Birth was not a choice, but living life should be and is a choice. There is no inherent one meaning for life, just because there is no one way of living life. Your meaning of life should adhere to your way of living life. However, the space where our lives are contained is a shared space. Therefore, we create some rules to abide by so that our distinct subjectivities don’t collide up to the point that we crush (which unfortunately is happening). The ordinary monkey way of living has evolved in such a way that we let these rules rule our inner selves so much that we can’t find our inner selves anymore and everything feels like a burden. Life feels meaningless. Think about it.. when you were a child, you were mindlessly roaming everywhere, probably was not giving a damn about the meaning of life. Then why do you give so much damn about meaning now? Because we are just bored, everything feels the same, we can’t change things, we feel helpless, we can’t create, we don’t know where we are heading, it all looks like a fog. But I can argue that if you can start thinking like a baby again, you will see you would feel differently. But I know it’s not easy. Time is a forward-moving trajectory. So, if you choose to live, it’s probably better to live the way your mind and body is in a union which then generate joy and fulfillment. There are some known facts from past experiences, scientific discoveries through neuroscience, yogic science, what can lead to the betterment of health and mind that we can follow to live longer and happier. Even though your body shares a lot of genetic memory, your mind already inherited a lot of baggage from the past, it’s probably always better to believe in the fluid nature of mind that can change and strive towards bringing good for you and others. And if you definitely need a meaning for yourself to move forward, just create one. I believe in taking the full responsibility for this life I am carrying.
I gave them the gun,
And they dropped me dead.
My eyes were wide and open
To see the void of affection in their face.
The short interval between
The triggering and the bullet reaching my heart
Cut all the ties and kill everything vague;
Between that very moment
And all that is rest.
I wonder how easy it is to be swept away
from the brightness to the jungle of nothingness.
Time is a puzzle that I still can’t solve.
It comes, it swerves, it slides;
It twists and then it vanishes
From my inside and out.
I remember those wild nights
That made me brave;
Just when the bullet was touching me
To drop me dead.
I realized only then my fate,
But I’ll live forever
In the air and in the ears
I can bet.
Picture source: Immortal Knight by Rassouli from http://www.avatarfinearts.com/Rassouli-Gallery/Surrealism-Art/Symbolic-Surrealist-painting-of-Knights-on-Horse.html
I had some heated conversation over this Earthling Ed video. Just sharing my thoughts.
Just imagine(not necessarily hypothetical), one day an intelligent and superior alien species conquer the earth and enslave all human being. And a 25 year old Alien who loves human meat says “I wish a perfectly cooked human flesh and human tongue and liver wasn’t so delicious. I know they feel when we throw them on the slaughter house but ooh.. I cant stop having pleasure from eating my delicious food. Yummy.” This is why morality is objective. You try to approach a scenario by putting your ownself in there. The assumption that you are superior and thus you can abuse is morally wrong. Now whether you want to be moral or not is totally up to you. But you are being immoral by killing sentient being is a fact.
The problem is you can not feed meat or dairy products through milk etc. to the 7 billion people on earth by having cattle farm everywhere, ultimately you will have to have animal farming. My grandma own couple cattle farms and I grew up playing with them. So, definitely having a cattle farm is way better and more ethical. But veganism is more like a movement where vegans are making a statement that “in our modern world we can perfectly live and breath by having plant based diet, and we have no necessity to live on meat based protein and put these mammals, reptiles, our fellow creatures in to pain just for our pleasure of taste in the tongue.” It’s hard to teach morality, isn’t it? We used to have slaves and beat the hell out of them, rape slave women just few years ago.. and it was perfectly legal, vouched by religious scriptures.. that’s why a simple moral test is always asking yourself before doing the action “Would you like that to happen to yourself?” That’s where compassion and humanism and a better world origin from.
So..point valid everywhere.. even in a new dimensional world or even in the deep past or even in present.
Aren’t plants as living beings feel pain too… double standards?
