Struggling with Meaninglessness

searching meaning in meaninglessness

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Mega Wisdom about Humanity from Dalai Lama

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I was reading a book about Dalai Lama many many years ago, and i remember typing out word by word from the book to this post. Such an inspiring speech.

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(written in April 2010)

The Nobel Evening Address, Oslo, Norway.

Dalai Lama,The Nobel Peace Prize 1989.

Brothers and sisters,

It is a great honour to come to this place and to share some of my thoughts with you. Although I have written a speech, it has already been circulated. You know, some of my friends told me it is better to speak in Tibetan and have it translated into English. Some say it is better to read my English statement, and some say it is better to speak directly with my broken English. I don’t know. Yesterday I tried my best to be formal but today, I feel more free, so I will speak informally.

[……]

What is the purpose of life for a human being? I believe that happiness is the purpose of life. Whether or not there is a purpose to the existence of universe or galaxies, I don’t know. In any case, the fact is that we are here on this planet with other human beings. Then, since every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering, it is clear that this desire does not come from training or some ideology. It is something natural. Therefore, I consider the attainment of happiness, peace, and joy, is the purpose of life. Therefore, it is very important to investigate what are happiness and satisfactions and what are their causes.

[……]

What is compassion? The basic meaning of compassion is not just a feeling of closeness, or just a feeling of pity. Rather, I think that with genuine compassion we not only feel the pain and suffering of others but we also have a determination to overcome suffering. One aspect of compassion is some kind of determination and responsibility. Therefore, compassion brings us tranquility and also inner strength. Inner strength is the ultimate source of success.

When we face problem. a lot depends on the personal attitude towards that problem or tragedy. In some cases, when once faces the difficulty, one loses one’s hope and becomes discouraged and the ends up depressed. On the other hand, if one has a certain mental attitude, then tragedy and suffering bring one more energy, more determination.

Usually, I tell our generation we are born during the darkest period in our long history. There is a big challenge. it is very unfortunate. But if there is a challenge then there is an opportunity to face it, an opportunity to demonstrate our will and our determination. So from that viewpoint I think that our generation is fortunate. These things depend on inner qualities, inner strength. Compassion is gentle, very peaceful, and soft in nature, not harsh. You cannot destroy it easily as it is very powerful. Therefore, compassion is very important and useful.

Then again, if we look at human being, love and compassion are the foundation of human existence. According to some scientists, the fetus has feeling in the mother’s womb and is affected by the mother’s mental state. Then the few weeks after birth are crucial for the enlarging of the brain of the child. During that period, the mother’s physical touch is the greatest factor for the healthy development of the brain. This shows that the physical needs some affection to develop properly.

When we are born, our first action is sucking milk from mother. Of course, the child may not know about compassion and love, but the natural feeling is one of the closeness toward the object that gives milk. If the mother is angry or has ill feelings, the milk may not come fully. This shows that from our first day as human beings the effect of compassion is crucial.

If unpleasant things happen in our daily life, we immediately pay attention to them but do not notice other pleasant things. We experience these as normal or usual.This shows that compassion and affection are part of human nature.

[……]

Compassion and love are not man-made. Ideology is man-made but these things are produced by nature. It is important to recognize natural qualities, especially when we face a problem and fail to find a solution. For example, I feel that the Chinese leaders face a problem which is in part due to their own ideology, their own system. But when they try to solve that problem through their own ideology then they fail to tackle that problem. In religious business, sometimes even due to religion, we create problem. If we try to solve that problem using religious method, it is quite certain that we will not succeed. So I feel that when we face those kind of problems, it is important to return to our basic human quality. Then I think we will find that solution come easier. Therefore, I usually say that the best way to solve human problems is with human understanding.

[……]

Next, let us talk about the human being as social animal. Even if we do not like other people, we have to live together. Natural law is such that even bees and other animals have to live together in cooperation. I am attracted to bees because I like honey – it is really delicious! Their product is something that we cannot produce, very beautiful isn’t it? I exploit them too much, I think. Even these insects have certain responsibilities, they work together very nicely. They have no constitutions, no law, no police, nothing. But they work together effectively. This is because of nature. Similarly, each part of a flower is not arranged by human but by nature.The force of nature is something remarkable. We human beings, we have constitutions, we have law, we have police, we have religion, we have many things. But in actual practice, I think we are behind those small insects.

