doakonsult

Consulting.Philosophy.Travel

  • There are three types of people in the world, those who don't know what's happening, those who wonder what's happening and those on the streets that make things happen.

Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

We don’t find peace because we don’t REALLY want it

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on May 26, 2015

Inner PeaceAccording to evolutionary psychologists, our psychological mechanisms/adaptations have evolved as a product of our ancestral environment that existed 1.6 million to 10,000 years ago. Human behavior is the expression of these psychological adaptations in the form of our preferences, desires and emotions. So let’s apply this belief to our endless quest for peace.

Preferences, desires and emotions are expressions of psychological adaptations that evolved to address the problems we faced in our ancestral environment. Hence, psychological adaptations address problems of the past, not of the present or future environments. It is this prehistoric origin of human behavior that gives rise to conflict with present day system of moral values and ethics. Evolutionarily evolved preferences, desires and emotions when expressed in present times are subject to misinterpretation since they are judged against the backdrop of current environment.The present day environment does not necessitate the expression of human behavior in a way that was absolutely critical for survival in the African Savannahs. So should ethics and moral laws be governed merely by existing social environment or should they also incorporate the ancestral origins of human behavior?

Will the human body evolve further to develop psychological adaptations to cater to the current environment? I doubt it. The world we live in is highly dynamic. Technology ensures that there is no place for stagnation in our society. Capitalism is a key catalyst to that change. For evolutionary adaptations to evolve, a degree of contiguous stability is essential. “A degree” means over hundreds and thousand of years. Highly unlikely in present day world.

Another question that arises is whether happiness, peace of mind are states of being that evolutionary adaptations allow us to achieve? Is the pursuit of inner peace natural? How deeply do we desire happiness? Do we really want peace of mind? I have my doubts. To our ancestors, peace of mind was an alien state of existence. To survive, one had to be constantly alert and fearful of one’s surroundings. There were predators everywhere. Every minute of existence was dedicated towards survival and multiplication. No fear,would surely lead to death. And this was a state of existence for  hundreds of thousands of years. So by seeking happiness, we  may be in pursuit of a path that our psychological adaptations are just not evolved for. Do we really need to find “inner peace”? Is it natural? I don’t think so. Does our failure to be happy or content make us any less than those who are happy? No it does not. It is natural to not desire peace. It is natural to be in a constant state of mental flux. We are built like that. Do not let lack of peace make you sad. We don’t REALLY want peace.

Then how does one explain the attainment of peace and content by some people? I think the answer to this can be found by applying Satoshi Kanazawa’s “Intelligence Paradox” hypothesis. However, that can be the topic of another post.

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Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Answers are not born in a Vacuum

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on November 27, 2013

space

In his book “No God But God” Reza Aslan writes,

Admitting that Muhammad might have been influenced by someone like Zayd is, for some Muslims, tantamount to denying the divine inspiration of Muhammad’s message. But such beliefs are based on the common yet erroneous assumption that religions are born in some sort of cultural vacuum; they most certainly are not.

Vacuum. A lot of us seek mental isolation in our efforts to find answers. We feel that creating a vacuum around us insulates us from the worldly disturbances that plague our mind. In our pursuit of inner peace we look for opportunities to cut ourselves from the routine life we live in. I have come across more than a few people who have expressed their desire to retire into the forests or the mountains to discover themselves, people who seek answers to their problems in seclusion. But is that the way to go about it? I doubt it. Yes, a quiet and peaceful surrounding facilitates our mind in collating our thoughts, in putting together the pieces of the puzzle. But a vacuum can never answer the questions that arise in our spiritual and subconscious mind. Those answers are right here, right now in the real world that we live in. The answers lie in the mayhem that surrounds us.

Answers come from learning, not from a moment of inspiration. Learning is most effective when gained by observing outcomes of actions being performed, either by ourselves or by those around us. The quickest way to learn is being aware. And learning inspires answers. Since a vacuum is devoid of any action, it does not provide any learning and hence cannot yield answers, no matter how much the level of awareness.

Hence, do not seek answers where there are none. Seclusion is a place of quiet not of peace.

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Its not about “IF”….its about “WHEN”

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on November 12, 2012

Proposition 1: Our Life is a sum of Inflows and Outflows.

