Sep 3, 2005

Those not busy being born are busy dying - Dylan

In conversation with a colleague, he spoke of an experience of near death by drowning and the proverbial seeing-life-pass-by-in-a-flash-of-consciousness. As he sat there narrating the same I wondered how much of the above-mentioned life, restored by super human strength against drowning, was he really living. And then in a flash my own sense of judgment was brought to task.

Here is what I am questioning in this piece of text, what does the cliché “living life” mean to you. Is there any universal truth of consciousness leading to the sense of life? Does not all religion and spiritual teachings speak of this very knowledge of the self? Why is it that the acknowledgement of death and the proximity it has to life brings in a sense of living more than the knowledge of it?

To me, I have often wondered, how I would really want to live. How I would like to go places and explore and not undergo the rigors of daily life. It seems funny but this is the choice I make given the set of constraints I choose to bind myself in, this seems to be my fairest chance of survival. There are plenty of questions unanswered, but as soon as I find some or move further in this line of thought, I’ll promptly post it.


Aditi Das Patnaik said...

Posted by Aparajita Dey in a mail:

What struck me in your thought provoking write-up Aditi was your refusal and at the same time your acceptance of an existence that is condemned to be repetitive and full of suffering (quote - rigours of daily life). That is exactly Albert Camus' position in "The Myth of Sisyph". I strongly recommend that you read the two champions of Existientialist writing Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre.

By the way, Sisyph is the father of Ulysses according to a pre-Homeric tradition in Greek mythology. In hell Sisyph was condemned to push a gigantic mass of rock up a mountain with his bear hands. He toiled very hard and suffered a lot in order to achieve his task. But, each time on reaching the top the rock tumbled down and Sisyph was driven by (or rather condemned to) this incredible will to recommence again and again. Human existence, according to the Existentialist current in litterature, alike Sisyph, is driven by this will to relive the same existence everyday despite its inordinate sufferings. Man doesn't want to die. This explains his obsession with immortality as we see in the ancient Egyptian civilization. And you know what ordinary human beings like us also manifest this attribute. You shall find a detailed explanation in "The Banquet" by Platon. Platon (about 427-347 B.C.) happens to be one of Socrate's disciples. There's a long story behind how Platon put to writing all of Socrates philosophy.

- Aparajita Dey

golliwog said...

My dear girl,
Some sincere advice from one who has known you for long years:
Live rather than theorize...
I imagine that if you have enough time to think, you are probably not doing enough!
When I go to bed at night, dog tired after a day well spent with much accomplished, I feel at peace with myself. (I hope you note that I have not defined accomplishment)
And believe me, there are days when I think to myself that if I were to die tomorrow, I should not regret it much...
Dont know where this train of thought is leading... and you'll never forgive me for clogging your blogging... so I'll stop.