Sunday, October 16, 2011

The pain of choices

This is something that has made me queasy right from childhood. I need to make choices at every moment and this automatically closes the door for all the others. People handle this giant confusion by creating rigid moral values and beliefs about what they need/want etc. but unfortunately I have kind of seen through the illusion of beliefs and how they are actually created by us. To add to that, there is this pressure of time. There are different stages in life and certain things/experiences can only be enjoyed at a certain time:

For example: it was one was my greatest fascinations in childhood to visit the redwood forest, but when I actually visited it my wonderment level was much lower. A small GI Joe car would have thrilled me to no end in my childhood years but now even if I see it in amazon and get it delivered with practically no effort from my side, I would not be close to that excited.

So different things are valuable at different points of time and this value equation keeps changing too.
Its almost like today the equations to be maximized are:
x+y+z+w = 50
2x+3y+4z+6w = 60
.......and so on
AND tomorrow some of them change.

Even before I solve a quarter of it, the values change and they keep on changing everyday. Its like a never ending noise of random numbers on a screen on which I have to find the most meaningful patterns. Its like an every changing matrix or a fractal on which I am unable to grasp anything. The only thing which I can rely upon are my habits which I know are not even real and there is definitely a better way to optimize.

So the next question that comes to mind is that: Is there really something that' s better or worse? Is there really a good/bad/preference?

AND then we have this whole philosophy of advaita which states that everything vibrates with the same energy and all concepts are an illusion. This would mean that no matter what I choose, its more or less equivalent. This is what gives me the motivation to understand more and more of this philosophy since if I becoming choiceless and stop wanting anything, then anything that comes can be welcomed and I can be relieved from all the so called illusions of good/bad, better/worse.

Its kind of like, let me have everything or be happy with nothing. The in between lost, confused state is the most uncomfortable. There is this giant question of: do things really matter or do they not? and there is this massive tsunami of society and culture to emphatically answer "Yes" to the above question.

I could think of different models of reality to answer this, could it be that reality is like a hologram, meaning all experiences can be found doing anything depending on what I project onto the activity?
Is it a fractal where no matter what part of the picture I zoom into, I see the same pattern? (similar to a hologram containing infinite copies of itself).

If I translate this into our daily life it might mean that a successful business man pursuing money, fame, power; the doper who is after finding the best drugs again and again; the man who is always thinking of sex and looking for every opportunity to have it and the spiritual guy who is after something more meaningful or revelatory experiences are maybe one and the same since they all are seeking.

But it is still a mystery if any of of these is intrinsically better than the other. For example I could also argue that the spiritual seeker is moving towards lower suffering while the business man or the drug, sex addicts may not be doing so. They may be more dependent on situations and circumstances which keep changing as per the law of nature.

What is the true value of investments? Is that something real or is it part of our constructed illusion?

"There are so many temptations out there and so many ways to connect and form a deep relationship with someone almost instantly. One thing goes wrong, and it’s just too easy to jump on FB and rekindle an old flame"

"There is a great article called “I will be married to 5 different women in my lifetime” that talks about KNOWING that your partner will evolve and change and you must be willing to fall in love with each “different” woman that comes into your life"

"I think choice overload’s really only a problem if you start out having no idea of what you really want, so you settle for the best of what you find. Which is never really that satisfying and leaves you always looking for something better."

There are two very enlightening TED talks on this topic:

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