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Sunday, November 7, 2021

Outrages- the why and how of them in general


We are already living in an age of outrage let not social media further it by inundating with its own ideologically biased selective narratives.


1. Outrages?

Are all Outrages exaggerated and /or instigated to outrageously unreasonable proportions affecting too many people, damaging many things and sometimes even the environment as whole.


2.Outrage epidemic is the  manifestation of individual disagreements and disenchantment that have always existed but has become easily collective, inflated and exaggerated due to Outrage industry which is promoted as a trend, originally confined to a few privileged and propaganda peddling outfits is now empowered to engulf everyone everywhere though advanced and easily accessible misuse of technology. Many gullible and vulnerable people are caught into this whirlpool that dangerously sucks everyone around.


3. In the name of outrage


Whatever is happening today is a heady mix of many highly volatile things/aspects which can turn anytime anywhere equally provocative and aggressive. These manifest certain feeble atavistic tendencies; histrionic reactions to historical blunders; self-created or aggravated problems further fuelled by sensationalism seeking media, scandal mongering journalists, victimhood peddling outfits, guilt inflicted international manipulative operators, fanatical bonding with misinterpreted superficiality of  certain ideologies and edicts, perverted unsolicited participation into the internal affairs of ideologically different outfits, extrapolation of certain ideologies across vast areas of human activities, urge to homogenize and so on . There are certain common factors to all these: like misguiding and misusing certain individuals by emotionally charging them, funding them etc.


Levels of scrutiny, extent of criticism, limits of tolerance, philosophical consolations and so on and  all of them  become very elastic or rigid depending upon whom they affect at that particular instant and how the affected people take them or react to them. 


Depending on the nature, circumstances, situations and nurtured attitudes, proportionately, the reactions, retributions and revenge will manifest.

4. Outrages emanate from Identity cages


If by nature and nurture the creatures caged inside the identity cages are soft and mild, then, their reactions also will be manifested in varying degrees of intensity like soft and sophisticated exhibiting either gentle acceptance of inevitability or graceful withdrawal from the cage or a meek surrender out of utter cowardliness or silent fuming in frustration or total fatalistic indifference.


However, if those inside identity cages are wild by nature or nurture, then, the reactions towards any slight disturbance to their caged comfort will be very violent, aggressive and criminal. 


On one side while the outrage industry keeps magnifying the short comings or discomforts, either real or projected through propaganda and injects a sense of insecurity to one’s identity cages, one feels that the comfort zones are shaking and no more reliable and contemplates on migrating to a better place or ideology, which though may be good or great in reality or in projection, the transitional period will cause further disturbances. Outrages may manifest like earth quakes of varying magnitudes.


5. Nature of Identity?


Many aspects of every identity [cultural, religious, ideological, political etc.] have contributed something to the individual and society, which both the individual and the society may enjoy, participate in, get entertained and celebrate. Perhaps, for some of them, activities connected with those identities will be the profession, survival element and even everything connected with life.


6. Can everyone get rid of identities?


Totally getting away from certain aspects of identity [like mother tongue, native food habits, local traditions etc.] may cause a disorientation that may land one to lead a life of in vague inanity or inane vagueness. So, instead what is required may be a willingness to accept various and different identities, and if possible entertain and enjoy them all.


7. Life and identity?


Life is lived and experienced as a nonstop motion and live activity within the very limited time space conundrum of a few years and limited space wherein one cannot afford to sulk away from many activities [ however meaningless or useless they may sound] with too much of seriousness.


8. Is there a non- controversial and please-all ideological identity?


We must humbly accept and understand that neither mere utilitarianism nor much accepted materialism nor much projected spiritualism nor ever enjoyable Epicureanism nor egoistic self-venerating narcissism nor much hyped capitalism nor socialism nor any of the many other ideologically conceptualized or visualized as a single most ideal ‘ism’ as the most suitable one for social engineering and hence, can be homogenously applied for the whole of humanity.


No single system indicated can exclusively satisfy or offer or fulfil all necessities and wants of all human beings. Nor can anyone resort to noncommittal cautious escapism.


Perhaps, at best one ‘ism’ that may be a mix of  ‘contextually relevant, economically beneficial, socially harmonious, philosophically open, rationally reviewable humanitarianism with scientific outlook ’ which can have a mix of some or all the multitude of ‘isms’ referred above may be worth considering, provided it is pragmatically viable?




