Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Paradigmatic-Syntagmatic Axes of Life

This is the prologue for the second chapter of my book (To be released) 'Tranquility: Focus'
This is an attempt to devise a plot to understand the growth of one's maturity levels as a person. To begin with, I wish to identify the paradigmatic and syntagmatic parameters (These terms are borrowed from the study of linguistics where the former speaks of a relationship 'across' a set of elements of the same type; while latter speaks of a relationship 'up' or 'down' a sequence. I shall take their help to prove the analogy between the plot under discussion and a perfect sentence) for the same and then proceed to understand the other influencing factors for the plot.

The basic blocks used to map the points on the plot being events or episodes in our life, it is easier for us to consider a single event and categorize the influencing factors for our action into ones with a paradigmatic existence or with a syntagmatic existence. There might be factors which might show traits of both, in which case we will plot their influence on both the axes while ones with absence of any such influence by either of them can be safely ignored.

For any action, it is necessary that we have the instigator, one who initiates the course of action and the sufferer, one who is influenced by the action. We will restrict our analysis to consider only the sufferer's point of view. Instigator can be regarded as a paradigmatic parameter from the sufferer's point of view since the action is important not the one who intiates it while it is the other way round from the instigator's point of view. The other important factor that influences and supports the action is the setting which is both a paradigmatic as well as a syntagmatic parameter since replacing the setting will influence the action and the impact of moving the setting during the action also influences the action.

There is a direct analogy between an action and a perfect sentence. A sentence can be framed using the subject and the predicate, here it is easy to understand that the sufferer of the action becomes the subject while the action becomes the predicate. A perfect sentence is furnished with sufficient detail to understand and appreciate the meaning of the action that it talks about, while a perfect action needs sufficient detail in regard to setting so that we fully appreciate the action from the sufferer's point of view.

Apart from the above mentioned three important factors, there are numerous factors which influence the action, degree of suffering and impact on the sufferer. In this chapter, these factors are debated and categorized into the two set of parameters that I talked about so that we can plot the level of understanding ( maturity). I hope you will enjoy it...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Pellucid Probity of Hers

Is it the zest of hers,
that dozes under a blanket of innocence;
to seek those pearls every night
or to cast a longer shadow of her light ?

Is it the esprit of hers,
that dwells like lava within a silent rock;
to seek only joy from the wind and the rain
or from the hurt and the pain?

Is it the bracing of hers,
that decks even the sand at the bottom of the sea;
to seek for presents and shout with glee
or for ways to flee?

Is it the affability of hers,
that digs for moments that lack the sun;
to seek for a game trail of the plane
or to simply recognize that you're sane?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Misery: Expectations Unlimited

Disclaimer: Through this post I wish to speak about the 'cause and the effect' scenario of expectations and might subscribe to few hardline views. For people who find it disgraceful, the emphasis is on conviviality, not controversy.

The trait of expecting or rather harboring expectations is the cause of all misery. I wish to begin by examining or rather try arriving at the root cause for most (if not all) problems in our life. Before I proceed, I need to stress that definition of problem is relative and the degree of concern that it invites is linked to our expectations i.e. expectations from ourselves, expectation from others etc. The factors which influence us to mark a situation as 'problem' are varied, most common being confusion which most of us rarely acknowledge. It is a general tendency to seek clear direction in any issue that we wish to handle, lack of it or possibility of improbability for the same creates the tag 'Mark it:Problem'. I wish to quote an example from the Buddhist Tales- Jataka Stories.

'...Lord Buddha along with his disciples was moving in the forest. Lord Buddha asked one of his disciples Anand to fetch some water as he was thirsty . Anand, who is one of the main disciples of Lord Buddha went to the nearby lake to fetch water. Having found that the water is murky and is not suited for drinking, he returns back to report it to Lord Buddha. Little Later, Lord Buddha sends him back to find out if there is any difference that arised. Anand returns back with the same answer. Lord Buddha asks Anand to repeat the exercise again little later. This time Anand finds that the sediments have settled down and clear water is available that can be picked up. Anand comes back with water and tells Lord Buddha about what he observed. Lord Buddha then points out that the motive of this exercise was not to get him to fetch water but to make him realise how our human mind is no different. Confusion or lack of clarity regarding what we need to do, a battery of issues being fired at us constantly places our mind in the same state as that pond with murky water. What we need to do is to allow ourselves some time so that the sediments of doubt, misunderstanding settle down and get clarity in our thoughts. This helps us make more effective choices...'

The necessity for quoting the above excerpt, is to throw light on how we are not able to understand the root cause of most of the problems we face in life. Allowing ourselves some time to think regarding the same makes us realise that the degree of expectation attached with various resources and relationships is the major root cause.Why do we expect? This is a tough question to answer but let us examine the scenario of how it will reflect our attitude if we moderate our expectation levels. I wish to speak of an observation from nature which is analogous to understanding this scenario.

Consider the types of bonding between elements (I assure you that this example only demands a basic understanding of chemistry and is devoid of any complexity but endowed with rich experiences of nature). There are two kinds of bonding i.e. ionic bond and covalent bond where the former speaks of a bond where only one element donates electrons for the bonding while the latter speaks of a bond where both the elements involved donate electron for the bonding. The strength of an ionic bond is much stronger than the covalent bond.

Similarly, even in our lives, when we wish to invest our time and resources in issues and relationships, we tend to expect a return from our investment as in a covalent bond where both the parties involved have an expectation from one another. I wish to argue that we need to atleast try once to invest with no expectations of return like the ionic bond. The feeling of satisfaction for having given with no expectation for a return of favor is quite immense. One need to notice that in an ionic bond, the donor donates becauses it seeks a better configured existence. Likewise, when we wish to seek a better state of existence for our own self, we need to understand the art of having no expectations.

Nature is full of examples which might help one understand the need and happiness this practice might fetch. This post is an attempt to remind you, me and everyone the joy of giving. I am sure it is atleast worth a try. Comments and your observations are most welcome!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Avowal Series : Prologue

Dear Dad,
Moments...Every single one of them I spent with you remain the true inspiration for my existence. There were times when I wanted you by my side, moments when I wanted to reach out for you to understand and seek the reason for this existence of mine. Life brought me many presents in return for this sacrifice of mine, but no wonder the quest to be with you still lives on...We remain like the river and the bank, so near yet so far to seek each other.

Today I wish to thank all the tunes that fill my song. This song of my life will eternally stand as a tribute to that touch of yours when I was born...

This Series is a dedication to you Dad!

I can never let you go...