The impending collision of our Milky Way with the LMC (Large Magellanic Cloud) will bring celestial scale events into our neighborhoods. This may not happen for another two billion years from now, but in universal scale that time is not very far away. Initially merger with the Andromeda Galaxy was expected first, but now the race may go to LMC. These events of intergalactic mergers, is quite common in our crowded, and expanding universe. The biggest danger is that this infusion of new gasses and stars, into the near dormant black hole at the center of our galaxy, may provide fuel to it. This will feed it into activity, and it is expected to grow exponentially larger, with the new energy.
Our Black hole will become a
Quasar, and start its own celestial event. The energy expelled at near light
speed, by the resulting Quasar, will change our Milky Way. “Should this happen,
the stars that currently call the Milky Way’s galactic center home will, sadly,
have to yield the neighborhood they know and love, to a new population of
cosmic emigrants from the LCM. According to the researchers, many stars will be
sucked into the growing black hole at the galactic center; other stars,
reacting to all the extra mass pouring into their neighborhood, could be flung headlong into
interstellar space, quadrillions of miles away.” Written by Brandon
Specktor in Live Science.
Unfortunately we will not be
around to see these interstellar events but hopefully our descendants (if human
survive), will experience it. According to another model built by the
astrophysicists at Durham UK, who predicted the 2 billion time frame, our solar
system may not be effected, due to its location. We will not be in direct
harm’s way, and may actually enjoy seeing new events, in the skies. New stars
and gasses, will crowd into our galaxy, changing our skyline.
Please don’t fasten your
seatbelts just yet, to travel and see one of the brightest objects in space,
the Quasar. No psychedelic could ever match, the actual merger of two galaxies,
into a celestial soup; of energy, and light. This soup unlike LSD (psychedelic drug),
will be so thick and strong, that it will produce sights, not possible till
today. The scale of this event, will be truly spectacular, and grander than any
human imagination. Our solar system is far too insignificant and young, to be
included, in this new universal show. We will be left on the sidelines, with
great spectator seats.
There are other galaxies
colliding at random, in our universe today. We have billions of galaxies and
pulsars and quasars out there, and billions of black holes. Their birth and death,
are the celestial events, which no one can predict for certain, and they are
not part of any great master plan. They rise and fall, in their own time and
space. We do not even know if we live in a multiverse existence, as we can only
see and know the existence of our own universe. From a flat earth we are
evolving in our knowledge, and maybe dark matter and dark energy; which are over
90% of our known universe, have other secrets, that we have yet to unravel.
There are many amongst us that
consider themselves, the master of this universe. Others believe in a Supreme
God, shaped in their own beliefs, who controls the destiny of all living and
organic matter. These gods reap vengeance, on those who do not believe in them.
Their blind followers unleash wars, on other non-believers. The scale of their
narrow mindedness, belies the actual reality, of what is all around us. Venus is
not the goddess of love and Mars is no longer the God of war, as our
understanding and times have changed. We look up into the heavens and see our
future, but cannot even understand our own past.
Look inwards and we find
another universe of millions of creatures, who dwell in us and what is their
God? The only answer is energy, of our life forms. Long as the energy is kept
alive, we live, and when it fades; we die, and become fodder, for millions of
other cells. Our greatness lies not in conquering the world, but in conquering ourselves.
The danger of superstition and false beliefs, creates rifts between us and
nature. We end by destroying, that which provides us life, in our ignorance.
True reality is when we realize the meaning of how to live, with compassion and
love. Hate is natural and fear is elemental, to our nature. We have many
leaders who have risen, who fan this hate and bigotry, in the name of clan,
nation but mostly religion.
They are the unrealized and to follow them, is to plunge ourselves into a darkness of spirit and action. Seek the light and you will renounce these shallow beliefs. There is much to learn and we have lived only a spec, of cosmic time. The cosmos is the reality, and we are the pilgrims in search of it. This earth is our witness, and we have proven ourselves wanting, on many counts. Enjoy this randomness of colliding universes, as in this insignificance, is our greatest glory. We are the masters only of our fate, and destiny is only a thought, that should be abandoned. Conquest and pillage is our history, for survival. We must find a better way, if we want to enjoy cosmic time.
Knowledge is limitless and so why limit ourselves to a faith, which limits others, as less than equal? Which colliding Galaxy is stronger or larger, only time will tell; and we, or our man-made God, does not control their destiny. I am, so the universe exists. I learn, and our humanity improves, is the only truth. Our universe blesses us with a celestial dance, to be enjoyed for the ages. Our moral responsibility is to teach our children well, so that we and our gods can survive, to witness this truly cosmic event!
Pashupati Star pulled on his natural shawl, made of handmade hemp fiber, and swung one end up, and around his left shoulder, keeping his right arm, free. He had a bag hanging from his left shoulder, of the same, but more beat-up, and layered, hemp fiber, lined with cotton. In this bag were his day’s tools. Star was a bricklayer by profession, just like his father and grandfather had been, before him. His staff was also his measuring rod, as it was the length of a standard measure, for building human spaces. The town was planned with straight and perpendicularly divided streets, by the brick lined roads, which formed the thoroughfares. Star turned from the large roadway, into the narrower one, to get back home.
