To do or not do ?

How much of what I do, directly results in what gets done. And how much of what I do actually becomes the impediment in what I desire to get done ? How do I know ?

Does every event have an individuality of it’s own ? Like you and I have. Or is every event, every eventuality, a potential, a probability ? And then are you and I also a probability, a potential ?
So I if I want to get something done, how many other events must come into synch before the event becomes a percievable reality ? Even an event like my striking a match must rely on the match being made, the box being made, the process of the match and the box coming to my hand, and the moment that I actually strike the match against the box. How many events must have to created for me to have chosen that moment. This would go back to the ‘chance’ of the creation of ‘fire’ and to the very birth of the Universe.
So here is the question. If so many innumerable events must have come together, to give me the choice of striking the match against the box, surely it is just my ego that tells me that the ‘end result’ of all those events was my striking the match against the box. I am obviously just part of the immense, continous and infinite chain of interrelated events that never ends. My choice, if it ever was that, is just part of that matrix. Not anything I do, or claim to have done, is the end result. And therefore, why do I consider myself an individual, if I am merely a cog in the wheel of the infinite matrix of the events, and nothing that I do is the ‘end game’.
Or do I just have the wrong definition of ‘Individual’. I certainly have the wrong spelling. I am an Individual only if I am. Or I think I am. And I am so, only if I can do what I think I can do. And my desription of doing is totally defined by the definitive result of my doing, is that not my induviduality tells me ? But if what am I doing, if I ‘am’ at all, is merely part of his infinite matrix of events, that have absolutely no ‘end game’ then by this definition I am not an individual.
Why then at the Oscar acceptance speech, does no one ever say ” I, whoever that I may be, accept this Oscar in humility of the knowledge that I was merely a potential in the never ending unfolding of infinite events. As is this potential event of my acceptance of this statuette.

22 thoughts on “To do or not do ?

  1. An individual is not made by one person…but a chain events , or should I say experiances !!
    Just a reaction to you thought since you had put up the question.

  2. I would have thought “choice” comes into the equation of what defines “Individuality”…
    You mention previously the idea of chaos, when film making is probably, as an art form, the one that least benefits from chaos – in fact it’s about trying (as an act of futility) to wrestle chaos and chance, as in fact any form of story telling is..
    Why present awards ? – well perhaps there is an innate human desire to identify individuals who succeed in beating down chaos, like mythic heroes – even if it’s a team effort – the danger is that the award merely highlights the futility of the act – rather like the captain of a ship on storm tossed seas, you can only be recognised as assuming “control”, but if it sinks, who is to blame ? and if it doesn’t, who gets the plaudits ?- either way, choice doesn’t really play a great part – in a controlled situation like film making it’s different though, and the notion of choice and individuality shine through…even if they are illusory…

  3. that´s funny! today i had exactly the same thought: why did no one say: it is not me who is honored it is the love, the all-are-one-love acting through me who did the work. and i take the oscar as a symbol for the knowledge of this.
    we have a potential of possibilities AND are able to create. in fact we are a sum of talents which open up the best way when we think: not i but the whole in me. that´s indivituality without the ego which always needs attention. being a channel is the greatest fullfilling of the “i am”, the whole, the stuff we and everything is made of. than things happen in the best way.

    Perhaps the answer is in the word itself…now let’s see
    IN, so something is occuring within something.
    DIVI, maybe in the splitting up of each player into from whole exsistence, we get to somehow have interrelated seemingly separate moments of expression, like the puzzle piece that has shape and colour when looked at, yet, still remains a part of a whole.
    DUAL, what appears to most as opposites.
    So, as far as the word individual goes and becoming aware of its elements, in this analogy, it rests with “being a part of a whole in universal existance, one existing with the other…and really, there is no other, there is only the ONE”
    Ahhh don’t know!

  5. This also brings another thought to mind…
    “To be or not to be?”
    I believe the answer lies inthe question…
    Perhaps, “To be and not to be”

  6. what does it mean to just “be”…doesn’t it also mean in order to “be” there also exist “not to be”
    if I am in the living room it also means I am not in the den or bathroom…etc.
    if we totally let go of something “surrender” then we cling to surrendering? does this make sense?
    we can “be”…only if we are not.
    is not one part of the other, shekhar?
    just a thought,