The more I delve into questions relating to Astrology, God, Fate, and study people around me, a belief is reinforcing itself in me. It is the belief that God fills our lives with equal number of opportunities. Lets categorize these opportunities as “inflows” and “outflows”. Inflows are windows of opportunities that allow entry into our lives. These could be material goods entering our lives, special relationships entering our lives or anything else that gives us positive energy. Outflows are times when we witness a going away of what we feel are important to us and our happiness. The attachment to these things or people being taken away from us is illusory and the pleasure we receive from these things or people is nothing but a product of our senses and/or ego. Our Life is made up of these inflows and outflows.

Proposition 2: Law of Natural Equilibrium

Number of Inflows=Number of Outflows=Universal Constant

We tend to forget that our life is not over till it actually is. Genesis as well as Vedic astrology considers a human’s life to be 120 years long. Thanks to lifestyle changes we have reduced it to around 75 years. So, by natural laws we still have 75 years to live. We should not judge God or His kindness on us by taking into consideration only 30 or 40 years of our lives.

In the long run, the number of inflows that God blesses us with are always equal to the number of outflows. And this number is the same for every individual. This is the universal constant.

Proposition 3: Karma determines the timing of the Inflows and Outflows

While as stated above, the number of Inflows and Outflows is the same, God rewards and punishes human beings for their past life karmas by changing the timing of occurence of these inflows and outflows in a person’s life. If He wishes to reward you during your youth, He will bless you with a phase where a number of inflows will come into your life one after another. Similarly, He might punish you during your middle age by filling your life with consecutive outflows. This, God fixes by judging your past life Karmas and then aligning your astrological planets to reward or punish you accordingly.

Proposition 4: Change is around the corner

Following the above stated propositions, it is evident that one of the keys to Happiness is knowing that nothing is forever. At times when inflows are prevalent in your life, be aware that a time of outflow is around the corner. Save for that time. Recall how Joseph (son of Jacob) saved Egypt by storing grain during the seven years of abundance to provide for the years of famine that followed.

Similarily, during phases in your life when outflows are weighing heavily on your mind, creating anxiety, fear and suspicion, know that God has not abandoned you. Good times are around the corner. Just hold on.

Proposition 5: Happiness is a state of mind and not meant to be connected to inflows and outflows. The one who has achieved this separation of Happiness from Inflows and Outflows, achieves eternal bliss and enlightenment.

It is not a question of “If”, but “When” does God want you to get the things you desire. And your past life karmas have a lot to do with that.

Comments welcomed.

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , , | 21 Comments »

Enlightenment is not a Destination. It is the Journey.

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 28, 2012

While reading Pat’s wonderful post, I was forced to dig deep into my mind and seek my truth. After deep thinking, the only realization that dawned upon me was that my philosophical, sprititual and religious journey has no final destination. The journey on the awakened path in itself is the eternal bliss and joy that I am seeking. A lot of frustrations on this path have arisen due to my inability to reach the ultimate truth. But maybe, I have misunderstood the nature of the ultimate truth. What I have always imagined to be a destination may in fact be the journey.

I now feel that Enlightenment is not a point, but a line. It is not a scalar quantity that can be defined wholly by its magnitude alone. It is a vector quantity that is a combination of magnitude and direction. And in this case, magnitude is represented by logical reasoning while direction is represented by a conscience driven journey.

And I may not be the only one with this truth. Ask yourself if you too find true bliss, happiness and joy by just being on this never ending journey of spiritual and philosophical conquest. This journey has no final destination and realizing this fact can help us overcome the disappointments that we so often come across.

Enlightenment is not a Destination. It is the Journey. Keep walking.

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , | 19 Comments »

Good Day for a Laugh :D

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 26, 2012

I’m just pleased that Friday has passed the way it has. No food for thought today. Just plain good old laugh 😆

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Life – Why The Road Curves

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 11, 2012

A wonderful and profound view on the state of our being and leveraging our present to build a better tomorrow. The line “Wherever you find yourself is exactly where you need to be.” says it all. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and hope you do too. As always, comments welcomed.

liberty sands

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.   – 1st Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

This bible verse has saved my sanity! When I first read it many years ago, I recall making the statement “If God doesn’t give us more than we can bear – he must think the world of me.”

