Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication
Q: How do we make ourselves feel positive when negative things are happening?
Krishna: The thing that makes us truly strong is ‘being realistic’, neither positivity nor negativity. Being positive makes us expect too much. It is not a very effective tool and can be downright harmful in some cases, when you don’t get the picture right and anticipate more than you put efforts into a situation. That is like kidding yourself!
There are much better ways to get the benefits that positive thinking allegedly provides. Can you actually go through life without labeling what happens to you as good or bad? Yes, you can. You have to train yourself to do this. You have been conditioned to think of things as bad or good. You can de-condition yourself.
Think of our pain and suffering as being hit by two arrows. The first arrow, the inevitable pain of life, whether a difficult event, thought or feeling, is shot at us; we have little control over this. But then we shoot a second arrow at ourselves with our own reaction to the pain, amplifying and prolonging it. The suffering from the refusal or pushing away of this pain, the "it shouldn’t be here," the "I can’t stand this," but also the blaming, the ruminating, the "why me?" the "it’s always been this way and always going to be this way" stories: these are the parts we add. To put it simply: pain is inevitable; suffering is optional. “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”
Failures might occur in life. When they do, you should revisit your problem, analyse it thoroughly and realistically in an enlightened way and think you haven't found a proper solution to it yet and that's why you couldn't overcome it, then try to get one, increase your efficiency of the effort, plug the loopholes and go after it with all your might to defeat it.
That is the realistic way of doing things.
Q: Happiness makes me sick. People make me sick. Just the thought of "love" makes me sick. Just thinking of the word makes me cringe and sick. What is this?
Krishna: Different people will have different perceptions about things around them.
What some people call ‘happiness’ what they are experiencing might look false to you if you are a ‘different thinker’ which can make their perception sick.
If people are selfish, shallow, jealous, money-minded, loveless, that might again make you sick.
If people around you are not very good, you might think the world made of tehse people is sick.
What people call ‘love’ might have shown you a different and false angle of it which makes you sick.
You must have seen only the darker side of the world, people, love to make these things look sick.
Change your view and perception, the world too changes.
Q: Will loneliness destroy a person?
Krishna: That really depends on the personality of the lonely being. There are people who enjoy loneliness and make use of it in positive and creative ways and there are people who wail in self pity.
Who says loneliness is boring? It is fun and highly productive. And highly creative people prefer loneliness. Creativity -both scientific and artistic - flourishes in solitude. With quiet, you can hear your thoughts, you can reach deep within yourself, you can focus.
Behavioral studies have found that more creative people may have leaky sensory filters. That means the involuntary neurological process that ordinarily filters out irrelevant stimuli are not as fully engaged.
To test that idea, researchers asked volunteers to fill out a creative achievement questionnaire and take a test to assess creative cognition. Then, their brain activity was monitored while they listened to closely separated click sounds.
A typical brain responds to the first click a lot stronger than the second, identical click. It’s as if the brain acknowledges it processed something novel and doesn’t need to process the second click to the same extent. But for creative brains—the situation can be different!
Very creative people process the second click to the same degree so they don’t censor out information that is repetitive or irrelevant in some sense. What’s interesting is that it happens 50 milliseconds after stimulus onset. With behavioral studies it’s impossible to sort of know exactly when this…happens. And with neurophysiology they are able to see that only 50 milliseconds after…the clicks in their study were presented. More creative people were less likely to filter out the noise. So 50 milliseconds, you’re not able to decide whether…to process something or not, it’s sort of an automatic response.
For creative minds each and every thing that comes their way is important and should be processed in equal ways and all points should be noted with highest priority.
If this kind of hyper-alert condition sounds familiar, you are highly creative! Mozart, Kafka, Darwin, Chekhov, Tesla, and Proust were reported to avoid distractions while working because they were easily distracted. If noise derails your thought, the problem might be that you may have a highly creative brain that's less able to filter out seemingly unimportant events.
According to Tesla: “The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone—that is the secret of invention: be alone, that is when ideas are born.”
Goethe: “One can be instructed in society, one is inspired only in solitude.”
Picasso: “Without great solitude no serious work is possible."
Carl Sandburg: “One of the greatest necessities is to discover creative solitude.”
Thomas Mann: “Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous — to poetry.”
“Creativity is essentially a lonely art. An even lonelier struggle. To some a blessing. To others a curse. It is in reality the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from your very soul an idea.”~Lou Dorfsman
So almost all creative people either in science or art prefer solitude and agree with other creative people.
