Sunday, October 21, 2007

Life or Something Like it

It has been quite some time many of the regular readers of this irregular blog have been asking now and then about its well-being. Well, I might say my blog reflects my life, and irregularity is a part of life, and so are randomness, uncertainty and unpredictability. This non-linear phenomenon sounds like discrete entropy, but that is what life resembles, only that you cannot measure it quantitatively. The absence of all this causes anything to get stagnant and drain all thrill out of it, be it a subatomic particle, or a highly complex human machinery, or an ever-fluctuating stock market index. They are of interest as long they are volatile. This applies to life as well.

I tried fathom the reason for this four-post old blog not getting any older, and reflected upon what I have been doing for the past few months, in the process of which I realized I’ve been unknowingly following 17th century philosophizer Baruch de Spinoza’s 67th Proposition in Part IV of his magnum opus, "The Ethics":

Homo liber nulla de re minus quam de morte cogitat; et ejus sapientia non mortis sed vitae meditatio est.
(There is nothing over which a free man ponders less than death; his wisdom is, to meditate not on death but on life.)

Contemplate on life did I, but coming to, or even trying to come to, a conclusion about life in such a short time would be blasphemous. The egocentric part of me was concerned more about my own life, which is as at ease and peaceful as one would want. But, as aforesaid, stagnation makes it dull. Joblessness adds boredom. A lack of ambition and sense of direction makes it dreadful. Random, silly, stupid, insane, horrendous, impossible, weird, long chains of thoughts keep fluttering in from nowhere and everywhere.

So why was I absent from my not-so old blog? Was I able to get to the root cause? What was keeping me busy? Nothing—there was no worthy reason—as I admitted above, the work load was not enough to cramp me up. Actually I was upset, frustrated, brooding, anxious and irritable; I was cribbing, angry with the world, with myself, was picking up quarrels with most of my well-wishers on trivial issues. My sincere apologies to my parents, sisters, and friends.

I am as confused as to why am I writing this as to why am I living life the way I am—stagnant, boring, lone, insecure, restless are a few fitting adjectives. Procrastination has reached its pinnacle. Basic tasks that require immediate attention stay put for weeks. Life is getting lethargic, routine, and I am getting older. Life is moving at a pace I don’t like. I was (I wish to think I still am) the kind of guy who, given a choice between choosing a stable, peaceful path and one involving hurdles and experimentation, would always choose the latter. Of late, however, things have been quite different. There have been times I want to do many things at a time, and end up doing none. Or worse, start something, reach a twentieth or fiftieth or hundredth of it, and then abandon it. There have been times I do not want to do anything at all—not even lie down and think.

There are a hundred things I could do to keep me engaged, you would suggest. I already know hundred and one. I know the problem, and I know the solution; I have been only too foolish/lazy to incorporate it and find something really engrossing.

In the song about discontent with life entitled "Why Georgia", John Mayer muses:

Might be a quarter-life crisis
Or just a stirrin' in my soul
Either way
I wonder sometimes
About the outcome
Of a still verdictless life
Am I living it right?

This makes me do a double take on whether I am living it right? Am I suffering from a quarter-life crisis? I wonder if that is it, would I automatically get rid of it once I age to the third from the quarter?

17 comments:

Ravi said...

very good...very thoughtful..This problem is faced by everyone..few even think about it...and very few take it seriously and act on it..

Siddharth said...

u r not alone facing this problem, and the simplicity of the solution to the problem makes it that much more difficult to solve.. wish patience and perseverance were easier to follow than to preach.[:-)]

Anonymous said...

i agree with the folks who have commented here....we are all on the same page....more so with our monotonous work and laid back life styles....we are too lazy to push ourselves to have that extra bit of spice in our lives......as you have rightly said we(youngsters in s/w profession) are all bundle of ideas and ideas.........................

Roli said...

Definitely, you will get rid of it and its not when you will be in third of your life but when I will be with you, although for a small period of time that is in diwali... hai na? hai na yahi baat... heheeeee :)

Cuckoo said...

Thoughtful post.

Oh don't you worry about this problem. We all face the same. I can't say it is lack of ambition for, ambitions we have many. Rather it is stagnation.

Ok, be cheerful now and post frequently. I guess I'll have to make you post something or the other by some means. :)

Anadi Misra said...

Kaafi bhaari bharkam post hai...Usually main itne heavy duty posts ke baare mein kuch kehta nahi, coz I like being an ostrich. I try to avoid 'life'.

As others said, everyone faces it...and as you rightly pointed out, most of them know how to get over it, but 'choose' not to...

As a person who lives by trivializing deep issues, I suggest you to get a gf/wife/hobby/plan weekends (things you already know)...and just not take life seriously or think there is any greater meaning to it...then you might start writing romantic ballads...:D:D

I also like Roli's answer there...

Baaki answers meri cynical nigaahon mein simplistic philosophical BS hai, which pretend to be intelligent but actually don't say much.

KT said...

well its a common affair...

if I think why is it so I feel that but it may be because now its an open world.... when we see that we got to reach to the top and there are oceans to cross before we reach there
and we feel that we haven't begun ... neither surely know the path to reach there... then thr is confusion, boredom etc...


but now I feel that it shud be abt you .... its ok to say at some pt that I will stop here and be happy and not run aimlessly around.... so some ppl may be peaceful immedaitely with job... some may be when they become VP... and some may not be even if they own Infosys and have million in their a/c's

Anadi Misra said...