These are common things been said towards veganism which just indicates how little people think or know about life and biology. Plant does not have brain and central nervous system. Mammals are not the same as reptilians and amphibians, reptilians are not the same as fungi or plants. There’s a hierarchy in the mechanism of pain. A crocodile or a hippopotamus won’t feel anything on their thick skin if you punch hard, but try that on a human or a dog or a cow. What is pain is a neurological question. What is suffering is a cosmic consciousness question. Yes, plants suffer, but do plants feel pain on the same level a mamal brain which evolved over 500 million years in the 4.8 billion year old history of earth? The answer is no. It’s plain biology and you need to read some literature on the evolution of pain and what nervous centres actually cause it. One intuition I can give, if a person is paralyzed in one leg, you can try punching, pinning, he won’t feel pain from there. But definitely on the consciousness level, plants suffer as they have life. So, I understand where you are coming from. In an ideal buddhist world, they prefer not even killing plants. If I would be able to survive well without killing plants, I actually would prefer to do that as that’s what the same moral code suggests. What I mean by that is that if you are in a living condition, where you no longer have other option but to kill an animal, morally you are right to kill for your survival. So, you couldn’t be a vegan in antarctica or arctic sea where your only option is some seals and fishes. So, morality also definitely depends on cultural evolution and understanding, but on a very firm and simple objective which is “How can we reduce suffering and pain in the world as it is apparently not pleasant”. Hope that answers your doubt. But also read more about what I am saying in philosophy and biology and earth and human history. You don’t need to take my words! Let’s be compassionate as we have reached far and are truly progressing towards a compassionate world little by little amidst all the bullshits, wars and nightmares. And innocent animals can be included in your circle of compassion too.. 😉
“Thanks for the short budhist training. But no, it is still your view of the world and it’s valid but so is mine.
I decided to put and limit my moral compass on human’s feelings and suffering I have little feelings for unknown rabbits living in a random cave in India.
I guess your philosophy will be more telling for individualistic monk in a spiritual quest trying to feel compassion in everyone and everything in the universe (ironically so often excluding his/her close family). That’s one way to live a life but certainly not the best way if there is one.”
Yep, totally valid question. No, the wolves are not immoral because wolves don’t understand morality, wolves don’t have the ethical evolution about what it means to be right or wrong. That’s one way of answering it. Another answer is wolves are carnivorous, they can only eat meat, they can’t live on plants. But the giant apes, our ancestors, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangotans are 95% herbivorous, and only 5% carnivours meaning they sometimes enjoy meat or insects. So, we are actually omnivorous, but we are more herbivorous than carnivorous.. we forcefully are evolving ourselves to becoming carnivorous. You can see in the literature of medical science, how carcinozens cause cancer, what’s the main root of heart disease etc. But anyway, you can totally have a healthy carnivorous diet. So, from the morality standpoint, wolves haven’t written books on morality, wolves haven’t understoon peace, they don’t held nobel peace prize conference. Now whether some people are like wolves, definitely they are.. 😉 whether it’s better to be like a peaceful bonobo than a violent chimpanzee, I think that leads towards a peaceful society. Whether you use atomic energy to bring power plants, versus whether you nuke hiroshima.. we totally have the choice of both. But we understand from physical pain/suffering perspective and also from the empirical evidence from the past, what causes less suffering to life..
“And if your logic is applied to the current world veganism is still a luxury morality which is my main point.
It cannot be universal at least in the present state of the world.
I will leave it here since I can smell that this topic passionates you to the maximum. Hope we’ll have more time to discuss. I’d like to have a deeper understanding of budhism from someone who practice it on a daily basis. 😉”
Whether others are not doing anything to bring less suffering shouldn’t prevent you. If you can be luxarious in the right direction, then be it. May be Einstein had the luxury to think about gravitational pull, theory of relativity when most people were just pulling carts in the world. So are other scientists.. Guess what, that brought everything we enjoy today, including me texting on fb on internet. So are most of the peace prize winners, when nobody cared, they gave their sweats to bring fairness in the world. They weren’t always right. After all we are fallible human beings. But if our intuition tells that something should be done to reduce suffering of animals, and if it’s just to sacrificing my eating habit a little, I will do. And you are right. These are luxurious, but somebody had to do it. If they wouldn’t the world would still be the barbaric world from the past where we would be roaming around on horses with swords or guns in both sides of our cowboy pants and would totally chop heads every time some one argue with us. Haha.. I hope you get the point. Definitely luxurious, but what you understand to be right is always in your hand to be executed immediately. You always have the choice not to do either and flow with the usual tide. After all forcing morality on to others is also immoral which is paradoxical, now I am playing word games.. haha. 🙂
Pessimism alert! Bad trip alert!
