My previous article was being edited for the newsletter. Being temporarily jobless, I was looking over the process and giving my insights and was rambling on about how I meant to write about something else and ended up writing about something completely different. All throughout, I kept thinking of the many things I wanted to blog about.
I distinctly recall thinking of fear and love. I’ve pondered about enough on love.
After that I watched this movie “Waking Life” and Whoa!! its amazing. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0243017/combined
There is this bit about how evolution has taken place for the entire population as such; how there has been no distinct evolutionary growth in the individual per se; how we all have not achieved what we possess the potential for and how there is a barrier that prevents us from reaching our real potential. To this, the philosophy professor says, “The answer to that can be found in another question, and that’s this: Which is the most universal human characteristic – fear or laziness?”
And that was the moment for me. That scene basically made the entire movie for me.
It’s so true. All of our actions are influenced by fear or laziness, depending on the action we are about to commit.
We chase happiness and success because we fear unhappiness and failure or what we think are unhappiness and failure. We don’t do some things for the fear that the consequences of our actions may not be as we desire them to be. We do some things for the fear that our inaction may cause subsequent misery. We seek companionship because we are scared of ending up lonely and unloved. We don’t express our love for the fear of our egos and feelings being hurt on probable rejection. We are taught that fear is a form of reverence. We learn to fear our parents and teachers and strangers. We learn that if we commit any act condemned to be sinful by some, we will be punished by God and that the Devil shall take us. We learn to fear God’s wrath more than believing that God is probably a nice old chap. We fear death. We fear life itself. Fear is omnipresent, innit?
As for laziness, well yeah, we are a goddamned lazy species. All of us are bursting with ideas to change the face of humanity. But we are just so lazy that we prefer waking up in the afternoon and managing our own messed up lives. But some of us are too lazy to even do that. We sleepwalk through life, ingesting everything that is fed to us and vomiting the same bilge back. We go with the flow. But in reality, when we “go with the flow” its not a very conscious decision. We are not aware that out of the n options, the sole reason that we are going with the flow is not because we want to, voluntarily, but because we are just too lazy to carry out the other n-1 options. Procrastination is a normal involuntary action like eating tasty and unhealthy food, brushing our teeth, watching TV, etc. We delay everything that can be delayed and which wont cause too much of an inconvenience.
Sometimes fear overtakes laziness. Sometimes the latter subdues it.
The movie makes you think. It throws up so many ideas, theories, beliefs and opinions at you. And that is where you have to think and choose.
(I apologize if all this sounds as if I’m talking down to lowly forms of life or that I’m teaching two plus two equals four and not five. But my recent experiences force me to continue in this vein..)
When we see movies or read news/ articles etc, subconsciously somehow,we imbibe the opinions, views in them. We take in those opinions and beliefs and ideas without really considering the facts. I’m not saying everyone does it and that its wrong or anything of that sort. What I want to say is, there is an excess of information, views, ideas, beliefs and opinions all around us and one should examine all of them properly and learn to make his/ her own assessment of the situation and form his own opinion. Individualism is not about reading Ayn Rand’s Objectivity of Selfishness or her other novels and then claiming to be an individualist. One does not necessarily have to be highly selfish and self-centered to be Individualistic.While taking in all that’s thrown at us, we have to realize that this is someone’s view of something and this is how he/she portrays it.
So, while seeing the movie, I was all amazed and felt like “ yes, this is The TRUTH!!”. But then, later on I came to accept that this is, in the end, a work of fiction. It is someone’s view of reality and illusion and dreams. And its all brilliant. I even agree with some ideas and insights offered in the movie. But then I need not necessarily believe that it is the absolute, ultimate truth. Well, yeah all this is possible and its all cool too. But then it could be un-true too. That’s the best thing about ideas. You can just appreciate them and like them. You don’t have to accept them or believe in them. You can always challenge them and also walk away from them.
The dialogues/ lines will blow your mind away. Each one sounds like a statement of truth, beautiful and scathing. And I chose to believe, not because it sounds cool, but because I do believe that all our lives could be an illusion and we are just moving through one layer to another. And I believe that we must live this illusion. We could chose to be materialistic and perform our deeds and live our lives, chase our dreams knowing that in the end, it’s all an illusion and it doesn’t really matter. Or we could just walk through it like indifferent zombies accepting it as something which is pre-determined and which will not make any difference as to whatever we do. It may be true that the workings of ants could not cause any difference to stars and planets. But it may not necessarily be the only truth.
When we chose to live our life knowing that in the great cycle of life and death we are insignificant grains of sand, we must also accept that every second of our time is probably a whole lifetime for some beings. Even the lowliest form of life played a role in our evolution into an intelligent species. Every instant matters and every action in that instant matters. We influence others’ lives and actions by our actions without really considering it or being aware of it. If life is an illusion, Maya, then so be it. Why does reality have to be the opposite of it? Why can’t the illusion be the reality? That’s how it is. It is the reality. It is a dream, life. We are living our dreams. A lifetime of dreams. Think of it as lucid dreaming. Sometimes you can control your actions in your dreams. You can also control your own actions in your life. In lucid dreams, when you realize you are dreaming you also realize that you can control the situation and do what you want to do. Same with life, you have to come to realize that, yes there is fate and destiny, but you are there too and you can control the situation.
In dreams allegedly, you can’t switch lights on and off and time is twisted. In life, you cant change day into night and night into day, unless you can teleport ( That is an amazing possibility) and as for time.. well, we all measure it differently, some in years and seconds, some in people and places, and some in smiles, tears, sighs and glances.