Breaching the fragility of Solitude

•September 10, 2013 • Leave a Comment

There is a certain level of frailty built into our dna that makes us all vulnerable. Exceptions aside, loneliness is an emotion that we all experience. Each of us embrace it differently. Some fear it, some misunderstand it, some avoid it at all costs regardless of what it takes, some cherish it and allow themselves to be enveloped by it. Then there are some do not understand it at all.

To understand solitude is to know it. Feel it. Embrace it. Absorb it. Cherish it. Overcome it. Allow it to overwhelm you and most importantly recognize it for what it is; a very natural state of being.

The reality is undeniable; we all feel and experience it. What we do with that experience is unique to each of us. For some its a source of nervy anxiety, for others it creates a deafening silence. For some it is about reflection, for others about confrontation with their inner selves. Point being that we all have our own “versions of solitude”.

On the flip side, there is the consequence of intrusion into our state and “being” of solitude. It is worth pondering that if solitude is a kind of cocoon that encompasses us and we grow comfortable with day in and day out as we fall into the mundane routine of our daily lives. Sometimes we do not realize it but it has become a companion that is always there, lurking in the shadows when we have company. In our most intimate moments, solitude is what enables us to establish ourselves as who we are and we take from that the very definition of identity. In our deepest thoughts and ideas, our solitude plays a role in enabling us envision great characteristics individually or scenarios socially.

Whatever the case, solitude is a fundamental part of who we are and how we live. Even now, as I type these very words, I am engulfed by my solitude and collective introspection with it has led me to believe that I am the better with it. It has helped me overcome, it has allowed me to evolve, to correct my errors, to repent. It is, as I understand and feel, an essential part of my growth.

Ergo, I value my solitude. I cherish my loneliness when I can afford it and I do not dare fear or misunderstand it. I have invested in knowing it, and that knowing has allowed me to feel safe and secure in circumstances when the solitude is breached and someone wanders in, welcomed or uninvited, into my cocoon of solitude and reaches out to me. I no longer worry that the sanctity of my cocoon of solitude has been disturbed, instead, I recognize and know that my solitude and loneliness is bonded with me, regardless of the intrusion. So here is to the beautiful company of the many friends, family and wonderful strangers that I cherish and more importantly to my solitude that enables me to appreciate them all the more.

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The Effervescence of Discomfort

•December 30, 2009 • 1 Comment

“Every positive change–every jump to a higher level of energy and awareness–involves a rite of passage. Each time to ascend to a higher rung on the ladder of personal evolution, we must go through a period of discomfort, of initiation. I have never found an exception.”  From The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman

A very dear friend of mine sent me this a while ago. It stuck. Perhaps because I could relate to it more or may be for the fact that it draws out a visual of personal growth as being a ladder which we climb and that connected me to my earlier post: “Conscientious Evolution“. Either way, I guess I wanted to resonate the message and pick up my incomprehensible pattern of thoughts from there. I also wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the “discomfort” that is mentioned above. I fear that at times the process or the product of it all takes too much of the limelight for the discomfort, anxiety and hardship of personal growth and inevitable change to surmount to anything substantial. We tend to forget the feeling of uncertainty and deep perplexity as soon as we reach onto the next level and find satisfaction with the end result. That, I believe, is setting ourselves up, because the moment we forget or set aside the feeling of discomfort that preceded the feeling of satiation, our appreciation and value of what we have achieved dips drastically. In the way our lives are in todays day and age, everything seems to be about instant gratification and as soon as that is achieved, we move on for our next fix.

Life seems too challenging these days to slow down and take a moment, to appreciate, to admire, to uphold the depth and beauty of the details around us. I seem to be getting off page here. This post is about acknowledging the discomfort and more so appreciating it as the bridge that uplifts us into territories that further unfold our destiny. Perhaps I am still churning out vague ideas and big words. So, for the sake of relevance and clarity, I shall try and protrude my ideas in the form of an illustration perhaps.

Dont worry, I am not going to dive into some philosophical realm of metaphysics. Consider for a second every fairy tale or story that you read, heard, watched or experienced growing up as a child. Each of them has a pattern; every story signifies certain elements about life and fantasy and portrays a journey which concludes in the elaborate overcoming of a struggle: Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, Snow White being rescued by the Prince, Cinderellas shoe fits! All the tales have a theme that highlights the overcoming of a struggle despite the presence of an antagonist or a villian.

