This question popped a lot in the past and every time. Being existential, and beyond the knowledge of anyone irrespective of the fact that all have their own theories and perspectives which is respectable owing to the another fact that everyone is unique and have their own interpretation of their own lives, the answer is thus subjective. Many “gurus”, “swamis”, “yogis”, etc tried to ponder on this question in their ignorant palaces, in front of the big fan following no different than those who station themselves outside the mansion of big actors in Mumbai, India. But unfortunately and very sad to say, crashing down just making mockery of it rather bringing out at least their own perception as was done by even the commoners.
In the world where spirit, soul, god, devil, angels, ghosts, fairies, Santa are real and worthless celebrations are created around these non existing things, there is no expectation of any sane answer or even effort to realize the existence of such question, the realized contemplates over and over and over again. Finally, if there is no answer came out of it then there is no point of such burden of thoughts. But when the dust of ignorance flies high and all over through different mediums into the homes and distributing all over on the streets, even the obvious answer is not visible. That obvious answer to What Am I? is that I am a brain and nothing else.
The emotional, intelligence, conscious, sub-conscious, conscientious, conditioning, beliefs, values, moral – center. The decision maker, it is the brain and I am it. The understanding, the center making sense of sensual stimuli, is it and I am it. Nothing fancy as advertised by the fake people who has taken non existing names like spiritual guide. An obvious answer to What Am I? There is no inner me or outer me as I thought before. The inner me is just the reflection of the physical brain. And the outer me is also physicality. So no inner me or outer me anymore. The physical brain is what I am.
With his second visit to Simr’s place, commemorated the memory of Simr’s missing stapler that Simr saw in his hands for the last time, during his first visit one year back. That time Simr was packing his stuff as was moving out to the new accommodation. And somewhere this stapler got misplaced by his friend. Being a proud person who had a track record of not losing his materials that came under his jurisdiction and control, Simr felt miserable after losing this stapler. It was the same feeling when he lost his pen drive once and also when he left his handkerchief at some restaurant and never got it back. The new one replaced the missing item subsequently but the inkling of the loss remain there. And it amplified once again with the arrival of the same friend. Meanwhile the mystery of missing driver and his wife also caught headlines during that week in the city. Looked like everyone was talking about it. The missing man was the driver to a person who was out on a business deal for a week and came back to find the couple missing. Like Simr, this businessman was also single and lived alone in a rented apartment, near his place.
His friend, was staying with him for four days and the accommodation had a double bed with box facilitating comfort to both of them. The fifth day he left, and Simr was again alone which he liked. But he felt uneasiness lying on the bed that night. He felt something is there inside his bed box. But he ignored. The next night there was a smell in the air, in the locality. But he was tired and slept quickly, but not for long. He heard some screams and noises of public gathering outside. He moved out curiously to only find that the place of the business man was inundated with people. And then police also arrived. Like the smell, the information reached his ear about the revelation of the dead body of the driver’s wife from the bed box of the owner. The businessman was unaware of the presence of a dead wife lying inside the very bed he was sleeping on. It shook Simr, from head to toe. The driver was the alleged murderer who killed her on the account of her extra marital affair, was the news that came next morning.
Simr went to work and forgot about it for a while. He came back in the night and while lying on his bed, he again got the inkling of something weird around. He opened the bed box and searched hastily. Nothing was there, and then he moved to the big suitcase with loads of old clothes. He moved those here and there inside the suitcase and saw something tiny. An odd one out item. It was certainly the missing stapler.
I like mundane works. These tasks gives me an opportunity to skip the reality altogether and create a world of my own, parallel existence of which doesn’t bother or even get realized by the aliens surrounding me. Some might be looking at me and envy the calm and quiet of me. Thinking that I am at ease but on the contrary I am spinning a story or a collection of them, while doing my work, the mundane task. Sitting at the point where chaos overwhelms, loud words are thrown upon each other. The loud laughs and giggles of flirtation spitting all over the place. The political agendas have been torn upon each other, that never helped anyone. The gossips swirling all around with full gusto. These all alienated things aren’t part of the parallel ecosystem that only thrives upon the things otherwise considered useless by the so called intellect who personifies the glory of materialism and where the ignorant giving advise to the dimwits, where wisdom is skeptical and quiet.
The washing of clothes or utensils or even brushing teeth can take longer than expected, because the parallel world is evolving and taking shape in one corner of the brain that projects it bigger into some canvas that doesn’t require additional memory space. It is beyond the limitations and size of the physicality and rise like the fresh dough but grows in multiples. Burst peacefully and exponentially, it can break all physical boundaries of any known man made till now. This parallel world in the imagination becomes a reality, owing to its addiction, becomes a habit and pleases the being. It won’t be surprising if the dreams get inspired by it. Then, dream acquires a sense of realism. Insensible becomes real for a while. Unimaginable can take place and something impossible would look easy to achieve. Those moments become a reality for sometime. Those moments are beyond expressing.
