Introspection of Human Mind- Vol. I
This video gently exposes the other side of life and humanity that is mostly unknown to the Internet-generations and by the end of the video, it leaves the viewers with more questions to ponder upon than they actually began with.
Dive deep into the minds of human from different corners of the world.
This is the first-part video of the three part-series documentary released in 2015 by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, a French environmentalist. The Vol-I mainly focuses on the topics such as love, women, work and poverty.
The cinematic aerial footage and the first-person story telling method can make this documentary deeply personal and emotional to many audiences.
It gently exposes the other side of life and humanity that is mostly unknown to the Internet-generations and by the end of the video, it leaves the viewers with more questions to ponder upon than they actually began with.
The documentary is more like a storytelling or perspective collection from different individuals around the world on different topics like love, woman, poverty, work, etc.
The following are some of the best stories and perspectives you can find in the video. For more stories, please watch the complete video above.
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The death of myths and the age of anxiety – the great existential dilemma
Author of this article is Mr. Atit Shanti Rijal. Mr. Atit holds a great interest in philosophy and is an avid reader and likes to share his knowledge and understanding and sometimes, his own philosophical ideas and thoughts through publishing platform like us.
Myths have remained an integral part of human history. We believe that we are being looked after and that we are loved unconditionally – by a “creator” and a “controller” force.
We believe that there is a meaning to life and that we have a central place in the cosmic existence. We have believed in myths for they have provided easy answers to our questions. We believe we have a duty to fulfill and that we expect others to fulfill theirs’.
We humans have found comfort in religious documents and in romantic literature. But, as we moved on in time, our natural tendency to question things gave rise to realism. Realistic views of the world has made several of us fearful of the huge void that is our existence. We now have varied answers to how and why we exist, we have varied philosophies dealing with human existence.
We do not know for a fact what existence actually means and, now find it harder to give meaning and purpose to life.
As answer-hungry beings, we suffer. We suffer, since we do not know why “we” exist in a rock that hangs on a vast nothingness.
We do not know the beginning and might never know the end.
Does a moral life lead to a smooth after-life? Does an immoral life continue the circle of birth and death? What is a moral life? How do we define a “normal” course of human action? Is life what a group of people (society) define it to be?
These questions are asked by many of us, but, find it hard to put forward because our society has made us to believe that life is in fact beautiful, that success is the ultimate goal, failure devalues life, that love can be easily found, and, that respect is gained through our taste in and choice of class. The “meaning” of life is pre-determined “for us” by those who were born before us.
We fear of being judged – judged of our sanity being questioned, since these are not normal topics for a normal societal person. How dare you rise above the general mass and ask questions that we do not seem to like? Existentialism bores us, do you not understand? Reality is what we have made it to be. This is existence. This right here is the reality.
We would rather believe that human civilization is “certain”.
We are afraid of changes.
And, thus, as we grow older, we slowly begin to “accept” the normality, that is society. We go to functions with the intention of showing our class to people – our class that has been defined by our societies. We have less intellectual discussions and try to stay away from topics that do not suit our liking. We confirm with the norms of the society no matter how hard some are to achieve, or, how meaningless and futile they are to perform.
We build our image as our society wants it to be. We find it extremely tiring to revolt against some of the childish illusions our society wants us to put up with.
But some have indeed started to question myths. They have started questioning the “existence and creation myth” that we are made to believe. From the 129th hymn Nasadiya Sukta to modern thinking and discourses, some of us have started to revolt.
Some of us have started to separate myths and the existence of consciousness.
We have started to question our being. Why are we here? What purpose are we to serve? We have stopped sticking to a singular idea of creation – we have started questioning all of them.
“To some this is a welcome release from the restraints of moral, social, and spiritual dogma. To others it is a dangerous and terrifying breach with reason and sanity, tending to plunge human life into hopeless chaos. To most, perhaps, the immediate sense of release has given a brief exhilaration, to be followed by the deepest anxiety.” (The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety, Alan Watts)
Those of us who have now started revolting the old ideas are but faced with anxiety. We are very desperate to rid ourselves of this angst. We are anxious because we as humans have killed myths and now have no answers.
“For if all is relative, if life is a torrent without form or goal in whose flood absolutely nothing save change itself can last, it seems to be something in which there is “no future” and thus no hope.” (The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety, Alan Watts)
One clearer thing is that we are not promised with an after-life, neither are we promised with God’s love and affection for maintaining our life as per our religious standards. We might have no purpose after all. We will study, work for the rest of our lives, retire and then die – quietly around a group of a few people and, then slowly and gradually be forgotten.
