June 29, 2012


I got a very few hits on this post. Normally that is not the case. let us see if re-blogging makes any difference…

PeACEMAKER

I was visiting my Aunt’s home. She introduced me to all of her six children except her second son. I later came to know that he was a certified outcast. So much so, that nobody in the house cared for his daily routine, what he did in school, where he spent his time, had he eaten well or had he visited the loo in the morning. This was very different from our household. Agreed that my poor Aunt had no time to look after each and every child since they were in abundance; at least she could check whether they took bath every day. When I told her that, she was a bit surprised, but said, “Why do you not spend a few days with the Number 2? Then you may understand.” So, I was posted with Number 2 as an understudy. He was not happy. He did not understand…

View original post 1,356 more words

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Day before yesterday, I went to watch the opening show of the play staged by two of my friends. I was a late arrival and had to settle with whatever seat I could get. The play was to start at 1200, the doors opened at 1230 and I captured my seat, which was in the middle of nowhere. The auditorium was filling up slowly, when I heard this loud conversation behind my back:

(Loud Voice)… “That is fine. I won’t talk to you.”

(Angry Voice)… “Not talk? You have to talk.”

(Angry Voice)… “When ever this subject comes up, you always yell at me.”

(Very disturbed voice)… “Shut up!”

(Very angry voice) “NO, I HAVE to talk.”

(Anger continued)… “I know that you will. Now shut up!”

(Anger continued)… “But why don’t you allow me to?”

“……”

(Anger at the top)… “I took your permission.”

“…………”

(Pleading anger)… “I even came for this play.”

(Anger once more)… “The subject is closed!”

(Loud Submission)… “You can’t do that.”

(Anger victorious)… “SHUT UP!”

(Anger rejuvenated)… “I can not.”

(Limit of decibels)… “SHUT up NOW!”

“……..”

(Anger again)… “YOU KNOW NOTHING.”

“……..”

(Listen to this anger)… “I am OLDER than you are.”

“………”

(She is not listening!)… “I am your MOTHER. I know it BETTER.”

“……..”

(She is still not listening)… “This subject is closed now”

(With all the left over anger)… “NO. It is NOT!”

I heard somebody getting up from her seat and then finding way to a vacant seat and dumping herself there angrily.

A few moments later, there were uncontrolled giggles: three or four feminine voices behind my seat. The play started and the voices started hushed conversations.

Although I wanted to very much, I did not turn or look back to see who was this group. I just kept guessing what must be the ‘subject’, what might be the age of the mother and daughter, who else were in the group, who was  this uncompromising mother, who was the brat; mother or daughter, why this sudden flash point, why they had to choose the public place and audience for the showdown…. and finally, Who left the group? Mother or daughter?

These and similar such questions ruined my dramatic state of mind. I could not enjoy the play. After the play was over, I could not help but glance at the possible seats these people must have occupied. But, all the rear seats had gone empty before I turned back. I did not get any answers to my curious, prying mind.

If I knew these girls or women, probably the conversation would not have meant anything to me. Now, it has a lot to offer.

I met my performer friends backstage. When they quizzed, I told them that the play was wonderful and I must watch it one more time to fully understand it!!

Image Courtsey - Google Images - Painter : Iatras

First Books

August 13, 2011


I think Bhagwadgeeta was the first book I was introduced to, because Grandpa Anna would not settle for anything less. I just mugged it up with Anna as a teacher, and was sent for a competition of Geeta recitals. Aabajee Deshpande, the examiner, was a staunch Geeta lover and used to distribute copies free to many a muggers like me. Not many had participated in this first competition.

14th chapter was the subject matter. Aabajee let us recite the whole chapter, and as soon as I thought I had finished the exam, he started quizzing by reciting a stanza at random and I had to complete. Then he started reciting the second line of a random stanza and I had to recite the first. Then he started giving one word clue and let me complete the rest. It was interesting (for him), I completed everything well and Aabajee declared that I stood first.  Sudheer was second, who eventually became a good friend.

I came back home tired. Anna came after some time and inquired if I did well. I said I had secured the first rank. Pleased, he said there would be big function and I shall be felicitated that evening. The function was fine, but the prize was not. Because I was presented with a copy of Bhagwadgeeta, of which I already had two copies. I cribbed a lot about it. Anna simply said, “You do not need any prize than that”.

