Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dual-meme transcendence - II: Beyond Good and Evil and Beyond THAT.

Continued from the previous post ...

If you're trying to be good, very good at what you do, or if you love someone with all your heart, or if you want to learn something with all your heart ... you are witnessing the start up of a transcendence engine.
It is automatic. And seems universal.

This brings to mind the 'Beyond Good and Evil' of Nietzsche -

Where he suggests that the strongest people are marked by a cruelty to themselves, according to which they mercilessly expose their every prejudice and assumption in order to dig further into themselves.
"Free spirits are investigators to the point of cruelty, with rash fingers for the ungraspable, with teeth and stomach for the most indigestible".

(A few years ago - before I read Nietzsche, I used to wonder - why is it that we as a species enjoy cutting off the reproductive paraphernalia (flowers) of another species (plants and trees) ... even for purposes like 'offering' them to constructs like 'Gods'. (and people still thought that I was religious, while I was trying to understand the -nature- of religion.) This would perhaps make Nietzsche put me in the 'free spirit' category.)

Now the question is - is being a free spirit cruel to ones self? and what does cruel mean anyway? and what is this 'self' other than code passed on from media (friends, books, school ... ), DNA from parents... this 'self' to which a free spirit is cruel?

What I feel: Like all dual-memes, cruel/kind dual-meme ends up being transcended as well, it has no easy resolution.

(consider this - every time you breathe, you 'kill' millions of micro-beings as you suck them into your lungs. Every time you eat, some form, some being, some structure has 'sacrificed' itself, for another structure to be created. You are massively violent at a micro scale. Scale, not quality.) How 'kind or cruel' can you be?

Dual-meme transcendence - I

Anything that is a dual-meme, anything that has a dual - an opposite, is transcended.

During childhood, sometimes it is a big deal whether a room has the lights turned on at night or not. Eventually, as we understand the nature of light and dark, and learn that light can be controlled, we cease to think of it as a fear inducing element. In fact we cease to 'think of it' at all.

A combination of what we allow our senses to perceive, and how we process them and act (karma) seems to decide what memes our thinkspace will be occupied by. (why is it that I don't have to bother about my throat being slitted by a knife or being shot?) That also decides whether our awareness expands or contracts. By contract, here what I feel is that, if awareness is like a balloon like surface, a highly contracted state will take us back to being intensely bothered about whether a room is lighted or dark, a botheration that was once 'transcended'. An highly expanded state of awareness, might result in a loss of identity of the individual 'self' (which is a very narrow detailed story), one of the strongest dual-memes.

In between - there are a lot of other dual-memes that get transcended. Here are some that come to mind right now -
  • Like trust/mis-trust (I used to find it difficult to decide whom to 'trust' with what, and to what extent ... eventually, it becomes a non-question)
  • Pleasure/pain (this one takes a long time sometimes. eventually, once you know they are the same see-saw (one predicating the existence of the other. two sides of the same see-saw plank ... then after a point, you outgrow the see-saw.))
  • Mine/yours (having a child is one of the events that helps go beyond this one I guess.)
  • Production/Consumption (For a long time, I thought it was 'better' to be producer than a consumer ... (i.e. to create video games than to just play them ...); but if one produces something, someone must consume, then just what is it that makes production better?!)
  • First/Last (I'd come 1st in class in school, but then I couldn't figure out WHY must there be a system where a very small part of a system are in a position that is coveted, when the majority of the class IS not the guy who comes first. Also, why must there be pain on 'failure' or on not getting something 'right' in a 'test'. I tried flunking a few courses, tried 'fighting' my genes, just to prove that I am not bound by anything as mechanical as that. Similarly in the corporate world, I wondered about WHY must all the 'desirables' in the world, go to a minority say 5%, when the remaining 95% remains a big part of the corporation. If a manager is responsible for the entire team, and the CEO for the entire company - is creating a coveted position on top that everybody aspires for the only way to reward and to ensure progress. Can't there be a more inclusive system. Anybody seen the massive minus field around on 'performance evaluation day', well, 95% of the guys can't play the game as well, (even if the rule is to write really good code or some such) and aren't happy. (The root of this unhappiness is another story altogether, but you don't usually get the system till you see beyond it.) )
  • Doctor/Patient (the meme called a doctor is 'useful', 'because' the meme called 'patient' exists. New dis-'eases' will keep springing up. This dual-meme has been transcended and well documented in our scriptures. For instance, among one of the causes of disease as stated in the Caraka Samhita is the unnatural production or suppression of natural movement-forces in the body - the forces that move tears, urine, vomit, flatulence, sperm ... and so on. A yogi, by sublimating the root causes of these movements, can transcend this dual-meme easily. Other simple means of transcending this is to live a balanced life - (maybe, as documented and prescribed in the aahaar, vihaar etc sections of the caraka samhitaa...))

Everything that has an opposite, gets transcended by awareness.

Which is perhaps pretty much everything of what 'is' - in the conventional sense.


It seems this process is automatic.
One of those processes that seems to be a part of 'evolution' (?)
It begins with best practices. Trying to live the best life possible. Even with trying to minimize pain for self or others. Or being kind. Or trying to discover what one is supposed to do in this world.Once you get serious with this (by this time, you have perhaps already 'transcended' Maslow's needs-pyramid); you can hit a lot of very difficult questions (if seeing and solving difficult problems and the path of discriminative wisdom - viveka buddhi is your preferred way of life.)

Or even if you want to -
  • be good, very good at what you do, or
  • love someone with all your heart, or
  • know and study something with all your heart, or
  • focus on your work with all your heart
... you are witnessing the startup of a transcendence engine.
It is automatic. And seems universal.
Everyone is a yogi to a different extent.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

notes on the kanji - a new blog begins

imi no bakebanashi 意味の化け話

Some of the initial posts from the blog follow:

Stories about the ghosts of meaning as they mutate and float around in kanji characters, words and compounds.

意味 imi = 意(feelings, thoughts)+味(flavor, taste)
化け(る)bake(ru) = to change, mutate, take the form of (also implies ghost as in obake - in this case, the ghosts of meaning.)
話 hanashi = tale, story.

Mojibake - 文字化け is composed of 文字 (moji), which means letter, character, and 化け (bake), from the verb 化ける (bakeru), which means to appear in disguise or to take the form of. Literally, it means "character mutation".

This journey is about how imi (meaning) bake'd into moji(characters) and how moji bake'd into jukugo(compounds) and later perhaps even look at how that bake'd into bun(sentences).

It is a record of my journey as I explore the space between reality, the manner in which the ancient Chinese perceived it, and how that perception condensed into the snowflakes we call the Kanji. And further into Kanji compounds. Also perhaps, some interesting patterns that emerged as the kanji were adapted by the Japanese to fit their language. And then some oddities, questions and interesting kanji tidbits.

slowly the kanji,
sink into this mind-ripple,
like snowflakes drifting down to the ground.
each one different, but similar
silent moments of frozen beauty, a clue ...
for this world, that there is another....