Friday, July 25, 2008

Absolute and Relative

There is never a good deed if you cannot compare it with the bad. Never a pain if you can’t define what a pleasure is. All these definitions are relative to the other one. Does it matter at all? They do seem to two sides of the same coin. In fact not even a coin. More like a spectrum. That other side of the spectrum is what you are not.

There is this verse. I don’t know if it is in the Vedas or Upanishads or whatever. It says something like –

Poornamadah Poornamidam
Poornaath Poornam Udachyathe
Poornasya Poornamaadaaya
Poornameva Vasishyathe

Guess it professes the unity and the wholesomeness of things. Literally translated it will be something like, ‘This was a whole that is a whole. What you take out of it is a whole. What remains after it is a whole’. Signs of soul and the body dialogues in Gita eh? The wholeness referring to the soul.

What matters is what sort of life we lead and how much are we satisfied about it within our conscience.

There are two ways of arriving at the truth (so says the ancient peers). One is the ‘Ithi’ which identifies what the truth is and discards the rest. The other is the ‘Na Ithi’ which identifies the untruth, discards them and whatever you are left with is the truth. Almost the same thing is described in the testing of hypothesis which we study in statistics with the null and alternate hypothesis. It is a different matter that I am not competent to speak about statistics. Just that I feel it hints towards the same thing. Okay so why am I telling this? It is to ask myself that as a corollary to the Ithi and Na Ithi descriptions, can I say that it as well right to find out what the good is by experiencing all that is bad and then discarding them? And if this is acceptable, then we shouldn’t be showing contempt to the guy who falls in the wrong path, because ultimately even he will realize what is right and what is not. It is just that we don’t want others to reinvent the wheel. Even when it is with regards to personal experiences, we want others to learn from the world. How apt is it? I feel it is totally unacceptable.

Each man/woman has to find their own level, in their own way in their own leisurely pace. Speaking of this, I am reminded of one dialogue in the book ‘Doctors’ by Erich Segal. It is one of my favorite book and probably this dialogue is one of my most favorite too. It is told by one Maurice Esterhazy. He was the guy who had a nervous breakdown while in Harvard, then got admitted to a psycho ward and then went on to become a doctor in England. He says, “Yes, I want to become a doctor too. But not there where it is a rat race. But where it is more of a mouse jog”. But how much are we ready to accept either ourselves or any other person whom we know to willingly forgo any competitions and proceed to carve his own niche in his own way? The truthful answer to this question will solve many a heart aches in many a homes.

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