Freud On A Monday

I have spent just about the entire Monday morning reading up on Freud again, and I must say I’ve always been a big, big fan of his works on psychoanalysis, dreams, memories and how the unconscious mind affects the conscious mind. 

Lightly reading over Freud makes me think we should all spend time contemplating the causations of some of our actions and words, whether in an assisted or unassisted environment. His psychoanalysis works affirm deeply that what or how we are now is very much a result of what happened in our past, with our childhood playing an especially critical role in forming our personalities and behaviours. Pretty commonsensical? Not if we understand it at Freud’s level, and not if deductions and reasonings are based upon countless clinical case studies and observations.

I think there is a certain stigma in the country about visiting a psychologist, and rightfully so apparently. The common associations with it are not kind, and thus the field of psychology here is relatively small as compared to other first world modern societies. 

If we remove all stereotypes and stigmas that are too commonly heard, a psychologist is just someone who helps you better understand your psyche by providing data and analysis in order to come up with deductions and conclusions. By tapping into memories and behavioural observations, recurring problems in certain aspects of life can be bettered and potentially resolved through professional analysis and therapy. 

I don’t disagree that mentally strong individuals can resolve their own problems by themselves through self-examination and reflection; they probably can go deeper without assistance through their own mental capacity and handling. The only  potential issue is that there is no outside observer to record anything that may have gone unnoticed, or that is subconsciously avoided by the person himself. The helper (aka psychologist) is able to provide a non-biased account of what he thinks the problem is or where it lies, and go where the individual himself may be unwilling or unable to go.

I think the work of a psychologist is noble in helping people cure themselves of mental issues on both the conscious and subconscious levels. It enables for more wholesome living and could resolve many medical or social issues that could plague individuals as a result of poor mental health. I also believe there are more to dreams and strongly preserved memories than we know, and it would be exciting to find out the interlinkages in the psyche so that we can better understand the complex workings of the mind and assist those who may have psychological issues that they themselves are not even consciously aware of. 

For a start, we should all try to come clean with ourselves and face up to what may be haunting us most (consciously and subconsciously) as we go through our daily lives. That is the best way to get acquainted with ourselves, and the start of the resolution to any problem. 

As Freud has said, “being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.”

Slightly Disturbed/Amused

On the way out this morning, I passed by a nice little park where people were engaged in light exercises and chatter. I overheard a conversation between a middle-aged gentleman and a younger woman who was a mother of two. The man was remarking how he was very shocked to see boys and girls of the neighbourhood going to decent junior colleges but yet used uncouth/swear words amongst themselves and “gathered” (in a condescending tone) under void decks. The mother clearly wasn’t very comfortable with the statement that the gentleman made, but couldn’t do much else other than smile and nod lightly.

Three jarring issues here: (i) the man is being judgmental, (ii) education and refinement are taken to run parallel, (iii) the light use of vulgar language and the stereotype of teenagers hanging out at the void deck.

First off, there’s no need to judge. Just about every other kid uses a swear word once in awhile, not a big deal. Likewise, the tables and benches at the void deck are meant for people to gather and engage in chatter, and even if it happens to be a group of boys and girls after a jog or an outing? No harm done anywhere.

Education and refinement are complementary, but not necessarily parallel in development. A man can be a brute and gain little from his superior education, just the same as how a man can be refined and polish but gain little academically. Yes it is true that education does teaches one to be more civilised, but if a person is not naturally refined in his mannerisms, it counts towards little. Refinement and mannerisms are based more upon upbringing than education, if we define education as formal schooling rather than true learning. So should a boy who swears not deserve a good education, or should a well educated boy not deserve to swear? (Note: Caste and social class are not included in this discussion to avoid complication.)

Stereotypes are generalisations, and should not be applicable to all. To believe firmly in stereotypes is to not have a mind of one’s own; it results in little more than shallow judgements and unfair criticisms. To judge in itself is not right, but to pass shallow or unfair judgements is outright wrong.

I am not angered or upset by what transpired; I am just a little amused by how the yardsticks that people use to judge each other. So what if you come from the top schools in the land? And so what if you swear a little here and there? All of us have an equal place to be here in this world, and no one should belittle that equality by judging an individual with shallow indicators.

We Think Things Important

Just a few more thoughts before we head into Christmas and end the year shortly afterwards. 

It’s true: we think material things are important. Some of us make it our main pursuit in life to make as much money as we possibly can so that we can afford the best cars and the finest foods. No doubt, the importance of money cannot be more strongly iterated and it is right to think that having things that we like is important. 

To have a decent car, a lovely house and to indulge in some of the things we like is central to our survival and wellness. We gain financial freedom and ease any frustrations or worry when we have more than enough to get through our daily life; in fact we gain and spread happiness by buying the things we want and sharing what we have with others. One who discounts the significance of money certainly must not have thought things through. 

