April 2022

Poem: Tiger and a Mouse

Poem: Tiger and Mouse

He has two forms:
Inner and Outer
Alone and with other.

While alone, he is vicious
Like a hungry tiger!

Someone comes and he transforms
Into a mouse!

Poem: Me and my sky

Poem me and my sky

Oh!

How many nights have I spent

In my roof staring at the sky above

Listening to Steve Roach

Living little beauties alone.

 

Oh!

How many mornings have I walked

Trying to spot that red guy

and that yellow guy and so many guys

Relatable to me and my life.

 

Oh!

How sad I get today

Knowing someone

Is trying to conquer my guys…

Wish he dies

Before he

His greed realize

And my guys,

Become for him and his likes

mere toys!

Continue reading…

Poem: Beer and Poetry

beer and poetry

You drink beer

and while it lasts:

The whole world seems manageable

It’s same with poetry

You write or read one

and while it lasts:

The whole world seems perceivable

and manageable!

When you mix both:

well,

the whole world gets malleable!!!

What else need I say?

What else need you do?

Drink  and poem.

What Is Virtue?
Can we freely select and manage our own virtues? What's your virtue, by the way?

what is virtue?

The Thesaurus in Merriam Webster defines virtue as such:

a quality that gives something special worth

But I like to define virtue as such:

a quality that you either have or want to have in yourself

In the traditional sense, this ‘special worth’ of Merriam Webster is socially given. If any qualities in a person of any given time and place is deemed worthy and ‘good’ by the society, that quality ends up being a virtue. But I don’t think that it should be the case. An individual should be allowed to determine what virtue he/she would want in themselves and fight or convince others that the virtue they have selected is more worthy then the one prevalent if that is not the case. It is about fighting for the true against prejudice.

While we’re critiquing traditional thinking, I am reminded of one Nietzsche from the 19th century.

In his book Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche talks about ideally have only one virtue. Saying how qualities evolved from the maturity of one’s passion is the best route to discovering one’s virtue, he also goes on to say that while it is illustrious to have multiple virtues, it is a hard ask. He says multiple virtues will eventually envy each other as they all vie for the highest position within you.

But I think multiple virtues can be managed together. For that to be possible though, we need generalization and a little act of symbolism.

At this moment, I want to share my virtues with you. (Not what I have, but what I seek in me.)

These virtues as of now are:

  1. Calmness
  2. Strength
  3. Depth

Now, what I did to make sure these qualities I want to have in me won’t fight and compete with each other as Nietzsche warned, I have used symbolism to turn all three into one.

First, let me quickly define what I mean by those words above.

Calmness for me is the quieting of thoughts such that they go about slowly, gently and smoothly.

Strength for me is when your thoughts stop and ignore fearly emotions. Strength is when your own thoughts dominate and beat the hell out of petty and harmful thoughts.

Depth for me is thoughts reaching the root of everything it encounters.

I initially didn’t want to write and publish this article because all this is my personal work in progress and I may not have the same thinking about these things tomorrow as of now. But then I wanted to go ahead and do it, for reasons I do not know yet.

Well then, with that out of the way, I want to talk about the generalizing and the symbolizing.

I searched for a single thing (symbol) that would successfully have all the three qualities I have in it.

What could that be which is calm, strong and deep? — And then I got it:

Ocean/Sea!

Ocean surfaces can be calm. Oceans are mighty strong. Oceans are seriously deep.

Okay, I do know how ocean surfaces are violent and disturbing too! Just like our thoughts. But since we are humans, we can decide how we would want the waters to flow.

Take a look at this for once:

I want that in me.

Not this:

THE END!

The Irony Of G.O.A.T – What is GOAT?
You worship your entertainers and you are ruled by them. This is because you feel tiny without them.

G.O.A.T

Let’s give some background before we discuss what is a GOAT:

The modern scientifically trained democratic man wants to mock and laugh at all gods and kings

‘Haha, gods are dead. It all started with a big bang, duh!’ says he.

‘Haha, kings are dead. Long live the market! says he.

And yet look at the irony:

The same modern man goes to concerts and worships his musicians. He comes back and tattoos the musicians’ name and face in the most intimate part of his body.

The same modern man goes to football matches carrying flags. He bows to his sports player and imitates the player in every way practical: hair, the way to walk.

