Prick Us and We Shall Bleed

This is quoted from Merchant of Venice, by Shakespeare.

“He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what’s his reason?

I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is?

If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge.

If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villany you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.”

To be prejudiced, it makes the world mad. Remember we all feel hurt, we all feel pain, even if you do not think so.

Life on Earth: Futile

Didn’t sleep well last night; had insomnia. Been thinking about things…thinking about people.

“All life on Earth is futile”. To what extent is that statement true? There was a popular song by Linkin Park, called In the End. Here is an exerpt of the lyrics:

and in the end,
I tried so hard, and got so far,
but in the end it doesn’t even matter.

I don’t like the band (too mainstream), but those lyrics were good. It struck a chord in me, and I believe it has to many who have listened to it. For what do we live for, when in the end we shall perish? The meaning of life is something philosophers have attempted to decipher for eons…life puzzles even the greatest of minds.

I was thinking about the business empire I was going to build up, and then I thought about death. I was thinking about the family I was going to have, and then I thought about death. I was thinking about the new stereo I was going to get, and then I thought about death. I was thinking…

When everything boils down to one certain death, it is not easy to remain in focus of our goals. I guess this would be what self-help gurus call a fear of death, or perhaps more accurately, the fear of living; for how can a person hope to live a full life when constantly thinking about the futility of his life?

On the internet, there are millions of people who write their thoughts on some subject, be it on a blog, a review site, or just about anything. Some people feel strongly about their thoughts, and can get worked up when people disagree with them.

But why? What is the use of getting worked up at the thought of disagreement? What is the use of being afraid that you’re wrong? What is the consequence of being rejected by someone? In the end, nothing matters, right?

I took organisational behaviour in my previous semester in school; Maslov’s theory of motivation is a theory upon which hundreds of other motivational theories have been based upon. It goes something like this:

We all have 5 basic needs, hierarchically ranked, that of – Psysiological needs, safety needs, social needs, self-esteem and self-realization.

If we apply that to the motivation of living, we come to a dead end. A full-stop. I’m pretty sure that there are some philosophers who have been thinking about this quite a bit, about the reason for living, and I’m sure they have given mature answers etc., but what does it mean to me?

To find out the basis of why we are motivated to live, would that make living any better?

If one day it is found we are all living because fish swim, would we carry on our existence? To find that there is nothing in life, except that fish swim, that’s why we’re alive. “Fish give off a certain scent in the air when they swim, that scent ignites this living passion in humans (chemical reaction), preventing us from feeling that living is futile, and ending it in suicide.”

Oh my, what then? Would it be worth living our lives? If you have ever thought about this, and found that life really is futile, and you have really no hope left, you might want to try religion.

Religion is not a scam — surely it couldn’t be, as it has been around for thousands of years — but then again, religion seems to “modernise” itself, like the human mind. It’s almost as if religion was somehow connected to the human mind — if it was, would religion be as absolute as most of us think it is?

I am not the authority to turn to considering what a big thing religion is, or can be, but here are some of my thoughts about religion that I have either read, or have thought about.

Religion has been much maligned. Ever scince the Ape Theory came about (theory of evolution), many have turned away from religion. They tend to believe science more than they do the “heresay of religious clerics.” Evolution is the way it happened, Big Bang can’t be wrong, Adam and Eve is rubbish, there is a beginning and there will be an end, there is no such thing as God.

Science is very much descriptive (descriptions of experiments, descriptions of what happens what you do this or that, etc.), and should not be used as a tool to philosophise. Have you ever wondered about how the world started? Do you believe that in the Big Bang, somehow our atoms just managed to form life? The differnce between an inaminate (not alive) object and an animal or human, or even a plant?

What is this thing called life? and why do we have it, and not other things? How is life given? Well, according to evolution, it was luck. All a lucky throw of the dice that we are alive. Life is a gamble literally.

If that is how life is according to science — which, remember, is not a philosophical tool, but more of a descriptive one — then how are we to get the will to live? Life is so trivial as a throw of a dice, and nothing more. You are a jackpot, but that’s about it.

This is where religion comes in. It doesn’t matter if it is Hindu, Christianity or Taoism or even “it’s not a religion” Buddhism, they all give some kind of aid to life. They help piece together some things that cannot be pieced together by normal means.

They give hope. They give some answers, provide lots of questions. It is the questions that matter how you live in life, not the answers provided for you. If you don’t belive in anything other than science, may I suggest you explore the possiblities of religion; and if you don’t belive in your present religion, may I suggest you take a look at some of the others.

They are different vehicles to get to the same place; or if not to the same place, they place us on the same journey. The journey to self-discovery, and saintly-discovery; it’ll take you to a whole different plane for you to observe life from.

