I’ve struggled to understand myself. But, what does it really mean to understand myself? And what is the point?
Defining myself/my characteristics?
Predicting how my model of myself will behave in future in certain situations, based on past behavior?
But that is senseless, right, because I keep evolving? And I can’t possibly have any idea of how I’ll evolve! I’m not a constant, so it doesn’t mean anything to define my self. Or rather, any particular definition of myself has an unknown expiry date. So I wonder if there’s even a point in trying to understand/define myself.
Or maybe there is. Because it helps me evolve. (It is probably the observation, and not the effort to understand, which aids in this evolution.) But why should one evolve? And towards what?
Words are merely a medium of communication, not the communication itself.
So often, I find myself in a situation where I am talking to someone, trying to explain something, but find it very difficult to get the point across. But then, there are some people in my life, who match my frequency. With them, even a few words are enough, and I know that they know exactly what I’m talking about. And this understanding is not just a function of how much interaction I’ve had with them, we just connect.
So, there has to be some deeper layer to communication. Language is just a superficial medium for communication, but something else is also responsible for it. What is it?
These days, I’ve been reading a lot about evolution of thought, understanding thought etc. One of the books I recently started reading is ‘How to create a mind’ by Ray Kurzweil, and this book has added a new dimension to my own thought process. I personally take everything in this book with a little grain of salt, but it is a very interesting read nevertheless.
The other day, I was making a rather steep turn while driving, and this thought entered my mind – What if my neurons didn’t fire fast enough for me to react if my car isn’t able to make that steep a turn? Am I responsible for that crash?
But then, who am ‘I ‘? When I model the world at this level, where thoughts are neurons firing up (which is what they are) and our bodies are chemical reactions, who am I? What is I?
I think, this question is just another form of asking, what is consciousness? Also, in the model of firing neurons, where do things like grit, will power fit in?
The default way of life has almost always been to optimize for something.
So what am I optimizing for in life?
What am I looking for?
What should I be looking for?
Should I be looking for something?
Which then leads to “the” question- what is the point of life?
But, why should there be a point to life?
Have we romanticized the product of a set of complex chemical reactions a bit too much?
It’s probably more fun to live in the romanticized view of the world where our mind has created all these elaborate societal constructs rather than in a dry world devoid of our creativity. But when it gets a bit too much, it could a good reminder to self that it’s all chemistry in the end!
P.S. It would be a good exercise to think about why everyone wants to find the point of life. Ego seems like the obvious answer but there could be more to it. Will leave that for another day though..
I was watching this video for the umpteenth time today, when this wonderful term entered my mind – Nervous Enthusiasm!
Since I was very young, I have struggled with the fear of presenting in front of an audience. As I grew up and started realizing that I suffer from this, I started finding ways to get over my fear. And this video gave me a great answer to that today!
What I admire the most about this video, is how she is extremely nervous while giving the talk, but she is so excited about it, that her energy almost completely overpowers her nervousness.
When I usually fear presenting in front of others, it is usually because I am given an amazing opportunity to present my ideas, and I want to ensure that I do my best. But what if I take a moment to appreciate the ability to have the mere chance to present my ideas?! What if, instead of being consumed by the need to perform the best, I feel excited about the opportunity to be able to communicate my ideas to an audience? The whole experience would become so much more enjoyable! Instead of wanting to get done with it soon, how wonderful would it be if I could appreciate every single instant of being able to use my voice to represent myself!
I’ve never felt like this before, but I can’t wait for the next chance to face an audience! I know I will be nervous, but that’s okay! I will be so much more excited about it, so who cares about the nervous anyway? That’s my Nervous Enthusiasm! 🙂
Came across this phenomenal quote today:
“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.
A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.
A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
How many soul mates have you met so far?
Have you ever felt like an outlier, because more than falling in love with people of opposite gender, you fall in love with words, with ideas? You get aroused by the magnificent portrayal of colors during a beautiful sunset? You get deeply moved by the sounds of rain, the sounds of waves lashing on the sea? Your strongest desires consist of being able to recreate the beauty of that sunset on your canvas, or reading a new book? If not, then I probably really am an outlier… Do I care? No.
God gives us our life in the form of a random shape. Think of it like a random shaped stone. All our life, we strive to smooth out the kinks and edges in the stone. Some of us go on a completely different journey, with the goal to make the edges sharper and deadlier. But I guess, the aware ones must have always known the shape we need to become. The final goal which I think we should be striving for, is to achieve a complete sphere, the ‘SHUNYA’. I guess, that’s where the term ‘well-rounded personality’ came from. 🙂 Our stone hits and gets hit at various stages of our life, in the process, getting smoother, and sometimes making other stones smoother. The stone starts resembling a SHUNYA more and more as we progress. That’s when we step back, look at the flaws, and set out to round them. That’s where Maslow’s self-actualization theory fits in. Once we start to see a shape that resembles a SHUNYA, only then we see smaller flaws, and once they are rounded, then we set out to round the even smaller flaws.
Life isn’t a race, no, not even against yourself. It’s an experience. An experience not merely to be enjoyed, but to learn, an expand.
Till date, I’ve always derived happiness by helping others. Not that I never want anything, of course I have a lot of selfish desires, but I’ve always depended on helping others to derive true happiness. But a new thought struck me today. I think it is crucial to detach from this. It is crucial to learn to be happy by just being, to not depend on others for happiness. I think it would be a very liberating feeling when you help someone just to help, not because it is your need to help them. Another step towards being centered…