And then this modern trend of calling other people G.O.A.T — which presumably stands for greatest of all time.

This term called GOAT which should have actually been used as a satire for such performers and players — who are in most cases the reminder of collective human boredom and insignificance— is in fact a term of reverence.

It is a term born out of the inner urge to see perfection, the ideal in any field. In other words, it is a term born out of the urge to see greatness, because they themselves feel tiny. It is the same urge that gave birth to literal gods and kings — Gods are great. Kings are great.

(The english word great is a derivation of Proto-Germanic *grautaz (“big in size, coarse, coarse grained”), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰrewd-*gʰer- (“to rub, grind, remove”).

The word great then is a relative term. You are always great relative to something. The classic Taoist case. But it is an urge isn’t it? You put five random people in a room and there is an urge in you to spot the perfect among them. The best among them. The great among them. And then you put the entire human history in a plane, the urge returns: you want to spot perfection, you want to filter out the best. The great. The great among the great: the greatest. Everytime you choose a great, you are belittling others who didn’t win over your perception. Everytime you choose a great that isn’t you, you are belittling yourself who didn’t win over your own perception.

My question and concern: Isn’t this urge the cause of gods and kings? Isn’t this urge the reason why humans have drawn vague and unnecessary lines between themselves? The same reverence which sustains our weakness, which makes us vulnerable, which makes us mote in the eyes of the greats!

How much have people across all cultures suffered because of this reverence! How much have people across all societies and states suffered due to the blindness and dumbness, force and fear infused by certain religions and monarchs?

When mythology was created, the goal wasn’t reverence for this or that god(s). When people came together, the objective wasn’t to choose a king to be a slave to. Life was supposed to be contemplative, imaginative, fun and organizable. That’s why those things happened. But then those things got exploited because some couldn’t rise out of their self-doubt and those systems got converted into organized systems of power. And people suffered…

People suffered and suffered until the progeny of the same culture and society dared to wake up and ward-off such reverence. And eventually the modern man was born: out of the hatred toward reverence. The modern man was born out of hope in science and democracy. The modern was born out of contempt towards political-religion and monarchy.

The modern man was supposed to enjoy Shiva but not revere him. The modern men were supposed to dance together in a circle but with an empty center.

But why then is the same modern man who has mocked upon literal gods and kings still so passionate about greatness? And that too for mere entertainers! Isn’t he supposed to have moved beyond greatness? Doesn’t the whole idea of his secularism and democracy revolve around anti-reverence? Doesn’t the whole idea revolve around self-belief?

This could only mean one thing:

The modern man has killed-off neither god nor kings, he is merely worshiping and being ruled by new ones.

In other words, the modern man worships and is ruled by his entertainers!

Q: And why does the modern man need such superficial entertainers?

A: Because the modern man isn’t self-assured yet.


Laxmi Prasad Devkota
What was Devkota all about?

In Nepal, it is difficult to find an intellectual unstained by Hindu/Buddhist or some sort of political ideology. This tendency might be a global phenomenon, yet, in Nepal, it stretches to a nauseating degree, so much so that you can correctly guess an intellectual’s entire idea-set by merely knowing his/hers religious/political inclination. The person I am writing about today is Laxmi Prasad Devkota.

He struggled with both those elements and yet managed to live and create in a way that included and transcended them.

You can’t predict him, you can’t guess him and you get both annoyed and exalted by his spontaneity and randomness: in other words, by his poetic genius.

There’s a lot of myth surrounding the man.

Stories of him giving away his coat to the poor; writing lengthy poems in cigarette packs; struggling immensely with money; being sent to Ranchi (a city in India known for mental treatment) — are abound. It was in this context that he was called a geographical mistake by a Brit whose name I cannot recall.

Yet some had enough sense to recognize him and call him a Nepali Mahakavi (Great Poet). But apart from that, his works and ideas aren’t popular in a folk sense and his presence is mostly limited within dull school-books.

Yes, such is the society of Nepal and such was the man born here: ahead of his time, inappropriately in space!

He mostly wrote poems (epic, short, metered, unmetered) spanning from Nepali Shakuntala to Prometheus. His seminal work Munamadan is still considered to be the greatest work of Nepali Literature. It is a tragedy about a man who leaves his wife and mother to go to Lhasa for a better financial life.