  7. there was this guy who was programmed to run, all the time.he just couldnt help it. he had to run, from the moment he woke up till the moment he went to sleep(he’d move his legs while he was sleeping too). while eating, he ran on the spot;while taking a shower he did the same. he had never seen his reflection. he had only seen his shadow and had thought it to be the real ‘him’. when the sun was over his head and his shadow diminished in size he got scared. he was happy at sunset when his shadow was much larger. but he kept running nevertheless. his sole purpose being to enlarge his shadow as much as he could. so he sought artificially lighted areas such that his shadow remained large. when he reached such an area he was happy but continued running all the same hoping he could make it larger. he just couldnt stand his shadow being small. it was afterall the ‘real him’.
    there was a petty tyrant who was watching all this. he got jealous of this guy. the kid was afterall very talented and had a knack of getting to places where his shadow became large. he also had a hunger to make it larger, much larger.
    so this tyrant, with the help of a few friends, took a 10 ft long chain and tied this kid(while he was sleeping) to a pole in the middle of an open field.
    the kid woke up as usual and began to run. but alas, he just couldnt run beyond a 10 ft radius! he tried hard, he tried really hard but the chain just wouldnt give way. he kicked and screamed and sweared and bellowed, but in vain. he just didnt know what to do.he was either running on the spot or running around in circles. his shadow still fluctuated in size with the movement of the sun, but it was beyond his control.
    days passed and he began to get used to this state. the pain of not being able to expand his shadow gradually became day he just happened to look at his legs.he realised that he had grown so used to running trying to expand his shadow that he had never had the time to look at his own legs.and a very strange thing happened when he was lookin at them.he felt his energy was as if a light within him was getting brighter.but it was just a flicker.he was soon back to running hard,trying desperately to get back control over his shadow,to break the chain,to get away,to succeed in his quest-a bigger, better shadow.but he couldnt forget that experience. you know,the energy rising and the light getting brighter.he wanted to taste that he kept some time ‘off’ in the mornings and in the evenings to spend just lookin at his legs;just watching themit was tough.he realised that the experience was far more vivid when the legs stood still but makin that happen was even was as if the legs would rather die than stand still.the more he fought with his lags to stand still,the more easily he lost.
    ironically,when he stopped fighting his legs and just looked at them without makin any judgement about how they should be behaving,they sometimes stopped by themselves.thats when his energy got really high and the ‘light’ within got really bright.he also noticed another strange thing,all this happened with a simultaneous weakening of the was as if he could break free.but such moments were rare and such experience slippery.but he tried nevertheless.the experience was addictive.he would start spending more time gathering those the light within got brighter,the energy rose and the shadow lost its density. the chain also got he hoped he could do this longer.but his legs had other plans.they had to break him free and get him to a place where the shadow got big, really big.
    months passed.the kid by now, was getting fairly competent at ‘watching’ his legs.he was now witnessing many such moments-when the legs stood still.
    one fine day,the date’s not known,a frighteningly strange thing happened.his energy rose REALLY high and the ligh within became intensely bright.for a moment it was almost blinding.he looked around and realised that there was no shadow!it had vanished,nowhere to be seen.the chain too had given way.he didnt know what was happening.he just walked away,free for the first time.but he wasnt running.he had so much energy now but he was no longer running towards a well lit place.why would he anyway?there was no longer a shadow to enlarge.was he sad?no way.he was laughing,a wicked laugh…not at himself or at others(who were also seen running towards a bigger,better shadow).he was laughing at the whole friggin joke of the shadow!
    so what does he do now?well, he still runs,but only when he choses to.he still runs,because its fun.and he runs in such a way that he makes many look at their own legs…for the first time.
    eternal sunshine of the spotless mind…

  8. it took me 10 whole min. to read and understand the first 2 lines… but when i did understand…i realised its applicable to everything inlife… from work ,to family to everything that i do…. i dont know whether its u or ur experience that speaks! whatever it is… it speaks well… now im gonna read the rest of the article.

  9. first of all, this article should have been in the “funny section” cos by the end of it… i was laughing at EGO. talkin abt the oscar speech, the fact that oscar happens every year…its an indication that “u r leading amongst this year’s films” i love the way u talk abt awards. i remember once long time back u said ” awards’ jury are prejugdiced for the fact that they like one better than the other” i’m sure u said it differently..but well said none the less.

