- There are infinite levels in every sphere of individual existence.
- The way is to identify them and cd .. from a level when the need for clarity arises.
- To level down must be by choice.
DISCLAIMER: This world model is based heavily on the Special Theory of Relativity. Although you don’t have to have so much technical knowledge about it.
Each of us sees the world in a different way. We might not know exactly HOW different but for all practical purposes we experience the same things in the same way and life is good. Our social lives depend heavily on perspective- our own or the ones of people around us. ALL of the conflicts that we face as an individual are because of clashes in opinion (trust me, ALL of them, at some level). Einstein, in his famous paper in 1905, said that everything in this Universe is relative including TIME. That practically means that nothing is universal. That everything is as we see it to be. Your yellow is not everybody’s yellow, nor is anybody’s bitter your bitter. Wouldn’t that make the world an unstable place to live in? But we survive. Most of us happily at that! Deep inside we all know that we live in a world driven by opinions and opinions are as perfect as the person who forms them. Nothing is right or wrong unless AN INDIVIDUAL thinks it is. Even so, his right-wrong opinion about that thing will ONLY be valid for him.
The KISS Principle
No. This is not what you’re thinking about. KISS is an acronym for
Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Since man’s hunter-gatherer times, he has learned a lot about nature and adapting himself to it. There is no doubt that he did great job because you and I are here only because our ancestors survived all the harsh conditions of back then. Isn’t it surprising that all they needed to survive in those ages was SO less than all we need to survive now? Sure we are a civilization now and we have birthed the concept of money, but should minimal survival be so taxing that we lose the sense of it? We live in a world where we have lost the awareness of choice. We accept what we are given. We don’t know other choices because you have to level up to see that you always have a choice. You don’t know what you don’t know. So we lose sight of living and stagnate and our life becomes static.
Needs and Wants
Apple’s Steve Jobs once said that to do good business, one must offer his customers that which even they don’t know they need.
In Jobs’ statement, we notice what is known to be a brilliant marketing strategy that is disguising wants as needs. It is like when you are totally content with a product and its functionality and THEN, a new product is launched with a couple more feature additions and you convince yourself to buy that one because..- WHY? To fool yourself into complicating your life. Needs exist to help us survive and any ‘need’ that does ANYTHING more than that becomes a want.
We are so conditioned by the people around us that we blindly accept what they accept. We must know to think. Other person’s reasons may NEVER apply to you.
When we accept others needs as our own (except the basic ones like food and shelter), we are actually saying goodbye our sense of individuality. When needs/wants are satisfied, they become very hard to identify. Like the saying- We only understand the value of things when they are gone. That is, when the need/want still exists but the thing that satisfied it is no more.
So a satisfied want is like a hidden agent which complicates our life from behind the scenes and we don’t even notice it. So what’s the point if we don’t notice it you say? It’s like a when you give a machine a problem to solve, it won’t complain because we haven’t programmed it to have a sense of CHOICE. It must solve the problem because it sees no other way. Therefore it isn’t aware of any other choice it could possibly make!
BUT PEOPLE ARE NOT MACHINES.
The reason I found to come up with the Levels theory is that I couldn’t have my views about the world and its people based upon the things I heard from the people around me. It just seemed very bound by space and time. That is, what I learned from my parents or school or friends about the world was going to be valid only up to a certain age or just inside India, or Ahmadabad or my own house. Here is the first example I present which will be good enough to make you understand what this is all about:
When King Bum’s kingdom was about to be conquered be the Fire Nation, instead of choosing between attacking the Fire Nation troops and defending his people, he chose to not act and wait for the right moment. King Bumi leveled up when he had to make that choice. Nobody was harmed and he surrendered. If he had chosen to fight back or defend, many lives would have definitely been lost. Going up one level basically helps in identifying needs and making wise decisions. The higher level is much simpler and has no clutter compared to lower levels which is why things become clearer.
Bumi made the choice on a higher level (between action and inaction) and hence his decision had no effect on the lower level. He did cd.. (Linux programming command which is analogous to ‘look at the bigger picture’)
Why do all this?
The question comes to you. The most amazing thing about the Levels theory is that the more you think about it, the more obvious it will start to seem. This is because the theory is not a discovery. It is a realization of what we already understand about everything we know in this world. There are levels everywhere if you open your mind- Levels of observation, levels of living, levels of control, levels of freedom, levels of consciousness, levels of learning, levels of communication and the list is infinite!
Regardless of its obviousness, it takes practice and experience to identify levels and rise above them. The only reason you will ever find to level up will be because of lack of contentment or clarity. It is only these two things which will help you identify a higher level. You can’t level up if you’re happy in one level. Because you won’t find a NEED to level up. So the only advice I give is- KNOW that you can level up when you are dissatisfied with something. You have a choice to look at the bigger picture so that things become clear in your mind.
There are a few points you must keep in mind. When you level up, the lower level does not MATTER to you anymore. You are detached from all the activities that go on in that level. So, in the most practical way of speaking, reaching the highest level is attaining liberation, aka, Enlightenment.
The Final Complete Example
A swinging pendulum is an excellent example which shows infinite levels of playing with time. When a pendulum is swinging, its POSITION constantly changes with time (x). When we measure its velocity at any point, we go up one level in time (x/t). Similarly, acceleration is the second level (x/t2). There will also be rate of acceleration and rate of rate of acceleration. In this example, we notice that as we start going from velocity (which is constantly changing with time like displacement) to acceleration (which is ALWAYS constant), the values of higher levels appear as if they are not bothered by the change in those of the lower levels. They don’t care about change but they still represent change.
Such is The Levels Theory, which I humbly present to you. I hope this two minute read does you better than nothing.
Further reading: avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Jing