DOES GOD PLAY DICE?

One of the greatest scientists, nature’s laws and human civilization have ever seen, Albert Einstein, had once said that ‘God does not play dice’. Einstein was not a religious person and his observation was about the laws of nature.

One of the best minds of our times, Stephen Hawking, wrote an elaborate piece titled ‘Does God Play Dice?’ on similar lines.

Both of them were opining about scientific determinism, about how laws of nature play out in the universe, and how chaos is a certain part of it.

Mathematician Ian Stewart wrote a book ‘Does God Play Dice? The New Mathematics of Chaos’ that was published in 1989. The book is about chaos theory, about a pattern in randomness that no one sees or senses, that science cannot explain. But simple to complex, events happen. What seems unrelated may very well effect a change where it was never expected. Things are governed by chaos and chaos is governed by quantum mechanics. But what quantum mechanics is governed by?

By uncertainty? By scientific determinism of chaos? By a pattern in uncertainty and chaos that no one can see?

Or in the words of Stephen Hawking, who writes in his ageless classic, that “God doesn’t intervene, to break the laws of Science”.

That is about the philosophy of science. But even the philosophy of life, or your existence here, follows a similar path.

That “God doesn’t intervene, to break the laws of life”.

‘Does God play dice’ is a question that we all come across in our lives. When we ask such questions and when we look for answers, we tend to move to the philosophical realms, questioning our existence, questioning the way life has been, and sometimes questioning even God.

The philosophy of life which every life develops to deal with chaos in his or her life!

Here I am not talking about philosophy as a discourse or discipline but it has more to do with the philosophical underpinnings of existence and identity where philosophy becomes an ironical necessity, a necessity as we interpret and we become so habituated with it – to the extent that it becomes an inherent part of us – motivating us, or propelling us, or forcing us to move ahead or along with life.

If we turn to the ‘philosophy of Puritanism, the ‘dicing’ proposition loses its relevance. If we turn to the philosophy incarnation of the day as preached by the so-called intellectuals and self-made God-reincarnations or even by the academicians, it becomes misleading enough to veer us to the brink of a conscience crisis.

When we are asked to ‘accept everything as it comes’ and ‘whatever that happens is for good’ and when we start believing in such propositions, not debating what good it brings to us and if there was any good at all in whatever that happened, we start losing our individuality, slipping into the conscience crisis. We don’t realize it or we are forced not to realize it – in the name of being practical. Chaos starts dismantling us.

We all follow some values in life which we justify anyhow and we are right in doing so but to go beyond, we need to turn to pragmatism of conscience and that only can lead us to a fine blend of ‘the ways we go across to deal with the ‘prompts and hurdles’ of life’ and the ‘optimized scale of conscience, the philosophical element’, so as to fix the ‘dice’ in a poise on the scale of thinking in a way that can achieve a swing state tending to get back to the root of one’s existence whenever it gets disturbed.

And this balance, this ‘philosophy of necessity’ cannot be defined, cannot be measured, and cannot be practiced uniformly. It is subjective and can only be attained and attuned by individual life preferences and circumstances, if one tends to balance the moments in the line of practical and philosophical inputs and practical outcomes.

If philosophy is essentially a way to look back at and understand life gone so far, the ‘philosophy of necessity’ leads us to question us and take decisions that not only support the material-self of our present day lives, our daily lives, destabilized by chaos, but also gives us the much needed spiritual base. Chaos tries to set a pattern in our lives and tries to make us accustomed to that.

We all have this spiritual base, to deal with chaos, but we lack the practicality of getting along with it, limiting us to mostly rituals and temples and shrine visits, and so excluding it out of our daily lives. If spirituality is akin to exploring the deeper of ‘you’, connecting you to your ‘self’ and hence to the ‘light’, it has to be a part of your everyday moments.

We need to realize the ‘necessity of philosophy’ to base our decisions on pragmatism and conscience. And no one can teach it. We are the teachers and we are the learners and so either we make it or we don’t. We are in life’s playground. We are in chaos’ playground. Balancing ‘philosophy’ and ‘necessity’ is a difficult proposition. But it does happen.

And how? No one knows. Laws of life play along. Laws of science play along. Where Gods don’t need to play dice.

