Sunday, January 30, 2005

On the Hectic Life

What is man running after?

The ceaseless pursuit of what?

I have seen the life of a small town, and of the biggest cities in the
world. I have seen the life of hills, and the life of the homeless.

In the flurry of the days and nights passing by, one longs for a
restful place, for a peace which cannot be disturbed. The clamour for
security, for a home, for a secure relationship, for love is in
reality the search for peace within.

And that inward peace is never found. Every new accomplishment
seems as if it is bringing one closer to the goal. But that abode of rest
lies always beyond a misty horizon.

To want to rise in the world is to accept its values. The values of
profit, of a cycle of tightening and loosening up of oneself, of weeks
and weekends, of vacations to exotic places, of expectations and
silent frustrations, of comparison and competition, of furtive
remarks and hidden agendas, of exploitation and selective

In a hectic life, even an act of enjoyment leaves one tired.

Are some people designed to remain discontented with the world?

Is it the fate of some of us to search and seek till we die?

I was told that only if I reject every false means of happiness in
this world will my thirst for the eternal be truly quenched.

From a quest of timelessness I have now regressed into a quest of
time and space.

The quest for timelessness has become a very faint ember in the
smoke of my ebbing fire.

What a thirst I had of coming to you,
And what a bloodbath it has turned into...


noon said...

Interesting write ups. A lot of contemplation and self inquiry...yes I guess some people will eternally seek until they die ( I mean for meaning...). Somehow I was surprised to find in one of your posts about "believing in god"...What is your concept of god?

Ketan said...

I found two particular words in your post of immense significance - peace and quest.


Do you believe that peace is a persuasive state of mind that once achieved, because of certain accomplishments or events stays as it is unless and until something disturbs it or that it gradually gets dissipated even if nothing occurs that particularly disturbs it and has to be "earned" yet, again? The former would be like the nucleus of a "stable" isotope; the latter, like an unstable one.

I personally feel peace is more like the former, but also that number of events that can disturb our peace is usually very high, so it very likely gets disturbed and behaves like the unstable isotope.

But we possibly have the option of insulating our "self" and thus our "peace" from those events. I have seen some trying to do so. Personally, the reason I would not do this is stagnation it would lead to. Life would became a static. Again, fundamentally there is nothing wrong or bad about stagnation.

But the essence of life as we know it is responsiveness to events. Somehow stagnation seems antithetical to life.

If like a stable nucleus, peaceful state could be likened to an electron in its "ground state", pleasure is an excited state. I want to experience pleasure, but would also feel uncomfortable staying excited, I would want to dissipate that pleasure (say by telling about it to others). This probably happens because pleasure is an affective stimulus that our consciousness cannot "handle". For instance, you can regard your sadness and 'feel' it in entirety, can the feeling of pleasure be regarded in same fashion? So maybe that's why though we seek pleasurable stimuli, we cannot really retain the pleasure they induce. And after some time we return to our ground state of peace.

So, each time we seek a novel experience or a known experience we are trading off our basal level peace in hope that what we get in return would bring up pleasure. Sometimes it does not happen and we end up in a trough - frustration.

But why we seek that pleasure in the first place is probably to escape stagnation (peace)!

I don't know if I could answer your question or if my understanding of human's and (Harman's) psyche sufficient.


If it is a quest of "purpose" for living that you're asking for, there is none. We ourselves assign some purpose to our lives or segments of life (purpose for day, week, etc.)...

Ketan said...

...And in my observation most of our pursuits are directed towards escaping this realization of lack of significance of our lives (somehow, human mind is so constrained to think in terms of "beneficial" v/s "harmful", that significance can be gauged only in terms of how our lives 'affect' something, e.g., God or the ones we love or for a writer, response of the readers or the 'society', etc).
In the example of a husband preparing tea you gave, see, how the husband by proving that he is more beneficial to his wife than other husbands are (to their respective wives ;) ), is more significant.

We want to be loved so that we know our lives make a difference to someone.

Jealousy is a reaction to the prospect of someone else diminishing one's own significance - be it in love or in recognition received for one's accomplishments.

I do not know if timelessness was your method of immunity against death. I do not know why we fear death. There are simpler reasons like pain involved in the process of dying, but this fear extends beyond that factor alone. Irreversibility of death is the strongest fear I believe. We tend be wary of anything irreversible. Yes, growing up is irreversible. For instance, children want to grow up because they see adults as more powerful, and as more "able" to do many things. So, growing up into an adult is seen as an irreversible gain of certain abilities, but the same adults would not like to grow senile - 'loss' of certain abilities! Death entails irreversible loss of every kind of ability, and hence the fear associated with it and the desire to keep on living.