Life always involves some logic in its manifestations, and logic, as a rule, excludes the versatility of life from its considerations.
I had always been an atheist until I met Lenny. He was too wonderously complex and good for there to be no benevolent and intelligent force behind our marvelous cosmos. Lenny gave me the actual proof my fiercely skeptical mind had always demanded. Not some logical, 37-step proof of God's existence. It was a personal proof. And it was irrefutable.
I feel to that the gap between my new life in New York and the situation at home in Africa is stretching into a gulf, as Zimbabwe spirals downwards into a violent dictatorship. My head bulges with the effort to contain both worlds. When I am back in New York, Africa immediately seems fantastical – a wildly plumaged bird, as exotic as it is unlikely.Most of us struggle in life to maintain the illusion of control, but in Africa that illusion is almost impossible to maintain. I always have the sense there that there is no equilibrium, that everything perpetually teeters on the brink of some dramatic change, that society constantly stands poised for some spasm, some tsunami in which you can do nothing but hope to bob up to the surface and not be sucked out into a dark and hungry sea. The origin of my permanent sense of unease, my general foreboding, is probably the fact that I have lived through just such change, such a sudden and violent upending of value systems.In my part of Africa, death is never far away. With more Zimbabweans dying in their early thirties now, mortality has a seat at every table. The urgent, tugging winds themselves seem to whisper the message, memento mori, you too shall die. In Africa, you do not view death from the auditorium of life, as a spectator, but from the edge of the stage, waiting only for your cue. You feel perishable, temporary, transient. You feel mortal. Maybe that is why you seem to live more vividly in Africa. The drama of life there is amplified by its constant proximity to death. That’s what infuses it with tension. It is the essence of its tragedy too. People love harder there. Love is the way that life forgets that it is terminal. Love is life’s alibi in the face of death. For me, the illusion of control is much easier to maintain in England or America. In this temperate world, I feel more secure, as if change will only happen incrementally, in manageable, finely calibrated, bite-sized portions. There is a sense of continuity threaded through it all: the anchor of history, the tangible presence of antiquity, of buildings, of institutions. You live in the expectation of reaching old age.At least you used to.But on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, those two states of mind converge. Suddenly it feels like I am back in Africa, where things can be taken away from you at random, in a single violent stroke, as quick as the whip of a snake’s head. Where tumult is raised with an abruptness that is as breathtaking as the violence itself.
Nothing returns, nothing begins anew; it is never the same thing, and yet it seems always the same. For, if the days never return, every moment brings forth new beings whose destiny it will be to create for themselves, in the course of their lives, the same illusions that have companioned and at times illuminated ours. The fabric is eternal; eternal, the embroidery. A universe dies when we die; another is born when a new creature comes to earth with a new sensibility. If, then, it is very true that nothing begins all over again, it is very just to say, too, that everything continues. One may fearlessly advance the latter statement or the former, according to whether one considers the individual or the blending of generations. From this second point of view, everything is coexistent; the same cause produces contradictory, yet logical effects. All the colors and their shades are printed at a single impression, to form the wonderful image we call life.
There are people who fantasize about suicide, and paradoxically, these fantasies can be soothing because they usually involve either fantasizing about others' reactions to one's suicide or imagining how death would be a relief from life's travails. In both cases, an aspect of the fantasy is to exert control, either over others' views or toward life's difficulties. The writer A. Alvarez stated, " There people ... for whom the mere idea of suicide is enough; they can continue to function efficiently and even happily provided they know they have their own, specially chosen means of escape always ready..." In her riveting 2008 memoir of bipolar disorder, Manic, Terri Cheney opened the book by stating, "People... don't understand that when you're seriously depressed, suicidal ideation can be the only thing that keeps you alive. Just knowing there's an out--even if it's bloody, even if it's permanent--makes the pain bearable for one more day."This strategy appears to be effective for some people, but only for a while. Over longer periods, fantasizing about death leaves people more depressed and thus at higher risk for suicide, as Eddie Selby, Mike Amestis, and I recently showed in a study on violent daydreaming. A strategy geared toward increased feelings of self-control (fantasizing about the effects of one's suicide) "works" momentarily, but ultimately backfires by undermining feelings of genuine self-control in the long run.
If the Pentateuch is not inspired in its astronomy, geology, geography, history or philosophy, if it is not inspired concerning slavery, polygamy, war, law, religious or political liberty, or the rights of men, women and children, what is it inspired in, or about? The unity of God?—that was believed long before Moses was born. Special providence?—that has been the doctrine of ignorance in all ages. The rights of property?—theft was always a crime. The sacrifice of animals?—that was a custom thousands of years before a Jew existed. The sacredness of life?—there have always been laws against murder. The wickedness of perjury?—truthfulness has always been a virtue. The beauty of chastity?—the Pentateuch does not teach it. Thou shalt worship no other God?—that has been the burden of all religions.
