back to Now –
let’s relate Part 1 with our ancestors, our grandparents generation and then our parents’ generation and then us, since we are talking of culture and it is all about cumulative effect.
Our grandparents belonged to an era when resources where ‘scarcity’ and ‘collectivism’ values where stronger if not strongest. it was an orthodox culture with little air of change. ‘castism’ i.e. social distances were much visible in terms of social hierarchy so they were very cautious of that aspect. For them stability was crucial and so was social acceptability and since towns were small and mobility was limited, people knew each other. So he old norms were followed without scrutiny, an era of intellectual materialism. ofcourse there were attempts to purify those norms social reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Jyotiba Fule were some of the activists.
Simultaneously as per the patriarchal cultural norms girls where liability and boys were an asset. The women had an influence of existing norms. There was no internet or telephone – the spread of ideas was extremely limited, education was limited and so the new perspectives. The girls were married at an early age- mostly child marriage. And then there was this big size family of at-least 8! but they did it because there was uncertainty of life and no planning, as it was not ‘problem’ for them then, survival was only intention given the large child and maternal mortality rate prevalent then. (need of stability) As it was an emerging family it had huge constraint of resources, too many mouths to feed. The parents were busy in the basic activities of gathering food and providing shelter.
The children (our parents) where observing this and learned this as their culture. (the habits coming from sharing and scarcity are even visible sometimes). The children(i.e. our parents) were good at sharing of resources living within what was available. There was creativity but its focus and much emphasis was on survival of the stability. For them courage was to stand tall in the existing society and achieve their acceptability. There was no scope to challenge the believe system.
there was another peculiar event that was taking place i.e. for these emerging families the model of best family was that of ‘Bramhins’ which was the highest family in social hierarchy. but they had their secret norms inside family and what was visible for outsides was just pick of iceberg. this tendency of following and trying to be like upper caste is known as “sanskitization”, which is even prevalent now. This ‘superficial’ following on their norms muddled the cultural norms of overall society, prevalence of more intellectual materialism.
Then came our parents’ generation. (Post teenage) Castism was considerably reduced at least in practice but there was fear. They were just empowered to establish their identity as they were educated. however, there was still that fear of social acceptability, lack of creativity, lack of critical thinking and tendency to accepting things as they as since ‘it’s just the way to do the stuff!’.
There was flow of ideas from books, but there was no support for the challenger – the fight was still on for survival. The women where first seen as liability on father and then on elder brother – continuation of old trend. Also, the culture said respect the elders so there was this feeling of great gratitude! And love for each other.
the women were thankful to their brother and they were married to random person chosen by their brother or father, they had to accept it coz that was the norm and social acceptability,
(do listen to this song later: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOZBB53lGTk)
and that’s how even our mother’s got married.
Again rating the parameters, i.e. stability, freedom, acceptability, etc. there was certainty about life- each had a good job. Flow of information was still limited, but there was some scientific approach. The social norms where relaxed and culture was put open for introspection. But the structure of society was still patriarchal and male had all rights to take decisions, no democracy in family (even today it is presidential democracy with veto power at father). The female had accepted this norm for the stability of family and never thought of this as problem. Thus there was no thinking about other situation than what was going on.
They (mothers) had accepted the double work of job n looking after family as part of their life for the sake of stability, they lacked any time to think and reflect about their situation it was a strict tough routine for them. Out of box thinking rarely spur in such context.
even in some families the husband was beating or abusing their wife but the women didn’t knew other way because sadly even husband beating was a norm! not a problem for society, A part of deal called marriage. (disturbing it is but its ‘prescribed’ in the books of religious!!!)
the female were alert but helpless as they lacked any social structure support as the structure itself were male dominated, both physically and ideologically. They couldn’t challenge those norms as they feared that doing so might escalate the matter and the life of divorcee was not worth living! they even lacked financial autonomy. By then, meaning of courage was not in fighting but in surviving, survival mode made them defensive and reactive but to change they needed to be assertive and proactive, they didn’t understand that because their own interest was not their priority, as it was bombarded to them – marriage and family i.e. their 2nd life! they didn’t thought about what other aspect of life meant and how to get there.
