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on reading and writing

on reading and writing
what do you read and why; alternately, what you write and why


"how long have you sat upon your misfortune. get up; you may hatch an understanding" —ashu zorastra

if you have the convincing answers to satisfy yourself, then perhaps you may try to convince this writer to read what you have read and have absorbed the matter to match your acts with it.

but in all likelihood, all your readings, except the i. r. s. and bank statements and the commercials, especially the ones put out by the pharmaceutical industry are as distant from your actual living as what you have read in bible, or koran, talmud, or any other modern writing like harry potter or any head of state's report on the state of union.

in most instances of the distancing between what one cherishes to do and what one does is not realized while sitting on fence. the sitting on fence is a state of mind in conflicting thoughts that renders one unable to appreciate the known, but fear the step into the unknown. it is an inactive state available to ones who can afford the padded seat.

in the same vein, just as people who read what strengthens their state of mind as the passive onlooker, the writers of such materials, too, separate their critically observant minds from their mundane minding of life's affairs, much like an actor playing the role of a sage or satan, without giving any serious thoughts about the characters one plays for making a living. a professional writer simply writes to earn a comfortable living that way.

both the reading and writing are activities confined to the people who earn their living sitting in the cubicles as bosses or their subordinates, or the housewives bored with their self imposed house arrests.

otherwise, just as one immediately reacts to an error in bank statement and takes an immediate action, one would also act upon what one reads, whether a news or comment of social or political nature. the response would vary depending upon the matter concerning life's affairs. if one agrees with what one reads, one would incorporate its understanding into one's way of life. if disagreeing, one may put the book aside, or may even write to the writer what one sees to be wrong or improper in such writing. it is thus that one sees that the fairy tales and their modern equivalents, the harry potters and the stuff that fill up pages of magazines and non fictions have no relevance to a life lived. rather, it distracts one from seeing the problem one wishes to avoid. buddha had observed this phenomenon of a state of mind that desires to get out of a situation without wanting to physically move; hence engaging in any mental activity such as " dance, song, music and visual performances".

when one perceives something that requires another person to know and respond to, one writes a letter. if the matter thus perceived is of common concern, one would write it using the public medium. but before doing so, one experiments on it to know if it rings true. that is what gandhi did, calling it an experiment in truth. such observations of the motions of life are not found in the professionals, whether a teacher, preacher, or politician. nor are such people living in a state of slumber when not engaged in honing their individual skill and making a name by promoting it.

such people, though in most instances are not functioning as the components of the socioeconomic machine, are not therefore rejecting the fact, that the human creature is by nature social. thus their observations are about the causes of what makes two persons asocial, and worse yet, violent towards each other and kill one another. hence, their expressions in words or actions are not to offer yet more innovative form of escape through the literature and screen, or fighting using the drones, all of which are produced and promoted by the frightened people seeking escape without addressing the cause. it is thus, that the europeans who came to the new world, soon transformed it into the old world, as they did not leave behind their notion of the survival of the fittest with the challengers popping up perpetually.

then the children grow up reading and seeing on screen only the fighting as the promoted answer to the survival in every walk of life; and not offered even as a hint, that every problem has a cause, and by addressing the cause the effects are removed. these children then try to fit in the social machine by acquiring a form and function, whether as a janitor in a weapon making factory, or as the president of a nation assigning others to operate the war machine. and in their Sabbath time, when their brains are not engaged mechanically doing the routine work, seek out the mental escape from a time when they are nobody, not being busy with the work they identify themselves with. so there is also the socially available array of things to numb the brains or put it to sleep.

and reading is one such activity.

the prevalent notion of the early start in education originates in the church. the indoctrination begins when children are too young to grasp the message, but at the same time they are unable to question the authority with a simple: why? thus the head start is not to enable the young to learn to use head, but to mold to memorize the command, whether a biblical, parental or state; or to what the teacher, preacher, or politician says.

an undigested thought rattles in the head in the same form as does an undigested food rattles in the stomach. as an un-expelled food causes constipation, a long held thought becomes a belief. believer of any kind, religious or political simply keeps on repeating what one has read or heard. that not being an understanding the matter neither evolves nor transforms into a motion of life. a generation, thus raised to submit to follow the commands, whether sitting in the cubicles or in the fields and battle fields is given a day of sabbath. the "weekend" is not out of the idea of care, but to enable the worker to regain strength to work more. this away from work time called the rest and recreation is used in engaging the thus idled minds to engage in fantasies that takes away all the dread of the work. whether one uses the mind numbing substances or to the alternate realities of religious or political nature presented on paper or screen, the effect is the same: it numbs the pain, and hinders the dissent that would otherwise manifest instantaneously, as it did in rosa parks. she did not have any national alliance of colored people to belong to, nor any dr. martin luther king's dream to be inspired from.

a leader, whether political, social or religious is as much far removed from the change one proposes and promotes, as much a writer or director of a mind boggling story is. any person who is sustaining one's living by doing things as a professional is knowingly or unawares functions as components of the socioeconomic machine one wants to move away from by reading or writing about it without leaving the seat.

oxen, suffering the constant rub of the heavy yoke on their necks then develop the callous on the neck that numbs the sensory nerves that register pain. repeated hard labor work develops such callous in human hands. and the constant sitting in the padded seats in work cubicles and at home forms the callous butts.

one day i was sitting on the porch
of the wooden house
raised on poles above the lotus pond,
sipping tea and smoking.
i saw the huge viper come out
from the lotus pond
stroll in the grass
and then disappear beneath the house.

i always sat like that in the porch
and drank tea and smoked.
and the snake, that lived beneath the house,
always strolled in the grass.

that afternoon,
after the snake had disappeared
i threw the cigarette butt in the grass
after abruptly putting it out.
after a while, i saw a thin blue trail of smoke
come out from the brown drying grass.
the grass started burning.
and then a little, orange flame appeared.
the flame spread,
and it caught the house on fire
first the poles and then the wooden floor
upon which i sat, started to burn.
the flame reached my feet. my feet began to burn upward,
and my body started burning.
i saw everything burning.
and then, the flame
that i saw as an outside image
of fire
entered my eyes
and burned the very image of fire.

( from unamerican dreams and dissent)
......................................................


additional articles:

buddhist economics

decentralization of power

counterculture in capitalism

of trust and trustees

within and without the picture frame

"Whiteman's burden"

life sustains on life

time

feminism

work and workout

on reading and writing

knowledge: intellectual property

mind over matter

medium of communication: english

one or many

economics of procreative organs

lopamudra

capitalist-kamasutra

selfless act

medal of freedom

rebel with subconscious cause

art: an expression of emotion, and a tool of many unsavory uses

literacy: revolution in the concept of education

on being an actor among pretenders

aging

on ecocentric parenting

between birth and death

police

meaning

justice

culture and counterculture

literacy: knowing what is read

utopia

the brains and their function

charity

no-mind: nothingness and no thing-ness

energy: purpose and conservation

poverty : inflicted by others and self imposed

rose by any other name: identity and the content relationship

geology and geo-politics: trails of the old and new world

the american way of life: from the eyes of a foreigner

on noninterference: interfered with the acquired ideals

web of maya: on possessions and being possessed

transfer of authority from infancy to adulthood

emperor without the clothes

laws of nature and laws of man

on science and technology

on being poor or rich

letter to barack obama

on seeing eye to eye

to be or not to be: the sense of being

on language

on seeing what is

on energy

on rearing the young

on education

understanding the place

a proposal for prison reform

individual is indivisible

on the imposed emnity

the social change; an ecological perspective

on education and philanthropy