The statements looked stereotypical to him. “Men don’t cry”. Why? They are strong. “Women are weak”. Why? They cry. He thought he was raised in a completely different setting. His mother as a single parent went against all these stereotypes rather all odds, and showcased strength both in-house and out-of-the-house. He didn’t see the vulnerabilities in his mother, that the outer world talked about. The purblind society created norms and statements and even forced rather preconditioned the people to fit themselves into those lines. So, every woman behaved like a preconditioned definition of a woman and every man put himself like a stereotyped definition of being a man. But then a contradiction is shown when a logical person says: “Everyone is unique”. Eventually, everyone is subjective and needs a specific doctrine rather than a generalized lie.
A person like him who experienced a strong woman like his mother, never trusted the vulnerabilities until he saw it outside. It triggered fear, frankly speaking, in him. He ran away from it. He was frightened. He could not take it any more. The problem was, he acted like a sponge owing to compassion and empathy and the great value he gave to the human emotions. He assimilated the vulnerability as a weakness of other person, witnessed at the specific moment, into self, that echoed back with a big thrust. He trembled with that uncontrollable quadrupled emotion and thus made that flight away. The emotions like love, especially, created that vulnerable moments, that he wanted to defy but couldn’t due to the solid existence of these in front of him. He bowed down to the vulnerability of others, every time he faced it. Consequently he started to have a distance from all the people, so that he couldn’t see this “dark side” of them. This strategy worked, as he avoided people getting too close and engulfing him in their vulnerable blanket of fear.
According to one of my friend, our lives are driven by three things: pain, pleasure and fear. Certainly it looks correct in the context of not only the modern world, but the historical events also support this statement in entirety. The powerful beings instill fear in the minds of the majority for their own good. Thus most of us do things out of fear. Being it believing in non existent deities. But most importantly the pleasure proves to be more significant aspect in our lives. We live on entertainment. We want to have experiences that give pleasure or rather release dopamine in our neurological system. Undoubtedly, the brain loves dopamine and want to repeat things that previously gave pleasure to the human being and helped in releasing dopamine, making it an addiction of that action. Problem comes when that action creates psychological or physiological issues. For instance; being alcoholic or chain smoker can deteriorates one’s health. Trying to abstain such feats can deprive the brain of dopamine. But as seen, brain loves dopamine, and being the smartest, it can find a way to gets its daily dose of dopamine.
To prove it, I would like to present a case study. Looking into a case of a addicted onanist, who had no other addiction, he was asked to go on a nofap streak. After a lot of failed attempts, he surprisingly took a longer streak of 60+ days. Initial days were harder, but after approximately 15 days, he got a flat line where there was no denying of existence of the libido and desires but the action to achieve it, through various mediums, looked futile. And this went on for 7 more days but then brain started to look out for alternatives and quickly found one. It appeared that the brain doesn’t distinguishes between actions to achieve release of dopamine. It needs pleasure and can achieve it through several actions; being it consuming alcohol, smoking, shopping, etc. Our subject basically got a newer addiction or rather brain took on a new alternative to get to the ecstasy level. Binge eating. Shockingly, he took on a new habit of eating more food primarily consisting of sugar and processed components. In conclusion, brain loves dopamine and will find a different addiction if any challenge came in its way.
Fortunately, there could be good actions to be developed to trick brain to have its share of dopamine. For example, learning new technologies and its application to create a new application that might help people and also monetize and provide financial profits.
When you are left only with nihilism, it can drive you to craziness, but fortunately, the normal lads; the majority; the ignorant don’t think deeper or peep inwardly to get into that state. The realized ones are most of the times in that state, so they are habitual and have found ways to absorb it silently, with no permanent solution. No permanent solution, because there is none for anything that exist. Times, when there is nothing but only the echoes of nihilism, the self-destruct mode is turned on. This mode inhibits the being from doing its best because there is no meaning he finds in the reward that he might get out of that action. Mind you; the foresightedness is not hindered, the good or bad outcomes are still known, the sanity is intact, during this time, still the power or the meaning of nihilism renders all the possible things related to all the possible actions, meaningless. No one will understand, the self sabotaging feat undertaken by a nihilist, but the depth of it is unmatched and makes sense to the individual if not anyone else. The ambitious, competitive, fiery attitude is lost altogether, thus there is no reason to proceed or worry about the profits of the action remains. Thus, every extra aspects of life is shunned and quietened by the nihilistic outlook.
The fact that conditioning, belief and faith plays such a significant role in our life, that it can propel a being to achieve anything. It is like a bumble bee who shouldn’t fly due to its heavy weight, doesn’t know the fact and might have a wrong belief that it can fly to eventually make it do so. Such superficial belief system can provide a base for achievers to accomplish anything and this is the only valid reason to hear weird success stories worldwide.
But the difference comes where there is a realization and a quest for a true belief system that doesn’t exist. What about them? They won’t be achieving anything in life? If so, then many realized ones are living it, struggling and dragging their life through this misery. The desire to discover themselves in a true light is unquenchable, it appears. The ones, who shatters the existing conditioning and try to set a true belief get deprived of the social support as they find themselves alone in a world that approves of two categories of people. One who achieve and others who follow blindly.