©SantoshChaubey

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LET’S GO BEYOND THAT CLICHÉ

Let’s begin on something
With newness in the air
Let’s go beyond mere saying
That every day is a new day
Yes, it’s a new you every day
But aren’t you trapped
In a living that makes it
Nothing but a cliché
When was the last time?
When you had run wild,
Without calculations
The feeling so thrilled
As if it was the first blood
For you on the highway
With many first tastes
As you cruised along
When was the last sunrise?
That romantically called you,
For the next sunset
With love in the air
Be it a blue moon sky
Or a blazing sun’s gun
Let’s begin on something
As pure as the first quest
With heat of first adventure
Let’s go beyond that cliché
To reinvent you
To find ‘you’ you thought of
When platonic was the air
And sky was the flair
Listen to that call to go wild
It’s always there
Just look at it, anew
Put aside life’s ifs and buts
And follow your instinct
To make it your day
Beyond this borrowed life
Of words and beyond
For a new you
Who was always with you,
It’s just that,
You miscalculated him out..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

LIFE AND DEATH: INEVITABILITIES, SO THINK OF EVERYTHING BUT THEM :)

Thought to share a brief but themed conversation I had with a friend the other day. Whenever we speak, life is the central theme we mostly talk about and we end up coming out to a point where we see some point. 🙂 

Me: Life and death are inevitabilities so think of everything but them while you live.

My friend: Some die in installments too.

Me: That happens in every life – at times – and that is again inevitability – bound to happen when you stop living.

My friend: Haha, no one can win from you… Life and death specialist…

Me: Experiential existentialist…:)

My friend: How are you existentialist… don’t tell me…that’s relative…bored of listening that from…xyz…types…

Me: Existentialism literally means you carve out a way for yourself based on your thought process. The society at large has to be a reflection of you which may or may not gel with you but you go well with that – living (and not complaining).

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION AND JEAN-PAUL SARTRE’S EXISTENTIALISM

‘Is ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ best cinema tribute to Jean-Paul Sartre’s Existentialism?’

Well, I had not thought so sweepingly on this line even if I had already watched the movie multiple times, until the last night when I was reading about it.

The Wikipedia page on the movie had this ‘sweeping’ statement:

“The film has been critically acclaimed for depicting Jean-Paul Sartre’s ideas about existentialism more fully than any other contemporary movie.”

When I further dug in to find its originating source, I stumbled upon a web page of ‘Philosophy Now’ magazine with an article by some Alexander Hooke on the movie – but available only to subscribers beyond its initial few lines.

These lines are:

“Hope helps keep us alive and anticipating the next sunrise with joy rather than gloom. It enlivens projects and maintains focus. Hope is sustained by the confidence we have in our knowledge of the situation, although the possibility of being deceived, by others or ourselves, can undermine this confidence. Still, hope promises a time or place where things will be better, even if it seems we’re stuck in perpetual hell. Accounts through the millennia depict hell as a realm full of fascinating and ghastly demons, endless tortures, with Satan ruling with a fiery fist, and where hope is impossible.”

Yes, the movie is all about that – in fact a subtle depiction of – in most real and practical ways possible.

And I believe when it so rightly writes about ‘hope and hopes’ – even if we are well aware of limitations, the write-up will certainly have its own logics to discuss about ‘Existentialism’ in the movie, especially Sartre’s Existentialism.

Now, there are three characters central to the movie:

The one which presents before us a characterization epitomizing hope – believing in his existence and persevering to see it materialise, even if it means decades of focused job on something, to steal the day finally for him.

The next one is a sort of crusader of hope with faded charm, helping his friend in difficult times and giving him the means to sustain his ‘hope’ and at the same time, is resigned to his fate, is not sure of his identity.

The last one is like the first one, but in an audacious way, pinning his ‘hope’ on others’ shoulders – thinking of an existence for him and going all out to usurp it.

How do they play out their ‘existences’ and their ‘hopes’ in the movie? Let’s ‘watch’ the movie again.

Let’s see.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

JUNE 21: INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY AND EXISTENTIALISM

International Yoga Day is on June 21, the day when Jean-Paul Sartre was born in Paris.

It may be a coincident but a day to celebrate the ancient Indian tradition that has become a global ‘good health element’ with time, is also a day when the world remembers the most influential mind behind ‘Existentialism’.

Yoga in India goes beyond its ‘routine physical exercise’ nature – the practice that took it to the western countries, starting with Swami Vivekananda in 1890s.

Yoga in India, and in some countries where beliefs born in India spread, especially Buddhism, is seen as complete discipline and is primarily associated with spirituality and meditation. It emphasizes on the holistic balance in every walk of life and is aimed at ensuring a sound mind in a healthy body.

