Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Problems with ritualized masturbation

Sexual fantasizing, masturbation and actual sex should not be simply something done to curb boredom. Ritualizing these acts all the more removes their sanctity. The fascination involved and the importance of these activities should not be relegated to a pastime. These acts should only be done when you really feel like doing them for their own sake, not as a pastime, ritual or for dealing with boredom. I'm speaking about this topic from a free thinkers perspective, this is not related to any religious ideas.

Now there are other tricky issues to deal with here. How do you know when you genuinely feel like doing them for their sake alone? Firstly, if you have ritualized it, you need to step out of that grind by diverting yourself from it as much as possible for a month maybe. This would drastically reduce the strength of the conditioning. Also, beliefs like "I must do it after so-so and so interval or else something is terribly wrong with me" need to be removed. There is no such thing to support that. For example: Even if we are not scared about falling asleep in the night, we still do. In fact, if this fear existed it would only hamper our sleep at best. Our biology works best when totally left to itself. Like our breathing, whenever we try to control it, it gets messed up and we again let go of it. So letting your body adjust its hormones as it wants is a perfectly normal thing.

The other thing is the psychological slavery. If thoughts of this nature, crowd your mind each time you feel bored or empty, then they would always drive you to seek these pleasures/activities. Its very difficult to divert that energy anywhere else. The point is not about NOT doing something. Its more about losing your mental freedom and being controlled by this mime(4-D object). Its works very similar to drugs like cocaine. We rush with the activity and take it to its closure, and we are at peace for a short while because of the prolactin rush. But the need again resurfaces after many hours or in the next day like nothing has ever happened.

After 10 years of it, I have realized that indulging more in these does not give more pleasure, in fact it creates a need, I end up having an abnormally high sex drive and the pleasure comes with diminishing returns. More than pleasure the satisfaction we derive from it is crucial. In this case, indulging in it makes me want more and more of it and the psychological satisfaction is diminished. It also reduces its significance if I am indulging a lot.

Its unbelievable to me too. After pursing these for over 10000 times, the craving still oscillates in the same way, like there is no time factor at all and nothing had ever happened. These highs are like whenever you reach the finish line you feel good but after a while the finish line itself moves forward and you have totally lost your accomplishment. This goes on endlessly. Its like a sine wave that keeps going on, when the wave is up, you are horny, when its down, its off season. If you willfully do it too many times, the cycle becomes erratic or increases its frequency giving the impression of a very high sex drive. If you divert yourself later, then the cycle once again reaches its homeostasis or natural rhythm.

The other problem is the stimulus needed. Especially in the case of photos and videos, the same ones do not work for very long. There is therefore a periodic search for newer, better or more intense ones and we reach a point of time when we almost get totally desensitized from everything. Nothing seems very exciting at all. At this point, the pleasure takes a dip and it starts yielding lower psychological satisfaction.

Another problem that this causes is in relationships. Masturbation is available to us all the time, its totally under our control. But in relationship, its gets more difficult. We may initially feel relived and joyous of not needing to rely on masturbation alone and transfer a good part of the need (preferably the entire need) onto the other person. Now, we would need to deal with another human being and their preferences. What if they have a lower drive or they have specific situations or preferences which you do not have? Then it gets quite frustrating. Though the pleasure derived from the same activities done with a partner are much more rewarding in pleasure, they are unpredictable. A lot of times, you may prep up yourself for an exciting time but would be disappointed if the partner's interest seems low. This unpredictability/uncontrollability is the source for a lot of frustration and there would always be this strong drama, anger, and expectation. This makes truly loving someone very difficult. With all these differences, we may start to think purely of ourselves in a hedonistic way and just try to extract the most pleasure from this unpredictable situation.

Tolerance and Patience are difficult when we are used to huge doses of pleasure on a daily basis. If the other person is very like minded, then you may never encounter this issue. But given how unique we are, how likely is that? Even if you are a master of communication and pleasure (superbly capable of giving as well as receiving it), the other person may not have acquired the same level.
For some girls, they get attracted to such stuff only after having an experience of it first. Also factor in other behaviors from neurotic tendencies, conditioning, taboos, parental and societal influences, cultural influences, how much they have examined their own beliefs etc. In fact all these parameters impact all areas of life, not just in sex or romance.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Even great experiences create discomfort

Recently, I had a terrific out of the world experience. This stirred up my entire thoughts and in a way hijacked my brain. For the next few days, all I was doing was reliving moments of it and trying to remember every detail. No matter what I thought about, I would ponder over it again and again. Its like a stuck logical loop where I would think about ideas like: What was it really? What insights does it give me? What should I do to have an even better one? Should I pursue something similar? How will other people react if I tell them? How would I explain it to them? Would they be able to understand my translation of it?

What struck me is that, this is not the first time in my life this has happened. Interesting experiences hijack my entire attention and make me continually explore their mystery. The more intense it is, the more I'm pulled in.

I don't know if I need to interpret this as discomfort in the first place. Its what I have been doing most of my life. I would be terribly fascinated with some object, game or person and keep intensely exploring that until the interest naturally fades into something else. I have seen a lot of people around me however, do not live life with that intensity. Even if they do, the intensity is only for certain things and not versatile or really broad. It also stays more or less constant. For e.g.: among the people I know, there is an obsession with knowing the latest gossip or information, maintaining a oneupmanship, tapping into the easiest sources of money, increasing one's value in the market etc.

