Saturday, February 8, 2014

Journey


Meditation

I started this journey at some point in the pointless flow of eternity.  As purposelessly as the motion of a stone set rolling down a mountain by the insensate boot of a careless traveller.

Unlike the stone, I have a lot of freedom to choose my path, the mode of my travel, the diversions and digressions.  I can choose the people I want to meet, or at least my responses to them.  I can laugh or brood.  Laughter will not necessarily generate flowers on my way.  Flowers are not necessarily more desirable than brambles.

Why do I have to make this journey at all?  The May fly which has no mouth answered.  “I live just a few hours,” said the May fly which had no mouth.  “When I become an adult, I mate with another adult.  Then I die.  She lays eggs and she dies.  The eggs hatch.  More May flies are born.  Only to mate and die.”  And the May fly which had no mouth died.

I learnt that the May flies never eat any food.  They have neither a mouth nor a stomach.  Food is not required for such a short journey as a May fly’s.  Yet May flies make the journey.

What’s the point of the journey?  The point is that there is no point.

Okay, if your craving for a point is irresistible, how about this: the point is that you’ve got to go on.  You’ve been kick-started into motion like the stone on the mountain and you have no choice but roll on.  You’ve got to complete the journey.  It’s your journey and no one else can make it for you.

What will I gain in the end? I ask.  Nothing.  There’s nothing to gain.  Nothing to be lost either.  It’s a journey, not a commercial enterprise.  It’s a journey in which you are condemned to make choices.  Only the beginning and the end are not in your control.  All the rest is your choice.  The people are there around you because you’ve chosen to have them.  The places, the events – you’ve chosen them.  Of course, you had no choice but to choose.

Your choice determines the whats and whys of your life.  Call it meaning, purpose, loss or gain, what you wish. 

While making the inevitable journey,
You can choose to learn, though there is nothing to be taught.
You can choose to understand, though there is nothing to be explained.
You can choose to unfold secrets, though there is no secret.

You can choose to be wise, though in folly lies the real wisdom.

If you choose the folly of the wise, you will laugh much along your way. 


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16 comments:

  1. A hard fact of life but then we all live with that idea is finding that one reason that one point because of which we are undertaking this journey. Many of us say "I cant live without you" but then life does go on so what you say is right.

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    1. The "point" is the problem, Athena. I have realised that there is no "point" at all. Your spouse is not the point, nor are your children, ultimately. Nor your job, career, earnings... Nothing matters in the end. Except, what you have discovered!

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  2. So true. It's all about our choices we make.

    P.S. I didn't know about a mayfly's life-cycle. Thanks to you, now I do :)

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    1. There are so many creatures which are one day wonders, Namrota. A fact that can make us wonder about the purpose of life. But the May fly is curious because even food is not a basic need in its case. Procreation seems to be the basic purpose of life!

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  3. Just playing an anti-thesis here....no matter how much we would like to believe in "Free will" always remember the quote from the usual suspects , “the greatest trick the devil/angle ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist”. Free will is an illusion, it’s all connived already by someone. :)

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    1. Free will is a double-edged game, Sachin. Have you heard of the donkey which was given the boon of free will? It could choose the hay on the right or the hay on the left. It decided to make use of free will. When it turned left, free will told him, "You have the freedom to choose what's on the right." So it turned right. And you know what the free will told him. And it went on. Until the donkey died. :)

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  4. What I hated the most is that I had "no choice but to choose" and I have long laments about being made to choose the wrong options; just the fact that there is nothing to be gained or lost is what makes me still try to make better choices :)

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    1. "made to choose"? teny? Who made you choose anything? YOU choose. Don't be made to choose. Freedom is responsibility. Don't blame anybody.

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  5. Very true, Sir.
    "you had no choice but to choose."
    Not making a choice is also a choice.
    May we make the right choices & enjoy Life's journey :)

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    1. I too wish that enjoyment of the journey to everybody, Anita. That's all what life is about.

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  6. Nicely put...most of us are happy to go about living our lives until something really hits us bad... and we are like...why? And that is when we wish to search for answers to our existence. Understanding the game of life takes a little time to dawn on us! Just like the "big bang theory" our life is full of uncertainty and there is hardly any pattern, it is all random. Might as well enjoy the game while it lasts.

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    1. By the time we learn to play the game really well, our time is almost over :) Perhaps, life is all about that precisely: learning... the journey itself is the game.

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  7. Your observation that reproduction appears to be the only purpose is exactly the scientific view. 'You are only a vehicle for the survival of your genes', but such an answer satisfies no one, not even the scientist. There has to be some meaning in all this, otherwise why not stop this absurd journey here and now?
    -Shajan

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    1. The journey is absurd, Shajan. But why not stop it now? is the most philosophical question, according to Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays). I'm offering my answer here. The answer is purely mine, and it satisfies me.

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