Friday, April 24, 2015

Art and Imagination



To imagine, create and to touch the old world a new is what makes the magical journey of the artists. Artists neither belong  to any special community nor are they a unique set of people. To be an artist is the essence of a human being. It is in every one of us to breathe life with the expanse of imagination, embrace it in our thoughts. We are all artists.
While all of us imagine, why is that the imagination of everyone does not lead to creativity? Because if the imagination has to be creative, it has to be accompanied by 'deep understanding'. This is essential for the spark of imagination to be more  than fantasy. Essentially, the creative individual needs depth of perception. This depth is multilayered, with the past and present serving as a continuum as well as a stimulus to further evolution. Even the most radical and path-breaking ideas come from the same deep understanding within which acceptance and rejection play a part. It is not the studied learning but a process of seriously comprehending the elements, their existence and various perceptions of them. This is the understanding which is result of observation and introspection.
Every individual imagines numerous possibilities around living one's life in the normal course. But life is not just about living; it is also about the possibility of creating worlds that do not exist, sounds that have never been heard before or sights that seem improbable. These are real in the mind. In this imagination lies the courage to fight for today, to work and find happiness of the day. Every possibility drives humans to push the boundaries of living . If not for this, there would be no tomorrow to look forward to and no reason for action in our daily existence.
Yet imagination arises from the present through human interaction with the world around. The possibilities generated by imagination are not pulled out of thin air, but born out of what exists, which in turn is the result of the past, when we link the past and present, we see a continuum and within this change exists. In the spark of imagination is born this constant environment of change while imagination is an activity that remains in the world of the mind, creativity is the result of it leading to a tangible creation in the temporal world. Therefore, great imagination need not result in creativity but it is the source of creativity. The spark for imagination is experience and the spirit of creativity is imagination. The art of creation is closely linked to the instinct of imagination. When humans 'imagine', they are experiencing their creations in the mind. These do not translate into creativity unless moved from the mind to the real world. Creativity involves the actual act of creation. This  in a way is the translation of 'that what is imagined' into reality of the present. Great artists are able to make this move.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What really matters?



On a long enough timeline, survival rate for everyone drops to zero. Over a period of time, the sole timeline of universe is bound to reach infinity. The expanse of the humanity is huge, but it is infinitesimal when compared to the vast expanse of time. We exist in time and we exist in space, scientists call it the space-time. We are exploring time and we are exploring space. Dimension-wise, both time and space reach infinity. But time can be said to be the superior dimension because it does not easily reveal itself. We can go back in space, but not in time. Time bends itself so that no large scale object reaches the velocity of light. Why does it do that?
Determinism asserts that every moment has a mind of its own. Seen from an individual's perspective, the time's mind is destiny while for the time's mind, the individual is just a physical reality which have to conform to the universal order of things. but the individual lives in the cage of his limited understanding which he fondly calls "free will". Everything seems anthropocentric in general understanding. But, what if it isn't?
Science believes that life, effort and understanding of human beings is about the universe becoming conscious of itself. We seem to be at the adolescence of universal order of things. The quest is to be able to complete the life-cycle of the universe, of which we have reached the adolescence. Can humanity survive long enough to witness the end of time? I don't mean to use the phrase end-of-time in an apolocyptic sense, rather the physical end or infinite edge of the dimension called time. I suppose that the end of time would be juxtaposed with the beginning of time as nature really loves to recycle. can we survive long enough to witness that transformation? It's hard to even ponder over its possibility, let alone imagining it.
Humans have been a strong rising force on Earth. An influential agent of change whose agency is continually evolving and whose capabilities are ever increasing. Human progress in the modern age has been the most astounding miracle of the universal history. Time strengthens our capabilities, our reach and our enquiry. If it took us 10,000 years to evolve from brutal animals to landing on the moon, who knows what we are capable of achieving in the next 90,000 years. The only pertinent question here is that of survival. If survival is ensured, progress is inevitable. But is survival of the human race given the importance that it deserves? Our survival as individuals is a responsibility of our families and ourselves. But who takes the responsibility of survival of the entire human race? Some might say its God, but essentially it's our planet Earth. But, do we realise that our planet Earth comes with an expiry date. A medium sized planet like Earth has an average age of 10 billion years out of which 4.6 billion has already passed. That leaves us with a potential to survive for about the next 5.4 billion years. Do we, human beings,  have any intention of surviving as a species for that long? Because if we have an intention, we can.
But the problems of the present times leave us in doubt about even near future. the farthest our vision might go is 3000 AD or maybe 10,000 AD. That gives us a lifespan of about 110,000 years on this planet.  Compare it with the potentiality of surviving for 5 billion years, and it will seem clear that  our leaders are not as far sighted as they can be. Imagine the quantum of evolution that can happen over a period of even 1 million years, if human beings were to ensure survival over such a time period. But considering the conflicts that engage the people today, it seems to me that we are fighting over pennies,  standing over a mountain of gold.
Will our posterity survive the conflicts they will inherit from us? Because if they don't , then nothing really matters.

