What makes us Human.

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What makes us, us. I have pondered over this notion frequently time to time. While I saw the shades of colours in my infancy , have they become distorted over age like the black hair turned to grey. Have they become corrupted by my evilish nature. What have I done, have I ridiculed my divinity. How many countless beautiful memories have I buried in my head and lost in the corners of some darkened place. What makes me twitch, urge to find the deeper meaning of life.

What was life for me, for the days I can’t recollect my memory. What has my hippocampus done.  Am I a slave to my mind merely living under the illusion that I have been controlling it, all this while.  What has my amygdala done.  Registering my emotions without my knowledge and reminding me subconsciously all the time. What would life feel like to experience everything for the first time forever. A blessing or a curse ? What gives my dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to take decisions on my behalf? Does it really take decisions on my behalf and execute or am I under the facade of controlling my mind. Why am I only defined in life by what decisions my left hemisphere of the brain takes. Things, I can never fathom yet intrigue and subsequently annoy me.

What really happens inside my head? What does consciousness mean to me ? Could consciousness be like a storm raging in my brain. The intuitive feeling we have of an executive “I” that sits in a control room of our brain, scanning the screens of senses, prioritizing and pushing the buttons of my muscles could be an illusion? Do I choose my loved one or does the mind do it for me by releasing oxytocin in buckets. It’s true, I guess, love is an addiction. So if my mirror neurons simultaneously learn to receive and categorize empathy and mimicry, does the lack of it make me anti social or in extreme cases sociopath? Well?

This innate curiosity to know about life and its meaning has been continuing since ages furthermore we have learned it through the pages of the ancient scriptures of different religions or be it through spirituality as a whole or through the works of Nietzsche, Plato, Aristotle, or through the poems of Rumi or through those vivid art pieces that disturb the comforted and comfort the disturbed. No matter what road we choose, the destination is the same. As Sigmund Freud rightly stated, whatever we do springs out of two motives; the need to feel important and the sexual desire. As psychologist John Kihlstrom himself admits, “More than Einstein or Watson and Crick, more than Hitler or Lenin, Roosevelt or Kennedy, more than Picasso, Eliot, or Stravinsky, more than the Beatles or Bob Dylan, Sigmund Freud’s influence on modern culture has been profound and long-lasting.”

My point is , come what may, we humans struggle to exceed in our fields in the hopes of leaving a legacy behind , to leave a thought for the future visionaries to implement and all of this arose from these two questions : Why are we here and what should we do while we are here?

 

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What makes us Human.

Gurnu -3rd Dec, 2015.

Gurnu, also known as Hakuna. This fur ball that rolled into our home with his unending meows. I vividly remember that April night, peeking out of my balcony and finding a kitten screaming for its life , anxiously looking for some acceptance and care towards my window. I must have been 19 back then; the first year of graduation had just begun and right between all of that mess came this guy. I remember the black colour on his tail fusing into the white patterns of fur and your stern mother running away in a cunning way by sticking you to me. Oh, If only I could thank her. Thank her for the best present of my life till date.

I distinctively remember the feeling of authority and responsibility that you brought onto my shoulders and all of that didn’t weigh on me as you stuck your pink little paws onto my skin or curled up and slept under my blanket next to my legs in the nights. I vaguely remember mom insisting me to let you out as I wouldn’t be able to take care of you and would ultimately lead to having a bucket full of fur all over the house. You know how moms are. You had one, a cunning little one.

You always had been a pricey little fucker, a true taurian in this case. Hah! I secretly adored the fact that you were a taurian cat in true sense. Processed food was never your game, you wanted the real deal. You loved fat hunks of marinated and fried fishes followed by a warm glass of milk. Less than 2 pieces and we aren’t talking, that was the deal right? A cat that wouldn’t settle for anything less, to be honest, who would? You were a foodie and a wanderer in true sense. Water had always been your arch enemy. You never took a bath yet your saliva game was on point, slick like a gentleman after a shower. I miss all of that. I miss you.

We knew you were old and things had gotten tough for you. What was even painful was to watch you cough and cry for every inch of life; it was heart breaking.  I remember telling to myself that morning as I left for office that you’d be brave enough to fight this off as the million times you’ve done it in the past and I was utterly devastated as mom called, crying, stating that you’d gone forever. I felt so hopeless, packed inside a train, amongst people, watching as things were falling apart in my heart and pretending to be normal at work.  I didn’t even get to say goodbye. I didn’t get to even see you one last time. So we had you buried in the garden opposite to your house underneath a row of trees where nobody would disturb you. Occasionally on Sunday’s, I come and have a chat with you; I know it might sound strange to have a one way conversation but somehow it makes me feel better. Things are different now; this is my first winter without you and I miss you on so many little occasions. I miss our weekend chats in the afternoons wherein you’d wag your tail to show how interested you were about the topic. I miss giving those belly rubs and combing your bad ass whiskers. I know; I’m in denial but if that’s how I get to be with you, denial doesn’t sound bad. Nevertheless, you are being missed.

