September 26, 2006 | 06:16 AM
Doubt ! part 2
Lu asked me : I do not understand your allusion to courage--why should it take courage to see the suspension of time? I do not see it as frightening or dangerous. What if instead of chaos we find absolute tranquillity?
Lu, everyone has ther own experience, and I have no doubt that you will find tranquility if u can 'live' in the experience of 'no time'. And perhaps you ahve explored much more than I have, though I have explored a bit more in the 5 years since I wrote that piece on Doubt.
I refer to chaos as the first step to giving up living inside structure. Inside contexts. After all we always refer to ourselves in the context of something else. We imagine ourselves always in context of something else, and we mostly are consumed by our lives in the context of time.
I watched as my daughter who is now 6 years old struggle to come to terms with the 'adult' concept of time. And ofcourse we 'adults' imposed it upon her. We celebrated her birthday every year, once a year. and while she thoroughly enjoyed each birthday, she could nto comprehend that the celebrations came only once a year. Why not celebrate everyday ?
More than that, the question in her mind was always " How old was I before I was one ?" How old was I before before I was zero ? These questions to me at first semed those of a mind coming to grips with the real world, till I realized that they were questions trying to come to grips with a world as adults saw it. In terms of linear time.
So back to your question about Chaos. I often see the universe in terms of the Tandav dance of Shiva, which in Hinduism is the random dance of creation and destruction and then creation again. Continious, seamless and eternal. Like the ocean, with countless waves forming and destructing at the same time.
How random is the Dance of Shiva ? I guess so random that it is impossible to find a pattern, a structure to it. It is impossible to learn it. But if you throw out the very idea of structure, throw out the very idea of patterns, and become one with Shiva, you will perhaps be in harmony with the dance.
I guess my struggle has been to drop the idea of stucture, and have the courage to believe that there is no context, no 'given' as it were. A kind of a limbo that can be pretty frightening to an ego driven mind that needs me to believe in contexts by which to define myself.
So that is the first step of 'Chaos' that I speak of - and then to step off into the abyss, into the void, into a space that has nothing to hold on to, that is what needs courage.