Wednesday, March 21, 2012

O Fortuna

Just one of those days when I become convinced that there is no such thing as a coincidence. That maybe people don't just get lucky. That whatever happens is for a reason - not a grand plan or anything - just a continuing chain of events with a definite purpose.

But then, on other days, perhaps it's easier to sway to the music of chance. Unbiased, unalloyed, unerring, uncaring chance. Moreso because we are all creatures shaped by the forces of random dice-throwing that is the way evolution always works.

I don't know the answer to which I would prefer was the truth. But all I believe is there is something to be said for trying to beat the odds. Always. Atleast you know you tried, right?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Your Beautiful Mind

Upon G.'s expert recommendation, I've been spending these last few days of drudgery reading the most intriguingly titled book on psychobiology ever written - it's called A General Theory of Love and trust me, it hijacks your interest completely from the very first chapter - a chapter that oddly enough begins with a dreamy poem.

That first chapter, called The Heart's Castle - Science Joins the Search for Love, yields a most interesting paragraph about the intricate osmosis of intuition and rationality in matters of the (proverbial) heart and mind. It's quite unexpected to find such a well-written, almost romantically framed book about the scientific study of the brain in love.

And since I was so fascinated by it and so impressed with the writing that really resonated with my own mental image of the kind of thought processes I'd like to develop, I'm quoting it here.

"If empiricism is barren and incomplete, while impressionistic guesswork leads anywhere and everywhere, what hope can there be of arriving at a workable understanding of the human heart? In the words of Vladimir Nabokov, there can be no science without fancy and no art without facts. Love emanates from the brain; the brain is physical, and thus, as fit a subject for scientific discourse as cucumbers or chemistry. But love unavoidably partakes of the personal and the subjective, and so we cannot place it in the killing jar and pin its wings to cardboard as a lepidopterist might a prismatic butterfly. In spite of what science teaches us, only a delicate admixture of evidence and intuition can yield the truest view of the emotional mind. To slip between the twin dangers of empty reductionism and baseless credulity, one must balance a respect for proof with a fondness for the unproven and the unprovable. Common sense must combine in equal measure imaginative flight and an aversion to orthodoxy."

While I am still upon the first chapter, I am falling in love with this book about the mysteries of love and I am delighted that the writers are experts of affective neuroscience, a field of study that has always been a little too esoteric and opaque for me to follow directly.

But all that aside, I am happy that what was a nebulous idea for me has been crystallised in such concrete words for me to keep here on this blog.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Is success still success if its achievement involves changing everything that makes you who you are?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Speed of Light

Sometimes, I wonder if all our best relationships happen in transit, often with people we may never ever meet or meet again. All that is beautiful is ephemeral and most of what is ephemeral acquires a beauty of near-preternatural intensity.