Thoughts & Reflections

Think beautiful, live beautiful.

Category: Wisdom

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.

Forgo the bygones !!

Oh, forgo the bygones, forget every pain,
Live a cheerful life, every moment a gain.
Rise above the clutches of sorrow and grief,
Forget those failures, over a period, very brief.

Let’s dream of a future, a future so bright,
Daylight may fade, away from its light.
For hope is the soul of passion, of desire,
That burns within  a warrior like fire. 

Fly, like the birds, over sea, over vale,
Oh, how it ever flies, in perpetual motion.
Oh, how beautiful, in the sky they sail,
Such a wonderful lesson, from God’s creation.

P.S. Photo Credits:

  1. http://assets4.bigthink.com/system/idea_thumbnails/38160/original/happy_2.jpg?1304248369
  2. http://www.livinginsidehope.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/bigstockphoto_I_m_The_Best_324629.jpg
  3. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_8lfnv2KqkHU/TTrOVvYtA8I/AAAAAAAAARA/hjFzYcHW0qE/s1600/fly-bird-photography-nikon-ds.jpeg 

How so much wealth, yet so little value

How so much wealth, yet so little value,
How so many haves, yet so few gains.
How so much known, yet so little understood,
How so much love, yet so little compassion.

Why so much we want, why so little do we give?
Why so many defeats, why so few victories?
Why so many joys, yet so little bliss?
Why so many emotions, yet so few empathies?

 

 

 

Om

I have been reading, Upanishads for the modern world by G.K. Pillai.  In one of the passages, it describes the meaning of the word Om. The work Om encompasses the eternity of our existence. It symbolizes the unborn and the eternal energy around us. It gives rise to all the material existence around us. Om symbolizes the “Brahman”, “Supreme Consciousness”, “The One”.
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True Calling

Each man has his purpose, his own ambitions, his own goals.

We, as humans, have a specific set of aptitudes. We develop interests in a certain domain of knowledge. Each man is unique, has his own characteristics and is bound to excel at some particular task. It is this particular area that kindles the fire in you. It can be a goal that you pursue passionately, an activity that you are comfortable doing on a regular basis. They say, Know thyself. Know your peace, know your harmony. Once you find what you are comfortable in (and very few do) you will excel in your field.

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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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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.

Wisdom Thoughts – III

Rahul became a common visitor to the old sage who sat by the tree. He used to call him the “old wise man”. Today, he came up with a very general query. He approached the old man who sat in a meditative lotus position and waited for him to finish his meditation. He then bowed before the old man out of reverence and asked him.

“If you may allow, I want to ask this question about the nature of beings. Why do feel a sense of pleasure when we come in contact with the nature? Why does nature nourish us? Why do the trees provide us oxygen, fruits, vegetables, shade, medicines? Why do the clouds provide rain? Why do the animals have a sense of connection with us? Why is the nature so virtuous and provides us with so much help?”

The old man smiled and repeated the following lines –

“Without the concept of an other,
There is no separate I.
Without the sense of an I,
Nothing can be seen as other”
Chuang-tzu

He then said, “Listen carefully my boy. This is wonderful secret that a great enlightened soul left up on us a few thousand years ago.

We believe our selves to be separate from the nature around us.” Rahul nodded. “How do you define self? Anything that is a part of your consciousness, under your control and attached to body is a part of yourself. However, if I say that what you have experienced up to now is only your physical being. You own self transcends this physical nature of things. Consider your heart. It is a part of your body because it pumps blood throughout your body and keeps you alive. However, you can feel it as it is physically attached to your body. Consider this tree’s leaves. They provide you with vital oxygen without which you cannot survive. Why should that lead not be a part of your vital self.

Our consciousness does not extend far enough to accept the tree, the cloud, the river, the sun as a part of our selves. Only an awakened soul can realize that our beings can never be embodied in a physical body. It transcends the body, mind and extends into this infinity expanse of life and universe. The leaf is as much a part of your being as is your heart. For every molecule of oxygen it generates brings vitality to your body, helps you think, powers your muscles and lets you live. In return, do you not care for your heart through exercise, good food etc. Unconsciously we tend to those plants, water them, provide them sunlight and help them grow. In essence, you nourish your own self through.

This is the concept of non-existence of self. Our minds are trapped by ignorance. Our minds are clouded by the thoughts of an existence of self, of I and you. The concept of “I” and “You” can not hold ground for your existence and development depends on me and mine on you and without the other one is powerless. Interdependence and non- existence of self are important to realize. You can understand it. However, true understanding germinates from a feeling of a realization. The answer to each and every question lies in the nature. You need to let yourself free from the notions of a physical entity. Consciousness is an all encompassing force that includes right from the smallest of the particle to the entire universe. A universal being is reality. That is why you love to sit in nature. That is why nature tends to nourish you and helps you grow healthy for it is not tending to the “other” as there is no other. It is tending to the one and only being – “we”.”

Rahul seemed content and went back happy and satisfied with his gurus answer.

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.

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