Saturday, December 13, 2014

Getting older

After lots of delays, which have seen me experimenting like anything, with lots of new updates, I think I can finally settle down to sort out my thoughts and write a post.


1) Its all about the Eye

So where are you looking when you are talking to a person? At their face? At one of their eyes? in both the eyes? at some random other place?

And what happens in the case that you are talking to a bunch of persons? Where do you look then? Do you get tied in to a particular member of the audience?

What about the case when you are moving around, say in a bus, and looking outside? How often does it happen that you start looking at the masses outside, barely aware that you have started staring at one person in particular unconsciously, and that comes to your notice only after that person looks back at you?

As a thought and social experiment, I have been trying to observe things around this behaviour, both mine, and that of people around me. Based on which, I have come up with the lock-in paradigm of eye contact.

By itself, lock-in is neither a good thing, nor a bad thing. But it can become either, depending on the situation.

Now, a normal conversation is carried most straight-forwardly when both the people are looking at each other. But the more meaningful and engaging ones happen, when people look into the eyes, and through them, to a hypothetical point somewhere at the literal back of the other person's head. When both persons so engage, you have a lock-in, and a lock-in is a pretty hard thing to break. After observing a lot of people, in different settings, I am inclined to believe that this is how two people in love almost always converse. And I have come to start believing, that this is how two persons who are usually at sync with each other talk.

Ever seen a presenter focusing on just one person throughout the presentation?  I think that is due to a lock-in. Like many things in life, a lock-in is self-reinforcing. The interesting part is that for most people, a lock-in is unconscious, that is they don't even know it is happening, they just know something clicked which they didn't understand. And that is where a good speaker outdoes the average one, they are good at limiting this unconscious ability and make its usage conscious.

In general, a good public speaker has his/her face towards the audience, but the eyes seldom rest on one person's face, least of all their eyes.

It is, I believe, for precisely the same reason, that a lot of passionate people are able to influence others, charge up their batteries, with words of passion.  All they need is a lock-in, and once you have it, you can count on it to reinforce your words into the mind of the other person. Its not that people use it at that level of consciousness, it is just another one of those many things that your brain can do in a short-circuit cycle.

The best technique that I've observed is to use a one-eyed lock-in. Look directly into one of the eyes, but keep your other eye looking elsewhere, so that you can break the train of your own thought. 


2) Snap Calls and Edge of the world

There is a one-liner which goes like "If you are not living your life on the edge, you are taking too much space". 

Now Snap calls are good only when made in the right state of mind. The way I think of these snap calls, they are like short circuiting of zillions of logical parameters. While consciously trying to take a decision, sometimes the number of factors are so huge, that the brain gets overwhelmed, if the whole thing is thought of consciously. But if you could somehow take all the factors, churn them up, and get a guesstimate, you get yourself a snap call.

As for the generalizations, all generalizations have exception(s); A rule holds only as long it is accepted.


03) Truths and Lies

This one is about some questions that have been doing the rounds in my mind:

Is it a lie if you say something, knowing that the other person will interpret it as something else entirely? Is the process of leading on a person, playing upon his nature to your advantage wrong?

Is it a lie if you say something, not knowing that the other person will interpret as something else entirely?

Is it a lie if you stay silent when someone asks you something, so that the person continues on ranting in his own state of mind, taking your silence in affirmative or negative as it suits him or her?

Is it a lie if you say something believing it to be True?

I guess what is the truth or a lie depends on much more than just a summary glance - it also depends on motivation and context.


04) Exercises

The first is the art of focus. I have observed that when you tend to focus on just the task at hand, then you are able to go a little longer than if you allow stray thoughts to divert your thinking. And thus is born the first maxim: "Focus on one thing to the exclusion of everything all".

The second is a phrase inspired from book An Autobiography of a Yogi - "Karat, Karat, Ho Jaat". The above words by Lahiri Mahasaya, which roughly translated, would mean "keep doing, keep doing, and it gets done". Its similar to what they teach you at Vipassana - "Work patiently and persistently. Patiently and persistently. And you're bound to be successful. Bound to be successful."

And this is true in general in life - if you keep up at something persistently, and continue working on it no matter what your mind tells you, then all things remaining constant, you are going to be successful

The third is about concentration. A treadmill offers you an opportunity to focus on the numbers then and there, whereas on an open track the luxury is not available. Lesson learnt, "the mind is exceptionally good at losing focus if there is no immediate target to concentrate upon."


05) Chaos and Order

Imagine this: No system, no matter how orderly built, will be free of chaos. It may not be visible, it may be hidden between the various layers of the system, but it will always be there. And the reverse is also true, no matter how chaotic a situation, there will always be a pattern, may be a micropattern at a tiny scale, that will be present.

If a system needs to be built, you need to identify those micropatterns, and create an order out of them in chaos. And if a system needs be broken, you need to identify those pockets of chaos, and inflict them upon the chains of the order.

Change is the only constant, but it is never mentioned whether it will create order or chaos

And ultimately, the question is not whether some thing can be built or be broken, the questions is, does the person who is driving them have a depth of conviction enough in his belief that they need to be done, which come to decide things.

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