Category Archives: Abstract

Probability is amazing

This is just a small thought on probability.

I love September afternoons. In fact from mid-September to mid-October is my favourite time of the year despite the fact that I rarely get a chance to spend afternoons and late afternoons outside (because due to some strange turn of events almost every year, I am busiest during these weeks so I don’t even realize when they pass by). Monsoons are almost over and Nature seems to have taken a bath. Although it is still hot under the sun, if you can sit under some shade you can enjoy the outdoors. Anyway, today I decided to have lunch in the balcony. The afternoon was bright but it wasn’t very hot. The wind was mild and pleasant and the dark blue sky was dotted with white and off white puffs of clouds.

After finishing my lunch I kept sitting outside alone as Alka (my wife) and Vasudha (my six-year-old daughter) were busy doing something inside. It was totally peaceful and not a single soul was outside – our building is like that, people prefer to stay indoors.

All of a sudden, a broken plume came wafting from somewhere, brushed against my cheek, and then came to a rest on my lap. It belonged to some pigeon. I absentmindedly picked it up and then thought about probability.

Our lives are full of miraculous probabilities that we don’t even realize. What was the probability of I deciding today to sit outside on the balcony, have lunch, keep sitting, a plume getting detached from a pigeon, brushing against my cheek and then falling on my lap? It was a random decision. Vasudha had forced me to get up from my chair and come to the sitting room and since I was there, I decided to ask for lunch and then suddenly I looked outside, saw how bright and pleasant the weather was and within a second decided to have my lunch in the balcony.

For a few moments I kept thinking about different probabilities. Although the bigger, more prominent tasks seem to be a part of our day-to-day plan, most of our lives constitute of millions of probabilities. Even in a fraction of a second it changes the way we are going to live the rest of our lives. The changes might not be visible, but they are there. Maybe they don’t affect us directly or maybe they affect someone else or something else, but they do have an impact.

About dreaming

For a couple of months I have been having strange, disturbing dreams. To understand them better I started reading “The Interpretation of Dreams” by Sigmund Freud. According to the portion I have read so far dreams mostly show whatever is happening in your life during that particular time. Another intriguing thing is that the entire sequence of a dream may be triggered by your ongoing sensory experiences. For instance, if your ears are listening to the sound of the alarm clock you may see somebody in your dream screaming or you may see something causing lots of sharp noise.

Similarly, if one of your feet is hanging in the air while the rest of your body is on your bed you may dream of hanging down a cliff, about to fall. If you have covered yourself with a blanket and one of your limbs is uncovered you may dream of being naked or exposed.

These may be valid reasons for some dreams but not all. I mean why do our dreams build entire sequences just around one physical sensation and that too when the sensation has just occurred and the dream sequence is quite lengthy? For instance, today I dreamed that Alka and I were in a building that I have never seen before. It seems like we have a row of rooms embedded inside the wall of a tunnel. Lots of activity is happening. Then I want to pee. The toilet is not inside the house. I have to get out of the room and walk to the common toilet. While I’m walking towards the toilet my main concern is that it shouldn’t be wet as my crutches slip on the wet floor. As the push the main door I observe that there is lots of water on the floor and many people with their muddy feet have used the toilet and made it very dirty. I wake up and realise I need to pee.

This incident has no resemblance with my current experiences but yes, when we used to live in Lajpat Nagar we did have a common toilet outside of the house and it was often dirty, consequently, restricting my access.

So I wonder why our subconscious weaves full-fledged plots just to cater to a single feeling.

I haven’t read much yet and I know lots of new literature on dreams is available on the Internet as well as in different books. But I would like to read Freud first because I have had the book for many years with me, although right now I am reading the PDF version. After finishing this I will do some extra research on my own. I want to know what my dreams portend.

Many years ago I read Carl Jung’s book that, although was based on his life, primarily talked about his experiences with his dreams and many of his dreams brought him predictions. Before the outbreak of the First World War his dream had already shown him the signs. Freud on the other hand — according to what I have read up till now — is mostly dealing with the scientific side of it, which I’m not interested in much. I know dreams bring you messages.

Physiology of the supernatural

image No matter how phantasmagorical an extraterrestrial or an alien is – in the movie flicks, in books and even in our imagination – it always has the common earth-like traits: it has limbs (one or many), it has a mouth (one or many), it has eyes, ears and all that stuff that pretty much sums up the functions we have to perform here on earth. The same goes for the supernatural sightings. A ghost often looks like a human, an animal, an object we already know of, or sometimes even a plant. Of course, sometimes they are invisible so there is no need to give them an appearance, like in “The Entity”.

Most aliens and ghosts also have humanlike emotions, and if they don’t manifest emotions, they are depicted as zombies. But what if there is an existence with no need of time, space and dimension? These, again, are coordinates easily understandable by humans, and I’m sure there must be infinite coordinates we’re not aware of. Again, maybe there are no coordinates to define and pinpoint a particular condition/circumstance.