Reasonable-- and meaningful-- set of four factors that govern solitude according to experts:
1. Preference for solitude
Prefer to be left alone, want to be left alone, seek quiet, don't like crowded events
2. Enjoyment of solitude
Enjoy spending time by oneself, amuse oneself easily
Spend time reflecting on things, enjoy contemplation, like to ponder over things
Have a point of view all one's own, go one's own way, live in a world of one's own, do things at one's own pace.
Research suggests that there are some serious benefits to singlehood. For example, people who score high on the desire to spend time alone are less likely to be neurotic and more likely to be open-minded than are people who prefer to be surrounded with others. Single people also develop a diverse portfolio of skills — they can't depend on a partner to do the taxes or cook dinner — which may give them a sense of mastery over life.
We really need to do is find out much more about what's important to single people, what their lives are like, what they value — and that gives us a much fuller and fairer picture of the different ways of living a life.
Q: Why are some people mentally strong while others aren't as much? Is it mostly genetics? (Not very mentally strong) woman in her early twenties here. Why is it so hard for some people to be mentally strong? Are people just born with a tendency to be mentally strong/weak?
Krishna: Let me answer you from my point of view.
It is not hereditary for me because none of my family members are as strong as I am. I was also a ‘weak’ person when I was very young.
But I am extremely strong now…
My strength came from my confidence because of my knowledge in several fields and my critical thinking capabilities. I can analyse the problems I have thoroughly and rationally, and solve them using my knowledge creatively. Even I never thought I could do all this until I did and my friends, colleagues, relatives and people who knew me from the beginning too get surprised now.
Like somebody said … you really don’t know how strong you are until … being strong becomes your only choice…
Who knows even you could become a strong person when circumstances demand that from you! So don’t lose heart.
Q: What would be a perfect one-word answer to "What do you want out of life" be, and why?
Everything else comes under that heading!
Q: What are the good points of a religion?
Krishna: The only good point I see in religion is ... it gives some sort of emotional support to those who need it.
Q: Why are we expected to oppose superstitions but tolerate religions even though religion deals with several irrational beliefs?
Krishna : Human reasoning takes several routes. It is highly influenced by biases and motivational reasoning. Intuition comes in and corrupts it too using memories of strange kinds and pattern recognition process. But intuition is very limited in its factual basis. Others, like our family members, close friends and relatives, people who we admire and adore, our groups and communities also influence our thought process. Individuals can’t justify their beliefs, but groups are great at justifying things (though not necessarily justifications that would be always right). A little social support from others can generate a lot of confidence and you can confidently go wrong here. :)
We can also reason by deliberating, thinking things through carefully. But we don’t do that very much, and we’re not very good at it as individuals. Unless you are a good independent critical thinker, have the courage to come out of influences, biases and support systems, you cannot free yourself of irrational beliefs.
Nobody can justify an irrational belief properly and correctly.
If you criticize superstitions, you are a hero. On the other hand if you criticize religion, you become a villain.
This is because social groups place religion at the highest level because it has something to do with what they think is the ‘highest authority in the universe’. If you try to fiddle with this thought process or belief system, you will have to face the music.
But at least you are allowed to oppose superstitions. Thank them for it! :)
Irrationality has no real justification. That is why it is called irrational!
Q: If you can give me only one tip to improve my life, what would it be?
Krishna: Follow the scientific way of life!
Q: Is the death of friends and family members harder on scientists, because they don't believe in an afterlife?
Krishna: Coping with the death of a loved one is hard for anyone. But as a person of science I could overcome my grief caused by the death of both my beloved parents very well. Read here how science helped me in doing so …
Q: Since you don't have beliefs that hell is real, what guides you to be good and stops you from doing evil?
Krishna: If I do something bad, it will hurt human beings like me. They will have emotions like I have that might make their life difficult to live.
What more reasons do you need to be good as a rational human being?
Q: Why is selective thinking wrong? Why do people do selective thinking?
Krishna: Motivational reasoning, biases screw up your thought process and you end up compromising to make peace with yourself. Then you enter a phase of unreal or pseudo-world but think it is real! That is how irrationality originates.
Yes, you can live in this artificial and easy world if you want like several people do, but you miss the beauty of reality and real mind strength brought by it.
Q: How should I respond when I'm told that my beliefs and religion aren't beyond criticism?
Krishna: If you are a critical thinker, you accept it. If your thoughts are driven by emotions, you feel bad and start attacking the person who said it or the one who criticizes your beliefs.
Now decide for yourself which category you belong to.
Q: Why do people keep their houses messy?
