Friday, August 31, 2007


So finally I got to spare some time to fulfill my long nurtured dream - the first part of which is reading philosophy. Although the second part - to become a philosophy writer, and a good one at that - is yet unaccomplished but I am joyous and at peace, for I never anticipated to attain even this little.

My encounter with philosophy began with Bhagwad Gita - I aspired to be the selfless, the unattached, and also the man of action, as I identified myself more with the man of thought.
Then, I started reading western philosophers. Read a lot of it on net and in books. And the deeper I go into philosophy, the more I feel that they are writing for me, about me, and what I always wanted to write, or felt, at the least.

Be it Bertrand Russell in 'Marriage and Morals', echoing my thought - "The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness if the majority of the mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible." or in the same book, echoing my experience - "Love can only flourish as long as it is free and spontaneous; it tends to be killed by the thought that it is a duty."

And there is Camus in 'The Outsider' - the book which affected me a lot, probably second only to Bhagwat Geeta, and I identified the most with the protagonist of 'The Outsider', who declares the life itself is absurd. And then I happened to lay my hands on 'Existentialism' - a collection of introduction and excerpts of works of philosophers of existentialism, absurdism, nihilism, and to some extent, post-modernism. Camus is again my favorite among all, declaring, in 'The Myth of Sisyphus' - "There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy."

And then I read what, I think, is my biography - 'Steppenwolf'. It's written by Hermann Hesse, better known for writing 'Siddhartha'. I guess he put my name on one book and my story in another. Just a quote from 'Steppenwolf':
" He finds in himself a 'human being', that is to say, a world of thoughts and feelings, of culture and tamed or sublimated nature, and besides this he finds within himself also a 'wolf', that is to say, a dark world of instincts, of savagery and cruelty, of unsublimated or raw nature..... and to explain so complex a man as him by the artless division into wolf and man is a hopelessly childish attempt. He consists of a hundred or a thousand selves, not of two. His life oscillates, as everyone's does, not merely between two poles, such as the body and the spirit, the saint and the sinner, but between thousands and thousands."

1 comment:

Free Woman said...

Hey Sid - well chosen clips from books there. I like philosophy too (not too much tho) and will try & read Marriage & Morals now :-)


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