I use to be an excessive worrier. I worried to the point of losing sleep. I worried so much I developed irritable bowel syndrome. I’m sure you’re aware, the things we worry about never seem to happen and the things that happen unexpectedly are things we probably wouldn’t have worried about in the first place.

The next time you’re out driving in…

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What Makes You Smile Before Going To Bed? Part 2

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 5, 2012

It saddens me, to see people over-complicate their lives and entrap themselves in a self woven web of sorrow and distress. Keywords here: “over-complicate” and “self woven“.

I sympathize with fellow human beings whose sufferings are beyond their control and a consequence of external circumstances that are not of their doing. But there are others, and many, who complicate normal circumstances to create an illusory state of hardships. They then drown themselves in their self imagined sorrows and soon enough start blaming others around them.

While at times I have the liberty to ignore such behavior, it becomes extremely hard to deal with when people displaying it are closely related to you or are ones you care for. More often than not, at the end of such melodramatic acts, it is I who ends up being labeled a villain. And that hurts.

So in order to avoid being hurt myself, I have decided to “Mind my own business“. Even when the person who is going through one of the above attacks is closely related to me, I will just let them be. I will not try to speak sense into anyone’s head. I will not try to awaken anyone’s mind. I am not going to try to be a savior. To be one, requires a level of spiritual accomplishment that I have not attained. And until I attain that, I shall “Mind my own business”.

I don’t think I’m the only one who experiences such tough situations. Any similar stories out there?

I just wish more people would just Simplify their lives and be Thankful to the Divine for all the things we have. For those of us lucky enough to be awakened to the possibilities of our lives, here’s an extract from one of my early posts.

Was pondering upon parameters of happiness when I thought of this: When you hit the sack at night do you smile and feel happy about seeing the next day in the blink of an eye? What is it about the next morning that makes you wanna sleep and travel through night at the speed of light?

Here are a few things that put a smile on my face when I think of waking up the next day:

  • the morning newspaper crossword 🙂
  • the morning cup of tea 🙂
  • the period of solitude and self reflection that I spend in the toilet 🙂
  • the good morning greeting to my folks and hearing their response 🙂
  • the comic strip in the newspaper 🙂

With a little more effort, this could translate into an effective scale for measuring happiness and work/life balance. So what puts a smile on your face?

 

 

 

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments »

Garden of Your Life

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 3, 2012

I thank Kishore Shah for sharing such beautiful thoughts with me. Love the clever usage of puns and the profound wisdom underlying the words.

A Guide To Planting the Garden of Your Life

PLANT THREE ROWS OF PEAS:

1. Peace of mind
2. Peace of heart
3. Peace of soul

PLANT FOUR ROWS OF SQUASH:

1. Squash gossip
2. Squash indifference
3. Squash grumbling
4. Squash selfishness

PLANT FOUR ROWS OF LETTUCE:

1. Lettuce be faithful
2. Lettuce be kind
3. Lettuce be patient
4. Lettuce really love one another

NO GARDEN IS WITHOUT TURNIPS:

1. Turnip for meetings
2. Turnip for service
3. Turnip to help one another

TO CONCLUDE YOUR GARDEN YOU MUST HAVE THYME:

1. Thyme for God
2. Thyme for each other
3. Thyme for family
4. Thyme for friends

WATER FREELY WITH PATIENCE AND CULTIVATE WITH LOVE. THERE IS MUCH FRUIT IN YOUR GARDEN BECAUSE YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW!

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments »

Ask God for an Enlightened Mind…the Rest is in Your Hands!

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on September 24, 2012

Om bhūr bhuvah svah

tat savitur varenyam

bhargo devasya dhīmahi

dhiyo yo nah pracodayāt

– Gayatri Mantra, Rigveda (3.62.10)

This is one of the most revered mantras from Vedic Hinduism and is an invocation to the Sun God, Savitr for an enlightened mind and stimulated prayer. So why does one of the most widely quoted Vedic mantras, the prayer that symbolizes the break of dawn, ask the Holy One for only an enlightened mind and glory? There is no mention of food, no plea for peace and happiness, no asking forgiveness for our sins. There is no reference to success or failure nor is there any appeal for the good things in life. Why?

