Monday, 11 May 2009
Lowest Common Multiple -4: Perpetual Crave for Rest
Rest is for the body and mind that get tired by Work. However, our internal organs – vital but invisible parts of the body – heart, brain, lings, veins etc continuously work; they can’t take rest, hence they need to remain healthy.
Heart, kidney etc organs are removed from the body and kept alive by providing energy artificially during the transplant surgeries. Indeed, what I call my, mine... But what is mine? Not even heart! But what do we do to keep them in Health? This is directly related to Environment, Ecology and Energy: our home and habitat, our food and clothing, our work and lifestyle and how we perform our intrinsic functions. We shall explore this in the following post – Part 5.
Rest could come in several forms: sleep, leisure, entertainment, satisfaction... Joy.
Persons of different ages or constitutions may sleep for more or less period of time. Children may sleep for nine to eleven hours, while old people may have five to eight hours of sleep.
Therefore, even while awake we may need rest, in form of leisure. Hence body and mind should not be used for any productive (economic) work; that’s leisure. This period of time should be spent without any purpose, in peace, that is, not even a thought about the past or the future. Only watch, look at, be aware of the immediate present the NOW (Krishnamurti), wherever one may be, without applying likes – dislikes – dogmas – judgement.
But mind keeps constantly fluttering. Particularly those who are accustomed to the fast urban lifestyle, would go mad if they have to sit quiet. That is why they carry noise-making gadgets even when they go for picnic to a forest. Perhaps they suffer from “peace-phobia”!
For some the post retirement period, which creates a void in their work-life, is a very delicate situation. If they have never taken Rest in their earlier life, what else could happen? For the old there is canned “Satsang” – religious discourses – available in the market.
And, surely some people want to avoid physical as well as mental work for all the possible time; that’s their idea of comfort and/or luxury. Instead what they might prefer is entertainment all the time, to keep occupied. Certainly market provides many gadgets. Canned food, canned milk, canned water, and similarly there is canned “24x7 Entertainments” i.e. caned games, canned music, canned dances, canned cinema, canned pornography… readily available.
All these gadgets lead a mind to “Virtual Realty”, which proves to be intoxicating: Opium of Modern Age, which Karl Marx may not have ever dreamt!
Modern urban lifestyle has taken divorce from the nature – nature outside and nature within – in spite of the advancement in sciences. External nature is polluted: toxic gases, smoke, dust, noise, heated concrete jungle, piped water, and by some chance holy basil – Tulasi – planted in a tin/plastic box in a gallery hanging on a baluster, and the rickety trees/shrubs in concrete boxes along the road pavements.
Internal nature – heart, lungs, brain, stomach, uterus… are absent from the mind.
Even while eating and drinking, to fulfil our basic need, we gossip, discuss business matters, watch TV; or press a button and hundred Mallikas are dancing and singing in chorus on a screen! What a supplement to Food! What is this? The buddy says, ‘I love dance and music.’ Exactly like kings and nawabs of yesteryears: One at home, hundred at harem. We hardly attend to eating: What we eat; how we eat; what for we eat? Same goes for the other senses.
Market is smart! It first creates our tastes and needs, then comes to our help, like God, in our pleasures and the pains. Some suggest, ‘change in work is leisure’. That’s again Work – physical or mental or sexual. This is indeed cheating.
Dance, singing, music, play, games, walk in the ambiance of nature – alone or in a group – are also forms of wholesome entertainment. Rest means to stop dissipation of energy. (Switch off the TV. Take it or leave it.)
In India, however, not all are yet the slaves of Virtual Reality like the urbanite. They neither need weekly holidays of Sundays nor the gadgets for entertainment, like white man, like the urbanite.
The Third World India and the Fourth World India are rich in folk traditions: arts, crafts, dances, music, folklore are in abundance and in variety, in all regions. There take place in hundreds of fairs, feasts, festivals, pilgrimages which people attend in thousands. Their schedules, set by traditions, are remarkable. These synchronize with their farming schedules, religious rites and rituals. The places are usually near rivers, lakes, seashores, mountains, groves, deserts… in close proximity of nature.
And the First World India is out to drag them in the market web of so-called progress and development, no matter even if they are marginalised and displaced , in the name of “common good”.
( Links to Previous Posts: 1. Arithmetic in Real Life, 2. Dharma or Fundamental Law by Nature, 3 WORK: Breaking the Mind Block )
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(1) The illustration above: "Bhills celebrate Holi Festival" by Remigius de Souza.
“To live in harmony with nature” does not merely mean “external" nature but also in harmony with “internal nature” i.e. to live up to five autonomous intrinsic functions endowed to all living beings. Tribal do not suffer from the split personality of newfangled humans, and their community is not a fractured society like capitalist industrial society.
© Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.