Everything needs an impetus, more so, the mental processes. A few articles were causing a mental churn, and upsetting me in the last few days.
1. Women and Success
One was a Washington Post article, trending in the Professional Training and Coaching Industry group on LinkedIn Pulse:
“The Real Reason that so many women have to spend so much time getting ready”
It goes on to say that the income of women in non-managerial positions is directly proportional to their level of personal grooming. Is that a sales pitch for beauty products? Or is it an opinion that competence does not matter? Does sheer absurdity of the headline contribute to the Trending of the article?
The strategy works though, as it piqued me enough to buy a copy of the quoted book – “The Beauty Myth” by Naomi Wolf, and spend two days scanning it to find some sense. Naomi Wolf says the norms of beauty were created as a conspiracy to keep women busy, and thwart their progress on other fronts. No wonder they have excluded successful women from the survey. The lines on the faces of female CEOs suggest that they may not have used seven products in the morning (the article speaks of this number), and that might be the key to the doors that led to top echelons of power.
Who has heard of anything called competence and smart work? Or did the successful ones experience the futility of external resources, and then, decided to move on to internal strengths?
2. Simplification of Life
The next was “What are you doing to Simplify your life?” in the Sunday papers. The prescription was a small house, a small car, switching off notifications on the phone etc. There are millions of people who are condemned to this lifestyle, due to lack of resources or freedom, and do not feel that they have attained Nirvana. They would rather complicate their life further.
Then, popped up another title alongside the second — “What does it mean to be Mature?”
(Image added by me, not the author of the piece)
Does it mean that a person, as a marketable product, reaches a point of saturation or stagnation, where growth has ended, and the future will see only a decline? Humans are thinking beings, pulsating with thoughts, capable of finding new aspects of life, and raring to go till death strikes.
I will come back to this point later, before any of these piques become rants.
WHAT SHAPES THOUGHT?
We acknowledge Good as the absence of Evil, Satisfaction as the absence of Hunger and White as the absence of Color. The existence of one is validated by the existence of its opposite. The mind does not see one without the other. This is about Perception.
We need to travel to the other end of the spectrum, to conclude that this end or some other point on the path was better. Experience, thus, shapes our attitude.
All the books that I have read, and the wisdom offloaded on me, will not make sense till I have experienced life. The view from the point where I stand, and the ability of my senses to perceive and process it, will shape my world view. The external inputs received do serve their purpose.
- They provide a historical base for future projections.
- They enrich imagination by displaying possibilities.
- They enhance sensitivity.
- They increase the ability to connect my point of view to others.
- They create a hunger for further interaction to enrich life.
Faith is a force, which makes us believe the unknown. It is deemed to be irrational, as there is no tangible evidence to justify it. A friend of mine attended a workshop on Energy Healing, and paid extra money for ‘downloads’ and ‘protection packages’. No, this was not a software or anti-virus package, but deemed downloads of energy from heaven, to enhance the power of the individual.
It is faith that makes temples rich with the wealth offerings. People shell out money in hope of a miracle, or in gratitude for the blessings received. Perhaps, it is faith that keeps them going in adverse circumstances. If I exclude the commercial aspects of exploitation, it might be a positive mindset. It is Hope.
Ironically, the breaking down of Faith becomes Experience. Negative experience becomes Fear. Fear becomes Inaction, which prevents gaining further experience.
There we go in circles, from Positivity to Negativity, from Hope to Fear, needing one to validate another. The direction may be clockwise or anti-clockwise depending on Experience.
The only peaceful solution that I see to my inner turmoil is finding the point of equilibrium, which is unique to my existence. This is the core, which can be touched by external influences, but not altered. Nirvana, for me, is finding that core.
Back to Maturity
Maturity is the central point, but at the center of a circle, not at the peak of a curve. It is the centripetal force that drives us to look inwards, maintain flexibility and adaptability, to keep life moving in a positive direction.
If something is moving in a circle, there must be a force acting on it somewhere to make it turn, otherwise it would go in a straight line.
The author of that piece, has quoted a beautiful line:
‘Emotional maturity means being centered in yourself, instead of being self-centered.
By Katies Hoban, a data scientist.