Monday, November 26, 2007

For Marital Couples - Stop Being Selfish!

image by enimal, stock.Xchng

Marriage Is A Two-Way Street

If you belong to the happily/unhappily married tribe, just sit back and tick on the thoughts that cross your mind, from the list below of marriage-related messages that marriage counselors get as the cause of the problems for their senders:

- My spouse has lost his / her libido. He/she is a flop in bed. He / she is not interested in sex anymore.
- I no longer find him / her attractive. I am not aroused by him / her.
- He / she has gained a lot of weight and I found ourselves an incongruous pair - thoroughly incompatible in bed or out of it.
- He / she had {some medical problem}, and ever since, spends most of his / her time groaning in pain. Ever since, I am having to take good care of him / her, from my own earnings. I now completely support her, so the relationship is a drain on my account. He / she has stopped earning because of the illness, of course.
- My marriage sucks. If I had known things would shape up as they have today, I would have run away from the marriage ceremony!

image by mart1n, stock.Xchng

The marriage sucks. It sucks because the spouse who was very functional, very attractive and very charming on the wedding day has now become, uh, dysfunctional and unattractive and ugly. Either his / her sex organ is not in the same tip-top condition it was on the honeymoon night, or his / her rest-of-the-body has developed defects, making him / her now a liability.

image by simmbarb, stock.Xchng

I don't suggest them to go recall the marriage vows. But I definitely suggest that they shed some of their selfishness. The spouse is not just another "utility item" in the household with an expiry date stamped on it. Once it starts sputtering and stuttering, you start looking for substitutes. Or take on that sacrificial look.

image by Jelena_J, Flickr

The spouse is not any business transaction, which you approach with a "What's In It For Me?" attitude. So there are exit clauses when the other party "defaults" or "fails to deliver" or whatever.

image by sue_r_b, stock.Xchng

I suggest them to put themselves in the "dysfunctional" spouse's shoes. And for a brief moment, visualize that they are facing the problem that the spouse is facing. And now visualize how they would like to be treated by the spouse. "Whatsoever thou wouldst that men should not do unto thee, do not do unto them." If there is any classic example where this "ultimate moral principle" is applicable, it is conjugal relationship.

image by stylesr1, stock.Xchng

When the spouse is in some bad shape, what they want is your understanding and love and affection. Not your continuous low-intensity scorn and taunt and whatever torture you give them, intentionally or unintentionally.

image by sandnes, stock.Xchng

Don't dump the spouse because he / she is not useful any more. Remember, you too could be in the same / worse shape a few years down the road, who knows!

image by Jelena_J, Flickr.Com

[For a different take on the subject of conjugal relationships, surf to "What If - The Fisherman Does Not Discover The Ring".]
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Thursday, November 22, 2007

My Love Of My Sins

Dante in the woods, Gustave Dore

My Love For My Negatives Keeps Me Mired In Unhappiness

Durante Alighieri was a great poet and equally great observer of human nature and foibles. Dante, as he is popularly known in the world, had a great passion for philosophy and metaphysics.

Dante and Virgil in Hell, William Adolphe Bouguereau

His list of seven deadly "Sins", as he calls them, has become a list of "virtues" in today's fashion. Indeed, people vie with each other in indulging in them - it's very much considered the in thing now.

image by zazor, stock.Xchng

In the middle of my life's journey, "morally passing the point of no return", I find a good similarity between Dante's list of "sins" and my Self-Developer's list of negatives. I discover that modern definitions of this list still hold valid. My modern negatives still take me through Hell to the purgatory, with the "diritta via" pathway to Paradise and "Providential will" not (immediately) in sight.

'The Seven Deadly Sins', by Hieronymus Bosch

So here are my seven deadly negatives:

1. (Originally) Saligia, now translated to "aberrant urges". How many times do I find myself yearning for something (or someone) who does not belong to me?

2. Gula, which is now "over-indulgence". Ah, my credit cards, and my non-capability to restrain myself from spending money that is not mine for buying something purely on impulse. And tomorrow be damned!

image by woodsy, stock.Xchng

3. Avaritia, which has become "manipulating somebody's emotions for personal gains." How I enjoy playing with the emotions of my spouse or my sibling or my kid or my parent for that little personal gain!

image by marcello99, stock.Xchng

4. Acedia was Dante's version of "going away from God". For me, Acedia stands for "procrastination". I _know_ I am capable of great things in life, but, yawn, I will do them tomorrow, what the hell.

image by jimrhoda, stock.Xchng

5. Ira continues to be "anger, bottling up". I might have had to face the taunts of peers for my bad English. Or the object of my desire rejected / humiliated me. Or somebody simply hit my vehicle on the side in a bid to overtake. Or whatever. I either explode then and there, or seethe within.

image by weirdvis, stock.Xchng

6. Invidia is now "low self-esteem" for me. Somebody who is doing better than me lowers my image in my own eyes. I find it oh so difficult to get back on my feet again.

image by jfg, stock.Xchng

7. Superbia takes the crown in all sins: "arrogance" or "vanity". I have done so many things - which now hindsight wisdom tells me were foolish -, and they were all out of either arrogance or vanity.

image by josecarli, stock.Xchng

All these negatives are an outcome of my thought processes. Now if only I become ever-vigilant of what I am thinking and feeling, I will perhaps be able to drink from the river of Eunoe.


Goddess Matelda, where art thou!