Because only the Mind is absolute. Everything else is relative, and in most cases an emotionally conceived illusion. In addition, Mind is a truly free entity. It is divine. We cannot control the thoughts that emanate from it. Yes, we can train ourselves to control how we react to those thoughts and direct them into actions, but we cannot suppress the birth of a thought or check the nature of those thoughts. And for what we humans feel helpless against, we must turn to God.

Everything else, everything, is subordinated to us. We have been blessed with powers to deal with hunger, sadness, stress, sins and evil. Some of us treat these “Imposters” as just that and do not let them affect our lives. The rest of us have capabilities to change the circumstances around us. However this ability relies heavily on having an aware, intelligent and healthy mind.

Hence, prayer to God should seek divine thoughts and an enlightened mind. The rest is in our hands.

As always, comments welcome!

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

fast.faster.fastest….to nowhere.

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on September 20, 2012

The thoughts in this post were inspired when I read “Context and Content”.

Objective: To study the apparent “need for speed” observable in human behavior of recent times.

Data:

Vimshottari Dasa system of Vedic Astrology considers a normal human life to be 120 years long. For benefit of this post, and considering the huge change that lifestyles have witnessed over the last 3 millenniums, we shall reduce that figure to a more modest 75 years. So in numbers,

Average Human Life = 75 years = 900 months = 27000 days = 432,000 awake hours

Observations:

1) I have been using Lean Tools to optimize my movements in my house. And I don’t like it! Its become an obsession. Every movement of mine is coordinated to do the maximum amount of work in least time. Its become so bad that when I place a cup of water in the microwave, I can’t just stand there for a minute while it gets heated. I have to occupy myself with some other task, like filling the water bottle, to make the most of that 1 minute. I can’t even sit on my desk waiting for my laptop to boot!

2) A lot of my friends have been asking me the processor speed of my mobile phone. I don’t get it! I remember when the most important parameter in judging a mobile phone used to be its strength and not its speed. If my phone survived a 20 feet drop, it was a good phone!

3) I am getting increasingly impatient at traffic lights. I honk at the car in front of me even when the light is red!

4) At my wedding, I asked my priest to conclude the rituals within 45 minutes. Under normal circumstances, it would have taken close to 3 hours.

5) I am embarrassed when my mobile phone does not stream an online video within 10 secs of clicking “play”.

Explanation:

We have become wholly entrapped in a web of illusion, a world where our minds have been tuned to think that “Time is Money”. We have been manipulated into choosing the fastest journey, without knowing what our destination is. We are made to believe that the speed is important, not where we are headed or what stops on the way we have missed out. It is like sitting in train going at the speed of light. You cannot see anything outside the window of the train, the train has no stops and your destination is the point you started from. You pay for the thought of traveling at the speed of light and nothing else. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Enjoy Spinoza while I Slog!

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on September 18, 2012

I am happy 🙂 Today I am washing away at least 50% of my bad Karmas; Helping my parents unpack and settle in a new place they will be calling home. And unpacking and setting up a house is no easy task. In our culture parents are considered only next to Gods and serving them bestows one with the highest blessing. While I work on improving my next life even more, I leave you with a post that was inspired by one of my favorite philosophers, Spinoza. It is titled “Humility is not a Virtue”.

“Humility is a sadness which arises from the fact that a man considers his own lack of power.Moreover, insofar a man knows himself by true reason, it is supposed that he understands his own essence,his own power. So if a man,in considering himself, perceives some lack of power of his,this is not because he understands himself but because his power of acting is restrained.

-Benedict de Spinoza, Ethics

Not surprisingly, this has been a prevalent thought in Western Philosophy and a key tenet that differentiates it from Eastern thought. While the Athenians, Stoics, Epicureans and others treated man as part of a society and framed definitions inspired by man’s interaction with his external surroundings viz. the state, fellow humans et al., Eastern philosophy focused on the individuality of a man, his struggles with his inner beings, the divinity that lay within him.

So why the two different approaches? One possible explanation could be that while the Athenians were struggling to find the answer to a Utopian form of state, the East may have already figured out the best form of governance. The East was already beyond the struggles of community living and had now reached a level of spirituality where the biggest struggle for a man was against the forces within and not without. Any further explanations? Or is my observation off the mark?

 

 

 

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Is God Still Relevant?

