Friday, November 25, 2016

A closing post, until next..

Being on the road (quite literally) and on a long, indefinite break!

...to feel the unusual rush coming from living without money, and note, by stating this, I do not mean that I enjoy working for free or utilizing my talents for free, but am myself detaching for an indefinite time, off material strings, to encounter any new experiences awaiting me. I am going to explain in some future post, in painfully boring, gory detail on what I really meant in my prior post by saying "all good things are for free". I am here to gather experiences and paint them pretty, which sometimes calls for a tad of masochism in order to really know. But in the denseness of the physical world, money plays a role, and a good one at that. Now, whether I want to wholly exist in that physical world is another story...

For now, closing down my blog for a bit, to detach from electronic media as well for a while, and enter a pretend stone age ;)

Monday, September 26, 2016

The tao of identity

Ok, I loved writing that prior post of mine (and Autumn's video!) on identity crises, and have been waiting for a good half an hour to write its sequel on my personal struggles with dualism.

All along, I have demeaned goal-setting, and finding purpose that would give my life meaning in order to live out my existence (lifespan?) by fitting into mainstream society, by establishing a social identity (and status?). I've relished life experience and the pride, embarrassment and all those ups and downs that come with it, but could not figure how to align my goal-less, haywire thought-process with goal-oriented action. Given a choice, I would detach myself from the physical reality and allow my mind to exist as an independent entity (identity?). I detested the glorification of action above dreams, and the patronising manner of gearing up day-dreaming youngsters into "doers".  I became increasingly cynical about leadership as a "virtue". I detested the idea of being led, and to lead. Ironically, it is this very patronizing that has seemingly led (pun intended) to the glorification of the idea of leadership today.

Manifesting my mind into my physical self was challenging. I relished meaningless existence, an existence that would thrive in a mental realm than have flesh and blood associated with it. But yet, my physical self asserted itself, at war with my mind, pleading for meaning and purpose. I found myself at odds with an audaciously productivity-obsessed society simply because I could not figure an eternal role or purpose for my physical existence.

Almost every individual possesses at varying degrees, an inner conflict due to dualism. However, my rather exaggerated sense of dualism, could never allow me figure a "path". Chance encounter and the gradual knowing of darkness first, made me sense the joy of that sudden rush of stumbling into light. The chase of short-term goals was exciting for as long as it could, with strokes of fatal boredom terrorising me time and again into a void that I dreaded.

On the flip side, my mind and body being at odds, made relationships very fulfilling and insightful, to say the least; they have given me so much clarity into what I want of myself. Romantic relationships have shown me, that men should be cherished for their uniqueness instead of looking for those quintessential must-haves that women are conditioned into "expecting" from men. I could be naive in my judgement here, but men are by nature unique, unlike women who are more fluidic. It was natural for my mind and matter to be at odds with the kind of man they each found attractive. Dualism, albeit innate in most of us, seemed amplified for me, due to the over-assertion of my mind, which detested heeding to anything dictated by the physical three-dimensional reality. I felt like I was torn apart in the tug-of-war that is life, until..until, many moons into life-experience, it all made sense and seemed infact a relief. I can now see beauty in all expressions of dualism or identity crises; it made me unearth my love of psychology, which I may never have chanced upon had I not possessed an exaggerated sense of dualism myself.

Identity crises are a wonderful means and an easy aid to see perspectives, which might be difficult, if not impossible, to fathom in a straight world. It is certainly difficult living with an identity crisis, be it of any kind or any degree, in the society we live in today. This is unfortunately not the era of Vedantic philosophers, who sought to comprehend dualism and existentialism in an endless quest.  However, ours is now an identity-obsessed society, with the individual's ego inflating itself by erecting concentric boundaries of possession (read identity) around itself, to air an illusion of superiority within any social zone it finds itself in. This personality trait of  right-wing authoritarianism is however not to be confused with megalomania, which is another topic I wish to write about, sometime soon ;).

My mind craves liberation, while my body searches for a goal. I guess I will never find one, but may have found peace with the chase of nothingness ;). 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Identity

I never realised why all my life "studying" psychology was never hard work, but fun. In my early teens, I was naturally drawn towards Wayne Dyer's "Erroneous zones" that lay strewn amidst regular books of literary significance in my parents' coveted bookshelf. That feeling when you "get" the author, is what a reader relates with for the rest of one's life. Note that "self-help" books a few decades back had more meaning and scope for debate than the "self-help" stuff we see at bookshelves today ;). Chinmayananda's version of the Bhagvad Geeta also had a similar effect early on for me, that struck that right balance of Sanskrit and English translations that keeps you on an endless quest.

There is also a side to me that wants to experience life, make deductions and reason. To allow one's masochistic side bring you so much more intellectual wisdom than an egocentric, by-the-book orientation ever would.

To allow one's yin and yang flow like clockwork.

And then many moons into middle age, it all suddenly makes sense; it all adds up; it all fits in, despite the peskiness of trying to fit into an identity-obsessed society. You suddenly identify, without an identity.

I did have help, in the most odd circumstance. Whilst chancing upon Bob Altermeyer's research, I also happened to stumble upon talks on identity, by those with gender or sexual identity dysphoria or both. Ah, the beauty of diversity!

Now, before you read on and wonder what could my problem may have been, please know that the best individuals to explain psychology are those with an identity crisis. Not those with fat degrees, but those who have life experience that force them to reason why the obvious is the obvious.

While my problem was not about gender or sexual identity, it had a similar hue. I struggled to fit in, perhaps due to my non-materialist, and sometimes rebellious attitude in an achievement-centric, productivity-oriented world. While I was, and still am highly adrenaline-rushed, enjoying the rush of a cheap one-off competition, it was never sustainable, and inevitably attracted capitalist mindsets to play chicken for.

The bliss of middle age, is the inevitable conclusion one is deigned to arrive at regarding one's "identity" in society. Thanks to the age of the internet, I chanced upon the following videos by  Autumn Asphodel that threw so much light on identity crises:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BOba-QK5wY

Take a moment to appreciate how self-learned is Autumn - and the abundant intelligence in her talks. How identity crises can make one so much more intellectually rich than the boring "straight" world.

Now, to indulge in my favourite subject of psychology and healing, I go seeking material from authors and speakers with an identity crisis! ;)

Coming up next, "the Tao of identity"... hopefully soon; am juggling too many things at the moment to sound coherent enough for an article on incongruence of sorts ;).