Sunday, January 27, 2008

"We're born and we die; we don't know why."

The other day I was watching an old Jackie Chan movie with a few friends. One of the characters named Ting Ting delivered this dialogue quite nonchalantly.

"We're born and we die; we don't know why."

Her rhythmic sing-song tone cracked us all up. We decided to put it up as our status messages. So all 4 of us had it on together. None of our other friends could fathom what we were upto. We kept at it for a whole day. Then my friends found expression with different quotes, while I still retain the same.

What a beautiful and concise summation of all human life!

We give ourselves airs that we've made great progress in every walk of life. We consider ourselves superior to all other life forms. We take great pride in the comforts and havoc caused by advances in science. We rave about our philosophical thoughts, astrological predictions, psychological control and paranormal experiences. We proclaim ourselves happy at times; we vehemently cry foul and accuse Fate or God for all our miseries. We think we are in control as long as things go our way; the minute things begin to fall apart, we conveniently give up saying it's beyond our powers.

Fact of life... We delude ourselves every moment of the day, irrespective of being conscious or unconscious or semi-conscious.

Our waking hours are spent with us investing our beliefs in whatever seems the most convenient for our minds. Our sleeping hours are spent dreaming about things normal and abnormal - not an ounce of reality in those experiences. Our minds are forever deluding us and making us believe in imagined realities. That's how you can force yourself to believe that a certain event doesn't affect you; then the only truth that you experience is that you're not affected in any way. Force yourself to believe the other extreme and you feel miserable and see the after-effects everywhere you go and in everything you do.

Reality is best explained in this Zen proverb :

"If you understand, things are just as they are;
if you do not understand, things are just as they are."

I altered my status message thus :

"We're born and we die; we don't know why." What a pointless waste!

Another friend who noticed this felt I was being negative and responded with an encouraging statement about life being good and to feel happy about it. I gave him my delusion theory. Delusion is due to lack of knowledge, he shot back.

Indeed! "We're born and we die; we don't know why."