New-Age Hippie

  • Firefox instead of Chrome, Opera or Safari.
  • Like reading books and articles on a tiny little 5″ phone screen.
  • Prefer ebooks to physical copies.
  • Expect favourite books, music, news, television shows, movies and porn to be accessible online for free.
  • Grad student. Math.
  • Linux. Windows is disgusting.
  • Neither own nor plan to own any Apple products. Disagree with their non-customizable product designs.
  • Reddit. Facebook is too pretentious. Snapchat? What’s that?
  • Youtube. Because CGP Grey. And Nerdwriter. And Brady. And Destin.
  • LaTeX, for everything.
  • If audio then podcasts, if podcasts then history, if history podcasts then Dan Carlin.
  • More time spent on Google and Wikipedia than all other sites combined.
  • Stackexchange over Quora.
  • Poetry over prose.

The God I believe in

Do I believe in God? It has been some time since I have actively thought about this question. If you’d known me 8 years ago, you’d know that I was what can only be described as a fanatic atheist. I was a rationalist, on my way to be a scientist. I felt that science disposed off the need for an omnipotent omniscient creator and I was ready to debate this out with anyone who’d care to listen to a hot-headed teenager who read a lot of popular-science books.

But in the years since then, I went from being an Ayn Rand egoist-atheist, to having existential angst, then washing up on the shores of my limited but seemingly important life experiences, part nihilist and part an Orwellian pessimist, a believer in human folly, to finally end up as an Asimovian romantic.

Since mentioning how this series of transformations was affected by my surroundings, conversations I had with important people in my life, and events that shaped the path I chose to tread on will no doubt be more an exercise in psychoanalysis than a simple blog post, I will stick to simply penning down my current thoughts and ideas on the issue, lest I change my mind again about my notions of a deity.

Do I believe that God exists? The answer is no, if by God you refer to the idea of the kind of  creator that organized religion would have us believe in. I do have a concept of God, but His superpowers in my ideology are slightly different. For one, my God does not concern himself with violating the laws of physics, giving blind people eyesight, performing miracles, killing demons, or punishing sinners. My God is not concerned with what I do or how I do it. He is simply indifferent to our world. He is neither omnipotent, nor omniscient, nor benevolent. He is apathetic.

What is the use of such a God you might ask? I tend not to use Him for any of His advertised benefits. I don’t use him for explaining natural phenomena that I don’t understand, I look towards science for answering those. I don’t need Him as an excuse to not harm fellow humans, Darwinian evolution is enough to teach me that. I don’t look to Him to scare me away from stealing, a rudimentary moral code guided by societal norms is sufficient for that. I don’t need Him for finding solace in the face of difficulties — my friends and family do that. I don’t ask Him for luck because I have made my peace with both probability and causality.

What is He to me then? He is an idea, a fantasy I’d like it to be true. He is a construct of my mind to placate me when I am lonely and desperate. To distract me sometimes when I would rather internalize my thoughts than look at the world around me (yes, I need to do that some times). He is my placebo. I don’t ask Him for luck but He can make me temporarily feel lucky.  I like to believe that He holds the answers to my problems because then I can trick myself into feeling more confident.  Best of all, He doesn’t get offended by what someone with a different faith might say. Why not? Because He’s not real. I know it, and He knows it. Yes, I realize that the God I believe in is no different from an imaginary friend and much like a child, my imaginary friend makes me feel happy and secure.

Creation for its Creator’s sake

Who has the final claim to a creation? The creator or the source of inspiration? Perhaps the creation itself. Or is it Time, the sole witness to the process of creating, all-observing yet forever silent?

You write these for yourself, not me, she said;
I don’t care for your poems, I heard.

To be fair to her, she was angry.
To be fair to me, I have a heart.

Sorry, she said; never again, I vowed.
But days crept by, I continued to love her —
that would never change nor cease.
Poetry grew in me again,
like weed — resilient, stubborn.
Love to romance to poems.
I held back my feelings, stopped myself, hated her.
Love to hate, turned poetry to poison.

