Monday, November 26, 2007

Intellectual Intellect

Gyan was a Professor of Philosophy in Vidya Arts College in a small town. Prof.Gyan was known for his policy of simple living and high thinking. The barely occupied classroom was always jam packed for his class. He had an unusual and an eerie talent which attracted people. He always encouraged inquisitiveness and even tried to instill that among his students. Amongst his hundreds of students, Narayana was his favorite. His humility, simplicity, inquisitiveness, eagerness to learn, unconventional thinking had attracted Gyan as much narayana was attracted to Gyan. Naani was the nick name given to Narayana by his professor.
As it always was, even this lecture was very interesting, rather more than others as the topic was also as attractive as gyan’s lecture.
The topic to be discussed was Evolution of Man in the realm of intelligence. As was his ritualistic practice, Prof. started of with an analogy. He said man’s mind as it is today is not his own. It was a product of the improvement process happening from millions of years. Man’s thinking improved with the various kind of obstacles he overcame. The brain started evolving from then, taking only the best of what he learnt from his experience. For example, we need not learn how to light a fire or reinvent wheel as it is already done long back and is carried forward till us and will go on further.
Gyan just paused in between and out came his obvious phrase, “Any doubts friends?”
Naani alias Narayana religiously raised his hand waiting for prof’s permission. He started after professor prompted him by his hand gesture telling him to go on.

Naani in his ethnic simplicity asked: What is mind?

Prof.Gyan: Mind is an abstract center of consciousness.

Naani: Sir, Why do men think?

Prof.Gyan: Men tend to think that they think because they think that ability to think will make them superior and they like to think that their thinking has made them superior.

Naani: Sir, please do not confuse me. Anyway I’ll put it in other way, why does intellectuals attract more awe and reverence than others?

Prof.Gyan: Intellect has been the most mysterious subject from time immemorial. Mind is considered a storehouse of thoughts and ideas whose implications have the power to change the way the world functions. Intellect is a non-separable part of the process of this type of high thinking. Since intellect was attributed to all the major breakthroughs in the understanding of the nature by man and since it cannot be measured in any means nor experience it with any of our senses, it attracted one and all.

Naani: Sir, what happens to mind over time?

Prof.Gyan: Fantastic question my son! You are an intellectual in the making. You are an illustration of the intellectual in everyone whose mind is uninfluenced by the brutal reality of the society dominated by lesser mortals. Time is a concept which is an outcome of the mind’s process of thoughts. So how do you think time can affect its creator?

Naani: But sir, universe is a reality and it cannot be a subject of debate. So, man talks of even the age of universe. As I understand, age is a measure of time with reference to a certain point of physical occurrence at some moment. I also know that nobody has ever defined the boundaries of universe. The closest I can relate to the boundaries of universe is to the boundaries of our thoughts. So when we are allowed to dare proclaim the age of universe without even knowing the extent of its envelope, why shouldn’t we try to determine the age of mind? Why doesn’t mind age with time?

Prof.Gyan: I appreciate your logical thinking which I had always anticipated from you. But let us consider it this way. Universe is again a concept of our mind because we believe that space beyond our sight and knowledge exist. I also agree we have sufficient scientific reason to believe. But still our belief is based on some deductions which we have done considering some of the scientific revelations so far. But it is again based on the assumption that future is an extension of the past. In other words, we are assuming that whatever process we have found out by digging into the causations of certain events in nature is constant and will replicate wherever it occurs under similar conditions. How do you say that this assumption is valid? It is just sitting on the loose soil of belief which gives us a feeling of success for we try to pat our own backs under the delusion of accomplishment.

Naani: Why do we want to achieve anything if it is for the sake of recognition? I mean, isn’t it wrong to do something which we do it just to get a reason to boast around and get a pat on our back by the ignoramus surrounding us?

Prof.Gyan: Man has evolved over time from still primitive living beings. He didn’t evolve as a unit of isolated creature. He has somehow deduced that maximum comfort lies in community living and maximum pleasure lies in dominating the same community.
To give you an analogy, man doesn’t like to see his relative reach great heights. It triggers malice in him. But the fun lies in the fact that he doesn’t mind if a third person who doesn’t belong to his close circle of relatives or friends does it. It’s a mundane way of thinking which has taken root in man’s mind for a long time. Here the point is what is the difference between your relative being your boss or someone you don’t know. It just illustrates the evolution of social thinking which has grown roots in man’s brains. I still do not know the origin of such a dismal idea or thought. Recognition in his community has been the core of anyone’s and everyone’s ambition list.

Naani: Sir, you didn’t tell me about the age of mind….

