One of the small diversions that I did not speak about in my last post on this was the area of darkness.
This, by the way, may well be my last post on this subject for a while.
Anyway, when I was in my teens, I got admission to an engineering college called The Indian Institute of Technology at a small place called Kharagpur. Kharagpur was known for having the longest railway platform in the world, in those days.
Our institute was a bit of a wild place, and it was characterised by having no boundary wall around the campus, and no gate. There was a wall around the academic block, and a gate. We also had a marvellous library. This was also the time when, at the age of 17, a few friends and I had to cremate a buddy who drowned. It was an amateurish effort on the part of the priest, and we sat through the night watching his flesh drip into the flames, and his skull exploding due to the heat of the fire.
It was also an age when we would often sit under the starry skies at night, debating life, death and other abstruse topics. It was the age when I discovered Carlos Castaneda, Huxley’s ‘The Doors of Perception’; Colin Wilson’s ‘The Occult’, James Frazer’s “The Golden Bough’, and was also introduced some ancient Chinese texts.
I read about Aleister Crowley, and decided to explore the world of Black Magic. I also watched a movie called “The Apple”, and at the end, was most intrigued when the character representing the Devil and Evil told God, that God could exist without the Devil.
When I read about witchcraft, and the cult of the moon, I also discovered that darkness often reveals what light obscures.
Light, and dark, can reveal things.
Light, and dark, can blind as well.
Do I regret this phase? Not at all. Tolkien borrowed heavily from the concept of the Fallen Angel, and if you go back to his earliest writings, you will discover that Morgoth was one of the chief Vala of Illuvatar. As was Lucifer. And, in Indian mythology, Ravana as well (in a sense). While we like to believe that evil is out there somewhere, the truth is that evil is inside us all. So is good.
Why do we kill for The One God? Because we believe that the God of my religion is the One, True God?
The new Mayor of Aligarh, a town in India, has declared that her priority is to save cows and Hindu girls. But, aren’t Muslim, or Sikh, or Christian, or Jewish girls worth saving as well?
One company that I worked for, and still admire a lot, is Bayer. When I joined Bayer, I was sent for one of the best week’s of trainings that I have ever attended. At one point, the trainer called up one of the attendees, whipped out a photo of a God, threw it on the ground, and asked the man to stomp on it.
The man could not. He said, that this was God. The trainer asked him if he had seen God, and if so, to describe God. We could also see the struggle between the force of logic and the force of faith. Blind Faith, maybe? But, that is what it is.
Faith driven by ‘teachers’.
The darkness dwells inside us all. I watched a video recently, purportedly shot in Guatemala. A crowd beat up a woman who, it seems, was part of a drug cartel. Then, they burnt her, and after that, a man poured fuel on her burning body. As the flames leapt high, and the fires raged on her body, the video caught her limbs as they twitched in the last gasp of life.
Death, and a walk into the dark void, would have been welcome at that time.
What darkness prompted the crowd to put her through this horrifying ordeal? What darkness prompted the person to film it, and post it on the net? What darkness prompted me to watch it.
These people claimed to be good, to be seeing the light, and possibly this is why they burned her. But, were they blinded by the light?
Did they see through the light of madness and unreason? Blind passion guided them.
Is the Devil indeed – out there?
Is the Devil indeed – in here?
Do we possess the power of good and evil? What choices do we make?
And, what choices do we mistakenly ascribe to others?
When does the spirit live, and when does it die?