Macchars don’t wear sweaters

The Lightness of Being

Posted on: June 26, 2009

It’s ironical how when we are young, things happen to us. But as we get older, we become what happens(ed) to us. Our memories, our experiences, the events of our life, our relationships, our successes, our faliures, all burdens bearing down on us, robbing our being of its weightlessness, its transendensce.

Maybe that is why frustration sets in as you age, or pride.


10 Responses to "The Lightness of Being"

Thats why the heaviness seems as unbearable as the lightness..we’re weighted down by all the crosses we bear and the battlewounds on our bodies..and yet, our existence is so light, its almost as if we dint exist..

it is possible to be an adult and be knowledgeable yet naive and full of wonder. but that is unnatural.

if you are aware of the jadedness, the spark is alive. 🙂

@ tangled. I would love to read “the unbearable lightness of being” :). Although that’s where i got the title, i’m not sure what it is about. i guess our existence is light. when one dies, it doesn’t really matter much to the world.

I’m thinking of writing a short story, inspired by you and arslan 🙂

@ harman. what i had in mind is not quite a “naive”, childlike and wonder filled lightness of being. a youngster might be quite adept at the ways of the world, but at that age, the sense of identity doesn’t derive so much from memory – i achieved that and that, i found love with so and so – but is more derived from an innate confidence in the self, and that one can conquer the world. life lies ahead in the realm of possibility, and you are a young idealistic warrior, ready to take it on.

but as one ages, one becomes backward looking. your sense of identity deriving from all that you did. this is also perhaps the view that existentialists propagate – you are what you do.

as you approach the end, your self is now not this effervescent entity which defies definition and confines, a font of endless possibility, but just the ways in which it manifested itself in the external world. the doer evaporates into nothingness, and it is just what he did that remains of him.

As ones identity becomes more firmly rooted in memory, associations formed from life experiences, especially negative, increasingly dog us down. for example hate for a certain person, which soon loses all connection with facts and reality, and seeps to the level of feeling. or a lack of confidence in certain situations.

it would be great if one could de-program oneself from these associations.

(i barely made sense to myself)

oh its a wonderful book..but not as wonderful as that idea..and the idea is already in ur head..

and i wud be really really flattered to think my story had inspired another one..esp. by you..


pithy and beautiful.

We feel the weight more than there actually is – fear, inertia – and hence refuse to start afresh many times when even the opportunity comes.

Feeling old and bound by the past has nothing to do with chronological age, as can be proven by myriad examples. Life condition does not depend on years. Although it can change instantaneously (simultaniety of cause and effect being operative in subjective life phenomenon) one may remain stuck in a repetitive groove throughout one’s life and perhaps beyond. Alternatively a motor which has been inactive for a period of time springs to action the moment it is plugged to the mains. Ofcourse one needs to know where the socket is located.

memories, fears, relationships, etc that pull you down are actually the most effervescent elements and would evaporate if you let them. i think the heaviness is born out of being more aware of your feelings, being more conscious and probably succumbing to your fears and the past.

of course its true that the self is merely a culmination of the experiences the ‘happened’ to a person. but things are happening today, and your sense of identity belongs as much to now as to yesterday, since it will be your identity tomorrow.

you are a being,you are a free spirit. and life is too short to be weighed down by its lightness.

and read the first two chapters of the book, its enough to keep you thinking for a long time 🙂

But that is life. And there’s nothing wrong with it taking its natural course. Of course, if we don’t like who we’ve become, we can try to go back to looking at the world with the same wonder and curiosity we had when we were 16. But that rarely happens. Mostly because very few people understand that it’s not an either/or situation. That you can be weighed down by life, but still be excited by it.

How you achieve that balance – I don’t know. Yet.


Wow Pankaj, this was a great thought. I think it lurks in everyone’s mind, but very few have the clarity of mind to dissect it to its barest cause–experiences in life.

If I’ve speak for myself–yes, there was a time I was determined, wanted to do many things–more so for others, rather than myself (like building an center of learning where original thinking would be valued), but now two things have happened: (1) I see it as pointless; (2) I see it as not possible.

Obviously, this attitudinal transition weighs heavily on my mind when it comes to self-image. But I’m not ashamed of that particular transition ‘cuz seeking out of truth (about life, people, the nature of our existence) are active processes, but the impressions that the world leaves on our mind is very passive.

And you made complete sense to me through your post as well as your comments. 🙂


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