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Random reflections on Life… March 18, 2006

Posted by silentEcho in Spiritual.
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It is a very fast life and I think we do not get any time to reflect on our life. Not that it is required all the time but sometimes introspection might be a really good idea. Standing on the roof of my apartment one evening during such a self-imposed introspection session, I was thinking about life. There is so much here we see, hear and do. So many things we take for granted. So many things we care about too much or we ignore. I asked myself a very simple question, atleast it seemed simple to me then, What is life?

What is life? It’s a question that comes to the mind several times and in several forms but very often than not we do not know the answer to this question. May be it’s good that we live what we do not know because if we knew everything about life then it wouldn’t be any fun. No surprises, nothing. Why live it then?

As one sees many times in life, life is worth living but more than that it is worth seeing as well. In fact it is sometimes better to look at life than only living it. This is so because merely living life puts it into the domain of time where we might not have time to understand life because of the pressure dealing we undertake every moment. However looking at life brings it closer to heart and mind, in the domain of experience and emotions. This makes, I think, it easy to understand life and to feel it.

Another question that often comes up is : Why does life go on at all? I mean why does not everything come to a standstill and we remain what we are? It seems such a good idea to some about being in the childhood or teens throughout. I myself sometimes think that it would have been better if I had been a child always. No worries, no tensions. But this does not happen. And it is good from one view point : it breaks the monotony of a singular life. Life proceeds because may be the world looks more beautiful from the other end – the place that might be the place we really ought to be. Life probably is a necessary delay on our way to this place. From where we stand, it might seem ages before we sleep but from the other end ages seem to be seconds – absolutely nothing. But certainly it’s not that only the years in life count. As Abraham Lincoln puts it :

It might seem from this end that it’s only the years that count but from the other end we shall see that in the end it’s not the years in life that count but the life in the years.

This means that life is about filling life in our years, making every moment breathe and vibrant with living spirit so that in the end we sleep with peace. But filling life and living it needs a certain grit. Not everyone has it. This is why not everyone ‘ lives ‘ lives life in the real sense of the word. Most of us speak about what life is and what we wanted it to be.. To most of us life is not the party that we hoped for but since we are here all we can do is to dance. But that is a wrong attitude. I think we get satisfied very easily and we do not search for more. Or even when we do it we do it with a pessimistic mindset – cursing life, saying things like ” if only…” et cetera. We should search for joy. Half of us are not able to follow our own instincts and what our heart says. We should do that and we should stop taking things around us for granted because these things will not always stay. It’s might be a good idea to appreciate and value life. It knocks at everyone’s door only to find that most of us don’t open the door, welcome her and make her at home and so, embarrassed, it shoos away. I think we should not allow this to happen. We should learn to love life and live it on our terms. It is difficult to live life on our terms. Those who are able to do this really live their life, others are mere parasites. They haunt their bodies with no identity whatsoever other than that of breathtakers, food eaters and other things one can think of. Read what Steve Jobs said ( Commencement Address, Stanford University ):

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Life finally at bliss comes to those who live it. And this, as I remarked earlier, needs a certain grit because living life in its true sense is not just having nostrils to breathe in air but doing so while underwater. It’s just like handling a rose to handle life, we will have to endure the thorns. Life is what Maya Angelon said :

Life is about survival. You may encounter many defeats but you must not be defeated.

It is all about laughing out loud even in the face of difficulties and in slaying them. The more difficult the hardship, the more glorious the achievement. True! If it hadn’t been difficult to ‘ live ‘, everyone would have done it.

Life is short but wide and if we hear real close, we will here what life has to say, something very similar to what Robin Williasm said as John Keating in The Dead Poets Society :

…Carpe, Carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.

All life takes is all we have to give. Let’s just grab the here and now of ourselves. Decide what the purpose is, forget past – good or bad. This is so because good causes desire to live back those days and the bad causes frustration. I think we should care about future only to the extent to which it does not hinder our present. Osho gave a more extreme version :

Existence knows only one tense – the present. It neither knows the past, because it is no more, nor does it know the future, because it is not yet.

Life is a verb and NOT a noun. It is ‘ living ‘ and NOT ‘ life ‘. Hope you get me here. So let’s live life. Let’s escape into it instead of escaping from it. And as the workers from the floor below pack their stuff and the sun sets beyond the horizon, I have understood that Life is worth living. I know this because I have one to live. About what I posted in this post, I would like to add one more thing ( Churchill ):

The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.

I am not sure but I might be right…

Comments»

1. nikhil - March 29, 2006

lovely blog….first time i hav come across someone whose “thinking domain” seems to overlap mine
i have experienced most of what you have written…..but i could’nt quite understand your point regarding “why does life go on at all”…please define “going on”….