The way most of these stories are told, the intent is to leave the reader with the upliftment of the “Happily Ever After”, which is inspiring and necessary, I agree, but leaving behind the difficulty of the journey and the anxiety and desperation that accompanied the pain before one reached the zeal of comfort is not the most appropriate, practical or realistic way to do it. I do not wish to disregard, disspell, or disillusion the stories we all love and grew up with, but simply want to emphasize the necessity of acknowledging the role that the journey plays in our accomplishments in life. I yearn to read more stories that make the journey the high note of a tale rather than the climax or the conclusion. It may seem unorthodox or unpleasant, but perhaps it will instill in us a sense of carrying with us the awareness and the consciousness of where we come from, who we are and most importantly what we went through to get where we are. We all carry the burden of our mistakes and bear the scars of our traumas, all I ask is that we look upon them as medals of a battle that made us who we are and absolve our insecurities once for all. Perhaps then peace will find us more often and it will not be just a fleeting idea anymore.

Reconnoitering The Reality of Love

•October 29, 2009 • 2 Comments

It is funny, the state of human affairs; we strive to find a delicate balance between the inner workings of our hearts and minds and the outer world around us. Sometimes we fail, rather miserably, and at times there is harmony. But most of the times, all there exists is a struggle between the two distinctly connected worlds. I believe this struggle is what defines life, for most of us. It does so prevalently because it takes up so much of the space that exists between all things; from our careers, education, family, relationship to the bills, car, broken fridge or airconditioner. Life, to me, is a series of such things that are the “realistic” and “practical” aspect but the most important part is what lies within the emptiness. It is the love for the other through self and love for self through the other.

Exploring this idea comes with fear, fear of falling in the trap of redundancy being one. A lot has been said, written, portrayed, performed, sung about Love. Some refer to it as an awakening, some fall into it, some live for it some have died for it, some touch the lengths, depths, heights of intensity and insanity with it, others relish it as a potent elixir of blissfulness, and then there are some who relegate it to materialistic simplicity. The definition and understanding varies as much as one individual does from another; in short, there are consistencies in all, but also things that set it apart.

Lets unravel this with a look at few of the various perceptions and interpretations of love. There is the scientific approach to it, there is a poets foray into the extremities of love, and yet more room for the realistic “novel” grasp of what love is all about and so forth and so on. There is a school of thought in science that perceives Love as just a chemical cocktail, carving love out to be nothing more than a series of chemical reaction in our brain that influence the way we behave. Personally, this intrinsic explanation seems far too simplistic, albeit rationally sound. Then there is what Shakespeare described Love to be as “the star to every wandering bark, Whose worth’s unknown, although height be taken”. There is also the novel way to depict the reality of love through stories in which it is embedded in the heart of the narrative. So, in end, so many ways and versions of conveying the same idea perhaps.?

A question well worth pondering I believe; is each definition exclusive or is there room for all the definitions to be right?  Regardless of where you stand, there is no denying the power or presence of something that binds, even science can attest to the fact that something long lasting and substantially meaningful does exist beyond just the conveniences of a day to day life or meeting the general requirements of a stable existence.  Or the fact that a majority of people around us tends to gravitate towards and desire the experience, the euphoria along with the melancholy that comes with Love.

So, when something is being written about so much, for so long, sung of, heard of, played of, in all forms and ways, ultimately, it has to exist in some solid form; a form of which perhaps we all see pieces and aspects that appear clear to us depending on where we stand, where we come from, who we are, what we believe, or whatever else it may be. So may be the question should not be about its existence or who has the right definition but the struggle should be about how best to compile all our explanations, understanding, definitions into a picture or a montage that best explains this deep and profound emotion, feeling, lifestyle and necessity of life. John Lennon once said “All we Need is Love”; that may be a question for another day, but today let us conform to the idea that “We Have Love” and embrace it, experience it, cherish it and love it.

Ascertaining the Mass of My Being

•October 21, 2009 • 2 Comments

It has been a long time coming, this entry. I had written the first part of this blog a while ago but the thought seemed unfinished, so I did not publish it. After revisiting it recently and concluding it, I figured I could put it out there in the world for further analysis and feedback.

