psychology

The Imposter Syndrome

The Equation of Desire. Martin Soto Climent. Mousse Publishing.

He would always sit ahead of us

In his citric orange T-shirt

Sultry

Against the abandoned air-conditioned classrooms

Made by the Japanese and

Maintained by the miniature birds,

Who often get trapped in lecture-hall limbos.

 

I cannot write him

He’s a plant that does not germinate

Into wishful thinking

Of infatuated hearts, struck by poverty

Of lack.

A lack that begins to define you,

Your illegitimate parent.

 

But here’s a trick, 

Chance a find

you have to look.

Glance upon his quivery brow

Or

the rickety case of criss-crossed legs

That dares to announce

—If just for a second—

The same lack as you

And your

Out-of-the-league desires. 

Children of the mind

 

Come close
Knock
Come closer,
No more.

Do you know when they opened up the children’s park,
they had a war
with little children running in circles–
trick’o treat!
Do you know,
I have those little children
Running over my forehead
bleeding away

What a Syrian war–
trick’o treat!

I usually write slow songs
Otherwise my fingers pluck themselves away
And I’ve to look for them over the ceilings

‘Ugh you are so dramatic!’

Bang Bang I go
into the moon
my hands fly, so does my words
Vis-a-vis my temple,
where little–
monstrous children play,
deluding
the writer and his muse.

The Faith Question

                                           Sergei Kirillov’s A monk at prayer

I remember arguing with a teacher upon the topic of defense of religion and how one should not be so much against it. It is actually like blaming your parents for everything wrong within your life. But then I also remember being looked down upon as an atheist (which I am not) at home and how I felt alienated from all those people who foolishly sat in front of stone idols, mumbling this and that.

Never was I, a fan of categories but nonetheless, as a project of self-awareness, I am really curious about the set of ideology that I will finally bank upon in the face of calamity. A survey claims, if you cannot challenge God with certain quantity of blasphemous words, you are certainly not an atheist. I say, why does deviation from traditional religious path has to be so violent? Not in my world anyway.

Russian paper for one thing has helped me solved this problem of identity that has started to pinch me lately.

Yesterday I finished Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Those who are familiar with the text will know that this is a story about a man (Raskolnikov) and his conception of the idea of murder which, based on sound logical arguments, excuses him from the guilt or responsibility of committing a murder of an old pawn-breaker woman. The argument of this gentleman, apart from his impoverished condition, is that, certain people are above law for they are going to be future law-makers and are hence, allowed to break penal codes as they like, be it in fact a murder. Therefore, the act is done and the blood is let. An innocent is also killed as an accident although not contemplated at all and almost forgotten by the murderer.

Crime is indeed a constructed category by people in the power. But this is not the only message that the novel is trying to impart. In fact, the question is: how is one able to live with crimes and if not, why not?

The answer is as simple as is the difference between theories and practical. Now, you know killing is okay logically (say you firmly believe in Darwinism), yet you can’t live with it at all. One thing this tells us about ourselves is that the mind is not a coherent entity at all. One part wants you to read this essay and the other part wants you to—I don’t know—play video games all day?

So again, you can’t murder someone and live with it. 

 

Blame your parents.

 

I am not even joking. If you are familiar with my old articles or if you are simply familiar with Freud’s ego, superego, and Id, you’ll get my point. When you were busy enjoying your childhood, your parents and other considerable elders, packed their boxes and came to live inside your head. When you grew up, you thought you can move away from them, so you left for a big city (sorry to make it sound so theatrical but it sure is fun to write) so that you can forget all about them and their nasty prejudices. But when self-reflexivity attacks, first to speak inside your head, is your parents. In a war between you and them, it is very seldom that they lose. You say murder is alright but they’ll only cry for Jesus Christ. But you can no longer separate yourself from them and thus your history fails your logic. 

 

And this is why being an atheist is the hardest job in the world. It is a constant inner torment of defying people and betraying people all around you (unless you grew up in a happy circle of atheist people which is rather rare, at least in my country). Then to paraphrase something from Dostoyevsky’s book, you can’t even wait for them to get smarter because religion is anything but intelligent or for the lack of better words, scientific. 

 

But is that all? What if we were to end religion at once and for all. Dostoyevsky very skilfully imagines this very world without any faith and without any  gods to worship & model after. This is done through Raskolnikov’s (the murderer guy) ‘nightmare’ (and man Dostoyevsky is some Stephen King when it comes to writing nightmares). The dream goes as:

Earth is invaded by very intelligent micro-organisms (By the way, this reminds me so much of Stephanie Meyer’s The Host, at least at first glance. Inspiration much?). These micro-organisms then go onto possess all the human beings on the planet and as this ‘infection’ flares up, everyone go on to become intelligent and insane at the same time. Also, every human being develops a personal sense of good and evil which is in disagreement with the sense of good and evil of the other. In other terms, the very gene of ideology ends and anarchy is followed through. (Read up Althusser, this book has so much of lit-theory analysis written all over it). Now that’s not very nice. 

