe. We need reasons to trust.

Neo – the lead character in the movie ‘Matrix’ – does not believe in fate. He says, “I don’t like the idea that I’m not in control of my life.”

It is obvious for us that our likes and dislikes may not be rational.

While being rational in dealing with Trinity, Neo wants reason to trust her. Trinity makes a reference to one of his beliefs and asserts that if Neo doesn’t believe in fate then he needs to trust her.  So apparently there is a reason for Neo to trust Trinity.

But if we look at it little more closely, Neo has not decided logically. Rather he is following his belief – the belief which is not reasoned out. ‘I’m not in control of my life’ is the belief that Neo doesn’t LIKE. Neo is satisfied and convinced when he is made to see the relation between his fundamental belief and action.

We somehow want to believe certain ideas to be true or ‘righteous’. We may not LIKE it to be questioned – by ourselves or by others. And while taking decisions based on such a belief, we are complacent in being rational or reasonable.

But is it really as it appears?

Can we find out – based on our decisions, behavior, choices and tastes – what are our fundamental beliefs that we have accepted as truths?

Can we find out the truths or beliefs that we have suspended from cross-verifications?

Is it not an achievement in itself to have such a belief or idea that can justify most of our choices and decisions?

Should we have such truths/beliefs?

If we do have such beliefs that grossly justify our major acts and decisions, are we open to question and validate it time and again?

The very act of questioning certain accepted truths can shake the whole structures of our thinking.  Questioning and reasoning can potentially shatter our ‘value system’ if we have.

Do we need reasons then?

Categories: Reasons

Do we need reasons? (2)

June 17, 2012 Leave a comment

‘What does it mean to be human being?’ is the title of a book which is a compilation of response to the question from acclaimed personalities from diverse fields. We follow instincts and to that extent we are no different from rest of the living organisms. Suicide may be another major difference. Unless the act of suicide somehow improves the contribution to the genetic pool of the species, it is never found in any other species except human beings. It means that we – as humans – are capable to act against our prime instinct to survive. It also suggests that we can resist all other instincts to an extent that it may threaten our own life.

The question is: Is reasoning alone sufficient for us to resist our instincts?

Can a mother stop trying to save her child given that she is convinced of no chances of survival of her child?

It is not hard to find examples of people who stood for a purpose and sacrificed their lives. Is it reasoning alone that prompted them to make such a sacrifice?

In everyday life, we make so many choices. We also compromise with some of our priorities and let go our preferences in daily life – for one or the other reason. Can we explain such reasons logically (with mathematical rigor) for every single act?

Do we challenge the need to justify our acts?

We may not be able to trace out logically all our acts to avoid an accident while driving. All our instantaneous reflexes cannot be traced out for its logical roots. Although it doesn’t mean that it cannot have purely logical roots. Similarly, the decisions and choices that we make after long deliberations may not be logically traceable.  Again, it doesn’t mean that these may not have logical roots.

So, irrespective of our ability to find reasons, do we want to believe that we need reasons?

Categories: Reasons

Do we need reasons?

June 3, 2012 Leave a comment

I presume most of us like to believe that we are reasonable, that we are not irrational, and that we are open-minded. Often, we tend to justify our doings and non-doings to ourselves and others even if not demanded. It is as if we feel a force to prove ‘righteousness’ of everything we do and don’t do.  Not only as an afterthought, this urge to reason out every act initiates and continues even before and during our everyday activity and for many of us it could occupy most of our time and attention.  

In this sense and context, the above question ‘Do we need reasons?’ is posed.Image

Is it that we have to be ‘reasonable’ because we are human beings?

Is ‘being reasonable’ same as ‘being responsible’?

Can we reason out everything that we do and don’t do?

Can a player every time reason out why he played so?

Are our reflexes reasonable? Can we justify our reflexes?

Are we answerable for the way we respond?

Is it that our response to an event is expected to be more reasonable than our reaction?

Is it possible to refine our response to such an extent that it is reasonable even if it is spontaneous?

Does reasoning slow us down? Can a batsman pose for a while to reason out how and why should he play the ball? Can reflexes be refined by practice?

Our thinking can change our response, can it change our reflex?

Can we justify our passion, our enthusiasm, our love?

Do we need reasons to continue doing what we enjoy most?

Can we justify why we enjoy doing something while others find the same thing an absolute nonsense?

Can we change our liking, our taste based absolutely on reasoning?

Do we need reasons to enjoy?

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Why should I ponder on questions like these?

Can I suspend this ‘Why?’ for a while?

Is all our thinking centered on ‘Why’?

Categories: Reasons