A Dream of Death

I just woke up from a dream… a nightmare really, as I was shot to death. I don’t remember clearly who I was with actually, the only person I remember from my dream was my sister, who was alive when I was shot.

The earlier part of the dream went by reasonably low-key… I remember nothing of it except that there seemed to be many people inside. The first incident I rememember was that I was in some room upstairs (it was at least double story, seemed something like a hybrid of my house and some show-house I had visited before). In that room I saw a doll in a melting pot (arguably a pan, it was not very deep); I remember knowing what happened to it (why it was there etc.), though I can’t seem to recall it now.

I touched the dolls head, and a little bit of it came off on my hand, apparently it already had a liquid texture due to the heat. Just then some guy (or girl) came up the stairs and shot the doll with a gun, to my understanding it was a sub-machine gun, something I had seen in the movie, The Matrix.

I ran down with my sis (at least I think it was her), while the madman (or woman) chased us downstairs. When I reached downstairs, that person was right behind me, and I turned around to face the wall, I didn’t dare see him/her. My back turned, he shot me, and said something to the effect that I am a coward because I didn’t dare look at him/her. I prayed to God before I went, and was hoping for a qiuck demise, which didn’t really happen, as I lay pained on the ground for a little longer than a while.

I woke up as I died, and suddenly I realised I was living in bonus time. I should be dead right now…

History Revision

I would like to share this passage taken from a book: I Am Right – You Are Wrong, by Edward de. Bono.

Economists delight in building complex models with multiple linkages to simulate economic activity.

These econometric models are believed to be valuble in predicting, for example, what would happen if interest rates were to be raised by one percent. The weakness is that the models can take in only our present assumptions and perceptions.

In the past a rise in interest rates may have dissuaded people from borrowing money to buy houses. Today, with people’s increaasing financial sophistication and the wide availability of money advice columns, a rise in interest rates might signal a fear of inflation, and in such circumstances people may want, even more, to put their money into inflation-proof houses.

So the old model, which is a summary of history, becomes valueless.

All systems, especially those based largely on mathematics, may be sound when first created, as they are largely based on the starting assumptions, concepts and knowledge; but over time, circumstances change. As the world around the sytem evolves, these systems start to degrade in usefulness, eventually becoming valueless in solving the problems they were created to solve.

To make full use of these “formulas” or systems, we need to revise them to suit current day assumptions. Without this bringing to speed of things, the formulas would be as useful as a horse and carriage. No longer do we need to just solve a problem, we need new and up-to-date ways to solve them.

History has to be revised to be useful.

A Blissful Life

By golly, holidays sure passing quick nowadays. Been enjoying life much less of late, though I’m not really sure why. I remember a time two years back when I was feeling great, and totally enjoying life like I should. Back then, life was easy…At that time, I remember telling myself that this was it, that I have reached the ultimate pleasure zone. I cannot recall a single aspect of that time of which I was not happy with, in short, I was satisfied with the cards God delt me, I was glad to be alive.

I could walk around with my head held high, just knowing that I was living life like it should be lived. I walked around appreciating every single thing that came into my life. At that time, I found it easy to fall in love.

It was a time of bliss, really. I was almost always very calm, not hiding anything. At that time I remember I was almost always very serious (at least I looked like it); it wasn’t because I was unhappy, it was that I simply didn’t need a reason to be happy! I was happy all the time. I didn’t need to laugh, or cry, run or hide…

Right now, it feels different…I don’t feel that way anymore…

There is this theory of joys I recall reading a while back; there are three types, one of them being congruent joy. It is the joy that comes from the moment, without any reason. An example would be when you are sitting on a train or bus, or simply walking somewhere, maybe back home or to school or work, and suddenly this feeling of absolute bliss comes over you.

You feel a smile coming on, though you do not know why — it was then I had almost frequent occurences of congruent joy. This sudden feeling of joy that arises from no other reason than that that I’m alive….

Life is great, at times. Come to think of it, life is simply an egg. Fragile, yet strong, nice, and yet sometimes horrible (like the smell of raw egg). It is only what you want to see, a perception thing really, it has to be seen in context. You can look at it from the surface (yes, it is an egg), or you could go deeper and ponder about the life that starts from an egg.

An egg to an adult, to more eggs, to more adults and so on and so forth. Everything needs to be seen in perspective and in context. There is not only black and white, but also grey areas in-between. In fact, there probably isn’t any black or white, only grey areas!

Life may be good, but I’m presently not seeing it that way, nor am i prepared to. I guess it will have to act as a benchmark to where I am in life — life is defined by its ups and downs.

If life were filled only with happy moments, how would we know we’re happy?