Saturday, January 09, 2010

Learning to Forgive the Self

Perfection is just one of the multitudes of states that are possible. But it is the most stunning of them all.

I like getting stunned by perfection.

Stunning others is pointless. I do not mind if I do not stun myself.


the insider said...

I'd really mind if I don't stun myself.

In fact, I think, it's really important to puzzle oneself; that's a way to ensure life.


Darshan Chande said...

Ketan, perfection is really a positive word. And a supremely positive quality. What I feel in this world is: When I am living in a coal mine, how can I keep my cloths stainless shining white? So I think, okay, being perfect is not feasible... I try to be as close to it as possible, but am still too far, must say, and may remain so :)

Ketan said...

Hello the insider, and finally welcome to my blog!

At the outset I would put up a generalized clarification that whatever I put write on this blog, are the lessons I have learned from my life, and however much assertive the ideas might sound, they are essentially self-instructions and not recommendations for others on how to live. But of course, I am open to being asked the reasons for my 'Conflusions'. :)

I hope you must have appreciated the subtle difference between 'not minding' not achieving perfection v/s 'never aiming' for it.

Perfection is usually an outcome, and could inherently be dependent on variables outside of our abilities and intensity of effort.

Recognizing this fact was an important lesson I had learned in my life.

Also, to be added to it is the fact that pleasure, more often than not, lies, not in the outcome, but in the process. :)

And hence, my self-assurance that it is alright if I do not stun myself (by way of not ending up perfect in something I do).

You would be best able to relate to my comment if you understand that unknowingly, we decide either 'pleasure' OR 'perfection' as the highest purpose ("ought to") of our lives. And in their seeking, they are usually mutually exclusive. :)

At some point in time, the purpose of my life shifted from perfection to pleasure. It need not happen to everyone. ;)

I also understand, fundamentally you were also just telling me how you view your own life. :)


Take care.

Ketan said...


Again I feel, your and my differences in outlook stem from your assigning an "ought to" ('ideal') to the state of the Universe, and its various components, including yourself.

Whereas, I feel there is no "ought to" that is inherently attached to the Universe and anything in it.

Take for instance, a dice. In board games, 6 is assigned a special significance, and is considered 'perfect'. But can we actually not arbitrarily make some other number, say 3, as perfect by consensus? Then, our 'perfect' would change.

Of course, you might argue that 6 is considered the perfect number because it has the greatest value on the dice. But can we not reverse the rules of snakes and ladders if we want? ;) As in, one who stays farthest from 'home' when all other competitors reach it, would be declared the winner? Also, even according to currently established rules of the game, let's say, if your piece is just 4 squares away from home, your perfect number transiently would become 4!

Basically, what I am trying to illustrate is - any state assumes the status of perfection because we assign it that status.

When I recognized this fact, somehow perfection became less attractive.

Still, I do aim for perfection, because it helps me choose one of the directions, of the many available.

But if I miss the mark of perfection, I accept that as 'one of the possible states', irrespective of whether the miss would be owing to extrinsic factor or intrinsic (avoidable as well as unavoidable). For instance, while typing back comments, I aim for 'zero' typographic errors ("perfection"). But in the end, I might end up with 1, 2 or more errors. In the past, this would upset me. But of late, I realized, zero was an arbitrary number which I had elevated to a special status. If I don't achieve that number, it's alright, and that I need not rue the fact to the exclusion of feeling happiness at being able to keep the number lower than, say, 5! :) And this is what I call forgiving the self - an ability that I developed quite recently (say, just 2 years back).

But as I told Shruti above, we all will keep on having differences in what we fundamentally aspire for. You aspire for perfection (possibly, thinking pleasure to be one of its byproducts). I aspire for pleasure, thinking perfection to be just one of the means to it. Please do correct me, if required. :)


Darshan Chande said...

gain I feel, your and my differences in outlook stem from your assigning an "ought to" ('ideal') to the state of the Universe, and its various components, including yourself.

Whereas, I feel there is no "ought to" that is inherently attached to the Universe and anything in it.

Brother, I understand this perfectly now. Because of this alone exist most of our differences of opinions. In time I will reveal the ideas behind my thinking that there is some "ought to" state of the existence.

(I know, I have been delaying answering your questions too much now. But believe me, for me, organizing my complicated and all jumbled-up thoughts in a way that others can understand it is far more difficult than leaving - however long - comment on your blog.)

