Sunday, February 27, 2011

Langauge is just a form of reductionism?

Language IMHO is basically an abstraction created to describe concepts and share thoughts and ideas. So it is a sort of packaging and labeling of concepts. We derive meaning of the words from experiences in our lives - (situations, talking with people), we extrapolate, interpolate OR use analogies to combine concepts.The label itself does not have any significance like notes of money with numbers written which are just a pieces of paper. Why do we only use some 1000-2000 words in our daily spoken language? I guess this is because it is enough for most general communication purposes. If you apply the bell curve phenomenon for society, a large amount of vocabulary is rarely used. Now finer vocabulary terms have been created to convey thoughts in more resolution, but still the meaning is derived in the same way. So if I use the word "Pleasant", it may indicate one of the 10 notable feelings which I consider pleasant. But which one of the 10? Even if I narrow it down to one, is that the real thing? I think the real feeling is infinite, everything is reality is infinite. We just assign this approximation depending upon the breath and level of subtlety we can perceive. In terms of breath, a person can have significantly different thoughts about the word pleasant. One person may think of the feeling he had in a flotation tank while another may think about his easy chair. They are very different feelings, but both get tagged under pleasant. So I guess, the vocabulary and combination of words we use to convey thoughts can indicate the breath and level of subtlety of perception.

Also, things thoughts can be conveyed and understood by another person only if he/she has had a similar experience or something to extrapolate on.
Think about the following examples:
1. Can you explain to a 10yr old, what can orgasm might feel like?
2. Can you explain what a lucid dream might feel like to someone who has never heard of it?
3. Can you explain what colors look like to a blind person?
4. Can you explain what an alcohol high feels like to a person who has never touched it?
5. Can you explain what is music to a person who has never heard any?
6. Can you explain humor, or what makes us laugh?

Magic goggles and mirrors

When I speak to some people to share my problem and get perspectives on it, sometimes their stark lack of awareness is revealed OR in case our views absolutely oppose(which is very common because I'm kind of a free thinker) while opening up to them the whole environment becomes an egoistic showdown. Each offends/defends with their point of view or tries to withdraw. Esp when it is with a person with whom I've spent a lot of time, they think they know me too well and this exacerbates the miserable feeling and the other person's life starts looking rosier because of their lack of the problem which I'm so involved in. If i visualize it it kind of looks like the goggles which I use to see the world get distorted and I see my life as a stormy cloud and their life as even rosier, like say a rainbow shown in the left part of the diagram.

Sometimes, when I'm deeply admired by someone and they really understand me and share their vulnerabilities with me, I feel the exact opposite(shown in the right side of the figure) and this good feeling overflows as love/compassion towards the other person.

I find it hard to believe how this goggle filter distorts so much between these 2 experiences. What is the objective truth then?What can I infer?Is the goggle what we call as ego/image of self which transform the way you perceive reality? On examination I feel I cannot trust this perception anymore.

Each person I meet is like a magic mirror since I look totally different in these mirrors each time depending on that person's state of mind and my own state. For e.g.: If I drink alcohol with a friend whose similar to me, both of us start reflecting off the pleasant state from our mirrors making us look much better in each others' mirrors.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Random musings

Dis-identification is freedom. Each level of it adds a new degree of freedom. As we move up layers and dis-identify with the lower layers, we get liberated from those lower layers. The prison breaks since we no longer have any investment in the dis-identified layer. Its like all the walls of that prison(metaphorically its attachment) become invisible and you get to see what that space really is.

Are we really creating our reality/self at every moment? That thought kind of puts a LOT more responsibility. Do I really need to make choices at every single moment? Making choices once a way scares me enough! I can generally handle one moment at a time very well or even short plans for like half a day. What really hits me are long term goals. I absolutely have no clue. If there is so much of uncertainty even in such a short amount of time, how practical is it to make a long term goal. And what about my dynamic self. I'm so dynamic in my opinions, thoughts and beliefs that what matters now may not even matter after a short while. How can I be dynamic and have a long term goal? Doesn't that mean I would have to lock my priorities for a very long period of time? How is that freedom? Most enlightened people simply live in the moment because they know this truth. This enables them to fully experience the present like a child. Maybe that is why they live away from cities. I do have certain long term goals, but aligning some of them with society's expectations is a serious pain. Its like society has a road map set, which I have been following since childhood. The pressure from society to conform is absolutely overwhelming. Why are there so few free thinkers? (its a Q that still beats me)