They had lived in this town for many generations, and he enjoyed his profession. It was rumored that his Great Grandfather’s, father had come from a much bigger town, across the great river. Their home was standard brick design, with high walls facing the street. The house lived inwards, in its open courtyard. There was a large entrance, with two large rooms on either side. The side walls were lined with rooms for his family, and a granary and a kitchen. The fourth side was for the household animals, and their feed. There was even a well for water, which was sweet and abundant, and that is why his Grandfather, had chosen to build here.
“Hey Star,… have you lost … your hearing,” came a panting voice, from behind him. He knew that voice, but decided to keep going, as if he didn’t hear, speeding up slightly. “Star, I will kill you this time, if you don’t stop.” He heard the approaching voice, and her bangles, but Star kept going. He had managed to avoid her, for a whole month.
“My Star!… Why do you not wait for me,… why must you always torture me, so?” she
said, panting, as she caught up with him, running on her long legs. “Mother
Goddess, please give me the strength, to put some sense, into this fool.”
“Full Moon, you can’t stop me like this. Not in
the middle of the street, and bar my way?” Star said, looking up at the tall young
woman, who stood barring his way, with her arms out and her patterned brass bangles,
reflecting the fading sun.
“Just call me Moon dear,” Full Moon smiled at
him, and gave him a slight push, in his chest, and tilted her head, looking him
up and down. “Just like you did the other night, my dearest Star.”
Star was staring at her breasts rising and falling, under her shawl, as she took deep breaths. He noticed the beautiful brass necklace with carved and shaped beads rising and falling, and then turned his head away.
“Yes Moon,” Star looked up into her brown eyes, finally, as she continued to rub and poke his chest, and then pointed 2 fingers up to her eyes.
finished work, and I am tired, and want to just, go home.” Star said softly.
“OK so you are not doing anything, but just going home,” Moon said, stepping aside, and giving him way. “Good, as I am also not doing anything also, and will happily accompany you.”
Star pushed her aside with his shoulder, and at
the open opportunity, started walking off towards his locality. She walked
besides him stride for stride, and even skipped a few steps ahead, or followed
behind, if he scowled. She hummed a tune, as she accompanied him. He was used
to her antics, and he even smiled, when she even tried to do a cartwheel.
Instead she ended up on the bricks, with all her long graceful limbs spread
out, and flat on the ground. He giggled, and walked away faster.
“Dear Star,” she said catching up with him, near
his home’s entrance, as he was still giggling, from seeing her spread out like
that, at his feet.
.”Dear Moon,” he responded, and she flung her
arms around him, and hugged him tightly.
“Oh so sweet,” Moon said gazing down into his
eyes, and he tried to break away giggling harder, as she rolled her eyes at
him, and wouldn’t let him go. He was rubbing against her, as he tried to
escape, and she was exaggerating it, by her rolling sensuous movements. Then
suddenly, even she could not hold in the pleasure, of seeing him, in her arms
again. She also looked at his stupid expression, and broke into giggles, as he
tickled her. He released himself, and burst into laughter, “You looked so silly
Moon, sprawled out in the street like that.”
Embarrassed, she started laughing nervously,
with him. He dropped his bag and reached out and tickled her. They both cracked
up then, and soon were down on the bricks, pounding them, and roaring aloud.
“Sweet Star…Sweet Star.” Moon said between laughs, and Star said “Dear Moon.
Dear Moon.” They raised their heads, and looked at each other, sitting in the
street and laughing at each other. Moon made a face, and then, they broke into
spasms of laughter again.
“Oh Mother Goddess! Will I see you by the
silent grove of Pashupati, tonight after sunset,” Moon asked, when she could
“Tonight? Well let me try, and get there, as I
have some things to do.” Star replied.
“Oh Star it will be so good, if you can make
it,” Moon almost begged. Star nodded and agreed to meet her later.
Moon smiled back at him, and wrapped her wrap
around her, now that she had heard, what she wanted to hear. She straightened
out the handwoven cotton shift, that she had wrapped around her waist. The joy of seeing Star again, was just like
her Mother Goddess, had promised her, when she prayed to her last night. The
Mother had calmed her, and assured her, that everything will be alright, in the
evening. Her brass necklace and her bracelets and bangles, shone in the setting
sun, as she turned, and headed off to her home. She had a lot to do, to[KR(1] get ready for the night.
Star ate an early meal, and finished off the
chores he had to complete. He then decided to go to the bath. He was feeling
dirty and decided, to clean himself, from all the dust of the day, from working,
in construction. The public baths were a short walk away, past his local
market. He headed out and soon another friend joined him, and they talked as
they walked, as he was headed for the baths also. His friend worked in the
sanitation department, and they kept the drains cleaned and covered, and the
streets clean. He really needed a bath he said, after this day’s work. They
enjoyed the hot baths, and then relaxed in the cool pool, and let the day’s
tiredness; seep out, of their pores. Then they dried themselves, and applied
oils, to smoothen, their chapped hands and feet. With glistening hair now,
cleaned and tamed by the oil, they were ready to return, to civilization.
