Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do


I belong to the entire universe that is without beginning or end. I am defined in the space by relations only and not separations. In continuity there can be no partition. Time as we know is an illusion worked out meticulously. Rotation of the earth around its axis is a day of 24 hours which in turn get divided in minutes and seconds. Moving of the earth around a star that we call our sun becomes a year. We calculate the illusory durations and distances in varied units for our comfort and adhere to the deceptive tradition of uniformity. Both the space and time are purely anthropocentric concepts.

I exist all the same. But this ‘ I’ is complex, inconsistent, heterogeneous and multidimensional at every instant. I am this continuously changing body that is carrying out numerous activities of which I am mostly unaware and yet my being alive is defined and sustained by it. I am my consciousness which defies definitions and yet is understood and accepted by all. This consciousness also is inconstant. Then there are subconscious and unconscious also! These are decided by language which is a very recent development and there would also be languages bereft of these concepts. I am my thoughts, skills, shortcomings, desires, dreams, beliefs, doubts, delusions and so on and on. I am neither a design nor an equilibrium but just a total of attributes. I am skin, eyes, ears, appetite, taste buds, stomach, intestines, rectum, gall bladder, urinary bladder, testicles, ovaries, breasts, penis, vagina and myriad organs. The cell, the cell of course! Cell wall, protoplasm, nucleus, mitochondria, chromosomes, genes, spirals of DNA and again a whole new assortment. I am carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, calcium, phosphorus, sulfur, manganese, magnesium and a limitless collection that made me, keeps getting added or subtracted from me and will remain forever after my existence comes to an end.

These details can be extended or explained or may remain unresolved. But they indicate one certainty that I am continuous with this universe as its indivisible part. Another way of saying this poetically would be, I am the universe.

The corporeal existence cannot be denied and this is where boundary- marking begins.

In order to survive, define my existence and establish my identity I gather concrete and conceptual objects that become my assets. I also inherit or impart these in multiple ways, from genes to material things. They become my rights. My memory, my dreams or my imagination, all are my rights. To be deprived of these rights is sufficient excuse to protest. This protest can take various forms from verbal expression to war. In either case to remain ignored or be annihilated depends more on chance or accident rather than design or principles. But any such outcome does not annul the fact of existence. Existence invalidates loss or victory. Existence means to endure.

Those who deliberately or naively miss the continuity make divisions and lament the fact that there are divisions and prescribe solutions to resolve them. It was and still is modish to look at the world as East and West. Those from their East saw west as bloodthirsty, science-centered, materialistic and evil. For them East was spiritualist, one with nature and angelic. Those from West saw East as primitive, dark, barbaric on one hand or abundant, wise and miraculous. All they wanted was to win to rule or to win to be one. Power or brotherhood. But winning was essential, winning over the dark forces, winning over the hearts, winning with love, winning with spiritualism, winning with knowledge and reason. Winning was the term in their language necessary for existence. Missing was the awareness of universality of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, magnesium. Evil and angelic exist everywhere in linguistic relativities as close relatives! Civilized or barbaric are illusions like flora and fauna structured alike by nucleus, protoplasm, chromosomes and so on.

The East-West continues still and can be a source of humour (or anxiety to some) but remains an obstacle in dialogue.

Nationalism puts a limit to east and west and opens up a large ring of contradictions for confrontation. Nationalism is inevitable and as natural as a home for existence. Home is what one has made, what one owns, what is one’s right, what one inherits or endows. From an individual to a group is evolution of nation. When people have worked to build a common property, trespassers will not be freely permitted. Nations have not come up only because of hard work or altruistic acts. Violence, exploitation, power games and many such factors play a part in building nations. These are the same features that cause making and breaking of civilizations. For those with liberal hearts it is unjust to deny the have-nots the fruits that grow in the orchards of those having plenty. It is easy for many to pontificate as long as they can keep clear of the fracas.

Animals mark their territories by their excreta; we do it by blood, religion, languages, history and so on. Calling it right or wrong will involve fundamental and multifaceted contradictions. Those who profess freedom for all to find home anywhere, without visa and passports also support prohibition to alter environment. A forest is a nation of certain species of trees and animals and insects and birds. They have an exclusive right not to be violated by other specie which may be Homo sapiens or Tyrannosaurus rex . This in very simple is the conflict between status quo and change. This process is going on in the universe much before earth was formed and very much more before human existence was articulated in any language.

What should be done? There is no prescription because there is no malady. One has to make choices for oneself. Do your thing as long as you do not deliberately hurt. Not to hurt what and whom also will require long discourse! But one can sing, dance, eat, paint on canvas or wall or own face, write poetry, love letters, petitions, notifications, work-orders, or fornicate and propagate the species. The choices are endless. The life is endless. The love is endless. One can love Arab as well as Israeli, chocolate or latte, a bird, a flower, a feather, a moment, an eternity.

Dileep Jhaveri

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