Science and Conscience



Humans have a sacred duty - a duty to perform the tasks entrusted to us on the basis of our intrinsic capacity. If you can weave, then be a weaver; if you can fight, then be a soldier; if you can think, be a scholar. The duty to play our roles and help the Human collective (be it family, community, nation or humanity) move further along the path of self actualisation is a sacred and moral duty. We as human beings have taken upon ourselves the obligation to understand the universe through a rational scientific enquiry. But this quest did not start in the modern world or with the invention of scientific method of enquiry. It had its roots in all classical systems of philosophy and ancient ways of scholarship. The methods of science are not very different from the methods of conscience, as both entail theoritization, experimentation, vindication and verification. How does a new philosophy or a new way of being gather large scale acceptability? For instance, take modernity. The modern ways of life were first theorized, then experimented with in a few nations, then vindication came in the form of enhanced prosperity and finally they are being verified by various countries of the Global South to be effective. The theory of liberalism has now evolved into the economic laws of neo-liberalism that prescribe the surest path to national prosperity today. But countries are still free to experiment further to improve upon the prevalent ideologies to evolve better ones. Thought experiments are as effective as scientific experiments in the discovery of truth. But the basic premises in both the systems is different.
Science considers that our external universe shapes our intrinsic character. In this respect we are sentient beings. We seek to know ourselves better by looking on the outside as what is inside is the same matter that is present in the stars, comets and the Earth. Conscience considers that our intrinsic character shapes our external world. In this respect, we are divine beings. We seek to know the universe better by looking on the inside, knowing that the same laws and phenomena that shape our choices and character govern the cosmos.
To me, both approaches seem complimentary to each other. We need the wisdom of both Albert Einstein and Mahatama Gandhi to make the most of the Human experience. We need to articulate a language of synthesis to make the ideas of science and philosophy coherent with each other. Truth is objective but not absolute because it has a transient quality, it changes with time and maybe even space. How can we accurately perceive the truth if we can't even correctly perceive ourselves? Are we a part of this creation or the very creators of this reality. Intellectual integrity and consistency in the methods adopted becomes all the more important in such a situation. What is also important is a mutual appreciation among the various ways of enquiry. Contemplation is a powerful tool for transformation of insight into a potent means to integrate knowledge. All great ideas have been born out of a rare combination of science and conscience. All the great inventors have been persons of very high moral fibre and clean conscience and all inspiring leaders have appreciated the scientific model of intellectual exploration. In creating a inclusive knowledge base, both science and conscience should cooperate with each other rather than competing.
PS : I personally feel that while pointing out the virtues of competition in the process of evolution of species, Darwin might have slightly understated the importance of cooperation among the members of the same species and their collective aspiration to reach immortality through perpetual procreation.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Introspection

I am lonely. As lonely as a human being can get. Its ‘no interaction with the outside world for a week’ lonely. I live in my own world. This world is interesting but it doesn’t have much interaction. It’s cold.
Perhaps this cold is not too much unwarranted. I have experienced warmth but certainly it wasn’t too comforting either. I feel like I am swaying in the limbo trying to make sense of it all. I guess why nothing ever makes sense is because nothing is ever stationary - both literally and metaphorically. Just as you think you have figured it all out, the game changes, the rules change and the opponent changes. It’s always a clean slate, and no matter what you write on it, the slate doesn’t change itself. Is it all that there is to life, a stateless Slate?
As I sit here and contemplate, the world is running madly in circles, for it never stops, it can never stop. If I were to look at it from its past, the contemporary world is amazing. We are living the progress, the last generation imagined. The people are jubilant, they have got what they promised to themselves over the centuries. The world is finally free, even if to be enslaved again. But, if I were to look at it all from the future, all kinds of bondages would be removed; all the bondages of oppression, true ; but the bonds of humanity too.

So I surmise I may be living in the future. What was alive that is dead now? I reveled so much in my individual that I forgot my origins, my community, my environment. My ego killed my treasured compassion that inspired me to aspire for the unachievable. I try to fix myself with the promised elixir of love. But I can’t. I am not the same person in silence. In silence, I am a beast with a burden, the burden to present what I resent. I am the dark of night glowing through my silence for what is complete in itself is just the void.