Thursday, June 02, 2011

Thoughtful Moments

A few of my own thoughtful twitter moments today 

How can love & forgiveness exist where there is a tendency to constantly observe, analyze, assume & judge?

Sharing is the Mother and Curiosity the Father of Serendipity. #inspired_moment


An inspiring post by Sudhir Krishnan that I came across this morning (and this post happens to be somewhat related to my first thought)

However noble your thoughts and actions, there will be some people who will not be pleased. Even Jesus and Buddha faced opposition. While one needs to take care not to deliberately hurt others, there is always the possibility of falling short of some people's expectations. As long as you have given your best, move on and do not blame yourself. Detach yourself from what is essentially the other person's karma.


Stranger in a Strange Land said...

Hello Nimmy:

To quote something I wrote many years ago:

Love, love, love and leave the details to God.

My very best wishes for a lovely weekend,

Nimmy said...

@Mike: I know you are absolutely right. Wish I could do so though. I have a long way to go! There still is space for anger, disappointment, frustration etc! :-| Miles to go!

Stranger in a Strange Land said...

All in time---all comes in time.

Don't be hard on yourself.

Kindest regards,
Ps: Some words of encouragement:

Nimmy said...

:-) Dripping with encouragement, Mike! Thank you!

Caveman said...

Come to think of it... 'love and forgiveness' cannot exist without the tendency to observe, analyze, assume and judge. If any human being can irrefutably convince me that they have loved or forgiven without either observing, analyzing, assuming or judging, i'll give up these so called vices for good :)

Nimmy said...

@Jai buddy: Two things.
1) It definitely is hard to shut out the analytical or thinking mind. But me was thinking about CONSTANT analysis and judging.
2) Don't we love our pets and nature without analyzing them? Unconditionally? :)

Caveman said...

The questions are:

1. How did we come to love our pets and, nature in the first place? and,
2.If we don’t form ‘an opinion or estimate’ (judgement) about our pets, nature, and all those things that we love, how are we to know we love them?

Unconditional-ity can only exist if the brain is in a vegetable state. Even when someone meditates, he meditates towards some - thing, place, instance or state that is qualified (for example: on breath, or on the 7 chakras of the human body - from the root to the crown). Meditation can never occur without qualifying something.

Consider a cow grazing in a meadow. It incessantly grazes on the grass, living in the ‘now’; and at that moment sees nothing else but the grass. The cow then, is meditating on something it has ‘qualified’ as essential to its existence. Therefore, the cow loves grass.

Unconditional love cannot exist.

Nimmy said...


Excellent dialogue from you, as expected. :-)

1 & 2. Yes, we admittedly started loving them by observing their nature and good qualities. Not sure how much of intense analysis or judgement it involves though! Do you see the difference I see between simple observation versus analysis and judgement? ;-)

While I find your example of the cow intriguing, let's leave out the activities essential for survival (like eating, breathing etc) and look at it this way - Unconditional love means you stop expecting things, accept things as they are and curtail the analytical mind when it goes on a wild ride analyzing someone's actions - which in turn may lead to hatred or disgust.

Caveman said...

1. To quote your tweet, "How can love & forgiveness exist where there is a tendency to constantly observe, analyze, assume & judge?"
Observation, without analysis and judgement, is just sight in vacuum. There is no way anyone can start loving their pets and nature or anything else by merely seeing. The brain needs to process sight to make sense of it; in walk in - observation, analysis and judgement. :)

2. Ah but... if i had come to love my dog for Reasons A,B&C and if i stopped analysing or judging her thereafter, and being human i couldn’t help but observe, analyse and judge her 5 years later; and if i now suddenly discover that my dog no longer has qualities A,B&C, but qualities X,Y&Z (which i was always less keen on) brought about due to external influences, which i chose not to analyse or judge in the past, either; wouldn’t my love for my dog as well as my unreasonableness, diminish by a certain degree? Wouldn’t it be better to analyse and judge my dog’s qualities at frequent intervals so i can learn to love the changes in her qualities from A,B&C to X,Y&Z? Or even shape her behaviour by reasoning out with her lovingly, her negative behaviour of aggressive posturing and biting, to a one that is more pleasant, friendly and social - in an amicable setting?

Driving on Indian roads can be challenging. Now if i were to suspend all observation, analysis and judgement while driving, wouldn’t i end up having an accident? ;)

Nimmy said...

Hmmm.....You are a better communicator than I and you've just said it for me. :-) "Observation is just sight in vacuum". I think this is possible but difficult. I can for example observe a tree or a flower or a bird and admire it as it is....without analysis. It is tougher to do so when dealing with human beings because we know we are dealing with a more complex/manipulative entity - a human mind - and that may encourage us to interpret things rather than simply accept them.

2. would need to analyze and judge your dog if and when you want to bring about a change in her behaviour. And that is called for. What if you don't intend to change anyone (including your dog) and just let them be? Would you be showing unconditional love?

BTW, I am not saying that we must suspend all observation, analysis and judgement. Definitely not when you are driving. I am talking about our relationships. Imagine if I am *always* looking into the minds of people I live with rather than just enjoying the togetherness and trusting them?