There however comes a point where life is considerably comfortable and basic necessities are met. Anything that comes after that counts as luxury and in some ways, probably excess that we have for rainy days or to give to others. That is the point where we start to place less importance on money making and material possessions, and start shifting our focus elsewhere. 

I’ll use some examples to illustrate some thoughts. Say we have a Jaguar, a prime example of an English luxury car. It gets us around in good comfort, and we probably feel satisfied owning one. We may have spent years of our lives slogging to gain ownership of it, to work for the bucks to eventually buy the car and drive it home. 

On the other hand, we have people around us and moments to live through. To earn the amount tagged to the ownership of the car, we neglect our families, friends and we forget to live and cherish the key moments in our lives. People step out of our lives without us knowing, peaks and glorious sceneries are passed without even a cursory glance.. How does that come up against that luxury piece of machinery we previously placed so much importance on? 

An Aston Martin can be built and bought again. Your friend might not be there anymore when you decide to call him after an absent window of years. A penthouse can be raised and purchased again. The missed laughters heard in the hall of years gone by may not be audible again even if you strain to hear them. Material affairs can be reconstructed and made again, but try to recreate a moment in time or to bring someone back to life.. Not possible. 

What are the important things in life again? 

Drive that Mercedes.. Take your family out for a meal, drive out to the sea with your best friend, and remember to always be grateful for who we are and what we have in life. 

Resolution..?

I don’t remember having a New Year Resolution list for 2015, and checking back on my year diary and blog does prove that. I know that for many past years I’ve had resolution lists but I distinctly remember ending last year without any thoughts or preparation for the next one, and I never got round to making a list in January because too many things were happening and I probably was happy enough not to make plans for the year back then.

There’s nothing now for me to check on my progress for the year, so I’ll have to use my current mindset and state of emotions to gauge if I’ve gotten things right (or wrong, possibly). Hope my memory has enough of 2015 for me to do up a wrap up of the past twelve months. Ha ha. Here goes.

I think the past dozen months have been filled with plenty of lessons for me; I don’t think I’ve learnt as much in any single one of my past years as this one. Certain flaws of mine were made very clear to me, it swung at me in certain months of the year and yes.. it did hit me in the face pretty hard a couple of times. Many shortfalls were made known to me by incidents and upon personal reflection, and they did leave me pondering how I can work on these weak links and shape myself up. I’m still thinking about many of these points, and I hope to improve on them soon.

In very much a similar fashion, some perennial principles and truths about life were also slightly sighted on some of the fair-weather and stormy days. I developed the idea that some ways of the universe will always remain true and unchanging, even if the people, situation or times change. They are what anchors the course of things and life itself.

I started the year very strong, in the sense that I was very happy and had many things to look forward to. I was doing an internship with one of the ministries, I had results to look forward to, as well as scholarships and university placings to apply for. My friends were nice circles in my life, my parents were agreeable with most of the things I was doing, and I had a rough direction as to how I want things to be.

I think I’m ending the year pretty decent as well, in the way that I have realised and am beginning to understand certain things, and there are even more things to look forward to as I close the year and look at the next one ahead. I am starting to know why we should pursue our dreams, and what are some of the important things in life that we should strive to achieve and hold on to. Certain friendships and newfound ones require more attention (and gladly so), and there are many more people out there that I am looking forward to meet and befriend. I’m not sure if I’m doing things right, but I shall find out in time.

2015 sure seems like a good rough year that paves the way for glorious times ahead, don’t you think? As for 2016.. We shall see if there’s a need for a resolution.

 

 

Lessons We Learn 

It is unavoidable in life to go through tough moments and rough patches; it forms the downs in life to contrast with the ups which we enjoy and are thankful for. 

There always are lessons to learn in life, and many of them necessary and mandatory for us to become better individuals in this world. We encounter challenges and through them we know more of ourselves and learn more about what life is about. Hard as the lessons of life may be, they remain crucial in our progress as humans and as souls. The soul is perfect, but it’s perfection has to be discovered amidst our humanly imperfections and shortfalls.

As they would often quote, “life is an endless journey of learning and discovery”. This journey however, does not stop merely at one lifetime. For the lifetimes that have been and are to come, our soul is slowly unrevelling it’s perfection to us, and its place as part of the universe is slowly being discovered and liberated by the things we learn throughout our different lifetimes in the world. The hardship of one life may be a preparation for the luxury and indulgence of another, to provide in possibly equal proportions of both so that we hold strong to what we are amidst both mortal experiences. 

In this journey we must learn as much as we can, and strive to always retain clarity regardless of what circumstances there may be. Embrace the challenges, enjoy the successes, for they all form part of an experience that would lead us ultimately to realising the full potential of our soul and the universe.