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on September 10, 2012

In an earlier post I argued the complementary nature of Karma and Astrology. “Our past life actions determine the quality of life that we lead in our present lives”, says Karma. And the tool it uses to implement this principle is Astrology. Schedule the time and location of a person’s birth in a manner, that the natal planetary positions influencing the life of the person result in an existence that conforms with the past life deeds of the person, good or bad.

By this very reasoning, God’s significance in the whole scheme of things becomes pretty untenable. Assuming God existed, His role would be limited to judging the actions of a person’s past life. I am certain that this judgement is not subjected to an arbitrary scale, but follows a well defined scale of good and bad. And I trust God to be virtuous enough to not cheat the system by favoring a  person who has visited the Church every single day. Since God’s role is limited to being a judge that honestly follows a well defined set of laws, we can rule out that He has any powers Himself. Think of it this way, worshiping a Supreme Court judge does not change either the probability of you being punished nor does it change the severity of the punishment. Both parameters are governed by the Constitution and an honest Judge is subservient to the written word.

So that has pretty much ruled out the need to worship God. And since most religions are based on the very act of worshiping God, they are rendered redundant. Or are they?

We need religion. Period! Governments need religions to control their subjects. Yes, we are subjects of our governments no matter how much freedom and democracy our leaders sermonize. They fall back on religion to justify their policies, they fall back on religion to divide people and play vote-bank politics, they need religion to colonize countries, and they rely on religion to suppress people’s intelligence and prevent a revolution.

And we the subjects need religion too. It is our only hope when things seem down, it is the refuge we turn to after committing sinful acts. It is the sanctum that lets us be bad and evil, because we always know that there is forgiveness to be attained by worship. It is the source of calm that arises from the belief that we have bribed an incorruptible God.

I leave rest of the reasoning to you. I saw my astrological chart this morning, and something in it tells me that I better go worship my God now 🙂 .

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

This Is What True Joy And Happiness Look Like

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on September 3, 2012

I spent last one month assisting my wife at Udavi Gentillesse School in south India. Below are few of the images I captured of the students. These images exhibit the pure joy and happiness we adults so desperately seek. No more words from me. For a change I’ll let the images speak for themselves.

Enjoy and rediscover Bliss!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

P.S: Compressing the images has compromised their quality.

Posted in Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Gangsta Rap had a Soul too: Of Rappers and Philosophy

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on August 22, 2012

“…Death ain’t nothing but a heartbeat away, I’m living life, do or die, what can I say
I’m 23 now, but will I live to see 24, The way things are going I don’t know…”

Coolio, Gangsta’s Paradise

The song won a Grammy, but this line from Gangsta’s Paradise is as deep as it can get. “Death ain’t nothing but a heartbeat away..”, if every person accepts this truth and lives by it, Kingdom of Heaven will manifest itself right here and right now. Enjoy every moment because it could be your last. Make every second count, before time runs out.

~~~~

“…Life is a b***h and then you die, still trying to get a piece of the apple pie…”

Coolio, Fantastic Voyage

Another great metaphorical illustration of the futility of blindly fulfilling one’s greed. The apple pie represents bliss which resides within us. However, our lives are spent seeking it without, an eternally doomed endeavor.

~~~~

“…Bury me smilin’, with G’s in my pocket
have a party at my funeral, let every rapper rock it…”

Tupac, Life Goes On

Am I the only one who wants to go away smiling? Live a life so fulfilled that your journey to the other side is celebrated and not mourned.

~~~~

“My only fear of death is coming back, reincarnated”

– Tupac, Only fear of Death

Reminds me of my post Why I don’t want to believe in Rebirth

~~~~

“There are no words that can express how I feel, You never kept a secret, always stayed real
And I appreciate, how you raised me, And all the extra love that you gave me
I wish I could take the pain away, If you can make it through the night there’s a brighter day
Everything will be alright if ya hold on, It’s a struggle everyday, gotta roll on
And there’s no way I can pay you back,But my plan is to show you that I understand You are
appreciated.

Tupac, Dear Mama

I haven’t come across a more touching verse to express gratitude to one’s mom. There is absolutely no way you can pay your parents back for all that they have done for you. The only thing that you can and must do is tell them you are grateful for it. It means the world to them.

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Making My Life Public: Of Astrology,Gods and Karma.