I generally like to operate at the fringe of my reasoning, opinions and beliefs and continually expand that sphere in all directions. The larger the sphere the more expansive and free I feel. Generally, when I'm talking to a rigid guy about an unknown topic, he gives me a distorted version and tells me that is the truth. That is like walking through narrow paths with walls on either side and reaching a destination(the destination may be a highly distorted opinion). The problem is that, to validate whether the walls are real or not, you need to explore by yourself (see multiple perspectives on the issue). Most of the time, the walls are an illusion. So for me the destination is just the fringe of what I think is possible with my current level of knowledge, experience or imagination. If I reach the fringe of reasoning and go beyond it, then I place a new checkpoint flag and continue to see if I can expand. My thinking force is centrifugal in a 3D sense. I want to expand in all directions. I do not have any fixed destination. What I seek is not an end goal, but a particular state of mind which is open to everything, filled with curiosity and wonder, greatly enriching people's knowledge and lives, with an extremely high level of wisdom.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Concentrating on music in layers

Since I had a synthesizer/keyboard in childhood, I kind of learnt to hear individual tracks separately in an accompaniment or song.
Percussion 1,2 - Drums...Bass...rhythm 1,2 - guitars, Pad chord - strings, melody 1,2 - special effects or inserts.
8 tracks in the accompaniment
1 lead track, 1 track supplementing the lead etc.

In a typical song, I can easily break up 7-8 tracks and hear them individually. I think this is a great concentration exercise and it really helps you get deeper into the music.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Phenomenological reality vs consensus reality

My beliefs would be more on the lines of Phenomenological/personal reality. I believe in some concepts/theories and I validate it with my experiments. Even me doubting my own experiment is a reality. My need for seeking more is a reality experienced both as physical sensations and in the mental plane as momentum and direction of thoughts. Even if I think about happiness as a concept and feel good, I consider that a valid experience. I first compartmentalize and then try to integrate everything.

Concentration stages

The analogy shown here is similar to that of iron filings orienting themselves to a magnet. The magnetic force here is what we may call will power. Using will power we direct all the neuronal energy towards a specific object. Perfect concentration would be when you become the object itself or feel that 'you are the object'.

Jnana yoga talks about this in much greater detail.

Another way to look at breathing meditation is that, a surprising fact:  If you think about your hand, and at that instant or moment its there, before that you had no awareness it existed. If you choose to only think about the sensation of your right hand, then you would essentially only be your right hand, till you decide to change your thought. So in essence what this could mean is that, the body is just a machine which you are responsible for. So the "You" is not the body. What happens in deep sleep? your body is still alive during this period. I guess what we commonly refer to as "you" is our experience or observation of anything. I do not observe anything about my little toe until I have a thought about it/decide to think about/feel it. So the little toe is not me by definition.

At times while falling asleep we notice that we get lost in thoughts. During this period we have no awareness of the body until we snap back to it by a jolting sound etc. So we could assume, that you were too busy with the thoughts and not aware of the body at all. If extended further, you cannot be your thoughts since someone is observing the thoughts. So the "You" or "I" is something else altogether, maybe in some other dimension. It might just be pure awareness.

So, in breathing meditation I guess what we essentially do is gather all the awareness and focus it on the nostrils.

Diagram: Supposing the yellow, orange and blue represent increasing level of forces pulling the mind towards them. The blue might indicate some important college/office work pending, orange - wanting to eat something, yellow - just a faint feeling. In breathing meditation we relax the body enough that its signals become extremely subtle. This allows us to move all our attention to whatever part we want i.e. nose.

If this is mastered you have separated the concentration/awareness force from its objects. It's like distillation of water. Preoccupations, desires are contaminants. Imagine the kind of power if this force is completed isolated. Almost all inventions of mankind were based on concentration. So you are isolating that force and you have complete freedom to use it wherever you want since you have freed it from all its obligations. Its like having a rifle in your hand when everyone else is fighting with sticks.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Is love metaphysical gravity?

Gravity in physics is considered to be a universal force of attraction. I was wondering if there is something similar to this in the metaphysical plane. A universal attraction force that may operate at this plane too. The thing that comes closest to such an idea is love.

Monday, February 14, 2011

What is the equilibrium state of the mind?

In nature, everything seems to have an equilibrium state. Like say levels of water, electricity from higher potential to lower potential.
I have always wondered what would happen if we just do nothing, no effort absolutely, what would happen to the mind? what would it reveal? would it liberate us? Is this what meditation is mostly about?
Every single day/moment, I'm always expending effort towards something or the other. If I'm physically still then mentally I start moving more. According to me continuous thinking can only happen with effort, that means we are habitually putting some effort into accomplishing this. What if I completely drop all effort?Just let go with absolutely no judgment?
I think definitely something seriously profound would be revealed if the mind reaches its true equilibrium. Maybe it would separate us clearly from the mind, because the mind would simply become imperceptible because of almost 0 activity. It might even reveal if the mind is a mere illusion because of the continuous effort we put into it.

