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Thursday, August 25, 2011

PROMETHEUS BOUND OR MANKIND BOUND?






PROMETHEUS BOUND OR MANKIND BOUND?


Greek tragedy was one of my course papers both in graduation as well as post graduation. It was my favorite subject. Of all the tragedies the ones that touched me were Prometheus Bound and Oedipus Rex. Prometheus defies Zeus, the king of gods, steals fire and gives it to mankind. Zeus strikes him with his thunderbolt and plunges him into abyss where he is chained and tormented. The tragedy of Oedipus is that he fulfilled the prophecy of the oracles… he kills his father and marries his mother, unknowingly.

In ancient Greece gods acted capriciously, frivolously and even immorally. They were not like the god of Judeo Christian where god is all- knowing, all -seeing, all- powerful, someone who is a source of moral goodness. They fought amongst themselves, were jealous of mankind as well as of each other and sided with mankind against their own. Greek gods were hostile; they toyed with mankind and had to be appeased with rites and sacrifices. Their most distinctive quality was power and not goodness which they time and again exercised on mankind. These gods were everywhere and it was not safe for mankind to neglect any of them. Mankind was a pawn in their hands.


Oedipus is a classic example of this. The gods knew everything and they could have prevented this from happening to Oedipus but they don’t and in the process Oedipus and his family are destroyed after the truth is found out. That was the fate that the gods doomed Oedipus to. Prometheus on the other hand being a god knew what he was doing. He could not bear to have mankind toiling and suffering so he tried to help mankind and had to incur Zeus’s wrath. He also knew he would not be chained for eternity. Thirteen generations later he is freed by Hercules.

Mankind still suffers and toils and we still accept this as our fate. But do we blame god for all the pain and suffering? Most of us don’t. I think we have evolved in many ways to realize that we suffer because of the consequences of our action not only in this lifetime but also other lifetimes. We are merely paying off our negative karmic debts in this lifetime. But how often do we say “Why me God?” Is our god indifferent to our suffering and is he merely a spectator? Or have we brought it upon ourselves for there is something called free will. God can only show us the paths we can choose and the rest is up to us which course we take in this life. But sometimes we can’t help blaming god for all the hurt and pain that befalls us. We say “Why did this have to happen to me God, I didn’t hurt anyone?” We are so overwrought with pain that we need to blame someone and it is often god, who seems to us as an indifferent supreme head who just watches and does nothing. A more evolved person will disagree, he or she will take responsibility for all that happens and accept it as fate, as something that was fated. When someone is taken away from us before we think it is time we comfort ourselves saying it was time for him or her to go, no matter how young. Life seems so unfair and yet we have to accept all that comes our way. Why are we tested time and again? Do we finally taste the fruit of our undying faith in god at the end? How many of us are like that who believes there is a reason for all that happens? And how many cuss and curse god for their fate, believing they are like pawns in the hand of god?    

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Five People You Meet In Heaven


The Five People You Meet In Heaven



Have you read books by Mitch Albom, his most famous one being “Tuesdays with Morrie” which was made into a movie? A couple of month’s back I read “The five people you meet in Heaven” by Albom also a movie. It is about an old man dying in an accident and the five people he meets in heaven when he awakens in the afterlife. Heaven is not at all what he imagines but a classroom of learning about the life that he has left behind. Each of these people teaches him about his earthly life. There are no accidents in life, everything is preordained, connected, and how an act by someone can cause ripples of reactions affecting your loved ones as well as strangers, changing their paths forever.

From a very young age I have pondered often about death, not with fear but more out of curiosity. How will death come, is it painful or is there a sense of freedom in dying? What happens after you die? I have read many books on it. Most tell us that once we leave this earthly body we are guided to another realm by the people we have loved in this life and who have passed away. It may be our parents, our spouses, friends, grandparents and mentors, anyone that we would love to meet again. It is very natural after we have lost loved ones to want to be with them or meet them after we die. I remember reading another book by Lobsang Rampa, a Tibetan mystic. It is about a janitor who suddenly dies and his soul is somehow trapped in this earthly plane because he never desired to meet a loved in the afterlife so there is no one to help him cross over. And I thought to myself that it is necessary that we have loved ones in the afterlife, souls that we desire to meet after we die so that the transition to the other realm is made easier.