Star fade farewell to his friend and headed for
the Pashupati Grove, on the outskirts of the town. As he approached he saw the
full moon start to rise, above the clouds on the horizon. He felt a sudden jump
in his anticipation, at the sight of the big white moon rising. There were two
more couples, ahead of him, also strolling along, in the same direction. He
realized that they may be headed for the Pashupati Temple, for the special
prayers, offered on every full moon night. Star believed deeply in Pashupati as
the lord of all living creatures. His friend Full Moon believed more in the
power of our Mother Goddess, and tonight the two would meet in the silent
Star entered the Grove and headed for the
Temple, and saw that a lot more couples, had gathered, for the celebration. On
one side, a stage had been built, in a clearing in the grove. A lot of people,
had already spread themselves, on the grassy slope, all around the stage. There
was light from oil lamps, hung on the brick and wooden stage. The surrounding
areas, were in semi darkness, and only lit by the stars and the moon. There
were four people, sitting on the stage, playing music, and the sound of their
drums, and voices, spread the music all around. The rising moon above the
trees, brought light into the clearing, and you could see people and shapes
more clearly now.
He felt her presence, even before he saw her.
She was sitting under a tree, in the shade; erect, and looking at the
musicians. Star felt a strange vibration arising from her, a serenity as if she
was the Mother Goddess herself, as Moon had described her to him. She was glad
in a thin cotton wrap and on her arms were bangles of brass with tiny beads
hanging from them. Her hair was washed, oiled and neatly parted. In the middle
parting she wore vermillion, and it seemed to add to his desire, as she was in service,
to the Mother Goddess.
This strange tall beauty, and raw feminine power,
in full display, had attracted him before, when he met her last. Suddenly all
his efforts at self-discipline was gone, causing him, to break his promised
fast of the senses, to his lord Pashupati. He approached her from behind, and
saw her shoulders relax, and she swayed slowly with the music, as he approached
her. He knew she could feel his presence too, as the power of Pashupati flowed
to the mother goddess, and their disciples, are surely swayed, by the same
vibrations. As he reached down to touch her shoulder, she looked up and smiled,
as if she already knew he was here.
She patted the ground besides her and her
bangles made music of their own. She looked up into his eyes and smiled, “I
came early, and found a good spot for us,” Moon said, “We can hear the
musicians, and see the stage clearly from here.” Star grunted, as he lowered
himself to the ground, and sat down beside her, on the reed mat. She had come
well prepared for the evening with snacks and drinks. . There was a coarse
cotton sheet covering the reed and the soft grass below, for comfort. The moon
rose higher, and another larger group of musicians, came on the stage. They
were louder, and the tempo picked up, as the moon shone brighter on the people.
Star felt the music take him also, and he closed his eyes and swayed.
reached down and offered him a drink
from the baked clay amphora, which she carried for that purpose. It was a special drink, from the Mother, and
she had prepared it carefully. Star took a deep swig, as he was thirsty and
felt the greenish golden liquid, flow down his parched throat. He coughed, as
some of it went down the wrong way, and Moon pounded his back, to help him
recover. “Don’t be in a rush Star, I made more than enough for us, for the
evening, just like last time.” Moon joked, as she took another sip, of her
favorite drink. It had come out just right she felt, just like her mother, had
taught her. She smiled as the herbs and intoxicants carefully prepared, in the
ancient recipe, would soon have the desired effect. She wanted tonight to be
spent devoted, to the worship, of the Mother.
Then Moon started to dance and she motioned to
Star to rise also. She and he danced in the moonlight, as the musicians, sent
them into a strange trance. Star felt his whole universe become free as he
swayed and danced in the moonlight. Moon had a natural grace and a good ear and
flowed with music. She would hum along, and let her tall body follow, the waves
of the melody
When the moon reached its peak, the high priest
of the temple, came out from the Temple. He was clothed all in white and his
junior priests followed, also dressed in white, carrying torches that lit, his
way. On their shoulders, they carried the shining brass image, of Pashupati in
all his glory, surrounded by his living creatures all around him on a large
brass seal. The people bowed as the image passed, and Star prostrated himself
to the ground, as he knew that without Lord Pashupati’ s help, he would never
find joy in this life.