The next year, Sudheer stood first, and I was second, with first chapter as the subject. Aabajee however declared that this year there were Prizes galore, in addition to the Geeta copies. He fiddled with his dhotee, came up with one rupee coin and said,

“Go to the market, buy any books you like and bring those to me. These will be handed over to you in the evening function.”

Sudheer had also received the grant and we proceeded to the market. The book shop was by the street and the books were exhibited on military cots outside the shop. To this day, I did not have any books other than those in the curriculum. Looking at these, I was astounded. How can these be called ‘books’ when they have Kings and Queens and mythological figures on their cover pages? How can they be in a large, readable font than those we read in the class? How can a book have so many artworks when the books were supposed to have only one or two? How can they have attractive covers but unreadable titles?

I must have spent an hour or so in just awe. Sudheer, in between had selected his and had already disappeared.  I was really perplexed as to what to choose and how many to choose. The shop keeper came to the rescue.

“How much money you have?”

“One rupee.”

“Stole it from somewhere? Let me see it.”

I showed him the coin, but did not let it go. He inquired as to what was my name, who was my father, where did I live and a barrage of such questions. When he was satisfied that I had not stolen the Rupee, he selected some books of his choice and dumped them in front of me. Naturally, I was not satisfied. He amassed a second choice bunch, which was also not to my liking. Tired, he said “Choose whatever you want” and went behind his desk.

I had some solitude once more, and I started selecting the books, based on cover colours, that is, discarding.

The final list had Panch Tantra, Aesop’s stories and a book on astronomy.

“Why do you need that blue book with stars? You will not understand a thing there. I also do not.”

“But this is what I want.”

The shop keeper gave me a tired look, and said, “You can have a few more. One Rupee is not yet over.”

Back to square one. I then selected Sim Bonga and Bhilla Veer Kalinga.

“That is it.” The shopkeeper said, “You can have one volume of Kalinga, not all.”

“Fine, I will buy all of these with green and black cover, man with a dagger”

“One volume of Tarzan!”

“But you said a few more”

“You have exceeded one Rupee now”

I handed over my precious one Rupee to him, and he handed me the bundle. “Come again for Tarzan,” he said. I did not need this invitation. I was already hooked.

The transaction over, I remembered that I did not know the way back to home. Sudheer had brought me here and he had gone a long time ago. Crying at my ancestors, the shopkeeper closed the shop and escorted me first to Aabajee and then my house. He did not forget to ask if I indeed belonged to this house, and I was not a thief.

Back home and when the smell of the new books had withered, I understood that buying a book you had liked did not necessarily mean that you will read it immediately. Further, you may not be able to read a book which you have received as a present and that even if you did not understand a word, a picture tells a story better. You have your imagination running wild without the help of words.

I started really reading/ comprehending most of these books, including the blue book, in Standard five or Six. Aunts were enthusiastic earlier on, but got fed up of reading to me the books I had purchased, particularly when I started buying books with every paisa I received or saved and I had mugged up all the stories by listening and still wanted somebody to Read these to me. When the words finally came to me, they were better than pictures, sometimes worse.

I encroached upon Grandpa’s book cabinet and declared one of the shelves as ‘my library’. This included Garibaldi, Agarkar, Tilak, Kalidas, Gandhi, five or six different sized Geeta and even a book called Shrusht Shakti Shastra (Physics- in short). There was also a book on Physiology, with funny pictures, which was promptly removed by somebody and I did not find it afterwards. None the less, I had leafed through it all before it vanished.

The blue book was a revelation. That was when I started deciphering it bit by bit, simultaneously gazing at stars while alone and imagining beyond the drawings and the written word.


The title says all.

I am so frustrated because I have no time to post anything, I feel like shouting at the top of my voice, if I have any voice left.

I am sure you have felt the same way some day.

Be patient! – this is to me and to my frequent visitors.


The leftover tablets in the gaping color box were enticing me. I had to find a way to use them. Some had been consumed during my tryst with sculpting clay idols of Lord Ganesh (https://rajeevne.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/molding-clay/). But the black, the turquoise, the yellow ochre tablets had remained untouched. I tried using them, but I got tired of peacocks and tigers. How many can you paint? The drawing book was already full of these. Yellow ochre could not be mixed with blue or red to produce a new color, because like the ochre itself, the resulting mixes would seem equally muddy. I had started wondering about why this color was included in the box in the first place.

