Emotions and Logics

What is a right decision ? The one overwhelmed by emotions or the one one calculated logically ? Here’s a story

I was thought as a brilliant kid during school and that’s why I was always encouraged to be an engineer or doctor. I was told that this is the way to be spectacular and that should be purpose of my life. Only a life like this, is a meaningful one. I was eager and happy to follow because I was getting respect and was being accepted. I was kind of a favorite child and ideal student. Then a time came when I had to make a choice between doctor and engineer. The dilemma after pondering then resolved itself to a choice between two subjects, biology and mathematics. I was good at math but was interested in biology more. Interest or liking, is an emotion. Meanwhile, logic was suggesting mathematics since I was more natural at it. But, I went for emotion because it ‘felt’ right. So, just because I ‘felt’ ( emotion again ) an inclination for some part of biology, I chose it over mathematics. Later on, when I gave the competitive exam called NEET for selection in a medical college I failed. I gave it three times. First time I failed because of lesser knowledge. The next two times although I improved I ‘felt’ it hard to push myself above a limit. Those two times I failed by a very close margin, so close that it seemed just a chance event. I could not push myself through that margin because I had lost the interest. It had turned out that the reasons for which I found biology interesting were not at all required to win the competition. Competition was more about memorising and practicing rather than learning and exploring. You require skills in 3 subjects to clear NEET- biology, physics and chemistry. And guess what was I bad at – biology, its memorization part. I was good at other two because I was good in calculations. The emotional decision that I felt right turned out wrong. Wrong because it took me away from my goal of being accepted in society and be dependable. So, is logic a better way to deal with problems ?

Another story. After failing thrice in the same exam I searched my other options to become dependable. This time logically. Having given so much time reading science and biology, I could not go back and undo my decision. That left me with two options. First, one more attempt to that exam. Second, to quit it and go for something else. It was too unpredictable how would I perform if I gave the exam for another time, so I decided to change my path and go for something else. I set upon calculating possibilities and arranged them in preferential order. Most likely option was batchelors in science. The course was offered by a university which had two colleges I could go to. One was in a nearby city and the other in my own town. While the city college had the best fascilities, joining it meant a good expenditure in money. Plus I will have to live in a hostel with sick food and wrecked facilities. Having spent already a lot of money in preparation I had been more dependent rather than dependable. So, I decided to join the town college and though it was not better than the city college, it had benefits of being close to my home. It was cheap and lenient in rules. I could focus on my extra curricular activities and study the way I want. I had an ego problem so studying in that college will fix that too. Then I had to prioritize these two. Low cost suitable environment Vs High cost hostile. Self study, lenience in college attendence Vs strict rules and little more good teachers. But I was most concerned about money. I wanted to be dependable and to ask for money was totally its opposite. it wasn’t that my family could not afford but it was my wish. The principle factors were whether I could stand the continuous enquiries of my family about my studies in city or a silent peaceful endeavor at home. There were so many other factors but I could not tell what factors were more influential and were of greater consequences than others. That would have required an experience that I did not have. Consequently it was my gut feeling that decided me to choose my town. yeah, the ‘like feeling’ again. it felt right to stay at home and peacefully do what I want. I could manage my time more efficiently. Well, that’s what I had thought. 

The two decision reulted in consequences I had not dreamt of. The two decisions – first to quit the MBBS goal and second of studying at home. The consequences are as follows. The most prominent were, I lost respect. Once, I was a brilliant student for my family, but then was dropped to a loser. Now I am not given much importance in my family. My opinion doesn’t matter and no one ask me for any advice. They believe I would quit every job in middle, if given. I broke their belief that I was smart. The daily taunts are just additional benefits. I am still being encouraged to be spectacular. I am regularly compared with my friends, family members and even movie characters. I can give all details about it and make this blog as long as Mahabharata, ( okay maybe not ) but get this, my decision is rejected and scorned by almost everyone I know. Coming to the college I am in, that isn’t any better. The first time I tried to disclose details about my college to my friend, my mouth went dry and all the words just sank back into my gullet ( or windpipe, I don’t know ). I am okay with all this now but there is one thing that bothers me. I believe I have a good knowledge/wisdom that I want to share but no one would listen to it unless I have a tag attached to myself. People do not listen to anyone random, they search for tags. A tag someohow provide authentication to the content the subject is serving. Like, I come to wonder who would watch a TED speaker if he/she share the idea on an average stage, like in my college. Will people really care to listen a poem of William Wordsworth if I presented it as mine ? Not many people would do it. Concluding, I needed a tag, acceptance in other words. This time my decision was not wrong, because it grants me what it was meant to give – an average life. But, I do not get acceptance through it. My way is rejected by my family.