Besides they choose to be defensive because of us, their children, to give us better future stability was necessary. they made us their source of inspiration. The women tried to find their peace of mind in their children, they invested all their emotions in their child, in this the ‘hurt mothers’ became over protective for the child… forgetting that anything in excess is bad even if it’s good.
Our generation was free from the scourge of castism, it was open for ideas, because our parents had created a better world for us to explore. we were set free to mingle with cross society, exploring various sub-cultural norms. There was scientific education and internet at our teenage to shape our ideas. Our family size was limited so there was abundance of resources and we had plenty of time to explore. And there was one big source of ideas the Television; we were so engrossed in it all. our parents where happy because they felt grateful that they could give their child so much that they didn’t had in first place.
We didn’t bothered about it, neither we bothered to help our mother when we were kid, we took it for granted as there was no uncertainty. We also accepted a norm to get out of room when any fight between any elder members was going on… never thought why to do so. (That’s how norms work) besides your opinion never mattered as you were child. (Color of hair not merit of idea that mattered)
even the mothers didn’t told us their story because by now they had developed new habits of accommodation.
Compared to our generation, we never feel need of accommodation, our knowledge was greatly shared between friends so the problems, resources and ideas. Then there was torrent of ideas as internet and mobile arrived, our world turned into a global village. We came in contact with the western values based on Individualism – freedom, liberality, rationality. And a funny thing happened.
Because of collectivism we had a strong family base a strong social support system that we took for granted. Then came this individualism mostly from movies and Internet. we thought this is a good way because it was ‘new’ and following our curiosity we accepted these views with their explanation. Meanwhile, ironically, the educated western societies adopted the collectivism values to build a strong social structure and stable family. they took the values keeping aside identities. they tried to made best from both societies.
This confluence of culture is intense right now. the mistake we are doing is we are not emphasizing or exploring our own good cultural values we are blindly declaring many of our good habits and accepting the western values (without evaluation) just by looking at western lifestyle. we are not learning.
Today things have changed drastically. The government is standing for rights of women. Human rights movement is vigilant. There are NGOs and civil societies ready to help and people know the effects of wrong doing. society has accepted need of change so there is deterrence. this has wiped away the superficial norms but the sticky norms, one which deals with self image still persists. one of them is status. is in our society nothing matters more than status. That is true in our family too. such sticky norms take the most time to change so we must wait, there is no point in fighting against it.
The women in our family are not proactive they are not assertive yet and the fathers cannot give up their domination psyche overnight it’s another sticky norm. both men and women have reached statuesque agreement and stability. And after we, their children becoming independent they don’t find point in defining new stability, they are okay with it, but that hurts us.
this is my observation and understanding of situation.
i don’t think its worth now changing the oldies unless its harming our present and future and they are open to such change. we should not try to model their world in our ideals. as individual they have right to live their life as they want so we must accept it and monitor it proactively, but if we think something is wrong we should express our opinion rationally, proactively, in clear language without being emotional.
fighting with cultural norm is challenging, if you want to do it – get out of all cultural structure, but if you want to live within them, accept them and induce small small changes- tipping point is triggered with such small changes and right opportunity. wait for it.
there is an old Chinese saying, “wisdom can be acquired in 3 ways, first by experience which is the bitterest. Second by imitation which is the easiest. Third is by reflection which is the noblest.” We try to learn things by first 2 ways but hardly use the third because the art of reflection asks for giving up all help thoughts, belief and judgment. It asks us to evaluate them impersonally.
anyways, lets enjoy what we have today. The past must not haunt present if present is hurting be assertive, if culture is not allowing you to do so, if it’s a sticky norm, you must accommodate and adapt accordingly, fighting will only hurt you. besides the problem in fighting with stupid is they ultimately drag you to their level, so it’s better to evade that situation creatively. Know their norms and be proactive, once you win heart, you can softly expand your views and win back your freedom.
finally, its a know fact that perfection does not exist and with that we must accept our culture with all its faults n extremes. its our so we must fix it. the purification process is going on and we should look at it cautiously.
why, mr. Anderson, why? why, why do you do it? why, why get up? why keep fighting? do you believe you’re fighting for something, for more than your survival? can you tell me what it is, do you even know? is it freedom or truth, perhaps peace – could it be for love? illusions, mr. Anderson, vagaries of perception. temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without meaning or purpose. and all of them as artificial as the matrix itself. although, only a human mind could invent something as insipid as love. you must be able to see it, mr. Anderson, you must know it by now! you can’t win, it’s pointless to keep fighting! why, mr. Anderson, why, why do you persist?
frankly speaking what i have discussed in this article has very less to do with this video clip but what i want to highlight here is that the computer and machine is really killing the human aspect of human being, its also my personal experience.