Today I wish to use this platform to address a personal conundrum. What is the weight of an individual’s life? This question nags at me of late forcing me to re-evaluate various aspects of my life in conjunction with it. Who am I? Is it defined by what I do for a living or where I come from; or is it the people who are a part of my life, my family, my friends, my loved one that dictates my path? Is it my character, my personality, the way I go about treating and dealing with all aspects of my life or is it the simple question of where I went to school and what degree do I hold? Too many questions and even many more answers, it seems. The mass of a persons existence, what a loaded idea! Some people will perhaps claim that the answers are “relative”, meaning there is no right or wrong answer. This, I assume, means that each individual holds the answer to their questions based solely upon their circumstances, their perception and their variance in life. Another possible answer could be that it is the “sum” or “combination” of all things and that no one thing holds more value than the other. This seems like a more diplomatic approach that is meant to appease a middle ground, I suspect. And then there is the idea that there IS no way of knowing the answer, which is to say that we human beings lack the oversight or the insight to actually grasp an answer that satiates all concepts of what the answer to such a loaded question ought to be able to do.

It is a slippery slope perhaps, excuses made to deviate oneself from that actual crux of the question at hand. The question, basically, is: What is the weight of my life? not to be confused with “What is the meaning of my life?”. According to Ockham’s Razor, “The simplest explanation is always the best explanation”. But what IS the simplest explanation precisely? Let us start by shifting away from the “whats” and the “whys”. An individual is born; depending on the circumstances, they have a certain upbringing that carves out their personality and who they become. From thereon, once again, based on the resources available to them, they are inclined to walk down a certain path that lays out their “careers” and life thereon.

The only consistent element to the scenarios briefly discussed above is the “circumstances” of us all. There is no denying that our experiences and the environment impacts who we are. So perhaps that is where we have to begin our inquisition. Circumstances. A vague definition of it will be the kind of family you are born into, whether rich or poor, Christian or Muslim, and where you are in this world. All these define your circumstances based upon which you will have the opportunities and resources made available to you. The process varies, of course, given the undefined elements that participate in every individual’s life, but circumstances are a more or less concrete thought and attribute of what defines us.

I cannot help but cite the fact that a discussion exists that touches a facet of this in the realm of psychology trying to better understand and explain the impact of our nurture in comparison with nature. That being said, lets focus on the query at hand. Weight of my life; Having put the questions in the first part of this blog out there for my own evaluation and analysis, I went about for a while, trying better to understand where the value and importance of the question lies. And then I realized that the one thing that was also a concrete attribute would be the pseudo consequence of circumstance: accomplishment.

Success is defined by many in various forms and ways, and so is accomplishment. To use the term lightly and very vaguely for the purpose of our investigation, I feel it safe to say that accomplishment protrudes the answer and solution of the question to a certain extent. Simply put, you are what you have to show for yourself. Even though the answer may appear simple, it is, unfortunately, not all encompassing and with its limitations only satisfies a certain element of my initial dilemma. It does succeed in ascertaining that the outcome or consequence is pivotal. However, it still leaves ample room for questioning as to what is the necessary or justified “outcome”. As I said earlier, the questions are many and the answers even more. There is a certain loop that seems to entail pertaining to this question, thus, leading me to believe that the best way is to perhaps highlight the answers that best fit my, or anyone else’s, particular “circumstances” and help better define their lives and accomplishments to them and those around them. So, in essence, perhaps the weight of a man’s being is what he decides to make it be; think of it as a question with multiple choices as the answers, what you decide the answer to be, defines who you are to the person who is evaluating and all these are factors undefined.

Thursdays with an Ideological Ignoramus

•August 28, 2009 • 3 Comments

It is starting to seem as though the rhythm of verbosity eludes me as of yet and I cannot seem to find the right footing in the consistency I wish to bring to this endeavor. It appears that Thursday is my day of reckoning and somber self indulgence. Perhaps such is the sad case of my writing prowess or perhaps it is the fast moving world around me that has kept me at bay from my new found juncture of resonance and singular consciousness. Regardless, here I am, out on another witch hunt to subdue some nagging demons and face the daunting task of collaborating the awareness’s for myself and you who read.