I think that’s what gets us more emotional when it comes to animals rather than humans is that animals are so pure. They don’t have any ulterior motives, they don’t hold grudges, they don’t lie or cheat or misuse you; they just want to live their lives, just lay in the window in the warm sunlight. Or chew on their raggy old toy that they have had since forever, even though you buy them new ones, they always have THAT one. They are the first ones to greet you when you come home with a smile on their faces, even though you yelled at them to get out of your way that same morning. At night, they keep you warm and cosy. And when you’re in danger, they will throw themselves into it without a second’s thought. They aren’t greedy and they don’t dictate who does and who doesn’t deserve love. They just love us, unconditionally and they expect nothing in return. That’s why we love your pets so much, it’s because of their unselfish kindness and adoration. They don’t have money or belongings to give. All they have is their time. And when their time is up, it’s the best time that has ever been spent.

Gurnu -3rd Dec, 2015.

Freudology.

Let’s consider breathing. You can feel you breathe deliberately. You can control your breathing to a huge extent but when you don’t think about it , it still continues like the involuntary miracle of life. The power of letting go has often been undervalued by us.

So, we come to have a very arbitrary definition of how things are meant to be, that much of the activity that I feel , I do and that doesn’t include my breathing , my heartbeat or the sense of my mind to wander off and come up with something astonishing and bewildering at the same time.

Now, If you get with yourself. One on one , and give yourself some time you’ll soon feel that you’re all of yourself. A very strange thing happens, you figure that your body knows much more than you consciously know about yourself , you come to the conclusion that you’re one with the universe. In other words, the so called involuntary circulation of your blood is one continuous process with the stars that shine above. If you find out that it’s you who circulates your blood, you’ll at the same moment find out that you are shining the sun just as the waves are continuous with the ocean. It’s all you . This giant heap of consciousness drifting through the universe amidst the vast subconscious prevailing amongst all of us.  There’s a reason why they say all the meaningful decisions are made on the subconscious level.

Freudology.

I love you. Okay ?

“I love being horribly straightforward. I love sending reckless text messages (because how reckless can a form of digitized communication be?) and telling people I love them and telling people they are absolutely magical humans and I cannot believe they really exist. I love saying, Kiss me harder, and You’re a good person, and, You brighten my day. I live my life as straight-forward as possible.
Because one day, I might get hit by a bus.
Maybe it’s weird. Maybe it’s scary. Maybe it seems downright impossible to just be—to just let people know you want them, need them, feel like, in this very moment, you will die if you do not see them, hold them, touch them in some way whether its your feet on their thighs on the couch or your tongue in their mouth or your heart in their hands.
But there is nothing more beautiful than being desperate.
And there is nothing more risky than pretending not to care.
We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know who needs us back. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans.
We never know when the bus is coming.”

—Rachel C. Lewis, Tell The People You Love That You Love Them

I love you. Okay ?

Bukowski me to death.

To be able to provide an origin of hope among lines of disparity . Hold your breath and let the words sink into you. I am solely writing this just to remind myself : past the self loathing , past the bitterness , there’s light amidst the darkest souls.  After all what matters most is how well you walk through the fire.

Maybe someday, I might be competent enough to speak to my heart out , till then I will crawl among booze soaked Chinaski’s stories  and find a warm place to rest my heart among these poems.

I guess , great literature never came out of happiness.

“Lighting new cigarettes,
pouring more

It has been a beautiful
fight.

Still
is.” .

“there is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it in the slow movement of
the hands of a clock.

people so tired
mutilated
either by love or no love.

people just are not good to each other
one on one.

the rich are not good to the rich
the poor are not good to the poor.

we are afraid.

our educational system tells us
that we can all be
big-ass winners.

it hasn’t told us
about the gutters
or the suicides.

or the terror of one person
aching in one place
alone

untouched
unspoken to

watering a plant.”

“There is a place in the heart that
will never be filled

a space

and even during the
best moments
and
the greatest times

we will know it

we will know it
more than
ever

there is a place in the heart that
will never be filled
and

we will wait
and
wait

in that space.”

“Down through the last door,

Past the music,

Past the dancing girls,

Down through the last hall ,

Past the last new year

And the last hurrah !

Past the flight of the hummingbird

Past the kiss

The last flux and flow

The last new day,

The last night’s sleep,

The last sweet orange,

The last war,

Past the last word.”

