Monday, April 30, 2007

Characters:

X-- Mr. Perfect
Y-- Miss Philosopher, Not-so-Perfect

Part 1:

X: Will you marry me?
Y: No, i am sorry. I cannot do that.
X: Why not! What is wrong with me! Don't you love me?
Y: You have only one fault, and that is that you have no fault at all. Your perfection is your only imperfection. You are so perfect, you make me feel sick and irritated. I can't possibly love a person who has no flaws in character whatsoever.

Part 2:

X: Ok. Fine. Then tell me how to become imperfect! I'll develop whatever flaws you want me to develop in me!
Y: It doesn't work that way. People don't love in this fashion. Your perfection has rendered you incapable of appreciating such every day psychology.
X: So, it means there is nothing i can do?
Y: Yes, no one can help you in this regard. Imperfection cannot be taught.

Part 3:

X: Hey, hey, wait a sec!
Y: What is it?
X: I do have an imperfection! I have finally discovered one! My love for you? Is that not an imperfection on my part? I am loving an imperfect person like you... that is an imperfection!
Y: I must admit that you have come up a logical paradox. But i must do as the philosophers do.
X: And what do philosophers do in case of paradoxes?
Y: They ignore them. :P Good bye.

Friday, April 27, 2007

A good poem is capable of expressing a lot more than the poet had intended. A bad poem, on the other hand, is not even capable of conveying what the poet had in mind.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The song 'Laree Chooti' is the rage these days, and the charm of the song lies in it's catchy tune and it's reflective lyrics... making it a treat not just for an average teenager, but also to a thoughtful mind, because of it's philosophical implications. Here i'll mention some of them which i felt... obviously, this is an instance of 'creative interpretation', arising from the interaction of the song and my subjectivity, and does not in any way claim objectivity of analysis.

Kya huwa jo laree chooti
Jeevan ki gaadi luuti
Khwab hai to mujhko na jaga
Zindagi ek pal mein saali
Yun palat gayi hamaari
Jhuth hai to mujhko na bata

Translation:[I translated it as i felt appropriate.]

So what if i missed the bus?
Or if the train of my life is robbed?
If i am living a dream, do not wake me up
It took just a moment…
For my damned life to become topsy-turvy
If this is a lie, don't bother to tell me

The most obvious thing is, of course, the attitude of indifference to the apparent loses of life... the song sees life as unpredictable and transitory... there is also mention of fate in the next stanza... if this life is to last for a finite period, and the end result is annihilation for all of us, then what do these loses matter?

I also see this song as one of the responses to the existential dilemmas... the question of authenticity and inauthenticity raised by Heidegger and of 'bad faith' (self-deception) raised by Sartre. Authenticity and Inauthenticity are two modes of Dasein ('Being there'). Authenticity represents the choice of self, when you yourself decide what you want to be. Inauthenticity is its opposite, when you let others define who you are or when you work to fit in the definitions prepared by other people. 'Bad faith' involves not being true to oneself and attempting to elude responsibilty by making different excuses. For example, a person may believe in an unalterable fate decreed by an omnipotent God and that his life is already determined. This is an attempt to escape from the sense of responsibilty. Sartre calls it 'bad faith' or 'self-deception'.

This song, however, boldly confronts these philosophers, and says, "So what if i am deceiving myself? So what if i am living an inauthentic life? So what if i am guilty of self-deception? If i am living a happy and satisfied life in the state of 'bad faith', what does it matters to you? If i am living my life as a dream, then let it be, let me live in this dream... i do not want a reality which will only bring me anguish, despair and nausea! If my life is a lie, it makes no difference to me!"

I don't think this is a response which Sartre can morally condemn... an existentialist may disapprove of it, but he cannot show this attitude to be ethically wrong... this is one of the biggest limitations of existentialism... it cannot prove the superiority of an enlightened life to an ignorant one. Sartre indicated in his philosophical masterpiece 'Being and Nothingness' that he will write a book on existential ethics, but he never did... perhaps because existential ethics is not possible at all.

And it is precisely this aspect of the song which makes it enjoyable for me. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"If religion presents itself now [at the age of puberty] as theological dogma it may rouse the youthful passion for debate, and suffer dismemberment; if it presents itself as the pursuit of the good it touches the idealism of the changing soul, and becomes an ineradicable part of the personality."

Will Durant, The Pleasures of Philosophy

This surely reveals the brilliant insight of Will Durant regarding such matters. The religious opinions of a person depend a great degree on to what kind of religion he/she has been exposed to in youth. If his experience of religion is dark, dismal, suffocating... as a doctrine which imposes chains on human activity and limits human freedom... as a dogma which prevents mental and psychological libration, then chances are that the person will rebel against such a notion. On the other hand, if the version of religion the person is exposed to in youth is gentle, mild, liberal... as more of a moral advice than unquestionable rules... as a way of spreading kindness and good in the world, then surely the person would retain a strong religious element in his personality.

The tricky part is that most religions contain both elements... every religion has aspects which are hostile and suffocating... and every religion has components which promote kindness and good will.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

To say that 'life is absurd and senseless' sometimes makes life more 'sensible' to me than the statement's antithesis.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

What we can't say seriously, we say in humour.
And what we can't say in humour, we say it seriously?

Friday, April 13, 2007

"... and all he knew was that seeing her made him want to reach out and touch her, like a rare butterfly, just to see if he could do it, and if she would survive it. But like most rare butterflies, he suspected that if he touched her, her wings would turn to powder."

Five Days in Paris, Danielle Steel
"The women in his paintings-- he traps them in his world. You can get lost there."

A line from the historical novel Girl with a Pearl Earring, referring to the artist Vermeer.

Monday, April 9, 2007

"A man who has become conscious of the absurd is forever bound to it. A man devoid of hope and conscious of being so has ceased to belong to the future."
Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus

My dilemma. I have stared in the very eyes of absurdity, and now I am it's eternal captive.

Friday, April 6, 2007

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Mr Nietzsche, you have hit the nail right on the head! :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

It is interesting to observe that the society encourages romance in stories, films, dramas, art and poetry. Such works get a lot of publicity and appreciation. But, in sheer contrast, romance is strongly discouraged in real life. A person is expected to show love in real life through the pale, lifeless institution of marriage, and any criticism is waved away by the stereotypical response that the love between husband and wife is the "true love". But how do these people remain ignorant of their own hypocrisies, because the type of love they appreciate in poetry and art is a radically different kind of love.The explanation is perhaps that the infatuatuous, passionate love is a wild, untamed emotion. It's spontaneous and rebellious; it doesn't obey any rules. In other words, it is disruptive to the fabric of society. It breaks away the strands of social norms. And therefore, not surprisingly, the society discourages this kind of love.But we all have the instinct for this infatuatous love inside us, which needs to be satisfied. And how does the society accomplish that? Through promoting precisely this kind of love in arts, films, dramas. An attempt to fulfull, to live through their suppressed fantasies. [Perhaps this explains the observation that girls are much more interested in romantic literature, while simultaneously being awfully and dreadfully unromantic in real life. The reason is perhaps that they are subjected to a greater degree of social suppression.]

Monday, April 2, 2007

Philosophy is the best consolation for love-ache. :)
 

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