This logical decision, like any other, had limitations. It did not solve all problems because I could not take every factor into account. In general, all information is never available and hence you assume things on your own. That’s where your luck and experience work. For those who lack experience like me decide upon emotions. The like feeling. After that, if the things do not happen like we had assumed or ‘felt’ would happen, we complain. Like I am doing in this blog. And when anyone ask us why did we decide to choose such option, the most plausible explanation seems ” I don’t know, it just felt right” and realise how foolish we had been. My advice is accept the consequences. Learn from them and increase your experience. And if someone ask for your help, explain him things with enquiring and not making decisions for him.

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Infatuation

Infatuation is quite common but do you regret having it ? do you should ?

I first want to discuss a notion called ‘purity’. We often hear good and bad behavior. While good behavior make you acceptable and desirable in society, bad behavior deteriorate your image. Make you impure somehow. Like being studious is considered a good behavior and bunking lectures and abusing  is seen as a shameful act. Likewise, those who refrain from a relationship are seen morally correct  and those who do not are considered spoiled. Brought up in a conservative family I was told not to get close to girls, by indirect means obviously. Such as my aunt not letting me sleep with my sister or when my teacher told me not to sit with my female friend, or when my mother looked at me with extra excitement when I was describing her how beautiful my new  female friend was. That was in childhood and elders had justified themselves by using a word ‘moral values’. Moral values are rules of standard and correct conduct in a society. My complain is about the rules that stop you from getting intimate with opposite gender. Like greeting friends with a hug is a good manner unless they are of opposite gender. These rules are not outly spoken but are taught you through practice. Elders even feel awkward telling us these rules directly and so use indirect means. Like by criticising.  A girl with many male friends and who hangs out with them hand in hand is seen malign in character and so inferior to the rest. She is rejected by conservatives as if she is not pure of character and thought. Through their judgement they give us a  perspective. *Is it right to judge people ? if yes then what are the criteria ?*

Judging requires standard values or metric against which evaluation is performed. Moral values are just the term for it. While growing I was too fed these tablets of moral values. I live with a very conservative family in a conservative society. So conservative that they consider it improper for boys to greet girls by embracing them. So conservative that many reject Anushka Sharma as a suitable wife of Virat Kohli because she is an actress and has given sensual scenes in films, and hence is impure and inferior to Virat. This notion is fixed with fevicol in corners of my mind, much to my disappointment. *is getting close to opposite gender is improper ? With close relatives it may not. But why ? for safety or for purity ?*

Infatuated is a natural consequence of testosterone flowing in my veins and should be a sign of good health but it’s not. Instead of considering myself healthy and normal I have long considered myself as a disgrace and maybe I still do. Naturally, I was attracted to girls and I have done a few indescent acts because of which I used to consider myself a disgrace. Although, these acts are much less intense than what my friends and many other people have done ,but still, that is no reason that can free me of guilt. *Does some indescent acts make me impure ? If I am pervert am I not desirable ?*

While an attractive female pass by my side I unknowingly begin to stare at her. I used to consider it as a normal behavior because many of my friends purposely see such attractive girls and somehow quench their lust. Yes, they are my reference standard. So, me under infatuation, watching at girls was normal until I met a girl who changed my thinking. She told me how awkward and sad she feel when boys look at her with their lustful eyes tracing her every move and curve. I realised I was at fault and considered myself a pervert, with great guilt. I met her in a convention, and she shared this with me because I had no lust in my eyes. But when she told this to me I realised how shameless and inferior I am. To feel pure again and match accepted standards I changed myself. I tried to ignore looking at any girl around me. Her words used to echo in my head ” I hate boys because they look at me like dogs after game, with lust. I do not look around while walking, I just look on the ground and walk with my head down, trying not to notice those many eyes that turn to my direction as I pass them”. I regreted my behavior of staring at beautiful faces. So, with conviction, I decided I would change. I found it hard at first, not to notice people walking on the side of road while I am cycling. Or when I was in a corridor of my school. But that girl had trusted me and saw me as a good boy, I could not let her down. Her voice inspired me to be a good boy and I made it a habit not to look at girls. With great difficulty, I must add.

