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.
shekhar

10 Responses to “Doubt ! part 2”

  1. kedar says:

    hi dude…
    the comment on DOUBT is in The film maker and the astrophysicist blog entries.
    as for this entry-your reply to Lu’s question-
    what you need now is not courage! why? …let me comment on it later. i will climb upwards from last para.
    Last paragraph-
    you say- that is the first step of ‘Chaos’ that i speak of- and then to step into the abyss, into the void, into a space that has nothing to hold on to, that is what needs courage.
    (is ABSoULTE CHAoTIC THINKING your method to step into that void? )
    second last para-
    you say- i guess my struggle has been to drop the idea of structure, and have the courage to believe that there is no context, no ‘given’ as it were.
    (the struggle to drop the idea of structure- this struggle to drop the structure is your belief.
    the next line is where the problem starts.
    there is a struggle to break the structure and then you want to have the courage to BELIEVE that there is no context, that there is no structure. but you already believe that so why you again need courage to believe that? either you believe or find another belief. it hardly matters what you believe, what matters is that what you DO after that!!!)
    third last para and fourth from last-
    you mention – Tandav dance of Shiva.
    you say- it is random. so it is better to drop the structure and be one with Shiva and PERHAPS harmony will be created.
    you say- you see the universe in terms of Tandav dance of Shiva.
    ( first and foremost, you have chosen the most dangerous path. why dangerous because it engulfs EVERYTHING!!! Shiva engulfs EVERYTHING. He is said to be the god of complete destruction. The one who can understand the process of creation and organisation; only he can be a complete destroyer. Shiva is a complete destroyer. And Tandav dance of Shiva is a dance of destruction. Shiva has another name ARDHA NARI NATESHWARA- half man and half woman. he is female and male at the same time. He is both. He is complete. And since he is COMPLETE, it is very difficult to understand SHIVA. But you have understood him. You can see universe in terms on Tandav dance of Shiva that means you are able to see the CONTRADICTIONS! you can understand the CHAOS. And through this understanding the struggle to break the structure has started.
    Yes…Tandav is random. But no it is not difficult to learn it. The difficult is to the break the pattern. And once it is broken then the harmony happens. And then there remains no urge to Learn. Harmony is there.
    The problem is that you are breaking the pattern with your MIND. So actually nothing is happening. So you say ‘ can it be learnt? And immediately you say no it can not be learnt but you can be ONE with it.’ MIND is very canny. It is actually performing TANDAV on its own. Constant destruction and creation is happening. MIND is capable of doing that. But you are loosing out on Shiva in the process. Shiva makes you understand the CHAOS through him. Once you EXPERINCE this chaos, there remains no need to be in the CHAOS. And MIND can never give EXPERINCE. The very problem is MIND. CHAOS is MIND.)
    If you think, to follow a technique one has to be a believer and since you throw yourself into chaos you cannot believe, then you are wrong. Because through your understanding of CHAOS and struggle to break the patterns the belief has taken birth. Now you cannot deny it. It will remain with you because it has come out of an experience. Now what you DO so that, that belief will turn into FAITH is what matters!!! And ABSOULTE CHAOTIC THINKING is not going to help (read comment on DOUBT!)
    So what you need is not courage but technique. Through that technique the courage will generate automatically.
    take care…lots of love…kedar…

  2. dieno23 says:

    hi shekhar ,
    we are considering time as linear can we consider time as circular with each small arc as a segment in that sense can we consider time as an infinite circle

  3. ravi swami says:

    ..to doubt could also mean to question rather than refute – both are based on an application of the intellect, one allows , the other blocks..
    The idea of chaos is interesting – according to one interpretation it is an abhorrent state – anti-order, but on a molecular / subatomic level, things occur as a result of random collisions of particles which are performing a kind of “dance” endlessly..
    I think Shekhar is really suggesting we open ourselves to this randomness, rather than expecting the outcomes of a particular pattern of behaviour or thinking…this could be seen as “scary” depending upon your conditioning…
    Sometimes random associations and collisions can be exciting in ways that applying rational thought can never be..

  4. pravin somvanshi says:

    hi shekhar,
    we r considering time as linear ,can we consider time as circular say time is a large circle and each small arc can be considered as a segment in that sense can we consider time as an infinite circle

  5. Bortoli Lucia says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    I am not sure about my “knowledge” at all; I apologize if I have given such impression.
    I certainly understand your reference to your daughter. I have a son of the same age and he too is still struggling with the adult sense of time. It breaks my heart to see his pain when he feels cheated.
    Maybe I do not understand your reference to Shiva and Hinduism completely…
    What is Shiva’s dance? Is it the constant motion of life itself? The chaos in us and outside us? Is it what makes everything change? Our children grow and we lose them, relationships grow and die. Is it what makes us change to the point we do not recognize our old self?
    You speak of a limbo with no structure and context as frightening. Maybe it is frightening because, as you said, we cannot leave our structures and obligations behind. If we did not have such ties we would have no problem. Then we would find “true happiness”?
    Are you speaking of death?
    I came across your blog while doing a search on you and your films. This morning we watched your “four feathers” in class. Would it be possible for me to ask you some questions? I would feel honored if you said yes.
    I appreciate your poetry and your conversations in this blog.
    Thank you,
    Lu