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on August 10, 2012

If you believe in astrology then you would agree that sharing one’s astrological chart is equivalent to sharing one’s entire life. So why am I going ahead with it? Because instead of spending hours seeking answers, I hope that someday an enlightened astrologer will stumble upon this post and be kind enough to foretell my future.

Belief in Astrology serves as a good subject to study contradictions. On the one hand we pray to Gods and are convinced of their abilities to change our fortunes. Conversely, we look to stars and planets to read a predestined fate. Well, if fate is predestined by the position of planets and stars at the time of our birth, then how do Gods have the power to change that fate!

However, Astrology and Karma are two schools of thought that compliment each other fairly well. Karma holds one accountable for his actions by creating a future or next life based on their righteousness. This forms the basis of a predestined fate designed around a person’s karmas. So depending upon the nature of your past life karmas, Gods decide the date,time and place of your rebirth in a way that your next life fortunes (based on planetary positions at time of your birth) conform with the predestined fate accorded to you.

Belief in Karma and Astrology strips Gods of their powers to change your state of being. Which side are you on?

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Of Happiness Ch.3: Varying Degrees of “Absence of Happiness”

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on August 5, 2012

The condition “Absence of Happiness” consists of 5 levels listed below in ascending order of their fulfillment of instinct driven desire.

  1. Indifference
  2. Pleasure
  3. Joy
  4. Bliss
  5. Supreme Transcendence (ST)

Since ST is the highest form of the “Absence of Happiness” condition, it must be the result of an act or thought that fulfills a desire that comes closest to satisfying the instincts determined by the need to survive and multiply. One such act is that of coitus or sexual union where the brief moment of orgasm reflects this state.

Some define Nirvana as an escape from the cycle of birth and death, some as a detachment from mind and soul. It might be a good idea to seek Nirvana within life itself and in the acceptance of natural instincts and desires of human beings.  Maybe Nirvana manifests itself as ST.

Related Posts:

Of Happiness Ch.2: Desires and Wants

Of Happiness Ch.1: Decoding The Condition

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Of Happiness Ch.2: Desires and Wants

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on August 4, 2012

Desire is an urge to possess, act, or think determined by instinct which in itself is slave to the need to survive and multiply. Want is the expectation to see an event unfold in a way that would fulfill a desire or an ego.

Fulfillment of a desire leads to a condition I have earlier called “Absence of Happiness” while that of a want gives root to “Happiness”. Both these conditions have scales and are not unique points. The degree of “Absence of Happiness” depends upon the importance of the instinct that determines the desire that has been fulfilled. Similarly, the degree of “Happiness” depends upon the degree of desire or ego fulfillment that results from the realization of the want.

Illustration:

Scene: The Big Bang Theory Season 2 Ep. 16

Sheldon: You’re sitting on my spot……..zero zero zero zero…..

….Penny: Fine. Happy?

Sheldon: I’m not unhappy.

By getting out of Sheldon’s spot, Penny has satisfied his want that she ‘gets off his spot’. The realization of this want results in the fulfillment of not his ego, but of his desire that stems from his instinct of possession and identity. Since the end result is the fulfillment of a Desire, Sheldon feels a state of “Absence of Happiness” and not the condition of “Happiness”. Hence the statement “I’m not unhappy”. The degree of “Absence of Happiness” that Sheldon experiences is mild because his possession of his spot does not in reality serve to a large degree the need for survival and multiplication.

Read Chapter 1

Read Chapter 3

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Of Happiness Ch.1: Decoding The Condition

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on August 2, 2012

D1. I will not define the substance of Happiness, truth be told: I cannot. I have spent enough energy on it and failed miserably. What I can state though is only its nature of being; Happiness is a condition. And since every condition must have an origin, I will attempt to explore the origin/s of Happiness.

D2. I treat Happiness as a standalone condition that has no bearing on other universal phenomenons like Nirvana, Enlightenment etc. My subject here is Happiness itself and not its correlation with other conditions.

D3. From D2 it follows that the negative of Happiness is not “Sadness” or “Unhappiness” but it is “Absence of Happiness”.

D4. Negative does not mean Opposite. Negative denotes the lack of a condition. While opposite denotes presence of a condition that produces effects with opposing characteristics. Hence, “Absence of Happiness” is NOT the Opposite of “Happiness”; It is the Negative of “Happiness”.

