Something To Live By


Image

Existence is Fluid;

the Universe is Multiple;

Each Life is Unique;

A Human is Born Free;

Justice is its Need;

Happiness is Holistic;

God is You.

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Welcome!


Sit down,

Take off your shoes,

Would you like some tea?

Have some cookies,

Eat your brownie!

Put on this unicorn horn,

Smile :D

Now hear me ramble —

So, what is this blog about?

Frankly, even I don’t know. I needed some place where I could talk shit and maybe, hear your crap. So, I opened up a wordpress account and created this blog.
This is a place where we can chat and have some ‘intelligent’ conversations. Well, not really!

Who is the target audience?

People who have escaped from mental asylums, intellectuals, dumb-asses, art lovers, art haters, philosophers, laymen, stand-men, sit-men, teenagers, oldies, truth-seekers, lie-seekers, people curious about the world, people bored with the world, YOU!
Basically, anybody who can read the peculiar language called English.

Great! Where do I start?

Scroll down blind-boy (or girl, whatever).
Or you can check out the footer of the blog for some categories.

Categories

And then?

Comment, like, tweet, share on facebook and don’t forget to follow me on twitter.
And lastly, add the blog to your reader —

RSS Reader

What is a reader?
Google Reader — read my blog in your mobile

Google Reader is DEAD. Try Feedly instead.
Instapaper — a boon for online readers

Why My Atheism Doesn’t Need The Absence of God


Atheism

We have been told that there is some supreme being up in heaven who looks after us and is all good.
Supposedly he is all powerful – – the master of the cosmos.
He sees everything – – all our crimes and acts of kindness.
Also, he is omnipresent, existing everywhere, all at once, always.

And yet, despite this grand claim of religion, the amount of human suffering only seems to be increasing as the centuries pass by.

Wars have gotten deadlier as humanity learns to create newer and better Weapons of Mass Destruction.

After a brief waning of religious fundamentalism in the middle of 20th century, our dear god has returned to become an excuse for genocides and terrorist bombings.

We live in an era in which the amount of absolute poverty is highest in the history of humanity. Despite this fact, there seems to be a consensus that the fight against an economy of inequality is trivial or boring.

As if these human-made atrocities were not enough, our dear god seems to be particularly keen on gifting us more and more disasters of the natural kind.

In the middle of all this shit, some people see the divine will at work to do good. They say it is god’s own mysterious way to redeem humankind. The disasters, genocides, mass rapes and child prostitutes are all part of the plan. They are a symbol of divine grace, according to the religious nuts.

And this is what, I think, justifies 21st century Atheism. If God exists, then he is a criminal. And that is why I reject his demand to be acknowledged and worshiped.

If God is omnipotent, then he is responsible for the millions of live lost in earthquakes, tornadoes and tsunamis everywhere in the world.

If he is omnipresent, then he just stood by when millions of women, children and men were raped, ripped apart and destroyed throughout history.

If he is omniscient, then he just watches passively as thousands of infants starve to death everyday around the world.

I know religious crazies have justifications for this as well. “Wait for the judgment day or Karma,” they say.
But a being who can stop and prevent these mind-numbing atrocities through his divine powers cannot excuse himself of his responsibility. Giving judgments after the beings he created have committed their crimes barely lessens the suffering of the innocents.

One who stands by even though he can prevent a crime is as guilty as the criminal himself.

And thus, I refuse to believe in the existence of God simply because I don’t see this divine being making a difference. Even if god exists so what? Humanity still has to deal with the world on its own. Praying and worship have never prevented a tragedy. Nor it ever will.

Thus, my atheism is purely a political rebellion. It is the negation of god even if he exists. It is the act of spitting on his face. It is the slap which he deserves if he exists.

Militant atheists like Dawkins simply waste their time debating with theists about the non-existence of god.

