Before the creation time were many spirits, exhalations from the four elements clarified into shapes, for want of a name I shall call gods. They assembled somewhere between heaven and hell.
The fire felt one moment a quick impulse and was the first one to speak. He said, ‘There must be a chief god. I have at times such a perverse thought to destroy everything to ashes.’
Water leant forward and said,’Don’t you worry, I am at hand to put you out.’
Air sniggered and said,’Oh divine fire, reign supreme I shall fan you so vigorously that water shall not quench you.’ Earth said ‘Water must have help against fire. Since air has taken sides with fire, naturally I shall give water all assistance’.
Thus earth was formed with water to sustain life. Stars appeared in the sky and fire god was sure his majesty was well established.
Still the gods realized that their chief controversy was not yet resolved. Who is the chief god?
Since there was no consensus they decided to ask the man to settle the question.
The fire-god Agni asked, ‘What is man that such a question should be put to him?He is merely Chance, a fluke!’
Man indeed was a result of so many chains of events as the gods themselves exhalations of four elements.
Man who felt in his very being the long simmering controversy among gods was disquieted. He could not say why but his troubled spirit convinced him he needed gods.
When he was asked to choose the chief god he merely answered,’ Get me all the gods you can find’.
The answer didn’t please the gods so they said, ‘let him choose whoever. But chance is going to upset all his calculations.’
Frederick Nietzsche wrote about a superman yet to be born. Even the superman will be undone by chance as Adolf Hitler who mouthed his ideals and tried to prove as one, lost out to Chance. Recently credit rating of the US was downgraded and it is predicted that the nation will not so soon recover. The nation that made wealth as synonymous as success merely proved my point: the very strength that you make out as your god shall prove your weakness.
Posts Tagged ‘Chance’
Before the creation time were many spirits, exhalations from the four elements clarified into shapes, for want of a name I shall call gods. They assembled somewhere between heaven and hell.
Nations are like a snow pack and individual, to continue with the analogy, is the snowflake. The snowflake when settled down loses its shape. The crystals of ice are bonded even as community of men can behave uncharacteristically. Mob it is often said have no head. How come then that such a rabble carry so much impact to overthrow regimes? If one can understand what causes avalanche it will be also give a clue to what power the mass movements pack in little things, as a slight change in the temperature does to a snow pack. Perhaps the sun heats up after a very cold night and the bonded crystals beneath can become unstable. A slight tremor,a footfall or even a bird momentarily landing for a breather over the snow and taking off could act as a trigger. It makes the entire snow pack slide down carrying everything else in its path. If such a trifle as a change in a couple of degrees can cause great avalanche a mass of disgruntled individuals may set off revolutions. The Mubarak regime is at the moment assuring the people some concessions that seem too late and suspect. ‘A stitch in time saves nine’ seems still valid.
Mob has enough power to throw off an oppressive regime but have no wisdom to fashion a government out of the old that shall fulfill their aspirations. In Iran the downfall of Shah Pahlevi didn’t make the voice of the people heard. Instead came another repressive regime in an altogether different form. The mass movements only supply muscle but not the essential quality of good governance. ‘The Brotherhood did not organize or lead the protests currently under way. It ordered its supporters to take part a few days after they began, sensing that the protesters, mostly young men and women using social networks on the Internet to mobilize, were able to sustain their momentum. Now the Brotherhood’s followers appear to be growing in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the uprising’(AP News6 Feb.’11). When the regime is toppled moderates, fundamentalists and the army are some of the elements that shall play a leading role as always the case, and certainly not the man on the street.
The great events are set rolling by small incidents. Our universe itself became as it is now over anomalous nature of matter. Such anomalies of matter when compounded and magnified to the size of earth shall be manifest in its slight tilt. This in turn causes the seasons. Seasons determine the way of life of species living in any ecosystem.
Take amphibians for an example. In the rainforests frogs tend to live above and lay eggs than on the ground. The reason? Broad leaves above are wet and warm to incubate their eggs. Similarly every life form would fill in the particular niche taking every opportunity to further its agenda: Survive or perish.
(Note: On account of the tilt the earth travels in a loop around the sun each year. Summer happens in the hemisphere tilted towards the sun, and winter happens in the hemisphere tilted away from the sun. The hemisphere that is tilted towards the sun is warmer because it is closer.
At the equator there are no seasons because each day the sun strikes at about the same angle. Every day of the year the equator receives about 12 hours of sunlight. During midwinter, when a pole is tilted away from the Sun, there is no daylight at all. The sun never rises! However, during the summer, a pole receives sunlight all the time and there is no night!ack:windows2universe.org)
Anomalies may be slight but when it is worked into innumerable events or over a long distance can be imponderable. It affects calculations of man as to the significance of events as well as the very existence of the planet.
A meteor hurtling down from outer space has to run the gauntlet of planets gravity of which can affect its path. Think of that slight deflection could do over millions of light years? The earth is saved from a cosmic impact precisely for this reason. The earth is set up like a moving doll in a shooting gallery and given the laws of probability the odds of a meteor hitting the earth is in our favor.