  10. Dear Shekhar,
    I loved you in “Udan”, in “Upnyaas” and in “Drishti”. I was a child when I used to watch Udan and Upnyaas on Doordarshan. But, I was a 25 year old woman, who was going through an extremely bitter break up in a very intense relationship, when I watched “Drishti”. There was a huge difference between the woman who watched those creations and the person who was the protagonist of those creations.
    Shekhar, I think, leaving can be called a conscious deceit while death can be called an imposed or uncotrollable deceit. I look at death as “divine deciet”.Hence, I perceive this whole cosmos as a kind of a deceit which we seldom understand. If at all, we take it as nothing but deceit, then we won’t act and therefore the world will stop. There comes the “Karm Siddhant” of Gita, which precisely preaches to act to an emotionally mutilated Arjuna.
    I want to talk to you a lot. Right now, I am in office, in the midst of loads of work, which of course I do not like.
    But, as a woman, who has seen two deaths simultaneously, one was that of physical… the death of my father, who on this earth loved me the most. The emotional death of a person, who called himself my husband and who did not even just call me up when my father died, I want to chat with you. Would you like to talk to me?

  11. Dear Shekhar,
    Another match is struck and I think of the events and people that wind behind me into infinity having led me to you. Life is indeed strange and wondrous. The incidents that brought me here seem so mundane, but the tears that blur my sight from reading your thoughts this past hour, make the bizarre day feel like the daydreams of an insomniac.
    This morning I received an e-mail saying X-Media-Lab is still looking for participants in Mumbai next week. Your name stood glaring at me from the top of the list of mentors. As an American screenwriter/director from Los Angeles who fled LA-LA land years ago in disgust (and failure…that I was working on crap) I have looked to a small group of filmmakers who I respect because they make films I love and seem to do it on their own terms. You are one of those few. So the wheels started (or continued) turning.
    Eighteen hours later the match makers of the universe led me to your Blog and the first entry I read was about the drug that is India. A few entries later I was reading about Goa. You see I left the “west” almost six years ago and settled here in Anjuna to write a literary novel called “Buddha’s Dead.” After sweating blood several years I finished the book and decided I wanted to do something fun. Five months ago I started developing a TV Series for kids called “Earthlings – One Planet, One People.” It’s going to an interactive show for kids 6 to 11 using animation and live action where kids will play games of cooperation, sing, dance, do yoga, meditation and have adventures. The “slogan” for my company, Pala Flicks, is: “Do You Want to Change the World?”
    I’ve been working day and night the past few weeks getting ready for FICCI-Frames as another step in trying to do just that. Everything I was working on was interrupted by that simple e-mail. I jumped to the X-Media-Lab website…nominated “Earthlings,” built a makeshift website ( so there’d be some material for the Lab people to look at…sent a few e-mails to a couple of the other mentors that I already know…and…and…and…
    It’s 1 am here in Goa and I’m exhausted, but relaxed, because I’m guessing that even if I don’t get the chance to work with you as an official mentor, though I hope I will, that we will meet soon. Now I sit smiling, taking your words to heart…that the answer is “to be, and just be.”

  12. vacha, I am so sorry for the pain that you have gone through, and I assure you that I have gone through that pain myself an still go through it every moment of the day. However, i use this blog as a forum to converse with everyone freely and have common discussions. I am very happy to talk openly in the forum without u revealing your identity if u so wish. Would u like to share your experiences openly ?

  13. Greg, trust destiny and if u see me at Frames, just stop by and remidn me who u are. Shekhar

  14. Shekhar, despite the fact that you must be so busy I had the feeling that I would wake up to a short message from you. Thank-you.
    Trusting destiny, today I go to work in the match factory. I do not know what flame will be lit, but the effort is part of the journey.
    After writing you last night I re-watched “A Journey from Within” about the making of “Four Feathers.” It made me think of one of my favorite quotes from Henry Miller:
    “What we all hope in reaching for a book, is to meet a man of our own heart, to experience tragedies and delights which we ourselves lack the courage to invite, to dream dreams which will render life more hallucinating, perhaps also to discover a philosophy of life which will make us more adequate in meeting the trials and ordeals which beset us. To merely add to our store of knowledge or improve our culture, whatever that may mean, seems worthless to me.”
    There is a tremendous joy in picking up a book, seeing a film or meeting a person where one feels a sense of mutual understanding of what the most of the world does not seem to see. Perhaps our physical paths will cross in Mumbai next week, but if not there, somewhere, someday.

  15. Dear Shekhar,
    Destiny has played a pleasant hand. I’m very please to tell you that “Earthlings” has been chosen to be part of X-Media-Lab at FICCI-Frames. I’m really looking forward to getting your input on the project and hopefully getting to know you a bit. I’ll see you Sunday evening. Drinks on me. 🙂

    In division and in DUALity
    I call my self an individual when I am split into two. When I am separated from my core and I who is part of the universe goes away from it. I think I do, so I do everything thinking I the part is the whole…but a part can only have limited understanding AND strength. So anything that happens through me is beacuse the shadow of the bigger part of me is still trying to unite with me AND anything that does not happen to me is because of the lack of strength due to my perception of division.
    So unless I have the humility to accept that I am the process and a medium through which the bigger me wants to perform I am an individual. That is the reason an individual believes in luck, miracle, faith, belief (as I am uncertain about what else can I do in the future) AND Ego (as something happened by fluke but rest think I did it). Once we recognise we are nothing and everything in oneness the Individual will be called UNDIVIDUAL, undivided in the perceived duality!

