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A right sense of achievement!

I came across a girl who was crying continuously for half an hour. On finding the reason I was almost shocked. Her results were out and she scored 99.9% of marks and still, she was crying because she missed some 0.1% of her target. I started wondering about the reason people misinterpret happiness. Is happiness real or turned into a big joke?

Generally, Happiness means the state of contentment or fulfilment. It’s a feeling of inner satisfaction with the achievement of a task or target. Thinking logically, the real definition of happiness should be enjoyed in the process of initiation or completion of a task, it should be an excitement for the doing of activity, it should be a motivation to stick to the task at all cost, it should be a zeal to stay focused for the sake of enriching the values of life.

On the contrary, all we prefer is final results. People are so worried about results that they stop enjoying and feeling a sense of fulfilment in the step-wise completion of a task. They forget about the pains, learnings, excitement in the taking of small steps. I have realized that the criteria for celebrating life are very limited. One doesn’t feel like a celebration at all because the final marks are low than the assumed targets or due to facing failure at the final stage. All these have made me think and write something serious about the sense of achievement. If I tell you that happiness in the results is for very less moment and happiness in the process is more. Would you still prefer to cry after the failure in reaching goals?

Achievements, according to my perspective, is a sense of fulfilment in the processes than the final results. It may be true that the failure could incur a big loss, but why do we forget the learnings we collected throughout the process? Why do we just leave behind the satisfaction we felt each night studying hard for exams or why do we feel disappointed for the cause that we worked hard and enhanced our skills? Is happiness is just to cross a line or is it gratification in reaching up to the line? Happiness is such a vast philosophy that we must not limit its sense. Obviously, disappointment for the cause of non-achievement is probable. But disappointment to the cause of non-satisfaction with life is sickness. Happiness is a set of unlimited stages. To this, failure could be linked to the missing one or two criteria for reaching success. It doesn’t mean feeling stupid, sick or nothingness within. It is perhaps the fact that some knowledge is lacking which could be fulfilled by applying more focus, attention and intention to the cause. The judging of our worth should never be based upon the limitations in achievements. The sense of fulfilment should always be maintained well whether the targeted factors are achieved or not.

I would just say that WE SHOULD STOP JUDGING OURSELVES. It is mostly observed that before anyone judges us, we ourselves start providing judgments. This could lead to fading of the reasons for happiness. The best solution is to set our judgments rights no matter what others say. This would always make us feel proud and strong in the targets we achieved or not.

Existentialism is a humanism- Concepts Explained

Existentialism is a philosophy where man is nothing other than his own projections. Man is the sum of organizations, relations, attitudes, and exposure of his responsibility in life. In life, a man commits himself, and draws his own portrait, outside of which there is nothing.

Jean Paul Sartre:- A great fan of cinema, jazz, the American novel, and German phenomenology. He was a man who developed his own judgments and tastes without caring for cultures and ongoing trends.

Sartre declared his work “Existentialism is a humanism” strictly reserved for philosophers. He was assured that the public would not understand his philosophy which was way ahead of his time. People, according to Sartre, were defined by era, and during his time, existentialism was only beginning to find its place while still facing a lot of problems ahead. At present, the theory of Existentialism is popular among readers and people not only try to understand the existentialist philosophy but also implement it in their lifestyles.

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Nothing is Repetitions

The past is past, the present is present and the future is future. Every moment is different. Moments never repeat itself and so do we. Our body, senses, mental condition, mind, and intelligence, either grows, multiply, or extinct there itself as we take one step ahead in our journey of life. In all these, we need to find the degree to which it is possible to attain absolute and complete contentment in life.

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Why Nietzche’s ‘will to power’ is controversial?

With power, there comes the impulse to more power. It’s like an addiction from where a person couldn’t get out. Power as the pursuit of more power leads to a greater void and biggest question to one’s existence. Moreover, ‘Power for power’s sake, no matter how far the power is extended, leaves always the dread of the void beyond.’ The attempt to stand face to face with that void is the problem of nihilism (the belief that nothing in the world has real existence).