He wrote songs. He also wrote a lot of short stories and a novel.

His essays are brilliant and it is in this context that I would like to introduce his ideas to people who aren’t familiar with him.

A few years ago I published a collection of poetry in English named PARANOIA:

When I reached to the final stages the work — set to publish — I had the idea of using my work as a medium to interpret a couple of Nepali writers — in English. I translated certain lines I liked from Devkota’s essay collection and placed it in.

The translations include his thoughts on a wide array of things: creativity, art, science, philosophy, spirituality, education, life, god, etc.

I now want to quit this rambling of mine and insert those translations/interpretations so that you can judge and hopefully enjoy his ideas on your own.

Heart

Truth shines through feelings…

In the heart lies the luminosity of God.

Feelings or emotions are primary

Desiring and thinking come later.

Beast

Eyes identify

Brain understands

Ears listen

Heart feels.

To be devoid of these four is the sign of being a beast.

Depth

Difficulty doesn’t imply depth.

Difficulty doesn’t mean Art,

Incomprehensibility doesn’t have any value.

Schools are:

Industries

To manufacture machines.

Education system

And the soul desires a thing,

education provides something else.

All I’ve learned till B.A

in three years

I believe,

I can put into little children’s minds better,

reciting stories…

Folly

That we usually call Education

is making man stupid.

Creation Love Art

And love is the chief element of creation

Whilst Art is the chief action of love

Curiosity

I yearn to see:

What lies there in the heart!

Natural curiosity!

Sinner

I want to bow my head

As if the all pervading God is scolding me.

I know that I am a sinner.

Art

The beautifully illustrated Truth is Art

Which springeth from the creative imagination.

The truth lies in our life

and unless it comes from the formlessness to the form:

we do not realize it.

Civilization

Civilization hasn’t yet started.

We haven’t learned to respect life.

Real progress will start

The day our sentiment of brotherhood gets firm

Vairagya

As long as we aspire to become great in this world

or hold feelings to do things

and show our pride,

Vairagya is impossible.

Doubt

To doubt is better,

as it helps understand,

assists searching.

Question is everything, answer is maturity.

Dare

It is cowardice to not move forward in opportunity.

We cannot live in a life devoid of danger.

What Science does not

Science cannot satisfy man’s curiosity

and he searches for glimpses

beyond the Sciences

through the magic of emotional and imaginative world,

where man feels self-satisfied as if he is near the truth.

What Art not

The works done by mathematical formulas,

even though are the works of brain,

do not deserve to be called Art.

Painting is Art, Photography is not.

Where Art springs

When the creative imagination sees new dreams

Rising from imitation

And maneuvers its works in its own manner,

Art springs.

Let’s get small

There is fun in being small

We can see others’ significance dance around.

There is pleasure in the peacefulness of ego;

We can see others’ pretense.

Subtle Conscience

The energy to manufacture Art

Doesn’t come from the mere superficial darshan of objects

nor does it comes from mere intellect and knowledge;

It comes from those subtle consciences,

Which find emotional caressing from divine experience

rising above bestial eyes.

The beast merely looks and remains satisfied,

but man tries to touch the heart of everything.

Teacher and teaching

Science cannot locate everything

and our psychological studies end

within the darkness of the intellect.

This is why no teacher can teach.

Creativity

In the divine talent of the Creator

The word was born

And we,

studying this creation

attain clear messages of

Divine Conscience,

Divine Truth,

Divine Beauty and

Divine knowledge.

In the creative imagination of God,

Totality works and provides beautiful

lines and colors and forms

to the Truth of God.

We realize the ‘beautiful’ through the sensing of Truth

and where there is no Truth there isn’t beauty.

This Self-Illustrating form of God

manifests in artistic creativity such that

truth becoming beautiful descends to the outer forms of the senses.

Imaginative Truth

For me,

practicality is limited and

philosophy, intellect is blind.

I enjoy imaginative truth the most

and through it find the glimpses of God

Gambling

I enjoy gambling,

As I find ample opportunities there

To engage my mind and study.

Why is God silent?

It is the consequence of the

Western Civilization that,

God doesn’t speak in

Wind and Water.