However, I am optimistic.
I’ve been thinking about life and miseries and roaming on YouTube and watching some documentaries. It seems to me where ever you are, what relative condition a life is ticking, every living being seems like struggling and feeling pain and suffocation and longing for getting out of the cage. Each seems to desire to live in a better condition, has a goal where each wants to reach, but then it can not, and then it is frustrated and unhappy. Each seems to feel confined in its living condition. And it’s easy to die and the fear is real. It is like neverending unhappiness and struggle to live. All an individual animal and human think about are all that it don’t have, can’t have. Each has the survival instincts and the ability to feel joy and pain. Some are not naturally selected well. Some are trying to climb the ladder, some are falling, some are rising, some are winning, some are being extinguished. Some are not better equipped for existence, some are endowed with good social and physical environment, some are not. Some are lucky, but they feel unlucky. Some are unlucky, but are unaware of the way to bring a good fortune. For human, education and information acquisition seems necessary, but then even with education, with information you can feel trapped. It seems like in life feeling trapped is inevitable.
It was a wild trip for me through internet. Normally you call or recognize that you were in the dark side of internet or youtube after such trip, as if you try to kick yourself into the good reality from a bad one, as if you feel the desire that bad things don’t exist, at least not for you, you only want to watch the good stuff, feel the good feeling, as if you want to believe that your problems and miseries are the biggest problems on earth. But it’s not. But it’s also true that you are only stuck with yourself. The first and foremost thing is your wellbeing but it’s asy to be tricked if your world view is small nd not wide enough to have a global view of existence on our pale blue planet. All may be illusion, it’s hard to figure what’s real and what’s not, as most things are beyond your reach and beyond your subjective world.
Life should be easy to live. But the baggage from evolution, from culture are too hard and the trap seems to be too tight for any individual to break through.
I am on a peak of my personal realizations.
Nothing is weird.
My mind is mashed with conflicting thoughts. But it’s all good.
May be whatever you are, where ever you are, accepting and embracing it is the first step, and then the continuation. Being a human is probably lucky that you are uniquely positioned to think through all these. But then a human mind is so tricky, if it’s not filled with the positive stuff, if it’s not directed towards a good path, it can make a living hell out of itself even in the best livable condition. So, life is a blessing and a curse at the same time; it’s ultimately how it’s perceived. You can know the light, when you experienced darkness.. and vice versa.
If you want to have the same trip like mine…it will be a bad trip for you if you watch these videos sequentially.. . in total I probably watched 50 videos over a long time. Haha.
There’s also almost infinite good stuff and videos too on YouTube. You can always cherry pick and demand to see the good instead of the bad.
A struggling penguin..
Survival of a bear vs a seal
A brothel in the south east
Unhappy women seeking for marriage
Unhappy rich people
My friend on Facebook posted..
Those who keep saying “Money Can’t Buy Everything” don’t have enough money.
And I argued:
“It’s very easy to disprove. Can a billionaire buy you with money? Yes or No? Can he buy to be the most empathetic person, can he buy to be the best scientist? I can go on and on what he can not buy. But it’s true that he can buy lots of things that most people can’t. But even if, what is it that most people want.. big house, big salary, luxary cars, jewelery, ability to travel, power and influence. I can give you hundreds of examples of enthusiastic people who are not rich, who are doing these way better than Donald Trump or some other boring billionaires. Just watch Instagram and YouTube mindfully, how beautifully people can live with less. Money can’t buy creativity, peace in mind; it can just help towards that path. It’s just a vehicle for comfort and survival but it itself is not the comfort and happiness. But look.. this kind of mentality that money is everything.. imprison the free mind and make your mind and then life a living hell. Do u really not think you can just leave every fucking luxary and go to a jungle and live peacefully eating fruits? I am telling you I can totally see myself doing that if that’s whats gonna give me happiness and peace. I’m not a prisoner of the society and the world where money is required. LoL. Money is just a peace of paper. It’s the idea and perception of living that’s important. Peace!! Haha. ;)”
What do you think and say? I would like to hear.