I know that this movie matrix holds a really deep philosophical values and one need to relate those things with the real world to assimilate that. But that is the problem! To relate an idea one needs sound, healthy and open mind: an intuitive thinking mind. I believe every human being has it; by birth the nature fits it inside our brain. (it`s my humble request to readers to use it while reading this post!) This intuitive thinking mind makes us human being; and as human being we also get gift of emotions. We are all emotional by birth. we feel pain, love, affection, jealousy, grudge, anxiety, fear, worry, happiness, nervousness, comfort, disdain, scorn, contempt and many more list of emotions are endless. (and that is the problem!)
going back to the clip, how can agent smith feel these emotions? Poor fellow is an artificial intelligent program which lacks emotions and hence empathy. Neo (Mr. anderson) being human being can only feel these emotions that is why Neo ardently says ‘because i choose to!’. That is what I am trying to deal in this article, understanding emotions: the greatest asset of human being: to empathise others emotions. Let’s be human beings and not machines.
Human beings are emotional by birth and since childhood these emotions shape our habits. But as we grow up we start getting numb towards these emotions due to changed social values. We start getting extrovert rather than introvert. The external pleasure starts mattering more to us than anything else as a result we become numb towards our intrinsic feelings; the external mirage of feelings simply puts on coatings on our tender human mind which was self conscious once.
As years pass the result of these coatings is, we feel emotions as they reach into their secondary, ternary or beyond mode; that is in its extreme forms. And we act to suppress these emotions in its extreme form. Our decisions are greatly shaped by these extreme emotions today and mostly these extreme emotion driven decisions creates catastrophic results. Let me put it in simplest form with following example,
Bob is a student. Bob wants to learn about management theory so purchases a book related with that topic: a 700 pages bulky book. Now he is all exited to read that book as the book is most recommended by his subject teacher and bob knows that by reading that book thoroughly his all questions will get satisfying answer. So with that excitement bob starts reading the book. First 10-20 pages all is going well, next 20 pages bob starts feeling restless as he finds that to get hold on idea of management he has yet to cover 600+ pages more which makes him nervous. Simple reason behind this is bob just want his answers in shortest possible duration he don’t want to wait till those 600+ pages. As he progresses further, 50-60th page his excitement and anticipation turns into anxiety which is caused due to the anticipation of waiting for something which bob usually hates doing. (of course bob is a youngster belonging to the fast food generation) Now this anxiety starts projecting in bobs gestures as he begins to chew his nails and starts shaking his leg. (his mind is shouting, common dude just finish this book I am fed up of waiting!) And as this anxiety reaches its climax, bob puts the book aside; this is a basic response developed by his brain after years of training. The response is like: anxiety implies unpleasant emotion, and for any unpleasant emotion bob should get rid of it as soon as possible. To get rid of this anxiety bob opens his drawer pulls out a cigarette and starts smoking which is clearly a distraction from what bob was supposed to do: understand the management theory. Now bob`s mind is distracted and after this bob calls his friend or simply moves over his computer and start playing dotta! (some game) or the best facebook!
Here the emotions flow like, excitement-> nervousness-> anxiety-> distraction=> wasted!(this is not emotion itself, but result of previous emotions)
the whys and hows of this is very simple, this is just a single case of today’s youth. There are many such cases where uncontrolled or un-comprehended emotions causes catastrophe. The results are like, smoking, drinking, rapes, murder, abuse etc.
jokes apart, on a serious note a severe form of expression of emotional burst is rape; where emotions flows like, excitement-> arousal-> desperation-> lack of empathy-> rape. (All these feelings are coated by recklessness and/or don’t care attitude)
so a question might arise in your mind, if the science is able to analyze the situation and problem to such minute details, they even know cause of trouble then why they are not fixing it? or even if they are, what is way to deal with it?
well certainly there is a way, and science fraternity calls it emotional intelligence. which i have discussed in next part of this article.