Moon was the only one who remained erect and
stared curiously at all the creatures surrounding the lord. She smiled as she
knew, that without the Mother, none of them would have existed, for Pashupati
to rule. The power to give birth remained, only in her and the Mother
Star had spent the past few years in devotion
to Pashupati. He had worked hard on his body, to make it stronger and virile
like his lord. He had shunned all base pleasures of the other bricklayers, and
concentrated on making himself better. He was attracted to the power of the
lord, over all creatures, and wanted to emulate him. Unfortunately a month ago,
he had met Full Moon, on the same moonlit night. She had bewitched him and he
had lost himself, and all his training and restraint, had become lost. He
remembered having the same drink, and all his senses coming alive.
his mind had become very fluid and his rigidity of discipline was gone. All his
efforts at self-control, and all his meditation, had become lost. He had gone
so far out of himself that, had it had not been for Moon, he would have been
lost. He wandered into a strange world, of disbelief and wonder and imagination
and profundity, as if everything was growing in a mother’s love. It was the
sound of her bangles, as she danced in abandon, which brought him back to
reality. The sight of her flushed face and body sent him into a new realm of
joy which was missing in his hard life..
She had called him with her power, as this was
her first time, and the Mother had told her she was ready and the time was
right. She sent her feminine force and calmed his male force, with her love,
and brought him back, from the dark recesses of his mind. She had stroked him and slowly guided him,
into the ways of the Mother. The power of his years of training vanished, in
her soft embraces. He was suddenly more awake, than he had ever been. Each
moment was a delight, and each touch, was a pleasure. “Sweet Star” Moon had
whispered, as she showed him the ways, of the Goddess. ”Sweet Star” again at
him, as the music played, and they swayed. Star had clung to her, as only she
would save him now, from himself, in this strange new world. He realized that
all his power was only built, for her pleasure. She completed him, and there
was no other way; that he could live, from now on.
Moon,” He whispered back, as the drink took hold, of their imaginations, and
their spirits soared. They became so co-mingled, that nobody could tell, where
Pashupati ended and the Mother started. A joy arose within them, at the
realization that, this was just meant to be.
Star looked up after an eternity it seemed, and
he noticed that the moon had slid down, behind the trees. The night was passing
fast and he felt, as if he had just arrived.
He smiled in a strangely contented way, and Moon looked at him and
smiled, and poked his chest. Star giggled as the waves of happiness rose, from
her caressing touch. Moon giggled at his reaction, and Star reached out, and
tickled her, some more, on the curvy spots she loved. She laughed, and
squealed. Soon they were rolling on the grass, laughing and mingling, in the
joy, of the Mother’s blessing. Their spirits mingled and they were one.
Their laughter became a primordial sound, and
they reveled in their creation. Moon with her bangles, and the soft music in
the background, spread love across the clearing. More and more couples had
joined them, in the glow, of the Full Moon ceremony. Now their laughter became
infectious, and spread out, across the clearing in compassion and joy. Star was
so entangled in Moon, that their laughter, turned into a deep satisfying
feeling, inside. From there, the force spread outwards, and spread to everyone.
In that magical night, they were all connected, in this great ceremony. He felt
his mind, become one; with hers, even as they laughed softly. The Mother Goddess,
and Pashupati, existed that night, in a co-mingled joy celebrating life and
Grand Priest of Pashupati, declared this month’s Full Moon ceremony closed. He
turned to face east and prostrated himself towards the rising sun and the
Temple. He then spread his arms high and thanked Pashupati for making this
ceremony, a roaring success. He blessed all the couples, to go forth, and be
Yogi was walking on the side of the lake, in the haze of existence, along with his new companion. He was slowly talking about the galaxies, and the universe in the heavens, beyond the dark and overhanging clouds and smog. They had not seen the Fading Moon, in many months. The earth was covered with a brown and grey cover, which hid the moon, and barely allowed a soupy dawn. Yogi had heard about the nuclear war, on another continent, which brought this haze. His companion was prone to violent shakings sometimes, as she walked besides him. He understood it was just her nature, as she was actually a sweet little thing, once she cleaned up. It must have been some trauma in her young life, maybe after the loss of her husband. She would shudder and shake. Her slender arms and legs would tremble uncontrollably. Sometimes when the fits took her, she would crumble on the floor, and just weep for hours.
Yogi did not ask about her past, as he had enough trauma’s of his own to take care of. He had learned to live with himself; to avoid confrontations with others, and to seek peace, in his own life. They were simply happy, that they had found each other. Yogi reached out and took her shaking shoulders, under his right arm. He hugged her shaking body to his side, as they walked on. They had their food and water supplies, and were now determined, to reach their shelter. Yogi’s home, was on the other side of the lake. He took a swig from his precious water bottle, and shared some with Eva. Then they set off in the fading light, to follow the ancient path to their shelter. Yogi looked up at the grey clouds and haze, hoping to make it home, before the approaching storm broke.
Yogi did not need much in any case, these days. He had got
used to fasting, and skipping food altogether, for days. Even though he had his
own well of sweet water, he did not trust the water. He had constructed some
elaborate filtration and cleaning system, for his water supply. He only drank
his own homemade bottled water, any more. The pristine lake, in which, he had
swum in every summer, since he was a child, had become poisoned, months ago. He
and Eva avoided any outside water, and were getting stronger, with their
hydrated bodies. Slowly Eva’s shaking subsided and they were able, to make
When they got home Eva immediately started working on the
grains and flour, to make breads. Other wild grains she boiled, to make a base
gruel. She could then add vitamins, and nutrient supplemental, they had
gathered from the Supply store, near the train station. The store keeper said
that it was a miracle, the old electric trains, still ran at all. Also the
power supply, was unreliable, these days. The storms could cause havoc, and
destroy anything in their paths. Yogi
and Eva spent most of their time indoors, going out only for necessities, for
their survival. They were not city dwellers, where conditions were probably
even more dire. Yogi had heard it rumored, that large mobs raged, across the
broad avenues, seeking food, at the soup kitchens.