This knowledge, however, creates a dilemma – and the dilemma creates an existential crisis.
Many of us find liberation in being able to question the long known traditions of our family, our social life, of our government, the economy of our nation and of our religious belief. We begin to understand that only few things can be regarded to be true and fixed.
But many of us are anxious because we see these institutions fail and now have no rock to hold on to. We have been accustomed to believe that the pain and suffering of our life has some meaning and that we will be able to grab some surplus in the future. It is hard for some of us to believe that we as humans can however, fail.
We cannot accept that we as humans are insignificant in this cosmic reality because, we have, for much of our history, found comfort in myths – we have believed them to be true. But since myths are debunked, we find it hard to grant them positions in our consciousness.
We have abandoned gods and their mythical stories and have said frequently that our scientifically enlightened mind rejects something that has no basis in reality.
In the course of our scientific development, we forgot that myth while still alive had helped us with our existential questions. “Among the so-called neurotics of our day there are a good many who in other ages would not have been neurotic—that is, divided against themselves. If they had lived in a period… in which man was still linked by myth with the world of the ancestors…. they would have been spared this division within themselves.” (Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections)
Myths provided ready answers to our questions about the unknown, it helped us to construct a meaningful story about the existence of life. Nietzsche and Jung point out that myths and religions in a teleological manner provide meaning to life. “The Pueblo Indians believe that they are the sons of Father Sun, and this belief endows their life with a perspective (and a goal) that goes far beyond their limited existence. It gives them ample space for the unfolding of personality and permits them a full life as complete persons. Their plight is infinitely more satisfactory than that of a man in our own civilization who knows that he is (and will remain) nothing more than an underdog with no inner meaning to his life.” (Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols). “Considered from the standpoint of realism, the symbol is not of course an external truth, but it is psychologically true, for it was and is the bridge to all that is best in humanity.” (Carl Jung, Symbols of Transformation)
We are now enlightened and have “killed” all the existing gods, and cannot go back to a debunked theory that we now know was never true. Carl Gustav Jung in his autobiography explains how we cannot go back now for we have been aware. But, Jung also saw the psychological problems of not having myths around and, how uncomfortable he was after having realized this fact.
“Man today, stripped of myth, stands famished among all his pasts and must dig frantically for roots…” (Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy). Since the death of myths, we are unable to make sense of our existence and are desperately trying to run away from the existential angst. We are frantically looking for distractions, to avoid anxious thoughts of our insignificance in this universe.
Now, we have built a coping mechanism against the death of myths – we have found comfort in entertainment. We are pleasured by television programs, photos and stories in magazines, shiny vehicles, alcohol and pornographies. We want to find good looking partners, easy payments and, less disputes. We find comfort in the lives of celebrities and search for their stories in internet where we spend countless of daily hours without realizing how wasteful our search for pleasure actually is. We would rather scroll downwards to new Facebook and Instagram posts than getting things done that we have been promising ourselves to complete.
We have time and again realized that pleasures are addictive because they are short lived. But they have temporarily ridden us of our existential angst and, have thus become important aspects of our lives. We thus exceed our limits to attain them. We are irritated and angry at ourselves and others when we fail to receive pleasure.
We require distractions so much so that we will sub-consciously jerk our legs or bite our lips frequently to avoid thoughts when we have our eyes off our phone, television and computer screens. Though we have killed our myths, we are still frantically searching for the meaning of our existence and thus are in a dilemma because we do not know how to.
According to Nietzsche and Jung we have replaced myths with other collectivist ideologies like politics. These ideologies have made us believe that they are indeed contributing to something big. We worship certain ideologies like the communism and democracy or whatever form these ideologies take. But they have time and again proven inadequate. Through multiple failed revolutions we have chosen our rulers and we still are in agony.
We have found pleasures and comfort in identity politics, but have lost our individual being. We have forgotten cultural unity by tying them with political theories. We have encountered multiple examples of how political ideologies have failed to provide happiness to people but we still run after them with desperation to find meaning. Jung portrays state as a mere modern pretence, a shield, a make-belief, a concept. Politics fails to provide individual importance. Politics is thus another myth that we have used to replace the original one.
Now, that we realize that these myths are not true and that they have died, can we remain intact with our being? The real question is, do we succumb to a nihilistic attitude after finding out how our existence is meaningless or, that we are not as important as we think? Do we have a rather negative view on life or, our existence as a whole?