Why did you shift your blog to this one ?

ashes said...

I was surprised that everyone faces this. But everyone does not make a noise about it, I sometimes wonder why am I?

Ravi,

Thanks for liking the post. I don't know whether I am taking it seriously or too seriously.

Siddharth,

Yes, patience and perseverance are the two things I most need at this time.

Anonymous,

Yes, we are bundles of ideas but our laziness straps us back. I wish we had not know laziness, but now that we know it, we cannot ignore it. :)

Roli,

Haan bilkul yahi baat hai. :) Just waiting for you to come home darling...

Cuckoo,

You are only after blogging, by any means. :)

Anadi,

I should learn something from you. You trivialize deep issue and I intensify trivial issues. Right, I should not take life seriously.

I too want to write romantic ballads instead of such heavy duty crap. :)

KT,

Its not only about one's job or career, but I get your point. Oceans to cross and you don't have a rudder!

ashes said...

Anadi,

Well, I renamed the title of my blog because that's what I had intended to when I named it Can I (re)name it later?, and renamed the url too because many people felt http://ashutoshsaxena.blogspot.com was too boring and not innovative at all. :)

As you'd already know, that place still exists and redirects you to here.

Anadi Misra said...

I don't know if what I do is good or bad or is helping me, I just do it anywayz, helps me stay positive.

Actually I prefer if people use their own names...makes it easier when I have to type the web address...but yeah, not a big deal really

Julian Sinai said...

It's disconcerting to me that someone who is at the top of the heap of Indian society feels this way. By this I mean in your 20s, with skills the whole world wants, and gainfully employed. But if I think back to my 20s I felt the same. I believe it had to do with not feeling in control of my life and that "life was living me". Then I moved to the US and discovered that this attitude is foreign. People here feel empowered and do whatever they set their minds to. Mostly it consists of staying busy, which is not meaningful in itself, but at least it fills time. I choose to fill my time with learning new things. Since you mention Spinoza, I believe that in his opinion it was man's highest pursuit. I'm currently reading "The 4 hour work week", which is quirky in places but tries to convince you that this is a rare a moment in history when the world is your oyster.

ashes said...

Julian,

Welcome on my blog.

I am sorry but that was the sad state of affairs for some time.

Yes, I too want to keep myself busy all the time, even though not much meaningful. I too want to live life rather than the life living me. I shall try and find something soon...

Please keep visiting.

People on IM said...

abe thoda common logon ke liye angrezi likha kar ... upar se references aise deta hai ki janta ne sune bhi nahin honge.... :)
yaar but tu hamesha death ke hi baare mein sochta hai kya ..
-KT

very well said thoughts in ur blog...
-Rashmi

acha laga. bahut hi-fi english likhne laga hai yaar tu:)
-Diya

yaar the post is very unlike ur style..u've tried using too many heavy words
koi hobby pakad le saale
'scrubs' dekh comp pe
sabse weird sense of humor hai..and max timepass

saxena, mast advice mil raha hai tujhe apne blog ke comments mein
koi fayda nahi hai
abe u know what speed dating is?
try it..bangalore mein definitely hogi
interesting concept hai
-Jumbo

this post of ur's is a very introspective post
I think such phases are quite normal with everybody
the way I look at it..it's time for change..
as in breaking out from the rut..normal routine life..just rejuvenating urself
with whatever as tiny as a movie or as big as hitting some travel destination/ior a trek..basically whatever u enjor like doing..meeting new people etc etc
I know this is a huge really huge inertia sets in..

I call such as my "dormant phases"..when I just don;t feel like doing anything..:)
girlfriend toh aap dhoond hi lo..I am sure she'll keep u extremely busy..;).
-Swapnaja

abe badi serious si blog post likhi hai tune
naukri chhod de bhai
main kab se kah raha hu
happy rahega
:D
-Kani

max confused insaan ban gaya hai tu
so spend your time usefully. read.
not harry potter, something else.
you date someone...or get your heartbroken ... time passing will not be a problem then
you work for society...somehow
Chasing a trail of smoke and reason. listen to Tool it'll open your eyes
surf around on wikipedia its fun
chal bataiyo if any ideas come
-PDV

Cuckoo said...

No, I didn't mean that. After so long you wrote.. that too this serious post. Isliye bola tha.

Anyways, if you say, then I am again talking abt blogging. After all, we know each other thru this medium only. :)

You have been tagged, pls check my blog. My first to you. After much thought I included your name, thought it'd give us some interesting outcome.

Have a good day ahead.

Anonymous said...

life is simple and straight forward one size fits all..like you need water to quench thirst for everybody

life is complicated what helped me get out of the rut may not help you at all..

anyway..awareness of the rut (rut is essnetially a thought process that keeps occupying center stage and not alloweing other thought process to come to light) be aware of the feelings/thought but do not give company to it..thoughts that do not get your attention do not want to be there..sure they will come back..but do not give company to them

ashes said...

Anonymous:

Thanks. That is an interesting way of looking at it. I shall try to get out of the rut and try to not give company to the sickening thoughts. Very nicely put. Thanks.

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