Krishna: Because they didn’t experience the real benefit of orderliness!
The usual explanation they give is thy don’t have time to keep it in order.
My reply to them… just try orderliness once and say that again. Orderliness saves time!
Q: Do people always listen to good advice given by experts?
Krishna: Human perception is a strange thing. People get influenced by several biases.
I met an interesting lady sometime back. She gives importance to statuses in society and money people have. According to her, rich people can never go wrong or be wrong! Because all their 'rightness' made them succeed and rich! She listens to them when they talk and think all that they say is correct even if it is not! Hmmm!
Poor people or experts who are not rich don't even exist in her world. When such people talk, she just ignores them or argues against them. What can you say about such people?
Hit 'ignore' button and move on! Science doesn't give a damn!
Q: Between being stupid and happy vs being smart and not so happy, what would you choose?
Krishna: I feel this Q is not framed rightly.
Yes, you can be stupid and be happy in a stupid way!
You can be smart and be happy in a smart way too! If you are smart, you can turnaround every unhappy situation into a happier one!
So I prefer smartness any day!
Q: How do you deal with people who hate you?
Krishna: Hit the ‘ignore button’ and move on. Who has the time for such people? I have better things to do than dealing or thinking about them!
Q: Can anyone donate a kidney to anyone?
Krishna: Kidney donation begins with a blood test. The test will determine your blood type and if it will match the recipient's blood (compatibility). If your blood type is compatible with the recipient, two more blood tests will be done (tissue typing or genetic typing and cross-matching).
Tissue typing is a blood test that matches the number of antigens the donor and recipient share. These antigens can recognize the difference between two people's body tissue.
Each person has six basic tissue typing antigens (or markers) shared equally from their parents. The markers help tell which donor will be the best match between the recipient and donor. A parent and child would have at least 50 percent match while siblings could have a zero to 100 percent match.
The best match for the recipient is to have six out of six antigens match. (This is known as a zero mismatch.) It is possible for all six markers to match.
It is not necessary that you match your antigens for a successful transplant. Even matching one antigen may make for a more successful transplant than matching five or six antigens from a deceased donor kidney.
Cross-matching is a blood test you and the recipient will have at least two different times to see if the recipient will react to your kidney. If there is no reaction, the result is a negative cross-match. This means the transplant surgery can happen.
You can pass all of your other tests, but if you have a positive cross-match - meaning the recipient's body would attack the new kidney - you cannot donate your kidney to that person.
Also, to be considered for kidney donation, you cannot abuse drugs, including alcohol and you shouldn't have serious infections like HIV.
Q: Why is luck so important?
Krishna: What you call ‘luck’ is just your perception or an interpretation about a situation.
Actually if you lack control over a problem and when your effort is not up to the mark to solve it, you call it bad luck and you try to make it responsible for your failure.
On the other hand if you succeed, you call it good luck.
Either way, your smartness, effort, determination to solve a problem or defeat your opponent are more important in determining your success.
When you screw your thought process you end up with a thing called ‘luck’ either good or bad. That is undermining the power of a human mind and yielding to uncertainty and chaos.
Q: Why are you lucky?
Krishna: Because my brain has two very powerful tools it uses successfully…
Critical thinking and Knowledge.
They give me tremendous power, courage, confidence, success, satisfaction, facts that govern this universe and the right outlook.
Q: Why do you think ancient cultures used to believe in multiple gods (under the same religion), instead of a single one responsible for everything?
Krishna : During the earlier times people saw lives with pains, tragedies, sorrows and several things around them. They wanted some kind of theory which could explain all this. Therefore, they thought about explanations and theories which gradually led into beliefs. These beliefs, which were influenced by the times they lived in i.e., non-scientific reasoning, were products of constant fear of the unknown. Instead of taking on the fear head on and finding permanent solutions, they just escaped into the world of false beliefs that gave them temporary relief. In a world where people clutch at all kinds of straws to make some sense of the madness around them, truth can never be found. Instead of analyzing, examining and understanding why something happens and how it should be handled, they tried shortcuts by bringing unknown and untested factors to interpret things! These beliefs divided people because each person had a different set of experiences and those in turn influenced their explanations and the resultant beliefs based on their mental makeup and situations and not on one truth. That's how different beliefs - both religious and non-religious - originated.
Q: What is the origin of the Hindu custom of not allowing menstruating women in prayer rooms or kitchens? Does it have any basis outside of the religious beliefs?
Krishna : There are many myths and false beliefs associated with this process and they are used to discriminate against women. They are also excuses that people use to ban women from certain places and doing some things. Many girls and women are subject to restrictions in their daily lives in this part of the world simply because they are menstruating.
