This life is a burden we have been accorded. Why or by who or how are questions which will continue to be asked till the day we die. But one act which we have to perform is to die. How we fill the time between then and now is what occupies most of us. Should it be spent in toil, in joy, in abandon or in industry? Should it matter that whether you are alone or not? I think all our efforts are towards occupying ourselves – sometimes with love, sometimes with work, sometimes with wonder and sometimes with numbness. It’s hard to figure out how to deal with the awaiting emptiness and loneliness. It is to run away from that vacuum like state of futility that we align all our efforts towards. Life is tough, not in the sense of survival of the body but more in terms of the survival of the soul!
I just got this idea while walking at night. It follows below:
We all have a core essence which glows somewhere deep within us. And our job during this lifetime is to recognize it, protect it and expand it as much as possible. It is as a protector or destroyer of this essence is where the concept of virtues and vices emerge. So while vices like dishonesty, cheating, malice, jealousy, hatred and sloth etc start eating it away slowly, virtues like honesty, forgiveness, integrity, respect for other’s essence and industry etc enhance that core and expand it further. We need to protect this essence because it is what makes us and because when times are tough it is this core that we dig into to fight our adversities. Also, by expanding that glowing core, we are fulfilling our purpose in life.
Now that I think about it, this idea is very similar to the concept of invoking out chakras in hinduism. These chakras represent a fragmented core (much like horcruxes :P).
Will add more on this later.
Life Crises have now begun to strike early. The first major one now happens when you are in your mid to late twenties. The reason – reason being that most people at that stage find themselves without a set path. They find that there is no one direction to take, no one criteria to fulfill, no one basis on which to call yourself successful. This predicament confounds all. They have been believing all their lives that there is a set answer to a set question and they are ready with it. But when the crisis hits, they realize that the questions have changed. Life is not asking you what you expected it to ask of you. Instead, there are questions which you never even imagined. There are circumstances which are unique to you and would not have answers anywhere except within you. It is most confounding. Some people delude themselves, some numb themselves, some seek answers with gusto, some are flabbergasted and some just give up. The choice is one’s own and unique to our situation. How to go through it, one can only imagine but the thing is that you have to befriend yourself like no other and hate and love yourself most. And then ignore yourself and focus on the world around you and all the things which make every experience worthwhile.
Herman Hesse’s “Siddhartha” is profound and briliantly written. It is the mark of a great author to speak to souls of people. Hesse has it!
A detailed review should come soon.
What a wonderful book and written so excellently. Quality drips from every page (hahaha..pun intended). But truly, it is a special book by, I suppose, a special person.
Metaphysic of Quality and how it all started in the mind of one man, who even went insane for his ideas about the world. True philosopher .
I can’t wait to get to Lila, its sequel. That should say how much I like it.
There is soooooo much to think about the stuff people have said (by way of philosophy) that I do not even know where to start. But I think I will focus on two main streams (extremely huge in themselves): Western Philosophy and Indian Darshanshastra. Off course there are parallels between the two. And that is what I aim to figure out. The sameness and the differences and then choose for myself my own philosophy out of these assortments and if possible(who am i kidding? it is not!) to propose one or two thoughts of my own. It is going to be exciting!!
So, these are the people/books to read:
- Nyaya, the school of logic
- Vaisheshika, the atomist school
- Samkhya, the enumeration school
- Yoga, the school of Patanjali (which assumes the metaphysics of Samkhya)
- Purva Mimamsa (or simply Mimamsa), the tradition of Vedic exegesis, with emphasis on Vedic ritual, and
- Vedanta (also called Uttara Mimamsa), the Upanishadic tradition, with emphasis on Vedic philosophy.
- Erasmus/Francis Bacon
- Rene Descartes
- Hume/Adam Smith/Schopenhauer
And guess what? Indian/Hindu philosophy is the oldest in the world. It predates the Greek philosophy(which forms the basis of the Western philosophy) by almost 500 years. It began around 800 BC or at least that was the time it became formal. It is such a proud thing to say and such a shame that there is hardly anything that I can say I know about it, formally. It is a great loss to world that we have not been able to build upon the very strong and solid foundations that had been laid for us. The analytical philosophy which became mainstream in the 18th and 19th century western thought had already been expounded in the Nyaya-Vaisheshika stream of Vedic philosophy.
Of course, the question of God is very central to the whole field of philosophy and that is why it is so intimately related with religion. What further delights my heart is that Indian philosophy has covered all grounds: From aastika to naastik and within the aastika too there is the monotheistic and polytheistic tradition. One whole branch (carvaka) is dedicated to atheism. Wonderful variety and open mindedness.
I feel that any study of philosophy in today’s age is incomplete without the study/understanding of cosmology and quantum physics. Afterall, every intrigue begins and end at either the highest level (ie the universe and its origin) or the lowest level ( ie the atomic/subatomic and quantum matter).
Ah! What a wonder the world is and how lovely for us to be thinking sentient beings who can drink in the delight of trying to find it out. A life of enquiry is the best blessing one could get.
Finally, I got to read the much talked about works of Bertrand Russell. What new can I add to the panegyrics that already have been bestowed on him.
All I can say is that he writes with lucidity and critical analysis. The gist of this work is that moderation is a prerequisite for happiness and that the interests of a person should be located in outside world and in other people and not within himslef because if it is inwards, the constancy of the subject is bound to get boring and leads to boredome etc.
This is a book of which a personal copy should be kept and should be reverted back to whenever in doubt. Despite the fact that it was written in 1930, almost all of it is relevant in the lives that we live today. A classic!
The fact that he was a logocian endears him more to me. I somehow feel that he is like my grandfather. In looks and in virtues,he reminds me so much of my babaji.