“””More than 10 years after the peak of the 1990s dot-com bubble, a dozen or so new Internet companies like Facebook and Twitter are sparking controversy in Silicon Valley, due to their rapidly growing private market valuations, and even the occasional successful IPO. With scars from the heyday of Webvan and Pets.com still fresh in the investor psyche, people are asking, “Isn’t this just a dangerous new bubble?”
I, along with others, have been arguing the other side of the case. (I am co-founder and general partner of venture capital firm Andreessen-Horowitz, which has invested in Facebook, Groupon, Skype, Twitter, Zynga, and Foursquare, among others. I am also personally an investor in LinkedIn.) We believe that many of the prominent new Internet companies are building real, high-growth, high-margin, highly defensible businesses.Today’s stock market actually hates technology, as shown by all-time low price/earnings ratios for major public technology companies. Apple, for example, has a P/E ratio of around 15.2 — about the same as the broader stock market, despite Apple’s immense profitability and dominant market position (Apple in the last couple weeks became the biggest company in America, judged by market capitalization, surpassing Exxon Mobil). And, perhaps most telling, you can’t have a bubble when people are constantly screaming “Bubble!”
But too much of the debate is still around financial valuation, as opposed to the underlying intrinsic value of the best of Silicon Valley’s new companies. My own theory is that we are in the middle of a dramatic and broad technological and economic shift in which software companies are poised to take over large swathes of the economy. “””
Last weekend I was bored. I was super bored, up to a level that I was literally trying to escape from everything. This weekend I am feeling really good. It’s really nice weather outside here. I am in the new Starbucks coffeeshop near our campus. I love the new atmosphere in this coffee shop. The old one was really small and congested, the new one is wide and feels having more room. It’s interesting how space makes us feel. The feeling of wideness and narrowness I mean! And I am thinking about ups and downs of life. May be I have some obsession with playing with my feelings ;). The ups and downs are so common, but still every time you are in the down side, you hate being there. On the other hand, the ups are the ones you want to sustain. How to really get used to with your failures? Some failures are just hard to accept as you firmly believe that you could have done better. It’s that your laziness and lack of conscious thoughts in the moment just ruined it for you. But then no physical event should really define your potential, but it’s just hard to reconcile. My friend Adil gave me a book. It’s “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran. Reading Gibran is such a delight. I am reading page 29 on Joy and Sorrow. The chapter starts with
Then a woman said, Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow. And he answered: Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
There really is no hard line between joy and sorrow. But as human being, we know we feel; We feel joy and we feel sorrow. And we don’t want sorrow for ourselves, we only want joy. Because it just feels good being joyous. But the natural world, the unconscious everything doesn’t have the least concern about how we feel, what we want. Should we call the nature ruthless then because it doesn’t care us at all? So, it’s on us how we can feel, what we can feel. But feeling the power within yourself is not that easy. Well, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Frankly I have a feeling that I understand this sentence, but do I really? I am doubtful, may be because you can never appropriately measure the depth of your sorrow or your joy. When you are in misery, like when you lose your closest one, or you fail in something you deeply desired for, the sorrow just feels endless, when you are in the joyous state, like making love with your sweetest one, like sitting beside your mother and listen how you used to be when you were young with some disbelief, the joy you feel is just unimaginable. Every time it’s new, because it’s a new moment.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the vey cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Gibran talks about how inseparable joy and sorrow is. He denies the superiority of one over the other. He brings some metaphor like a cup or a lute and how they stand with both of the sides- the harsh and the mild. He asks us to be introspective, to see our heart like a dual being observing its other self standing nearby.