Sometimes civilization brings good progress, but we become too involved with this progress and neglect or forget about our basic nature. Every development in human society should take place on the basis of the foundation of the human nature. If we lost that basic foundation, there is no point in such development taking place.

The modern economy has no national boundaries. When we talk about ecology, the environment, when we are concerned about the ozone layer, one individual, one society, one country cannot solve these problems. We must work together. Humanity needs more genuine cooperation. The foundation for the development of good relations with another is altruism, compassion, and forgiveness. For small arguments to remain limited, in the human circle the best method is forgiveness. Altruism and forgiveness are the basis for bringing humanity together. Then no conflict, no matter how serious, will go beyond the bounds of what is truly human.

[……]

Now, on the question of violence and non-violence. There are many different levels of violence and non-violence. On the basis of external action, it is difficult to distinguish whether an action is violent or non-violent. Basically, it depends on the motivation behind the action. If the motivation is negative, even though the external appearance may be smooth and gentle, in a deeper sense the action is very violent. On the contrary, harsh actions and words done with a sincere, positive motivation are essentially non-violent. In other words, violence is a destructive power. Non-violence is constructive.

When the day become longer and there is more sunshine, the grass becomes fresh and consequently, we feel very happy. On the other hand, in autumn, one leaf falls down and another leaf falls down. These beautiful plants become as if dead and we do not feel happy. Why? I think it is because deep down our human nature like construction  and does not like destruction. Naturally, every action which is destructive is against human nature. Constructiveness is the human way. Therefore, I think that in terms of basic human feeling, violence is not good. Non-violence is the only way.

Practically speaking, through violence we may achieve something, but at the expense of someone’s else welfare. That way although we may solve one problem, we simultaneously seed a new problem. The best way to solve problems is through human and understanding, mutual respect. On one side make some concessions, on the other side take serious consideration about the problem. There may not be complete satisfaction, but something happens. Non violence is very safe.

Again, if there are sound reasons or bases for the points you demand, then there is no need to use violence. On the other hand, when there is no sound reason that concessions should be made to you but mainly your own desire, then reason cannot work and you have to rely on force. Thus, using force is not a sign of strength but rather a sign of weakness. Even in daily human contact, if we talk seriously, using reasons, there is no need to feel anger. We can argue the points. When we fail to prove with reason, then anger comes. When reason ends, then anger begins. Therefore, anger is a sign of weakness.

[……]

Buddhism does not accept a theory of God, or a creator. According to Buddhism, one’s own actions are the creator, ultimately.  Some people say that from a certain angle, Buddhism is not religion but rather a science of mind. Religion has too much involvement in faith. Buddhism can be a bridge between these two sides. Therefore, with this conviction I try to have closer ties with scientists, mainly in the fields of cosmology, psychology, neurobiology, physics. In these fields there are insights to share, and to a certain extent we can work together.

[……]

We are passing through a most difficult period. I am very encouraged by your warm expression and by the Nobel Peace Prize. I thank you from the depth of my heart.

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Written by elan85

June 20, 2015 at 2:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Fruit Fly’s Spiral of Death

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I was wondering why I had so little blog posts in 2010 and then recalled i was trying to move away from this blog to abandon my old immature writings and created a new blog. And later, i abandoned the new blog after several months for reasons I couldn’t remember. Anyway, will just paste them back with minor edits here because I thought some of the ‘new me’ writings were quite good.

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(Written in April 2010)

Many months ago, I was playing with a fruit fly in the office by using a banana skin as bait. Then, I trapped it in a small transparent container and watching it flying around inside, delightfully.

It just kept flying, flying, and flying, trying to escape. 2 hours later, it died. Most likely due to exhaustion.

Well of course, it came as a surprise for myself. I wasn’t aware that I was capable to become an animal-abuser who could torment a fruit fly to death. I was glad PETA wasn’t rational enough to categorize fruit-fly to be as important as other cute animals like cats, dogs and cows, else I would be in a deep shit and face eternal condemnation for my silly act of unintentionally killing a fruit fly. I am really glad PETA is a retarded-biased organization. Anyway.