I get interesting insights when I think of our body and mind like systems in nature. We have limited reward chemicals in our body and they need to replenish too after they are used. No matter what happens, we will always come back to some kind of equilibrium. For e.g.: If we keep doubling our money, our pleasure return would exponentially decrease. This also means, if you are terribly depressed and you just stop thinking or paying attention to any thought, the mind would come back to equilibrium since your putting no effort. Maybe we are all  no different from any plant or animal, and power, money, morals, intelligence etc. are all just hyped out illusions which have many smaller illusion layers supporting them.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Parallels from my roller skating experience

1. Initially when I tried I just couldn't even move. Walking from one end to the other was really difficult and I fell down many times. The legs/foot had to kept extremely tensed to prevent falling. It was just unbelievable how people were doing it with such ease.
2. Then in the 2nd day, I was much better, but still my legs would hurt, I would go fairly slow and was still tensing the legs. I was also falling now and then because of the balance going off.
3. I read that the body's gyro takes some time to adjust and after that it would be smooth. I still found it unbelievable even at that stage. But surprisingly, each time I tried after that, there was continuous improvement. After the 4th time I could skate fairly fast but i couldn't life my feet off the ground. Just glide. But this made turning very difficult and the shins would start hurting in a short while.
4. After this I decided to slow down again and try lifting my leg with each step and lengthening the time. I did this really slow for a while. After a while, I got the flow and I could increase speed. Even the legs were relaxed and it felt much smoother.

I was just wondering if this same analogy applies to any activity that we take up....

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thoughts about why scientific revolution has greatly accelerated in the 20th century

Reality is still a sort of mystery when we look into things like
1. Our brain just interprets electrical signals from the narrow frequency bands that is captured by each of the 5 senses. Based on this collective experience, reality is defined and patterns are established
2. In dreams/lucid dream we are deceived so easily into believing what we see as reality until we wake up

These 2 facts alone can loosen up our reality concept(material world) to an extent.
Maybe there is nothing material about the world we perceive. Maybe objectively, everything is just some sort of vibrations or crazy high frequencies and in the frequency bands at which our senses work, we perceive this form of reality.

Maybe this unified vibrational field is speeding up. In linear time a few centuries might have passed, but in a different perspective it may be exponential. After all what do we perceive as time, there are mechanical systems in your watch, that make the hands move. What if every atom/molecule starts vibrating faster. What if the entire solar system starts moving faster. Time perception is relative, so we would still calculate the speed of planets relatively and feel that the speed of time is the same. The quality of our measurement depends upon the measuring instruments, so we cannot measure things that alter things globally which includes all the instruments.

Maybe we are witnessing this unexpected technological/intellectual revolution because this vibrational frequency has gone up which means every single atom/molecule is vibrating faster. So this translates into faster thinking, faster inventions, faster change, higher IQs and faster evolution. Vibrational time has just speed-ed up.

Re-igniting the sense of wonder

There is something about this sense of wonder that feels out of this world. Its something most people lose in childhood. Its truly a priceless experience.

Here are some different ideas that would make us feel small and re-ignite a sense of wonder:

- How small we are physically in front of the size of the physical universe
- We see, hear, smell only a small frequency band....which extends in infinity in both directions
- Our physical reality/material world is actually the denser vibration of solidity, which is where we spend our lives in, subatomic particles vibrate even faster than light and neither their speed nor position can be predicted
- We pay attention(mind) only to a small fraction of the this limited sensory input itself
- And this mind fits things into the concepts we have proved with this extremely narrow knowledge which means cognitive distortions, habits, tendencies which means we an even smaller fraction of the fraction of sensory input perceived.
- We perceive only 3D and 4D only from moment to moment, imagine all the 11 dimensions in concept and think about how expansive it is

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Subtle but powerful psychological implications to consider before trying out drugs

Probably 99% of us live in conceptual - language dominated minds, which means the importance of anything is judged by our collection of so called idealized concepts or by weighted comparison, we compare ourselves with this ideal and decide the value of whatever we perceive. This value translates into satisfaction/some kind of really sought after feeling in the body.

In our normal lives, there is a hierarchy of how we get our reward. For example: You desire money, which opens up a possibility for material possessions or buying certain kinds of services/experiences. The external objects have no intrinsic value. Its how they make you feel. Sometimes the external object works to satisfy concepts held in our minds and this provides a much greater component of the feeling.

Say a person wants to possess a BMW. Some of his reasons could be that it represents a particular strata of society, the cream of it(concept) elite possession(concept)...only the rich possess(concept)....defines luxury(concept)...a comparison with all the people around you could give superiority - this superiority is actually not because you have something they do not possess...its because you have something that the common public considers highly desirable(concept).