 

Actually, the whole book is a very simple lesson in ethics (my favorite sentence to say in almost all blog posts). The question as I read it is: what if crime was not illegal as logically it should be not. The answer then is: society will not be able to exist. Because then everyone can kill everyone. Therefore, in order to preserve itself, society creates certain rules. These rules are fundamentally attached to ‘religion’, ‘conscience’ and ‘fear’ and her hence embedded in your superego. You cannot escape them even if you’ve got the brains. These concepts also preserve us from existential crisis and are helpful in maintaining the harmony of inner self. But it is also true that this is a very temporary harmony and that there is no logical way that you can prove that the reality of after-death or even entities like God exists (never absolutely). This also implies a factual reality that they do not after all exist.

 

Then comes the difficult choice. Can we live with this factual reality? For one thing, believing in this factual reality comes with a consequence of anarchy. I read this quote somewhere, ‘if there is no god, nothing any one does really matters’. I know…I know… good post-structuralism figured it out before me, but I’m just gonna say that I did prove that the machinery of religion is important or at least a structure which is similar to religion and requires blind devotion of the people. 

Leo Tolstoy had similar opinions. Simple faith, however stupid it is, can help both personal and public peace. Walking blindly is sometimes easier. But how long will this last?

 

I dreamt a strange dream during my afternoon slumber (I take my dreams very seriously). A man placed two cut-outs of landscape in front of each other so they looked like a single landscape dowsed in sunset (I think this is inspired by a certain music video of Rihanna and Calvin Harris that I happened to chance upon). An ominous voice preaching a deceased relative of mine in a comical Indian manner loomed inside my head. But the voice said what I myself had predicted, ‘the marriage is no longer the same tied-up knot’. Before judging me for an orthodox, please do go on to read my hypothesis i.e. marriage is the smallest unit of the society. It is disintegrating. This larger message here is that the society itself is disintegrating (and not as a result of the marriage chaos which is but, only a symbol of the whole). So I do wonder where exactly we are heading towards.

My answer is: Nothing is absolute in a time period. There always ought to be odds to cancel out the conception of absolute reality. You will always disagree with your parents.

 

How To Deduce Dreams

From past few days, I have been experiencing most vivid of my dreams and the feelings attached to them are so real, that it is making opinions on people and things, permanent in my head.

It is my habit to…let’s say “deduce” the causes of my dreams, which means I am actually able to make out, what I saw. For example I saw an airport in my dream, not because I was concentrating way too hard upon it when awake, but because it went to unconscious memory-box since I never really paid enough attention to the posts on social networking sites that would bring curiosity or any other thought in my head which could possible register this image of  airport in my head to the conscious-memory box. For my part, it is a proven fact that when we sleep, our brain sort out memories. And then it is also a fact that our unconscious mind tries to contact us during the dream process without alerting the conscious mind.

Now I’ll explain it to you by describing you my dream.

WARNING: I’ve experienced the most weirdest of dreams that you can ever imagine. 

Sometimes I wonder, why these are so amusing, I could pass a lifetime musing about their sheer creativeness. I swear on my mother, this is real. Here:

I went out with my cousin sister to buy something important and as you know, everything-makes-sense-in-dreams, we end up at an airport. I clearly remember that it had walls like that of a lobby of a fancy hotel, black shiny marble-brick shaped reflecting the diffused white lights of the day. We were strolling that place as we were on some kind of trip when I saw Benedict Cumberbatch (Please don’t make fun of me, I am serious), basically he is my fandom-god right now. I was not really surprised to see him at some distance behaving very normally as any other celebrity does however, feeling very happy. And then I did, what I usually do whenever I want to take a photograph in public i.e. pretending I am playing a game while keeping the phone low and moving around in a casual manner in a hope to set focus right. I remember capturing the photograph that ended up headless and a blurry version of shiny black suit, white shirt and black tie. And then, I don’t know what struck me, I was made conscious of this mad streak inside me which wanted to actually CONFRONT HIM. Therefore, I started running towards him like a man chasing his stolen car, thereby finally meeting him. BUT HE BEHAVES VERY NORMALLY! Does not shows any unreasonable affection towards me!And hey, Here comes my cousin, the opportunist, since I have asked for a photograph. And suddenly, I am clueless that whose phone will perform the task of taking a photograph, actually considering if it will be Benedict’s phone and then finally gesturing towards my sister who would lend us her phone because me and Benedict, both agree that my phone has a bad picture quality. (Bwahaha!). Next, we know that he has to leave somewhere else, so he won’t get clicked right now but supposedly (I don’t know whose idea it was) we are to follow him for a while as he is surrounded by bunch of other people. So as I follow, I finally start doing what fans actually do. Saying precisely this : “Oh god, now I can die in peace” as he smiles back awkwardly. Next thing, (Please don’t kill me) I see very strange kind of, I don’t know “ride” (my dreams are full of rides ironic to real life which is just bland) It is an autorikshaw, only found in India that can glide on water as it makes its way across through this narrow way filled with water, surrounded by natural environment. And next thing we see is that people are getting on it and I am excited to sit next to him, when my sister hops in and take that seat. But fortunately, I don’t start crying, just disappointed and accepting when I see a space for one more in that strange ride like thing which I accidentally invented in my dream.

