The Mob Within

There are those who wear white. But they didn’t always wear white. And then, there are those who wear black. They didn’t always wear black either. What was white, what was black was never something that was definite.

In the absence of standards, White said, this is how it all should be. Black said, this is how it should not be. Like iron-shavings, around and about a horseshoe magnet, alignment happened. Needless to say, the shavings had no mind of their own.

Whitish emotions aligned with the White end. Blackish emotions, of course, aligned with the Black end. I wonder if it was truly magnetic. Emotions are mercenaries. They will go where they get the most benefit. White camp, Black camp. They’ll adorn their hoods of grey and go to either camp. Emotions have the same basic survival instinct as humans. They will make their choice. Emotions choose to survive. Simple.

White makes a recruitment case, so does Black. We are our emotions. We are choosing camps.

There is darkness in all of us. The “obvious” Black. But the White camp has currency. Black is bleaching their hoods and becoming greyer towards white. Acceptance eats identity for breakfast. The White-hood gangs up. Swords drawn, ready to attack the Black. Black is smart, it fades in the darkness that is its nature. White can’t fight in that arena, it withdraws. Stands tall.

Black is not vanquished. And it never will be. For if Black was to ever disappear, how will White exist. White knows this. It can only push Black to the shadows, but never vanquish it. When and how did White become the vanquisher? Did it borrow from Black? Is a part of White’s identity based on Black?

Then comes the question of the whole. Can it be fully White? Can it be fully Black? Is there a Blackness in White? Is there a Whiteness in Black?

I am White fighter. In between the gunfight, I look over my shoulder, and my coat is grey. A shade I have never seen before. I am Black fighter. In between the gunfight, I look over my shoulder, and my coat is grey. A shade I have never seen before.

*

I am White and Black, and everything between. I am the total of the Mob that is fighting with each other. I am fighting with me. I am both sides of the Mob. I am White. I am Black. I acknowledge White. I accept Black. I am Whole.

I am the conflict. I am peace.

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Story-listeners

I was called a storyteller, recently. (Read this first, if you want to make sense of this post)

I acknowledge that I am a storyteller, don’t want to be modest and such. There have been a few times when I have told stories. Some have been good stories, some have been quite lame. But that’s how you get there, you keep at it.

In the post (link above) where I was called a storyteller, I wondered what kind of storyteller I am. I am not C-Bag, and I am grateful for that. I am definitely not Wallace-ish. I am certain, I am not Murakami-ish. But I am someone-ish, perhaps. Which makes me think of this anthem by S&G:

This post is not about the style of stories that are being told. This is about the stories that I cannot tell. Stories of love. Stories of hate dislike. Stories of gain and loss. Stories of depression and ecstasy. No, those stories don’t sell.

The people in the stories do not want these stories to be published.

Some stories will be ours, personal, and secret. They may be beautiful, dreary, shocking, wondrous, or fantastic, but they will be untold. Storytelling is not just the responsibility of the storyteller.

Do not be a passive, patient audience.

Non-Self-Contradicting

I was thinking of something, and for some reason this thought connected me to another similar thought. I found myself agreeing in the first thought and disagreeing in the second. And, suddenly, I realised, I am contradicting myself. There. I had caught me contradicting myself.

Twin Window

It was not a good feeling. I was also surprised that I got caught. By myself, i.e. Usually, it is someone else.

“Good catch,” I told myself.

“Thanks,” I replied.

I wasn’t entirely happy about being caught. But, I have to say I did a good job catching myself, else, I would have gone ahead with my thoughts, thinking they were all free of contradiction.

Some time passed. I was now thinking of thoughts that straightforward and wouldn’t connect me to similar parallel thoughts. I continued thinking. It was nice, easy, and straight. I was wrong however, not all thoughts were behaving. One of the delinquent thoughts reconnected me to the previous pair of thoughts that I had pronounced contradicting.

I called myself, “Hey, you!”

“What?” I said

“The context for those two thoughts,” I said, with some emphasis, “were different.”

“So?”

“They were even under a different contract,” I insisted.

I looked at myself with a blank face.

“The context and the contract for those two similar thoughts were different, so they could not have been contradictory,” I said.

I thought for a while, I was right, I knew that. And I had to be honest with myself, I had to concede.

“You’re right,” I said, “they aren’t contradictory.”

“Thanks,” I replied.

“You’re welcome,” I told myself, “and hey, by the way, Good catch!”

“Thanks,” I replied.

Wish I Were Here! And There Too!

Cloning would seem the most obvious solution. But it’s definitely not.

A situation arose today. I wanted to be at a place. But I also had to be elsewhere. Not that I didn’t want to be (that) elsewhere. I wanted to be there too. If I had over-thought – I could have chosen one of the places. They are 1007 kms apart. I had good reason to be at both places. I wanted to be at both places. Needless to say, I had to choose. A few months ago, this wasn’t so difficult. I would have just left. It is becoming difficult by the day.

The Matrix

Cloning would seem the most obvious solution. But it’s definitely not.

Because I would not be the receiver of both the experiences. Clones do not have a common sense of experience, do they? No, cloning would not solve it. Nothing will, in fact. That’s perhaps, what makes up life and life experiences. I don’t know it yet, but I am better for it. Not that I made a “right” choice — in this case, it wasn’t about right and wrong. It was simple: I wanted both. And the other thing was simpler: I couldn’t have both. It was only a life lesson.

If you were here, with me, my smile would have confounded you.

Rock Bottom

I remember it.

But I have no idea how I remember it. The memory is corrupted, somehow; it seems, to me. But I have no way of knowing. There is no way that you can trust a memory that’s 16 years old.