Shadows

I speak with the shadows

For me,

The optical world is merely

The manifestation of the inside

And all solid objects are liquid.

The Poet

In the heart of the poet

The rocks speak

And the leaves have tongue.

Cadavers

Those who say,

The world doesn’t speak

Are Deaf

Those who say,

There isn’t life in the hills and the trees and the stars

Are cadavers.

Human Beings

If anything

Elucidates the affinity

Between man and God

It is Human-Heart and Imagination

In Art

Man seeks to

Show

His identification with the unknown

And in the world of the known

Seeks for the kingdom of the unknown

True Study

For studying the life of any culture

There’s nothing more enlightening

Then the Arts of that culture.

Near

We feel we’ve reached near to the Creator

When that eye in our inner world opens

Which

Can bring to form the unavailable and the irregular

And fill it with colours.

Imagination

A small spark of

The fundamental creative dream energy of God

In humans:

Is Imagination.

Man

He tries to create

Embrace nature

Runs after fresh magic to improve the world

Listens to the call of the unknown,

Ascending beyond sights and sounds

Seeks for the inner sparks and sounds

He turns forms into sounds and words into pictures

He dislikes boundaries

He wants to fly and pluck

Peek from darkness and

Steal the fire from heaven.

Work and Art

In a simple table,

The work of carpentry is done

Not Art.

But,

If a carpenter

Creates a table as if a beautiful dream

Art it becomes.

Dreams

We call those creations Art

Which are within the boundaries of truth and beauty

If they’ve got the natural affect

For the heart of life.

Empty dreams aren’t Art

As long as they don’t get published.

Truth and Beauty

Beauty arises from the prodigious consciousness of truth

As if truth,

Melting into life

Descends to the forms alive.

What is professional sports?
Observations from The Indian Premier League (IPL) Cricket

what is professional sports?

I avidly followed professional sports once upon a time — especially cricket. I ‘liked/adored/followed’ teams, players: their style, etc.

And then philosophical interests kicked in and I began questioning the essence of my so-called passion for sports. I found ignorance and vulgarity down there so I resisted and stopped!

Until…last week!

India’s ‘festival’ of celebration of their ‘religion’ called IPL (Indian Premier League) is on these days.

Since I am from South Asia and we have this inherent tendency to compete (psychologically at least) with each other in things that we or some of us value — cricket happens to be in my blood (at least that’s what they try to convince us of). So I decided to let the blood flow freely and follow cricket passionately again.

I selected a team I thought I should like and I have been watching matches on TV, following analysis, news/gossip on the internet and also: thinking about the game. All this after a long-long hiatus.

One major change that has occured to me since this bloody-renaissance is this: I feel satisfied! I have a ‘good’ feeling going on.

There’s this massive wave of wind sort of thing inside my chest and it fills me up every time I think/see/hear of the league and when the team or the player of my choice does well. I then enter the internet and drink in each and every praise delivered for the team or the player(s). The wind drives me to do that. The more I drink, the more pumped I get. Once again, that lump/pump whatever of wind has made me feel complete.

On the other hand, if the team or the player doesn’t do well, I get agitated. A strange dissatisfaction lurks underneath as I constantly find myself not just roaming around the internet trying to justify their excellence but also imagining and playing out scenarios inside my own head. If the success of my choice fills me with a wind kind of thing, their failure fills me up with a stinky gas sort of gas.

Strangely however, irrespective of their success and failure: a general ‘good-feeling’ is inside me its thought form is as follows:

Tonight there’s a match, I will watch.

There’s a match, let’s see what they’re saying.

This is one strange drive for going through the day happily. I didn’t have such drives for a long time.

As I try to interpret the various elements present in this festival that may have been responsible for my changes, I find the following:

  1. Support for a team or player(s): Their success winding and failure gasing me.
  2. Competitive context: The tournament structure, the number of teams and players, the various possible scenarios, stakes mixed with my personal preferences with hearing/seeing what I prefer exciting me and hearing/seeing what I don’t prefer frustrating me.
  3. Aesthetic(?): The jerseys, the style, the video quality creating a kind of attraction and excitement.
  4. The Sheepiness: The number of people following this crazy nuance! Their sheer quantity providing me with justification to be-there and providing me with moral assurance.

