Wednesday, May 27, 2009

On Perfection

The Benevolence of the Universe is that it is the foundation of all existence.

That the universe is so marvelous and wondrous that matter and life forms in all their varied glory exist as far as the eye can see, as far as the ear can hear, as far as one can think. Existing in ways which add splendor to each other's existence.

The infinitude, and splendor, of the universe is its benevolence and its perfection.

I exist in this universe as a flesh and blood body, aware and conscious. And miracles don't come bigger than this.

Existence is the miracle, the implicit is the profound.

I, as matter made aware, am completely safe in this universe, as old age, disease and death is just a modification of matter, and is as well a part of this perfection. This particular body will disintegrate in due time, just as it formed as an agglomeration over the last few decades, and only "I" in my perversity seek to preserve myself as this body and as "me" for all eternity. It is not required.

Survival is not the be all and end all of human life. Death is not the calamity that "I" fear. Death and Disintegration is part of perfection.

As the illusory world of "me" and "my feelings" feels threatened, a fellow human being can pursue a path of mayhem, misery, malice, malevolence, murder, malignance, meanness and mordacity directed at another fellow human being.

And in such a field of aggression, the life of this body can be extinguished, the sustenance of this body can be looted, the security and comfort of this body can be attacked and destroyed, the limbs can be chopped off, the head bashed, the arms broken, the legs fractured, the toenails taken out, the face slapped, the jaw broken, the teeth smashed, the hair pulled out, the back whipped, the viscera pumped with bullets and knives, the body jailed and tortured, and killed...

And still...

That the universe is so marvelous and wondrous that matter and life forms in all their varied glory exist as far as the eye can see, as far as the ear can hear, as far as one can think. Existing in ways which add splendor to each other's existence.

And still...

The blue azure of the sky continues to shine in its brilliance, the earth continues in its stillness around the sun, the stars continue to sparkle in the endless dark of the night, and matter, right from the largest of constellations to the myriad atoms, continues to exist in the perfect stillness of this moment.

Peace to all, May all Beings be extinguished, and with it all suffering, all malice, all the impediments to freedom and to the experiencing of perfection in this life-time, on this earth, as this flesh and blood body.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

An Article on Distraction

From an article by Sam Anderson:
Back in 1971, when the web was still twenty years off and the smallest computers were the size of delivery vans, before the founders of Google had even managed to get themselves born, the polymath economist Herbert A. Simon wrote maybe the most concise possible description of our modern struggle: “What information consumes is rather obvious: It consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.” As beneficiaries of the greatest information boom in the history of the world, we are suffering, by Simon’s logic, a correspondingly serious poverty of attention.
I recommend reading the full article (if you can, eh!).

(I had written about distraction long back, in a flow of angst about the human condition, and have written about it (a little peripherally though) recently as well.)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Criticism of Democracy

This is the eve of the declaring of results of the largest democratic exercise in the world.

Strangely, there is very little understanding and debate on the merits and demerits of democracy. Democracy, as J Krishnamurti famously said, is flawed but better than other systems. But a discussion of its flaws, even amongst the intelligentsia, is strangely lacking. It is almost too easy to thump our chests just because we are a nation in which the leaders are elected.

For those interested, may I suggest that you contribute to the Criticism of Democracy section of the Democracy page on Wikipedia? Contribute links, references, excerpts from scholarly books and articles, etc. I started to contribute, and have contributed unreferenced text, but I am admittedly not a politically mature commentator.

(cartoon courtesy

Inspiration, or Plagiarism

And I thought Dev.D, though obviously a take on Devdas, was an original take in its entirety. It seems that in at least one entirely superfluous scene, the director, Anurag Kashyap, chooses to blatantly copy an award-winning short film.

The film didn't need this scene, but since I saw this film in theater, the scene was quite a crowd-pleaser, and the discovery of its roots only serves to confirm my impression that playing to the gallery is not an unimportant consideration for one of the most promising Indian directors at present. He played to the gallery many times in Gulaal, and needlessly so. Such instances only seek to dilute the artistic merit of his work.

The short film in question is Schwarzfahrer (Black Rider, Pepe Danquart, 1993), and nobody who sees this short film as well as Dev.D can fail to instantly recognize the inspiration, or plagiarism.

The short film, quite a Roald Dahl kind of story, won the Oscar for the best short film in 1994.