[previous: Emotions: The essence of being Human]
To Maintain balance between intellect and emotion is wisdom
-: shree shree ravi shankar
For years our intelligent society is build upon IQ that is thinking ability and logic taking emotions for granted. Our education system, selection procedure all is based on IQ. Since we left aside emotion in this 100 or more years of course and only concentrated on single aspect of human behavior i.e. intelligence things have came to an halt and as a result we are experiencing chaos in society. We have tried to pull only one aspect of human mind keeping the vital aspect stagnant. Where it is given that both emotion and intelligence are ‘the’ things which makes us human being: different form of species that all living beings.
he solution of this lies in self awareness, putting it exact words of Daniel Goleman we need to make the society ‘emotionally intelligent’.
This self awareness, putting in simple words stands like making one aware about his feelings. In case of bob of previous example, if he realize that his excitement is root of his nervousness and his chewing nails and shaking legs adds into his anxiety, he could have controlled his emotions and preventing himself from getting distracted from his aim.
The horizon of EQ is not just limited to the single person but on large scale it is related with understanding others feelings: to empathies. I strongly believe that the most of problems in today’s society are result of lack of empathy. The IQ based society has little place for empathy as it teaches and makes us dominating and ruthless. Our education system trains us so that we will get a job but it cannot assure whether the student will live for next day or not. The stressful life, depression followed by suicide among students and young professionals is alarming but still we are not really serious about emotional values. These are all consequences of numbness towards one`s own emotions and emotions of their loving peoples: parents, friends and relatives.
One more thing I would like to add here is, as a nature’s gift and in course of evolution the females have much more developed scene of empathy and this is a well accepted fact today. Sadly in society they are not given enough room to express these skills and the existing world just makes room to accommodate them in existing rigid workspace which was once created by some men as per their preferences. We need to give enough room to females to express and utilize their empathetic skills in their work style to get optimize their natural skills. Otherwise the existing work culture can perish the emotional aspect of women’s ‘motherly touch’. some consequences of that are visible today in the young generation. This is a vicious cycle of lack of empathy since the tender mind of child shapes itself in its earliest days when it is self conscious and if it is given touch of empathy during that time, the impact lasts long on the child’s mind. I am not saying that every women then should stay in home to protect their child, here I want to revive a forgotten role of educational institutes. (which existed in our culture ages back) these institutes need to wake up for this new role of teaching emotional intelligence to the young minds.
I think the real essence of human life lies in these emotions and feeling them, it’s a gift of nature to us human beings where we can be self conscious about our own feelings. And as we empathies them we understand how others are feeling. As we grew emotionally intelligent we can deal with the sad and unpleasant feelings at its root when it starts building thus achieving optimum performance and peace at conscious level which intern adds into our intelligence resulting in maximum pleasure at work.
putting together, as per Daniel Goleman The domain of emotional intelligence stands on following pillars,
- Knowing your emotions
- Managing your emotions
- Motivating yourself
- Recognizing and understanding other person`s emotion
- Managing relationships and others emotions.
*Daniel goleman has delt with each of these topic at length in his book emotional intelligence: why EQ matters more than IQ.
The field of emotional intelligence is still very young only 20-25 years old and still research is going on yet the results are strong enough to believe in its utility and correctness. As Indian we have very strong reason to believe in it. If any of reader is familiar or following any form of meditaion, vipashana then I don’t need to give explanation for this since all of them talks about self awareness. Now EQ is putting that in more comprehensive form and what I think is rather than fighting and wasting time in claiming the fame for EQ we should strive to imbibe those skills to make the society a better and sustainable place to live for next generations.
*dedicated to Mr. K. M Pathi n my parents who taught me emotional intelligence and related interpersonal skills.
Matrix trilogy is one of my favorite movie. The sci-fi sequences the jargon concepts and web of machines controlled by computers, really a magnificent imagination of the wachowski brothers who have written script of the movie.
When I saw for the movie for the first time I really wonder whether such world will became really one day but eventually dropped any such thought considering that the movie is a fiction.
But think about it, if you see the world around you as per your view you will not see any change or any irregularity in it, but what if you change your perspective to see towards thing and adopt another’s perspective to perceive things just like neo did under guidance of morphious? That’s where you enter into the world of real matrix.