Firstly, the concept of God itself is unscientific. God is (cleverly) conceived as something which can’t be completely known. Thus, God can’t be disproved. And despite the claims of physicists, just because science works doesn’t automatically mean that God doesn’t exist.
E=mc2 has no logical connection to God=Non-existent.

Secondly, if God exists then it is even worse for religion. Because in the center of their belief system lies a being who is the most perverted criminal in the cosmos.

Thus, I think atheism should give up the time consuming, elaborate debates about the absence or the existence of the oldest imaginary friend humanity ever created. It should simply position itself as a political rebellion — something which makes much more sense in the present scenario.

Nietzsche said:

“…if God did exist, we would need to kill him off.”

However the 21st century atheist should say:

” God has survived, let’s kill him better in a better way. “

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The Haemorrage Unremembered


I am the sighs
Between your words.
The grammar
Of the underworld.

The thousand little fingers
Clawing the back of your skull.

I sprout between the synapses
Of the memories you’ve forgotten:
The swirling skirt
Of the dancing girl;
The child you could’ve begotten.

I am the tear, entombed,
in the wrinkle of your cheek.
The leaking heart
Of the distant past;
the dreams you never seek.

I am
the internal bleeding
of your brittle bones.
That unvisited cut
on your invisible soul.

And
Snip
Snip
Snip
You are cutting so fast.

And
Drip
Drip
Drip
You fall far away.

The Soul Without God And Theory


How can I explain?

Words can’t make you feel the deep, spiraling well I felt burrowing in my lungs as I stood in my verandah, staring at the clouds and knowing silently, calmly but profoundly that I exist.

No arguments can justify my fervent faith and devotion which I experienced as I sat everyday in front of my own sacred idols and prayed to them when I was six.

Not a single poem has been able to capture that of pain of realizing that my first lover didn’t really love me back. No verse can really explain the suffocating agony which ripped my innards into shreds then.

People will laugh if  I express that devastating feeling of being betrayed when my gods didn’t answer my desperate prayers at a time when I needed them most.

These are the moments which made me intensely aware of my being and that is precisely why words always feel so impotent when I try to express them.

Some philosophers say that language is the house of being. I think that is terribly stupid. Language might be the house of identity which can be communicated, but being precedes words. It is in fact a precondition of language. This is made obvious in those moments when language’s failure is so complete that it simply crumbles — in those events when we become speechless.

These are the times when life acquires a depth previously unknown or forgotten. It may not exactly be a moment of unbound joy (pain and sadness are just as adept). It may not even be a moment of uncontrollable emotion (people who practice mindfulness will know how calm observation has a silent profoundness to it).

I think these are simply the moments of intense awareness — the point when existence refuses to be ignored by consciousness. This is when we realize that the experience of life has a value independent of any more explanations.

You might have heard something similar from the New Age gurus and spiritual enthusiasts.
When they tactfully evade the use of ‘God’ to explain the meaning of these experiences, they often use words like higher consciousness, the divine, the supreme consciousness and so on.

What I found common in most of the explanations I’ve encountered is that theses moments are theorized as events when the individual psyche ‘connects’ with someone or something larger, higher, placed above the individual in the spiritual ladder.

I not only think that these explanations are absurd, improvable or unnecessary; I also think that they are an insult.

It is to say, as if, the experiences aren’t worthwhile in themselves. That you have to construct an elaborate system of theories to give that experience some meaningful value. And these constructs are ultimately equally unable to ‘explain’ the cause or logic of any value whatsoever.

What is this special higher consciousness which makes us feel like this? What is this god-like divine and from where does it derive this powerful energy from? If these ‘higher’ beings and energies don’t need anymore explanations then why does the experiences of depth need to be justified by theories?

These explanations merely transfer the experiential valence of the events of depth into something else. It’s the same old religious trick in the garb of spirituality.

Their hypocrisy is often revealed when they themselves admit that words can’t explain the spiritual experiences and then go on to create fun, often cliched theories of spirituality. (Putting faith or intuition above reason is perhaps their favorite one as it allows them to bypass science and gain a few blind acolytes.)

