Future Imperfect

What if we stopped thinking about the future…about consequences…about what ifs…..

We revel in futuristic forward thinking. A lion hunts when it is hungry. Once it has eaten, does it worry about its next meal? Does it ponder if there would be any more watering holes left due to global warming and therefore would there be anymore deer left to hunt? It eats and then digests that meal. It acts on the next meal plan when it get hungry again. The key word here is ‘acts’, not ‘thinks’.

Does forward thinking actually change the way we behave or even our decisions? For every point we stand on in the present there are infinite possible out-spokes. Myriad possibilities of which our own decisions and behaviour play but a very small part.

As an extreme example, take the case of a terminal disease diagnosis either for oneself or someone close. The mind immediately spins of various scenarios. Scenarios of the person suffering to various levels, scenarios of the person dying in these many days or months. Scenarios of how the person dies, where the subject is when that happens and infinite scenarios of life after the loved one passes. However, at least in this extreme example, the subject has absolutely no control over one suffers or when one dies. Which is true even if one decides on the level of treatment. Even if the treatment is terminated, the process and timeline of the process is completely out of one’s control. So what was the point of the brain’s exercise on coming up with all the possible scenarios?

At times as these, the brain seems to be obviously on an auto-pilot mode. How much of this thinking is voluntary or conscious? Is there a subconscious engine that drives the thoughts and we are but aware of the tip of the iceberg?

The human mind entwines itself with possibilities and outcomes. It gravitates towards what if scenarios, Towards increased  tangential thinking, towards extrapolation. towards stress. How is this adaptation? What evolutionary advantage can this possibly have?

Or has our tangential forward thinking mind detached us from the evolutionary process?

What if….

What if….

A child born was left untethered…

What if…

No right or wrong, no sin or virtue, no morals or norms touched it’s mind……

What if….

It was not led to be this or that….to think this or that…..to believe this or that….

What if…..

It’s naked thoughts ran their course…..

What if……

We could all shed our layers and be that child…

The Duality Dilemma

Light. Is it a wave? Or a particle? Electrons, are they energy? Or matter? The duality that is apparently ingrained in all things material pervades the ethereal as well. We live in a constant dilemma of duality. Consciously or subconsciously. The soul tries to free itself of its physical coordinates, succeeds, but slips again….as if tethered to the coordinates by gossamer strands…like a snake slithering out of its old skin but never quite getting out.

The duality of the self as manifested physically and the identity of self as a formless singular idea within, coexist in all of us at all times, consciously or otherwise.

We react to events, to ideas, mostly as we have been preordained genetically and trained environmentally. What if we never had any external influences shaping our thoughts? What would then our reaction be? Is it even possible to be so untethered? It is hard to answer that question since even imagining such a situation ultimately relies on our pre-existing thoughts.  A predicament much like Schrodinger’s cat.

As one keeps up with the thought processes, the strands of duality do seem to disappear, albeit for few staggered moments and then snap back. This cosmic dance of duality and singularity will go on, as long as we inhabit this body, and as long as our brain is doing the thinking.

The thinking mind oscillates between the two entities, the boundary between them but a hazy mist. To categorize the visible, palpable present as mundane and the unseen and/or theoretical as profound is a tempting fallacy. Pondering over the present, this world, these surroundings is just as profound as pondering over the before and after, over the infinite.

Even as the mind grapples with the fact that we are not dissimilar to the person sitting next to us on the bus, or the bus itself, all but manifestations of the same energy, in various forms and energy levels, and strives to imbibe this oneness into the core of one’s being, the mind still snaps back to being who we are, a passenger on the bus, distinct from the next person on the bus and the bus itself. For as long as we live this life.

This blog is an ode to this cosmic dance. The dance between one’s journeys of the mind and journeys of the body. It acknowledges that the present is always here, either in plain sight or in essence, even when we have travelled far in our thoughts. For it is this life we are trying to decipher, the here and now.

Life as a Continuum 

Many plants can be propagated by grafting. Carefully break off a branch, rebury part of it in soil and voila, it sprouts roots, then shoots into a being of its own! Or is it? Had it stayed where it was, it would have been a part of the parent life form. However, now it is assumed to be distinct, a unique plant. Or could it just be called a transplant in space of the parent?

In essence so are we all, derivatives of our parents, transplanted in space and time. We grew from a cell each of our parents, differentiated into a whole. Not much different from the way organs develop from a single cell. Yet, the only difference is that organs remain inside the body while the progeny is expelled into a life form of its own. 

We like to think of generations as unique and distinct. But are they? We are all but points on the line. You are but your parents on another plane. 

The fractal of life. 

Doomsday Phobia

The race is on. Global warming,  carbon footprint, ozone depletion… The race is on – to save the earth. There is panic everywhere. Almost as much panic as plastic in a landfill, choking us, as we bleakly look everywhere for a solution. For a miracle cure that would assure us…that no, the earth will NOT change, that we will survive as a species forever, and that all will be well.

The race is on. To cure cancer, to cure chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, to cure that obscure chromosomal abnormality. The race is on, to fight very disease, to live longer, forever.

The race is on, to save every species from extinction, to save every human from annihilation. To make sure every life form, no matter what its shortcomings, survives. Longer. Until unable to bear the burden, the earth, and life itself, implodes.

The very things we do to survive in the short term will more than likely shorten the long term.

The race is on.

 

 

One To(o) Many

We are all acutely aware of our bodies, identify ourselves with our bodies. We think of our body as being one. A body. What if it isn’t?
Evolutionarily speaking, the very first multi-cellular organisms were but a colony of individual cells each of which could very well be ‘a’ body. But living together, they all formed ‘a’ new body, each individual unit performing all the functions every other unit did. However, gradually this group of cells started to speciaize so they did not have to do all the work but just some of the work such that if every unit was perfectly coordinated with the others, they could survive perfectly well and in fact better than if the individual units were by themselves. Thus evolved the complex life forms if we were to accept one of evolution’s most basic tenets.
Taking this a step or more further, we could indeed all be just that, a colony of cells cooperating in a perfectly synchronized way. Think about it. What if this were true? So then who are YOU now?

The Identity Crisis

Who are we? No, really, who am I ?? The daughter of so and so, the father of this and that, living in such and such? Did I choose to? Did I decree to whom I would be born, when and where? Afterall that practically decided my entire fate – being born or rather encompassed in those particular coordinates. I am thenceforth jailed in the persona with this name and THAT is my identity. Really?
Is it even possible to break free of the identity you are born with? After all, your very being, your very cells, your very neurons… Your thinking is decreed by your genes and the environment you are encompassed in and the influences you are bombarded with.
So the dilemma of the naked soul. Shedding off of the layers is harder than it seems. There is always that ingrained note from the past, that bigoted view enshrined through generations, that song in the head that just doesn’t go away. But the soul rallies on, to shed them all. To be naked.