Yogi was straightening out his clothes in his room, when he
heard Eva from the kitchen, “Dinner will be served in five minutes, and will
you join me Yogi?”
Yogi felt some pangs in his stomach, as he had not really
eaten anything, since the day before. He had become very suspicious of all
foods. He had seen his friends and companions, become sick with strange growths,
and ulcers break out on their necks, and bodies. He had seen them suffer, and
slowly wither away, and then soon die. He knew if it was not for Eva insisting,
he would probably have given up, altogether and joined them. She was hungrier
for life, than he was; and he had sensed that, when he had first seen her,
scrounging for food. He saw her outside the Store, some months back. The Store
keeper had told him she had arrived on the train, some days back. He was very
wary of strangers, yet her sweet smile and sunny disposition, had melted him.
He did not sleep that night and the next day came and made her the offer, to
join him in his home.
They were both lonely and she saw his emancipated body and
his hollowed eyes. She realized that he was letting his life force ebb, and
wane. She decided to nurture him back to health, as she was desperate for
companionship. She had been a nurse, once, in what seemed so long ago. She had
been happy, before her world turned, upside down. She thanked every day, on which
she woke up, to find herself, still alive. He seemed a good man, who had, had some bad
breaks, in the past. The Store keeper had told her, Yogi may appear eccentric,
and strange, but at heart he is a very good man. She had followed him, and
watched him for days. Finally she decided to move in with him, on an extremely
stormy night. Yogi had brought her home and made her welcome and showed her,
where everything was. She slept on the Sofa, as she was cautious, and afraid.
Eva passed the hot boiled gruel, she had prepared, in two
bowls. Eva had sprinkled some precious herbs, and added the boiled spicy vegetables.
Fresh vegetables and fish had arrived that day, from the climate controlled,
hydroponic, indoor, organic farms, far away. These were rarities these days,
and she was very happy, with her meal. Yogi as usual, just pushed the food
around on his bowl, with his fork. She had coaxed him a couple of time, but had
soon realized; it was best, to just let him be. He would play with the food and
sometimes take a small forkful into his mouth, and chew contemplatively. It was
as if he was discovering, how to eat, for the first time. Then he would walk
away and wait to see if the food was safe. Eva would continue to sit and eat,
slowly enjoying, every bite, of the nourishing food.
Yogi was more interested, in the brain pills, which he had gathered. It was a concoction, of whatever the store keeper, had been able to obtain through his contacts. He would even continue conversations across the home, as he admired his cache. There were blue pills, pink pills, white capsules, yellow tablets, but most importantly these organically grown and refined natural enzymes and powders, increased his brain health. Yogi was convinced that they were keeping him alive, as while his body had become deprived, these supplements kept his brain alive, and functioning.
Eva had joked, “It’s all in your head Yogi, I do not take
brain pills, and am happy the way I am. We have to be happy inside Yogi, and
nothing from outside can do that, no matter what concoctions, you ingest. My
Mommy always used to laugh at this world, and she taught me early on; that we
are created to bring joy, to all around us.” She
laughed at him, and coaxed a smile out of him, with her antics. She mimicked
him popping pills. She pantomimed him, by raising her hands above her head, pretending
that her brain, is expanding.
That night she joined him in his bed and they talked about the past. They made love, and then they talked on until dawn. They talked about their hopes, and their dreams. They made love again, and she nodded off. Then they ate a predawn meal, as she awoke early, feeling hungry again. This time she sat with him smiling, and talking about their upcoming day. He was not one, for sleeping much, these days anyway. As he listened to her talk on, he became strangely contented, with her company. Eva’s shaking fits slowly disappeared over time.
“What do you want to do tomorrow?” Eva asked innocently at breakfast one day,
Yogi just looked at her amazed, and just sat straight, slowly chewing his food again; and finally thinking about a future, he had given up on. As the night turned into a grey dawn, he slowly ate, spoon, after spoon. She smiled at him, passing her feminine strength, into his meagre frame, and a small hope rose, in his mind again. They decided to venture out into their universe more often. “Lets go and see what else is out there?” Yogi said, gathering himself and leading the way.
Months passed and they got used to venturing out, into the fog. It had rained in the night, and more appeared on the way, from the distant thunder and lightning. Yogi looked up into the grey skies, and then turned, as Eva caught up. She took his hand in hers, as they walked up the hill, away from the lake, towards the forest. Eva claimed that the night before, she had actually seen the Fading Moon’s shadow, in the sky, from the top of the hill. They reached the top, after another violent storm, when the heaven’s opened up. Eva had hugged Yogi as they got a glimpse, of our Milky Way, and the galaxies and larger universe. Yogi and Eva lay on the ground, and looked at the eternal universe enchanted. They spent a magical night, enjoying this beautiful spectacle for hours, lying in each other’ arms.
