Monthly Archives: October 2015

Need for Legitimacy

  • Quest for legitimacy

One thing I have observed early on in my childhood is that even the most unruly lads in the neighborhood would come and greet my parents on Diwali and other festivals. They would not show the same respect when they were beating a shopkeeper on the street for not paying weekly dues though.

Why is that so? Everyone including the outlaws strive for legitimacy. Legitimacy is a basic human need. This is what drives Robin Hoods of the world to help the poor. This is what makes military dictators say they are doing what they are doing to help the people, to root out corruption and whatever local flavor works in a given situation. Take, for example, the case of Pakistan, where half of their independent existence has been under military rule and every dictator had his own benevolent reasons to do what he did. Each one could have ruled without seeking any legitimacy but some changed the constitution, some forced courts to approve their take-over of power in the name of “doctrine of necessity” and some held mock referendums to show they have people’s mandate.

You look around and everywhere you will see people act out of their self-interest and associate it with a greater cause to seek legitimacy. Even the most self-serving acts can be defended by associating them with a greater cause and seek legitimacy. If a person sues a big venture capitalist firm by using the legal system as a proxy to settle her score, she would still associate it with gender equality and other similar causes to seek legitimacy. Some socialist can argue that the rich have devised terms like “trickle down effect” to provide legitimacy to their amassing of wealth. Legitimacy is what causes religious leaders to associate their self-serving acts with protecting the faith. Need for legitimacy is what causes terrorist masterminds to associate holy war with self-serving acts of killing innocent people and still expect to meet virgins in the heaven.

Source of creativity 

  • Source of Creativity

There is a lot of talk about Mark Zuckerberg mentioning to Narendra Modi a certain temple he visited in India upon Steve Jobs’ suggestion. If we go by what Mark said, then his month-long visit to this temple got his creative juices flowing and now Facebook is where it is. 

A few weeks back, I wrote about the role of aether in advancement of human civilization. Now, aether is a convenient term to describe a phenomenon. The best way to think of this term is that you learnt it the first time. Aether leads to flow of serotonin like a chemical which is primarily responsible for creativity. 
There are other ways to pump serotonin, like taking mood enhancing drugs, taking focus drugs and last but not the least, marijuana. Remember I said pump serotonin, not generate it. Let me explain the difference: Say, you have $100k in the bank. Generally, you are very conservative about spending it. For anything you want to buy, you look in many places to find the best deal. Now you take a drug which teleports you to vegas and you have fun there all night. The thrill you got by gambling and other things was too good. But what happened to your bank account. Cost of this thrill was, say, $98k. Now you are left with $2k which is not enough to even pay rent in bay area. This is what drugs do. They do not generate serotonin out of thin air but pump out to your blood stream whatever your body has accumulated over a long period of time. 

What if someone takes you to vegas free of cost? Well, nothing is really free, but there are techniques which help generate serotonin like chemicals or at least effects equivalent to that. They are:

  • Meditation
  • Chanting including Om
  • Flame

 Both meditation and chanting are easy to understand. What fascinated me most is the flame. There is a layer of aether (source: Sadhguru) which gets generated around a flame. This aether not only makes you calm and composed but also makes you more creative.