Thoughts & Reflections

Think beautiful, live beautiful.

Category: Deep Thoughts

Of Rationality, Conscience and Temperament

Rationality, or the art of acting and understanding according to one’s conceptions of rational (reasonable) arguments is one of the foremost qualities of a virtuous life. Conscience, is the guiding principle, the jury, so as to say, within each one of us that lays the foundation of our rationality. Temperament, defines the innate tendencies (that may either facilitate or hinder) of a human being to act in accordance to his character.

This essay explores the interrelationships between the three guiding principles that act as the basis of our actions. Rationality is assumed to be an absolute, irresolute and unchanging conception guided by unbiased reasons. These reasons are assumed to be independent of time, space or being on whom the concept acts. Temperament is the other extreme of rationality; being the emotional self of any being that asserts its intrinsic and individualistic influence and affect one’s actions. Conscience is an individual quality too; however, it is assumed to be true to one’s nature and heavily affected by one’s character and conceptions that change slowly over time and is a more generalized notion. The conscientious self is aware, awakened, capable of comprehending one’s moral responsibilities, one’s rational concepts and at the same time one’s temperamental flaws. It is essentially the seat of one’s judgement posterior to actions and judgements taken by the self.

Every action that one takes has a primal causal element to it. The categorization of the causes of an action is thus guided by any of the following three views:

  1. The rational view
  2. The conscientious view
  3. The temperamental view

The hypothesis that this essay purports is that for an individual to be able to lead a virtuous and peaceful life, rationality has to be the most essential component that pushes oneself into acting.

The rational view and the temperamental view, in general, tend to be the a priori forces acting as basis of most of our actions. The conscience, tends to mold our conceptions of the results of our actions besides at times being the cause themselves.

Temperament, by essence is temporal extremely dependent on one’s conceptions of the present. Our understanding of the world around us is essentially ephemeral. We harbor myriad biases, misunderstandings. Our inferences are based on generalizations that may be not rest solely on true facts. We tend to be inward looking and are therefore guided more by the ideas that favor our own self. Temperaments tend to be outlived by preposterous results of our own actions triggered by such biased ideas.

Rationality is solidified by reasons and understanding associated with any stimulus. Any troublesome situation has a rational response associated to it. When devoid of any rational view, one should adhere to a moral viewpoint. It would ensure that one’s actions have support of one’s long held conceptions, thereby not being temporal. Thought processes that are built up over a larger period of one’s life tend to be more structured and have better results.

The conscientious view, being all aware, tends to be correct and morally correct. Posterior to our actions, when emotions drain out and understanding seeps in, this view takes note of our actions. Conscience tends to be place that infuses satisfaction or sorrow into the results of our own actions. Thus, the underlying guide to our own satisfaction in life is this conscience which is independent of our emotions in the long run.

The curse of rationality lies in the observation that it is hard to practice. As beings, we are born with an essential desire to be impulsive, guided by the moment rather than an understanding evolved over a larger period of time. Our rational self requires time and effort to develop into a self sustaining being within. At times, it requires extreme patience and belief in oneself to follow the path of reason. As erroneous beings the probability that one would forgo the rational path will always be finite. Emotions tend to be powerful and tend to decline as we grow old giving way to the rational self. Conscience, on the other hand, matures through understanding, learning, experience itself. Conscience is ever present within us, yet takes a large time to awaken from the slumber it resides in. Quite often, we tend to jump to action, skipping the more patient path of rationality. The jump infuses a sense of energy within leaving us with emotions running higher. There are areas where being passionate definitely help and reasons tend to fail. In such circumstances, conscience could be the guide yet the source of strength has to be passion and not reason. Barring, such situations that require an extreme level of outdoing oneself, normal life tends to be better guided by reason and logic.

Traveller, the strength of the journey

Oft, our journeys lose their way,
As paths become unknown, ideas clutter.
When fears rule the mind, & faiths shutter,
Look for the light, the hope in sight.

That light by the end of the road,
Oft tells me to believe, to strengthen.
And fly along, courageously, fearless,
Rekindling my belief, to smile when hopeless.

And then I realize, in those moments,
That power resides, within, & not without.
Traveller is the strength of the journey,
And the rest, mere players of the travelogue.

The state of being

The Backdrop:

A pertinent question that afflicts our conscience frequently is the question of existence. Why do we exist? A discussion with a friend forced me to ponder over the topic once again. We deliberated on the Buddhist way of living. He had a very simple question. Buddhism says to free oneself from bondage, one should give up desire – desire to achieve materialistic pleasure (money, success, fame, comfort etc.). Then why not give up the desire to live itself. After all, life is also a state bound by temporal and spatial constraints. What good can you get out of life, if the sole aim of it is to give up everything. The idea is contradictory in nature – “a desire to be desire-less”. 

Common Philosophy:
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कभी गम मैं भी हसना सीखो (Lets try to laugh in pain)

यु  गिरने  से  तोह  सभी  डरते  हैं ,
यु  गम  मैं  तोह   सभी  रोते  हैं ,
गिर  गिर  के  चलने  की  बात  ही  कुछ  और  है ,
गम  मैं  भी  हसने  की  बात  ही  कुछ  और  है  …
Translation In English:
Oh, why do we dread the failure?
why do cry in pain?
lets try to succeed every failure,
lets try to laugh off our sorrows .

Moments of Happiness


When life becomes an illusion,
When time seems meaningless.
Oh, then you realize the beauty,
Of moments that fly by, careless.

When feelings become so pure,
When your heart cries with love.
And life seems so wonderful,
That all pain recedes to joy.

Oh, hold them in your memories,
Hold them by your heart and soul.
For they are the secrets ingredients,
Of a happy and joyous life.