I think that the moments of intense awareness, the moments when life acquires an unspeakable depth are preserved and relived the best without any words or gurus.

I think its time that the spirit reclaims its independence from the shackles of God and theory.

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Truths, Experience and the Return of Falsity


When I was a kid I always thought that the deaths in films were real and that the actors who died were actually born again to star in their next blockbuster.

My fantasy fell apart when I actually saw the video of a film shoot in which the hero died 5 times within the span of fifteen minutes.
It was one of my first encounters with the failure of Truth.

It’s amazing how these early life lessons are buried under pretentious, fallacious theoretical bubbles.
How can people — scholars, intellectuals and activists — actually accept that everything we believe to be true actually becomes our reality? (Yes, I am talking about the post-modernists.) If the world really worked this way there would have been no disappointments. Expectations, faith and hope would have never crumbled as easily as it usually does.

Thus, even if there is no ultimate Truth, there sure exists some kind of falsity. There exists a difference between what we think or consider as the Truth and what we experience as reality. The problem simply is that we can’t demarcate between the two — the nature of our ever-changing knowledge doesn’t allow any permanent dichotomies.

And this is precisely why I think we should approach knowing in a different way than we usually do.

The base of Human Knowledge is not knowing.

Our quest for knowing is fueled by this partial or complete void; because, if we already know everything, then why seek anymore?
Remembering this fact is intensely liberating.

Let us not pretend that we uncover some hidden truth in the ‘outside’ world which we can’t even be sure of (as the world, for us, only exists in our perception).
I don’t mean to exclude the possibility that we have indeed discovered some thing which is universal, permanent or objective. But we just can’t be sure of them. Our knowledge is still in process, and this process includes change,rejection and return of truths which were previously rejected. The world was once flat and now it’s round. Who knows if it won’t turn into a triangle or not?

Knowledge and Truth will always be something which we put in. It exists only as Human knowledge. It is an act of our minds.

So let us pretend  instead that Truth is a story we tell which makes sense.
But does this mean that everything proclaimed as Truth becomes real?

Based on our collective experience of the world, Truth seems to be multiple and fluid. But not everything seems to be true. Not every medicine system cures the disease which it itself claims to cure. Not every hypothesis is proved right even when the person conducting experiments believes in it completely.
Newton is reported to have been much more interested in Alchemy than Physics. Why is it that all his time spent in the search of knowledge, only his experiments with physics bore fruit but not his alchemy?
There is a reason why newton discovered the laws of motion and not the philosopher’s stone.

Truth is the narrative which works as Truth.
For any story to become reality, it has to correspond to experience.
If I believe that the sky is green and I myself see it as blue, then that belief fails as my own personal reality. Similarly, collective narrative has to reasonably correspond to a collective experience.

We don’t necessarily need an outside structure of comparison to judge the narratives — we can use their own claims and predictions to discover their Truth value.

By the same logic, Truths can be hierarchic.
Any Reality Narrative which fails less is obviously better than the ‘Truth’ which fails more in experience.If harvest rituals promise bountiful crops and they don’t as compared to the scientific techniques of farming, then the latter is a more reliable Truth for the society than the former. (Whatever anyone wants to believe.)

And the narratives whose claims lie outside the realm of experience by definition like the existence of God, life after death, heaven and hell will become less legitimate as a common reality when other narratives exist.
Narratives which can be judged inside lived experiences are always more reliable because we can check it’s falsity (or the lack of it). Narratives whose base claims are undetermined are dangerous because when it reaches its fanatic heights, people with other beliefs have no way of negotiation — you either have blind belief in them or you are branded a betrayer, heretic or a conspirator.

This in no way means that such narratives are illegitimate. They shouldn’t be completely excluded. They just can’t be relied upon as COMMON Truth, on the basis of which a WHOLE society can make its decisions.

