One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Camel and desire for meaning

A Persian parable goes like this,

“One day Sa’adi (a Persian poet) was traveling by foot from one village to another. The footprints on the trail caught his attention. There were footprints of a camel and a man. After a while, he saw print of camel in sitting position and prints of hands shanks, toes, foot (the sign of difficulty in climbing down and climbing up of camel), and of low pressure pee beside it. He concluded, “A pregnant woman must be sitting on the camel”… and then he noticed that there are flies at one side of trail and bees on other side trail flying here and there, “Hmm, the camel must be loaded with ghee at one side and honey on other side” .. While continuing to follow the footprints, he also noticed that grass at one side of trail is grazed upon and other side is untouched, “Aha, one eye of camel must be blind”… On his way, he meets a man with a stick who was looking desperate. As he reached the man, the man asks, “Haven’t you seen a camel on your way? I stopped for rest and fell into sleep and after waking up found that my camel is missing”.. Sa’adi replied, “Was your camel blind at one eye?” …”Yes” the man becomes excited… “Was it carrying a pregnant woman and was loaded with honey and ghee?.. Sa’adi continued asking… “Yes, all the signs are correct” the man becomes hopeful … “Well, I haven’t seen your camel”… Hearing the answer, the man loses his temper and starts beating Sa’adi… “You must have stolen my camel”… It took a few hit of sticks and lot of explanations before he could convince the man that he has just seen the prints and marks not the real camel… It is said that after getting out of trouble, Sa’adi promised to himself that this good lesson, if people ask me, “Have you seen camel?” even if I have seen one, my answer will be, “No”….

Though this parable was created to warn for unnecessary zeal in expressing quick conclusions but my aim here for it is to illustrate the deep desire of mankind for finding meaning in everything is basically originates out of their ARROGANCE. Men basically want to appear right because proving wrong or errors wounds their ego and self-confidence. Men try very hard and even at great costs to appear consistent and absolutely right. And it is why they try to relate themselves with something that “That is always right”… Some men try to be consistent with nature (Naturalists), Some try to be consistent with a form of “Infallible Truth” coming from a higher source like that of “God” (Religious people), Some try to be consistent with logic (axioms that have passed the tests of falsifications; Philosophers) and some try to be consistent with Science (Hypotheses that have passed the tests of both falsifications and evidences)…

You might say, “OK, that is what we all know… What is the problem?” … Well, quest for consistency is not a problem in itself. It becomes problematic with the emotions are invested in it. You know, mankind is basically “Slaves to their emotions”. Emotions are system of rewards and punishments within each person. When something is consistent with our emotions, our emotions reward us with good mood and feeling good. As a joke makes us laugh, similarly by feeling “Right” or be on the right side, our emotions reward us with feeling good. On other side, by feeling that we are wrong or we are on the wrong side, our emotions punish us with sadness and guilt.

Men are in fact slaves of their emotions and it is why, they usually do not listen, read or investigate what their opponents say. They fear that by being wrong they will be punished by their emotions and they try by every way to escape it. It is also the basis of our prejudices and standing on one leg and stressing on “Our truth” against “others false”…

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