A love-hate-love relationship

First you loved her, then you hated her. And then again you loved her, and hated her after that, even more so a little later. Then you loved her again, coming to hate her eventually some time later. And finally, you loved her, accepting your choice.

At first it was easy, then it became a little challenging, slowing you down. A little later with a spurt of will, you picked up pace and continued, seeking to be diligent, but it got harder. It demanded persistence and you gave it that, until you hit a brick wall and got quenched. You came back again to climb over the wall in a breakthrough, going on for a while and slowly getting weary. Finally you let go and say, “I love you anyways.”

Information, Certainty, and Behaviour

What is information? The ‘difference that makes a difference,’ Gregory Bateson would say.

Judges in shows like Xfactor, Project fame, et al, receive information from the differences (shows) created by the contestants. And there are differences between the differences so that they have information to receive and judge.

You have received something from every difference that makes a difference to you: information.

Practically, judgement is information processing information to produce information. And a lot (if not all) of the manifestations of self (behaviour) come from previous judgements. So that change is possible with the right information processed correctly.

A bit more technically, information is the reduction in uncertainty. This is easy to picture: how certain are you that what he meant to say by what he said, was what you interpreted from what you heard. The larger the reduction in uncertainty, the more information you received (as opposed to noise, or confusion), and the more correctly certain you (think you) are.

To have information is to have accepted certainty about a particular reality or perception.

There is a mantra that says something like, ‘get feedback to get clarity.’ And fundamentally, we seek feedback for certainty. Indeed, the main reason for feedback is to ensure the correctness of our eventual perception cum certainty. And this is important because certainties are at the core of our psychology, hence, of our experience of reality, and behaviour.

To summarise: information gets transformed into our certainties, and our certainties result in our behaviour. Every action, tangible or otherwise, is a statement of certainties.

​Differentiating between spiritual and physical

That would seem like a trivial question with a simple answer. But it needs answering given the story that I was told below.

… Walking somewhere along a major street, a man stopped to talk to two folks seated beside materials on dianetics on display. One had an instrument with a dial, and was testing a subject. So he asked what exactly the tester was doing. The detailed response was lost in memory, but it went something like, we’re using our instrument to demonstrate some aspect of human spirituality.

Okay, “test me,” the man said. … If I pinch your arm a bit, you would see the dial move …. And the tester went on to some unacceptable explanation about how that related to what was happening in the spiritual.

His explanation was suspect because, medical equipment like EEG’s (electroencephalographs) and ECG’s (electrocardiographs) could then also be said to be peering into the spiritual. The human body is electric!

After some banter, they agreed to disagree, and he went his way thinking about the people who might have been hoodwinked by their demonstration.

So, what might be a difference between the spiritual and the physical? The spiritual cannot be such that it is subject to the laws of physics. 

Duty: A way to the lasting marriage

Recently, I watched a PragerU video love needs laughs. It talked about the helpfulness of shared laughter in ensuring long-term marital survival; which got me thinking again about some African marriages that lasted with little of this great ingredient and others like intimacy etc.

It seems to come down to duty. Beyond the duty of a wife to her husband, and of a wife, being a wife; and beyond also the duty of a husband to his wife (or wives), and of a husband, being the husband, there is the duty to self that says that ‘I am married.’ This is at the root of the duty to marriage that serves to keep the family regardless of many imperfections.

Of the various motivations (cultural, religious etc) to make marriages work, this imbibed ideal is key to keeping marriages. It is easy to imagine that more fundamental motivations need to be at work for arranged marriages to work. While they don’t always work, one still wonders why a lot of them do. And I think it is about a certain perspective of duty to ones married status, and not just to ones marriage.

There is nothing about pride or shame in it; it’s just about an ideal that is accepted as ideal, and thus performed. For many couples, they keep it through many pains. And when they get too old, they look back with whatever emotions they choose to hold, satisfied at the very least that they kept the ideal, without necessarily realizing that self-pat on the back.

PS: incomplete thoughts

When you help and crap happens

Helped him lift his car out of a ditch, and got a lower back injury.

Separated a fight, and felt a blow on the cheek doing so. 

Bent down to pick up her pen for her, and we butt heads badly.

Told a friend the helpful truth kindly, and she got defensive as well as very offensive.

… and many other stories of good turning towards ugly. But they can’t stop us; we still choose be beautiful in that way.

We ought never feel bad for helping honestly, and trying sincerely. But sometimes it is hard to laugh at the outcome. And one wonders what the lesson was that was there.

In that apparent randomness of life exerting itself because of our good, providing opportunities for pain to live through and laughter to remember, regret has no place if the motive was correct.

To our soldiers; to those on hospital beds, to them who now only live in some record or memory; to those who came out on wheel chair, and those with prosthetics, and to the others needing to recover, words are not enough. But we say, well done, and thank you. We show it too.