Talking about the followers aka believers who follow these achievers based on their own customized rituals and understandings, that might or might not defer from the alignment to the original superficial belief system of the strong leaders aka achievers, their shenanigans rise high in our day-to-day lives.
The realized ones, thus burn in their day-to-day lives as they are crushed among the commoners aka followers aka believers, deprived of the stature they deserve as they neither part of achievers club nor suit themselves among the herd of believers. They hang in the middle, which is a crisis unworthy as much as the fact that, for the world there are only two categories of men, achievers and believers, that exist.
The trend of not writing any article in the month of September, urged me to write it for the sake of it. Just going to the root of it, which happened to be on October, 2014. The long weekend that could be remembered for one incident that might started it all. Started going to that god damned gym nearby and the Saturday night of the long 2nd October weekend stirred things up. After talking to philosopher friend on call, opened the Facebook and wrote a well-crafted and read-over-hundredth-time message to an offline personality. The girl from the college. I became vegetarian on 25th April for many reasons and one of them was her. Could be a very small reason overwhelmed by compassion being the strongest one. Next day I wasn’t able to find her. I was blocked.
Also other reason of becoming a vegetarian could be leaving a message on a social site, that pointed to the chicken in me, thus, couldn’t eat chicken as it will refer to cannibalism, right? So, I guess, from Sunday, it started and had been a while. But September month always went blank, when checked all the articles from the root month-year. So, here it is.
Taking a vacation from work for a week is comforting. But the society doesn’t let you. They would try their best to give suggestion, the most infuriating being and latest in their to-do list is, get married. I have handled many stuffs as a grown up in my life, and thus don’t need this extra piece of advice. The intent doesn’t look that out of love or concern but just bring out the one “basic” need that is missing in your “perfect” life as per them. But it isn’t that I have turned 28, that made a big difference but as long back as I can remember, when I was an undergraduate, I heard the same suggestion that gave me shock.
Sitting in the Lawyer’s chamber with my mother, to talk about the next strategy before the court hearing regarding a very old property claim case that my Grandfather got into or pulled into by the State. It was a formality, as the opponent would never care to show up in court but take leave of absence and request the Judge to move the date. Still, we need to show our presence to our lawyer one day before. He greeted my mother while we waited, sitting on the sofa placed in the same office room, while he was discussing a case with another client who came prior to us. Then, after getting some time while the client was busy going through some papers handed over to him by the lawyer, he examined me and inquiring about my educational, marital and order of my birth relative to other grandsons of my grandfather, he surprised me with the same suggestion. “Get him married.”, he devoured. “He is still studying.”, was the reply of my mother. “Many people continue their study even after getting married”, he defended him like a lawyer in front of a Judge. I got many thoughts and arguments to oppose him, but thought to restore the idea, of having peace without getting argumentative with the best lawyer in town, who certainly got to such stature due to having cordial relations with all the Judges, was overwhelming. But that influence never helped our case, which didn’t resolved but get elongated over time. His arguments and statements looked stupid to me. The thing is you need to be responsive rather reactive on such people.
Still such people haunt me, lately yesterday when I fell sick, I needed to see our family doctor. Out of maturity, I very much expected the same thing. The conversation went on and after he gave medicines and I paid the consultation fee, got up and guess what. You guessed it right. “When he is getting married”, the most curious question that other known people also share, came right behind my back, to which I gave a sly smile.
It started with “The Darjeeling Limited”, where I got spellbound by the cinematic excellence of this director, that I came to know later, Wes Anderson. Never before in my life I tried to find out the director’s name after watching a movie, but this was different. Eventually, I searched for all other movies of his, and proudly speaking I have all those movies at my disposal on my local disk. Waiting for 4 years after his last movie, looking at the trailer suddenly of a stop motion movie- “Isle of Dogs”, I realized in moments that it belongs to someone I know. It was him again after a long time. Long time in the sense that I saw “The Darjeeling Limited” in 2015.
Finally, I was able to watch whole of it, where the dogs’ dialogues rendered in English and humans of Japan’s virtual city “Megasaki” are talking in their local language which is translated through various mediums, one being foreign-exchange student. Looking at the dogs in the real world, we differentiate them based on mainly, their breed. But after watching this movie, it feels like every dog has their own characteristic as shown in the movie. After watching dogs speaking eloquently in the movie, I am seeing the real dogs in a new light of awareness while hoping if they could also speak in a way that I could understand. Again, enjoyed the intriguing set up and compelling music and directorial. The hard work reckoned by the stop motion crew is also applaudable. The story ends with no big drama but still it keeps its rhythm in a way to keep the interest of the watcher at all time high. Specially, the dog named “Oracle” takes away the breath with its cuteness owing to its breed, obviously, but also with the forecasting that makes sense from the fact that it “understands T.V.”.
Also wanted to point out the true scenario of propelling the propaganda by the Mayor that resembles so much with the today’s world political system in any country. How people get brainwashed by their political leaders is not different than gullible youngsters getting brainwashed by religious leaders. Need to see that.
Thanks Wes for another great milestone.