Saturday, September 3, 2011

The birth of reasoning

    When Jung defined introverts as those who draw energy from within themselves and extroverts as those who draw it from outside, the rationale appealed to a lot of people. After all, the question "Why are people different?" is one that has been tried to be answered from ancient times. You might have yourself contemplated on the different personalities you come across every other day. "Why is he so silent?", "Why is he able to work so hard while I am not?", "Why is she so flirtatious?"

 In the beginning, as you all might have read in your middle school history books, we were so pre-occupied with hunting and gathering. If given a chance, I still think if I were granted a boon, I would only ask for a time machine. Ever wondered how clueless the first human beings might have been? In fact, I think it is an idea that is beyond our limits of thinking. It is like asking you to forget every single bit of knowledge you have - what the sun is, what the trees are, what the sea is. Erase every thing in the brain and then see the world. Impossible right?

In fact, even if we were to be suddenly put in another planet, where every shape and form is beyond our understanding, we still are smart enough to contemplate - We would gaze around and try drawing parallels. Can this be an animal? Is it a stone? We know what an 'animal' is. We know what non-living things are. But the first human beings were blank slates - perhaps can be compared to new borns. 

Were they scared? Were they fascinated? Their only solace might have been the fact that there were a few around just like them - with two long elastic sticks jutting out from the middle and end of the body (limbs), black wavy stuff everywhere (hair) and so on. Everything else was foreign. Different. The yellow shining goblet on a blue endless stretch of sheet. Immobile brown barks with small green attachments at the top. Perhaps, slowly they must have gotten used to many of these things since they were harmless - they never moved, they never spoke, they never disturbed these people.

Figuring out these 'alien' objects must have been their first pre-occupation, if at all. Only when the external got clearer, would one have turned to analyze what had been their first companion - the people around. In other words, when you are under a terror threat outside your house, you are surely not going to sit and study the flowers in the garden. 

However, once this happened, many theories were put to explain the differences in people. It is thought that the first people to start  'personality' theory were the Greeks and Romans. However, a little known fact remains that our very own Indians devised an impeccable reasoning to explain behavior differences as long as 1000 years before the Romans and Greeks. It is hardly acknowledged by the 'Scientific' West but remains the foremost basis of Ayurvedic Science - one that even the West is turning towards now - the Tri-Dosha Theory.

Both the Tri-Dosha and Greek theory had one similarity - they based it on the five elements. Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, Sky; Five elements which every philosophy of this world reveres; Five elements which every religious custom places importance on. Mere philosophic rants or a representation of a super intelligence that is beyond our comprehension?

(To to contd...)


nonchalant psyche said...

from where do u get to know of these theories :-) enlightening :-) btw r u sure every religion places great importance to d five elements?htening :-) btw r u sure every religion places great importance to d five elements?

n wat r u referin to when u said mere philosophical rant in d very last line?

Anonymous said...

Hmm. Intrigued by the Tri-Dosha theory.


siddharth said...

Hmmm.. Interesting post! N for the observer you are i only wonder what amuses you more - how the human mind works under different circumstances ?
Or how and why civilizations seem to have 'evolved' with time?

You know why i ask, don't you! :)

siddharth said...

Also about the line 'Erase everything in the brain and then see the world. Impossible right?'.. Well said!

They then become akin to the eyes through which a newborn sees the world. With wonder, curiosity and amazement. Why? Maybe ignorance is bliss after all! :)

CHIBI said...

I had to read about the tri-dosha theory before commenting on this post.

It was a very Interesting read... wonder how our ancestors thought about these stuff.. I guess ignorance was the reason. I guess education does make not make us intelligent after all..!

and for relation between personality and doshas, i would like to hear your view first before i speak of mine ! looking forward to the next post.

Srinidhi said...

I think reasoning is so important. But I tend to reason so much that I forget where I started. :p

Lovely post. :)

Sindu said...

@ NP: Ah! What can I say? I am glad if you find them that way.

I am yet to verify on the 'every religion' but the major religions of the ancient world - mainly Hinduism and Buddhism did.

Philosophical in mere symbolism, comparing an intense man to say, fire? or something deeper, as finding an energy connection between fire and this man?

Sindu said...

@V: Ah! Well... don't give up on me yet! That is all I can ask, isn't it? :)

Sindu said...

@Siddharth: Well, both are kinda linked, don't you think. If we know how human civilizations evolved over time, we would get the answer of how the human mind that made those civilizations worked at diff points in time.

Also, I did not exactly mean a new-born's ignorance and nonchalance. At this stage, as an adult, if you suddenly forgot it all and had to start all over again, how would it be?

But yes, agree that ignorance is always bliss! Though life never spares you till you get rid of it! :)

Sindu said...

@CHIBI: I am glad you took time to read about the theory. Glad? In fact, wow, I am exhilarated! Thank you! :)

And you are bang on about your opinion on today's education. I doubt if we have gotten any smarter as a race in the past many hundreds of years.

Dosha theory- Soon! :(

Sindu said...

@Srinidhi: Ah! Welcome to the world of Inductive thinking! :)

Thank you for visiting, Srinidhi!

Anonymous said...

Whew. Thank god that you appeared when you did - I had in fact written you off. :D


Sindu said...

@V: My inner voice doing a shrill "Howww meeeaaannnn!"

Well, you should know better than annoy a woman with a comment like that! ;P