Friday, November 10, 2006

Simple People and Complicated People

Don't you just envy these simple people? Or do they exasperate you? I am surrounded by all kinds of simple people and I don't know what to do with them... that might be the reason why this passage from The Loser made me laugh out loud and then made me think! :)

[...]as I happen to know, he first locked himself into the hunting lodge for three weeks, then went to the woodsmen and burdened them with his problem. But simple people don't understand complicated ones and thrust the latter back on themselves, more ruthlessly than any others, I thought. The biggest mistake is to think that one can be rescued by so-called simple people. A person goes to them in an extremely needy condition and begs desperately to be rescued and they thrust this person even more deeply into his own despair. And how are these supposed to save the extravagant one in his extravagance, I thought. Wertheimer had no choice but to kill himself after his sister left him, I thought.


jyothsnay said...

so The Loser has passages that makes one laugh loud...umm,indeed touching! what power bitterness has to infect a man's whole nature! ...laced with bitter irony and a brutally unforgiving urging us to Smile though your heart is aching ....
so I can read it in my cage under the frail flutter of leaves of the tree, swaying at the terrace... I lay down on the dewy cold floor and close my eyes…..shiver a little thinking of how cold the floor could be..oh! what a vengeance
...around my balcony


Alok said...

so are you a simple or a complicated soul?

actually the passage made me sad too. why can't i find anyone as complicated as i am? i can't get along with simple people at all. :(

Cheshire Cat said...

But neither do complicated people understand simple people. Indeed, does anyone truly understand anyone else?

Perhaps simplicity is believing in "seeing" more than in "understanding".

Alok said...

yup, but what to do when you don't have your mind under your control? and it insists on "understanding"?

and what to do with the terrible isolation that is the inevitable result of just seeing?

Cheshire Cat said...

I do not think seeing brings isolation, quite the contrary. For seeing is reflected in being seen; there is a symmetry there, which reflects the essential symmetry of our relations to each other.

Understanding, though, can be isolating, because the power of the mind is asserted, to the exlusion of everything around it. The world is seen in the light of a passivity that is unnatural, tends to the pathological (and, yes, these are human terms...) - this light perhaps shows the way to an essential truth, but not a truth that is human.

jyothsnay said...

Seeing Vs Understanding
Simple-mindedness Vs Fuzzy logic

A journey with someone you just met or started interacting with is more than the "seeing of his/her skin, feeling his/her laughter, admiring his/her well-manicured fingers and the swell of breast.."
when we started interacting with someone who we intend to carry on (minus expectations), it's our willingness to be open to A CHANGE THAT GOES ON, DEEP AND TO BE ETCHED's our willingness to let selves be vulnerable to the other person, a desire for his/her to empathise & to strike comforting line of thought which by itself evolves over a period of time. Every human being is an exprience which is unique in its hues, colours, fragrance. Now to savour this exprience to the best is to remain EMOTIONALLY ACTIVE, BUT NOT DEPENDENT. The former state of mind in you works along with the other person thus facilitating a simple working equation, while the latter leaves one either obfuscated or frustrated....
now where am I ? these playmates,WORDS, are so compellingly overpowering!

jyothsnay said...

I disagree with
Understanding can never be islolating. If it were to be one *a forced scenario, where is the context for me? where is the reference poitn for me? and what I am trying to udnerstand sitting in the dark shadows of my imagination?

wildflower seed said...

"yup, but what to do when you don't have your mind under your control? and it insists on "understanding"?"

The mind is not interested in understanding anything. It is only interested in churning.

wildflower seed said...

Actually, instead of leaving cryptic comments, I want to offer some practical help, so I should add that if your mind is really bothering you, you may want to try a pranayam called Bhastrika.

I will describe the one I practise for you here since there are many alternative variations. It helps me clear my head. Maybe it will help you too. :)

Sit in vajrasana (on your haunches). This keeps your spine erect and allows proper flow of air up and down the spinal column, and also the diaphragm to expand properly when you breathe. If necessary, put a pillow under your heels as they may hurt after a while. Close your eyes, make a gentle fist in each palm (thumb outside), and bring the arms up by the side of your torso, bending them at the elbow, so that the sides of your arms gently touch the sides of the torso. The fists should be roughly in line with your shoulders and the clench between your thumb and forefinger should be aligned with (rather than at a right angle to) your shoulders. Now throw your hands up in the air, unclench the fist, and take in a deep breath as you do so. The very next moment, exhale and bring your arms back down into clenched position, and as you do so, kick the sides of your torso gently with the elbows (to knock any residual air out of your diaphragm, which you had just filled up with the in-breath - throwing the arms up allowed the diaphragm to fully expand with all the air you inhaled). You must inhale and exhale *vigorously* as you do this. Make as much noise as you want, but only breathe through your nostrils. You can keep a tissue with you in case there is any discharge from your nose.