On the other hand, I couldn’t resist the idea of why the fruit fly is such an moron. Hey, if you are tired of flying, relax, sit down and chill for a while before spreading your wings again, OK? Why would you want to go on to a self-destruct mode? Where is your common sense, fly? Don’t you have a brain you could use to think.

But hold! Actually, if you think about it, human are not too much different too. We also do indulge in this spiral of death – Cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. How about people who keep eating despite being obese? Addictions to gambling till they loseall their fortunes. Even today, people are still using bullets and missiles to solve problems. The spiral of death is a reality which governs everything that lives – simply because life is controlled by a factor called as ‘habit’ powered by ‘addiction’. And when it solidify, it becomes a ‘mindset’. Just like the trapped fruit fly which has lost it’s purpose but only ‘addicted’ in finding ways to escape ala kamikaze style, human being often succumb to habits too.

More importantly however is – fruit fly does not have complex cognition unlike human beings, thus understandably, they operate via their animal instincts.

I think it is an insult to mock fruit fly’s intelligence when human beings are not fully taking advantage of our privileged cognitive abilities. I thought Dalai Lama was retarded when he said bees function better socially compared to human beings. I mean, ask the bee to build a skyscrapper dammit. But I start to see his point now. I understand. At least fruit flies don’t have the habit of slapping each other when they are fighting over a piece of banana.

Written by elan85

June 20, 2015 at 2:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The Rules of Relationship

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I have been thinking a lot about relationship topic recently and then i had a conversation with a friend few days ago who mentioned that it’s very ‘common for couples to argue’and it’s only ‘normal to consider breaking up from time to time’. Not just this friend alone but many others too who shared with me a similar view over the last several years.

Is it just me or that it is absolutely abnormal to consider constant friction happening in relationship as normal? OK, maybe it’s just me since my super limited experience in relationship probably don’t warrant me any license to call them abnormal. Maybe it’s really the nature of relationship.

But you know what, deep down, I refused to believe it is true.

Imagine you and your best friends. How many times have you and your best friend argued and clashed over your lifetime? Maybe once or twice but I’m sure nothing more. So why do couples who are supposed to be more intimate clash more often than best friends? It’s actually quite perplexing to think about it. People think that best friends and lovers are different. But have you ever think deeper and analyze how and why it is that different?

However, the answer is not that complex once you break things down. It’s because best friends don’t control each other’s life. But couples do. When you assert control over some other people’s life and try to change them, that’s where tension rises and things get heat up. And in relationship, it’s sort of like a an unwritten rule for both the couple to have default permission to control each other’s life.

For example, if the boyfriend loves playing video games and the girlfriend restrict him of spending time playing games because she thinks it is wasting time, that creates tension. If the girlfriend loves ice-cream and dessert but the boyfriend does not let her to touch those because he thinks it makes her fat, that creates unhappiness. This is the control i’m talking about.

Instead of outright control, if i’m in the position of the girlfriend, I will try to reason with the boyfriend on why I think video games is not a time efficient activity. A discourse. At the end of the day, it is up to him to want to change the habit or not. Likewise, for the boyfriend’s scenario. It’s a choice. Just like how best friends give advice to each other but we leave it to the person’s choice on to follow or not and still accepting how and what they are at the end of the day.

I do not like such existing rule which many have ingrained deep in to their soul. The rule that we automatically can dictate each other’s life just because we are partners. And we get unhappy if the other person refused. Maybe because I don’t treat my partner as my possession who i will perfectize her like my ‘dream girl’. Because heck, i will not want her to have the expectation that she can transform me to do or be someone i don’t want to.

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Another reason friction and tension arises in relationship is because people are not clear on why and what they want in a relationship. This is actually pretty important because it determines what sort of person do you look for to fit in to your life.