P.1. One of the origins of Happiness that I experience is ” Fulfillment of One’s Own Want”. To comprehend this and exploit it to the fullest, lets look at the other other side of the coin. It is equivalent to studying darkness to better appreciate light. So in our case, lets look at “Absence of Happiness”  for a moment.

If the above stated origin holds true then it follows that,

  • Fulfillment of something that is NOT a want = Absence of Happiness
  • Fulfillment of something that is SOMEONE ELSE’S want = Absence of Happiness
  • No Fulfillment of one’s own want = Absence of Happiness

The condition of “Absence of Happiness” can easily be confused with “Happiness” in real life experiences . Many people wonder why they do not feel Bliss even though they have several experiences of Happiness. Assuming that “Bliss” is strongly correlated with “Happiness”, the answer may lie in the fact that what they believe to be experiences of “Happiness” are really experiences of “Absence of Happiness”. In many cases it becomes difficult to differentiate between a condition and its negative.  The 3 criteria mentioned in P1. can help people differentiate the condition of “Happiness” and “Absence of Happiness” better.

Read Chapter 2

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Exploratory Despair Is Better Than Bliss Borne Out Of Ignorance

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on July 31, 2012

Voltaire fought intolerance and fanaticism, an...

Very few people are gifted with an inquisitive mind, a disposition to question the origin of every matter or thought. And if such an individual is bestowed with an add-on feature called Intelligence,then life can be quite a catastrophe. Such lucky unfortunates maybe called the Philosophers of the World.

While some of these wise men pursue there voyages in the realm of research and sciences, a lot more have to live with it while they make a living off the “regular”, more worldly sources of income. For this latter group, the gift of a cerebral window is nothing less than a curse. And soon enough they start wishing that they were not God’s Chosen Ones,but, the Ignorant Ones!

So for all those who feel that way, here is an extract from Voltaire’s story

The Good Brahmin

“I wish,” said the Brahmin to me one day, “I had never been born!”

“Why so?” said I.

“Because,” replied he, “I have been studying these forty years, and I find it has been so much time lost. While I teach others I know nothing myself. The sense of my condition is so humiliating, it makes all things so distasteful to me, that life has become a burden. I have been born, and I exist in time, without knowing what time is. I am placed, as our wise men say, in the confines between two eternities, and yet I have no idea of eternity. I am composed of matter, I think, but have never been able to satisfy myself what it is that produces thought. I even am ignorant whether my understanding is a simple faculty I possess, like that of walking and digesting, or if I think with my head in the same manner as I take hold of a thing with my hands…. I talk a great deal, and when I have done speaking remain confounded and ashamed of what I have said.”……
…..The same day I had a conversation with the old woman, his neighbor. I asked her if she had ever been unhappy for not understanding how her soul was made? She did not even comprehend my question. She had not, for the briefest moment in her life, had a thought about these subjects with which the good Brahmin had so tormented himself. She believed from the bottom of her heart in the metamorphoses of her god Vishnu, and, provided she could get some of the sacred water of the Ganges in which to make her ablutions, she thought herself the happiest of women.

Struck with the happiness of this poor creature, I returned to my philosopher, whom I thus addressed:

“Are you not ashamed to be thus miserable when, not fifty yards from you, there is an old automaton who thinks of nothing and lives contented?”

“You are right,” he replied. “I have said to myself a thousand times that I should be happy if I were but as ignorant as my old neighbor, and yet it is a happiness I do not desire.”

MORAL OF THE STORY:

As quoted in “The Story of Philosophy” by Will Durant: “Even if Philosophy should end in total doubt…it is man’s greatest adventure, and his noblest.”

 

 

 

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

The Key To Happiness…The Most Inspiring Poem Ever!

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on July 27, 2012

English: Rudyard Kipling

English: Rudyard Kipling (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This great work has always lifted my spirits whenever I’ve been down. My blog would be incomplete without a post dedicated to this beautiful poem. In one short work Rudyard Kipling summarizes the answers to questions that have dogged our philosophical and spiritual pursuits for centuries. And all this in plain simple language that we all can relate to. Read every line of this epiphany multiple times and realize the joy that it instils in you. “IF” by Rudyard Kipling:

 

 

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

 

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

 
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