Immortality and Passion

Ofetn I hear people speak of Immortality. Of the desire to live longer. Forever ? But then isn’t passion defined by death ? I do because I die. Isn’t creativity a product of Passion and therefore of Death ? Our universe exists on the dance of creation and destruction, and without this play between two opposites nothing would exist..

26 Responses to “Immortality and Passion”

  1. kavitha says:

    Immortality could be the desire to live in spirit and soul. To leave an enduring mark and a legacy. Forever. Passion then is defined by that desire to make a difference,leave a mark. After the body is ash and long gone. I do because I desire — inner glory, spiritual gratification. Creativity is then a product of Passion and therfore of the desire to be Immortal.
    The dance of creation and destruction — the classic pose of Shiva embodies these concepts. Destruction/death of evil, illusion. Creation of Knowledge, Enlightenment.

  2. Rudra says:

    To desire Immortality is only natural. It stems from the fact that we have no knowledge of whats on the other side of the wall – called death.
    Death means many things to many people – most commonly it is oblivion – state of non-existance -the very end of all experience – usually of pleasure. If this is the definition of death , then mortality of course is not welcome .
    The desire for immortality is also a bit immature , since for a large part of human life , there is no permanant pleasure – nor is there the desire to want permanant pleasure- we dont even know such a thing exists , let alone seek it !
    Our names and forms fade away – our works mean nothing to us – going by re-incarnation , i may be re-born and start studying the poetry and science i helped develop in a previous lifetime – and not be good at it ! – jokes apart , i think what matters is the true knowledge – by which our vedic ancestors lived lives of great insight and matiral knowledge , without worrying too much about leaving a legacy based on externals – which is why most of our vedic rishis are namesless giants – what matters to them was the power of the truth their steady minds reflected – not their temporary names or forms.
    In the end , i think immortality is quite a natural thing to desire , just that we seek it in the wrong place , with the wrong tools. a better place would be the anti-matter , to start with – for death and birth , creation and destructiion only , only , belong to the material world.

  3. rc says:

    I am not able to understand, way over my head… could you put it in simpler terms, for my benefit, please 🙂 ?

  4. rc says:

    shooting in the dark while waiting for shekhar to elaborate 🙂 !
    Maybe our desiring immortality is because our “true” infinite self’s nature is immortal. So that fact working its way out via all the worldly limiations/identification we have placed upon ourselves, turns into a desire of immortality of our finite body/mind, because most of us identify ourselves as a body/mind complex, instead of a intellect/soul complex.

  5. Rudra says:

    Mortality and mortal fear exist for material entiites – ie things born in time , for , it is matter that changes its state and not the anti-matter which is also a part of us – a fact we fail to notice or recognise in our existance.
    So this innate desire to be immortal – is a property inherent to the anti-matter part of us . But since we identify and think we are material entities , we try to see our natural ‘ immortal’ state , but by definition , such a property is beyond the reach for matter.
    So in my view , the desire to be immortal is perfectly normal – but we are seeking it in the wrong place – viz – in our material bodies.
    The other kind of immortality is in the works we do – the fame that follows creativity – but it is useless since when we die – we lose all such memory – we maybe reborn without even recognising it was our past work. what then , what use then of such ‘fame’ or ‘immortality of work’ – it stems from the insecurity we have about death – or , our insufficient definition of death.
    As an example – exalted thoughts and inspirations fill the Vedas – by nameless Rishis , whose immortality is there to be seen , but they never invested themselves in just names and forms – their message matters – which is why the vedic civilisation continues to burn with life – it is based on immortal truth and principles , not mortal names and forms.

  6. Himanshu says:

    A great quote from Bodhidharma on the Immortal mind.
    Enjoy, Himanshu – New York
    “…this mind, through endless kalpas without beginning, has never varied. It has never lived or died, appeared or disappeared, increased or decreased. It’s not pure or impure, good or evil, past or future. It’s not true or false. It’s not male or female. It doesn’t appear as a monk or a layman, an elder or a novice, a sage or a fool, a buddha or a mortal. It strives for no realization and suffers no karma. It has no strength or form. It’s like space. You can’t possess it and you can’t lose it. Its movements can’t be blocked by mountains, rivers, or rock walls. . . . No karma can restrain this real body. But this mind is subtle and hard to see. It’s not the same as the sensual mind. Everyone wants to see this mind, and those who move their hands and feet by its light are as many as the grains of sand along the Ganges, but when you ask them, they can’t explain it. It’s theirs to use. Why don’t they see it? . . . Only the wise know this mind, this mind called dharma-nature, this mind called liberation. Neither life nor death can restrain this mind. Nothing can. It’s also called the Unstoppable Tathagata, the Incomprehensible, the Sacred Self, the Immortal, the Great Sage. Its names vary but not its essence.”
    Bodhidharma Source: The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma, p. 21-23