Since then a year has passed and this hellish semi darkness, eats away, at both of them. Yogi would have withered, but Eva saved him, and continues to nourish him, with what they can find. It is rumored that from that from that fateful night onwards, the Fading Moon became a reality, and was never seen again. Yogi does not talk about our beautiful moon, or our colorful Milky Way, or the size of our external universe, anymore. Even Eva’s shaking fits are becoming worse again, and they venture out less and less….
Schopenhauer. “Suffering is the substance of all life”
Wikipedia image of mushroom cloud at castle_romeo2
The path led me deeper into the lush summer forest. There was greenery everywhere and fallen trees, were blocking; some areas of the path, which I happily scrambled over, to continue my woodland walk. It is an old habit amongst our family to walk in the hills since childhood. Drilled into us to taking morning and evening hikes, in the Himalayas. It is a very healthy lifestyle but very few of us are privileged enough, to become a mystic, or a communicator with nature. Our just being in these woods helps us identify, with our larger universe.
It is good to walk alone and introspect and find out what is happening with oneself, once in a while. So as I came among my favorite cluster of Oaks, I saw the pairs rising from a common roots. For some nature’s freakiness there is a huge proportion of these pairs towering over the path in some parts as compared to others. Here in the middle I paused as something was not right.
There to the side was a pair that seemed to have missed the spring season. This giant pair was as leafless as a mid winter’s day. I grew close to it and was strangely attracted to it. I decided to use it as a backrest for my meditation and sat down with my back to it, soon feeling safe, amongst its roots. With closed eyes I observed the sound of the Doe and her kid, as they grazed in the sloping valley behind me. A squirrel was scrambling up on the Maples, across from where I sat.
From the tree there was no vibration of life. It seemed it had caught the Rip Van Winkle effect and gone to sleep in summer. I wished them well and hoped that they would green again soon, as I missed the living twins. I sat there contemplating the times we had spent in the summers before, vibrating together with our life forces, in the eternal hum of life. Time passes slowly or at least it seems to, in the summer, when all our senses come alive. I get up with a sense of loss, and melancholy grips me momentarily. A few steps up the path and the deer family come into sight and I get distracted and move on.
Social Media grabbed me on my return back Home and there is just so much fake news going around, that I am ready to turn everything off. How can these people blatantly lie and expect us to swallow all of it without complaining. The rhetoric levels are rising and the two parties are drifting farther apart, under this Presidency. People are falling everyday in this administration, and what can I add about our dear President, that hasn’t already been said. We are all living the dream!
“This above all: to thine own self be true, / And it must follow, as the night the day, / Thou canst not then be false to any man.” -William Shakespeare, poet and dramatist (23 Apr 1564-1616)
Once again we celebrate Earth Day and I am reminded of the time when his first five disciples questioned Buddha, on how they could confirm that he had indeed attained Nirvana, he touched the earth and said that this earth is my witness. Since then our world has not been the same as his teachings improved the lives of millions and showed us how we can live peacefully with nature. I am happy to read that even today Earth Day draws on astronomical phenomena in a most ancient way – by using the vernal Equinox, the time when the Sun crosses the equator making the length of night and day equal in all parts of the Earth. Earth day is devoted to the preservation of the harmony in nature and yet draws upon the triumphs of technology, the measurement of time, and instantaneous communication through space. We celebrate Earth Day with the following anthem and ringing the Japanese Peace Bell at the UN. We pledge to live in equality and harmony with everything around us on our Earth..
“Earth Anthem” by Abhay K
Our cosmic oasis, cosmic blue pearl
the most beautiful planet in the universe
all the continents and the oceans of the world
united we stand as flora and fauna
united we stand as species of one earth
black, brown, white, different colours
we are humans, the earth is our home.
Our cosmic oasis, cosmic blue pearl
the most beautiful planet in the universe
all the people and the nations of the world
all for one and one for all
united we unfurl the blue marble flag
black, brown, white, different colours
we are humans, the earth is our home.
The beauty of Earth Day is that we are no longer bound by man-made National boundaries or regions, we live on one warm blue planet, clinging on to precarious life, in a frigid universe. It is a celebration of life’s diversity, which nature allows in such abundance. We take time to understand what a miracle creation of life is and what we must do now, to preserve it for the future. The profundity of creation is reflected all around us on Earth and on this day, we cherish its diversity and its value. Some also play the following Anthem to the tune of Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’.