About Dopamine:
Once dopamine is involved in the picture, it hugely dominates. The real obsessive experience starts when an entity stimulates dopamine. That makes the obsession much much stronger. I guess our whole motivation and behavior is biologically adjusted to all the activities that maximize dopamine. So they would theoretically be the most powerful forces. In fact dopamine is the key force of attraction.

Why the reward system may be fair after all
For a long time I felt, pretty girls have an inherent advantage since more people want to get to know them and their opportunity for interacting with others is maximized. However, if they get attention easily, they may not bother to develop other skills and attitudes needed for pleasure not related to looks. Average looking people usually develop in other areas and by virtue of facing rejections etc. develop greater empathy, stronger personalities and develop other talents and interests which help them gain rewards. The more I think about it, I feel no one has any real advantage. You can rewards in spikes or get it slowly but the wave will still be maintained with its crests and troughs.

Giving a starving man a loaf of bread gives him as much pleasure as a middle class man gets eating in a 5-star restaurant. In the pretty girl example: If some guy gives her a lot of attention, she would not be too bothered by it because she gets it in abundance. But if this level of attention is received by an average girl, she would be really moved and rewarded much more.

So, do some people really subjectively experience more pleasure than others?
We can never compare 2 subjective experiences, even my comparison would be my subjectivity. So the answer to this question is almost unknowable.
2 things strike my mind when I think about this.
1. Analyzing the biology of the person's brain, nervous system etc for the main neurotransmitters and chemicals influencing subjective experience.
2. Understanding the person's beliefs and how they are functioning: empowering/dis-empowering him

But even these factors may not indicate subjective experience. There is an inherent duality here.
Say there are Person A: with less dopamine and Person B with more dopamine. Person B may have more dopamine in his system, but he has always had it, he would know the value of it only if he can experience person A. Similarly person A would have no idea what having the level of dopamine person B has feels like. Person A cannot even imagine it.

So the conundrum is that wherever we are in life, we always feel we are in the center. The frame of reference itself moves along with us. We are always craving for better things, avoiding the bad stuff. We try to map our place by comparing ourselves to others and that gives us orientation. But this is a comparison in an artificial reality. There is no compass, no map, no circumference, no location in actual reality.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Journey of questions

Question: How can I get what I want?....then...What do I really want?....Is there really some unchangeable thing which I really want?

I can keep abstracting it higher and higher but I might end up with a vague term like happiness or satisfaction which is still not clear. Finding what I want may not be that straightforward. Because what I want is a dynamic entity and my priorities change from time to time esp. with change in my circumstances. The definition of me itself in fact is intimately tied to my environment from birth till date. I cannot exist in this manner without my environment at the other end.

I am so related to the environment in every way...I can literally see it myself...I feel very lazy if I keep lying down in a dimly lit room for long...when I have an intense conversation, it fires up all my brain circuits...socially I stay much more active...when I am in the college, lab or walking on the street in cold weather, I feel quite awake...a good event elevates me, while stress makes me feel ill, passive, dull and I try to escape it by withdrawing (sleeping or dull stupor)...If someone tells me to be spontaneous and not self conscious, that makes me feel even more self consciousness...certain people evoke certain feelings and moods out of me...infact each person I meet does that...everything around me evokes me

Questions about finding the right things

Now, the part which I am finding difficult to address is that, if everything around me evokes the 'I' then my environment is paramount...The executive questions come up...Am I in the right place? playing the right game? Meeting the right people? Pursuing the right experiences?

Questions about what is right

To answer that, is anything that invokes positive, pleasant emotions and feelings in me right?
If I answer that with a 'yes', then again there is another level. The feelings that objects evoke from us is dependent on our world view, conditioning and perspective.

Questions about what is real? Am I adequately exploring? Am I aware enough? What is true knowledge?

In that case, changing these parameters are like altering global variables. They could open up many new experiences and even dramatically change perceptions about events and objects I think I have understood. There might not be anything right or wrong in the first place.

Then I could end up being paranoid at another level that is 'what perspective is really real, one that includes all the others? Is perspective even real? What is real in the first place? Is there a higher self, higher mode of operation which I need to seek? Is seeking just another trap of desire again? What is this entire cycle about? What is the highest knowledge?

Now, after reading about zen etc, they even break down the system of language itself saying that it is only possible for language to convey distinctions and it is impossible for it to cover something all inclusive like the uniting truth. In that case, maybe everything is just vibrations and that is the highest knowledge and everything that I know right now could just be an illusion. Maybe I am meant to be just like a bird chirps when it wants to. In that case, what is the part controlling me right now? Is chasing experiences really as important as I think of it to be? (especially considering the rule of duality that the definition of pleasure itself is intertwined with suffering. In other words, if I have an extremely exotic experience, my whole frame of reference may shift and my current position may feel like suffering compared to that, thus maintaining the duality equation)

Question about Who and what is the 'I' that wants enlightenment? What is beyond this duality? What is the truth?

This is the more fundamental question. Maybe the I which is intellectualizing all this with language and exists inside me between my eyes does not even exist as something separate. Language is after all an abstraction for the real thing. The real reality may simply be experience without any words that can convey it. Its like God putting into words how he created an earthquake. It might take millions of years to even describe it, single language is like serial processing and cannot describe a reality where everything is happening at once. 


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...