Jumping Out Of The System...

There are three letters in this puzzle: M, I, U. Initial given string is MI and from this string, other strings can be produced using the given four rules. These rules can be applied any number of times and in any order. Now, can you produce MU?* Don't worry if you don't get it. Just try it out a bit — the main thing is to get the flavor of it. Have fun 😀 (Please try it before continuing...)

If you have tried it out for a bit, you may have produced many strings by applying the rules. And then most likely, from time to time, you might have taken some time to look for where it was going, which way to proceed, etc. This is one of the key aspects of intelligence to “jump out” of whatever one has been doing and look for patterns (instead of just mechanically applying the rules)**.

We are naturally intelligent enough to jump out of the system and gain a bigger perspective. Yet, we are often trapped in the same futile cycle year after year, generation after generation. Most people are stuck in a very small, limited view of reality — deeply trapped in their gender, race, religion, country, etc. Often we are stuck in the cycle of fear and hope. We go around and around, and forever trying to satisfy our ego without realizing the utter futility of it. Why?

Because we are constantly chasing and running away — without a moment of reflection. We create so much of internal and external conflicts that we dissipate so much mental energy losing our peace and harmony. Our mind is so clouded with desires and fears, and dullness and busyness that we can't clearly see things as they are. Without realizing it, we end up making life more complicated and we struggle with it. When we cultivate mindfulness towards relaxation, we can find clarity and naturally jump out of the system and gain a higher perspective.


To break the chains, first learn the rules

To think outside the box, first understand the box

To jump out of the system, first know the system

To go beyond, go through it

To go through, face it

To face it, we have to throw ourselves in

Solutions are in the problems, not away from it

We find our path in the gritty reality of life,

Not in some exotic or mystical crap!

We don't awaken in some paradise,

We only wake up in our own home!

— —

CK. Kamaraj

17 June 2021


* If you’re math oriented: In a formal system, the initial given string is Axiom, and all the strings produced by the Rules are Theorems. Now, is MU a theorem? If you're still wondering, this puzzle cannot be solved; i.e., MU is not a theorem of this system.

** This puzzle comes from the book Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter. He talks about three modes of operations:

    • M = Mechanical mode (like a computer program manipulating strings)

    • I = Intelligence mode (how we tend to “jump out” of whatever we have been doing and look for patterns)

    • U = Un-mode (Zen way of approaching things)