We all have a place under the sun but we need to provide for our comforts. Such differences must decide the manner each one tries to overcome his or her disadvantages. If such a discontent blows out of proportion, as President Mubarak would realize now ‘we have a revolution on our hands.’
At a time Antarctica was largely unexplored Captain Robert F.Scott and Roald Amundsen both competed in a much publicly acclaimed race in 1911 for the honor to be the first to reach the South Pole; The intrepid English man did reach the Pole on Jan 17 1912 but was beaten by his Norwegian rival by a margin of five weeks. Both men were experienced and driven to excel against all odds and their test of endurance was conducted in treacherous conditions. There were many imponderables that had to be taken into account. In such a pile of unknown components, known personal qualities of the players or dogs, quality of equipments explained only in part. Success owed to something else.
Consider these: ice behaves differently under -20° than under -40°C: when a dog sled with steel blades run over at higher temperatures friction melts the ice to give lubrication to the sled. Whereas at lower temperatures ice acts like dry sandpaper impeding the run of the sled. Against this the nature of dogs plays a part. Dogs love to run faster and work longer when the temperature dips lower.
At extreme conditions the body requires very high calorific food intake. But optimum food amount you carry along will affect your man hauling capacity. Stashing reserve foods in depots might lighten the load but it has its own downside.
The Uncertainty principle explains play-off in any transaction between the known and the unknown factors in any given situation in cosmos.
( selected from Capsule History/ch.3-anomalous nature of matter-benny thomas)
Posted in 19th Century literature, history, tagged Bangladesh, Chance, Dakha, Iran, Jihadists, Middle East Muddle, Mujhibur Rahman, religion of hate, Shiia, Sunnis, terrorists, West on January 2, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
Lately I have been reading Dosteovsky classic where the central figure is contemplating murder of a pawnbroker. But in that crucial moment the pawn broker’s half-sister unexpectedly comes in. Raskolnikov chose the time of murder knowing his victim,- an useless parasite fattening on the society would be alone at that time. We can understand the murderer would strike whoever is likely to blow his cover away. Within that narrow space of opportunity the murderer will not think of anything except saving himself. Thus for all his rational thinking (by which he justified murder) he had to kill one who was a victim herself. His rational thinking failed him. Because Chance screwed up the script.
Thus chance shall be, upsetting dreams of statesmen and politicians alike. One only need to look into the reason for the West going into Iraq or Afghanistan and the present bloodletting that occurs there. Did not Chance upset the arithmetic of the West? This sad truth has been present since history has been recorded. Why no one has given closer look at the element of Chance? Well it is besides the present scope of discussion. I only need to say that each ideology or religion makes the believer in the right of his might Thus the Pope calls believers for a Crusade as a Sultan for Jihad. Each one is lulled into delusion.
All the fine talk of democracy or public good are fine as far it is put on the paper. But when blood is drawn and the troops are committed to overrun a territory to which you don’t have a moral claim Chance takes over. Chance that has gone by a smiling face and is Everyman with whom one is at cordial terms is morphed into an angel of destruction and with wanton mayhem you had nothing to do with. It was all cut and dried and very realistic the way you put the operation in place. ‘But what a monster is this?’
The West with its liberal principles will meet Chance in such a vengeful mode as the Jihadists or ragtag band of assassins who war on peaceful folks in Iraq and elsewhere would learn sooner or later. When common man wants a decent life to give him religion or a home-made bomb will only rip you apart. Religion palliates a little but cannot save him. Every pipe dream has its time to blow right in your face. The Middle East shall learn to put behind everything that stops them from becoming one with other civilized societies. Only that it is by common will and not pushed by by some least of all by some that are atavistic and backward ideology.
Chance trades in blood for religion, statehood and any ideology you name it. Finally when this monster is reined in what is left with neither one nor the other will be happy with. I wonder how happy West is going to be with democracy as practiced by Iraq in another fifty years.
I remember the birth of Bangladesh what went before and after. From this and many other examples I dare say I shall be proven right.
The Galapagos archipelago is a group of volcanic islands situated under the equator created barely some 2.5 million years old. Being young its flora and fauna have helped scientists from all over to study evolutionary process that takes place at any ecosystem. Charles Darwin modeled his theory of natural selection from his extensive studies on that island. Finches blown there by a freak storm for instance developed into a separate species. The birds having developed a taste for worms from the tree trunks or mites from the body of turtles have their beaks modified for the specific purpose. They also are known to eat eggs rich in protein, which they break by dropping on the rocks below.
Marine iguanas are unique to the island. The species are some 5’(150 cm) long and larger than the iguanas found in South America. These marine iguanas specially feed on special algae that grow only on the rocks under water. It is essential for their growth. They can remain underwater for half an hour foraging their food. They have sharp claws that they use to hold on to the slippery rocks despite the strong currents. Chance may drive finches and iguanas to an inhospitable terrain but the skills acquired by them to make available resources adequate for survival speak of something else.