  17. Shekhar, Thank you so much for replying. I was away from the picture for a while. You can say that I was on a complete break. I was trying to discover the real pain and emptiness within me. I found that I am really empty and it is a good feeling.

  18. Are impediments also telling us – we forget our course of action? That in process of getting to the final result we forgot the natural laws of that goal? Is this not how we know?
    I feel every event has not only individuality of its own but to a very large extent – A strong sense of uniqueness too and this is the very reason no two events in history are same. “I” as an individual forget I am changing with those unique events and still stick to old stance!(Ego)
    Mr.Kapur you put the words “Choice” then “end game” but again “individual” is the decisive question na…but is it end game? a Game? then if this is end game, the prevelent and preceeded choice must be play na…
    As much a man evolves inside out, so much the man is childlike and not childish. Being childlike is so difficult that seasoned saints fail there I mean not only saints but anyone who is in their professions fail at this very stage. Too much complexity of material evolution will destroy a man’s creative urge to just be…part of this process that leads to end result…and this would be the best thing to happen.
    I really do not want to probe Gita…because every damn question an individual is seeking pundits say its there in Geeta and I have also found out that this so called pundits have no idea of what they are talking about because in the end, they say we too did not understand gita…and gita will never be understood because all these pundits started to understand it in first place!
    Destiny is for past, never for future…I mean…What Shekhar Kapur says here is end result, individual, choice….all are understood backwards but for future there are impediments and end result…So I avoide this Gita route as other posts mention directly or indirectly and come to straight thing as why do people think about end result and spoil the choice?
    This is very important…you see, no body in this planet has control over future in real sense…no one is a perfect astrologer…and when an individual already decides the end result who is the individual fooling. What I am trying to say is KISS technique…Keep it simple or Stupid! Destiny of future can never be determinted by end result but just by a person’s childlike flow of being in the event and contributing knowingly and most of the time unknowingly as this in itself will lead the seeker or individual in the very moment to realize if his seeking is leading to his mind being happy or sad.
    Now if I still simplify, its like this…in any given moment (again which I am really a part of in vast matrix )any moment…my inner being is happy, serene, content even with impediments I am really on the right path…and I feel the future destiny I have not seen is also smiling at me …lovingly but any time when I feel I am not with this moment, when it gives me sadness that is logical, when it spoils my soul or mind I know I am not really not with natural laws of this particular event!
    Is this how you can know…I mean many things you can know but this is another one of the things you can know to do or not to!

  19. @ dear shekhar and dear Vacha,
    do not hurt yourselves please, it doesn’t bring anything.
    May be you are a victim, but any evil deed or evil talks that have hurt you, have shattered the doer, and he will have double the pain when he realises, that he was the cause for any kind of pain or suffering. Guilt will burn him from inside and take away all the happiness from him. And whatever were his evil actions so far were carried out being unaware of this fact. Feel sad for him too for a second, excuse the cause of your suffering. Forgive….. though some things are hard to forget forgiving can heal you completely, and if you are ready to forget it all the scar will vanish too….
    do not hurt yourselves counting on painful past…its just a part of life, it makes us sense joy and get immersed in joy…
    ‘women forgive but do not forget, men forget but do not forgive’ some philosopher said it… and a dear friend of mine made me feel it.
    wish you love and peace…. prayers too dear shekhar and Vacha 🙂 take care

  20. Here’s a trick question for you shekhar
    The moment we achieve our Pledge in Life our age reduces.So we should have targets that we persue for a great length of time.Which also is s measure of interest that we have for a subject and the vastness of the subject of interest.
    Hint: The sages in ancient times use to have a minimum of 12 year anusthans.Nothing less than that.
    Why Kumbha Mela is held every 12 years.
    So the question i am trying to bring about is our relation to mortality and goal or interests in life.Although we cannot understand the complexity of death simply by saying external factors also influence.But on a general note why should one have aims that are higher and how individuals who suffer becuase of a lack of understanding also set goals which are of a grosser nature (not good or bad but grosser).How the parmanus and pranic kriya interplay that is driven by our own selves that results in gradual decomposition ,death and decay.

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