“The nights you fight best are
when all the weapons are pointed at you,
when all the voices hurl their insults
while the dream is being strangled.

The nights you fight best are
when reason gets kicked in the gut,
when the chariots of gloom encircle you.

The nights you fight best are
when the laughter of fools fills the air,
when the kiss of death is mistaken for love.

The nights you fight best are
when the game is fixed,
when the crowd screams for your blood.

The nights you fight best are
on a night like this
as you chase a thousand dark rats from your brain,
as you rise up against the impossible,
as you become a brother to the tender sister of joy

and move on regardless.”

“to fight for each minute is to
fight for what is possible within
yourself,
so that your life and your death
will not be like”

“I will remember the kisses, our lips raw with love,
and how you gave me everything you had
and how I offered you what was left of me.”

“If I never see you again I will always carry you
inside
outside

on my fingertips

and at brain edges

and in centers
of what I am of
what remains.”

“your poems about the girls will still be around
50 years from now when the girls are gone,”
my editor phones me.

dear editor :
the girls appear to be gone
already.

I know what you mean

but give me one truly alive woman
tonight
walking across the floor toward me

and you can have all the poems

the good ones
the bad ones
or any that I might write
after this one.

I know what you mean.

do you know what I mean?”

“the courage it took to get out of bed each
morning
to face the same things
over and over was enormous.”

Bukowski me to death.

What matters most !

I will remember the long rides ,
that smirk smile of yours ,
the lipstick stained glass ,
the feel of you ,
the perfume that assured it was you ,
your perfect imperfections,
the awakening goosebumps ,
your books ,
my books ,
our talks ,
the days that ran by ,
the morning calls ,
round and round ,
the times spent making not-so-tasty food . 
I will remember the highs and the lows ,
the birthmarks and the midnight stars , 
the happiness and the moments of despair.

 I will remember the last words,
 for they haven't done justice to how you made me feel .
What matters most !

The pale blue dot

All life is about evolving, accepting our faults .Questioning authority has led the most imaginative and brainy minds to the guillotine. It all started because of a man named Giordano Bruno. The first of his kind to take an initiative leap that inspired the brainwashed minds out of the dark ages. The founding father of astrophysics of the 16th century was shackled to chains by the church. While the church was busy posing his views , Bruno wondered that if his god is boundless , how can his creation be finite . He had visions , the revelation of this immensity was like falling in love . He couldn’t snap out of it . He wandered the kingdoms, crossed mighty oceans to speak about his visions which were ultimately ridiculed . Expressing an idea that didn’t conform to traditional belief could land you in deep trouble which was exactly what happened. He was burnt alive in the Vatican city and ten years after the incident, Galileo first looked through a telescope.

And why do I write this? Well, this lucky guess of Bruno is the founding base of all branches of science. Everything that we have learned about science started off because of a single visionary idea. Science is merely a tool , a torch if you may . The passing of a torch from a teacher to a student and so on , a community of minds reaching back to antiquity .Discovering wonders yet undreamt of . We humans, as a species have merely lived for a few thousand years on this planet have gotten to known so much about ourselves on a microscopic as well as grand scale. To know that the elements of your body were forged in a huge supernova is breathtaking. To know that the precious diamond that you crave for is a piece of rock that settled below the crust for years is a different thing altogether. I feel humility lies in knowing that the rock below my foot has just as much importance as me in this cosmic cycle. The dew drops on the grass, the snowflakes on people are made of the same elements that I am.

Here’s something to make you realize how microscopic and petty things we fret over . Carl Sagan , was a member of the voyager 1’s imaging team and it was his idea that Voyager 1 take one last picture as it was descending into the abyss of space. To take a picture of earth as a planet without borders. He convinced NASA to turn the camera back towards Earth for one last time when it went beyond Neptune, roughly some 6 billion kilometers away for one last look homeward at what he called “The Pale Blue Dot” .

That’s here . That’s home . That’s Us. On it everyone you love , everyone you know , everyone you ever heard of , every human being who ever was , lived out their lives . The aggregate of our joy and suffering , thousands of confident religions , ideologies ,economic doctrines , every hunter and forager , every hero and coward , every creator and destroyer of civilization , every king and peasant , every young couple in love , every mother and father , hopeful child , inventor , and explorer , every teacher of morals , every corrupt politician , every “superstar” , every “supreme leader” , every saint and sinner in this history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam .

The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those leaders and emperors so that in glory they can become momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner . How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another over petty things like borders, money. Our imagined self-importance , the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe are challenged by this point of pale light . In our obscurity, in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. We as humans have the responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and with the planet as well. To put the environment before economy and to preserve, cherish the only home that we have ever known.

 

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The pale blue dot