"Punctuating Our World-View" (article by Amal Kiran)

From Auroville Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Punctuating Our World-View

by Author::Amal Kiran
published in The Sun and the Rainbow

An exercise with the passage of time

What punctuation-mark could better express our state of mind face to face with the modern world and its enigmatic as well as ominous movement from day to day than the sign of interrogation?

Some might be stirred to use the exclamation-sign because every day an unpleasant surprise is in store for us making us sit up straight and evoking from our hearts a desperate “Oh!”

Others might vote for the colon: they would do so on the following ground: each sunrise reveals more glaringly the import of unpleasantness suggested by the previous sunset.

Still others would select the semi-colon; they would like to symbolise their sense of a continual heaping up of disagreeable developments; each such development would appear to add its own new shade to the significance of the last; the new shade in tum leads on to the next frightful nuance.

A few might plump for the comma, with the plea that the pause between event and event is a mere seeming, and the same old story of misfortune unfolds itself, piece after piece, without any apparent end, any sign of a new turn.

Perhaps a yet smaller group would pick out the full-stop. They would indicate their impression of a cleavage between one day's evil and another 's. They would discern a jerkiness and discontinuity and illogic. It would be as if the world-spirit were in an interminable state of nightmare on abrupt surrealist nightmare.

As an alternative to the full-stop a handful might make a dash for the dash – the cleavage and discontinuity and jerkiness and illogic of events make a headlong series – they give us no time to arrive at a conclusion about anything – the surrealist nightmares take the bit between their teeth and gallop at breakneck speed everywhere to nowhere.

But am I wrong in saying that the large majority of thinking people would favour the question-mark? How well it combines something of all the implications by its very vagueness! And in addition this is what it represents: the tension of undecidedness we have all the time. The tension comes of our long-drawn-out uncertainty about various problems; it is also born of our anxious straining after solutions that seem to keep ever eluding us. All the empty succession, the pointless continuity, the immeasurable monotony of our life is there, with their answer-defying problems. And there is yet something more. The answer-defiance brings us again and again to a halt. And at last – at long last – we feel our hopes dashed – till we begin doubting the value of every position – and the one who questions what will happen to the world tomorrow asks himself “Will even the questioner live beyond today?”

But all punctuation severs to a greater or lesser degree what is really the single indivisible expression of One Existence and One Consciousness and One Delight thrown into everlasting play by that Unity's multitudinous vision of its own truth and if we could pass beyond a punctuated view of the world we should know each today as the enigmatic and ominous appearance worn by an evolving mystery of divine Selfhood which carries the fulfilling sense of an eternal answer to every quivering question of time.