An Emptiness Within

oh, here i sit, wondering in rememberence,
of the times yonder, still left to ponder.
oh what a time, what moments that passed by,
leaving a hollow, an emptiness within.

can the past return, and beautify the present,
can the future wait, for life to turn around.
and memories come alive to revive a dormant soul,
to rejuvenate a life, a life that has lost its goal.

oh those mornings, those nights that glowed,
those lovely fleeting memoirs, what a life they showed.
how i yearn to be confined in the reigns of my past,
to capture those thoughts, that fade so fast.

Endeavor

God never requires us to succeed,
        He only requires that you try.”   — Mother Teresa

Let not a sad thought, bring you gloom,
Let not a failure embezzle your bloom.
For sadness lies neither in struggles, nor in strife,
But in our own conception of failure in life.

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius

Endeavor whole-heartedly for a purpose’s sake,
What others could not believe, is what you make.
For resignation from toil is the trait of sinners,
And surmounting troubles the sign of winners.

Let’s learn to walk

How so many aims, how so many goals?
How so many un-quenched, ever thirsty souls?
What complexity, what a quagmire,
Why do we want, why desire ?

What is there that you can take?
Why then put such a precious life at stake?
For wealth and luxury are for a day’s sake,
True bliss and joy, they cannot make.

Why then the pretence, why the guile?
Why feign ignorance, every minute every while?
Lets observe ourselves, in a silent talk,
Let’s end the run, and learn to walk.

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Desire is a universal characteristic of human beings. Our aims in life are motivated by our wants and needs. The first stanza questions this longing. Why do we have so many ambitions and so many yearnings in life? I am referring to materialistic gains. Why do we depend so much on insignificant things in our lives? Most of our needs never get fulfilled. We set a hundred new aims once we achieve one. The cycle is endless and it makes us thirsty for material success. Our life has become a very complex process (quagmire)

In the second stanza I reverberate the idea that material wealth is transitory in nature. It is only a means and not an end. We should not put our precious life in order to build wealth (money) alone. Instead our aim should be to understand life and “live” a larger purpose.

In the last stanza, I try to bring out the point that we as humans are very intelligent. We have knowledge of the nature of things around us. Yet we do not accept reality – a reality that we are mortal beings. We ignore this particular fact. We live as though we are going to live forever. However, that fact is not true. “why the guile”  refers to the way we live such an artificial life. In our lust for money and for power we tend to cheat on people. Living a truthful life is such a rarity. I suggest people to understand life. Understanding oneself is very important. One needs to observe oneself in a silence quite like meditation.  Once a person comprehends his own being, life becomes easier to fathom. We all are creations of the same reality, and therefore the innate nature of things is just the same. It is about understanding ourselves. Let us meditate and deliberate on our own lives. Let us talk to ourselves in a calm and serene manner. Let us stopping running and give up this mad race. Let us give the pursuit of a success that has been defined by others. Let us move slowly, observe and learn.

***************************************************************************************************

Wisdom Thoughts – II

The wise man’s answer made Rahul satisfied to an extent. Yet he pondered up on and asked the meditative sage these questions –

“Why is some person’s life so comfortable while others life so difficult and writ with so many troubles? Why is a man dying of hunger in Africa, while others in developed nations cannot decide what to eat? Why did the Holy God make us so many dissimilarities? Why are the differences so profound that they kill each living soul on this earth yearning for more? Why do those that have enough remain have a mental discord, while those who do not have enough suffer from physical pain and anguish?”

The old sage smiled, thought for a moment and answered –

“What you said is very true. We are very dissimilar in our outlook. And yet, son, you miss a very subtle point in the Almighty’s creation. He created similarities in dissimilarities. We are all different, and yet we are all the same. Look at the man dying of hunger in Africa. He does not have anything to yearn for. Therefore, there is a peaceful calm in his mind and yet his body is in pain because of want of food. Look at the elite in a developed nation. They have all the riches and yet are so caught up in this world of materialism that he cannot give up his life. His mind is in a state of constant strife. When God takes away something from our lives, he provides us other facilities. It is, we humans that have created parameters that make a man “look” richer than the other. This is a delusion we must come out. Does a father treat his children different? Look at all your fingers, they seem to be different. Yet, the basic constituent of all the fingers is the same, for the origin is the same unique cell. How beautifully they complement each other! If only humans could learn from their nature, they would understand that the path to happiness is in helping each other and not trying to beat other in a materially created world of abstract parameters.  The path to enlightenment (eternal bliss) is equally difficult and equally easy for each one of us. Those poor have lesser distractions and thus can pursue it better. Those “rich” (laughing as he said it) have all the resources to understand the path, yet they face the challenge of having to give up material wealth which is beyond any sacrifice for humanity in today’s world. And yes the path to bliss has been created in a separate manner for each one of us, so that each individual achieves it by his own true effort. Each individual would learn a new method of understanding the same truth that would enrich humanity with the wisdom. Tell me would you like to find the truth on your own or hear it from my mouth? Would you be convinced of it? Would your heart accept it? Look at your hand, when you catch a ball, each of your fingers bends in a unique manner to hold it. Does a finger emulate the other one? If it did will it be the most optimal way of holding a ball? Will you be at ease holding it? No, because each finger was designed to do its job in unique manner. That is the beauty of nature. The answers lie all around you. You just have to look around, ask questions and the answers will present itself, for He would never hide answers, it is just that we have shut our eyes and put our minds in the creation of wealth that is transitory in nature and which brings us sorrow in the longer run of life.”

For we live our lives,
With eyes so open,
And yet so closed.”

A Peaceful Dream

As I lay in the open, Underneath the tree,

A thought began to flow, like a bird that’s free.

The thought became a dream, a dream so pure,

That life seemed an illusion, and reality became unsure.
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