Jung and Nietzsche argue that a nihilistic attitude would certainly lead to a wasted life. But what are we to do about the anxieties that follow the existential angst?
Nietzsche points out that we are in dire need of organizing our “own” individual meaning to our individual life. We are not in an age of the death of god but are in an age of the hero. The hero as per Nietzsche is someone who has the strength of his/her willpower to control his/her inner chaos which has been built because of our attachment to myths. The hero takes the challenge and faces up to the existing “individual” chaos and discovers “individual” solutions. The hero does not negate the past myths, but acknowledges them as sources of knowledge to find solutions for existential burdens of our time.
In order to be this “hero”, Nietzsche thought that it is necessary to stop clinging to religious theories or, mass movements and, to start to look within oneself. Every single individual according to him has a seed of unrealized potential, and the purpose of life is to see that potential and work towards actualizing it.
Nietzsche thought that “…we are not humans from the start; we need to become human. Toward this end, we need the insight “that only we are responsible for ourselves, that accusations that we have missed our life’s calling can be directed only at us, not some higher powers”. We are in no need of the delusion of a supernatural world, because the very task of becoming human is the truly colossal achievement.” (Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography: Rudiger Safranski).
Though everyone has an inner desire to become their best self, the path to self-realization and self-improvement is hindered by fear and laziness, which according to Nietzsche are two universal human characteristics which prevent people from realizing their potential. These characteristics stop people from realizing their dreams and for most part of their life, people are disappointed and regret that they have missed several opportunities. A human’s life is thus filled with guilt and anxiety of not being able to achieve.
Nietzsche provided some solutions to these innate characteristics. He thought that humans need an “organizing idea”. He urged people to set an ultimate goal that they desired to achieve. The harder the goal, the greater one has to become to achieve it.
On the path towards the realization of such goals, the individual according to Nietzsche will find plenty of setbacks and pain. Nietzsche also thought that many individuals will run back to the comforts of ordinariness once they are faced with such difficulties and thus, leave their goals midway to their realization. These individuals are thus, ignorant regarding the value of such goals.
People are accustomed to believe that suffering is malevolent. The first reaction of people on suffering is to flee. We will again try and find sources of distractions to be temporarily released from these psychological pain. We do not wish to believe that our life can have sufferings.
Nietzsche on the other hand, saw value in suffering. He explained that “there is as much wisdom in pain as there is in pleasure…that it hurts is no argument against it but its essence.” (The Gay Science, Friedrich Nietzsche). This idea was also explained by Jung, who thought that anxieties and other forms of neuroses were not negative phenomenon. These neuroses may produce suffering, but they also inform us that our current way of living is concerning and that we are in need to improve it.
Nietzsche in his famous “the will to power” says “To those human beings who are of any concern to me, I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities – I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self contempt, the torture of self mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not – that one endures.” (The Will to Power, Friedrich Nietzsche).
Nietzsche thought that suffering could be the key to liberation, if one learns how to utilize it to his/her advantage. An individual is to acknowledge his/her suffering, willingly face it and see that there is an opportunity to grow and increase his/her wisdom.
Anxieties are an innate human characteristic. We as humans are troubled by everyday existential angst. But we need to understand that, that is the only true reality of life. We will experience births, illnesses and deaths of people around us and ultimately ours’ own. We will not be here forever, we will not see or experience everything since our lives are very short. We need to understand that our existence is nothing more important than a mere dandelion. This realization would lessen our ego and we would start seeing everyone and everything as having an equal existence. This awareness should liberate us from holding on to things that have become problematic.
We need to know and accept that life has no meaning, and that it would be foolish of us to find something that does not exist. We are here to not find meaning but experience our “personal” existence and create our “personal” meaning as we move towards the basic truth – the end.
Report: Sexual Behavior trend among sexually-active urban Nepalese youth
We had conducted an online survey to learn about sexual behavior, trend and pattern, among Nepalese urban youths. It’s a report based on that.
In order to learn sexual behavior trend among urban Nepalese youth, we had asked Kmag followers to participate in a survey anomalously to answer the following questions:
- Their age when they had their first sex
- Gender. Options given were: Male, female, and others.
- District where they had their first sex.
- We had asked if it was before marriage or after marriage.
- If it was a casual sex or while in relationship.
