Monday, March 27, 2006

The Architect

It’s been a long time since I posted, and the reason should really be quite obvious. The course is over and much huffing and puffing later, I am now at home, in Bombay, to enjoy what is doubtless going to be the last few weeks of unbridled freedom that I get to enjoy for quite a while.

Yes sir, now this really is what freedom should be about…well, almost. Let’s see, I am not fettered by thoughts of classes, exams, placements, projects or of course, work! Yet, I am at home, which brings with it the burdens that accompany being in an environment that you co-inhabit with parents, namely tidying your room a tad, making your bed when you get up and in general ensuring the tiniest bit of order in your existence. Moreover, it also places great restrictions on the way you like to lead your life!

Anyway, I’m not too bothered about those things. What really irks though is the incessant stream of queries that are invariably directed at me the moment I happen to fail to avoid social contact with any of the denizens that happen to know my name and of course the fact that I have just completed my course. Just why they waste their time and mine in that fruitless process is beyond me, but there you have it. Human curiosity seems to know no bounds when it comes to knowing what other people are doing with and in their lives.

The past week though, has thrown up a very interesting question. Neo, as those of you who have seen the matrix Trilogy will undoubtedly remember, makes the interesting observation at one point that “choice is the problem”. Now, it is of course debatable if we live in a world that we define through our choices, or whether our choices are in actual fact unavoidable. Choice could readily be imagined to be a quantity that can be defined in a complex mathematical equation, leaving choice and our interpretation as just an illusion of the fact that we have alternatives before us to choose from, with the underlying fact being that all our choices are already made.

Disregarding this debate for the moment, for the debate if entered could continue ad nauseum given the fact that few if any mortals are capable of actually unraveling this mystery – which I believe is a vital pivot in the whole debate on the issue of creation and its purpose – I find myself confronted with another interesting question.

If we assume for the moment that whether in the illusion or in the real sense, we make a choice, just what parameters does one consider as being sufficient? For example, is knowing what one does not wish to do, enough to make a choice, or should one also consider just what one does wish to do and juxtapose the same? Is knowing just one ever enough? Which is where, I suppose we descend to the individual level and realize that this decision would vary from one individual to another, with the parameters as well as decision differing with the thresholds that each individual places on each parameter.

This brings up another thought of course. What influences thresholds? Too many variables are involved in that for me to ever comprehend, but I believe that one of the most important factors in that is the sum of the experiences that the individual has in life as also the interpretations he places on each incident that he has seen or been involved in. The interpretation is – in my modest opinion - even more important than the actual incident, as with a different interpretation, the same incident could have a very different impact on the individual. It also becomes a bit recursive here of course, as it can easily be argued that the interpretation that an individual imparts to an experience is perhaps based solely on prior experiences!

Nonetheless, the basic point of choice therefore becomes an entity that is predicated on prior experiences, the effect that these have on the interpretations one makes, the combined effect that these have on the thresholds one sets, the preferences that one perceives due to the summation of all of these factors…and most importantly, on the alternatives that one perceives as being confronted with.

It’s all too complex for me at the moment. What I am pondering here is whether the alternatives one sees are all. Whether our extremely limited vision, fettered as it is with thoughts of what is real, attainable and possible, we are able to see past even the most miniscule shroud that limits our existence and thereby our thoughts and vision.

On a totally different matter, I spoke to a friend the other day and in the course of the banter that usually accompanies my conversations with the afore-mentioned friend, it struck me that I was left without a response to a statement and simultaneously so was the person at the other end, although we were ostensibly speaking in support of diametrically opposite viewpoints. And that’s where interpretations and our lack of true vision get exposed I guess…

That’s why what I deem as perhaps the course of action that would be the most mutually beneficial, may be construed by the other party as being something so outlandish that it would be the greatest folly to even deem it as an alternative worth considering… So much for free choice…

2 comments:

StupendousMan said...