I am not really suggesting that we create any rigid structures. All Truth, it seems, is probable. As we haven’t experienced the whole of existence, proclaiming any narrative as the ultimate TRUTH will be a fallacy of presumption (same applies for the rejection of the possibility of any permanent Truth).
Knowledge should always be open-ended because knowing is always in process. As long as we live we are experiencing beings.
Knowledge is merely a pattern we put into these experiences, which enriches them, binds them and in turn create new experiences in our consciousness.

Personally as a knower, my ultimate aim isn’t to find out the ‘TRUTH’. Especially when the existence of such a truth itself isn’t absolutely assured (although essentially the question remains open).
I see life in terms of experience and hence, to me such narratives are a way to gain a depth in experience.
To unite scattered feelings, events, memories and thoughts. To combine them in different ways. And to experience those different combinations in different ways.
Perhaps this is too much philosophy for one post :P

–Dee


WHY SO MUCH PHILOSOPHY?

My first answer to that is — Why not?

But I understand why many people are wondering about this question.

We all are children of post-modernism now. We all have known the “anything goes” motto in some way or the other.
Initially it does feel liberating.
I was a fan too not a long time ago.

But then reality strikes.
The dark side of this is that no one can really counter the fanaticism which has slowly saturated our world. And I am not only talking about people with guns, scriptures and suicide vests.

There has been a general taking away of liberties all over the world. Our existence is in threat. Even the existence of our planet. And we don’t have anything to fall back on — to counter such threats in a substantial way.

One may question why this taking away of freedom is a bad thing.
To them I reply, that question’s answer doesn’t really lie in some high-brow theoretical argument, but in plain experience.

And yet until we put them into narrative, we will always be silenced by the fanatics.

The following posts are my attempt to at least try creating a position through which we can fight back —

Trying To Escape 21st Century Nihilism By Finding Out The Inherent Purpose Of Life
https://deerayolia.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/the-inherent-purpose-of-life-is-absurdly-clear/

Attempt To Create A Charter Which Isn’t Too Rigid But Which Gives Us Some Guidelines To Fall Back Onhttps://deerayolia.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/the-new-charter/

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Baboon Banter About Judging People


Judgement

“Never judge a person.”

We have all heard this phrase. We are bombarded by it in social media, popular memes, sit coms, our friends keep repeating this and even our judgmental relatives have started parroting the same fashionable advice.

Although I agree with the accepting spirit which informs the thought, but to follow it as a life-rule is absurd.

All of us have to judge if we can trust a person or not. We have to figure out if the other human being is friendly or hostile to have a meaningful relationship.

If you don’t, you may find yourself lying unconscious on an unknown street mugged, raped or even murdered.

Judgment is necessary for survival. It’s a life skill.

But there is a world of difference between judging and pre-judging.

The latter is about presumptions, prejudices and stereotypes.

It’s not based on the knowledge about the person per se, but about the ideas and formulas one has already imposed on them without checking if they are true or not.

Commenting on a person’s style on the basis of the clothes they wear is judging.

Labeling a person ‘slut’, ‘gay’ or ‘stupid’ on the basis of their clothes is pre-judging because there is no direct relationship whatsoever between the labels and the clothes.

Most of the arguments I hear against judging people is that every judgment is subjective.

It is. So what?

It doesn’t mean that we don’t judge people; it simply means we don’t treat our judgments as divine, permanent and universal Truths.

We keep the possibility of being wrong open and modify our judgments when we actually are.

I agree that we often don’t know from where people come from, their personal history, their internal struggles, demons and anxieties. We can never really know a person completely. We get to see only a part of their lives.

And so we should always be aware of this and remember that our judgments are only about that part of a person which we get to know and not their whole being.

I may criticize a person for having anti-liberal, conservative views about individual choice. It doesn’t mean that I see that person as a monster.

The judgment will only be about certain parts of her ideology. There is no reason why other aspects of her being won’t pleasantly surprise me.

The need for judgment is very clear. If we don’t judge terrorists and rapists we don’t have any grounds to stop them and we end up with a fucked society.

