Advance, and never halt, for advancing is perfection. Advance and do not fear the thorns in the path, for they draw only corrupt blood. – Khalil Gibran
Remember when you have that tingling pain in your leg and you have a busy day and don’t bother to think about it? As the day goes on the pain lingers but you keep it off because you are busy. Sometime at the end of the day you can’t take the pain anymore. But just before you pop the pill in you check what the pain is about – for a brief moment you recognize it and become one with it. You feel where it is and know it much more than that morning.
I think something similar happens with us at mental level. This rush and keep-me-busy life is racing forward and there are pains that ebb in the mind but we are in no rush to attend to them. I think meditation is one way to get to know these things. I think meditation and self-introspection kinda leads one to these deeper channels. With what little time I can spend on introspection – through free writing and meditation – I have found out a lot about the things that I have been taught. It’s kinda more like things I have learned, but then when you are young – the surroundings affect you more than your own self. Here are some observations from my own reflection. This whole discovery process has been very cathartic.
1. Perfection: The education system in India is very competitive. Those 5 years of rigorous college where there was very little to do anything other than studies – I think the idea of perfection and getting a centum (I know that’s a crazy word) has been honed well into me. But the side effects of that is – I have so many half baked ideas, projects that I always wanted to work/launch but never could because they never are perfect in my eyes.
Creation is dirty. I mean raw. Potential is raw – it needs it’s rough edges to become something. But the eyes of perfection can only see ugliness in it. They reject the raw baked idea and what I get is a dull humming of judgmental mental chatter. Not worth it.
2. Out there solution: The strong belief that there lies a greater solution out there. There lies a messiah out there to save me. There lies a perfect trick that could fix me. This mental cog is a strong one. Because of the duality of this world and the nature of mind to dissect and box everything – it’s easy to believe that the solution is out there. It’s an illusion.
3. Knowledge: That all knowledge is contained in books and teachings. That I could gain everything and learn it all if I acquire it. What a hogwash. This is nothing but brainwashing for more brainwashing. It’s like the never ending loop. You can’t eat up all the food in this world, you can’t digest all the knowledge of this world.
4. Linearity: This one is like a big cousin to Causality. Because we see cause and effect, we have come to believe that everything around us is linear. It’s good to have a check list and work through it, but not everything is linearly dependent. Freakanomics tells us that we confuse correlation with causality. There would come a day where all this linear thinking will mis-lead us. That would be be the day we would have to chuck that linear list.
5. Time: This one is so weird. There are 2 aspects to this – short term and long term. When it comes to others’ priorities we are told that we don’t have time. It needs to be done yesterday. This causes us to put our priorities away for the long term. So, this causes an imbalance – where we are knocking out a lot of stuff for others’ or a lot of un-important stuff and the most important things that matter to us are lying there in dust. We are taught to live as if we are going to be here forever! What a fine trick.
Remember Gordian’s knot? My to-do list is like that knot that could never be undone. Because I put stuff in there which was prompted by my brainwashed subconscious over period of schooling and wrong company. The only way to undo is to cut it open. That’s what Alexander did.
I believe fate and destiny are like 2 sides of the mobius strip. Entangled. The mind has it’s limitations for it’s reasons. It’s very smart at discovering short cuts. That’s how we survived. And I think the best way to feed it is to give it short and few targeted goals. Not a barfed up list of minutiae. The mind works on heuristics and short cuts. It’s time to clean up the learned tug of war between heart and mind. It’s time to get clear on goals.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about. — Rumi
One thought on “On the things that I have been taught”
very nice and thought-provoking! plus you also metioned freakonomics which i just saw last night and inspired me to write an article also last night about one of it’s segments. thanks for posting!