As I lay in bed today a thought came to me…if I outlive everyone, who are the five people I would most love to meet? Have you ever thought of that? The most obvious will be our parents of course and then perhaps brothers and sisters. And then who? I am keeping out children because I hope and pray we don’t ever outlive them. But yes I am sure there will be mothers and fathers who have lost a child want to be reunited with them once they die. I have a cousin who lost his mother at a young age and I know that he has conversations with her even today. Every time he is in a dilemma he will reach out for her and he feels her presence and knows that she watches over him. When my father passed away, the first thing my cousin told my mother was “Now Mama (uncle) must be meeting Ma”. My father and his mother were brothers and sisters.

The first thought that came to my mind was that if I outlived everyone life would become pretty lonely. The prospect of crossing over would then be a welcoming one. As I mulled over the list of people I realized I had countless people that I would want to meet. I tried to shortlist that list but it wasn’t easy. I know I would want both my parents waiting to engulf me in their warmth. I would also love to meet someone very close to my heart whose life was taken away too soon. And yes perhaps even a stranger who changed my life and I his. What a reunion that would be! And if I outlive my other half then I would be anxious for him, my closest soul mate, whom I met too late in this lifetime. As I close my eyes imagining, I can almost feel the love that will radiate from all my loved ones as they guide me through this transition. A promise of a new beginning and of lifetimes of togetherness.

However on the other hand if I am one of the first to leave this realm, I wonder who would want to meet me? I think the people that we are most connected to in this life are the ones that we meet again and again in all our different lifetimes. But how many will be there to meet me half way? Who are the ones who will long to meet you in the afterlife? Have you ever thought about it, the ones that you touched so deeply in this lifetime that they will miss you till they are reunited with you? 

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Friday, August 12, 2011

The Road


The Road…


We embarked fearlessly
On a road, you and I
A promise, love and hope
Our only guiding light,
An unfathomable chasm
Separated us yet we
Sought that crossroad
To our union,
Our togetherness…
My hand reached out
To you across the abyss
Of possibilities
But your hand lay by your side
Inert, holding back
Leaving me directionless
As you took our
Road with you
Who am I? I wondered
Doubts seized me
Was I a distraction?
Or the woman you
Truly loved?
Without a choice
I turned towards
The unknown,
A road of pain
Despair and fear
Its path strewn
With corpses of broken dreams
And unfulfilled desires
I heard their wails
Of souls tormented
Of hearts shattered
And I knew I was
Not alone

  
The palpable darkness
Spreading its tentacles
Longed to possess me
I scurried along the
Haunted trail
My wails in tune
With the others
An age long walk
Down the devastation
The lure was strong
To stay forever
Tempting…
But I walked,
Tripping and falling
I walked 
Seeking the light…
The life that was mine…
Every faltering step forward
A shedding of old skin,
Helplessness, despair, agony
Slithered away
As darkness gave in
To the day,
The night pierced
By the first rays…


The echoing cries
Faded away
Happy chirping birds
Filled the air with
Their morning songs
In the distance
I saw him…
He who had come
In my dreams
The one that chased
My nightmares away
Hands outstretched…
I ran, reborn
The old dying for the new
As he took me
In his arms
I knew I was
Home at last.



Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Reawakening



The Reawakening 



Like a rapid forest fire
Her burning desire
Spreads, stirring
Longings buried deep
Every pore,
Every cell, every atom
In her wants him,
Like a fever
It ravages her…
Her heart races
With a wanting
So strong
It takes her breath away

“Why, how, why?”
Her mind quizzes…
She had banished them
All those eons ago
When she lost him…
Her heart now
Like a thick dark
Tangle of gnarled
Stubborn roots
Claws into every beat…
Numb and cold
Warmth shying away
From her
Fierce resolution.

But he is here tonight…
He sleeps
A stranger, by her side
Unaware of the
Unleashed passion in her
Spiraling out of control
Consuming her…
A familiar shimmering memory
Like a fragile cobweb
Hangs between them
Random memories
Ricochet…
Illusive like a dream

Who is he?
This stranger
That shares her space?
As her burning luscious
Lips scorch his
The hot desire in him
An equal match to hers
Devours her ripe
Swollen mouth
Awakening her
From a slumbering stupor…
He enters her very core
With an urgency

As their heated bodies
Aflame in their passion
Fuses as one
Something explodes
Shattering all
Illusions…
Lost memories
Like streaks of lightening
Jolt her from her
Darkness of self exile
This is no stranger…
He has held her
Close to his heart
Through the ages

Some lifetimes of
Holding her hand
Sharing a journey
And in some
Loving her from a distance
While she walks alone
He is her eternal lover…