There were 396 respondents participating in the survey, out of which 284 had identified themselves as male, 109 had identified themselves as female, and 3 had identified themselves as Other (LGBTQ).
Background of respondents
Kmag being an English magazine and most followers being from Kathmandu and other major cities within the age bracket of 18-35, respondents can be classified as Urban Nepalese youth with good English proficiency, making them relatively exposed to global trend and modern values. Thus, this survey may or may not represent the whole Nepalese youth, but can be good hint to gauge the pattern and trend of sexual behavior among Nepalese youth in whole.
Purpose of the survey
Purpose of the survey was to learn the sexual behavior among urban Nepalese youth, basically in terms of:
- At what age, they begin to be sexually active.
- Gender wise sexual behavior.
- Percentage of premarital sex.
- Nature of sexual relationship.
Authenticity of the survey
The survey was conducted online through anonymous form. There can be a chance of false information being provided. However, the case should only be marginal.
Data Analysis (WHAT WE FOUND)
Going through the data collected, we have broken down the data to make analysis on following heading
Average age at the time of first sex (Lost Virginity)
Per the report, the age at which respondents claimed to lose their virginity ranged from 13 years old to 30 years old.
In an average, sexually-active urban Nepalese youths had lost their virginity at age 20.36, in which males had lost their virginity at age 20.15 in average, and females at age 20.79 in average. 45% of males and 40% of females were found to have lost their virginity at age between 17-20. However, data also showed a pattern that quite lot of females lose their virginity in early and mid 20s (35%), whereas males tend to lose their virginity in their late teen.
181 out of 396 respondents had their first sex in their teenage. That means 45.7% respondents had their first sex in their teen age.
Breaking it down gender wise:
Male: 47.5% of male respondents had their first sex in their teen age.
Female: 42.2% of female respondents had their first sex in their teen age.
368 out of 396 respondents had their first sex before marriage, making it 92.92%.
Only 14 females out of 109 had sex after marriage, making 87.16% females with premarital sex.
Only 14 males out of 284 had sex after marriage, making 95.07% males with premarital sex.
Nature of Sex
We had asked if their first sex was casual sex or with someone they were in relationship with.
64.89% had their first sex with someone they were in relationship with.
35.11% had their first sex with someone they were not in relationship and had it as casual sex.
To break it down, gender wise:
116 out of 284 males had their first sex as casual sex (40.84%)
21 out of 109 females had their first sex as casual sex (19.26%)
This pattern says casual sex being usual and normal among youth, especially in their early days of exploring sexual life.
- Most urban youths from Nepal seem to become sexually active from age 17.
- Average age of losing virginity among these youth is 20.38 years old.
- Within sexually-active demography, premarital sex holds 92%.
- 3 in 10 had their first sex in casual bonding and not with someone in relationship.
This online survey may not give the exact picture of sexual behavioral of Nepalese youths in general, but it pretty much can hint us on the sexual behavior pattern and trend among urban Nepalese youths.
40% and more sexually-active youths were active since their teenage.
Likewise, there are 92% sexually-active youths before marriage itself.
In the country like Nepal where sex is still a taboo and neither at home nor in everyday life people openly talk about it, it’s in a way scary that so many youths are sexually active in a sexually-conservative society with no support system in case of pregnancy outside marriage or STDs. The lack of sex education, awareness, and support system are putting so much of youths in such a vulnerable position that if anything goes wrong, they are forced to deal with it secretly.
For betterment of all, we recommend strong support system for sexually-active youths to reach out for help when in need. Also, we recommend active sex education and awareness to build a healthy society.
Sex is Sad
If I ask you to name one thing that happens in every home but nobody talks about it, what would you say? Did you just say ‘sex’ in your head? You are right, but no prizes for guessing the right answer here. And if you happen to be “an innocent child” who does not like to talk/read about sex, this is where you should stop reading. Still here? I am not joking, this is not for you.
Let me ask you another question: Have you ever asked anyone in your family: ‘How was I born?’ Most of us have. If there was a competition to select a question with the potential to generate the most bizarre answers, this question would be unbeatable. I will share some, yes there was a variety of answers I got from ‘unreliable sources’ of my family. One, I was found on the premise of Janaki Mandir and was brought home. Seriously? Two, children are born by the exchange of body fluids (not what you think!) provided the couple is married. That body fluid was sweat. Did you really think they would “pollute my mind” by giving me the truth? No way! (If you have similar answers to share, share them in comments!) Can you imagine how cheated a child feels when he discovers the truth behind the process? Oh, the liars! The mystery was officially unlocked only after sitting through awkward lectures on the reproductive system in grade 9. I say awkward because: One, it was too late to teach us as we had been informed, and somewhat misinformed, from ‘other sources’. Two, the teacher almost gave a statutory warning saying not to ask “too much”. In short, it was boring. And when even sex is boring, in any way, you know it is not being done in the right way, don’t you?
