A Conversation with Myself

  • Ameen Fayaz
  • Publish Date: Jan 19 2016 12:45PM
  • |
  • Updated Date: Feb 17 2016 4:48PM
A Conversation with Myself

Why am I not able to sleep tonight? Agreed that I had had a daylong hard work of gathering boulders, yet why my mind seems unwilling to rest? Why do I tear apart myself by such hard work and labour? Would the world lose anything, if I do not do so? What is my share in this society that if it remains undone, I would be marked absent? The sleeplessness has taxed my nerves. This sleep is the biggest gift of the nature for all the living organisms; but, why should the nature be worried about my sleeplessness? The nature itself is totally unconscious and based on mechanical laws! I am sure my sleeplessness must be in concord with any of its systems and for a purpose. The nature never experiences a wink of sleep, that is why Universe and Nature are two sides of the same coin. Nevertheless, what am I in this unbound, endless and infinite Universe?

I am an unknown man among billions of human beings living on this planet of the Solar System which is one of the thousands of Solar Systems of the hundreds of galaxies of stars of this universe! Aristotle named man “Speaking Animal”. In fact, this is the only definition of man that has been consistently in use since the days of Aristotle as man is the only animal who can speak. Aristotle did not remember the lesson of his teacher, Plato, who considered man an image of some other ideal world or a new form of some older form, who, according to Seneca, is bound to wail and mourn after having suffered throughout his life; or, according to Epicurus, enters the grave after some days of play and fun in this world. Nevertheless, I am also a man. At last, is this man the evolved form of the monkey of Darwin; or regressive son of Adam for whose reformation one lakh and twenty four thousand prophets were sent to this world by the God? Am I to become a being of light after having defeated the Evil in tune with Zoroaster’s sayings; or, wait for the divine will and get enlightened on the mountain of Senai like Moses; or, being in tune with Macvalli, befriend Satan to live my life of some days in this world? Am I to cut totally myself off the responsibilities of family for establishing the Kingdom of heaven on the earth like Jesus; or, like a rebel against the God, fly to heights of the Moon to plant my flag there, and then return to my family for my life? Am I to help in the construction of that ideal society which could not be materialized in Russia in the last fifty eight years; or, like an ascetic, I am to resign to a cave in search of salvation for myself ,thereby sleeping there forever? After all, what is the scope of my consciousness? Averos says, “reason”; Rumi says, “Love”; Hargasav says, “Intuition”; and, Lenon says, “Class Struggle.” Everybody has his own experiences, and everybody has his own interpretations. The questions remains: What is the motive force of all these powers?

Abul Hasan Al Ashari says, “Fate”; Thomas Hardy says, “Blind Fate”; Marx says, “Hunger”; Freud says, “sex”; and Adlar says, “The desire for power”, and Iqbal says, “Self-realization”. Everybody has tried to solve the riddle with all sincerity. This is why Earnest Haikal writes in his book Riddle of the Universe that the Universe is a riddle of which man is a character. However ,when Kairal came out of this riddle and wrote Man, the Unknown, all the scientists had to agree that man till date has not acquired complete knowledge of all the functions of the organs of his body; and, when despite all the progress in knowledge and science, man so far has not been able to dwell on the functions of one single (intestine), how could he be able to talk about the actual condition of his non-material being of mind, the mind which when analyzed today throws up surprising challenges for the researchers, of which, according to the psychological research of C G Jung, we cannot put our individual unconscious on the track of Conscious thereby tracking the Collective Unconscious or the Archetypes below them which all through our age unknowingly keep stuck to us? Do the same archetypes bite me at this hour of the night and keep me wide awake?

Who am I to disintegrate and analyze the conditions of the Super Ego, when I could not understand the ways of mind after having analyzed it with reference to its different parts like Conscious, Unconscious and Subconscious? When the experts of Experimental Psychology have told me that your consciousness, despite so much use of grey mettle, is only equal to the piece of salt in a big iceberg, then what is the validity of the statement which says that believers in “Yuminoon bil Gaib” have taken opium?

