Blank

I stare at the screen, LED backlit and all, with the battery saying it’ll die out in 30 minutes if I don’t connect it somewhere. WordPress tells me “Add New Post”. I continue looking at the screen. Ideas swarm around me. Ideas that I can’t put a finger on. Not even one of them. They refuse to come up. I wonder if it’s a problem with the ideas or myself. Subject or Object?
Form or substance?

Brings me to ZAMM. It’s been a while since I read the book, but the ideas manifest at different points. What is Quality? He wonders before filling chapters about it, including what the ancient Greek philosophers thought and what they probably meant which in a way vindicated what he had been telling you the last few chapters. But it always reminds me of my first manager who used it as an Ice-forming question at the start of every personal interaction session. Made me wish I had read this book before meeting him.

But then, what would that have made me? I was 22 then. To read ZAMM before 21 would need something, maybe I’d have retired to the Himalayas renouncing everything. I sometimes wonder if I’d do that. But then, when you renounce there is nothing. So I guess all my fear is that there’ll be nothing. It’ll be a vacuum. No anchors. Rebirth. A new-born in a different world.

Yes, I’ve been reading the ‘Tibetan book of living and dying’. All it talks about is death and how it should in fact affect the way we live. Which brings me to another article I had read about how death affects our lives and eventually controls all our actions, and probably all the mid-life and mid-career crises that we come across. Wonder if all the running/biking that people do gets influenced by that?

There was a time when all we did was get a job, work 6 days a week, marry the person we were told to and had the number of children the Govt said was ideal and parents were OK with. You eventually retired, ideally after getting your kids married to those you chose, spent the rest of your years visiting temples, or reading newspapers and passed out with the usual rites performed. Rinse and repeat.

Was there scope for any crisis, or were they glossed over for a greater good? Wonder how being individualistic has helped people? More conscious of our choices, and trying to choose the path to happiness, while knowing that that moment or state will never exist. Sometimes you downshift as an ex-colleague decided to do, getting out of the rat race, spending time traveling, photographing and writing.

Either way, I wonder if we should go back to the socialistic past. Less choices, but more control in the hands of a few. I guess there never is a solution that will work for us. Like every individual, civilizations chug along, go through their life-cycles before reaching their inevitable ends. Before, from their ashes rises yet another civilization. An after-life?

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11 thoughts on “Blank

  1. Death is the elephant in the room that does not go away. No one wants to think about or talk about death while they are going about their daily life. We can be mindful of it (in the back of our mind), but it is too depressing to think about it all the time. This is because, though we know that everyone from Obama to Gates to us will pass away one day, we do not know when that date is. Death could be 5 minutes from now or 5 decades from now.

    PS: My Indian roommate (a Hindu) who had turned to Buddhism after moving here had this Dying book on his desk all the time. He had recommended it to me, but I never got the time to read it.

    1. Never seems to affect our actions the way it should, eh?

      That’s heavy! Changing religion after reading a book! Not sure I’ll go there. Let’s see.

  2. ‘There was a time when all we did was get a job, work 6 days a week, marry the person we were told to and had the number of children the Govt said was ideal and parents were OK with. You eventually retired, ideally after getting your kids married to those you chose, spent the rest of your years visiting temples, or reading newspapers and passed out with the usual rites performed. Rinse and repeat.’
    That was fabulously captured.. but… there are always interstices.. which we are led to believe didn’t exist, ppl of all ages, civilisations and generations did veer off. there are many examples. not all were rinse and repeat, and that inspires me!

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