Category: Philosophy


EK TERI CHAAHAT HAI, EK MERI CHAAHAT HAI....

via Mehran Qureshi’s blog  BARQ

God to Man:

O SON OF ADAM

You have your desire and
I have my desire.
My desire shall reign.
But if you surrender yourself to my desire,
I shall bestow upon you your desire.
But if you oppose my desire,
Then I shall tire you of your desire,
And ultimately,
My desire shall reign.

This post by Mehran Qureshi set me thinking. The quotation appears in an Islamic text Hadith e Qudsi , a compilation of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (words of God ‘expressed in Muhammad’s words’*). No literature, I think, expresses the contrast of free will and determinism so well.

When making sense of the world in and around us, we are bound to confront the dilemma of essence and existence, of free will and determinism, of active struggle and passive submission and we are left questioning “In His will is our peace, Is it?”.

“Teach us to sit still / Even among these rocks, / Our peace in His will” Thomas Stearns Eliot resonates the age old wisdom in the poem Ash Wednesday quoting Dante from the Inferno, “In His will is our peace”. The Hamletian ambiguity whether “to be or not to be” seems to reach a resolution here. For Dante it is indeed “nobler in the mind to suffer”. The Hindu scriptures and hymns echo a similar understanding of our day-to-day indecisiveness and reach an unambiguous solution: “jahi vidhi raakhe raam, taahi vidhi rahiye”.

The emphasis on merging one’s will to the higher entity, to succumb to one’s circumstances rather than rage against them seems a coward thought at first. What comes of it might not be happiness, sure, but neither can it be called peace. Are happiness and peace, then, only the product of battles fought against destiny and won over or they are the results of a life that is left unquestioned? Whatever answers we get to our own questions, the question remains.

When I first read (15 years back) a popular Tao saying**, appeared in a daily editorial- “Those who flow as life flows, need no other force, they feel no wear, they feel no tear, They need no mending, no repair”- I assumed it mocked passive submission to one’s fate or what else is life without struggle, I thought.  Life was yet to be. For with time, I realized passive submission was much more difficult an act than practicing free will, I learned that “to do nothing is not a passive state. It is the highest activity of which soul is capable, the deliberate and sustained effort of the soul to suffer, in the sense of allow, all that God may will to effect upon it.” (Thomas Stearns Eliot, Murder in the Cathedral)

* According to as-Sayyid ash-Sharif al-Jurjani, the Hadith Qudsi differ from the Qur’an in that the former were revealed in a dream or through revelation and are “expressed in Muhammad’s words”, whereas the latter are the “direct words of God”.

**Though the quotation in reference to Taoist philosophy has an entirely different context and interpretation.

I gotta use words when I talk to you
But if you understand or if you don’t
That’s nothing to me and nothing to you
We all gotta do what we gotta do. – T.S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot. Sweeney Agonistes
     

Painting by Pisarev Gennadiy© Amsterdam Art Gallery — 2000-2010

Make me word
less, peel
away the rhe
toric, the
      white man’s
burden
o’ words-
that mean
nothing to you 
nothing to me.     

Make me word
less, let’s
delve in Pin
teresque pauses
.
Why do I when I
talk to you
need words-
that mean
nothing to me
nothing to you.     

Make me word
less, like the ligh
                   tning,
the messenger o’ the
black blue bass
drum sky. Why?
should I be
prey to words-
that mean
nothing to you
nothing to me.   

Copyright, Tina Rathore.   

I think that we communicate only too well, in our silence, in what is unsaid, and that what takes place is a continual evasion, desperate rearguard attempts to keep ourselves to ourselves. Communication is too alarming. To enter into someone else’s life is too frightening. To disclose to others the poverty within us is too fearsome a possibility. – Harold Pinter      

I gotta use words when I talk to you
But if you understand or if you don’t
That’s nothing to me and nothing to you
We all gotta do what we gotta do. – T.S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot. Sweeney Agonistes
     

Painting by Pisarev Gennadiy© Amsterdam Art Gallery — 2000-2010

Make me word
less, peel
away the rhe
toric, the
      white man’s
burden
o’ words-
that mean
nothing to you 
nothing to me.     

Make me word
less, let’s
delve in Pin
teresque pauses
.
Why do I when I
talk to you
need words-
that mean
nothing to me
nothing to you.     

Make me word
less, like the ligh
                   tning,
the messenger o’ the
black blue bass
drum sky. Why?
should I be
prey to words-
that mean
nothing to you
nothing to me.   

Copyright, Tina Rathore.   

I think that we communicate only too well, in our silence, in what is unsaid, and that what takes place is a continual evasion, desperate rearguard attempts to keep ourselves to ourselves. Communication is too alarming. To enter into someone else’s life is too frightening. To disclose to others the poverty within us is too fearsome a possibility. – Harold Pinter      

Breaking a Butterfly

A change in something seemingly innocuous, such as a flap of a butterfly’s wings, may have unexpected larger consequences in the future, such as the path a hurricane will travel. If you change even the smallest of life’s details, you completely change its outcome. –The Butterfly Effect. Edward Lorenz

I live
those moments
again
Erasing
my life.
To return
where
I begun.
I find
another moment
entrapped,
empty.
I erase it
again
in search
of meaning
Forgetting everytime
the meaning
of meaning.
With every flutter
of my wings.
I fly
to places
where I
always am.

© Copyright, Tina Rathore.

People often ask me if i believe in god, Santa Claus, ghosts. but no one ever asks if i believe in believing. when I’m burdened with a task of believing in anything i have to let all my years of training in reason, intelligence, wisdom, inquisitiveness to rest. This is something i find most difficult to do.

From childhood we are made to scientifically and logically develop our views. We are taught that for a premises to be true it should have grounding in reason. If there is no proof there is no truth. We are trained to our five senses so rigorously that anything which fails to satiate them is non-existent, an illusion- something that is to be casually dismissed with a smile. Gradually we become slaves of the five senses, never attempting to search the sixth. We have to hear a person moan before we conclude how unhappy he/she is, we have to have someone express themselves for us before we realize what we are doing to them. We become apathetic to things we fail to see. We always need someone to work for us, think for us, act for us. We are so bound to our tangible knowledge that we fail to see beyond or beneath it. All our childish fancies- a product of far fetched imagery of carefree mind gradually become a thing to shy away from and we succumb to one and the only god- reason.

The wiser we grow the farther we get from the transcendental act of believing. We end up weighing pros and cons of every situation by a systematic logical reasoning, every time losing the link beyond our senses.

You’ll be given a hundred reasons not to believe in ghosts, Santa Claus, telepathy, horoscopes, the tooth fairies, speaking stars because they are non existent. But why don’t they exist? Only because we have no proof? Its because we think we need them no more. Gradually we lose our capability in the act of believing, how to perform it. We grow skeptical of every next thing we come across, every next person we meet. People forget to believe in themselves,in their loved ones, in their capabilities, in the potential of their existence and amidst such despair belief takes a ceremonial status.

It is only when destiny shocks us, when we suddenly discover the futility of our acts, when nothing seems reasonable, when no reason comes to our rescue do we want to believe in something. It is only then we find ourselves stripped of belief, the higher self, the inner god. It is then we act as passive recipients of inevitable pain unaware of the methods that may allay it. It is then we want to go back to our childhood when we believed; in fairies, Santa Claus, ghosts- and believe that there is a higher power called God. With this discovery we discover our true self, we discover a fairy world.

****

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