Thursday, October 20, 2005

black and white versus shades of grey

black or white? good or bad? for or against? unp or slfp? sinhala or tamil? war or peace? friend or foe? buddhist or catholic? male or female? straight or gay? rich or poor? in or out? passed or failed? young or old? in love or not? this or that?

we love simple questions and simple answers don't we? what could be more simple than a multiple choice question with two predefined answers?

of course most of us have the suspicion that in reality answers don't fit exactly in to these predefined concepts.

there is no pure black or total absence of color in reality. morality changes with the person and circumstances. one can be for and against at the same time. one is never satisfied with any political program. everyone in sri lanka is of mixed nationality. there is peace with war right now. some friends are worse than enemies. each person follow their own personal religion. there are 'masculine' women and gay men have love affairs with women. you can be rich but not rich enough. when you enter you also have to leave. passed but has only a 'b'. there are mature children and infantile adults. for each relationship love differs as its underlying emotions change their proportion in the mix. so on and so forth.

but we prefer not to think about all that complexity, it's always much easier to accept unrealizable definitions or ideals usually conjured up by somebody else. we let our unique individuality to be subsumed and defined by labels of all kinds. we unquestioningly submit to rules of behavior (some times real laws) that regulate our activity based on these one size fits all concepts.


is it because we prefer our mind to be clear so we can enjoy our creature comforts in peace? or is it because they provide security in a dangerous and irrational world? or is it because we don't want to be free and thus responsible?

the grand inquisitor in dostoevsky's brothers karamazov mocks the risen christ with these words:
'i tell thee that man is tormented by no greater anxiety than to find someone quickly to whom he can hand over that gift of freedom with which the ill fated creature is born'.


Trigger said...

In life… there are no answers!

ivap said...

As nearly every philosopher including Buddha has recognized unhappiness is a condition that plagues humankind. May be it’s because we recognize that the burden of freedom rests on our shoulders but do not feel strong enough to carry that responsibility.

Keshi said...

hey Im back matey :) Thanks for ur msgs...


ashanthi said...

our shoulders, ivap have to be big enough to carry the burden of responsibility for our unhappiness but most importantly - the unhappiness, misery, destitution, abuse, denegration & denial of human rights - of others.

the very fact that we can discuss the concept that Buddha perceived in the inherited unhappiness passed on with religous regularity, generation to generation - shows that we aint as unhappy as some.

still - grey is a foul colour. frankly, i prefer brown! i also prefer to know where i stand with people - so i prefer black & white. in life there are always answers. we just have to be brave enough to ask the questions & accept what we are told.

Anonymous said...

Are you plain stupid or is that how you are?

ashanthi said...

oh yah darling, sweetie, i'm plain dizzy - u on the other hand are plain moronic... anon

sorry - but sittingnut's blog is for serious bloggers not idiots that can't sting more than 5 words together...