Prof.Gyan: Sorry! I got deviated from the subject. See, the mind I consider is a processor of thoughts and ideas which gets stored in our brain once it gets a form. So mind and brain are the same things in different dimensions. Brain is an organ which is responsible for memory and storage of data in the physical dimension. Mind is an organ which is responsible for creating thoughts utilizing the raw data present in brain in an intellectual dimension. Every physical entity has a trajectory starting from birth (origin) to death.
But since mind does not belong to physical dimension, it is not affected by time.
Take an analogy; remember your first day at college. There might have occured some events which you would cherish at every revocation of that thought. Would that change as you grow physically old? Or will the age of a poet impede in creating his childhood in form of beautiful verses? I strongly contend that mind can never become old nor can ever be measured for its capacity.

Naani nodded and sat down, saying thanks with gratitude and humility. But Gyan could sense that naani’s mind was still occupied with something else. The class had come to an end. Gyan could not complete the curricula he had mentioned as agenda for that hour. But everyone felt enlightened and left the class with enhanced respect for Prof. Gyan. Naani bowed to his professor in the latter’s staffroom and said “Sir, you cleared my dilemma. My only dream for which I promise to toil from this moment is to become your colleague. I am ready to give the rest of my life if you are by my side!”
Prof. Gyan was taken aback by such an unprecedented reaction by this young lad. He was at loss of words for the first time in his life. He just hugged the lad and Naani understood more than what his professor wanted to convey.

A point in Life

A moment in space-time: ‘Tens of children are born, hundreds die, many saplings shoot out of earth in hope, millions are crying, millions are celebrating, people are overeating, millions are dying of hunger. This is a generic view of events happening on earth at any moment of time.’
In a chemical reaction, if there is more than 1 output for the same input, we tend to relate the outputs and study their nature in order to understand the process in whole.
Similarly, under the same catalyst called time, input called life churns out so many by products that it is almost impossible to even recognize the main product arising from the input.
If a life sprouts at the same moment as the death, isn’t that akin to a process where the sproutal of life is somehow related to the demise of life as both happens at the same moment. If happiness envelopes a few at the same moment when shroud covers others, isn’t it strange of us if we do not try to relate them. If at all we try to connect the grief of some with the gaiety of others, then doesn’t the process of gaiety and sorrow, life and death become a cycle and the path of life from birth to death becomes more a part of vicious circle made of many such paths of life and death.

A circle is nothing but a set of continuous points who all manage to stay away from a distant point with the same distance. A point is nothing but a circle made of points whose distance from a distant point is null. Spherical surface is nothing but circles made of similar points in 3 physical dimensions, wherein points of the circle in other 2 dimensions also manage to maintain the distance like those points in the circles of the remaining dimensions.

So if we consider universe is spherical, birth and death is a part of a cycle. Also, if we consider that we living beings are a part of the same cycle called life. Then it is interesting to observe some strange and interesting revelation.
We can assume that each of us as a singular point in the circle of life. We all stay away from some distant point with the same distance. It is because we all are circling around ourselves with the point of focus being ego and the distance being null. That is the reason why we remain as points (circle with zero radii). Now we being points of a large circle, all of us stay away from that distant point called absolute truth. All of us are equally scared of it. If we could make the distance null between that distant point and us, then the circle called life will merge into a point absolute which is other wise known as salvation.

But, we all have come to a state wherein we believe a circle is the only complete figure. It is a symbol of integrity. We believe in traversing the same path as others. We believe in certainty in life. Uncertainty is something our mindset cannot accept for a long time. Life cannot be uncertain to a large extent. We cannot lead life like that. That is the reason man cannot live like an animal. Man cannot live life according to his free will. He is bound by his own chains called society wherein certainty is the most aspired and its achievement the most celebrated. Most of the time in man’s life is wasted in thinking of his tomorrows and the rest in sulking about yesterdays. It is not the mistake of any individual, but of the society who reminds him of every wrongdoing of yesterdays at the slightest available chance.

Circle is not complete. It is not the perfect figure or geometrical shape, as predominantly considered. It is because circle is still definable in terms of its distance from the singular point. It means circle is finite and measurable. Absolute is neither measurable nor finite and we consider that absolute as the ultimate truth and an end to the cyclical process of birth and death. Each living being is a part of such a circle. If he is to reach the end, then the distance to the ultimate truth should decrease gradually till it unites with the point and becomes one. Such a singularity is last event in the cycle of birth and death as far as an individual is concerned. A point is the only finite representation as a physical manifestation of the divine absolute what we call as singularity. It is a deep abyss of mystery and meaning. Point has no dimension; it cannot be defined in space physically. Neither can a point be bound by time. It is completely independent of everything known to man but for the cognizance of its existence.

Surrender of the self on the terms of the self will destroy ego and the bloom of humility will sow a seed of truth whose radiance manifests in the form of effulgence visible in the face of the noble.