If it is that old, we live on disconnected fragments. Disconnection is the key, perhaps. We fill the gaps of disconnectedness the way we would imagine them to be. We pour wishful-thinking in it. Much time has passed. As a wise man once said, God gave us the ability to forget. Without wanting to, we forget. The blur remains. And we try to make sense of it. To no end.

Often I feel guilty of not remembering you all; you dead people. I do not know if I have let you go or if you have let me go. The guilt is not about how I would have saved you (though, that remains), but about how I would have spent time with you.

My best friend would call out this post and say how dark, my posts have become. She has said it already. I, however, will not deny what I feel. Mentioning death, makes this post dark. But it is not so. Death, as the cliché goes, is dark. And it is inevitable. Death, however, is not just the demise of a person.

1885: Coal Mining: Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve

It is the end. End of things.

Death is a concept, not an event. Most of us cannot accept an end. It is the proverbial flogging of a dead horse. Instead of leaving the room, we concentrate on belonging. Without purpose. A promise of a long time ago, in different circumstance. Like flogging a dead horse, petting a dead horse is the same.

Undelivered.

Lies upon lies to maintain status quo. Till such time. It’s OK. Stop lying. Just say the word. Say no.

*

We will be free, eventually.

All’s Well; The Owl

One night, I was day-dreaming about being an owl. Not being an owl, actually, but looking like one. It was so late in the night, it was almost early morning. I don’t mean to say, ‘somewhere in the world, it was early morning’, but there, just right there, where I lay, it was so late in the night, it was almost early morning. You never know. (Neither do I)

It was like when once a friend said, “I am middle-aged.” I asked, “How do you know? Unless you know your exact life-span, you can never know when you are middle-aged!” I know the convention for using the term middle-age — I just think it is illogical.

Let me tell you of another conversation I had (and you may recall it, because I wrote about it, “some” time ago). Like Black and White. Whatever scale you assign for the colour range between black and white, both black and white are such tiny specks on that range, the range is almost completely grey.

It’s all sense-making. Late-night, early morning, young-age, middle-age, and old-age. Black and White. Day or night, human or animal, inside or outside. There is no sharp line that separates these pair of opposites, but a band or a scale.

Centuries of us all living together have forced us to make sense to and of each other. Irrespective of the language we employ, sense-making is the true semantic we deal in. When we made sense, things have been somewhat calm; when we didn’t make sense, we went to war; or created a Twitter handle. I prefer the Twitter handle. At least lives aren’t lost. Mostly.

Going to war is also sense-making; somewhat aggressive, but war is a means to make the other person see sense. War is akin to an actor on stage with a monologue. Who actually makes sense, however, depends on who wins the war.

I don’t know how you see it, but I believe we experience more than sense-making, naturally, i.e. when we are left to our own: not having to transmit the same experience, we aren’t limited and coerced to step-up or step down our experience to make sense – to someone else.

The experience is real even without the devices of language and expression. This experience is possible only when we leave the factory of shared constructs. And there’s nothing necessarily grand or glorious about these experiences (though, some may be), But perhaps you will agree with me my dear reader, what makes them grand and glorious, irrespective, is that they are our own.

Perhaps, you will indulge me further, by risking your “agreement” further, that these experiences matter more than sense-making. (I do not yet ask for the indulgence; only the consideration). The question that follows is how would you ask another to cherish these experiences without sense-making?

It’s just another random Thursday in my life, somewhere between late night and early morning. I am thinking: Owl: I almost look like an owl. Almost. Long way to go.

All’s well.

Divider

Optional Appendix

I recall a legend from my childhood. [I’ve over simplified it for this post; link for proper narration at the end]

/Digress Begin

Hiranyakashipu, a demon, once performed penance to Brahma (a God) to acquire immortality. PS: Demon wanted immortality to take revenge against Vishnu (another God). Brahma, though pleased with the austerity and penance, refused immortality (Bro-code). So, Hiranyakashipu chose the next best thing: a proper specification of how Hiranyakashipu could never die. He asked that he never meet his death (and this is just a representative list):

  • not in day, nor in night
  • not inside a house, nor outside
  • not on ground, not in the sky
  • not by a weapon
  • not by your creation
  • not by human or animal
… and the list goes on.
To cut a long story short, he wreaked havoc on the world after he got this boon, and the Gods kept going over the spec, wondering how to vanquish him. Then an avataar of Vishnu – Narsimha (Man-Lion), killed him.
A half-human, half-lion, who wasn’t a creation of Brahma, lifted him up, between earth and sky, on the threshold of a house, tore his entrails with claws, at twilight.
As mentioned, an oversimplistic story-telling. Hiranyakashipu was sense-making. In asking for the boon, he ignored possible experiences, and went with what was common grammar between him and Brahma. It did not include Vishnu’s experiences.

Detailed Story: Hiranyakashipu

/Digress End

A Dream, or Perhaps, Not

It was incomplete, but it was beautiful. That dream that was as true as I inhaled and exhaled.

Eyes wide awake, watching the reality around me; there’s a soft blur now, but the dream was sharp and real, when my eyes were closed and I, for a while though it may be, was in a different world. I was outside of me; seeing myself — it was a happy instance; which in this world it can never be.

1968

Yet, it was my world, and its reality was pure; like the crisp sunshine of these southern winter mornings that I feel on my bare neck, under the netted shadows of old trees. It was not another world for sure. It was a time: either experienced and forgotten, or one that was soon due. But one thing was sure.

It was a happy one.

We all know it; for that sweet smile that wakes from a dream, cannot be suppressed; even when aware and awake. It is an empty sense of a foiled recollection; but we know deep down why we smile.

In our innocence, we call it a dream.