However, always judging other people for the sake of it is foolish, time-consuming and exhausting. Not everything is necessarily right or wrong, good or bad – there is a neutral zone when people are simply different.

Judging a person for having different tastes in music, clothes and ice creams will simply be stupid and is often not needed.

I firmly believe that our judgments should help us figure out people, life and ourselves. But if it makes us confused and miserable then it becomes counterproductive and cumbersome.

Lastly, to end with a cliché, I also believe that we should mostly judge ourselves first before judging others.

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The Inherent Purpose Of Life Is Absurdly Clear


Blue Wall

Blue paint strokes on the wall bathed in warm sunlight. Air rushes out and flows into my lungs every second.
I try to remember my dreams from last night; can’t.
The sound of my heart in my head.
What will a purple world feel like?
Yada.

Experiences.
Sight. Sound. Sensations. Taste. Smell.
Thoughts.
Creative experiences.
The setting Sun.
A cut on your wrist.
The story of your childhood.
We know we are alive because we experience.

But is it real?
What if everything is an illusion? Our senses are often contradictory or wrong. What if everything is wrong?
These questions about the nature of our experiences have been asked throughout centuries, around the world.

But the experiences themselves exist in some form or the other. Even if everything is an illusion, then the illusion has to exist. It doesn’t become any less ‘real’.

Various philosophers of doubt like Descartes, the skeptics, the cynics along with Buddhist and some Hindu traditions have questioned the ‘reality’ of the world which we experience.
However, their concept of reality itself always had some presumptions of permanence or objectivity which exists outside of the experiencing subject.

To me it seems a little bit absurd. Why should anything which isn’t permanent be any less real than a thing which supposedly IS permanent. A bolt of lightening which exists only for some seconds can kill a human being. It is as real as the Human itself. And to talk about something existing OUTSIDE of consciousness is not fruitful because knowledge itself requires consciousness (at least the kind which we are aware of).

The existence of EVERY experience is absolutely assured. It’s nature is not.

This is the only thing life grants us.
The inherent purpose of life is to experience life.
All other interpretations, meanings and purposes given to it are mere embellishments. To label them as inherent is to be dishonest with oneself.

If there was any inherent meaning to life other than this, then we would’ve never asked. It would’ve been clear to us since birth, because we ARE living beings.

Life IS us.

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Why Why?


Why Why?

 

If you dive deep into the abyss of Reason and have that insanity in you which drives you till the very end of your wits,

You will eventually ask:

Why why?

What what?

How how?

The questions will start questioning themselves. The circle of Reason will be complete.

There will be no answers. And that will be the real dawn of truth.

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I Feel That My Insides Are Blunted


 

It was so different when I was a child.

Happiness was so easy. It wasn’t that there was no pain or no fear. In fact, I was very shy and insecure. But I FELT life so much more…so much more intensely.
If a put a standard, a template to measure life — then of course I am better off than I was then. More money, more luxury, more friends.

But I feel that my insides are blunted. Pain doesn’t hurt that much. And there isn’t so much pain any more. But joy feels so dull too.

I was too sensitive towards life. I was affected by it far too easily. But there was an unsaid depth to it. I don’t know if anyone else felt it like I did. But life was special. I did not have to philosophise about it. I didn’t have to ‘figure’ things out.
I was vulnerable — but that’s exactly what made me feel so much more alive

I think people and society unnecessarily attach too much importance on things like pleasure as opposed to pain.
I think that the only inherent purpose to life is to experience it. After all it is because we experience that we know we are alive.

All other ‘purposes’ which philosophers, scientists and people attach to it are mere interpretations.
Experiences — wild, varied, ever changing, sometimes positive, sometimes negative, sometimes calming, sometimes overwhelming.
Everything has its place.

But now I just don’t feel it.

Maybe I got stuck in my pain and my anger for too long.

Of course it hurt.

Now it doesn’t.