We are always thinking. And if I look at my own thoughts, they are so sporadic. It takes some effort to linearize my thoughts. It requires concentration to steadily and critically think about a single topic. It may be a very important neuro – scientific question why and how we evolved to be like this. A broad answer may be that millions of our early evolutionary past, all we thought and cared about is our survival in the wild. But were we not more focussed than what we are now? What I mean is – when you are running away from a danger or chasing down an animal or heavy lifting or climbing, those normally require intense focus. It can easily be said that when we didn’t know how to read or write, those were our primary activities. Did we then used to live in the present more than how we live our life now? In our modern lives (last few centuries) through urbanization, through industrial, scientific, academic revolution, we brought more stability in managing our resources, properties. We live more in our mind now that we live outside I guess. But this is a big claim? Isn’t it? And probably it’s just not very easy to prove it. Our modern activities have changed, moved from high physical labor to low physical labor tasks, require more mental activities, because we learnt through imagination we can touch the infinite. It’s a huge dilemma, isn’t it? If I understand the mechanism of joy and sorrow, I know that these emotion are deeply attached with your connection with your presence in the world. But then we know that only through imagination, prediction of future and inference of the past, we can enjoy the unknowns. Both are true and so is the struggle in the mind. I will just end with the last sentence in the chapter by Gibran.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.
And I am now watching this to add more spice to my burning mind-oven.
Quick Summary of Hegelian Views:
- Important part of ourselves can be found in parts of history. Ancient Greece for example.
- Learn from ideas you dislike. Learn the alien points of views. What is hiding there? What underlying good idea is there? To identify ..
- Progress is messy. Overcompensating the previous mistake is tough.
- The German philosopher Hegel believed that strange and alien bits of history have much to teach us. He believed story and civilization do not move in a straight line, so important ideas and attitudes get left behind.
- Art has a purpose. Art is the sensuous presentation of idea. Take good, already known ideas and stick them into our mind creatively.
We are human being. We are gullible, we are breakable. I was feeling afraid. I woke up early today, started the day confidently , with determination and will of getting things done. But then after an hour, I got distracted. I remembered a very old memory which made me sad. But then I felt okay. Every time a past memory blows me, now I tell that I need to make a good present memory to fight against. May be that’s the only optimistic way to deal with and be productive in life. But sometimes it’s tremendously hard to accept the loss, to deny the desire of getting something back that was so dear to yourself. But then impossible is a word that should be, arguably !!, found in the dictionary of the fools, right? The sudden emergence or intervention of some thoughts is something that I am very fearful about. There are certain experiences that I never want to have again. There are pains that I never want to experience again. That means there is weakness in me, there are holes in my mind where if I fall, I tend to feel unable to get out of. Now can knowing your own weakness be your strength? I think it should be the case. Because as I said, we are all vulnerable, we all have weaknesses. I was thinking about a lot of things. I can see around how people manipulate other people, I can read stories of selfishness and selflessness, it hurts to see how some take advantage of others. We are all linked, aren’t we? If no students would go to the university, what would all the professors, staff do? If no one would want to drink, with whom would all the bars and clubs be filled with? If everyone would like to cook, then how would all these restaurants run themselves? If all would like to walk or bike, would somebody get killed in fatal road accident? If everyone was not interested to see televisions, movies, then who would be the consumer of all those entertainments and advertisements. If everyone would only focus on his own life, who would worship the celebrities? There’s so many ifs- I am probably asking questions like a baby who is trying to understand why are all these happening around us. It seems this whole society and all societal acts are based on a service based system. Someone needs something, so someone else needs to help them out. Someone has knowledge about something, that other can use. We are all depending on each other in some way or another. It doesn’t matter whether you talk with anyone or not, you need to eat, you need to work, so you need someone for something implicitly or explicitly. I was thinking about mistakes. Now, it’s easy to see that all these dependencies can not always go without errors. We are all error prone. We will make mistake, then we will hurt other people. So, disaster is inevitable. So, failure is also inevitable. Being cautious is necessary. You just should never stop.