Posts Tagged matrix

Defining happiness through suffering

I came across this thought the other day and I was reminded of two of my favorite sci-fi references to that.

For those who haven’t seen / understood (:P) the Matrix, here is the RED pill. The Matrix is supposed to be a perpetual dream into which all human minds are supposed to be plugged in. This is developed by the machines to keep the humans alive and captive so that they can harness the energy generated while “living the dream”.

Quoting agent Smith  – “Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program…I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery. The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from…

It is true isn’t it? Our life gets a meaning only when we are struggling for something – may it be for survival, for food, for money, for love or for something else depending on the circumstances we find ourselves in. But do we forget to stop and look at the smaller happinesses which come our way? Can we taste joy only after we have been though hell? Does success only after struggle matter? Do we always need to associate any high in our life with a low to make it worth?

Another of my favorite novels from Isaac Asimov – “The End of Eternity” revolves round the same theme. In this an organisation is carrying out social engineering – changing reality by time travel and thus building an utopia for mankind which will be free of war, disease, terror, poverty i.e. in short free of suffering. But then when the reality unfolds they realise that man has become stagnant, unambitious, there are no new inventions and we ultimately meet our end due to our failure to leave the earth and colonise other planets.

This opens up a new angle to suffering – the mother of all innovation. Clearly, the most productive times for research and development were the two world wars. The Cold war accelerated the progress into space exploration and nuclear energy which have translated into many a innovations in every day life gadgets.

The more I think about it the more I feel it is human nature. It is in everyone of us. We appreciate good things more when they come after a bad time, appreciate white when it is next to black. Or realise the worth of things only when they are taken away from us. From the movie “Zindagi na milegi dobara”  – When we breath normally, we do not think twice about it but we cherish every breath when we are underwater. I think there in lies the true essence of life. Yes, there are certain things to struggle for – those define us, those give us purpose, those drive  us forward and prevent us from stagnation. Yes, we should cherish success which comes after hard work. But that doesn’t mean that we be unhappy while fighting for it. Life and this world is full of so many small things and tiny moments – each with their own charm, they are to precious to be missed. Its like you start off by believing you are happy and then do things which make you more happy. As Leo Tolstoy said – “If you want to be happy, just be.”

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