Earth Day Anthem:
Joyful joyful we adore our Earth in all its wonderment
Simple gifts of nature that all join into a paradise
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love throughout all time
With our gentle hand and touch
We make our home a newborn world
As we all join in this celebration we can walk around and join other likeminded folks who treasure their time on this Earth. We may find some kindred spirits, who will be happy, to walk along with us today. We can develop a camaraderie to protect our environment and our way of life, and leave it unharmed, to our progeny. All Flora and Fauna must be allowed to bloom, and we must never destroy nature, but come together, to help it prosper. We have a responsibility to our Earth Mother who sustains us, that we provide back in ways, which will ease her burden. We cannot subsist on our own, but must live in a cohabitation life, with all other creatures. We sustain each other and grow stronger with each other. We are bound to find our rightful place on this Earth, as all its creatures live and die here. We may roam the universe, but this Earth will always be our home. We have to learn to celebrate Earth day and our biodiversity with a joy, that transcends our basic human nature of self preservation!
Fear has been the greatest force that evolution has unleashed, amongst all living beings and is wired deep into our brains. Despite all the advancements in humans the instant reaction to our environment, is automatically triggered in our reptilian brain, where the decision is made to fight or flee. It is only after that initial knee jerk reaction, that our logical brain takes over and analyses the situation, based on personal past experience and actual knowledge. The adrenaline surge and preparation of the body to fight or take evasive action, happens in milliseconds, and only then do the force of civilization and culture kick in. Unfortunately the truth is that we remain animals first, and only with a great effort rise to becoming humans.
FOMA or fear of missing out was just called by Bloomberg to be the driving force, behind the current and future S & P index rise to greater heights in 2018. It best describes the irrational exuberance which led to the Tulip craze, or Dot com rise, in the past, and the Bit Currency mania sweeping some up today. It is a fundamental force that takes hold of large areas of our populace, and creates an unnatural state of economic and financial bubbles, unsustainable by fundamental economics. Property and commodity booms and busts are similar in nature where by the time the ordinary investor gets in, he/she is just joining the others in the late cycle of a giant Ponzi scheme, which is bound to crash. I am not advocating we stay away from markets, but trying to make the case that they can be a potent tool, for long term human development if used correctly.
Our greatest inventions and achievements were driven by our survival instincts. Humans are inherently weak creatures and there are far hardier living species, who have survived successfully for millennia, even before the arrival of the great apes. Prometheus stealing the fire from the Gods is a great example of human fear, capturing and taming a destructive force, to aid its own survival. The evolution of tools though not unique to humans, has also been driven by fear, to overcome the adverse conditions that seem to overwhelm us, in nature. Modern cities are just an example of how fear pushed us to come together, for our common benefit. Religion and cultural norms are all a result of the paranoia and fear, which we all face when faced with complex phenomena which we cannot explain. Out of fear comes resolution and mental makeup, which helps us to not only survive but prosper in a new reality.
The Hindu sages debated for centuries on what is existence, what is reality, what is our state of knowing, what is life, what is death, what is our purpose, what is the creator, what is the culmination of desire, what is truth and finally what is reality? They distilled this wisdom in Sanskrit in the Vedic and Vedanta strutis memorized and passed down generation after generation. While the names of the sages may be often lost, the wisdom still remains. A philosophy rose not based on the fear of the unknown, but on the myriad paths to overcome the unknowns. “Agni Miley Purohitam..” starts the first verse of the Rig Veda the oldest of the surviving strutis and talks about the taming of fire by the householder for greater good. In another example “Isa Vasayamidam Sarvam… “ The creator envelops everything and all our individual moments, are only part of the universal movement. By renouncing (the unreal) we can enjoy (the real), do not lust after another man’s possessions. In only 18 verses it lays out the relationship of the soul to our universe, and forces our eyes and mind to what is truth (eternal), and goads us to not stray into the world of untruth (transitory), which leads to fear, wrong karma (thoughts\actions)and braking of our dharma (rightful duty).
I admit it is a long way from obscure Sanskrit texts to the happenings on modern day Wall Street and the state of the human mind today. We have Fire and Fury and God on our side in multiple conflicts, and potential for far greater Fire and Fury if we stay on the current path. The Jewish, Christian, Muslim divide of the Judeo-Christian world, and the destructive Shia-Sunni divide, will not be resolved in our lifetimes. The Middle East burns and each new atrocity, fans the execution of another, more severe retaliation. The Buddhist are committing genocide against the Rohingyas in Myanmar, and the recent Hindu/Buddhist war in the Pearl in the Indian Ocean, is still healing. These are all the outcome of the stroking of fundamental fear amongst communities, bring out the worst in humans. Defenseless woman and children suffer the most, while men announce new victories every day.
My fear is that in the stock market or in society, if we are driven by the basest of emotions then our humanity will be lost. We have to go beyond the boom and bust of our stock markets, or the fear of an imminent nuclear Armageddon. The stock market and our society should be used to bring progress and peace to improve our health, happiness and living standards. We should harness the forces of progress to be funded and unleashed for the collective greater good, and release ourselves from our fears and phobias. We have been given a whole universe by the creator, and our petty squabbles and fears will keep us rooted to this earth, when we have a far greater future to look up to. We all have only one life to live and our end is certain. It is how we live this life that matters, and it will determine the fate of our progeny for eons to come.