  7. Narayan says:

    We know about all life forms on this planet earth… We still hoping we will find out Alians. Is the Human only one who desires long life????… Other animals fear death but do they aspire longevity???? We simply dont know….
    We dont know because of our limiting senses… include the sense called mind,ego and intellegence. Is the reason we aspire all the knowledge due to our limiting senses?? is this the passion for ultimate knowledge??? so curiocity is because we a not at our best.
    We know we cant have all happiness?? Is the reason or passion we look for all happiness..
    I knew about a child who had taken birth….. and died living a moment….. I know some artistic people say live in the moment and enjoy……….
    Just think about his thinking and about his life of a single moment. Not learnt any thing not thought about happiness and sorrow not about longevity and not about the knowledge.. Is it possible to know if he was curious during fraction of the moment he lived or was he a truth seeker during that moment???
    What was his passion during one second…..
    Thats quite a short life…. Scarcity creates demand in crude sense….
    Do we talk about green roses of the sky??
    Do we have inspiration about laddus of water???
    no they does not exist……we dont even dream about
    So scarcity is a term attached or used for to somthing availble or which exists or which is real may be for a moment…..
    a child is as happy as human as passionate even if he lives for one moment..
    The child in us had died long before…. Youth died even for some…. and old age will also gonna disappear…
    If there is life after death……it will also gonna go and will not stay… moment by moment.. part by part…. its “Departed”.
    The knowledge of this departure……or arrival…. or moment we talk about is expired… its in our memory……
    what if we dont have memory……to keep the moments intact…we will gonna aspire then also????
    People say they are accountant or singer or magician… all in vien… all in memory…
    Even if there is life after death… what will be sense of it if you cant retain your memory…
    Its like death……people say we are just chemical and electronic reactions… memory is distroyed once hardware is distroyed…
    No science has told us if the human memory is hardware, software or a divineware..
    Are we wasting time??? Lets talk about moments..
    We enjoy we relish….and sometime we relive those moments which we remember.. some moments we spend in our fantacy …some in our ecstacy… in some we do mistakes in some we explore, in some other we feel sad…. they are gone….
    we call this a life!!! So if there will be life after this I mean after so called death of biological mass or breath…. I think will not be disimilar then this.. moments will still go….. we are still in bondage called time…….. the moments….. Of course this an analogy…. and not the truth..
    We have many of our truths based on analogy…
    But if something is truth ……the real truth…. Ok lets say this way…
    Have you seen flickr…. I had one with kapil dev bowling…and drinking thumps up…. got after collecting thumps up tops in 1984.
    I enjoyed it …. played it many times… I was bored… and flickr got torn…. binding had got loose… after some years I found it again in my drawer … i made correction and glued it back but by mistake may flips were wrongly placed and I could not see the running picture as it is but…… it was distorted… But it became a comedy flickr.. I laughed….. I laughed…
    I laugh sometime remembering my sad moments too….
    Delightful moments become undelightful and undelightful moments become delightful…
    Its strange… and if I see and think about my passion… I feel its unreal…. and is momentory…. it will became soemthing else….
    Just wait for the moment called death and you will realise it….
    All scene of life will get played again…. Scinece know this phenomena when people on death bed can see various moments of their life.
    Passion…. creativity…. needs a different story now…
    I am sure I will going to find it soon….