The many times when my eyes betrayed me and looked at beautiful faces I noticed sometimes they are also looking back at me. Great guilt use to catch me then and then tearing of the eye contact I used to think ” oh no, she saw me looking at her, now she would know what a pervert I am. I am so dead now”. The guilt of being shameless and not being able to control my thoughts was killing my self esteem. I began taking precaution. I accepted my pervertness and so I looked at girls while they could not look at me. This way I did not need to be hard on myself and no girl would feel insecure. I used to take a quick glance of the face and turn away as if I had turned my head to do something else and not to look there. Then I would smile to myself for the petty achievement.*after hearing this would you share your picture with me if asked you ? if no, can I blemish your purity just by looking at you, or is it for security ? can a pervert not be trustworthy ?*

But many times my timing failed and I found girls looking back at me. This time it was no coincidence. It happened a few times and then I started noticing it. I found out there is very smart way in which girls look back at you. Just when they are about to exit your field of view and are on your either lateral side and are just about to cross, they are sure that you would not notice them if they see you and then they would watch you with their corner of eyes. The first time I noticed this I was impressed by the cunning tactic. But when it happened for a few many times, I was convinced that girls have the same kind of feeling as boys have for them. ( haha yes it took me that long ). I realised what a big fool I had been by being so hard on myself to stop a natural emotion to express. But was it not a betrayal to that voice in my head ? The regret of betraying that echoing voice of that girl lifted when I began to believe it is okay to see a boy or girl if you find him or her attractive. Yes it must be scary for girls to find so many eyes in their direction and thus we all boys should realise it and not stare them as dogs do after their prey, hungry of lust. * So morals can’t entirely be wrong. They are indeed rules of correct conduct and Grant you safety. But can everyone abide by morals strictly ? I can’t.*

But wait there is more to it. I still hate infatuation. Even though I know it’s quite common and natural to be infatuated by beauty but what about morals ? Should I not follow them ? These morals and notion of purity create a standard of correct conduct. These make us feel safe for we know these rules are for our own good. But they also feed our ego. Those who abide by morals feel a sense of righteousness and be entitled to repect and thus see themselves as superior than those who go against it. It also make you feel guilty when you go against morals. *If you can’t abide by morals, does this make you inferior ? does this make you undesirable ?*

I had a good friend, she was so obsessed with these morals that she never allowed me to come close to her. The closest we ever were was during a handshake. We trusted each other very much and liked each other too and even decided to be in a relationship. Infatuated many times I asked her to get close but her obsession with morals did not allow her to. She even refrained from sitting close to me. She told me she also want to get close to me but she also want to abide morals. Actually she had a very good image and very conservative family and hence most of her repect came from her righteous behavior. So, she could feel acceptable and desirable only if she is morally right and pure. She was so obsessed with her self image that she refrained from loving the person she so heartily wanted, me. She regretted it a lot. Like her many people consider themselves respectable because they are pure and thus superior. Well, no denying. people do respect such people. But then way was she hurt ? Was it her obsession with morals ? Should she quit morals and be shameless, bereft of repect ? *Even abiding morals can hurt you. But how can we be hurt by doing the right thing ? Does respect means a lot to you ? If yes, know this, respect comes from people who judge you, thus you are justifying that people should judge, and so you allow ‘them’ to define ‘your’ character.*

I also met another girl who had five ex- boyfriends and she considered herself as a spoiled kid and disgrace. Her guilt of not following the morals created a spoiled self image and so she considered herself undesirable and had a low self esteem. She was a brilliant poetess however. But it was difficult for her to love herself. *Was she really undesirable for listening to her heart ? Let’s say it with less romanticism. Was she undesirable because she submitted to infatuation ?*

*maybe the blog is a bit bigger but please bear with me*

I have a colleague in my college and he abide all rules. He come to college on time and complete all his work and follow all his rules. But he get pissed off when he find someone not following rules. He do not approve of those kids who do not attend all lectures and leave the class when the next lecture is going to be boring. He gets most irritated when he sees any boy talking to a girl and smiling more than he should. For him such people should be punished and thrown out of college. He displays his anger by clicking their photos and showing it to headmasters. *Would you approve of his behavior ? Do you think he is jealous of other people’s freedom ?* 

Time to draw conclusions. The notion of purity and respect does exist in society. Those who do not have talent or strength feed their ego/respect by being pure. Morals although keep you safe, do so by taking away your freedom, which may result in immense suffering.