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Monday, November 12, 2007

What Prevents Us From Improving Ourselves?

image by Henry Fuseli

Fighting Our Own Ghosts

It is an apparently never-ending struggle. To reach from point A to point B. To move from one plane of existence, with its specific set of living conditions, to another plane of existence. I have often wondered - what is wrong with point A? And what is wrong with my present plane of existence? Why do I want to go to point B at all? Why do I want to exert my energy to move to another plane of existence at all?

image by andrewcs, stock.Xchng

Unhappiness with where I am is one reason. A perpetual state of discontent that tells me that I have the potential to achieve more, much, much more in life. A bank balance that is healthier than any Tom, Dick or Harry one gets to read in those pink newspapers. A swank house that has all the amenities better than any in the neighborhood. Respect in the community. Loving relationships and good friends who will die for you, as you would die for them. Good health that is everybody's envy. You know, the "Kwan" that Rod Tidwell refers to time and again in the "Jerry Maguire" movie...

I know where point B is. I can see it, right here, standing on point A. I can also see the distance and the path to reach B. In fact, there are so many paths to go there, thanks to all these self-dev experts who set up blogs on the internet and write so many good books, with their happy and cheerful mugshots on the front cover. It makes it all the more confusing - this multitude of paths.

image by pstmonkey, stock.Xchng

What then, prevents me from taking the first step? And having taken the first step, to go on continuing to walk towards B?

I find my own ghosts that come in the way of my taking the first step. I share a love-hate relationship with them. I don't like my own creations, these ghosts, yet I do not let them go.

image by pike_ts, stock.Xchng

These ghosts set up conditions such that I rather seem to enjoy wallowing in my discomfiture. There is a yearning to come out of the slush I am in. But these ghosts drag me back.

image by paulgeor, stock.Xchng

Every night, while going to bed, I vow - "Tomorrow morning, I will begin my walk towards point B." Yet, when tomorrow comes, I conveniently push the implementation to the next day. Ah, I love my procrastinations!

image by wernerbrau, stock.Xchng

I wish I had a "Desire-fulfillment facilitator", like the one Wakko encountered in the "Wakko's Wish" animation.

image of Wakko's Wish

Or perhaps I had the lamp that Aladdin had. Simply rub it, the Djinn appears. You tell him your wish. And that's it. You are at point B. The entire effort, the strain, the travail - is all eliminated.

image by Max Liebert

Which brings me back to the main question. What prevents us from improving ourselves?

image by kitenellie, stock.Xchng
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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Arrival Of Comet Holmes On The Horizon...

Image by William Adolphe Bouguereau, 'The Birth of Venus'

And The Powerful Portends That Are Being Attached To It

That the world around us is changing, and very significantly, there is no doubt about. Our universe, this galaxy, solar system, our planet earth, and our human civilization - we are all hurtling somewhere at a speed that seems to be subtly increasing every moment. But where are we hurtling to?

This Galaxy Pair, Arp87 (Leo Constellation), swing past each other

So humankind searches for clues, patterns or any insights that can give a hint of what exactly is going on. An event that has drawn attention for such searchers is the sudden brightening of the Comet Holmes during its return sojourn, which it does regularly once every 6.9 years.

Comet Holmes - National Science Foundation

Up until October 23, 2007, the comet was a non-entity. Just one among the billions of stellar bodies navigating the sky. Had things moved in the predictable direction, the comet would have passed by unnoticed, with hardly more than a few bytes worth of news in the media. But the comet had something else in mind. On that day, this creature kicked up a lot of dust from its surface, and the glint of the sun's reflecting rays suddenly made it appear very bright in the sky.

photo by Gary Kronk, Kronk Observatory, Illinois

Now for the interesting part. There is a school of thought according to which Comet Holmes is said to represent the inner goddess within us - irrespective of our gender. The male's DNA has half its chromosomes coming from his mother's side, remember?


Comet Holmes is said to be "the driving force" behind the emergence of a feminine leadership that is more mature and spiritually-oriented than the present lot. It "seeks to question" the tenets of the Cult of Domesticity, redefine it perhaps, and push feminism and its corollaries to the forefront.

'No Time for Politics', Charles Gibson

Was the comet around, in the early 1900s, when Camilla Clifford won the "Gibson Girl" image contest? Camilla = Gibson Girl, this equation must have been forged in 1905/06 perhaps.

Camille Clifford - the Gibson Girl

The Feminine Mystique - This novel written by Betty Friedan came out in 1963; coincided with Holmes' return in 1964?

'The Feminine Mystique'

According to the school of thought that links Comet Holmes with resurgent woman power, let's not be surprised therefore, to connect the recent political events with the celestial body:

Argentina - The General Election held on 28 October saw Cristina Fernandez win the polls, paving the way for her presidency. This coincided with the arrival on the horizon of the comet.

Cristina Fernandez

Pakistan - President Musharraf declared an emergency rule across Pakistan. A resurgent Benazir Bhutto shuttled in and out of the country. The coming months should reveal what impact the comet has on her career, if at all.

Benazir Bhutto

USA - Hillary Clinton won the 2000 NY Senate election, when the comet was very much present in the earth's vicinity. This year, looks like the comet is once again by her side to give her popularity that push that (may be) propels her to the White House?

Hillary Clinton

Look around - for any signs of female resurgence. Now you know what is giving them the strength!

Whatever be our gender, so long as the comet is in our skies, it would be a great idea to delve inside and get in touch with the mother goddess in us. Make use of this CD if you want -

Mother Goddess, circa 6,000 B.C. - U.Penn. Image

Who knows, one of us might be able to discern where we are all going?
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