The Zone: Everything above taking me to a zone of sorts where cricket and its context becoming an end-in-itself and the most important thing in existence. This generating assurance and warmth.

As I mentioned above, what I have noticed in me is this flapping of excitement-frustration (wind-gas).

Now, this research here lists these as categories of emotions present in humans:

admiration, adoration, aesthetic appreciation, amusement, anger, anxiety, awe, awkwardness, boredom, calmness, confusion, craving, disgust, empathic pain, entrancement, excitement, fear, horror, interest, joy, nostalgia, relief, romance, sadness, satisfaction, sexual desire and surprise.

I do not want to get into detail and analyze these. Adding frustration, for my current pursuit, I guess accepting these to be enough is enough!

While following the league, these are the emotions I have noticed in me (in a strictly cricket-following context, I am trying my best not to include the carried over emotions of my life affairs):

admiration, amusement, anger, anxiety, craving, excitement, frustration, interest, joy, relief, satisfaction, surprise.

Admiration, excitement, relief, surprise= Wind

Anger, frustration, Anxiety = Gas

Amusement, Joy, Satisfaction = GENERAL GOOD FEELING.

Craving, Anxiety, Interest = Lure

These are the emotions I haven’t noticed in me:

adoration, aesthetic appreciation, awe, awkwardness, boredom, calmness, confusion, disgust, empathic pain, entrancement, fear, horror, nostalgia, romance, sadness, sexual desire.

That’s 12: 16 out of 28.

I do understand how people might find the emotions absent in me available in them in this cricket context. Some might have sexual, romantic interest towards some player or even umpires.

But isn’t it strange that some people find this cricket thing to be aesthetically pleasing, awe-some, horrorful, romantic?

I mean, this here is van Gogh’s work and van Gogh works with aesthetical things:

And this here is cricket:

Jms1241, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Now this is what German Philosopher Immanuel Kant said generated awe in him:

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me — Translated by Lewis White Beck

Similarly, normal people associate things such as death and ghosts with horror; nature, relationships with romance.

Once again:

But won’t it be strange if people find this cricket thing to be aesthetically pleasing, awe-some, horrorful, romantic?

Following leagues and tournaments such as the IPL takes one to a zone. The zone stands independent of normal reality and its weltanschauung is that the league is an end-in-itself and everything else in existence is a means to the league and its success.

Inside the zone, there are preferences and those preferences generate certain emotions. Limited but nonetheless. Regarding emotions, there maybe two scenarios:

  1. The zone does not contain all emotions of life: My case.
  2. The zone contains all emotions of life: Some cases perhaps.

In the second scenario, isn’t it crazy that something like sports can generate diverse emotions in its consumers? This task is generally limited to arts and life. Come tomorrow with more and more resources, such sports might enhance the experience for its fanatics to such an extent that people will begin to say, romantically align with its players and love them if the players justify their ‘love’ by performing as they want to OR that people will begin to get petrified and afraid if their players do not justify their interest by performing as they want! (Some call cricket a religion in India.)

Now, this I find both weird and scary!

But do you know what I find weirder and scarier? — Case like mine (1) where while such sports aren’t providing me with a complete range of emotions, yet I am spending all of my time not just consuming but also musing them!

There may be a lot of people who follow sports just for a light escape or a switch-off, in which case these sports do no harm at all. They are games and that’s it. Maybe you read/watch a Shakespeare play; live life to the fullest and come to these leagues without taking it seriously. That’s great! But what if you live in the zone so much that you stop caring about feeling the full range of emotions and merely live within the wind-gas?

I mean that’s what capitalist culture with solid support from the scientific mentality is all about isn’t it? Take social media notifications and modern comical superhero movies for instance.


Poem: Where’s Your Hand?

a hand asking question of a poem

Sound of the electric woodsaw fills the southern air

as cars, buses and motorbikes rule the street out there.

To rhyme and be poetic – why do I care?

 

Lick your self fabricated spicy desire

and seek a cure for the tongue on fire!

 

God had a fall, her arm dropped down below

Man, being man used it to wipe his rear hole.

 

Now I am transcending, now I am willing

To design a mask to withstand the stink

and a thing to check the pulse of those machines,

I am using this quintessential style of thinking!