Power, superiority, force, strength, capacity, potentiality is all the criteria important to define the existence of a human being or any other being on Earth. Remember Darwinian’s survival of the fittest as the process of natural selection. Even nature wants every being to be fit, strong, powerful, worthy to thrive in the worst of conditions. In real sense, Humans are meant to explore and conquer nature in every possible way.

Friedrich Nietzche, German philosopher mentions will to power as the natural impulse of humans. It is an irrational force that can be cultivated to create something beneficial. Despite power being the driving force to human’s progress, Nietzche’s statement of will to power is highly criticized and misunderstood one. Why some people went against this theory and started a debate on these views? What was the reason for so many controversies surrounding this? In this write-up, I am going to bring forward the Nietzsche’s theory of will to power. Why did he stress his theory? And why should we be careful about the natural impulse of humans?

Nietzsche’s experiences the problem of man in a personal form. In the beginning of Beyond Good and Evil, he has written that all philosophical ideas are actually “a confession on the part of his author and a kind of involuntary and unconscious memoir.” For those reasons, it is important to look at the Nietzche’s theory from different perspectives. Nietzsche’s said that “the strongest and highest will to life does not lie in the puny struggle to exist, but in the will to war, the will to power.” The positioning of will to power to the prior goal of humans is some what threatening to the real meaning of existence. The true meaning of existence is that it precedes essence as declared by Sartre. With this understanding, it’s important to live our life following existential traits like love, happiness, equality, equanimity, and so on. The power, ego, hatred, competition, is the qualities needed only in the case of quick growth.

When a person is in the meditative state of calmness, and acceptance, he doesn’t need the essence of power and ego. That’s the reason intellectuals and literates push us towards living such a life of peace and calmness. In all this, we need to ask with ourselves, ‘Does the state of meditations is incompetent for growth?’ No, it couldn’t be possible. Leaders do promote peace because it gives everyone the fair chance to grow. Power definitely leads to huge growth. But, power doesn’t think of exchanging goodness in terms of growth. Power leads to acquisitions of more power. A power seeking person will always be the same. He will always be bothered for collecting more power in life. With power, there comes the impulse to more power. It’s like an addiction from where a person couldn’t get out. Power as the pursuit of more power leads to a greater void and biggest question to one’s existence. Moreover, ‘Power for power’s sake, no matter how far the power is extended, leaves always the dread of the void beyond.’ The attempt to stand face to face with that void is the problem of nihilism (the belief that nothing in the world has real existence). With this, it is clear that Nietzche has given the benefits of will to power, but he has also warned us of its consequences.

Nietzche has never directly started about the theory of will to power. He has mentioned this theory indirectly in his work ‘Humans, all too humans’ and ‘Daybreaks’. Here he has talked about the concept of mastery over other, and self-transformation. In The Gay Science, he referred to some extent about the theory of ‘will to power’. But, in Thus spoke Zarathustra, he reflected his views on ‘will to power’. This tells us that will to power is no joke, but a seriously contemplated thought. In this regard, it’s important to look at the misunderstanding which is causing so many controversies.

Nietzche’s is the philosopher who has given most of the controversial theory. His statement ‘God is dead’ has brought fear, terror, irregularities, hopelessness among the people who were already suffering in the war with tyrants. This second attack of declaring God as dead was more harmful than the first one. The loss of lives is less important than the loss of life-givers. With people turning towards hopelessness, and hatred to one’s own life, Nietzche thought of giving a proper direction to people suffering in the loss. His statement of ‘God is dead’ was a wake-up call to the victims of war. It was to make them understand reality and fight back with their bad circumstances. It was misunderstood when it first appeared in public. But, now this thought reflects death of religious institutions, and the attention on the inner capacity of individuals meant to be explored, realised, and lived.

