Crab Soup

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One should value above everything else freedom, equality and crab soup’

The crab soup in this Heinrich Heine quote refers to the small pleasures of life. It is to be valued with utmost care since it is what makes life worth living. We live, not for some grand event, yet to be unfolded, whereby we emerge victorious and universally lauded, but instead for life itself.

I find these pleasures in my morning cup of Darjeeling chai and roti.

Nothing beats it. Even a thousand kilometers away from my country, the first sip of tea, the first, soft, bite of a hot roti, dissolves the distance with fond memories,still fresh as the morning dew. The day ahead might be hard. The evening, harder. But the first 20 minutes of the early dawn belongs only to me.

Oh and yes, there is also the morning cigarette, my guilty pleasure.

 

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moaning of life

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A second child was born to a family from Laos. People from the dorm were gathering to celebrate with the couple in the park nearby. A picnic-like atmosphere was created in half an hour, with foods and drinks, laughter and songs.

And I think to myself,” Why,this is just fucking annoying.”

What are they celebrating about? That poor sod! The things he will have to go through competing for a share of the world’s resources. Only a group of lunatics would celebrate such a tragedy. Don’t we have enough people already? Why more?

Cities are growing taller with nowhere to spread. People are being squeezed inside bird cages, with walls so thin, you can hear your neighbour’s intimate,midnight conversations.  And yet we are popping babies out one after another.

I don’t get why people want to have children in the first place. Sex, I get. But why reproduction? I find thinking about pregnancy rather revolting.

 

I was looking at news from China and they have this one-child policy.  I read that it has prevented some 400 million births since 1970. Some people have criticised it on grounds of human rights, hefty fines, etc.

But hey! It works you know.

I read somewhere that if all the world’s people were to live the American life, then we would need 4 more Earths. It’s clear that we don’t have the resources to provide a good life to everybody. Then what are we celebrating about? What do we say to the baby? “Welcome kid, to a mildly satisfying life.”

I think we have got this the wrong way round:We should mourn a life and celebrate a death.

I once heard some sort of a buddhist monk telling his followers a story.A child was born and the first thing he said was,

Oh no! Not again!

I believe the kid in the dorm was feeling something similar.

A Weird Dream

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I had a weird dream the day before yesterday. It happened early in the morning and I saw myself eating half-cooked cockroaches. I was there in the first person point of view and could even taste the disgusting flavour of the food. Even after I woke up, it was as if I had an aftertaste leftover from my dream.

I thought,”That’s a weird dream. I wonder why I had it.”But I already had the answer to that. I remembered that only the other day I had come across a quote by one of my favourite humourists, Mark Twain. It went something like,

Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.

Why the roaches instead of the frog? That’s because I am scared of roaches. Scared and disgusted by them (And I am a man. I hear the distant,tragic moaning at the demolition of the image of the idealised “Man”). But there was more to it. I have a habit of listening to podcasts while going to sleep. Mostly comforting discussions on various topics, ranging from philosophy to psychology, which I enjoy. A couple of nights before the dream I was listening to a discussion on the topic,

What is the nature of the unconscious and Carl Jung’s “Man and his Symbols”

It says how our unconscious mind is a world without language, trying to weave messages through pictures and symbols. But since we live in a world dominated by words we find it hard to decipher them and often neglect it as non-sensical. So. I decided to make sense of the dream. Did it mean anything? Or was it just a restructuring of Mark’s quote? Since I consider myself to be a skeptic, I wanted to be careful of trying to find meaning where none exists. But then a thought hit me. The quote. Yes! The quote. What is the one precondition for truly enjoying the brilliance of the quote?

You have to be already living in a situation that makes you feel that your day would indeed become tolerable if you would only follow the advice.

And I did follow it,didn’t I! In my dream. So what does it say about my everyday life?

Oh.

Cartoon by Lev Yilmaz


Featured Image: http://opiniaocentral.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/carl_jung.jpg

 

 

Don’t Think: it is irrational

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How do you make a decision? We believe that whatever or most of what we do is the result of careful,conscious thought given to the choices available while making the decision. Right? I say that this notion is utter bullshit.

To go to work or take the day off? To clean the room or not? To be or not to be.

We struggle with the options day after day. Some may even go on to read analytical philosophy to get a reference frame from where they may discuss the rationality of the choices. But these don’t amount to much.

Have you ever felt that your mind already knows the answer to your dilemma? Have you ever felt that your conscious reasoning is mere pretense? If you have then you were right! It definitely is.

Your mind( subconscious) has already made the decision for you, independent of you. Thinking is just a waste of time as far as the final decision is concerned. The purpose of thinking seems to be the rationalization of the choices that have already been made by your brain.

We feel good when we can justify our decisions. And that is the purpose that thinking serves. But this also consumes time and causes anxiety. Wouldn’t it be great if we could jump to the decision without spending time in weighing the options? Well we certainly can and should. For thinking is irrational if its only role is to give us comfort, a sense of illusory control.

I propose that letting go of the conscious thought would be hugely beneficial to us.