Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Illusion of the tangible

In life and work we constantly seek the tangible and seek to make that which is intangible tangible. There is a constant rush to fill our lives with the material, that which we can see and hold, that which we can touch and own and claim as ours. All the while, the intangible gets relegated to the background.


The intangible seems like the loser. It loses out in debates and arguments. It cannot be quantified and measured and hence it is made to seem like it doesn't exist. Also there is a constant pressure to quantify the intangible. There is a recognition that it exists, but we want proof of its existence. What better way than to make it measurable and touchable and seeable?


At times, the intangible does succumb to the pressure. But when it does, it ceases to be what it was. It is compromised. It is not entire. It is not that elusive and not quite graspable but still wholesome thing it was. It has been captured, albeit incompletely, and put in a box and neatly packaged and presented.


The intangible may suffer rejection or experience mutilation. It may just be an afterthought. But it does its work silently and quietly, nudging and edging. We don't realise it or recognize it always. The unseeable, the nonquantifyable, the immeasurable, the thing of beauty and the thing of our hearts… It does its work quietly… For it is this that really matters. It is this that makes our lives worth living.

14 comments:

chronicwriter said...

What happened to you? for a moment you sounded like my ethics profesor from my college!

Jude said...

too many tough words.... eyes glazing over :p

Bungi said...

CW - Thank you for the compliment!

Jude - I try, dude. I try... :P

The Mahathma said...

too many words... [the eyebrow...]

Gina said...

In writing music, if you try to squeeze in more chords in a given measure on a score, the music somehow sounds more beautiful and complete than when played with fewer chords.

Likewise, it's a simple idea that's been toyed with and intricately explained through the use of multiple words - eventually conveying the complete idea of what the author was trying to communicate.

thruaendra said...

lol. this was interesting ...

sounds very asian ...

Bungi said...

Mahathma - Dude, i did a word count for this post and for your latest post. Mine counted up to 252 and yours was 837. Now, who should actually be saying too many words and raising the eyebrow? :P

Genie - Thanks, girl. I know i can always count on you for supporting me. :) Anyways, like i said earlier in my email, even music is a thing of the intangible. One knows good music from bad intuitively...

An - Now, 'interesting' is a very interesting word. What did you mean by it? :P Yeah. Guess it is the Asian line of thinking. And it is not surprising 'cos i am one.

People, non-Asian perspectives are welcome. :)

The Mahathma said...

good job done! im so proud of u! can u count the number of words in anjus latest post now! also judes!

i assume gina is ur best friend who was done here ! looks like she is resonating ur frequency

The Mahathma said...

the comment was just a slight modification of judes comment !

Ryan said...

Picture a see-saw. On one side is tangible, the other is intangible.

The world is the whole system. Both! Ignoring the intangible does not make it gone, just ignored.

I love what Gina said and to tie in it is like having all the chords there but only hearing a few.

Ryan said...

You asked about non asian thoughts... gosh if i say everything I wanted it would be longer than 252 words.

I will put it up at consideringthecost.blogspot.com

Sandy Carlson said...

This is so true. I just wish I could buy groceries and electricity with all the intangible great stuff in my life. Seriously, though, as an English teacher, I see this problem in the grading system. All must be quantified and justified for fairness' sake. Yet a bit of writing can have all the right parts in the right places but stink. It comes down to what's in a person's head and heart. The difference between being competent and being inspired. Maybe. I dunno!!

Bungi said...

Mahathma - Ah well. I am smart indeed. There is no doubt about that. And i don't have the need to count words on Anju's posts as she did not challenge me. And i would count words on Jude's latest post if he has one...

Ryan - Yes. I am fully with you on that. I do believe both are important and two-sides of the same coin or a see-saw... This post was more a response the excess emphasis on the tangible that we tend towards... I will hop over to your blog to read your post sometime...

Sandy - Lol... Yeah. I realise i have over emphasized the intangible. I do agree that both the tangible and the intangible are important. But i guess people like you and i will live off the intangible if we could.

The Mahathma said...

provoked so easily ...