I do not mind if I sound being contradictory. I have no trouble with Science: the mind who shouts ‘Eureka’ does so under the inspiration of the Highest. Why? Archimedes, to give him a name, from a casual event of a bath found something else that could benefit whole mankind. The act of a bath in his tub must have held the secret always. Only that he needed was inspiration.
Similarly cannot God let a chance create universe as though it was ever meant to be?
Tailspin: what we call Chance is a cocoon from which certainty of life must burst through. Inversion principle works here. Which comes first chicken or eggs? Neither. Both are to be seen indivisible of life in its power. Duality of life and dissolution reconciled into one depending upon what you want to look at.
There are so many hurtling objects that from outer space could impact our earth. They don’t. Why? There are other heavenly bodies that exert their pull on such objects. Consider a meteor thus deflected from its intended path. Calculate how farther it would go if we were to consider distances say million light years apart. Luckily for us the gigantic Jupiter has such immense power that deflects many cosmic impacts intended for our blue planet. This analogy will help us to understand why many of our actions seem to go wrong. Oneness of Things in effect works with so many chains of events so vast a scale for any man to predict, and when we are faced with such disappointing results for our labor think we are not in control of consequences of events put forward long before us.
A pendulum will have a regular motion depending upon certain conditions. Suppose it is connected to another pendulum the motion of the second shall be quite contrary. It shows why we fail even though we had given much though and put forward with good intentions. It is also connected to other events by which what may seem as misfortunes later work out for our own good. Oneness of Things wills it so.
Agastya, a householder from Tulu desam, who lived in the middle of two constantly fighting neighbors Ambu and Subbu, had enough of his life. He went to Kailas to meditate. He received in due course enlightenment and his mentor asked him to choose a gift. He chose a deity in gold as large as a man’s palm.
“Chance it is called.” The mentor commented.
“It is a good gift to make my going back to my folks worth remembering.” Before he reached his home he came along a river where one man was about to make a hole in the river. “Don’t,” Agastya ran up to him. “It is chance which brought me to save you.” To his great surprise he was Subbu, his neighbor.
Yogi Agastya gave him his image and said,” Remember Chance has saved you.” Not long after Subbu went on a journey and he carried his image for his protection. While passing through a forest he was waylaid by robbers and was killed for the gold he carried.
As soon as news reached his home Ambu the other neighbor went to the Yogi and fell at his feet and said “Chance which you brought was for my rescue. Was it not?”
Chance has to be explained in terms of total interaction of life-forms. There is a wise old saw’ An open door may tempt a saint.’ Human nature being what it is, god-man or whom we call a saint upon insufficient evidences, is a scoundrel waiting to be found out. The saint sees an open door and think of chance. But if he takes it what is he? Certainty is settled by actions.
In my impressionable years one man who caught the attention of media was Dr. Albert Schweitzer of Lambarene.
The young Albert once got into a fight and knocked down his opponent. The boy told Albert that it would have ended differently had he been as well nourished as he was. It must have touched him deeply that later in the evening when he came to sup with the family he left his soup untouched. What the boy had said still rankled.
He was privileged while the other was underprivileged.
This revelation marked a definite break with his past and so did his sense of values. He became a caring person.
Even where he excelled in his intellectual achievements they were to be used in service of others. At 26 he had a triple Ph.D.
Whenever Dr. Schweitzer needed money during his stint in Africa he went on tour and gave concerts and talks. But what connects the son of a Lutheran pastor in upper Alsace to Congo?
As a child Albert had often wondered at a statue of a Negro, strong in body but head bowed and in chains. It made an impact on him. Of course the fight was the catalyst. It spurred him to refer to his memory, his past experience to take cues. (One cannot discount the role of chance. But what is chance to any one who is mindful of living with time distorted before him or her?) He knew Time was of the essence.
Against the reality of Time chance is a reminder to straighten out his or her attitude to time. Certainty is ‘chance’ set into right perspective.
What made him decide to become a medical Missionary was due to a Paris Missionary society report, which he came across as if by chance. Thereupon he settled for Lambarene, in the heart of Africa. Where mind of man is colored by collective memory and of Time, chance must, so it seems to me, lose some of its mystery.
Scientists say that there is a black hole in our deep space sucking everything within its proximity. Not even light can escape if close enough to it. Curiously still in the heart of the universe scientists formulate a hypothesis that there would be a white hole, the fountainhead of matter. In all probability these two holes taken together must explain the life and death of everything. These two holes are somehow connected by a wormhole. Think of these like a string of beads into which every matter is hung, not in conventional sense of course, but nevertheless connected.
In order to explain let me point out the Bermuda Triangle around Puerto Rica trench. Exactly opposite to it is Dragon’s Trench off the coast of Japan. This is also incidentally located around Mariana Trench. What connects them? A wormhole that extends as far as deep space and beyond?
A cosmic impact may smash the Earth to powder, we would explain it as chance. But if these debris are collected and a new planet should come into being what you would call that? Certainty?
If we should die and continue our existence in some other form, spiritual bodies or as influences can we call death as a sad joke? I mentioned these to show our wisdom is far short of the Wisdom and Power that works on infinite scale. Science explains How but can they say for certainty Why?