To Be or Not To Be
A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell;
And very hard the task I find
Of governing it well.
-- Louisa May Alcott.
...........hmmm....that more or less describes my situation !!
~A Wise Man Said~
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
~When in Lancaster~
Life as PhD Student
Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Thursday, August 29, 2002
Hi Friends !!
Am leaving for Mangalore tomorrow morning……shall be back in a week or so…..looking forward to the trip ….. :)
……..will miss my blog ……and will missss you’ll ….. :(
Till next week then,
Tuesday, August 20, 2002
From the heights of happiness
To the depths of despair
To the mire of worries
Where there was not a care
Fate has a hand
It does not spare
The most likely victims
Those who will not beware.
Isn’t it strange that we guard happiness as if, any moment, it will be taken away from us; but in times of sadness, we find it difficult to entertain hope? We feel that what is, is, and will not get better, maybe worse.
It is at such a despairing moment of my life, when I was overwhelmed with a feeling of hopelessness, that I wrote the following account.
But I’m happy to say that I’ve not only come out of it, the developments that have lead to my faith in happiness again, have been such, that am tempted to believe there is something called “fate” ..which has a hand in things….as much for the better…as for the worse….
Another year ...........
Another year of my life has passed. For good. Never to be lived again. Never to be known again.
A year full of lessons. So many of them. One sometimes learns the rules after the game is over ! I still fear lessons, as much as I did when in school. Like parents say to their children, “If you learn now, you’ll benefit later”; I take on the role of a parent and offer myself the same advice. Alas ! The child in me will not heed and I have to plead.
Some lessons are so tough, the only way to master them is to memorize them. I try to look for a logical pattern, some reasoning thread, but some of us are just no good at some subjects. A time was, I remember, when my Math teacher said that a particular algebraic problem was sure to appear in the examination papers. Having no head for Mathematics (or so I thought), I gulped down the equation, numbers and all.
One has to pay some penalties for growing older. Then I did not care about the problem once the exam was over. Infact, I forgot all about it. But now, I cannot sit by and let the matter rest. I borrow the problem from memory, look at it from all corners and directions, weigh it and measure it by all known and unknown (self-devised) scales, apply diverse variables and start off with different premises, hold out a dozen hypotheses’ and examine each of them in the light of new assumptions.
I do everything possible only to get rid of the problem. Only to arrive at a satisfactory explanation. Only to arm myself incase an identical problem presents itself in the future. Only to make the burden of the lesson a little easier to bear.
No luck, though. No such luck. Either I’m not equipped with the mental tools to deal with it or the problem itself defies existing laws (or what according to me are the existing laws).
Then there have been other lessons; particularly enlightening ones. Not that I now see paths that were hidden from view, but I can see there weren’t any, where I thought there were a few.
All in all, this is one year I actually feel I’ve grown wiser and not just older. I now know what the great man meant when he said, “the tree of knowledge is not the tree of life” or something to that effect……..
Monday, August 05, 2002
I have come upon various theories as to what may be the aim of man - the one that seems the most logical to me is "happiness". What gives us happiness is a question to which i have no certain answer, for I've found that different things give happiness to different people, but what I do believe is that every action of ours, directly or indirectly, is calculated towards the achievement of happiness.
Here are Aristotle's views on "happiness" as the goal of man and what, according to him, is the way to achieve it.......
"Aristotle begins by frankly recognising that the aim of life is not goodness for its own sake, but happiness. "For we choose happiness for itself, and never with a view to anything further; whereas we choose honour, pleasure, intellect...because we believe that through them we shall be made happy. But he realizes that to call happiness the supreme good is a mere truism; what is wanted is some clearer account of the nature of happiness, and the way to it. He hopes to find this way by asking wherein man differs from other beings; and by presuming that man's happiness will lie in the full functioning of this specifically human quality. Now the peculiar excellence of man is his power of thought; it is by this that he surpasses and rules all other forms of life; and as the growth of this faculty has given him his supremacy, so, we may presume, its development will give him fulfillment and happiness.
"...though external goods and relationships are necessary to happiness, its essence remains within us, in rounded knowledge and clarity of soul. Surely sensual pleasure is not the way: that road is a circle: we scratch that we may itch, and itch that we may scratch...No, happiness must be a pleasure of the mind; and we may trust it only when it comes from the pursuit or the capture of truth.”