Sunday, July 16, 2006


On the fickle nature of "Self-Confidence"

What are the ways in which we typically derive/maintain our "self-confidence"? Some of the avenues are "Good-looks", "Achievements", "talents", "character" etc. The reason I put each of the items in quotations, is to emphasize the fact that each of qualitites are those that the world has bestowed upon the party under consideration.

In each of the following examples consider a person who derives his/her self-confidence based on good-looks, talents, character respectively.

For example consider a person that is considered good-looking. Suppose he/she and her friend 'B' meets another person 'C'. For some reason if the person 'C' only pays attention to B more than A, naturally this would cause some discomfort in A. The extent of this discomfort is related to the emotional stability of A -- but even to the most stable of people, the repetition of such incidents will certainly cause a drop in (what we call) the self-confidence of A.
Actually this idea was illustrated , quite brutally, in the film, American Beauty. (Well, this was not the main theme of the film but one of the things.).

The same idea can be applied to other such qualities. For example, suppose a person is a good violonist ( the world considers him/her). But for some reason, he gives a recital and the audience thinks what he played was crap. Again depending on the stability of the original person, this may or may not cause significant discomfort. But repeated such incidents will cause a drop in self-confidence.

Finally consider a person who is considered a very moral person with good character. Suppose suddenly something happens to the world and rules of the world are changed and now "right" is "wrong" and "wrong" is "right". (Here I am emphasizing the fact that moral are but rules). Again the person will now become "bad" and his confidence will drop.
...I just gave this rather improbable example for variation...A more practical example in line with the first two is still applicable for "character".

So, I wonder, how something called "self-confidence" can be a function of something the world percieves of us.

Thus I conclude in the ideal world, self-confidence is a quantity that should be possessed without a reason. But in such an ideal state, the person may not have any need to posess self-confidence.

The last two statements of the previous paragraph do not contradict each other.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Intresting/scary dream

Dreams typically occur during the REM (rapid eye movement) phase of sleep, which is not a considered a deep stage of our sleep. I thus interpret this stage of the sleep (and I may be technically wrong) where our "input, output devices" (the sense organs) are relatively active. This explains why it is easier to awaken people when they are in the REM stage. This also explains why several dreams interfere with the reality. For example, several times I have dreamed of chocolates and end up waking trying to open the 'wrapper'. I also remember some bed-wetting episodes I have experienced in my childhood where in my dream I'd actually be urinating (supposedly in a toilet). The last example is a clear case of the external impulse, the need to urinate, interfering with the dream's "screenplay".

A couple of weeks ago I had a similar episode. I was sleeping and was probably in the REM stage and was apparently dreaming. Apparently I had also felt a need to urinate. (when I was dreaming/sleeping). So I remember, (in my dream) I was going to a toilet and was planning to urinate. Just as I was starting, a person entered the toilet(I had forgotten to close the door. )
A person entering when one is about to pee, is a fairly common incident. But what generally happens next is the person leaving at once with a sorry or something, and then we are allowed to continue. But in my dream, the person just would not leave. Even after me literally howling at the person, the person would not budge. Have you ever experienced the need to stop when you have just started is one of the most uncomfortable experiences. Naturally due to the "discomfort", I was awoken and I had not urinated in the real world.

Now these are the interesting questions:
1. Will I have urinated in the real world, if the person left the toilet at once?
(or if the person did not appear in the first place) -- I think yes.
2. Was the incident of the person entering the toilet and refusing to leave a coincidence? -- No I dont think so.

Then who 'planned' the whole situation of the person entering? -- A tough question. I am not really sure...but I think it is what people call the 'subconcious'.

But the intresting thing is the fact that above work of the subconcious (i.e planning to prevent my peeing) is what people would consider "intelligent". So this shows that the subconcious is capable of "intelligent" activities. The scary part is the following: there is something within us which is (by the very definition) not under our control, but capable of "intelligent" activity.

Now, it was my firm belief (and is still is) that whatever "progress" one could achieve in life is only achieved via pure "reasoning" within us. But now, it is very easy to think of a situation in which the subconcious (whoever that is) could easily corrupt this reasoning within us, thereby stalling/reversing our "progress".

Probably I should start doing 'sandhya vandhanam' now :)

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