Ketan said...


Whenever I find differences in my opinions with someone as honest and rational as you, my foremost concern is to reach the most fundamental differences in assumptions we would have made. Usually, these differences are not justifiable by logic, but are because of inherent (genetic, nurture, experiences in life, personality-type, etc.) psychological dispositions - which can also change over time. :)

Actually, I'd never imagined I myself would someday become so flexible and passive, basically, 'cool' about how the human race ends up. Likewise, I used to be extremely stringent about my own conduct, and used to greatly regret any kind of error - be it a typo or a 'moral' error. In certain ways, I used to think quite a bit like you. :)

If a few friends who know me intimately read my statement that "it's alright if I make a few typos", they would be greatly (possibly, pleasantly) surprised. :)

So, this all is possibly just an attitudinal shift. We won't be able to justify our respective stances beyond this point, and convince the other of it. :)

I'm glad I could recognize this fundamental difference in our respective views of the Universe pretty early in our relationship.

Of course, which is not to mean I'm not looking forward to your elaborations. But even when you do venture out to give those explanations, please do bear in mind, they are your preferential views based on how you "want" (as against "ought") the Universe to be. ;)

And you want the Universe to be certain way because you 'love' it. To many people such statements would sound crazy, but I can totally empathize with you.

Whereas I've fundamentally BECOME detached from the Universe. There is no particular way I want it to be. So, the 'good' and the 'bad' and the 'desirable' (love) and the 'undesirable' (hate) and all the things in between dissolve into one. That they exist ("as is"), is the only fundamental fact - and that fact cannot be loved or hated, but only acknowledged. In all these senses I have attained the state of 'perfection' you had talked of. But, but, but... :) I do not stay in that state for long.

Because it represents a form of stagnation, a monotony (in that every moment of life is exactly identical to the next one). And again, there's fundamentally nothing wrong with that stagnation, but I find it 'pointless'. Though I say, I assign no 'oughts' to the Universe or my own life, the fact remains I'm a curious by nature...

Ketan said...

...I would feel I'm wasting the individual moments of my life if I do not collect new experiences. This 'curiosity' is the only fundamental drive that I allow myself to recognize. And experiences are empty, if without their emotional content. So, I am out of that 'perfect' state of detachment most of the times. Why not live life 'immersed' in it, rather than just 'floating' over it. Gujju-mentality: why "waste" life! ;) Hope, you understand what I mean.

And (human) love, though is a polar opposite of that detached perfection in being all about attachment to another human, assigning an aspirational ("ought") value to her, and finding a purpose (another "ought") for everything I do in her, is also similar to perfect detachment in the monotony and stagnation (every moment being identical with the other) it represents. :) So, while I was 'in' state of that perfect love, I had not been able to recognize that stagnation (every moment being identical with the other), but when the opportunity presented, I chose to 'resign' out of love, because I had become sacred of the all-consuming nature of love, wherein I was ready to trade my curiosity, the urge to live life to the fullest in exchange of sweetly intoxicating tranced stagnation - love! So, I consider myself extremely lucky to have experienced both the forms of extreme stagnations (attachment and detachment) in my life! :D But more about all that some other time.

I'm somewhat confident, most of the differences in our opinions could be accounted for by this difference I have talked of.

So, while you won't be able to convince me to view the Universe the way do (possibly, because I have already seen it that way in the past), I too won't be able to convince you to view the World I do (possibly, because you love it enough to not be able to feel detached from it), but then neither would I feel the need to convince you, because there is no "ought" (as far as I see) in the way you should view the Universe. :D

And, you absolutely don't need to be apologetic about what all you talk on my blog. You are totally free. In fact I greatly value especially what YOU have to say. I would not mind if you comments on my blog would be longer than the posts on your blog. This is partiality, but I don't believe in being equal. ;)

Thanks, again!


Darshan Chande said...

All I would say here, Ketan, is that perhaps you have been too hasty in forming a conclusion about "why" I believe what I believe. It's okay, though :)

Tomorrow I will "try to" finish the post in which I might address "some of" your questions.

mgeek said...

Hmmm... I feel perfection is not so inviting, may be because human imperfections are far more interesting.

sm said...

few lines
very thoughful and interesting