  6. kedar says:

    Scary experince is more important than scary thinking. Scary experince helps to gradually reduce the fear. but scary thinking only strengthens the MIND.
    in both the cases, the person keeps feeling that its a gradual process.
    so surrendering to chaos through mind will make one FEEL that he is getting nearer and nearer and then suddenly thrown back to the start etc.
    surrendering to chaos through experince, the person will EXPERINCE closeness to IT, distance to IT, thrown back to the deepest dark corners etc. but in all these processes MIND will not be there. actual person will be there…
    and hence the dangerous path…(try and understand the contradiction…we are using words)

  7. shekhar says:

    dear Lu,
    i will try and answer questions on four feathers. teh film was not much promoted when it first came out because it was too close to the Iraq war and 9/11 – but I find more and more that people have rediscovered the film. Which class are u talking about ? shekhar

  8. kedar says:

    hi dude…
    i visited that intent blog…i read it as u mentioned about it somewhere on this blog…
    what a chaotic site…hahahha….i felt like i am visiting a site of some multinational steel or software company…so many adds…bad designing…bad color scheme…bad lay outs…
    now i can truely understand what ur mother must ahve felt when you took her to some supershopee…
    i couldnt buy a thing there…and i sensed pretension ( no offense to any one……not even u shekhar…i think u were part of building that site…this is completely my personal and emotional opinion)
    and that was more scary…!.. i closed it retunred to this soothing blog of urs…some thing like- why did i see Da vinchi Code…i must see Masoom again to refresh my senses!!! there is so much clarity out here…no pretension…
    thank you for starting this blog…
    take care…lots of love…kedar…

  9. anna says:

    In complete darkness we are all the same. It’s only our knowledge and wisdom that separate us. You are the man who does not let his eyes
    deceive him. And because of that you got all my respect!
    I went back home and for once I stopped pushing myself through the busy, hard and caught up in routines day and I took my time to read
    thoroughly your thoughts on your website’s blog…. Now I know, I am on my way where you are coming from. (in transferred sense.)….. and
    it’s so giving to have a chance to rinse myself by reading your point
    of view.
    Thank you,
    Anna Karena.
    P.S. Shekhar, take the long-term view and make wise choices. If you don’t let your self come away from time to time, you will never feel the bitter/sweet feeling of missing something so precious like India. Be happy instead that you can FEEL, that you have a heart and emotions. Your gift is to reflect and represent God’s love and his beauty. I’ve met so many people in this World, who don’t give a dam shit about anything! So you are blessed and you know it! Just keep on
    refining it.

  10. lu says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    Thank you for being so kind to answer some questions. My students and I will certainly benefit from the information you will give us. I do not want to interrupt the spontaneous flow of conversations in your blog with this small interview, though. So feel free to send your responses to me directly, if you think it is better. I will return to the blog afterwards…
    Let me first tell you about the context in which we watched your movie. I am teaching a course on war in literature and film and I decided to begin the quarter with A.E.W. Masonís The Four Feathers in connection with its long screen success. I thought the story had something unique to give still today and the fact that you re-proposed it, just confirmed it. We saw excerpts of the 1939 version by Korda and of the 1977 version by Sharp. I decided to show your version in its entirety because of your post-colonialist perspective, your romantic sensibility, and your fascinating cinematographic technique. (Sorry for sounding so formal; I am trying to be as concise as possible.)
    Here we go:
    1. What inspired you to choose this story? Were you responding to the dramatic effect of the novel by Mason or to its screen versions of the past decades? Is the novel still popular in India and in England today?
    2. What did you mostly want to show your audience with this movie? A critical view of imperialist England? A lost romantic sensibility? The universal archetype of self-searching and self-validation?
    3. What thought process did you go through when choosing the parts of the novel NOT to include in your film? How did you come to redefine the characters of Castleton and Abu Fatma and not include the one of Mrs. Adair?
    4. What were the most difficult parts of the story to film? What were the parts that gave you the most satisfaction? How much historical research did you go through before beginning to film?
    5. Your emphasis on beautiful slow motion and panoramic artistic scenes accompanied by intense vocal and instrumental music indicate your desire to reach out to a sophisticated audience. What artists inspired you? What movie directors from the past? What do you feel is your mission as movie director?
    6. How do you negotiate Hollywood and Bollywood? How do you address differences in taste and expectations between USA and India?
    Again I really thank you for taking time to answer these questions. We loved your movie and we are looking forward to hearing from you.
    Lu

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