In the second case of will to power, Nietzche’s realize that the power could only be controlled by power itself. To reflect about on-going wars, and dilemmas, he wrote his ideas on humans tendency to be attracted to powers. The concept in ‘will to power’ is not meant to become a power loving creature, and ruthless to humans basic problems. It is to become aware of the general psychological facts of humans to love powers. In an actual sense, Will to power is the will to truth.

The one who has to be the conditions for someone’s power is the most affected one. To lessen the sufferings of such poor sufferers, Nietzsche has led the theory to build an effectiveness of our natural inclinations towards power. When everyone struggles to be powerful, then the sufferings of the poor could be reduced. Will to power reflects will to survive, as per Nietzche. It is because everything we do is to prove our existence in the world.

But, there is a problem with these thoughts. If everyone will fight for more power, then the basic theory of interdependence will be in crisis. Man would not agree to lead a life of interdependence, rather he would acquire the things of needs by force or tricks. This could affect our entire system. The orders will be in chaos and suffering would increase. People would turn so greedy that the humans feelings of love, affection, motivation, will be erased forever.

Although there is a limit to everything, power is something that is limitless. To have a particular sort of power will arouse the needs to have more power. And so the process will go on. In order to stop the unpredictable trouble of the future, we should stop right now from choosing the power as our prior motivation. Our prior effort should be to select power very carefully, so that it doesn’t bring harm or produce restrictions in the growth of others. The power of governing parties, societies, religious authorities should be such to provide the space for the needs and fulfillment of other people requirements. It should not be to use other people’s as a blocks to stepping high towards personal success.


Further Readings

Barrett, William, Irrational Man A study in Existential philosophy(Anchor books,1990)

Nietzche, Friedrich, Beyond Good and Evil, trans. Hemen Zimmern(Fingerprint! classics, 2020)

Three pillars of human life

Human life is precious because of knowledge, beauty, wisdom, conscience, morality, responsibility, care, rationality, curiosity, justice, meaning, acceptance, willingness, feelings, emotions, attitude, fear, love, attraction, and so many things. All this has some origin or source of its production. It arises out of three important pillars which makes human life in existence. These pillars are- ‘Nous’, ‘Psyche’, ‘Soma’.

In ancient philosophy, term nous signifies intellect or intelligence or ideals which a human mind carries all throughout its life. A person is greedy, lazy, caring, respectful, modest, and trustworthy because of the ‘Nous’. Anaxagoras(pre-socratic philosopher) is known to be the first person who has defined the concept of ‘nous’ or mind which is responsible for all the orderly patterns we see around. Aristotle define ‘nous’ as awareness which makes human a rational being. Without ‘Nous’, human beings cease to exist. Everyone has some ideals in life. Those who don’t follow their ideals are taken as slaves.

The psche of human forms the psychological mental conditioning like introversion(reserved), extroversion(open to all), extraversion(social butterfly), agreeableness(warm & kind), neuroticism(worry often), openness, and conscientiousness(organized or having a strong sense of duty). Psyche is responsible for what a person is in reality(so basically personality). It is the outward expression of a person’s inner thought.

‘Soma’ is the physical material of which human being consists of. A person is thin, fat, slim, skinny, chubby, fit, athletic because of the quality of matter inside them.

So, we see, this three things can make a human complete being. It is believed that we don’t have much control on the three pillars which make our life in existence. But, if we focus on a particular domain for a longer period of time, we do have a chance to bring change. Comparing this whole concepts to Indian philosophy, it is said that the overall personality of humans are made up of five sheaths(coverings) or panchakosha. These are- Annamaya kosha(food sheaths), Pranamaya Kosha(breath sheath), Manomaya Kosha(mind sheath), Vijnanamaya Kosha(intellect sheath), Anandmaya Kosha(bliss sheath).

