Self

How many hours in the day do we spend quiet time without being distracted by the external world: Phone, SMS or meetings?

How scary can it be, living in our own thoughts without being distracted with the externalities?

Once left alone, the mind will run in multiple directions and thoughts from every corner will come and hit. Some being pleasant while others are very painful.

Modern world’s biggest peril is being peace with self.

Van Gogh

I have always liked Van Gogh, the way he captured nature and human expressions. I hope someday I will get to visit the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. While reading: Van Gogh letters to Theo (his brother), I got to know more about him.

  • He died (killed himself by cutting his ear), remaining poor.
  • He was dependent on Theo, his brother from emotional and financial support.
  • In early days he wanted to be a preacher but since he failed the exams so never got the job.
  • He failed in love many times.
  • He was eccentric.
  • His art teachers/mentors(yup, the finest artist had teachers), disliked his way of paintings.
  • He called himself a peasant painter and lived a good part of his life with the peasants, miners.

I could not bear the pain in reading those letters. I have left reading it half way through.

The positive side of reading this book is, my respect for artists has increased much more. I will prefer not bargaining for buying their artwork.

Age

Once we cross 60 years of our age, the reversals happen. We start acting like a grumpy kid who starts crying for not getting his wish fulfilled: parents not buying that toy or candy.

What happens after we get old? Do we fall for expectation traps? Do we let kids fall for the guilt trip?

Or is the generation gap?

Cult

Some tactics for creating and maintaining a cult.

  1. Create your own social reality: in simple terms create an echo chamber, limit external sources for news and information. Most modern-day ashrams across India follow these.
  2. Create a granfalloon: make members believe they are part of something bigger, use god or some cause as bait.
  3. Create commitment through rationalization trap
  4. Establish leaders credibility and attractiveness
  5. Send fund members out to proselytize the unredeemed and to fundraiser for the cult
  6. Distract members from thinking “undesirable “ thoughts.

Excerpt from “Age of propaganda.”

Emotions

Charlie Munger says that most investors fail because their investments are driven by emotions.

Bhagwad Gita preaches attachment is the root cause of all our miseries.

Jiddu Krishnamurti says don’t fight with your thoughts but observe it.

I am half way through emotional design by Don Norman. Where he talks about how our emotions guide most of our decisions in life. Be it finding a spouse, friends or new brand of toothpaste.

I like Star Trek. I like Spock and how being a Vulcan every decision of his depends on logic.

Coming back to applying thoughts, emotions, and attachments. How important are they in our human existence?

Can we live life while keeping a 100% check on our emotions?
How will it affect our attachment to parents, peers and loved ones?
How will we sail through the miserable thoughts?

Bubble

Most of us live in our own bubble. Our judgment about others is a byproduct of our bias. We live in our own echo chambers, make an opinion which suits our belief.

Why can’t we be more rational? See both sides of the situations, make decisions without being emotional?

Is it our age, experience to be blamed for it or the baggage we carry with living this life?