Sometime back as me and my husband conversed, I asked him – just imagine we are recruited in the army and I am your comrade. We are fighting a war and moving forward with a bunch of other soldiers. I am shot and I get seriously wounded, what would you do? He thought for a while and said, if I was the one wounded, I would ask you to move forward because the cause for which we are fighting is bigger than my life. But he didn’t answer to what I had asked him :).
I was thinking about it lately – “cause”. We are so eager attaching ourselves to a bigger cause. It’s a way of getting away from the feel of “worthlessness” in human existence. We are not ready to accept that we are just one more species on earth, part of the food chain and like the rest have a life span to live and then die. Our lives are supposed to have more worth, and in search of this worth we are very likely to get stuck with a “cause”.
I have worn the tinted “cause” glass and life has a better shade. Everything else becomes insignificant and the “cause” is what matters to me most. Great accomplishments in this world are an effect of people’s passionate commitments towards a cause they took to heart. If I can sell a cause to someone, believe me I can ask for anything in return. People have used this tool for the right and many times for the wrong reasons. People have killed themselves and others without remorse for a “cause”.
Think about the intensity of buyer’s remorse if the person at a point of time finds that the “cause” wasn’t right, it was just a tinted glass. Now he is trapped in what he was for so long running away from – “worthlessness”.
I conceptualize, visualize – I am already “there & then”. I just have to take everyone who are “here & now” to the “there and then”. My axis is here but the radius of my visualization makes me draw circles in time and space that’s yet to come. Is it a blessing or a curse? I am more in my visualized world of “there and then” and when the “there & then” turns to be “here and now” – I would have already moved on drawing conceptual circles beyond now!
(Dedicated to all the conceptualizers and visualizers – the small & big who keep inspiring everyone else around)
My son talks to me about different worlds. the Sponge Bob’s world, Nemo’s world and at times I see him talking to the miniature Lego buddies from the Lego land that he creates . He wants me to be part of these worlds as he juggles between these worlds. Is it childish or have we just lost the ability to juggle between many lives as part of our growing up. Growing up also meant honing the ability to focus on one’s own life and achieve. I remember during school days how I used to be lost while reading poems and stories – travel places while reading geography chapters and traveling back in time being part of the kingdom, fighting battles while reading my history lessons. I loved it all.
Work of art still lets me cross my boundaries experience other lives and perspectives. Such pieces of art are an ultimate experience and these artists are revered for their ability to get me out of my boundaries. When my heart aches at people’s sorrows, rejoices at their joy, frowns at injustices done to someone, I have then blurred my boundaries to live many lives making the experience called “my life” richer.
The generation that is so focused on “focus” and “achievement”, empathy might seem like the characteristic of the fools or rather too emotional to be uttered. The experience of leaving the boundary of the self and accompanying the emotional journeys of many … expanding the boundary (or when the boundaries are blurred) of the self and feeling the joy and pain of the whole universe should be beautiful because – then I am the universe and the universe is me!
I am the caterpillar who keeps on feeding. I am always hungry for more – more of everything. Insatiable are my material desires and self- obsession. What I feed on also depends on what’s available and valued around me – the cultural baggage, the networks that I associate my net worth with.
The goal of nature is not to fill this place with millions of over grown, bloated caterpillars. Each caterpillar has a unique butterfly within, waiting to emerge and take flight. To transform into a butterfly, I definitely need to be a caterpillar first keep feeding my instincts – but there needs to be a pupa phase in my life of looking inwards for self realization and henceforth come out with my wide open wings.
The quality of the human society is determined by the eco system it provides to propagate this metamorphosis in each individual. The world is much more beautiful with butterflies spreading their wings, flocking from flower to flower, spreading love. I wouldn’t want to visualize a world full of over grown, bloated caterpillars found creeping everywhere fighting over the left over leaves on the bare plants.
I dwindle between the form and the formless. There is a very fine line between the form and the formless. What has form now becomes formless in an instance and the formless takes up some form in a moment of being. There is a rite of passage – a pain in the crossing over but the bliss after the pain is worth any pain. People who dwindle between the form and the formless are in constant pain of labor.
The term “real” to me is confusing. If something is beyond my sensory horizon, that does not mean it is non existent. Maybe my surreal is real for someone else as my sensory and thought horizons are my limitations very specific to me.
Image Art courtesy: Octavio Ocampo (Mexican artist who is known for his paintings illusion with a dual-image)