Now the important question arises is – How does this sheath prepares our complete body which consists of mind, matter & spirit? The answer lies in the division of kosha in three types of bodies-

  1. The gross body sthula sharira (physical matter)- Annamaya Kosha(Annam means food) & Pranamaya Kosha – It forms the outer covering of human body. Many philosophers believe that breath brings life to human body, but it’s not true. Breath actually brings action to human body.
  2. The subtle body sukshma sharira– Manomaya Kosha & Vijnanmaya Kosha – the mind and intellect(knowledge) is necessary to bring meaning to human life. Without this, a human would just be a moving machine.
  3. The causal body karana sharira– Ananadmaya Kosha This is the complete bliss a human obtain by crossing all the limitations arising in mind, body and intellect. Though this is very close to aatman(inner soul). It is not aatman because it still has some limitations which differentiate it from aatman. Aatman brings life to human body. When a person dies, aatman separates from the body.

By understanding this concepts, we can now answer many questions which generally confuses our mind- What causes death? So, the malfunction in any of human’s three pillars could take away the precious life. Is soul important? Yes, because it brings life to human body. Does mind & intellect differs? yes, both are different and meet its concerned purpose.

Hope so this article stir our reasoning and make us to think more of our life. Feel free to criticize or add something new to this theory. Thank you for reading.

Reflecting Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Alchemist’ with Sartre’s insight

our existence makes us to understand the essence we are looking for. The essence is a quality which an individual wants to see in himself. It is not that thing which is pre-existing in man. “You already know about alchemy. It is about penetrating to the soul of the world, and discovering the treasure that has been reserved for you.”

Jean Paul Sartre, an existentialist philosopher speaks of the man’s existence in this world. His most popular theory ‘existence precedes essence’ has changed the direction of philosophy. Before Sartre, the entire philosophy was trying to discover the hidden potentialities in a man. They thought man has a-priori(pre-existing) knowledge of the world around. But, the reality is something different. Man gains the knowledge of things around through his experiences. The curiosity to know helps man realize his hidden potentials. This means that all the happenings are created in a man after his realizations of life-existence. Man is not aware of the things unless he comes into existence.

Sartre freedom explains the man’s desires to achieve completeness. The concept of freedom helps man to realize its consciousness. Also, the concept of freedom helps man to realize the potentialities he is most suitable for. Descartes Cartesian analysis of the world ‘cogito ergo sum’ is a consciousness of being consciousness. It means before realization of existence there is a appearance of consciousness. ‘I think therefore I am’ implies the qualities of consciousness before existence.

If we go by steps, then it is like:

  1. Consciousness
  2. Existence
  3. Essence

Now we will bring a comparison on the concept of Sartre with a book ‘Alchemist’ by Paulo coelho. Alchemist starts with a concept that man always search for a truth. The search for truth implies the true nature of a man. He would travel from one place to other and tries to switch profession. His curiosity takes him near the truth he seeks for. He would keep on getting the hints to discover the real treasure of life. ‘Lead will play its role until the world has no further need for lead.’(excerpts from The Alchemist)

In the last chapters, the narrator meets an alchemist- the one who converts a metal into another. This completely twists the story line.Way before, the narrator was seeking for treasure around, and now he understands that he was already leaving the treasure besides. The real treasure lies in realizing self-existence and striving for perfection. ‘When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better.’

Altogether , we realize that our existence makes us to understand the essence we are looking for. The essence is a quality which an individual wants to see in himself. It is not that thing which is pre-existing in man. “You already know about alchemy. It is about penetrating to the soul of the world, and discovering the treasure that has been reserved for you.” Once you realize your passion, you start searching for the knowledge required to convert your passion into destiny. Once you realize your existence, you start searching in the world the essence which is meant for you. It all starts with the realization of existence.

I hope this comparison will make us understand that the things we need in life is not present inside us. It is to be discovered, analysed and reflected. We could get the hints from out intuitive minds, but rest of the things we need to discover around. All this is only possible by understanding the true meaning of our existence.

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