She didn’t realize ofcourse,
didn’t care enough, I suppose.
How long was I to asphyxiate myself?
How long must one wait idle on a battlefield,
for an enemy to even realize that war has erupted?
A very long wait, I learned.
An unglorious victory, I earned.

All that was left then, was to parade my shame;
and get back to the thankless task of writing poetry —
pretending I never had a heart,
that she never broke,
over poems I never wrote,
which were never about her,
never meant for her,
that she did care about.

Dream Castle

 

With bricks and walls,
with sweat and blood.
With my own hands I shaped,
the castle that I made.

 

With many a grand gates,
to welcome my mates.
And with sentries posted thither,
to keep them all safe.

 

What with drawbridges,
and crocs and a moat.
A King, a queen,
and a full court.

 

The castle thus made,
was a fortress very great.
And I felt proud of that man,
who had made the structure stand.

 

Prouder still, of his sight,
his vision, his might.
Of the mind that had thought,
there was nothing it could not.

 

So great it was that I didn’t think,
twice before adding that one last thing.
I placed atop my castle,
the hopes, the dreams, and fears of my life.

 

But down, down, and down,
came crumbling without a sound.
The walls of my fortress,
its towers, windows, and all else.

 

The pressures of my ambition,
the castle couldn’t withstand.
Because lovely it may have been,
‘t was but just a castle of sand.

 

And then I realized,
there could never be a structure.
That could possibly have the power,
to hold them both together.

 

That my dreams, fears and hopes,
only I could bear.
The burden of my life,
was for no one to share.

 

I shall have to find the strength,
of body, mind and soul.
To lift my own cross,
and to move to my goal.

 

With the width of my shoulders,
and the strength of my arms.
I shall have to do it.
To keep my world from harm.

 

I shall raise it to glory,
With my arms around its girth.
Ready to face life,
to move heaven and earth.

 

-TheDreamer

 

 

I ask…

Image

 

Sometimes I ask myself;

Do I believe them,
and what they have to say?
How else would I know,
if I’m good or am bad?

 

With their biased opinions,
Can it ever be known for sure.
If I’m at all good.
Or am any good at all?

 

I know what’s good.
I know what’s not.
But I know, I myself,
Don’t know my self.

 

Do they know more,
Do they know better?
Do they know me?
Do they know me enough?

 

Do they know enough?
To know who I am?
To know what I am?
What I’ve done & am capable of?

 

If they knew, could they tell me?
If they could, would they?
If they do, is it the truth?
If it is, would I know?

 

If I knew,
would that be good?
But if I am good,
would I want to?

 

And then, sometimes I ask them;

Does it really matter,
If I’m really good or not?
Isn’t it just enough,
Knowing which of the two I want?

 

-TheDreamer

Some sums do count

Image


Game-theorist        :       Life is a zero-sum game.

Lay man                      :       What’s a zero-sum game?

Cpt. Obvious             :       It’s a game.

Wikipedia                    :       It means someone’s profit is someone else’s loss. When one guy
                                                    wins, another has to lose. One’s good is another’s bad. One’s
                                                    faith, another’s blasphemy. You get the idea, right?

Isaac Newton            :       Ofcourse. Everything has an equal and opposite reaction. That is
                                                     but natural.

Charles Darwin        :     @Newton –    Correction. That is but natural selection. The
                                                    cheetah kills the gazelle to live. Or the gazelle lives to see the
                                                    cheetah die.

Albert Einstein        :      @Darwin –     Correction. That is but relativity. If someone wins,
                                                     he obviously wins against someone else. So someone has to lose.

Lance Armstrong  :      Winning is all that matters.

Vijay Mallya              :      @Lance –      Ya, you can say that again.

Indian                            :       My country created the zero thousands of years ago. The game-
                                                     theorist should have acknowledged that. No one ever gives us
                                                     credit for anything.

Pakistani                      :       So it is the Indian who is responsible for creating this zero-sum
                                                     rat-race. I’m gonna kill him.

John Nash                   :       Don’t kill each other. There is a way we can all come out of the
                                                     rat-race. It’s called cooperation.

Dalai Lama                 :       It’s also called love and harmony.

