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Showing posts from August, 2008

Lessons on happiness

According to an essay I read a happy life comes from two things: tranquility and excitement. In a happy person the two have to be balanced. If for example you have spent time in repose at the end of it you would like to do something exciting. At the same time somebody who is excited all the time would be suffering from what the essay said is the ‘excitement disease’ such that the tranquility that would follow the excitement and as enjoyable as the excitement would be avoided by that person.

Now having addressed the feeling of happiness or the mode of it, the question is ‘what’ brings happiness? And the answer is that pleasure brings happiness.

I would like to elaborate a little on pleasure.

When there are two experiences both of which bring pleasure, how do we judge which of the two is qualitatively better than the other? Answer: If everybody who has experienced both pleasures chooses always the first over the other then the first is better than the other.

And herein is the mighty idea t…

What of our murderers?

“In Cold Blood” is a 1966 book by American author Truman Capote. A movie was made on it in Hollywood called ‘Capote’. (What I write of this is based on what I have seen from the movie)

Truman Capote became the most famous author in America when he wrote this book. While he had completed many works before this novel, this was his last work. This book took a massive toll on Capote who died later because of alcoholism. He wrote an epigraph in his last uncompleted work: “More tears are shed on answered prayers then on unanswered ones”. (He said this, about his experience writing “In cold blood”)

“In cold blood” was about two people who had murdered a family in Kansas.

When Capote went to Kansas after the news to write an article about it he was taken in by one of the murderers: Perry Smith, and so he decided to write a book on the event. He says in the movie: “when I think how good this book is going to be I can hardly breathe”.

He said: “There are two elements in society, the conservative a…

How can we fall in love and not end up like Dracula

I have written a post about Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Read it here. The point I mentioned there was that while lust is always destructive, love is also capable of being destructive. In fact Dracula was a victim of this destruction when he lost his beloved. He damned himself and hurt countless other people because he was not capable of handling his loss.

While this is fiction, a parallel of this can be found in the real world as well. People who grieve after their loss or are compelled to do bad because of the one’s they love while the one's they love are still alive.

So the question then is: “Isn’t love possible in its purest form, in a form in which it is not capable of being destructive?”

And the answer to that question is that such a love is possible. Sufis call it (in urdu) “Ishq e Haqiqi” which I think translates into “real love”.

Now as an example when a mother loves her child, she loves him because it is “her” child. In a certain sense she may be called selfish in this.

On the ot…