Thursday, 21 February 2008

The cliched stuff - mind, matter, and the end of it all

Heath Ledger died. If you knew me you’ll find it very unusual for me to regret that. I believe, to a very large extent, one death is a catastrophe and a hundred is news. That is irrespective of how good or noble we are. It has got to do with the amount of emotional investment we have made; it is about the habits of our mind.

But Heath Ledger died and somehow I do regret that. That perhaps has something to do with the fact that I was quite moved by Jack Nicholson as Joker in Batman; and when I saw Heath Ledger’s face in the newspaper as the Joker, I was rather impressed. It is the kind of face that haunts, it is story that captures you and you don’t want the experience to end. To think that the guy won’t, definitely won’t, tell you another story… well, it makes you regret. Not just the experience of watching the act, there is also pleasure to see someone doing something so well. It’s like seeing Federer play, it’s like reading your favourite PG Wodehouse, it’s like watching the Thin Red Line, it’s like seeing Jack Nicholson as the Joker, it’s one of those things that make you so happy because they make heaven accessible. To think that someone so close to heaven just died, it does make you regret, doesn’t it?

But on the other hand, sleeping just about an hour a day, what kind of heaven is that? Perhaps people just come, experience and go and accidents are pretty handy. I don’t believe in life being important in itself, it is the ‘values in life’ that give value to life. Life (with a capital L), on the other hand, is Life and we needn’t worry about that. I believe in re-incarnation, so suicides don’t work for me. You see, you’ll find yourself in exactly the same situation in your new life. (I look at it as entering another section of exactly the same maze, i.e., you’ve moved but haven’t gotten anywhere.) So, might as well deal with it with least amount of negative memory.

I am still not convinced of the chief components of life, as we experience it, so I am not sure how much of it is outside our minds, how much of our minds are we – I don’t even have a favourite theory. So I am not in the position to discuss the other side of accidents, the people who have emotionally invested in you.

But strangers are doing what strangers do, they are dying. A rather intelligent American soldier also died. (the American press seems to deal with such dumb people that I never thought such a person as an Intelligent American actually exists, but I shouldn’t be saying much after watching a few hindi movies, including Rama Rama Kya hai Dramaaaa (please note the drama with 3 a-s), over the last couple of weeks. ) He had left a blog post behind in case of his death in Iraq, you can read it here,

I was almost tempted to do the same thing myself, you know, in case I died have a post ready etc. But seriously, I think the chances are slim. In spite of the fact that I think that accidents are just too convenient, I have too much of a will to live and even the roads are work health and safety approved. And then of course is the question - I am not completely sure exactly how much of you actually exist and how much of you are in my mind.


Vikram said...

The american soldier got a raw deal. He was the only one doing his job well.

Isn't that the entire crux of Mahabharata, you can never win if you are on the wrong side, no matter how right you are in all other decisions.

neha said...

ummm, but that is one of the points of the post - that maybe, at least for the one who is dying, death might not be a raw deal; nor might death be the escape that people who commit suicide look for.

the right side? it is fascination how the personal experience and the bigger picture weave in and out - looking forward to chatting with you when you get here!