Do 15 cycles of up-down. Then relax with palms on your lap facing upwards, for 30 seconds. Then repeat twice. Keep your eyes closed throughout so that visual cues do not distract the mind.

Observe your mind in between the rounds when you relax. At the end of three rounds, ask yourself if your alertness has increased even by a small margin. Regard this as the only test of success (not whether you are permanently better off for the rest of the day, which is how your mind will jump to judge this pranayam - recognize that as just resistance)

I'm willing to bet that if you do this every morning (will take you 5 minutes max) for 14 days without missing a single day, you will begin to appreciate its benefits. Sitting in meditation after Bhastrika is particularly productive.

I am reading a lovely book right now called "Science of Breath" by Yogi Ramacharaka (same guy whose Gnana Yoga I earlier recommended), and if you are interested in the biology of what pranayams do (down to cellular details), then I would recommend it to you. But for now, dont try to understand it. :)

Just do it. If it brings no relief, sorry for wasting your time.

jyothsnay said...

My consistent interaction with children {as I work on Britannia brands of biscuits)and mothers makes me enthused about being "simple" in life....

the other way of looking at "Simplicity" is to probing things, which we most adults have taken them for granted.we dnot care about them.they are around us and we move noticing them, not even having a pause at them...

just to share Pablo Neruda's Question Book*my favs* with you and your readers:
feel the simplicity of that wonderment ...
Tell me, is the rose really naked
or does it just dress that way?
Do you hear yellow detonations
in mid-autumn? *the best one*
where is the child that I was -
inside of me still-or gone?
From what does the hummingbird dangle
its glittering symmetry?
why all those wrinkles
and holes in the rocks?
try to explain..we cant!that's the beauty of simplicity and simple people. their world is different!
I know it is black as it can be.I know it's sheer a veil of ignorance,but I dnot feel like disturb its serenity sometimes, especially, when I am leading a lifestyle at its maddening pace...thank you for this space Alok!

Alok said...

wfs: thanks for the tips man! I have tried breathing exercises in the past but never followed the details technically. I will try to get this straight this time and see what happens. In the past whenever I have tried it, I have felt an increase in the noise levels, my mind it seems it too resistant will bend only under some serious psychiatric attention. hehe :)

In the past I have somehow managed to get myself involved in official work and it goes away but I haven't been able to do that this time....

Alok said...


For seeing is reflected in being seen; there is a symmetry there, which reflects the essential symmetry of our relations to each other.

that is deep. let me think over it now. i try hard to remain an observer but never feel like being observed myself. May be i am not attentive enough? :)

jyothsna: i am not denigrating simple people or simplicity. just that there are different kinds of people, who have difficulty going along with each other. and it is not that complicated people like being complicated. it is how they have been designed by nature. the dominant humour in my blood it seems is black bile or perhaps i was born under the sign of saturn. i can't help it :(

wildflower seed said...

You're awesome.

Just for the record. :)

Alok said...

err, and why's that? :)

pigeon weather said...

this question used to bother me a lot, when i was a (young and) complicated person. i have had good friends of many different levels of complexity, and always found myself adjusting to them. eventually what i learned was to expect from people no more than they are able to give, and to give them no more than they are able to receive. my simpler friends don't get my complications. my complicated friends don't get my simplicities. still i love them each for who they are. i have been fortunate to find them in the first place.

oh, and jyosthnsay, i love those Neruda quotes.

wildflower seed said...

Heh heh, Alok. This is what Dawkins will do to you - always looking for evidence!!!!

Never mind why, just know that you are.

Alok said...

pigeonweather: thanks for adding your thoughts. yes, it is indeed possible to have fulfilling relationships even among fundamentally different people, thats what is called maturity, isn't it? if not for this, how would the world go on?

wfs: that's not me, that's my mind... i think this is what is know as schizophrenia? :)

jyothsnay said...

dear pigeon weather

Pablo Neruda, the classic author (poet),the Nobel Prize winner wrote many masterpieces..of them is the "Question Book"...just whys
they are not quotes, tch tch, but
poems drenched with a sense of wonderment...
suggest that could be a great beginning to understand Neruda...

merlot said...

yup, but what to do when you don't have your mind under your control? and it insists on "understanding"?

Maybe something are not meant to be understood and I think simple people have an easier time accepting/acknowledging this concept than complicated people (and no one is more complicated than me).

Try breaking things down into little pieces (not literally, of course) and maybe it will help you understanding things better (not that I can do what I just wrote).

Alok said...

thanks for the comment merlot. i understand this and I am trying hard. it is not easy trying to be simple :(

Anonymous said...

[color=#5588aa]Great website! I haven't noticed before in my browsing!I found very useful information about
[/color] [url=]cosmetics[/url] [color=#5588aa]here... Keep up the hard work![/color]