Maturity is realizing the difference between sex education and education on the reproductive system. Not very long ago I realised the difference and also that little or no sex education has been provided to me by the school or home. School teaches us the reproductive system, one of the reasons sex happens. Is it the only reason? You know the answer. The other reason is almost untouched by the present curriculum. It covers a few topics like contraception and STDs but nothing about different sexual orientations, behaviors, sexual rights and, more importantly, sexual wrongs. In fact topics like homosexuality are so unfindable in the curriculum that I saw a friend of mine put up the ‘rainbow filter’ on his Facebook profile picture thinking it was to “celebrate monsoon.” And the same people end up using homosexuality to even abuse (using words like gay, ‘chhakka’) others. Sadly, a ‘chhakka’ exists as the most valuable shot in Cricket but as a most derogatory word when it is used to denote your sexual orientation. Being different than the rest doesn’t imply being unnatural. It simply means they have a different nature. If we go by that belief then all the left-handers are unnatural, the whole of more than 700 million of them!
Marriage is the only kind of sexual right in our society. To put it in another way, ‘right sex’ only happens between heterosexual married couples, including marital rape. This norm has been independent of time and an established moral code of society since the time people were married off at the age of 10-12 years. Interestingly, we have fought off, and almost abolished, child marriage but kept our silence on ‘marriage as the only sexual right’ thing. The marriage age has risen from teenage to late twenties to early thirties. But we continue to live by the same old principles. This generally creates two kinds of people. One, the sexually frustrated one, those who abstain from having sex due to the fear of society. And two, the guilty section of people who feel they have broken a sacred law of society by addressing their natural urge, irrespective of the ‘protection measures’ they take. But still, according to ‘the great time-expired sex norms’ of our proud society, all practices other than ones happening in a marriage are sexual wrongs, even masturbation!
We are proud of our culture. Not talking about sex is culture too. But what I find ironic is that a huge number of such traditions are practiced which have sex or sexuality at their core. Let me give you some examples: A famous example would be “Goddess Kumari” in Kathmandu. Only girls who haven’t menstruated can be Kumari. Another one is preventing Hindu widows from wearing colourful clothes and consuming foods categorized as Tamasik food (like meat, fish, onion, garlic etc) because they, according to Hindu holy texts, may induce sexual urges in that person which would be “immoral”. Another funny one from Mithila culture is you cannot “touch” the wife of your younger brother. If it had specified a special category of touching, that is sexual touching, it would be understandable. But here, the “touch” is generalized. We touch the feet of elders to get blessings and show respect. Is that not “touching”? We hug our friends, brothers, sisters. Is that not “touching”? But, yeah, we are sexually fucked up. Sex is so disregarded in human life out of one’s bedroom, hidden folders and incognito mode in browsers! So much that I am sometimes in total awe because I see people acting as if they are unaware of its entire existence.
Sex is the reason we are born. Magically, sex is not involved in the birth of our “God(s)”. Again, a few funny examples: Rama was born because Kaushalya, his mother, ate rice pudding brought by a saint who emerged out of a Yagya organized by Dashrath! Hanuman was born because “Pawan Dev (God of air)” impregnated Anjani through the air! Remember the sweat theory that was proposed to me? Seems as if it is true because it was Hanuman’s sweat that was the reason for his son’s birth who was named Magardhwaj. And, Jesus was born to a “virgin” lady, Mary! And, I am sure you can find many more such stories. They must be stories, right? You don’t believe anyone can be borne by Sun, air, water, sweat and, of all other things, virginity! I am sure you don’t. All of this goes to show the role religions have played to humiliate human beings for involving in a natural phenomenon. And, this “great” culture has continued through time.
Sex will find its way to children. If you don’t help in making its way, porn will. And when porn teaches sex education, it teaches violence, perversions, and sex fiction for free and strengthens patriarchy, which alone constitutes for at least ninety percent of the world’s problems already. And if you let porn teach sex education to kids, there will be adults in the world who will know that Superman is science fiction but not that most of the porn is sex fiction and a very inhumane one at that.
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