Black Death, Chess, Electricity, Failure, Family, Future, God, Hunger, Ingmar Bergman, Lose, MInd, poverty, Religion, Society, The Seventh Seal
Of all the million dollar questions that’s bothering the human race in this ultra-modern age, the one answer related to our existence might win the coveted “Billion Dollar Prize”. What’s the purpose of human beings on earth? Why do we keep living? Why don’t we hold hands in hands and walk into extinction? What’s stopping us? I think I’ve an answer. No, it’s certainly not that original and innovative (else, why would I write it here, right?). It’s something like electricity; present everywhere but takes just a finger to do it’s work!
FEAR! FEAR is the reason why some people wake up in the morning. There is this constant fear of waning reputation, or worse, losing a job. Human mind is so complex yet anyone can totally dominate it, control it using the weapon of ‘fear’. Think of it this way: Our ancestors found religion out of fear to seek solace in God’s feet.
One of the most devastating pandemics in the human history occurred in Europe in years 1346-53 resulting in the death of hundred of millions of people, known as The Black Death. I recently watched a Swedish period-drama directed by the great Ingmar Bergman, The Seventh Seal which explore the subject of life and death set in the period of the black death. A particular scene from the movie caught my attention where the characters start blaming the human race for the unfortunate plague. Then, they are begging the God to end this bloody punishment. They are repenting over their own mistakes of the past and asking for forgiveness because no one, nobody can save them from this brutality except for the almighty.
Unknowingly, all of human race is now a slave to the emotion called fear! It’s fear for the future that pushes a man to stress his child for good grades in school. Fear of failure instigate a teenager to take his studies seriously. Fear of disrespect forces a student to take a job, even if he doesn’t need one! Fear of society keeps the person on his toe to work, work hard to earn bonuses and allowances, to be able to afford a house, a car, a b’ful cultured wife and children. Who wins in this race? The person might think, on his deathbed, surrounded by family members, that he actually won. He did whatever was expected of him and lead a fulfilling, successful life. But, from the chess player’s perspective, you were nothing but a pawn. A soldier who did what was asked of him. Sure, you might end up in a chariot (Sanskrit equivalent which evolved into rook).
People in our world are damping their dreams, their passion for a secured, peaceful life! I say they are surrendering to the age-old phenomenon of ‘fear’. They have not learned to overcome their frightfulness and just want to be treat as a member of an infantry. Fine by me.
Sometimes, I ponder what is it that people are so afraid of? Poverty? Hunger? Millions of our brothers and sisters are dying regularly due to hunger and life in utter poverty. What then? Failure? I remember a quote of M. K. Gandhi
If you don’t ask, you don’t get
What else is bothering you, as an individual? Family pressure? Well, who doesn’t have that? Even, the movie stars and politicians have families to take care. A life lived under the fear of experience is a life wasted (and equivalent to that of a mosquito who roam around; a bloody parasite who have no contribution to the world of living and thus, should better die than live!)