29 Apr 2005
Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---
"Can we question together all the foolishness and hysteria of modern mysticism, of the occult,and the fascination with unusual phenomena? Are these things not breeding a vague, inarticulate field of social demands and illusions? Can we put away the new age as well as the old age?
"It's hard to put away all illusions, including the illusions of contribution, of self-importance and the like.
"It is hard work to see clearly into this whole mess, into the insanity which man has woven around himself. You need a very, very sane mind to see, and to be free."
Has the human mind lost all capacity to understand anything simple or obvious? It seems so. Society prepares an innocent kid for the kill, and education completes it. The individual is dead and what remains is an automaton that keeps the wheel of society make another successful turn.
Unless one acknowledges the mess, one cannot do anything about it. The entire process of education and upbringing imposes a fascination for illusion, the craving for which, eventually, becomes a subconscious trigger that gets pulled automatically. Naturally, this defies all chances of perceiving reality as it is. Distortion, categorisation, justification and rationalisation become indispensable.
Forget about being passively aware of one's own psychological mess, one cannot even perceive the world candidly. As a simple example, one comes across so many people who do not admit there's anything wrong with the state of politics or law or police or education in the country. These are usually obsessive practitioners of optimism. The house is on fire, yet they suggest you to look at the other side of glass! They point at the distant, faint cloud that would pour soon with the heavenly shower and assure you that it would extinguish the fire. On the other hand, one finds those who are absolutely certain that the fire would raze everything to ashes and one cannot do anything but give up and grieve.
If the house is on fire, it's on fire. If democracy is farce, it's farce. If it's a hopeless situation, it's a hopeless situation. If the world sucks, it sucks. Seeing is the point, and when one sees it doesn't matter how good or bad reality is; a sane person is not bothered about categorization, but just about observation. Blind adherents to optimism fail to realise that in waiting for that grand tomorrow they are merely prolonging chaos for yet another generation. And those who resort to pessimism run away from the responsibility and wait for a miracle from the saviour. The house continues to burn.
As Russell said, the world does not need either optimists of pessimists, but constructive thinkers. True, all those fancy thinkers with their convincing logic and anslysis systems do more harm than good. Sanity is in seeing. Without any glass whatsoever.
"...successful social search is conducted primarily through intermediate to weak strength ties, does not require highly connected hubs to succeed, and, in contrast to unsuccessful social search, disproportionately relies on professional relationships. By accounting for the attrition of message chains, we estimate that social searches can reach their targets in a median of five to seven steps, depending on the separation of source and target, although small variations in chain lengths and participation rates generate large differences in target reachability. We conclude that although global social networks are, in principle, searchable, actual success depends sensitively on individual incentives."
The results of Small World Project are finally out.
I have been trying for two years to get in touch with two friends with whom I had lost contact. I'm still waiting for the slightest information that could lead me to them. Methinks six degrees of separation theory holds good only conditionally. Need to think more on that...
"Do you love me?" Marthe asked suddenly.
Mersault burst out laughing. "Now that's a serious question."
"People don't love each other at our age, Marthe - they please each other, that's all. Later on, when you are old and impotent, you can love someone. At our age, you just think you do. That's all it is."
- An excerpt from A Happy Death by Albert Camus
How true! How true! Camus is a genius.
Love: a four-letter word used by everybody to package the combination of the egress of biological instinct and obsession for psychological security, and a wholly selfish emotion in the form of a most expansive state of mind. A socially-endorsed, culturally-imposed drug that, aided by art and literature, sustains immaturity across generations inebriated with delusion. Without doubt, the most misconstrued and exploited word after God.
It's a painful realisation - for anyone who does realise - that nobody really loves but everybody believes he does. Love - that gift from heaven - have we lost it somewhere on our road to civilization? Or, was it never there at all? A bad turn. Worse, we don't even realise it!