If anybody could have been able to comprehend the Matter as the ultimate reality in the nineteenth century, he is not to blame? Who could have told him in advance that scientists in twentieth century would themselves admit the fact that when an atom is dissected, there is no matter inside. The poor atom is matter till we do not go inside to watch the non-material invisible revolutions. There is more than meets the eye; more than what a solar system has in it. Inside the atom, protons, electrons, neutrons, deuteron and around a dozen other trons do not only spread out, replace each other, displace each other and collide with each other, but also, according to Henry Planck, sometimes waste their energy, and sometimes due to the neutral neutron by just changing their places get hold on some new energy which is not possible in that circle. The atom is too small to be seen by a microscope; nevertheless, the fact of the matter is that it has so much empty space that if all the atoms of a man are pressed tightly to squeeze out their empty space, the body of man would shrink to the size of a full stop. Now, this imaginary full stop would be called matter for the simple reason that it has no gas or liquid inside. However, isn’t this a fact that when this full stop is stretched to the size of the full body of a man, consciousness develops there, which is something beyond the combination, mixing and interconnection of atoms? Physicists these days say that atom is a colony of events, of which every event is the form of an action, and all these forms could be actually demonstrated through a diagram. Whether it be the S diagram of Minkouski; or, the vision of some supernatural being, both diagrams show that matter slowly decays and degrades. In the Universe, if, on the one hand, new atoms come into being; on the other hand, Law of Entropy is also a fact, which, of course, shows how matter undergoes decay and degradation; and, on the basis of this law, scientists have now started fixing the dates of end of the world, not the poor preachers ,in fact! Sleep of the reason is the Ultimate Doomsday….I got unnerved. Then is the verse “Kullu Man Alaiha Faan” a scientific fact? Oh, this is the very fact that set man alone out of the whole Universe in search of eternity! It is for the same eternity that man either is alive as an artist or as pious religious man, a subject that modern critical literature has much dwelled upon. An artist performs his art on/through colours or through a musical instrument or on a stone only to be alive after his death, as a pious religious man considers this solid material world as the image of the hidden spiritual world and feels some eternal joy with reference to that unknown world. Different methodologies of different people. In comparison with these people, if a simpleton dislikes and rejects all these methodologies or ways of life, and boasts of being without religion, without a school of thought in art, etc., the poor man does not know that his doubt, dislike and anger against all –isms, religions and ideologies is the beginning of skepticism, and a religion in the same way as Materialism, Socialism, Secularism or Nihilism are. In all these ideologies, heaven and hell have been presented in the same way as in all old religions.

But, should I go about sleeping! Anyway, I wanted to say that if this material world of ours is going to perish one day, am I to live in this world waiting for death; or to consider it as an Illusion and live with that worldview? Both the worldviews are not worth seeing, as in case of the two, man either becomes like other animals, or a Sanyasi, the one who has renounced this world. All those thinkers and philosophers, who tried to get rid of such beliefs while thinking about the purpose of life in this world, came to this conclusion that man requires some fundamental things for the upkeep of humanity, in the absence of which man, despite being a speaking animal, ceases to be human. However, such philosophers and thinkers who relied on Reason alone in their research, did not have any clear map to distinguish between good and evil, thereby not allowing their philosophy and worldview to go beyond the boundary of ideas; therefore, if there exists a discord amongst their ideas, this difference stopped man from seeing further, with due regard to the fact that all of them were looking for the Truth. The whole universe would not be equal to this sincerity that they had in their search for truth, as sincerity is the base of humanity. If there is sincerity, man enjoys the freedom of choice; if there is no sincerity, man becomes the slave of his environment, thereby losing that precious will that takes him to the macrocosm or the world beyond our routine comprehension and makes him the Vicegerent of the Lord on the earth.

I got to know this discourse from a man who had no teacher, and who had not studied any book throughout his life, or been to a school or college. That unlettered man gave me the Master Book which states that man is born with the freedom of choice, and it is up to him to choose between the paths of real progress and real decline (Wa Hadaina hu Najdain). Man is not alive by virtue of some mechanical laws, but he is the Vicegerent of the Lord, a status which brings responsibility in his freedom, and does not allow him stay cut off from the mundane affairs of the world. “Does the man think that he would be set free without any responsibility?” That man told me that all the mankind is the progeny of one father and mother, and all the human beings have been created with the same creative power that would be enough for the conquest of the Universe, the mechanical Universe in which nothing goes waste from non-living neutrons to non-living galaxies of stars. This sleeplessness of mine, if used for the life of my heart and soul ,could be enough for me to reach that Blessed Praised State, i.e., if the heart and mind think and ponder about the system and patterns in the Universe, and stay alive to the discovery of the eternal laws of the good and evil. One such moment would definitely be equal to hundreds such acts of worship that are bereft of Heart and Soul. The depths and unbounded scope of this hint and understanding are known to the one who considers Him his Guide. I really did good by staying awake. I put aside all those books that have by now consumed half of my eyesight, and without wasting a second got into the labour of gathering boulders with other labourers singing this Persian couplet to myself:

Mustafa Khuwesh ra barsan ki Deen hamaoust

Agar bad narsi tamam bu Lahbi ast

The recitation of this Persian couplet got my disoriented soul back to its original state, and I do not know what conversation I had with myself till the break of the dawn.

Translated by Ameen Fayaz

 (This reflective essay of the Late Prof. Hajini appeared originally in Kashmiri language, in the 1975 edition of Wularki Malar, a literary journal founded by him for the Halqa-e-Adab Sonawari, Hajin)

(Ameen Fayaz teaches English at North Campus, University of Kashmir, Delina, Baramulla.Feedback at ameenparray@gmail.com)
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