Since Thursday seems to bring with it a theme of instigation, I have decided to use this as a consistent venue of embarking into new directions of questioning and knowledge. Ergo, Thursdays are strictly reserved to discuss things that can be labeled as foreign to me, whether it be news, information about a movie, television show, or music; today is about discovery. Let us then take this journey into the unknown and see what is in store for us.

Lets ascent with the place where it is supposed to have all begun, AFRICA. I came across this question; “Why is the African Continent poor?” and it is definitely something that caught my attention. I realized that this was something that I had some inkling about in the back of my mind, but was never a question that I had explored. I believe that I can dedicate an entire post to just going over this, but I will just highlight some of the main things and leave it up to you to read the rest on your own. I sincerely hope you do, because it will make you see how the past plays a vital role in the everyday workings of today, how the flight of one can be the plight of the other. The aftermath of colonialism on the African countries is much more lasting and engrained than most other regions around the world and it seems to have left a dark scar on a continent rich with resources, life and cultures. It also provides insight into how the “Human Condition” and the vices that haunt us impact the environment, the culture, the standard and way of life for an entire population. The heinous acts of a few, effectuate the many. As aptly put, “Africa is not poor; Africa is just poorly managed”.

From exploring the jaded abyss of a continent, lets transition into the unusual realm of “Internet Addiction”. Something rather disturbing caught my attention in relation with this. According to the article, there are boot camps for “Internet Addicts” in Beijing, China. The Director of the Beijing center defines Internet Addict as “anyone who is on the internet for at least six hours a day and has little interest in school”. By that definition, I believe, a large percentage of the population here in the US will be diagnosed with “Internet Addiction”. One of the methods used to, as they say, cure or control the addiction is “electro-stimulation”. Need I say more?

Perhaps that wasnt the best segway or combination of brand new territories that could have been concocted, but given the fact that I have been hard pressed for time to explore, I hope these would suffice. In retrsopect, I would like to channel the focus to the simple fact that, to me, seems to connect the two new pieces at hand: The Human Condition. I know I have mentioned this before, but the commonality is the fact that we have enough control to make whatever we want of the circumstances and situations around us, but yet it seems we search for reasons and rationalizations that place the given scenarios into a realm that is beyond our control and for which, there is no hope. There is hope; what it will require is a confrontation with ourselves, a thorough and honest look within our way of functioning and most importantly it requires truth. The power and ability of being truthful to ourselves and others around us will most certainly, in my opinion, propel us onto heights from where we can, perhaps, look at these issues from a gestalt point of view. Let us, in sync, strive towards a profundity that can help clear up the convoluted mess that is in the center of stories as these. Let us: “Rise out of Ignorance”.

Modus Operandi

•August 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Today is a new day, beseeching me to foray into a new territory with the partial foundation laid down yesterday. I feel torn in various directions, uncertain of which avenue to take, anxious of the end result that each path will impel me to. I will begin with something light that has been in the spotlight in the last day or two and try to weave it into todays musings and then follow up with more news and information that holds value to me and my quest at hand.

AVATAR, the release of the 16 minute footage and the trailer recently has brought James Cameron’s latest outing a lot of buzz and attention. The plot of the movie revolves around the struggle for survival of the Na’vi, an extra-terrestrial humanoid race with their own language and culture, which are an evolved species with heightened understanding of harmony, emotions and other such humane weaknesses.  The overture is certainly symbolic of the relative need for the human race to find its footing in the next step of human and global accession. So, because of its intentions to acknowledge the strife within, it has earned its place on here. It also has top notch special effects and is visually edgy. Check it out.

As I said, lets start lightly and delve into something more heavy in weight and substance. It seems as though apart from aiming for a higher plain of intellectual and cerebral harmony, the need to find means to sustain our resources and the practicality of the nature around us is also an issue that holds extreme value to us. The development of “a rice plant that grows snorkels when exposed to floods” is most certainly something that divulges a ray of hope. Basically the way it works is that in these rice plants, “Snorkels” grow as hollow tubes from parts of the plant called internodes, preventing it from drowning. This is good news for regions that suffer heavy losses during flood seasons, areas such as Bangladesh, other parts of South East Asia, Africa and many more. It is something that can most definitely help save millions of lives; yes, Millions.