For me respect and purity are false concepts. Both who strictly abide by rules and who do not follow at all are condemned. That’s why most of us are rule benders. ( Ram the rule follower, Krishna the rule bender ). As a conservative rule love can exist only in marriage. But infatuation has given way to Western concept of boyfriend and girlfriend. A bent rule indeed. Respected people are accepted people. I cannot control my infatuation and this bereave me of respect. So I hate myself and this feeling. 

Rules and Religion

Living with so called ‘civilised humans’ has bought me serious trouble. Not for the endless rules they have made but for the confusion they create with these rules.

As every beginner in the school the first heed I got ( the one I really listened to ) was-‘not to fight’. It was nothing new, my mother, father and every other elder kept saying this, to me and my brother. The basic survival instinct in nature – fight – was thus condemned and made a taboo. The consequence – a single blow by a bully made me taste dirt, literally.

Where not indulging in fights was idealistic, able to fight was seen as heroic. As a worshiper of shaktiman and Ben Tennyson I wanted both. As a consequence – I challenged a bully who was both stronger and faster than me. And dirt tasted like dirt. Wasn’t fighting prohibited ?

Yes, I really thought I could get away untouched after goading that bully. And I could do that for believed in the rule, tit for tat. And this belief in rule freed me from fear. Fortunately, it did not take me much dirt to realise rules aren’t followed by everyone. The confusion was then to decide who is right and wrong. I definitely not lied when I said to that huge boy he looks no less than a bull. But, was I wrong in doing so ? Should wrong be punished ? who will and how will he be punished ? why is it even breaking rules allowed, isn’t there anything like protector of rules ? These and many other questions haunted me while I struggled against oppression and guilt of my own decisions.

The first reflection of my tumultuous life, I discovered in stories of Gods. God – figures who were both ideal and heroic, a combination I doubted could exist. The stories made me wonder about the same questions that were confusing me, and this invoked curiosity. So thankful to be born in a Hindu family I appreciated all the rituals that connected me to these stories and convinced me of the existence of Gods. I have seen, heard, read these stories countless times, each turn bringing me a new revelation. I appreciated the rituals that seeded the basis of these stories into me, without my acknowledgement. Rituals with trees brought me close to nature, Pooja of natural and super natural creatures and resources made me value them, participating in rituals together with everyone brought me close to my family, friends and neighbors. Thus I realized the purpose of religion. This growing understanding of the world and simultaneous growth of my vision pleased me and I identified it as working of a social order. Religion – an array of beliefs and rituals that bring harmony among humans and with nature, often by introducing but loosely defining God.

World has always fascinated me, asking me to comprehend it, challenging my wisdom and enlightening me as well. The understanding that science brought, the approach through rationality and defining the phenomena in the world and thus generalising it into laws had the same effect on me as of religion. Yet they are different in approach to comprehend the world, I always felt a vague similarity between the two. Which became obvious when I read both in detail.

My understanding of this world is obviously incomplete, whether it is through science or religion. one is too vast to read and the other too deep to fathom. Science put generalisations into less constant rules. And there is religion which although limited to incomplete stories and lost rituals has countless sides that reveal them by a mere change in perspective. As being foresighted one day the two will merge into one, completing each other, I wonder what would then happen to curiosity. I enjoy these stories because they are not certain, they do not grant you knowledge as such, but invoke your intelligence to discover it. This flexibility in stories render them with many interpretations. However most cultures has astonishing similarities, suggesting there is a oneness in thought among all humans. human – a complex social being that however can reason majorly decide via emotions. 

Rules are made to bring rationality, irrational  logic to control an emotional being. Religious beliefs however an apparant chaos invoke emotions, and thus guiding you to be social. I relish to feed it by acknowledging and exploring, do you ?