This custom is based on the misconception that the blood that flows out of the body when a girl/woman is menstruating is bad. It mainly denotes the thought process that as it flows out of the vagina which is situated in between anus and urethra from which main excretion of waste products is done, it cannot be good. But this blood is not bad blood. It just is the same one that flows in a woman’s body. Read the article - whose link is given below - I wrote which deals with myths and misconceptions of menstruation.
Q: Which one quality you admire the most in people?
Krishna: Critical thinking ability that leads to Intellectualism!
Q: What should one do if you face failure just because of your bad luck in everything?
Krishna: If you are blaming ‘bad luck’ for your failures, I can see your problem very clearly!
“Luck” is just your perception. If you lose control over the situation you are in you start blaming everything around you!
When several factors decide outcomes, they follow the interplay of scientific rules and routes and exactly fit into the reaction realities. You have to register this in your mind to come out of the misery you are in. Watch it coolly and try to understand it. How a person survives a health condition or a catastrophe or a bad situation depends on the sum total outcomes of scientific factors occurring simultaneously. Other outside things have no effect whatsoever on it. Any connections you make between rituals/superstitions and the outcomes depend on your perceptions and experiences. A positive outcome either to you or others makes you stick with them. A negative result will make you attack them. But the net result doesn't depend on anything that is not related to it! And these unrelated factors are your beliefs, rituals, superstitions and myths.
Failures might occur in life. When they do, you should revisit your problem, analyse it thoroughly in an enlightened and neutral way and think you haven't found a proper solution to it yet and that's why you couldn't overcome it, then try to get one, increase your efficiency of the effort, plug the loopholes and go after it with all your might to defeat it.
That is the only realistic way to succeed in life!
Q: Which books can boost and empower my intellect and intelligence?
Krishna: I can give thousands of names! But …
You can read innumerable books but still can be stupid if you don’t learn to do critical thinking yourself!
If you want to become intelligent, you can read books and learn things to use them in your daily life. Reading books is like seeing the world from others’ view point.
To become an intellectual you have to do neutral, fact-based, emotion-free, rational analysis of everything that enters your mind. That is the highest form of mind matters.
Now decide for yourself whether you want to become intelligent or an intellectual. See the world with your own eyes or from others’ view point.
Q: Is it true that hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men and weak men create hard times?
Krishna: When I think about the history of India, this quote is quite true!
When we were suffering because of British rule, Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, Subhash Chandra Bose, Laxmi Bai, Sarojini Naidu and innumerable Strong men and women fought for us and brought independence. They created good times initially.
Then our system became corrupt and we have weak politicians all around and weak people who tolerate them after several years of independence and we are facing hard times once again!
That is why one needs hard times in a one’s life to become strong!
Majority of the people in the world think that obstacles, difficulties, pain and agony are not good for them. On the contrary, I feel, they are the machines that polish the personality of a human being. If a person knows how to learn lessons from them and how to understand the philosophy of life, adversities bring out the best in a human being and make the person very strong and beautiful.
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen. They are created by the adversities!
Q: Why am I so unlucky in my life?
Krishna : When you call yourself ‘unlucky’, that shows your attitude that makes you unsuccessful!
It just is your perception that you are unlucky and blaming something else when you yourself lost control over the situations you are in!
Q: Can we be a bad luck to someone?
Krishna: No! If someone says you are their bad luck, that person has lost control over himself and his life and the situation he is in and therefore is making you the scapegoat. And instead of realizing his inadequacies, he is redirecting the blame on you.
Such people cannot correct themselves or the situations they are in until they realize that it is their attitude that is causing their problems , not ‘luck’.
Q: I never saw any ghost. Should I believe in them?
Krishna: If you are scientifically inclined, you will never believe in anything you don’t find evidence of.
If your mind is engaged to fear, you would believe in all the stupid stories people tell you.
Now decide for yourself which category you belong to!
Q: Who is the smartest person in the world?
Krishna: You cannot pin point one person like that. If anybody gives a name it just is based on the ‘limited’ perception of that person.
I think all critical thinkers are smart.
Q: What is the turning point of your life which has changed you completely?
Krishna: Getting a Ph.D. in science. It changed my whole perspective of the universe and life!
Like they say - a mind that is expanded by knowledge can never go back to its original size again. It sees the world in a new light, puts it into a new equation mode, generates wonderful feelings, makes you confident, strong, free and takes you up and up!
You have to experience this to really understand how it can change you into a whole new person!