9. Identity, variety and division


Identity emerges and evolvesvariety is inherent aspect of life and the corollary is obvious that differences are inevitable.


Accepting and understanding differences, contradictions and diversity are the seeds of creativity and resolutions leading to harmony and these are very well explained in this one page write up  and



10. Stefan Zweig  writes, “As one who knows many things, the humanist loves the world precisely because of its manifold nature and the opposing forces in it do not frighten him. Nothing is further from him than the desire to resolve such conflicts and this is precisely the mark of the humanist spirit: not to evaluate contrasts as hostility but to seek human unity, that superior unity, for all that appears irreconcilable.”


10.  ‘This versus that’ and ‘Us versus them’ syndrome

There is a chronic psychological and intellectual weakness of viewing various or different aspects of life as ‘this versus that’ ‘us versus them’ and contribute to creating divisions, magnifying them and messing up the whole of social, psychological, emotional and intellectual aspects of life. This may be replaced with ‘this and that’ ‘us and them’.


11. For these to happen we need to keep a check on our PA –


Perspective and Attitude can calm outrages .


Perspective is to see the differences, do the analysis, use all energy but work towards synthesis and synergy.


D.J.Mercier, the Archbishop of Malines has said even “Sound Philosophy sets out from analysis and terminates in synthesis”. 



Attitude is how we relate with everyone and how we relate to or react to ever changing situations /circumstances /scenarios/events/environment/new relations etc., irrespective of whether we continue to cling on to our identities.


Differences and variety may be projected as divisions by vested interest groups to divide and prevent unity and oneness.





12. Acceptance and relationship


There must be ‘acceptance’ of all the differences and variety and ‘fulfilment in our relationship’ or at least ‘a sense of satisfaction, conviction in how we relate irrespective of how others relate’.


Life is never fulfilled with unfulfilled relationships within the family, with others in the society, with the environment, with the many sciences, subjects, systems that we come across which are useful to us, used by us or we are used by them and so on. So, the quality of life is the manifestation of the quality of the inter play of these various relationships.


13. Inclusiveness



Very often the greatest mistakes in our relationships, overall perceptions and evaluations occur because we read three fourths, listen half, understand quarter, think zero and are indifferent to the impact of our actions, reactions, thoughts and words on humanity and the environment.


“In the end nothing less than the whole of everything can be the truth of anything at all”- William James


So, how we accept or deal with our own identity/identities and how we relate with identities of others is going to help us deal with ‘outrage’ 


14. Dealing with identities


We deal with identities with fondness, ferventness, faith and fanaticism as the multiple frequencies of the spectrum of affinity- ranging from subtle to substantial to sabotaging impacts.


These frequencies are not mere verbal nuances but can be nice or nasty depending on how they manifest the intensity of one’s reverence, reaction and how everyone relates with those identities.


If we adopt the armour of sense of balance and the tool of refined rationality devoid of any identity based reaction to anything, though this may sound very idealistic or even utopian, then, it serves to provide a level playing field for all individuals irrespective of any identity.


15. Rational approaches refine what is otherwise viewed as contrasts that divide into variations that seek synergy.


Life is impregnated with the inevitable polarity principle in many aspects and identities are no exception.


16. Identities, their two contradictory and conflicting sides.


Identities of all hues while they enable creating social groups at the same time enfeeble options for universal acceptance or peaceful and compatible cohabitation.


Identity, though inevitable, excessive and exclusive veneration of it, is at the heart of many problems be it in the realm of religion, region, language, tradition, culture, nationhood and so on.


In a sense identity symbolize a fence, while it draws a boundary it is also the link that recognizes outside area or other person’s arena.


Most importantly, we must acquire the wisdom to make unbiased balanced views on everything concerned with life so that we can try to grasp the meaning of life with all its harsh realities and real hues and facets of variety that life is made of.


There is a wonderful explanation of identity creation in Cognitive neuroscientist Bruce Hood's exploration of the building blocks of what we experience as the “self” in "The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity'


Unfortunately, unintentionally, unconsciously we may all end up extolling the wrong things.


Both our individual self and social self are to a large extent shaped by how we relate with our circumstances and how our contexts relate with us.