“You are fond of peacocks and tigers?” The new drawing teacher clad in stark white pajama and bush shirt asked.

“Not really; just trying to finish my ochre and turquoise.” I replied.

“You have a good feel of the form” he said, leafing through the entire book. So what?

He must have told Grandpa about it, because I was cajoled to stay back every day after the school to attend his special drawing class. The new teacher was turning out to be a headache.

“What is your aim in life?” The drawing teacher asked the special class of five. Two of us five were asleep after the day’s hard work and three were clapping at the cricket match that was in progress outside. Our teacher tried to get the answer, but nobody really cared about life.

“If you wish to become a Drawing Teacher when you grow up, you must pass the two basic drawing exams; Elementary and Intermediate… We will be preparing for the Elementary, this year.”

“This year?”

“Yes, the class will run for a year.”

I stopped going to the class the very next day.

However, upon his arrival on the weekend, Grandpa intervened and told me to try out the drawing class for a few days. I did not agree.

“What is your aim in life?” Grandpa inquired.

“What aim in life? I have none.” I said.

Hearing my answer, he became a bit serious, and I was more than sure that my evenings were going to be spoilt by the drawing class. I complained to Grandma. She, instead of supporting me, spread the gossip everywhere that I was appearing for the drawing exam.

“How is the new teacher?” Our neighbor Nilootai asked. She was a school dropout, waiting to get married, was excellent at embroidery and had a number of wall-pieces, pillow covers and blouses to her credit. “I hear he is Muslim.”

I was surprised. There were no Muslim teachers in our school as yet.

“I don’t know, but I will find out…he has no beard though..”

“Find out. And ask if outsiders also can attend his class.” She said.

I found out. His name was Rustom Pathan, and he had cleared the Drawing Teachers’ diploma along with Intermediate exam recently.

Nilootai then visited the class, said she had an ‘aim in life’ to become a Drawing Teacher, and if Rustom Guruji would help her. He said he had no problem. It looked like Nilootai had developed an instant fascination with the Teacher’s art. She came to our house a few times, discussed with Grandma, gathered courage and started attending the class. We were six now. To my disgust, Nilootai remained by my side full-time. I could not understand if she was keeping a watch on me or was taking shelter from Rustom Guruji.

We practiced symmetrical figures for a month. Rustom Guruji would give us the left half and we had to complete the other. He said if you are Righty, drawing the right side is difficult than left. This was true for others. For me, even the left side was a nightmare. For Nilootai, both brains seemed to work seamlessly. She came out to be extra-ordinarily gifted and became Rustom Guruji’s pet student in no time.

Out of six, three were driven out by the teacher the next month on the pretext of the sticky fingers and their asymmetric brains. Now we were three. Walmik was the third. He was from the nearby village, had come from his village only to attend the class and was even better than Nilootai. Rustom Guruji started paying less and less attention to me. Whatever flair with form I had, started to lose form. On the other hand I was becoming overjoyed with the thought that I may also be dropped in a few days. But I had an added value as Nilootai’s escort and I remained.

The progress reports started reaching the Grandparents via Nilootai. Grandma said,

“Once you finish your charcoal and erasers, you can drop out…No need to venture into colors…Who will spend for those?”

“I joined the class to learn coloring, not sketching funny shapes.”

“See what happens and we can decide later.” Grandpa said.

The lessons started coming at brisk pace since Nilootai and Walmik would learn the skill instantly. We started the nature drawing. These were not the usual landscapes of sun, the hills, a path, a hut, a lotus and swan, but the painting of a twig – a Custard Apple or Oleander twig.

The coloring part finally arrived. To Grandma’s annoyance, I was asked to buy a box of tubes. The old tablet box was useless for Elementary Grade coloring, according to Rustom Guruji. And who used those tubes in our town? And for that matter who in the town painted or appeared for exams or wanted to become Drawing Teacher? None! Rustom Guruji therefore imported three boxes, one for each of us. The lessons in primary colors, contrasts and mixing started. Rustom Guruji’s skill was such that he did not need to sketch anything. Lines, curves, leaves, stem and the eyelets on the twig would just flow from his hands. My interest in the class started flowering at last. However, the teacher had given us strict instructions not to attempt flowers in exam.