European Union     :       @Nash –       F**k you, f**k cooperation.
                                                     @Dalai Lama –  Pardon that comment. _/\_

Accountant               :        Are you guys saying that in the balance sheet of the universe
                                                     everything adds up to zero? That would be a real godsend.

Dalai Lama                 :       Yes. That is how life ensures that it remains fair. For every
                                                     moment of suffering there is a moment of joy. For every thing
                                                     you lack, you make up elsewhere. For every good you do, you
                                                     will have something good done unto you.

Atheist                          :       So God takes away some people’s eyesights and gives them a
                                                     keen sense of hearing in return. That’s a pretty twisted notion of
                                                     fairness, won’t you say?

Bible                                :       The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.

Feminist                       :       All that the @Lama was saying is that the universe has to work
                                                     with duals, and equal quantities at that. These duals complete
                                                      the universe, and each other. Both halves should be treated as
                                                      equals.

Physicist                       :       Wish that were true, because I’ve been working my ass off for a
                                                      long time trying to explain this anomalous excess of matter over
                                                      anti-matter. Can’t seem to figure that one out.

Lay man                        :       What is anti-matter?

Cpt.Obvious               :        It doesn’t matter.

Physicist                       :        @Lay man 1 –  Dude, quit embarrassing yourself. Google it.

Theist                             :        @Lay man 1 –  Anti-matter. It is the work of the Devil.

Satan                                :         Hey, I din’t do nothin’! Quit blaming me for everything.

Indian                             :         Please blame it on us. No one every gives us credit for anything.

Google                             :         @Lay man 1 –      I suggest you wiki it.
                                                        @Cpt. Obvious –  I see what you did there.

Physicist                        :        @Theist –             What’s your take on all this?

Theist                              :         Umm…

Logician                         :        @Theist –             Dude, you are stuck. If you say you think this
                                                        universe is zero-sum, you accept that good and bad, and
                                                        therefore, God and Satan, are equally strong. If you deny the
                                                        zero-sum, then it means you believe life, and hence God, ain’t
                                                        fair.

Theist                              :        Nothing of that sort. I reject the zero-sum, but only for a positive-
                                                       sum. Life isn’t fair at all but that’s because I believe we are
                                                       granted a lot more than we deserve. That there is more good
                                                       than evil.

Usain Bolt                     :        I too reject the zero-sum, but only for the negative-sum. Look at
                                                       races for instance. One winner, nine losers. Since when is that a
                                                       zero-sum?

Solitaire                        :         I’ve seen worse. I’ve seen the win alone, on their own, with
                                                       themselves are even lose alone. Not against anyone. Where’s
                                                       your zero sum then?

Probability                 :         For every solitaire game anyone’s ever lost, there is one that
                                                       someone’s won.

Cpt.Obvious              :        We are confused and the point is long lost.

Skeptic                          :        True, I don’t see the point of doing all this.

Oracle                            :        We are all here to do what we are all here to do.

Neo                                   :        Which is what? To save Zion?

Oracle                             :        No. To balance the equation. The universe is not perfect, it
                                                       shouldn’t be.

Ayn Rand                     :        Why not? Perfection is good.

Oracle                             :        Because if the universe had been perfect, i.e. if it had been zero-
                                                       sum, man would have no reason to exist. Man exists to maintain
                                                       that balance. His sense of morality, his sense of blasphemy, his
                                                       sense of winning and losing. A sentient being is the result of the
                                                       sum of the universe trying to balance itself out.

God                                   :        (With tears in His eyes) Wow. What an explanation, what
                                                       simplicity, what beauty. Now why didn’t I think of that before?

-TheDreamer

Ungettable

It is a thing I can never get,
It is something I shouldn’t want.
That it is not mine is sure,
That it is not supposed to be, obvious.

But today, I felt sad.
Felt bad to feel sad.
Sad because I did not get it.
Bad because it should’t have mattered.

It was inconsequential,
or so I had thought.
But every time I see it,
it reminds me I am a failure.

A failure –
for hoping that in some world
I do not desire it,
as I do madly in this.

Or that in some world
it exists not, to be desired madly.
Or better still, that in some world,
I have it, to be owned, to get owned.

-TheDreamer