17. Identity crisis


Most of the individual problems and group pogroms are the result of identity crisis. This [identity adoration/affiliation] is a very important part of study of personal psychology and socio-psychology which gets neglected or does not get the prominence it deserves because the predominant factors that create these identities and factories that produce these predators are the patrons and promoters of ideologies. Now recently, technological advancement has also jumped into this band wagon


18. Are identities per se, wrong? Probably may not be so.


There is nothing wrong with identities per se nor are they avoidable. For example if someone  is born physically beautiful, mentally brilliant, in a  highly respected family in a particular nation following certain language, religion, culture, tradition etc. with some type of specific behaviour then that person would be identified with all those things. What can that person do about any of those identities which he is born with, born into, groomed up with along with social inculcation, indoctrination, insistence or voluntary inclination or interest etc.?


There is nothing wrong even in human mind getting into judgmental mode based on these identities which is one of the natural consequences of identity affiliation and which is what is happening all over.


There is nothing wrong even in the human mind making comparisons, analysis, criticisms etc. based on these identities which are again natural consequences of affiliation to inevitable identities. 


19. The problem crops up when these identities create narrow walls of prisons of the mind and thereby creating incompatibilities and intolerances in the functioning of many vital tools of life and not letting life to move on smoothly in its tracks.


In brief our thoughts, ideas, actions, feelings, interactions, attitudes  are all to a very great extent influenced by how we relate to changing situations /circumstances /scenarios/events/environment/new relations while clinging on to our identities.


Even within specific identities there are varying degrees and intensities of manifestation.


Any identity is /all identities are a stumbling block to any realization or unbiased relating/relationship as well. 

James Braha writes, in the wonderful book ‘LIVING REALITY-My Extraordinary Summer with “Sailor” Bob Adamson’,


 “You can only know yourself by being yourself without any attempt at self-definition and self-description. Once you have understood that you are nothing perceivable or conceivable, that whatever appears in the field of consciousness cannot be yourself, you will apply yourself to the eradication of all self-identification, as the only way that can take you to a deeper realization of yourself. You literally progress by rejection—a veritable rocket. To know that you are neither in the body nor in the mind, though aware of both, is already self-knowledge.”


The real nakedness devoid of any cover of identity may enable us and equip us to face reality unbiased and without any pre conditioning.


Some great souls have even opined that we can even pose real questions only from this state as Terence Mckenna says, “You are not naked when you take off your clothes. You still wear your religious assumptions, your prejudices, your fears, your illusions, your delusions. When you shed the cultural operating system, then, essentially you stand naked before the inspection of your own psyche…and it’s from that position, a position outside the cultural operating system, that we can begin to ask real questions about what does it mean to be human, what kind of circumstance are we caught in, and what kind of structures, if any, can we put in place to assuage the plan and accentuate the glory and the wonder that lurks, waiting for us, in this very narrow slice of time between the birth canal and the yawning grave. In other words we have to return to first premises."



20. Beyond and besides identity


20. Perspective of Learning the importance of following are required:- Unless and until there is a natural or socio culturally initiated importance given to sophistication and adjustments necessary for a collective  cohabitation of civilized life with humanitarian concerns and environmental wellbeing ( which means addressing many problems of vast number of people and also acknowledging the sensitivities of modern life styles without compromising on certain very essential aspects of life and a responsibility to leave a liveable planet for posterity) all sorts of chaos and cut throat activities will continue and they can get further fuelled if the economic conditions are also poor.


21. Identities and relationships

21. Attitude of Adjusting relationships that is required for these transformations:-


All relationships effect a transformation, a transition from a present status influencing and impacting ourselves, others, our environment and our very relationship which causes this and so on. This transformation happens due to many of the factors mentioned above in the normal process in a gradual way or sometimes by suddenly overcoming the constraints of time and space, and due to different affinities to various other identities or despite all identities.


This happens when there is unqualified complete love as Jeff Brown points out "You don’t measure love in time. You measure love in transformation. Sometimes the longest connections yield very little growth, while the briefest of encounters change everything. The heart doesn't wear a watch- it’s timeless. It doesn’t care how long you know someone. It doesn’t care if you had a 40 year anniversary if there is no juice in the connection. What the heart cares about is resonance. Resonance that opens it, resonance that enlivens it, resonance that calls it home. And when it finds it, the transformation begins…"


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