Life is a point and figure chart

(Point and figure charts are one of the oldest technical indicators, created more than 100 years back. Simply put, they trace out trends in the price movements of a stock or equity. And based on these trends of upwards or downwards movement, a trading decision is taken. It is assumed that market usually attains a trend and if one can locate it’s direction, one can bet it.)

Life is a point and figure chart

The benchmark or threshold keeps getting updated in real-time.  The benchmark is used for comparing the next movement in life, to generate signal for one’s perception about things, inform mind about one’s ‘reaction’ to the movement. The perception could be about anything: “I did well”, “he did bad”, “she has improved”, “this city is unsafe”, “that restaurant sucks” and so on. Every judgement is just a quantified measurement of the change in status quo with respect to the threshold. Threshold gets updated at every time there is a change in status quo.

When you have never run in your life before, the first one km is the first benchmark. The threshold for next run is set. You continue to run and benchmark moves to 2 k, 3 k, 5 k. You take a break for 6 months. No run, no jog. The threshold falls back to 1 k or even lower. You start to run again and threshold starts moving up again. This time it crosses 5 k, continues to move over 6 k, 7 k, and so on.  The upward trend is strong enough for you to bet on it. At this point, even if there is a downfall, due to a break in the running routine, the probability that you fall down till 1 k is really low. Your muscles and body has worked hard enough to brace you against small downward falls. Your upward trend has been strong so far. You are hopeful that it will continue moving upwards till 10 k, 12 k, or even 15 k. Even maybe half a marathon. Next the parameters change like timings, altitude, weather. You can bet on parameters change also. From taking 40 mins for a 5 k run, you move to 35 mins, then 33 mins, then 30 mins. Another trend, another point figure chart.

If life chart is indeed in the shape of is a point and figure chart, words like equality and freedom do not have any practical implication on life’s proceedings. At every moment, the benchmark re-defines an individual, his dreams and his abilities. He can’t be compared with the person he was two benchmarks ago. He can’t be compared with the person he becomes after crossing next two benchmarks. He can’t be compared at all with any other individual. Without comparison, notion of equality is vain.

Since at every moment you present is defined by your past, you can never truly be free. At any moment of present, you have already taken a significant decision for your future by re-adjusting your benchmark. You can never experience freedom unless you are free to experience a moment without comparison.

Without comparison, life would not be a point and figure chart. There would be no benchmarks, no upward or downward trends. There would be no probability and hence no hope. It would cease to exist as we know it.

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