Yoga is a discipline with a philosophy that builds individuals who are self-aware and at the same time are in harmony with their surroundings, maintaining spontaneously balanced relations with nature and living beings.

Existentialism, though with different definitions, concurs that man is free and ‘is responsible’ to determine what becomes of him – in the sense that he sees and interprets his life and events in his life – based on circumstances – for the quest to lead a life that is as per his ‘understanding’ – that corresponds to his definitions of morality and different circumstances of life – the definitions that are within the norms for a healthy mind and body – the definitions that take different hues with time.

Yoga can help an individual develop a healthy ‘existentialist’ perspective based on his ‘philosophy of necessity’. Yoga can help find that ‘missing element’ in every life.

And June 21 is around the corner.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

LIFE IS ALWAYS SLOGGED WITH ALTER-EGOS

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Life is always slogged with alter-egos – the personality and its other aspects – and the underlying philosophy that is assorted, assimilated and reflected as we move on with time.

This experiential philosophy is a way to look at things with a leverage to look at in your own way, giving you, in turn, the leverage to scale the scope.

That is a vital way to look at life as it keeps you in company – the way that has been famously philosophical about philosophy – its inherent roots in you and its subsequent emergence and sustenance based on how efficiently you understand, communicate with and befriend your alter-egos.

And the existentialism of this philosophy is – it also allows you to develop your own paradigm (and paradoxes as well) including your own ways and definitions to look at life events, attachments and detachments, pain and peace, and what may be behind our feelings to feel so or what may follow our feelings.

Life is always sum total of events that are never sum total in entirety – shaping, fragmenting, reshaping and inventing on its way – from a day to the next – from an aspect of life to the other.

The life experiences are varied. Life lives them in vivid ways. Within a life, you are your one aspect today – you are your other aspect tomorrow.

A life lived is about an efficient and naturalized circumnavigation of the varied aspects of your life – the alter-egos that take you to the extremes of life events – the experiences that let you philosophize about the lives you internalize to become one with your question to become you.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

DO WE FOLLOW PRE-DESTINED PATHS?

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Do we follow pre-destined paths?
Do we follow pre-designated plans?
Do we follow pre-laid patterns?

‘Does life follow pre-designated events as it moves’ is a question that we all ask consistently in our lives.

It is a proposition that comes to us varyingly – a suggestion, an intention, and eventuality, a possibility – as we question the life events, as we look for the meaning of ‘being me’, as we search for our identity in the realm we share with others.

That is what it goes like, and it is natural to be so.

Even the diehard individualists and postmodernists come across the moments when they accept the elements of faith and destiny in the evolution of their thought-process, in shaping their continuum to live it on.

That is being human, that is being natural.

We all are like that.

In any lifetime, there can never be a uniform way to go along.

We follow pre-destined paths.
We follow pre-designated plans.
We follow pre-laid patterns.

We concur with them. But there are spontaneous and instinctive human calls as well, to disagree, to breath the days anew.

And we then refuse to imbibe what they make us to read.

And embark on a journey where we lay down the stopovers to meet the disagreements to bring them in harmony with our existence.

We don’t follow pre-destined paths then.
We don’t follow pre-designated plans then.
We don’t follow pre-laid patterns then.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey–https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

A YEAR GOES BY..REFLECTING ON..

It was 365 days ago, the Tuesday on December 31, 2013, the day of symbolic transition of time, from one to the next milestone, from a year to the next, on the timescale, designed to keep track of times our lives pass through, that I was writing a poem, ‘A Year Goes By’, musing on the days the year had for me.

Doing so is always existentially individual. And here is the Wednesday of December 31, 2014, with an hour left.

Like any other event of life, it is for the perspectives that what we think on this day, how we reflect on the days gone by. Practically, it changes nothing much, apart from the psychological symbolism that gives us the frame to look back, to reflect on – on what was a year in life, a capsule of time, adding to the story of our existence, adding stories as the year proceeded, adding elements as the days changed the calendar entry.

And it is never a zero-sum game – positive or negative, you gain something, in terms of experiences – vital enough to guide you if you can hear the call.

I had not thought of any resolutions on December 31, 2014, like I always did. Yes, I had my reflections and accordingly had certain stopovers to head to, but there was nothing in the realm of ‘pinned’. Instead, it was living life fully, my way, every day.