  8. Narayan says:

    Its the sequence..of Indiana Jones Movie… Passion and creativity……..
    As the film approaches its end…. with some objective… Indiana needs to believe that he could walk on the air…
    I was just thinking what actually was going in mind of that person… the character Indiana..
    If we see his character… a passionate guy, curious, scientific, brainy, good sense of humor,etc
    what made him simply blindly believe and risk his life….
    Yes people do risk their lives… why they just forget about the longivity or knowledge or conciousness issues??
    One is desire of knwoledge and desire of life..
    other is the purpose… Some time your purpose is your passion…
    I am imfluenced by the Movie Main Azad Hoon….
    What is this passion??? which scarcity created this passion… or these were not human passion and was just a story….a book, a myth… like we say indian Mythology……
    We have in india thousand of stories…
    about passion about creativity..
    People are lazy.. infact very lazy… to see through the reality… its a passion and not a fashion…
    Its about those who dont fear scarcity.
    and Its about contagious passion rather….
    Nahi daridra (Scarcity) samh dukh jag mahin…
    sant (passionate guy with his contageous rightful passion) milanh samh sukhah jag nahi..
    Meet that passion…. greet it….
    The story is very very hot… leave the branch… ready to die….. I have no attachment or passion for my curiocity… my desires… but a purpose… for which I can die…
    Many people die for the purpose… what is there in the purpose….???
    Are people foolish dieing for it???? Your purpose is your own curiocity, your own desire and your own fashion…
    I say ……are you ready to die for my passion…or anybody elses ….
    Thats how you know your EGO and beyond…very subtule of your ego called “Asmita”
    Be my slave…. die for my passion… I am the righteous… who can say these words….? If one is full of EGO.. a very selfish person. not so humble……
    … Now Tell me the second right answer….

  9. heather says:

    Dear Shekhar
    I do because I love. The closeness of death or endings freezes my creativity until it fractures into nothingness. I accept death as a given destination, and I stand in quiet awe of its inexorable presence. With my back to it, I can create. Love turns me away from death. And love is filled with passion.
    love, Heath

  10. Riya says:

    When I read your post couldn’t help but think – Are you talking about physical death? (Every object goes thru the process of creation, maintenance, destruction.)
    One can be alive yet suffer death of personality, passion, love and emotion due to circumstances. And this death could help in creativity… a person may be ‘reborn’ perhaps stronger due to past inflictions with a passion to achieve and the desire not to suffer ‘death’ before achieving a preset goal. Immortality is in the achievement itself… however miniscule it may be.
    The term ‘ died many deaths only to pickup and move on’ due to experiences makes more sense, only you’ve put it in one simple sentence “I do because I die”

  11. Gunjan says:

    “Forever young in a time constrained world,
    withstanding even the legions of hells in far bend.
    Moving about in the self made lair of success over told;
    living past 30 to 50 to 90 to 120 and never ends?”
    and thus i agree mortality fuels the passion that immortality brinks it upon the bored regimes.

  12. Avtar Singh says:

    Dear Shekhar:
    You got that right.
    Creation of anything that can be measured or seen, will be marred with time, birth, and evolution with increasing complexity, chaos, uncertainty leading eventually to the ultimate demise or death. Hence, the so-called creator is also a destructor. There is no glorification in being a creator or in evolution as we often think, since it is a creator/destructor simultaneously. The only immortality is in the eternity of consciousness and not in the body or matter that are afflicted with time.
    Passion and creativity, however, as opposed to creation, are only processes of being and not a physical product such as creation of matter or something tangible. They both arise from the dissolution or death of the ego. However, when either passion or creativity is mistaken as the desire to create, they get polluted by the curse of death and meaninglessness. Hence, it is important to understand the following distinctions between desire and passion:
    Desire is of the ego, passion is of the free will.
    Desire creates distance (space) and time, passion dissolves space and time.
    Desire is living in the future extrapolating the past; passion is living in the moment.
    Desire separates from the wholesome consciousness; passion merges us into the whole.
    Desire creates fear, uncertainty, and evolving complexity, passion is simplicity and beauty.
    Desire is suffering, passion is joy.
    Desire demeans life, passion is meaning & purpose.
    Regards,
    Avtar Singh

  13. polly says:

    i almost think creation and destruction are the same thing. that’s just based on the assumption that everything is energy. therefore everything is eternal, including passion. i think if i knew that i could not die, i would still be passionate about things. conversely, knowing that i will someday die, there are moments when i do not feel passionate about anything at all.

  14. XYZ says:

    Shekhar, I firmly believe that in my lifetime either the sciences or spiritual insights will make living for hundreds of years or maybe even infinitely a very good possibility. Here is an NYT article that argues that aging is body’s protective mechanism to ward off cancers and that it could be turned off in future:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/07/science/07stem.html?ex=1170392400&en=089f30663fe89581&ei=5070
    On the spiritual side, if the body were to be looked at as a machine (yantra), then it can be manipulated. The machine thing is however very different from how western science views it as a (dumb) machine. My view is that the body is an energy machine that acts as a vehicle for experiences in this universe. When the operator develops a true understanding of the body being a vehicle, immortality follows, and the body is discarded at will.