Further tying into this news is the flip side of the coin that entails that India has to import food in order to help the 700 million people affected by the drought. Such “duality of the reality” that seems to exist around us is further proof of disharmony amidst all the chaos that surrounds us. From the escalating violence in Iraq to the increasing activities of terrorists in the Africa, the news around the world is plagued by the same notion of hostility, disarray and uncertainty. It will be impossible to cover any aspect of all things that are happening around us, but what I would like to strive for is to go around the deepest corners of the world wide web and find the outliers that have been unable to, as they say, “make the cut” in the main stream of things.

The second phase of the format will be to coherently knit the stories and news into a digestable stew of ideas and philosophy with chunks of reality. So, with that as the Modus Operandi, todays news about the upcoming AVATAR and its efforts to initiate a dialogue within ourselves; the dimming hope by the draught in India and the discovery of the rice plant that grows snorkels, I believe the common thread is the disharmony that surrounds us all and the urgent requisite for us to find means and ways in all directions. Keep in mind the end result is the assertion of a scenario that is fit for the survival of man, our ideas, cultures, civilizations and all things that make us any of that.

Having set up a general layout of the methods with with I hope to try and run this blog, I proceed to my conclusive thoughts about whatever random and vague ideas I have tossed out there today. As initially stated, borrowing from yesterdays thought, the first step for any change to happen is to question and inquire, the second and more prevalent is to become aware. So let us hope, desire, yearn and attain any awareness that these tidbits of informations and insights can provide, setting ourselves up for, hopefully, the next step in our evolution; our Modus Operandi.

Conscientious Evolution

•August 20, 2009 • 1 Comment

For the last several months, ever since I set up this blog, I have struggled; struggled to gain clarity, focus, direction and most importantly the desire to write about something that matters. Its been an interesting journey, the last few months, attaining insights and valuable working knowledge about various faculties, emotionality and intellect that have very much to do with the willingness to allow oneself to embrace the opportunity that presents itself.
Enough of the vague brain-droppings. I speak exclusively of the struggle to find the point to start this blog and the direction that will follow from there on. After much philandering and careless consideration, I have been lead here to start from a confession. The fact that a decision as simple as what to write can be plagued by procastination, given that we allow ourselves to give into the uncertainty that haunts most tasks which lack instant gratification or a higher need or requirement to accomplish them, leads me to believe that the uncertainty, the unwillingness or the delay has more to do with our failure to allow ourselves than it does with our inability.
I confess that I have held myself back, for lack of a better reason, mostly due to incoherence about the purpose that this platform can and will serve in my life. But today I have realized that it can be what I make of it. It has the potential and capacity to serve as a mere sounding board or an online journal where I can channel all my thoughts regarding the everyday workings of my life or as I view the world around me. So here I am, embarking on a new adventure, that will, in all hopefulness, enrich me and anyone who cares to or does in fact, read the everyday misgivings of a simpleton simply bent on evolving, understanding, embracing, contemplating, examining, ascertaining life and all things around him.
This new found euphemism and energy can be looked upon as a conscious striving to break out of the paradox of normalcy and redundancy that the day to day life seems to surround one with. We are all constantly reminded of the need to “be as is needed” and do “what is necessary” to “fit in”. But sadly, not many people or things force us to question, examine or elaborate on the simplistic and rudimentary functions of life. We, or perhaps I shall limit this generalization to just myself, so I, are trapped in a chasm that envelopes our ability to grow internally. I find my energies being sucked up by far too many things outside of me leaving nothing to be invested into my emotionality and cerebral existence. Frankly, I find it draining and am very unfulfilled. So, as a means of retort, I force myself to look in the metaphysical mirror of my existence and ask myself the grand questions; I surround myself with the people who have similar yearnings; I relate myself to book, movies, music, television that ultimately, on some level atleast, asks a bigger question that simply “Why” or “How” or “What”. This exigent urge to force myself is what I call as “Conscientious Evolution”.
With this intrinsic and hopefully, humbling, quest is a departure from the fears that haunt my methods of self-discipline for I am constantly haunted by the fear of being just another instigator of reflections limited to day to day trivialities. I wish, hope and, with utmost sincerity, desire to go beyond, leaving behind, as much as I possibly can, the burden of arrogance or self-absorbency. All said, I ask; “Are you Evolving?”