When all’s said and done, all roads lead to the same end. So it’s not so much which road you take, as how you take it. -Charles de Lint, writer (b. 22 Dec 1951)
The Alliance of World Scientists have issued their second dire warning about the state of our earth, 25 years after their first stern warning issued in 1992. The scientists have collected and analyzed data about our planet and things have become worse, since their initial findings published over 2 decades ago. We are killing flora and fauna and other living creatures at a furious pace, and this destruction is unsustainable, for a living planet. Billions of years of evolution of species are being wiped out, in our thirst for water, food and our own human habitation. .
“Global climate change sits atop the new letter’s list of planetary threats. Global average temperatures have risen by more than half a degree Celsius since 1992, and annual carbon dioxide emissions have increased by 62 percent.
But it’s far from the only problem people face. Access to fresh water has declined, as has the amount of forestland and the number of wild-caught fish (a marker of the health of global fisheries). The number of ocean dead zones has increased. The human population grew by a whopping 2 billion, while the populations of all other mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish have declined by nearly 30 percent.” They have reported.
The scientists have come up with 13 suggestions for a greener planet and more sustainable practices, which we need to adopt. We need a vigorous debate on each of their propositions now, as if we wait another 25 years, things will not magically become better. Our consumption patterns have to change dramatically to bring about a brave new world. If we shy away from this responsibility our children and grandchildren will never forgive us. The time to act is now before more waterways, forests and myriad species disappear forever. We live in a time of great scientific discovery and new technologies are developed every day. From this complexity of science we have to develop a simple method to live and let live. The 1% control our economic reality, but should we let them control the destiny of our planet also?
The self-righteousness of our super rich and inflated egos of our political leaders, are leading us down a path of death, destruction and ruin. If a butterfly does not flap its wings in China any more, will my grandchild still see a rosy sunrise? I fear for our future and can only hope to awaken our consciousness, towards compassion and love. There is much we still have to do and only if we take a stand to do what is right and reduce our wanton consumption, will we be able to save our earth and its creatures. I want my grandchildren to walk barefoot on the dewy grass in the morning, and watch the cottontails playing in our yard. I want them to see the swans living in our lake, and not stuffed in some museum. Maybe I have too much faith in our humanity, as science does not lie.
“For all our conceits about being the center of the universe, we live in a routine planet of a humdrum star stuck away in an obscure corner … on an unexceptional galaxy which is one of about 100 billion galaxies. … That is the fundamental fact of the universe we inhabit, and it is very good for us to understand that.” -Carl Sagan, astronomer and writer (9 Nov 1934-1996)
By Biswarup Ganguly – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12679235
Long have the mystics I have studied instructed followers to stay away from Anger, Lust, Greed and things unnatural. They have all advocated that life has enough to offer without needing any artificial enhancement. In a world of plenty we need to get closer to mother nature and our origins. There are so many wonders around us that we can lead a full life, without having to travel to exotic locations. If we want to travel to exotic locations, then there is no harm, in that either. We just have to follow our own path, and not let life just happen to us. We can pick any path our heart desires, and proceed along it, to a goal, or a state of being. We must seek joy, happiness and mirth in everyday situations. If we are happy now with what we have, then start giving the extra stuff away. To live like a mystic, is to not have attachment, and hence one does not accumulate anything. One lives and discovers wonders of the world like, the Great Banyan tree as life progresses. Let me tell you a little more about the wonder of this tree:
A 255-year-old Great Banyan at the Indian Botanic Garden, Shibpur, has increased its girth by a massive two acres in a little over 30 years, from 3 acres in 1985. The Great Banyan lost its main trunk long ago after surviving two cyclones. The tree is now balanced on its growing new roots. The new roots seem to be walking east towards the sun. It is also the direction away from human habitation in the city and its pollution. 4 senior botanists and their assistants take care of the Great Banyan ensuring its health, and have built a new barrier around it. This is a remarkable tree like the Redwoods in California. They are massive and live for centuries yet this covers far more space. It continues to flourish and has grown into the largest single canopy, on earth.
We must praise nature as the more we take care of it, the more it gives back to us. We must take care of the fauna and the flora, of our native lands. Like the huge store in Norway of all the world’s seeds is good for preservation, but there is no sight like looking up from the base of tall Sequoias; and wondering how tall the trees were, as one could not possibly see the top of the trees? The real life is in our fields, our forests, our woods, our lakes, our rivers, our mountains and our oceans. They have to be nourished and cared for, by an army of people, to make them whole again. We have taken and destroyed so much, that we have to take a joint exercise, just to count the tigers, living in Nepal and India. The numbers are low, and preservation is just starting to work, and a lot of work still needs to be done to preserve the jungle species. They need their own habitats with grazing lands, rivers, woods to continue to do what nature does best. Life is to be enjoyed in its enormity and not in narrow dogmas preached for human consumption. We have become very powerful and with power also comes great responsibility. Let us use our powers wisely, to grow ourselves, and allow others to prosper also, as there is a whole universe still to explore. If we must dream then let us dream big like the Great Banyan!