Rationalising or fooling yourself ?

“Maybe our concept of time is just a method for rationalising things and making it have a point or giving it a meaning… a perspective.”
yes absolutely, raviswamy, our five senses in their limitations need to reduce perception to rationalize our understanding of the world we inhabit…


So we give everything a begining, and an end. We see time linearily. And then we spend our lives wondering and being afraid of the event called Death, because we have decided the universe exists in beginings and ends, in events separated in time/space. The question we should be really asking is “if the event of Birth never happened, then how can Death happen ? Or is my Birth and my Death continious even as I write ?
What I keep struggling with is why we need to reduce everything to a point where we need to rationalize it. Why do we need to rationalize ? It seems purposeless, but then of course it is difficult to find any purpose in this world. The only purpose we have ever seem to have found is in imposed ‘morality’. But the Universe is neither moral nor immoral. It’s amoral.
I do not believe we are born with an addiction to only the 5 senses. We acquire the ability to shut ourselves out of anything that does not fall into the perception of an increasingly limited rationalistic world. That’s modernism. Logic.
My daughter at 4 was extremely comfortable with the idea that Angels existed and at the same time did not. She saw no difference between the logical world and the illogical one. To her the connection between what she saw and what she imagined was not contradictory. But now at 6, with her going to school she is already getting trained to ignore that which cannot be touched, seen, heard or smelled,
Consequently she is less and less comfortable with her emotional life, as myth and imagination are played down in schooling. But the do not go away do they ? They bubble up in the most unexpected ways. And sometimes dangerous ways. You and I are coming to terms with our loss of universal percepton by arguing out right now through words.
Buddhism says that at the root of all human suffering is Desire. I do not dispute that. For Desire only arises out of a misunderstanding of Time/Space continuum. How can I desire something unless I see the object of desire as something seperated from me in time/space. But even Quantum Physics now reveal that all such seperation is not real fact, but is assumed fact through the act of observation by the observer.
What i want Buddhism to explain to me is the purpose of Desire, if there is one. Procreation of the species? is that all ?
Shekhar

7 Responses to “Rationalising or fooling yourself ?”

  1. Vishal says:

    Well, the root of all hapiness as well as sorrow is desire. If there are no desires, I do not know what
    it would be. Even when one thinks of nirvana it thought as serene, a kind of hapiness..

  2. sheetal says:

    Well… i seem to be lost… isn’t there a desire in asking what is the purpose of desire??? Then doesn’t that mean WE are suffering…but what does suffering mean??? is it something that we all ‘seem’ to feel when we feel we are alone…that the observer is different from ‘what is observed’. Then WHEN is the observer different from observed? And if WHEN comes that aren’t we talking of time? and if we are talking of time…can time be understanding without a CHANGE and if CHANGE exists then what is it that is being changed and to what? doesn’t that mean that there are twothings? ONE that is…and then the other that it changed into..does that mean there are two things? or that there is only one thing…and to recognize that don’t we need understand what that ONE thing is? and if want that ONE thing can that be called a desire… then isn’t that the purpose of desire??? some one tell me

  3. ravi swami says:

    I interpret “Desire” as a force of attraction – its a universal force that results in matter, if you will…it makes things…desire brings things into existence but those things need to be shaped in order the have meaning – perhaps chaos is simply a description of meaningless ness, or formlessness…the contradiction , say in Buddhism, is that formlessness is a goal…dissolution , maybe…
    The Aztecs “God” was time, they were bound by it, outside it existed chaos, but to the outsider, its doubly ironic that their civilisation seemed amoral and very cruel and based not on anything creative at all..
    Talking of your daughter, we all as we grow older, tend to walk away from our dreamlife – we know it is that essentially timeless realm where anything can happen and it co-exists with a state where we are bound by time – the waking state…it’s also a place which defies rationalisation…the Surrealists tried to chart the boundary between the dream and waking states…maybe art is a way of allowing the timeless and formless to impinge on reality, but it may never provide a satisfactory answer since it always has to have a form….

  4. ravi swami says:

    ..personally, I like the Buddhist concept of time as a wheel – it’s a convenient device for explaining desire – which is seen as a place which is a contant state of flux and friction, possibly heat…
    The notion is that the least motion and change in a wheel can be found at its axis – a point of stillness, maybe a singularity, and as you go further outwards, you experience change to a greater degree – the corporeal world is described as being at the outer edges of the wheel and therefore the most at the mercy of forces such as “desire”, or constant change – without satisfaction…and the goal is to try and travel to the still center, but centrifugal forces increase as you go further out and this is made more difficult without some effort….
    …a nice visual metaphor…but is desire the same as appetite ??

  5. Hi Shekhar,
    I think so each individual is a output of the perception of the environment made by his thoughts.
    Our thoughts tend to take us away from reality, in reality very thing in this universe is in a constant process of change. our thoughts tend to make a judgement or classify or as u said rationlise every object, event or individual just to make things easier. We are afraid of the word unpredictable, the main objective of science is to predict, find a cause effect relationship.
    WHY? why can’t we be free, observe reality the way it is and not the way society wants to show us.
    R Tagore has said it well, ” I want to quit this creeping senility of mind and body, constantly preoccupied with ancient quibbles over custom and convention, and feel the joy of a vigorous incautious life; to hold confident, carefree, generous ideas ans aspirations- for better or for worse; to break free of this perpetual friction between custom and reason, reason and desire, desire and action. If I could only escape utterly the bonds of this restricted life, I would storm the four quarters with wave upon wave of excitement, grab a sturdy wild horse and tear away on it to the very heights of ecstasy.”

  6. raj goswami says:

    hi shekhar,
    what is desire?it is nothing but a response to the stimuli like anyother stimuli.body do not know it as a desire or good desire.it is thought that is translating it as a value.sensory perceptions are just there for the survival and reproduction of the organism.but thinking or memory (thought is a memory}captures it and gives a name and value to it.wenever stimuli arise mind takes a reference from the past memory and try to avoid the painfull experience and seek the pleasurable one.the culprit is not desire but the thinking.it very deficult to accept this becouse thinking or thought or mind has a millions of years of momentum.otherwise there is no difference between us and the dogs.any takers?
    raj goswami

  7. amii asthana says:

    sir ,
    see this is called a web entry,totally touches your heat within, lets you feel the warmth in our beloved director saheb, were doyou hibernate,
    and when do you delight, in the hearts of company
    to see an enlightened eye in its commandments the films r able to breathe a fresh aroma of acting in your movie once to my hearts bleeding my stop to convey thru my body your tendermercies

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