I recently heard a story of Mullah Naseruddin (spelling?) wherein he sees some men on horses and runs because he assumes them to be thieves (this could be attributed to his analytical mind - men-horse-thieves). They chase him as it seems like he is in trouble and needs help. Finally, when they catch up, they realize it was a meaningless chase.

Finally, quoting Mother Theresa "If you judge people, you have no time to love them". :-)

PS: I understand your perspective, but all I am saying is we need moderation.

Caveman said...

No way nims... your communication skills are always a couple of steps ahead of me at all times, that’s why you respond faster than I.

Tch tch, you’ve quoted me wrong :) I didn’t say, “Observation is just sight in vacuum”. I said, “Observation, without analysis and judgement, is just sight in vacuum”. The mere fact that you admire a tree or a flower or a bird, means that you have drifted from the mere sense of sight to the realm of observation. I’m sure when you admire a tree or a flower or a bird, you admire some qualitative factors that appeal to you. The qualitative factors that appeal to you have been engendered by analysis or interpretation – either conscious or subconscious.

2. How does one know when one wants to bring about a change in one’s dog’s behaviour? I don’t think you start analysing and judging after you have decided you want to change your dog’s behaviour. In fact, you first observe, analyse and judge your dog’s behaviour and then conclude whether you want to change it.

If i don’t intend to change the course of my child’s path, which with all certainty leads off a cliff, and just let him be, i don’t think i’m showing unconditional love, but absurdity.

3rd paragraph - agree to a certain extent. There are 2 extremes – one is suspension of all observation, analysis and judgement, and the second is observing, analysing and judging at all times: “always looking into the minds of people”. Observing, analysing and judging from the perspective of finding faults at all times - is wrong. However, observing, analysing and judging from the point of view of understanding different perspectives, accepting them and challenging your own - is not wrong. To use them to change people constantly, just because they have a difference of opinion, is wrong.

Mullah Naseruddin and the horsemen suffered from a case of ‘selective perception’ and an overactive imagination. Their behaviour cannot be attributed to their analytical minds.

Mother Teresa... what do i say... i’m stumped!!

P.S. Sorry to trouble you. I’ve always believed that love and forgiveness cannot exist in an overly judgemental environment – a family held belief. But i discovered a few years back that i believed it blindly. I want to challenge my belief, so i can strengthen it... therefore this dialogue :D

Nimmy said...

:-) I love your ability to take something up and thrash it to pulp. ;-) That's how you get to the essence after all, eh?

I may have misquoted you by leaving out the "without analysis and judgement" but I understood you right. That's what I was thinking when I reproduced (a part of) your statement...."plain observation minus analysis and judgement". So, you can keep that aside for the moment. ;-)

Well, I am not sure if admiration of a flower = analysis and judgement. There may be a subconscious process that I do not know about but I am comfortable with that and it does not trouble me. Even if a tree I'm observing decides to drop one of its fruits on my head all of a sudden, I will not analyze and judge the tree. I will continue to love it while being wary of dropping fruits - because I have simply accepted what happened without attaching a negative meaning to it. And I do not want to change the tree!

Why do you need to analyze and judge a dog to know you have to change its behaviour? If a dog bites, it bites. You immediately know you must get him to be more friendly. Thereafter, you must analyze and resolve the problem - no doubts about that. You've, well, ignored the fact that I've used the word 'constant' in my original statement. Grrr. What I don't like is *constant* analysis and judgement. *poke* ;-) Don't you think that deprives one of bliss and joy? How about looking at something in awe or wonder and not analyzing it till it starts looking like a boring - predictable - subject?

When I see someone with a wonderful talent as in child prodigies, the joy I get out of just being in awe of the child's talent is immense as opposed to trying to explain it by studying the child's mental make-up, upbringing, genes etc. (That may also be interesting and intriguing, but the joy of being in awe without analyzing the phenomena is something else altogether)

I'll give you an example in response to your statement about wanting to change the course of a child's path.

In a forum that I went to, a young girl mentioned that she had gone through a rough patch in the last few months and attending the session motivated her to come out of it. I'm not blowing my horn, but I simply listened to that while empathizing with her. I did not try to analyze her problem or judge her. Meanwhile, 2 other people near me said "boyfriend problem!". They had analyzed and judged her in those few minutes and come to the conclusion that her problem must have got something to do with a boy. It could have actually been something to do with her exams, parents, future----etc. If I need to help her, it is not a good idea for me to analyze and judge her - I'd rather sit down and ask her loads of smart and important questions that will help her resolve her problem on her own with a little bit of prompting from me. - So, I analyze the SITUATION and put on my thinking cap to discuss things with her, but I do not analyze or judge the girl herself.

Mullah N - Well, maybe I did not narrate the story effectively, but both the parties are in fact analyzing each other's moves based on past experiences, memories and stories they'd earlier heard.

:-) Don't worry. By having such a dialogue, you are helping me improve my own thinking which can otherwise be quite vague ;-) I like to sometimes 'believe' things without digging too deep - both an advantage and a disadvantage! :-(

Caveman said...


this is a never ending debate that eventually boils down to the a choice of personal values.

Nimmy said...

Mmmm....the end, eh? :-D