The worse thing I have done in my life is Diary writing.... a wastage of time, wastage of papers filled with some imaginary feelings and bunch of silly activities done each day.... I cant feel any glimpse of appreciable work done by me, as whatever right I did, my Diary says " you were suppose to do it, so it was not a big deal....huhhh..." I passed my last few nights in reading most of its pages.... "I laughed on the lines telling about my saddest moments and nights when I cried….. but I felt woeful and downhearted on the lines telling about the moments when I shared my smile with someone, when I enjoyed the moments with my friends and near and dear ones, who r far and far now, and we can’t get those moments back in this busy selfish life" So now its better in busy life to live evry day and forget it in night.... enjoy life.... save papers.... no diary writing from today..... Sorry Diary, You will Miss Me....
I, too, had set out to be remembered. I had wanted to create something permanent in my life- some proof that everything in its way mattered, that working hard mattered, that feeling things mattered, that even sadness and loss mattered, because it was all part of something that would live on. But I had also come to recognize that not everything needs to be durable. the lesson we have yet to learn from dogs, that could sustain us, is that having no apprehension of the past or future is not limiting but liberating. Rin Tin Tin did not need to be remembered in order to be happy; for him, it was always enough to have that instant when the sun was soft, when the ball was tossed and caught, when the beloved rubber doll was squeaked. Such a moment was complete in itself, pure and sufficient.
There are some who would vow that life isn’t fair. They believe the worst is yet to come, that evil will always conquer good, and that we have no control over our fate. It’s true, there are storms that shake our foundations and monsters that threaten to tear us limb from limb. We will make terrible mistakes. We will fall short of our expectations. No one is exempt from pain and fear. But life, and what comes after, is a beautiful mixture of darkness and light, sacrifice and salvation. There is no fine line between the two, for both are needed. Where there is grief, there will be joy. Where there is heartbreak, love will follow.
Why does insanity always twist the great answers? Because only tormented persons want truth.Man is an animal like other animals, wants food and success and women, not truth. Only if the mind Tortured by some interior tension has despaired of happiness: then it hates its life-cage and seeks further, And finds, if it is powerful enough. But instantly the private agony that made the search Muddles the finding. Then search for truth is foredoomed and frustrate? Only stained fragments? Until the mind has turned its love from itself and man, from parts to the whole.
Some of us give up on life with only a resigned sigh. Others fight a little, then lose hope. Still others-and I am one of those-never give up. We fight and fight and fight. We fight no matter the cost of battle, the losses we take, the improbability of success. We fight to the very end. It's not a question of courage. It's something constitutional, an inability to let go.
The spiritual life (adhyatma-jivana), the religious life (dharma-jivana) and the ordinary human life of which morality is a part are three quite different things and one must know which one desires and not confuse the three together. The ordinary life is that of the average human consciousness separated from its own true self and from the Divine and led by the common habits of the mind, life and body which are the laws of the Ignorance. The religious life is a movement of the same ignorant human consciousness, turning or trying to turn away from the earth towards the Divine, but as yet without knowledge and led by the dogmatic tenets and rules of some sect or creed which claims to have found the way out of the bonds of the earth-consciousness into some beatific Beyond. The religious life may be the first approach to the spiritual, but very often it is only a turning about in a round of rites, ceremonies and practices or set ideas and forms without any issue. The spiritual life, on the contrary, proceeds directly by a change of consciousness, a change from the ordinary consciousness, ignorant and separated from its true self and from God, to a greater consciousness in which one finds one's true being and comes first into direct and living contact and then into union with the Divine. For the spiritual seeker this change of consciousness is the one thing he seeks and nothing else matters.
It's only when we dare to experience the full anxiety of knowing that life doesn't go on forever that we can experience transcendence and get in touch with the infinite. To use an analogy from gestalt psychology, Non-Being is the necessary ground for the figure of Being to make itself known to us. It's only when we're willing to let go of all of our illusions and admit that we are lost and helpless and terrified that we will be free of ourselves and our false securities and ready for what Kierkegaard calls "the leap of faith."p. 43
It doesn't seem like you're living a life, it's almost like you're travelling on a train with the destination unknown.You're sitting on a seat near the window looking outside, imagining how things are there outside, how is it like to live in the houses that you pass by. And when you’re busy noticing the outside, you at times do not pay heed to your surroundings inside the coach.And thus some passengers who got down at a station midway fail to capture your interest, or maybe it is because of your deviation of interest towards the outside. While at other stops new people get up, and you like their company, you share and you laugh.But sooner or later they get down.Because it's your journey, you're the traveler and they just accompany you for some distances.And then, maybe when you reach your destination there will still be passengers in the train, passengers you've mingled with or passengers you hate, people who were there since the train had started or people who got in just before the last stoppage, and like it or not, they will get off the train with you, at your destination which also proved to be there destination.
I believe in evil, but all my life I've gone back and forth about whether or not there's an outside evil, whether or not there's a force in the world that really wants to destroy us, from the inside out, individually and collectively. Or whether it all comes from inside and that it's all part of genetics and environment. When you find somebody like, let's say, Ted Bundy, who tortured and killed all those women and sometimes went back and had sex with the dead bodies, I don't think when you look at his upbringing you can say, "Oh, that's because Mommy put a clothespin on his dick when he was four." That behavior was hard-wired. Evil is inside us. The older I get, the less I think there's some sort of outside devilish influence; it comes from people. And unless we're able to address that issue, sooner or later, we'll fucking kill ourselves.