03 April 2013

The Auxiliary Deity

I find myself at times around burning embers of wood listening to people I barely know talk about things that are only too familiar. I find myself, at such times, being opinionated quite obtusely in favour of what I see as the valid explanation of the intrigue under discussion. And so I debate. Relishing the act as much as the fact that the discussion would be pointless. I found myself in a similar situation a few days ago. Sitting in a large group. Kindling a campfire with a stick. Listening intently to a question asked by a fellow camper. In time the question transmuted into one of those abstract topics of discussion that get everyone's attention. The common woe in every heart put skillfully into words. Something of the essence :
What's stopping you from quitting your mundane professions and following your passions?
Well, everyone can give a piece of his mind on that one for sure. For some it is a wait. For some an impossibility. For others, it is unnecessary. Some do not know where their passions lie. Some have a plan. Others give not a damn.

But it was something else in this conversation that got my attention more than the abstract question.
What is success?
Surely something subjective, for everyone had a different definition in mind for it. Money, fame, respect, happiness, completion, satisfaction, etcetros. Many opinions poured from all sides of the fire (which I had been constantly tending to, by the way, but that is not really relevant). Some made sense to me, others did not and others yet were way too abstract to be answers to anything. It amazed me that something so frequently referred to in conversations between friends and didactic advises of parents, teachers or self appointed preachers could have such diverse comprehensions! I must have used the word "success" in many of my conversations with others, never bothering how it was understood by the other. And there must be many more of these words. Happiness? Love? Tension? Inability? Excitement? Pride? Beauty? Divinity? Something? Nothing? Everything?

Leads one to question as to how much indeed is he able to communicate through words? How many things said are misunderstood? How much read between the lines? How much assumed? Could our lives be simpler without languages? Would abstracts still exist if there were no words to explain them? Perhaps there are none that do. But the darned abstracts do exist. They continue to ruin our conversations. Laugh impishly as we try to bridge the gap between the said and the understood. Under such dire circumstances, everything seems so simply and conveniently confusing! Reminds me of a line that I read recently in Alan Moore's 'From Hell' :
Invoke not reason. In the end it is too small a deity.


  1. Does the great Gupta give up on reason? *Mocking laughter*

    Bridging gaps between the said and the understood? What is this that I hear?

    The only words that come to me right now are, for some reason, the song that Rose sings for Jack as he's freezing to death on that plank while the Titanic sinks...

    "Come, Josephine, on my flying machine...and UP she goes..."

    Bridge the gap between the said and the understood in what way you will, my love.

  2. What deities we choose to worship is a personal choice. They could be all powerful ones like Chaos or the lesser gods like Reason. I never said I am giving up on reason [:)]

    "Bridging the gaps between the said and the understood"
    This is a fine example of the gaps between the said and the understood. I don't know what you understood up there but what I said was that abstracts tend to force us into corners where we are made to do it more often than we would care to.

  3. Lol :D as always, you missed my point by about a mile, and ended up reiterating what you said. What you say is always precise and not open to misinterpretation, as a matter of both semantics and ordinary human understanding.

    I was merely mocking the fact that you are acknowledging the existence of the world that still manages to twist your poor, simple words into grotesque interpretations -mocking it with or without reason.

    I was under the impression that the math in your head about what you mean is clear, and what anyone else interprets it as is none of your business. Hence amusement as this instance of you deigning to acknowledge interaction, by bridging or otherwise, with the mad world that twists your simple words...

  4. Ah. No. I am not that naive that I don't acknowledge the existence of something so blatant. I have always acknowledged it. Just never preferred it. Nothing has changed. It is just that this particular incident reminded me of how naturally this hubbub has been inculcated into our subconscious.

  5. More importantly - how can someone like you even talk of 'bridging gaps' between the said and the understood? What is said is said. What is understood is understood. What is said is what the speaker wishes to see it as, what is understood is what the listener wishes to see it as. How can there ever be bridging? How can you ever make someone see something in a way the person does not want to see it as?

  6. That is why these abstracts are a pain. You cannot bridge the gap. But every human being tries, doesn't he? Perhaps it stems from an ulterior desire to make sense. To be understood. One tries to bridge gaps. Whether it is possible or not is a different discussion altogether.

  7. Ah but that is precisely what I mocked, darling. That you admit to trying to bridge the gap, futile though you interpret it as. It amazes me - to see you admitting to sides of hypocrisy, to humanness, to ACKNOWLEDGING the existence of things beyond what you see it as. It interests me enormously to see whether you will go on to the next step - exploring your own principles and decisions, to see if the need to be understood (irrational - once you admit it's futility) leads you to explore other perspectives - or whether you will doggedly stick to your interpretation of events - and if you still do, at the end of it all, what reasons you give yourself for sticking to it.

  8. Err... Okay. I still don't see what you are mocking. I remarked on the human tendency to bridge gaps between the understood and the said. I never said that I do it. Nor did I say I do not do it. As far as ACKNOWLEDGING the existence of things beyond what I see it as goes, well, I have never denied existence of anything. I just choose to believe in a few things and disbelieve in others. The next step as per you is exploring my own principles and decisions? Laudable as that interpretation is, I again would like to point out that you are "understanding" more than what I have "said". Read the article again if you may; read the lines rather than between them. [:)]

    Again, what are you trying to say here?

  9. You say that every human being tries :D I assumed you include yourself as human. You might consider yourself an E.T. by all means, of course.

    Again - I never said you would necessarily move onto the next step. I was just curious as to whether you would. As per you, you refuse to comment on whether YOU are on the step of trying to bridge gaps. Hence the question of moving onto the next step doesn't arise at all.

    But yes, it does follow - if you are trying to bridge gaps, you are trying to see things from the other person's point of view, exploring different perspectives.

    And if you are exploring different perspectives, the next step - if you choose to question further - is that you question your own. Why is it that you see things in one way, when the other person sees it in a different way?

    Logically of course, there are no answers. But logic stops at the point when one tries to bridge gaps.

    But of course, all this only follows if you choose to question one thought after another.

    You are merely commenting on a human tendency while refusing to comment on whether you do it :D So the mocking laughter stays - the fact that you are observing and remarking on a human tendency from a supposedly non-human/disinterested point of view - wah wah. I find your obsession with detachment and disinterested evaluation, and the refusal to admit to human tendencies worth mocking. You can choose to disagree, as always :D I never said that you would be successful in bridging gaps between my perspective and yours. In fact you have famously failed, time and again.

  10. And just a word of advice: if you stop trying to see me reading between the lines as a problem, and try looking at things from the alternate point - that I am actually reading EXACTLY what you write, and say, and mean - you might get somewhere close to bridging gaps.

    But of course - you may choose not to. I could be a blithering idiot whose perspectives are not worth exploring/understanding. By all means, continue to believe what you wish to, and ignore my attempts to bridge gaps :D

  11. I will do that. Thank you for your wonderful advice. [:)]

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. *slap* sarcasm? :D ah well. I have resigned myself to your anger/indifference/irritation.