@mike,

first, welcome home. And i hope you're having a pleasant stay in what I have come to accept as a nice city to live in.

The post... took me a while to figure this one out. correct me if i'm wrong, but to put your views rather simplistically (and maybe not in entirety) - the choices we make should typically depend on three parameters. What we want, what we don't want, and our past experiences. Each of these parameters are variable within a certain range, and could depend recursively upon our past experiences (the range of variability). Our choices may also be affected by others' reactions and responses. in all of this, you ask whether free choice is free after all. Please correct me, if i am wrong.

interesting. but i guess the freedom to choice, as is discussed here stems from the capability to set the parameters as mentioned by you, no?

as for me, my choices are mostly based upon what i don't want....

Beer sounds great... text me your contact at 98671 65541... ps. how are you placed for 31st night?

isa said...

haha.. truly wat a contradiction..! yet even the boundaries drawn ON choice go unpercieved.. undetected..
the only time our mind settles out of choice is when the extent of our vision is limited by reality.. reality not only of circumstances but also of scope, practicality and perhaps, in rare and noted instances, the true finality of that choice.. but its disturbing to know our brain never completely forgets such seamless sardonics of life and (definitely) never entirely ceases to churn out alternatives even after the intial choice is made.. its crazier to know that our ultimate dilema is - to choose - even though our eternal fight is for choice.. how truly hopeless!

sigh but don't feel too special.. i think its one of those common traumas in store for each of us.. cultivated through time.. as we all live various epithets of somewhat parallel lives..

and more so i think for us.. the fairer sex.. as u voraciously claimed in your attempt to attain eternal sunshine (through 'in mars we trust') that to decipher what women mean could personally be to you an enormously commendable achievement.. lol.. which would then mean we're beyond just regular play of words or reasoning.. perhaps we're on a higer plane of sanity.. our understanding, chemistry, for that matter even communication is not based on technical know-how of simple correspondance but could have a few (u could say, primitive) but sound set of values. i guess more than often we rely on body language, vibes, karmic connection, umm even intensity that most guys lack.. its sad but true though that most men account it to mere confusion and complexity.. the way i look at it we're just more in touch with our emotions and can sense them better.. its like our intuitive sixth sense.. and ofcourse this also means we can control, ride and play with them better.. our easiest enemy is somehow our strongest weapon..

but then i think u need to meet more women.. im sure u have met a considerable amount but umm still a few more in distinct varieties could help.. so u can analyse and assert your arguement so much more fiercly.. im hoping perhaps the more grounded to ur feelings and emotions u get, n less controlled u get, u might just figure out your greatest intellectual worry and rational concern - women!
and if ever u feel too lost i might just drop in with a subtle hint.. lol.. if u need some ofcoz.. i'd rather not just deem it necessary acc. to my own relations..

this is getting long so lemme end with a popularly heard verse from - Wheels of Confusion - Black Sabbath - not for the women but for, i think, the problem: choice -

Lost in the wheels of confusion
Running through furnace of tears
Eyes full of angered illusion
Hiding in everyday fears

So I found that life is just a game
But you know there's never been a winner
Try your hardest, just to be a loser
The world will still be turning when you're gone
Yeah when you're gone!

well, to me, no choice is a means to better life, however unavoidable.. and just like no void can be fully eliminated.. no attempt to make the 'perfect' choice can be successful.. since like we coined the words 'ideal' and 'perfect', to flame our illusions through reality - our personal quest for the ultimate living dream, the same way we left this little space for alternatives.. and with millions of human minds trying to churn them out.. the perfect choice is as much as infinitely away.. or close to nil in existence..

n ofcoz even with all these inputs - I COULD BE WRONG since im as far away from 'the truth' as anyone can possibly be.. yet thanks for flagging the creative runners however little a while..

to the long way ahead.. all the best! hope to meet u at the end of the tunnel.. where there's enough light to simply see.. adios