  15. ravi swami says:

    Change accelerates decay ?? – inertia is the state of the Universe ?? – immortality means inertia and a lack of desire therefore can only lead to destructivity and not creativity ??
    The laws of thermodynamics rule us – we expend energy in living / creating / activity and eventually this burns itself out – but if the Universe / nature is a constant and time has no end or beginning then this might be a contradiction – this implies changelessness and inertia – the Vedic notion is that the Universe is like us, has a start and end, which is infinitely repeated & is more like “us”…
    Passion like magnetism is the meeting of opposing energies out of which emerges something – it’s the engine which might drive creation, but then even this is not a new idea – eg Yin and Yang, male / female, positive / negative, matter and anti-matter….

  16. GJ says:

    Baby that burst of passion is my soul’s bid to be immortal. And we are never more immortal in our moments than when we are passionate. In that one surge of love, of longing of desire, you have lived longer, higher, better than the befores and the afters of your life. when your heart bursts with the ‘if i must die, let me die now – like this, happy, fulfilled, full, complete, not wanting, seeking anything more, that is your own moment of immortality. Who needs tomorrow? Or an afterlife for that matter?

  17. kedar says:

    Avtar Singhji…
    Passion is living in the moment! wow…ok…then my question is-
    then how to be passionate all the time?
    does this state of being passionate all the time(yes…relative time…physical time…24 hours of a day) come from Understanding or by practice, gradually?

  18. heather says:

    well said, Avtar

  19. kedar says:

    thank you Avatar singhji…
    practicing meditation and cultivating awareness! Cool…! and then it happens in an instant!
    thank you again.
    take care…tata…kedar…

  20. Neeta says:

    Desire to live longer would be immortality in the conventional sense and is dissapointing to me. The immortality in which ‘I’ don’t live is welcome. For the here and now, all one can is develop higher awareness, which in turn would align our desires/karmas, to make it to the next grade.

  21. kedar says:

    hi neeta…reading your comment reminded me of a film called ‘Breathless’ by a french film maker Goddard.
    it is a simple story of a thief and his girl friend.
    police is after the thief and the thief is on the run. he is asking his girl friend whether she would come with him. and he is still in the town because he is yet collect some money from his underworld links.
    now the girl is an aspiring reporter. she goes to interview a personality ( i think he is a film maker turned novel writer)
    the girl asks him ‘ what is your ultimate goal in life? ‘ he ignores her. she asks two more times.
    and at the end of the interview she asks the same question again and he says,
    ‘ i want to be immortal and then die’
    i personally feel that Goddard had only this one line when he started thinking of this film.
    but, the fun is that the line is purely a PHILOSOPHICAL line and not at all spiritual.
    the film was made in 1959.
    the world has evolved collectively.
    when a film maker says through his characters
    ‘ i want to be immortal and then die’ then the obvious question comes to mind ‘ WHY?’
    since i mentioned him means he has been successful achieving it. but what is the out come of that? he is dead already!
    what is the need to remain in minds of people through your work? is your Ego so big that even after death some how you want to manage to maintain yourself in people’s mind and live for eternity?
    i thought of Breathless after reading ‘ The immortality in which ‘i’ dont live is welcome’ from your post.

  22. Neeta says:

    Kedar, Thanks! That’s a good story.
    Yeah, I said that since I felt spiritual mortality is not a choice we have. Ironically spiritual mortality could also mean being liberated (truly immortal) and I’m nowhere close to it!
    I wish I had a passion for which I could say “ok, since I’ve time to kill, I would choose to live again and again for this”. hmmm…still searching.

  23. kedar says:

    neeta…
    hope u will find it soon. best wishes!
    take care…tata…kedar…

  24. Quite often serious questions about time and immortality; physical( in all its shades, to nano and below) and spiritual get lost in the need to `create’ words which satisfy the mediocrity in charge of media. It may not be a very fortunate state of affairs for all and sundry to speak of such matters.
    I would invite people to check the etymology of `secular’ when we try to understand matters related to secular and spiritual.
    Read Upadesa Sara by Ramana Maharshi to reorient ourselves – from standing on head to being back on our legs.
    Regards,
    Sriram srirangam

  25. Kavita says:

    Hi shekhar
    I have been always fasinated by you and your beliefs. I just loved you in an interview in NDTV, where you narrated the poem on God, explained to your daughter.
    Your creativity is overflowing, and it gives a kinda bliss to read or hear you.
    Will get in touch again.
    Take Care.

  26. Sharon says:

    Nice good blog!

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