2. nikhil - March 29, 2006

ya one more thing…though it is not related to the blog as such…i observed that you hav not disclosed your identity….i don’t want you to tell me your identity….but i want you to tell YOUR reason for non-disclosing it.

thankyou

3. wisemoron - April 2, 2006

Hello Nikhil,
Thank you very much for the appreciation. By “going on” I referred to the property of flow that the life maintains, the changes that the every passing moment brings in us.

There is nothing interesting about me except probably what I write. I am here to express my feelings which
does not depend on whether or not I reveal myself. And then, does identity matter? It’s the ideas which matter. Great minds discuss ideas, the lesser ones discuss people. Let’s try to be great.

In good spirit,
wisemoron

4. nikhil - April 3, 2006

thanks wisemoron for your response
i understood your first answer….but have a few issues in the second one
first of all….are you defining “interesting” from your perspective or from the world’s perspective?(or do u consider them the same)
secondly,though u did not revealed your identity when you made the profile,fine.Would you mind revealing it if now someone asks you to…please try to give a reason for your answer.
thanks
nikhil

5. nikhil - April 3, 2006

the third issue is slightly off-track so i decided to put a seperate comment for it…..
what do u mean when u say “great”.
and finally….you said “lets try to be great”…this time the emphasis is not on greatness and its meaning but in “trying” instead. So before i take this point furthur…i would like to ask you something.
what according to you,is the nature of happening of events…is it a random process? is it a deterministic process? in other words….what according to you is the percentage of determinism in the “flow of life(or universe in a broader sense)” ? is it 0,100 or something in between? if you write a blog on this…it would be better.
thanks
nikhil

6. wisemoron - April 4, 2006

Dear Nikhil,
I am overwhelmed by the interest you have taken in me. I am defining 'interesting' from both the first person view point ( my own ) and the thirs person perspective ( the world ). I consider them different. ( Wait for me, I will take them up if ever I post something on the topic of personal identity and self. ) But it might be wrong to generalize the views to everyone out there and yes you might find my identity interesting. Preconcepts, I believe are always bad for health.But please let me be my way. No one can ever escape revealing their identity when they write somethinf. It always gets reflected in the written word. But still let me be my way.

About your "off the track " comment, I can not assure but I will try to present my views on the issue you raised.

Some things are better kept to the mind till the right time to speak them comes. 

Hope that suffices for the time being.

Thanks for your interest and comments,
wisemoron

7. Musafir... - April 10, 2006

Point One : I recollect one line I read somewhere “it is strange that we spend a substantial chunk of our lives in thinking what life actually is” may be this is because of the inherently inquistivve nature of humans, that we do not simply enjoy whatever goes on, the story behind the curtains seems to be more attractive, may be this is the reason why philosophy exists.
Point Two : most of us would want to return to ‘the good old days of childhood’ but we dont ever realize that the reason why we appreciate childhood is because we are external to it, children never realize the freeness and the joy they enjoy, it comes naturally to them. And happiness not recognized is as good as no happiness at all.
Point Three : Presenting before you one more borrowed concept, The cup of life, remains half filled with this happiness when you begin, its on you to fill this cup {or loose the height}, and this cup fills faster when some of the contents spill over onto others cups. nevertheless, I buy your concept of being determined while facing hardships…
Good Post, And I respect and uphold your anonymity unlike my same-name-friend, nikhil.

8. nikhil - April 11, 2006

@ musafir
please don’t get me wrong….i have full respect for the anonymity of the blogger,only that i like things being explained why they are being done. My intension was to know the reason behind anonymity,not change the way things are.Read my comments carefully and you’ll know that.

9. ramanathan - May 8, 2006

well i am rather surprised and am equally happy to find someone addresing such esoteric issues which have kep occupied the minds of many people whom we now recognise as gr8 minds….congrats in this front…but i have my points to be made here.. the narration begins as a soliloqy btu later it gets digressed… and I totatlly disagree with the opening statement:

“Not that it is required all the time but sometimes introspection might be a really good idea”

this i guess is a western approach or rather a Sartre’s approach. What i mean is the school os Sartre is the only school which propounded Existensialism and for them introspection does not carry any meaning.. but am sure you(the writer of the blog) is not trying to follow Sartre here which is indeed revealed in the later parts of the blog. So what i want to say is that Introspection is indeed a must for a meaningful existence…this is something surprisingly seen as a uninanimous opinion in eastern and western philosophy…
i would also like to say at this juncture that often dicussions in this domain attracts several rhetorics and logical fallacy and i c that this blog is indeed not an exception….any way i wud like to congratulate once again for a good attempt…
ram


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