But to enter the matrix there is a prerequisite as Morpheus had given a choice to Neo to select a capsule; either red or blue. Just like that while changing your perspective you are supposed to drop all your prejudices, you must open your mind for new ideas you must accept the contrasting reality once entering into the matrix. : That is choosing the RED capsule. but if you choose Blue, no matter where you are in matrix or in your regular world things will remain the same. And Just like you can enter into other world, people from that world can enter into your world. for them your world will be the matrix. In this way everyone from either side of matrix has this choice of changing their perspective.
So what’s in the matrix? It is indeed gloomy and full of robots as shown in the movie, not exactly the same since rather than mechanical machines you will see humans acting like robots. mostly doing mechanical activities. Like Agents of movie there will be a group of people: robots, hostile to other group of people i.e. humans and peoples. The robots are ruled by money and money is regulated by rules. No sentiments no emotions no feelings a ruthless world. People running behind money forgetting their human values and ethics, live becomes race against time and time that is brought in terms of money … everywhere money, in fact here time also becomes money! Power also became money! Respect also come and go with money. And people follows and serve the agent for this MONEY!!!
Fortunately Like the movie, in the world of matrix there exist some humans just like zion of movie, who are holding the human values in their heart. These humans find and introduce the one ‘neo’ into the system to get them out of the sink of matrix. Many times neo is from the other world self motivated with full of ethics and goodness of human value. But irrespective of this luminous in his heart path of neo is never so easy, after entering what he finds is total darkness, some force like black hole which tries to even suck off the illumines of goodness from neo. It really becomes challenging from even neo in such times to sustain in that gloomy environment. But to his fortune before fading of the light of luminous, Morpheus appears and make neo realize that “he doesn’t need to fear about this darkness, the fear has darken his mind so badly that he have started thinking that it’s not worth the efforts to find the place of light.” Then Morpheus enlighten him by making neo realize about the power of luminous inside neo and guide him how to use it, making him to believe in himself. Remember this luminous is nothing but the ethics that neo has developed in his world before entering in the matrix.
To end the infinite world of matrix its necessary for neo to understand what exactly it is? How does it work?, and as he starts to understand the matrix, it expands! Just when he thinks that he has learned the way to deal with it, matrix again expands with new diversions. Although matrix expands neo is left the same as he begins and then he realize that perhaps his scene of progress is based on illusion that things out there are going to remain the same and that at last he has gain control, but in reality of that matrix neo is a foreign body and it expands irrespective of knowledge of neo.
But neo never give up he keeps on trying. Every neo believes that his greatest weakness is his greatest strength so in the matrix he attacks in the others what they themselves do in a different form and this pattern continues until they become fully conscious of it.
Often neo comes across the people of the matrix and robots too, he even tries to tell that a great, wonderful world exists out of this matrix but to feel it you must change your perspective and give away your fear. But poor people programmed by the matrix in such a way that breaking their illusion becomes almost impossible. Similarly about the agents of matrix some are hostile towards neo but unlike the movie the agents i.e. (Robots, at least some of them who have their brain working) understand the neo but unfortunately rarely respond to neo. The communication never goes at it should be, as neo progress n talks the robots whose brain are under some influence of consciousness goes silence. So for neo it seems that they are getting bored or losing interest or making up their own mind about what neo is saying or even about neo himself without his guidance. So neo believes that as long as he can keep them talking he may know what they (robots) are thinking.
But silence can also mean confidence and mutual respect, silence can mean live and let live: the appreciation that he is neo and robot is robot. This silence is an affirmation that they are already together as two people and not entities of matrix, just to be safe from rules of matrix robots choose to be silent. “Worlds can mean that I want to make you into friend and silence can mean that I accept you already being ‘the one’”
Finally These all people and robots (good one) understand that they are doing something wrong and then their consciousness tells them about it but simultaneously the programmed mind instructs them to keep on doing the same thing and surprisingly brain supports it by finding a reason to justify the act of continuation.
let us come out this all, if you are with sound mind until now, following this post till here and if you are a human; not robots then you must have understood what i am talking about.
So what is solution? In fact do we need one? Why neo fails to deliver the results? Why it is so difficult? The answer is right in the choice: between the red and blue capsule. every time people of matrix has choice to be right by accepting the matrix as it is by choosing BLUE capsule or being human by choosing the RED one.
Which capsule you will choose?