I never could have thought my keyboard transforms so naturally into a grand piano every time I write. The prelude, the exposition, the recapitulation: it's my mind that creates; the fingers execute.
We seek absolution for our acts. Why must we? Is it possible for us to absolve the wrongs done to us by other people? Is it possible for us to release ourselves from the wrongs we have done to others? I have often felt this colossal wave of warmth overwhelm me when I forgive somebody of a misdeed they might have done me. Perhaps I need to ask myself if this warmth is momentary and if I really have erased from my consciousness the hurts they have inflicted upon me. Foraging about for the real reason behind my generosity of action edifies me in ways I’ve had no inkling of and yet it brings newer enigmas to the fore. Why do I feel the need to forgive? Is it because I want to extricate myself of the resentment, misgivings, pain that certain memories noose me in and live a liberated life where negativity does not pin me down? I wonder if I really ever do forgive or do I in my delusion of granting clemency try to put a lid on a world that engulfs me in its never-ending hurts?
If forgiveness were that easy to give then why in moments of abject dejection do we draw it back? Why do we relapse into those quagmires when circumstances push us to those extremes where we find ourselves helpless just as we might have done so in one such prototypical past? Why can we never really let go? Why do our wounds simply scab over with time to rupture open when we plunge into similar heart situations however hard we try to eliminate them from our memory? Does this effort to disremember also have much to do with what our now has presented to us? It is true that forgiveness is not an expression of mere words. It does not exist in isolation either. There are other elements linked in with it. And it is only when these separate elements act in perfect coordination with each other can those darker spaces be cleared.
Moments of joy do seem to obliterate all patches of darkness and what we see on such occasions is floods of light illuminating every corner of our consciousness. It is however, only when we are gripped by fears, hopelessness and gloom in our present that the weeds of all that we have so far kept buried within sprout up and without prior warning. We would surely never urge them back but our lives are never about how we want them to be but what is presented to us around the corners.Situations propel us into drawing instant parallels. Negative emotions resulting from distressing situations unleash a multiplicity of similar emotions that have been stashed away in our deeper consciousness. We begin to relive certain familiar feelings and react to them as we might have done in the past.
So does this mean that we never really did make peace when we thought we did?Exoneration is not something that comes entirely from us. We are not our own masters – or are we? There could be other dynamics governing the progression of healing and reciprocity spiralling about this elusive creature called ‘absolution’. And there must certainly be that one common element that binds each of us with the others, which connects our material selves with the non-material and with that all-pervading energy that infuses in with all, breathes life in all. We could well call this sentient being the spiritus animatus, or the ‘animating spirit hidden in all matter’.This indeed is the ‘spirit’ living inside the alleged forgiver; and the selfsame spirit that runs like electro-magnetic waves in all of the physical world outside of us; and of course in the spirit of the one or ones that must be absolved? When this one spirit acts in harmony with all concerned, are we able to regenerate that perfect melody that must play eternally for all wrongs to right themselves. The earth gradually comes to its own after every natural catastrophe, the tree trunks or spines heal themselves of any gash they might have received, the sun resumes its shining after every eclipse in order to allow cosmic evolution. This then is the ultimate cosmic peace, the fundamental absolution that drenches one through to the soul and dispels the blackness of resentment with its light-giving energy.
The spirit that runs within and which flows in all outside of us was recognized among ancient Indians as the ‘jivatma’ or ‘the soul within us’ and the ‘paramatma’, the ‘all-encompassing soul’ pulsing in the cosmos. Just as hundreds of rivers along with their innumerable rivulets flow finally into that one boundless ocean, the spirit within us communes with that one universal spirit outside of us and this clear, easy flow of one energy to and from the other is what animates our world. It births the trees, the rocks, the waves, the animals, the humans. It is the breath of life. And it is this very breath within us and outside us that we need to constantly assuage and harmonise in order to create total peace.
Wrongs contaminate the breath of life bristling everywhere and they jangle our inner and outer tranquillity. When that happens there can be no absolution. The anima that energises us, alchemises our souls from corruptibility into gold is also undoubtedly the self-proclaimed legislator of our entities. It is one that is in constant motion trying to right things, polish them, transmute them, so the billions of life- processes everywhere progress with as few deterrents as possible. Anything discordant with Nature results in notes too sharp or flat in this grand song of life.
Feelings of antipathy, rancour, resentment, coil about us like a miasma, eating into our psyche. We need to tame the animus wreaking havoc within us, shooting off negative emotions like perpetual volcanic eruptions in our psyche. It is best to resolve them right at start rather than allow them to take over our lives completely and then emanate onto our extraneous worlds and infect those as well; and vice versa. These emotions could well have arisen from the hurts perpetrated on us by someone in particular. Nevertheless we need to work in harmony with the spirit – theirs, ours, and the spiritus animatus. We need to coax it, appease it, even perform with it its dance of cosmic unity in order to transform the rapid, hard-hitting *spiritus asper awakened inside of us to the pure and serene melodies of the *spiritus lenis, as the Byzantine Greeks so classified the breath rhythms related to the mental and emotional phonetics governing people. We need to build that perfect melody that throbs and rises above the spaces around us then falls like the gentle rain to drench and reinvigorate with all that is positive and compassionate. In order to do that we need to work towards the perfect orchestration of this grand melody and its rhythmic beats before we can align ourselves with that phenomenal cosmic rhapsody that pulses in one and all alike.
However hard I try or as much as I fool myself into believing I have forgiven someone I was never able do so. I cannot until the spirit inside of me is placated and purified. The purification is a delicate process that involves all three of the spirits that were earlier mentioned. I cannot achieve this state of being by myself. I cannot forgive unless the forgiven too reaches out his hand in remorse. Even if I did it would be just part of the task accomplished because the spiritus animatus living everywhere would still be unfulfilled and the cosmic breaths flowing in and out of all that binds me remain unmitigated. Soon enough when situations so prompted it I would find myself back in the same place I started out from – harbouring hatred, anger and acrimony because I was never truly able to reconcile with the whole matter even though I deemed myself generous enough to do so; and subsequently never really able to consecrate myself as a human. What I need to do is calm this spirit that has the power to god me on the one hand and on the other wreak the havoc of unrest and perpetual misery in my life. To do this I need to work in unity with the offender so this all-pervading, undying spirit is calmed to mutual and universal synchronisation. I need to have the cacophony that separates us both transform into pure symphony where I can waltz off into that state of primordial harmony from which creation first sprang forth.
The world eternally rights itself in order to create and to sustain. Things are in a state of perpetual order. The suns, the moons, the planets of our solar system perform their never-ending rotations and revolutions to give us our days, nights, springs, summers, winters. The breath of life embraces all and births all. The melodies living inside our veins pour in on us from the one grand melody outside of us. The pulse throbbing within falls in step with the rhythms that thud away at their regular beats out there among the soaring peaks, the dancing willows, the mud mounds. I have known as a child that the moon governs the tides that batter our seashores, the sun evaporates the droplets living in our lakes and seas to gather as clouds then rain on us so we can come to life again. We are creatures of rightness and the proprietors of harmony. Dissonance rattles our equilibrium. Discord makes us skip the many beats that play like drumbeats around us. We need to dance our dances, sing our melodies so we can make right with the lives that grow out of us or those that reach out and take us in their sweeping embrace.
An extract from a forthcoming collection of essays:The Cosmic Ballet