There are basically 2 layers to the reason why people want to have relationship. The first layer is physical – intimacy, desire, needs, and lust. This first layer is the easiest to fulfill and figured out. Just two person attracted to each other’s face and body and bam bam bam, there they go. But the second layer is extremely tricky. The second layer is about sharing – sharing similar interest, sharing similar life goals, sharing similar values, sharing similar mindset, sharing similar personality, etc.

From my observation, many people only consider the first layer when choosing a girlfriend/boyfriend. And to overlook the second layer, people created another unwritten rule for this to justify any differences between them – the opposite attracts. And because opposite attracts, so we are supposed to embrace the differences even if it means potential incompatibility.

Nope, I don’t agree with it. Do you notice that best friends usually share similar values and mindset? There’s a reason why it’s always easier for best friends to bond together. Now, imagine the situation where the girl loves travelling and the guy is not enthusiastic about it. This will create tension. Imagine if the guy is an introvert geek who likes to stay at home and the girl is an extrovert party animal. This will create unhappiness in long run.

Surely there’s a degree of adaptability that we can take to embrace and tolerate the differences. The threshold is different from individual to individual. But again, I’m not a fan of this rule. It is dangerous when doubts creep in the relationship like ‘maybe i could find someone else better who shares my goal’. Hence, why I strongly believe similarity attracts.

Of course, no two people are 100% similar. Perhaps not even at 80%. But i think we should consider similarity at macro level only instead of micro level. For example, if both the guy and girl love reading, this is macro level. But if one likes fiction and the other read non-fiction, this is micro level.  If both the guy and girl do not believe in marriage – it is macro level. But one believes they should sleep in the same room, another to sleep in different room, this is micro level differences.

As long as things at macro level is aligned, there will be harmony. Micro level differences can always be easily ironed out.

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So yeah, i inherently dislike these current unwritten rules about relationship, not because i’m a rebel for the sake of rebelling but it didn’t really fit in my philosophy well. Guess what, if i’m going to set a personal relationship rules, it will look something like this.

#1 Drama and conflict averse.

Some people said that we can’t control when we fall in love with someone. But i’m pretty sure you can make a conscious decision if you want to be in relationship with this person and decide if he/she is worthy or not. And picking someone, especially if he/she turns out to be incompatible is the mother of all conflicts, fights and arguments. To find someone who understands you, no matter how weird you are, is simple – Patiently search and wait for someone who is as similar as to yourself and somewhat mirrors you. And guess what, the person you have been waiting for so long, may probably be thinking the same too.

 

#2 A relationship based on trust, freedom, and choices

I don’t get a relationship where couples spot checking each other to see where they are or what they are doing. I don’t understand boyfriends who do not allow/restrict the girlfriend to do certain things that she likes just because he doesn’t like it. I don’t get couples who need to see each other everyday, all the time.

Maybe the relationship could be something like the interaction between a cat and human. The cat finds you when it needs some food and the human find the cat when he wants to play with it. For the rest of the day, the cat does its own thing outside and the human does his own thing while with the mutual trust that the cat will return home everyday and the owner will not disappear suddenly without trace.

I actually quite like this idea.

 

#3 Obligation-free

I’m not a fan of threading the traditional study-work-marriage-buy house-kids path. At least not now as I don’t feel ready at all. I do not want to be weighed down by obligation at this stage of my life, although traditionally, i’m already supposed to be at the marriage stage by now. And for the same exact reason, I’m inherently attracted to girls who are much younger than me. Like, up to 10 years, maybe 12. Just because younger girls are more free spirit.

Remember folks, there’s no written law that human are supposed to breed at early or mid 30’s, although babies are cute.

 

#4 Helping each other be better individual, together.

I always see relationship as a two-person tag team where we work together to tackle this thing called Life. To thrive, the pre-requisite condition is to have an adaptable, curious and intelligent mind. They are essential tools for us to level up to become a more evolved and complete person. But acquiring an adaptable + curious + intelligent mind is not exactly in every person’s priority list, sadly.

 

Some may say that i’m just being hypocritical for setting my own rules. Well, that’s exactly the point. My rules is meant to connect with someone else who shares very similar rules. I’m not gonna play by the traditional rules and I will let everyone else to play it.

 

 

Written by elan85

June 7, 2015 at 6:13 am

Posted in Uncategorized