How successful I have been? Now success is a relative term and should be left to personal, intimate considerations. Like every life, I had my share of good and bad and routine but I didn’t see any point, like always, to assess my life in ‘gain or loss’ terms. I could do what I had thought to do. I could not do certain things that were in my mind. But I could continue doing certain things that I needed to do.

I wrote freely, extending and building on my way of life, going deeper inside me, on the journey to reclaim me that had its origin on a day, exactly four years ago, December 31, 2010, a setback that first pushed me to question my identity vehemently, setting me thus on the path to find who I was before the reason of the setback had taken over my thinking, and later on, became the light to guide me to go even deeper inside, in my own company. Yes, the identity crisis was over a long ago but identity is a lifetime love.

2014 saw definitive development on my books, two of them I am working on. The flow was good initially and I had thought I would be able to finish the drafts by the year end. But, then the writer’s block crept in (if I can claim to have one ). So, while the thoughts kept on building and finding space in my notes, the drafts didn’t progress to completion. Anyway, the block is over now and I think I am going to take it with the same love I had.

Meanwhile, I could finally bring up my website – http://www.santoshchaubey.com – to extend my blogging experience to a formal and diversified content platform. Some of my content is already categorized there and as I am going to take it as extension of my notebooks, it will see constant experiments and updates.

Writing is relief and release and I explored the canvas for newer realms and blogging continued to have some of its share through my regular blogs – http://severallyalone.blogspot.in/ and https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/ – and my themed blogs – http://www.banarascalling.com/ and http://santoshchaubey.tumblr.com/ – with 550 posts including – articles, poems, photographs, experimented images and quotes. For my first blog, ‘Beyond This Life’ or ‘Severally Alone’ (http://severallyalone.blogspot.in/), it was also the third ‘no breaks’ calendar year in a row.

During the course of writing, I did something that I had not done in years. I don’t remember the last time when I had watched a full movie in theatre. I prefer the home video option, even if it means some wait. I am not a film buff but I admire and revisit the good cinema and home videos give me the liberty to do so at my own pace while at the same time help me in building my library. But 2014 had the final episode of JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth story, as filmed by Peter Jackson, scheduled in December. It was capping the second Middle Earth trilogy of Jackson’s stint with Tolkien’s land of fantasy after 11 years when the best of the lot, ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King’, a landmark in narrating a book on screen, was released in 2003 and there was an urge to see the trilogies side-by-side, in their totalities, on how the craft of filmmaking had performed comparatively.

Now the home video would not come before April 2015. So, for my urge for the comparative study, I decided to take the route long forgotten when I picked up the movie in a theatre on Saturday, December 13.

Now, in few hours, the 4 of 2014 would transition to 5 of 2015. So, while the three digits would remain the same, the fourth different one would cause the next cycle on the timescale to begin, like the eternal message of living that says – ‘tomorrow is built on today with learning from yesterday’ – remember, life is never a zero-sum game.

It would be another calendar year with 365 new days to explore, to write, to read, to travel, to create new ideas, new stories, rewriting the oldies, clicking and capturing the known and unknown while continuing on the inward journey.

With the freedom of ‘no resolutions’ – with the freedom of my commitment to my conscience to live every day meaningfully liberated – with the freedom to make every day an opportunity!

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

WHEN I WAS NOT BORN..

When I was not born,

Life had asked,

If I knew what was living

When I was not born,

Death had asked me,

If I knew what was dying

When I was not born,

Life had,

This sudden revelation

To ask me..

When I was not born,

Death had,

This sudden manifestation

To explain me..

Life was there..

Death was there..

Waiting for my words,

Not sure of their positions

They were exasperated,

Personified,

But yet to be born,

I remained with me

They had their reasons,

To ask..

I had my reasons

To not answer..

They remained there

I remained there

These positions were clear,

When I was not born..

 ©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

HE LET THE VULTURES THINK HE WAS STILL UNDER THEIR SPELL..

The vultures were flying around, eyes fixed.

Waiting for the person to die, to feast on his flesh, to suck his soul.

Driven, they were, by their desire to push one more to die.

The slanted rapid dives were adding to their efforts, to his restlessness.

Content with their efforts to trick one more to their trap, they were circling around him, waiting for him to die.

But he didn’t die. The perceived bad luck / ill fate was not that ominous.

He let the vultures circle around, watching and learning from their gaze.

He let the vultures think he was still under their spell.

Until he washed away the omens in the flow of his cries.

Until he could transform the reminder of death into the symbolism of lessons learnt.

[Lines from my yet to be ‘named’ novella..]

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/