Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Figure out..

Am I an atheist?

I sure as hell don't believe in god.

In fact, I sure as hell don't believe in either god or hell.

I don't believe in the pseudo, arrogant, angry, calculative, punishing, jealous, psychopathic god that religion would have me believe in.

In my head, figuring out that religion was nonsense was the starting point of intellectual inquiry.

Does that make me an atheist ?


But I am not quite sure.

It is easy to not believe in something. Belief requires a mental shortcut. It requires that we fore-go the process of reasoning and rationality to assume something to be true about a situation. And we proceed with that generalization.

So, the question is not what I don't believe in. UFOs, Ghosts, God, Religion, Paris Hilton's IQ.

The questions is - what do I believe in?

That is where I differ wildly from other atheists I know.

This is what I have thought about in the past few months - I do not believe in anything. I do not believe the world has any meaning. That all that is happening is happenstance. That reality is a dance playing itself out and we just happen to be here - no rhyme or rhythm - no meaning,no reason.

First - I still agree with that. There is no other way to look at it. Reality is an illusion. It is just playing itself out.Reality is empty of meaning. Human beings are meaning-makers and all of reality that we experience merely exists in our mind. Nothing means anything. Good, bad, evil, liberty, democracy, rights, society, justice, collective, humanity, law, love, life, marriage, government, business, economics - just our feeble attempts to attach meaning to our experience. All these meanings are transitory and can be replaced by another meaning in a different context. In NLP, its called Reframing. Nothing is absolute.

This is meaninglessness.

And this can be quite depressing for some people. When they think that life is essentially meaningless and empty - they get depressed. They feel that life "ought" to have a meaning - and it is somehow sad that it doesn't. As though, it's cosmic customer service that has failed to meet their expectation.

Yet, by their own rationale - this hunger for meaning, for coherence and the obvious lack of it in reality - is also meaningless.

Eg : Desire for sex , love , attention and hunger.

The reaction to meaninglessness is also meaningless and therefore its a circular loop.

It might be argued that there is an "innate" or "inherent" thirst or curiosity which is responsible for this existential depression.

I could concede that. However, even if this "innate" and "inherent" curiosity and thirst existed in human beings - the consequence of the realization that the world is meaningless leading to a 'sad' response is still an interpretation and therefore false.

The philosopher is guilty of making meaning out of meaninglessness.

Then, where are we?

We realize the world is meaningless. But we just witness it. Merely observe it. And make no judgment about that.

Because all of our bad judgments about the world are as false as our good judgment.

Pessimism is as much of an illusion as Optimism.

Sadness is as false as Happiness.

And this is where I stand intellectually.

Frozen. Witnessing the meaninglessness of life.

But still, the challenge of living life remains to be tackled. And that requires meaning-making.

So, I choose optimism knowing it is false, yet also knowing that the alternative is equally false.
I choose optimism because I want to.

I choose inspiration, knowing that it is false, yet knowing that the alternative is equally false.
I choose inspiration because I like it.

I choose a positive spin on stuff, knowing that its bullshit, yet knowing that a negative spin on stuff in equally bullshit.
I choose a positive spin, because it feels good.

If I were to attempt an adventure in meaning-making, I would say: Maybe the meaninglessness of life is not a lacuna to be mourned, but an opportunity to be celebrated. Maybe, the meaninglessness is an invitation to paint. Maybe, the meaninglessness is the silence which music can be created and played.

So what do I believe in?

I believe in what makes me feel good, because I know that everything that makes me feel bad is as false as everything that makes me feel good.

But I prefer feeling good but not at the cost of my image corrupted.

I mite with people who make me feel good. But I don't when that good feel is gonna give me a bad feel in the longer run.

" Feel good, with what earns you respect."

Monday, December 19, 2011

-- HOCUS POCUS -- inspired from the words of my rude DADDY!

Surely we are asking the wrong questions.

Why are we alive?
Why do we exist?
Why do we love?
What is the purpose of life?
What's the point?
What is going on?
Why do we die?
What is reality?

I have figured out - the right question to ask is hocus pocus.

hocus pocus we alive?
hocus pocus we exist?
hocus pocus we Love?
hocus pocus purpose of life?
hocus pocus point?
hocus pocus going on?
hocus pocus die?
hocus pocus reality?

What is hocus pocus?

Patience. :-) Read on...

I was poor in physics when I was a kid, when I was in my college and also when I graduated. But, physics turned out to be an interesting bitch, which not only
solves dynamics, but also if related properly, it solves reality of life.

What we normally refer to as our experience of the world is actually a set of events that have already been significantly transformed with respect to the world and bears only a shadowy resemblance to the real world.

Eg 1 :
What we see is just a narrow band of the electromagnetic spectrum. Photons of wavelength between 400 to 700 nanometers strike receptors in the retina of the eye. All wavelengths below and above this are undetected and unexperienced by us directly.

(Simple translation: What we see is not what is really out there, but a version of it corrupted by our own receiving antennae)

Eg 2 :
Stainless Steel. Stainless Steel is made 'stainless' by a thin film created when chromium, oxygen (from air and water) react with iron, chromium, manganese, silicon, carbon etc. This thin film is invisible and prevents additional corrosion by acting as a barrier that limits the access of oxygen and water to the underlaying metal surface.

(What this means is - that stainless steel does not corrode - because it is already corroded. Since, we can't see the new film - it looks "stainless" to us.)

Now from the above two examples, we can extract two things. Which perfectly describe about reality.

From eg #1 : What you see in others is what others are showing you. Good luck!
From eg #2 : What you think is fascinating, is a layer being used to cover some thing which is not that attractive. Or may be worse.

We can't hear dog whistles.
We see stars which are probably long dead.
A dog can smell what we can't.

What we experience is not reality. What we experience is a shadow of reality - mutilated, corrupted, modified, added on.

Both in nature and also human beings. Or may be especially in human beings.

Having already demolished the reality of the real world - let us now zoom in to what seems to be going on inside our mind.

Decision Making.
Self-reflection. ( Relativity )

These are the tools or appratus available to us through which we are trying to figure out the 'meaning' of reality.

What makes us believe that these tools are enough? How do we know that there are not other tools that exist and are available - just not to us?

We are not equipped to "see" the real world.
We are not equipped to "hear" the real world.
We are not equipeed to "feel", "smell" or "taste" the real world.

What makes us believe we are equipped to "think" about the real world usefully and come to 'real' answers?

And isn't the construct of an 'Answer' merely that - a construct?

Now imagine - you are trying to figure out the meaning of reality (or life) by using above tools of language - which are a representation of a representation of reality - when the first representation itself is assuredly inaccurate.

Good luck with that again!!

Hence, hocus pocus.

Hocus pocus is the word I have used to describe a language construct - which uses a range of mental faculties not available to us so as to get rid of all the limitations posed above. If we use hocus pocus - we are not dealing with the challenges of corruption in language. We are not even dealing with the challenges of corruption from First Access.

When you use hocus pocus in language - it directly (and what must seem like magic) connects one to "reality".

And using hocus pocus helps you access the unknown "stuff" that helps 'real' reality makes sense.

hocus pocus we alive?
hocus pocus we exist?
hocus pocus purpose of life?
hocus pocus point?
hocus pocus going on?
hocus pocus die?
hocus pocus reality?

hocus pocus simply means : If only, it were possible...

Now do you understand why a magician in a kids party says, " hocus pocus?"