But is it because now I am numb?

I don’t know.

When I passed out from school, my psychology teacher wrote that I should always cling on to my innocence.
I was a child who talked freely about sex (in all its variations) and liberation back when we weren’t allowed to. When it still wasn’t cool to think on your own.
I was a little surprised she called me innocent, but somewhere I knew what she meant.

Innocent doesn’t really mean ignorant or naive to me.
It means being a special kind of Honest.
Not in the Abraham Lincoln/Gandhian sense in which you don’t lie to others for your own benefit or when lies are needed.
Innocence means being Honest with YOURSELF.

I am 19 now, and I fear that I am slowly ‘growing up’.
I don’t want to.
I always want to feel as honestly as I did when I was a child.

I am afraid.
And I am not lonely. But I am alone in this, for no one can help me.
I am desperately trying to find my way out, and sometimes I don’t even realise the desperation.

The Gypsy In The Sewer


Cub

Metal bars stuck around the hollow of his stomach since the day he was born – it never went away.
The nomad was abandoned, his mother was the drain. Everybody knew the stranger from the underground.
The gypsy roamed the international sewers trading a part of him with the merchants from the surface.

If you were to be one of them, you would definitely ask, “Where is his gut?”
And there would be none.

Let your name be Alice.

A louse crawled in his flowing, gray hair and Alice ignored it, pretending to be disgusted by the sewage instead. Perhaps she wasn’t pretending after all. Alice was genuine.

A leash held him in. The jail was made up of metal pipes filled with the black bile from the surface which their citizens couldn’t stand. It was made to prevent the traders from stealing the nomad.
The Gypsy from the sewer smiled from the enclosure.
He could stand us. He could stand anything.

The people liked him because he was the only one to ask, and they wanted to tell.
His eyes would gleam with the sheen of dreams, as if his tear ducts collected your stories.

He remembered each one of them.
He remembered the time when the two towers fell as the bird went blind in the middle of the city.
He remembered the boy who left tears on his shoulders when he told him about his brother who left.
When that girl gave him daisies, he asked her how she found them and he still remembers the garden in her backyard where she played with pythons.
He hasn’t forgotten the wall which fell when the cold years went away.

When he slept it all came back.
He walked through the garden, breathing the dust from the towers, looking for the brother who was lost past the broken boundary wall.

In his sleep he lived on the surface, amidst the part of the lives the people left behind.
He worked the hardest in his dreams. Breaking and mending the weak, creaking parts – making a whole which functioned.
He found the answers to the questions they didn’t even know they will ask.

When he awoke, the answer was found in the cage of his stomach.
Each time it was different.
Once, it was the bonsai tree with thin, paper leaves.
The merchants took it up to the surface and planted it in their cities. The plant grew into a metropolis.
Then he made a red star and it made the wall which crumbled.

A tiger cub sat curious in his stomach when Alice told the nomad about her cycle which broke. The cub’s piercing eyes searched her face, maybe looking for the tooth which went missing when she fell, or imagining the white fluid dripping down her lips and eyes. Her stomach was yet not fat.

His pupils dilated, its throat vibrated – its purrs called to you, Alice.

When she finished telling her tales, the other merchants handed him the money.
The cub was squeezed out of the cage.
It trembled with hesitance. Its tiny claws dug into the metal of the pipes.

Alice picked it up; the tiger’s licks left wet, red trails on her neck.

The merchant group walked away – ready to fuel their machine of civilization with dreams that they would distort and promises they couldn’t keep.
This one would be good for a decade.
After which the merchants will return to buy a part of the nomad again.
It’s best for business.

Alice glanced back towards the gypsy again. His cage lay hollow, his eyes caved-in.
He will never see his cub alive again.
The surface which thrives on his organ implants bars him from living his own dreams.
Or does it?

Alice strutted away.
A leash has its way.
A louse still hangs on his silvery strands which may never shine with Sun rays.

The light awaits the nomad.

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