Saturday, September 12, 2009

Of Exams, Spirituality, and *The Secret*.

Yet another set of annoyances coming up this Monday. Six consecutive days of books, sleep deprivation, bipolar tendencies, and the sort of study that leaves your brain feeling like a mere caricature of itself. Like the pineapple-flavored jelly that NEVER sets, and ALWAYS ends up as a gooey, yucky reminder of itself. (Which, by the way, is because of the bromelain enzyme that interferes with gelatin. I think.)

Also, it amuses me how commercialized the "Law of Attraction" mumbo-jumbo has become, all thanks to Rhonda Byrne and The Secret. This is literally the wisdom and philosophy, spread over thousands of years and across civilizations , packaged into colorful cartoon-illustrated tin-cans and dished out to people who will eat anything up for its face value. Sure, it made the concept accessible. But this is essentially the difference between learning Tai Chi on a year-long pilgrimage to Tibet, and claiming redemption and a higher plane of consciousness through a DVD of Claudia Schiffer-brand yoga.

People, to set the record straight, that's not how it goes. This is the sort of stuff that makes those perennially high-on-weed, clueless hippies sound like enlightened monks, in contrast. There's a reason why questions of existence and all that jazz, has troubled thinkers right from the days of Hipparchia(who was one spunky woman, may I add). Spiritual growth is a long, painful, but fulfilling journey. I will not be presumptuous and pretend to be an expert in the matter. But even my layman self is aware of the fact that a how-to guide will never give you what even fruitless exploration will. Because in matters such as these, the question we deal with does not lie entirely within the concluding argument. The nature of the question itself changes many times over, during the course of this journey. It is impossible for our instinct to judge right from wrong, unless it has had a taste of both. We never experience true satisfaction without having experienced the nagging discomfort of dissatisfaction. Ergo, we will never realize the perfection of the final solution, unless we have had a first-hand experience of the erroneous "almost-truths" and "semi-conclusions". The stumbles and falls, months of intellectual turmoil and shaken integrity is often what the acid test is all about. These, being concrete evidence of the underlying flaw in seemingly flawless philosophies. One needs to feel it within oneself, and experiment on his own self, to fully grasp the gravity of it. No instant formula, book or movie is ever going to do that for you. Worse, it might make you miss out on the truth, by presenting you with a diminished, disfigured view of it.

In all honesty,I did not start this post with the intention of broaching this topic. Since I have very strong opinions on the issue, I had thought of putting it up here someday, in a more gathered fashion. But I suppose sometimes thoughts just burst out of you. Through time and experience, I have found it wise to let that happen. Hence.

But, by no means am I done. I have volumes to speak, miles to go. But the promises I must keep with the likes of VHDL, DBMS, Computer Architecture, Digital Communications, Java and Organizational Behavior are rather non-negotiable. So, this stream of thought will be continued later. When more semblance of order has been gained. Meanwhile, I leave you all to ponder over the ramifications. Feel free to put in your two cents. I would love to discuss/be introduced to varying perspectives/inferences/additions.

I expect to be back in a week's time.
À bientôt.


Misanthropist said...

You are very right about the pineapple flavoured jelly :)
I absolutely adore your skill to articulately express what you think. Every word is crystal-clear.
And yes couldn't agree more on the essence of the post. Spirituaity is not attained unless it becomes a way of your life. Self hypnosis through gimmicks like videos, books is often shallow, short-lived. An ego booster or consolation.
Good luck with your exams :)
And let me mention this once more,

param said...


Clezevra said...

I cannot but agree. The journey, not the destination, et al.
If success were all that easy it wouldn't be success, n'est-ce pas?

Tangled up in blue... said...

This was rather wonderful to read..I know what you mean, I dont get why people like pseudo-spiritual psychobabble when it only takes half a brain to figure out how empty and pretentious it really is..

That thing you said, about thoughts bursting forth, right out of oneself..I so totally identify with that bit..sometimes, its really difficult to restrain one's words when attempting to write something..:)

I have exams coming up this week, I can commiserate..will just miss being here..

until next time! and all the very best! :)

mgeek said...

Spiritual books/DVDs do have benefits. At the very least, they show interesting options, new doors. And more often than not, they(the books) succeed in their purpose. If the person opts to hover around it and never actually pursues deeper into the path, then it's not the failure of the book per se...

Nice post. Good luck for ur exams. :-)

Sherry Wasandi said...

@Misanthropist: Wow! It's really something to be told that I right "cystal-clear".

I've been going for that for ages.
And thank you.

@Param : .

Sherry Wasandi said...

@Clezevra : Amen! I couldn't have said it better myself!

@Tangled up in Blue : Absolutely. "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari" comes to mind immediately. Words cannot describe how much I hate that book. Honestly.

And good luck to you too! (Assuming the ordeal is expected to last a while.)

Sherry Wasandi said...

@mgeek : That's the point. One has to delve deep into it before claiming to have discovered the elixir of life.

It's good to be back!