Ah, it was Really awkward then. Too much of adjusting. I prefer forgetting this one except for the ride, which even my unconscious mind rejoice and has thus presented it to me in two simultaneous but different dreams. (Though the second time I was like-No its too much of a trouble to try this ride again.) So as the journey finally ends, I see myself standing in front of dear god of the fandom, while he sat facing right side, supported by a pillar and surrounded by people which are a big blur. I am shooting down theories and questions at him where I am I believe trying to sound unique and not just a mainstream fan. But then, I am not really sure he is listening to me or not. I thought not, but then at the end, I see him nodding still facing the right direction but before he could say something, he is interrupted as he excuses himself and leave, of-course leaving the wish of a photograph unfulfilled.

DEDUCTION

Benedict Cumberbatch: I was watching season 3 marathon of Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and also because I spent rest of the day browsing  him on Facebook. Now I remember the days where I actually wanted dreams about a specific person I fangirl about. But it was a failure until now. Its not that I am advising you to try it, since every mind work uniquely, but yes if you are constantly things into your conscious-memory box, its leakage to the unconscious memory-box becomes more smooth because absence of vacant space for thoughts. So when you are truly obsessing over someone whole day, according to probability, it is likely that you would dream about them. Therefore this happened.

Meeting: Now why is that, I met him in such a real situation which is not really dreamy and also not as a fictional character but as an actor?

I would say, Denial.

I remember thinking to myself that I would never like to meet him ever, since I am a bit socially awkward and would not know how to react to such an imaginary situation. Therefore, somewhere in my mind I was blocking this possibility which then made my mind sense a pattern for a problem. Again its a fact that our mind tries to solve problems to the situation when we are sleeping. This is because when we are dreaming, we are not aware that we are dreaming. Hence, when your mind wants to show you that you reconciled with an old friend, you actually feel a bit relieved when you wake up. So that’s why I saw it.

That weird ride: If there is any symbolism in my dreams ever, it would be this. To me it is accepting my weirdness. Its like arranging a confrontation of my two different and maybe conflicting parts of my mind that created the problem in the first place. Consider this, the ride symbolizes my weird creativity and on the other hand, Cumberbatch symbolizes a part of my mind which I consider sacred and keep safe from the awkwardness of the world. My sister becomes the mediator who arranges the confrontation and the smooth water represents that after all, the union of mind is underway. Its really hard to remember how I made this ride thingy but I can tell you rides and narrow staircases are very usual part of my dreams. Drop me an opinion about them, will you?

Photograph: Its a fact that I believe, like many other girls, I can never have a perfect photograph. Also, Cumberbatch in a convention appeared in photographs with fans. So we know, from where the wish is derived.

Now you may ask, how the hell do you remember this?

It is very scientific actually, according to psychological researches, if you try to remember your dreams more often, your passage way between unconscious memory box and conscious memory box becomes smooths, to so much extent that (my addition) that memories flood back to you like a whim. Once you have become natural at recalling, you’ll see while remembering a single dream, the memories of the older dreams would come back in a manner or say an epiphany which will force you to think harder if it was reality or just a dream. The reasons behind the dream objects becomes clearer too.

OR IT COULD BE THAT I AM A PSYCHIC, SINCE A DAY AFTER MY DREAM I READ CUMBERBATCH WAS PHOTOGRAPHED AT AN AIRPORT AND A FRIEND OF MINE, WHO HAPPEN TO BE IN L.A. SAW HIM TOO BUT FAILED TO PHOTOGRAPH HIM, SINCE ACTOR HAD TO LEAVE, URGENTLY.

(you should have seen my face.)

Here is him at the London’s Heathrow Airport airport, doesn’t it look like black tiles in the background?

Hats off to him: Benedict looked every inch the English gent when he arrived in London