I feel that satisfaction of the concept gives much greater pleasure than the pure visceral component of it. The visceral component or the concept getting satisfied creates a sensation in the body and it is judged. The sensation+judgment = Feeling(pleasant/unpleasant etc.).

So this long hierarchy leads you to the feeling which is the reward. Drugs cut through/pierce this hierarchy straight down and directly give you the feeling you are looking for without any of the in-between part. For an analogy, they act like wormholes in the space time fabric. Thats one of the reasons why it may be so baffling and disorienting to a person who has never thought in this perspective. And i'm still talking in the intellectual plane, leave alone the actual experience. It gives you what you are looking for all this time and you may never achieve that feeling ever in real life and in that intensity.

But here are some of the catches. Since we understand something only from its opposite, you real life will seem really low in comparison to that. Because you've witnessed that high, all the events in your life will seem extremely meager. Nothing will seem worth pursuing besides the drug itself, because nothing can give a reward that is even close to that. In other words your sensitivity to real life would get drastically reduced due to this new benchmark that has been set. All your experiences would now be judged according to this benchmark.

Things like meditation or sensory deprivation do exactly the reverse. They heighten your sensitivity to make rewards appear larger and clearer, resulting in happiness. The way I look at it is, both these methods do show you a lesser known secret of life. They may be equally overwhelming/transformational/disorienting(for a normal way of life). But they nevertheless represent polar opposites in the way they are done.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Its funny sometimes, people spend most of their lives in front of their PC/laptop on the internet...either chatting with friends, using orkut, FB, different email boxes, watching movies/television on net and general reading.....A friend of mine would read almost every single review of movies released....has he watched all of the movies?..NOPE barely any...maybe 5% of them...he is a voracious reader....and has REM with overflowing nervous energy and impatience all the time....almost like a crow....he is extremely opinionated on everything....and barely trusts his own intuition....everything is based on what "he has heard from other sources" and even for grading those sources he would look outwards again and read about the credibility of that too......How does my description sound? evokes a certain uncomfortable feeling in me....its like something so essential is missing but I cannot put it into words.....this guy has an array of talents and is fairly impressive "by the book" otherwise.....but lacks something so profound we all know....

Here is my attempt to put that discomfort into words....I think internally he is lost......he completely relies on external sources to tell him what to do and what will give him a reward/how rewarding that thing would matter how intelligent or smart one may seem what really moves us is essence......the real essence in a human being is his case, it is enclosed in a black box covered with a cloak of all kinds of logical manipulations and constructions.....real admiration and beauty too comes form the spirit and we easily spot that in others too....but that feeling cannot be expressed in words....this person would need to see that "Our every single action seeks a reward from the reward center which is within us"....and that is the only place we can find true knowledge which anyways cant be conveyed with language.....language was constructed to convey something much more does a fairly good job at it but nothing comparable to the concept underlying its creation.....this person is essentially living in a dream.....trapped within his own beliefs and ignorance about some fundamental truths....its a prison that is growing in his own mind...its expanding and further getting entrenched

Implications of being highly judgmental and critical

Extending from the trench analogy, I was thinking about what implications could being judgmental/critical have. Then I got an interesting insight. You get a reward only when you fill up a trench fully. If you fill it up by just a little you would feel unsatisfied and a bit discouraged.

When we are extremely critical of others, the voice that pops up in your mind telling you "That is totally worthless, average, not good enough, just decent etc." would get strengthened with each reinforcement. Once its totally reinforced, you cannot suddenly turn it off, esp when you are dealing with yourself. You could deny that nothing applies to you, have clear double standards, generate elaborate logical explanations etc. but you cannot fool yourself at a deeper level. The very fact that you have those ridiculously high benchmarks of what is considered ideal in every department will trigger a comparison each time you achieve or do anything. So with this comparison happening, all your achievements would appear meek in front of these crazy standards. So in effect, you would be getting very little reward because you've created extremely large trenches to fill.

Infact even while gossiping(usually bitching about people) the person indulging in it gets pleasure due to the sense of 'moral superiority' their ego feels. Even the simple fact of sharing a news provides pleasure to the person sharing because at that point of time this person knows more and therefore enjoys a certain 'knowledge superiority'. In other words this is a different strategy to do the same thing, feel superior. When you put down everyone around you, you automatically become superior in comparison.

I don't think the concept of double standards really exists beyond our rational thinking mind. Our reward centers hardly work by this kind of mind anyway. I think real truth is what we should always be aware of. Avoiding or masking that just messes up your reward system, the reason for all your activities. Sometimes I feel, why beat around the bush, why cant we concentrate of lifting ourselves up instead of trying to belittle everything around us. It essentially does the same thing in a more efficient way?

Qualities of a diamond mapped to experience

The ideal +ve experience is where the mind is like an infinitely large diamond that is clear, does not hold anything but yet, reflects/refr...