Thursday, November 12, 2009

895 : Symbol I bow to thee !!

(One of my Diwali resolutions is to stop verbally ranting  (diarrhea) and drawing room preaching….(which I think I have stuck really well to, save a few occasional slips :-))

I made no such resolution on this blog and writing. I will continue to pompously preach out here… know what's coming right :-) a very “righteous” post….I suggest you switch off, unless you like me in that mood.

Coming back to the post…..)

One of my famous grouses in life, is how often and how easily we end up confusing “symbols” for “life”….and when I say “we”, I include “me”. I end up doing that far too often as well.

WTF is a symbol? A “symbol” is an abstraction for something underlying, something you desire. Example, you might want “a million dollars” – now that's a symbol. When you drill into any sensible brain, that “symbol” will have an underlying driver – such as “I want to be buy a Hudson facing apartment at Battery Park” or “I want to buy the F430 Scuderia”.

Get the drift…… $400 is the “Symbol”. Montblanc Starwalker is the “real life”.  If we were to generalize the above examples (only the 2 we discussed) “wealth is a symbol, what we buy with it is life”.

For a lot of us (INCLUDING ME), sometimes we so busy chasing symbols, that we have either forgotten what was the “life” behind it, or in the first (worst) place, we never had a “life” behind it at all.

So me wanting to marry and have kids are “symbols”; the fun, the joy and the overall experience of of it, belong to the “life” part of it.  If I only chase the symbol, I shall never really enjoy the “life” bit of it. I will always find the whole process hollow, because I married and had kids, without actually knowing why I did it….my “drivers” simply did not exist. (This must appear to be a super ironic para coming from me :-))

Is it really that simple, or am I oversimplifying it? I think its actually that plain. Its just that our complex lives sometimes don't allow us the leisure to seek the underlyings to the symbols, more so, question the symbols.

Just because all the others want a house by “battery park” we assume that shall make us “happier” as well. We forget, that a lot of the “others” are also (possibly) chasing that symbol, without understanding what it really means.

Hope you have got the drift….Its good to always use reductionism and come down to the underlyings, for each and every drive in our lives. The sooner we do that, the farther we shall be from the “symbols”.

(Excerpts from Amused to death, by Roger Waters….as brilliant as Floydian can get

Is absolute zero cold enough
And out in the valley warm and clean
The little ones sit by their TV screens
No thoughts to think
No tears to cry
All sucked dry
Down to the very last breath
Bartender what is wrong with me
Why am I so out of breath
The captain said excuse me ma'am
This species has amused itself to death


We watched the tragedy unfold
We did as we were told
We bought and sold
It was the greatest show on earth
But then it was over
We ohhed and aahed
We drove our racing cars
We ate our last few jars of caviar
And somewhere out there in the stars
A keen-eyed look-out
Spied a flickering light
Our last hurrah
And when they found our shadows
Grouped around the TV sets
They ran down every lead
They repeated every test
They checked out all the data on their lists
And then the alien anthropologists
Admitted they were still perplexed
But on eliminating every other reason
For our sad demise
They logged the only explanation left
This species has amused itself to death
No tears to cry no feelings left
This species has amused itself to death

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