Friday, February 10, 2012

The Fire, The Pin, Everything Else Around It And Identity Crisis

There was once a fire brewed on a roadside. A fire that brewed by itself. It didn't need a fan for flames. It just brew and everything (it and around it) was happy and gay.

There was once a pin which had its place on a chair. It knew not of its existence except that it existed. Everything else around it knew it was a pin that poked and everybody generally lived happily ever after.

Now both the fire, the pin and everything else around these two things existed perfectly harmoniously and they became what they have become so far together - like three worlds in one that came to be, together, created together. Everything around it knew that the pin poked and the fire burnt and the fire didn't ignite anymore than it already was ignited nor did the pin surprise people with a poke when it felt like. The fire and the pin were incapable of it. They were an integral part of the tolerant system that included everything else around them. They were the story they were becoming - their own story that they were becoming.

This process did not undermine them (their identity or integrity) and they weren't supposed to pre-define it. They couldn't possibly and, if they did it, would defeat the whole purpose. The harmony was one that existed always, was integral and made to exist as such. Perfect, round and whole.

But against reason of natural cause and effect, the pin and the fire gained further understanding of themselves and became haughty. The pin realised it was poky, it could only be poky and that it must poke, proactively if necessary. It realised its identity. So did the fire, realising it burns. The only two things to be mentioned here otherwise is that this development was not against natural reason of cause and effect. It was a shot to the head of the difference with everything else around (something that was bound to happen over time with observation) and a knee-jerk reaction to the limitations of that understanding, thereby inspiring an illusionary desperate identity crisis.

This was an example. In India, we have many pins and fires that have gained an isolated illusionary identity from such a limited understanding. They refuse to understand the cycle between the two and the harmony these things always existed with. They refuse to understand that society is a work in progress and, if they jump the process, there will be no more formulation of a better society. They want to stop the cycle when their insecure illusion of a losing identity gets too much to explain. They'd rather be a fundamentalist or fanatic of religion or ideology demanding that no sentiments be hurt, at any cost.

They will demand that if they do (theirs or any other's whom they think are as sensitive as them), such things must be banned, burned and abolished. They forget that as much as they (sometimes search and) prick, their realisation has made them pricky. Their fire has left them with pent up heat to steam off, as much as they seek to seek out and burn. It's not natural justice to encourage such insensitive people to run a country. They judge people intentions by the instability of their own illusionary identities.

They don't understand that identity can never be lost. Man cannot be identitiless. It is simply not possible. If it can, it is not identity that is lost. We need to understand what identity really is. An identity is one that works right now, has worked for ages and is infallible. At all points in time, it should ideally be one that works. Not something you put up on a shelf for posterity. It must be something that is alive and which is being preserved in your life with tangibles that make it worth more than old traditions up on a shelf.

It will be something that serves a clear and present use to life at the present time. Beyond a culture that is how many ever thousand years old or a language that is only when it is pure, it's a way of life that consists of those things as long as they run and more. It's mannerisms, values and traditions that have made you over the years. And if any of those are fallible, they don't deserve to be termed culture - at least till they turn out to be. They are surely not worth dying and killing for. If they are, their use will define their own fate eventually. Being as insensitive as the self-realised pin or fire, casting your identity insecurities on them will really never get you far with whatever your identity really is. And playing sentiment is just the face of the fear that you're avoiding in the process.

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