Guruji used to paint with such thick and opaque water-color layers that his painting would appear just like oils, albeit replica of life. In contradiction, Walmik would paint very transparent. Guruji was not very happy with this, but did not stop him, because Walmik’s paintings sometimes turned out appealing than the Teacher’s. Further Walmik started painting the backgrounds which was not the requirement, as per Guruji. Walmik also had discovered a trick. He used to polish his painting with a conch shell after coloring. This polish would give a terrific glaze to his paintings.

All of a sudden, we were sent for exams at the district place. Nilootai accompanied me in Hapton bus (https://rajeevne.wordpress.com/2010/05/30/half-ton-to-st/) . All the three of us had our relatives there and we camped at our respective ones. Further Nilootai convinced me that it was my responsibility to take her to the exam venue. I had to oblige.

The Symmetry question paper was alright. In nature drawing, I tried to polish the painting of my Oleander twig with a Conch Shell forgetting to check if the painting was dry. The paint was wet, spread everywhere, I had to throw away the completed drawing and hurriedly paint a second one, just before the time ran out.

The Still Life paper was also fine and I could complete the shapes and shading of the deliberately disarranged cones, cylinders and a jug to my satisfaction and in time.

The fourth paper was a bolt from the blue. Just before the paper started, Rustom Guruji apologized that there was a new exam format and a paper on human figures and groups had been introduced. He said he was sorry he did not teach us the complete syllabus. It was now up to us to use our memory and imagination. That was the title of the paper any way – Memory Drawing. I selected ‘Market Place’ as my subject and drew whatever vegetables I could with a lone vendor’s human-like figure. I had no practice in anatomy and the vegetables and the human figure were indistinguishable from each other. In disgust, I handed over my paper when there was a good one hour left for submission. I glanced at my mates. Walmik had drawn a colorful market place and Nilootai a marriage ceremony complete with fireworks, brass band and all.

I bundled my clothes, did not inform my relative of my departure and came back to our town alone. There was mayhem because of my disappearance. Grandpa had to go to the post office and wire to our relative that I had reached home safely.

Nilootai and Rustom Guruji arrived in the bus the next day. Walmik went straight to his village. I totally shelved my drawings, color tubes, the box and my painting abilities as soon as the exams were over and concentrated on field games. Although she tried on several occasions, I stopped talking to Nilootai altogether. She was an accomplished painter by birth. What business a novice like me can have with her?

The results came straight to our Head Master. He came to our class room and announced that the only student that appeared from our school has cleared the Elementary Grade exam in first attempt, albeit in C, the lowest grade. I had no emotion. I knew what I had drawn and wondered why somebody was so lenient as to pass a pitiable painter like me.

Rustom Guruji came to my Grandfather and told him the news, saying triumphantly, “Indeed the boy can become a Drawing Teacher if he wishes to.” Grandpa smiled and brought sweets.

Nilootai was married off immediately by her parents, without much fanfare. The news of her travelling on bus in company of our drawing teacher was getting undue attention. Nobody paid heed to the news that she had scored A Grade, neither to her request to let her complete the second exam. Before she left for good, she came and told me not to dislike art, because I had scored C grade. She also said that she felt so happy painting, she felt so good and safe in my company, cherished the last year, and finally, there were reasons for which she will one day become a Drawing Teacher, come what may. Her husband had no employment.

Walmik came to our school the next year. He had scored a B. He said, “It was wrong on my part to color all my drawings, The Symmetry, The Still Life, The Nature and Memory, everything. I should have painted only the Nature, as the examiners would have expected. Rest should have been in Charcoal. It was fun, anyway, to paint and fool the examiners.”

We both were experienced campaigners now. The next year, we had freedom from the Guruji and all we did was draw whatever we liked and paint whatever we drew. We painted hoardings for the school, decorated the school notice boards and also beautified the blackboards. For still life, we used the buckets, mugs, cups and saucers in the house. The majority of the drawings we did were of Zinnia and Periwinkle twigs and flowers which was the subject matter for the Nature Drawing. And yes, we bought us each a new box of tubes. We did not attend the class, although it had now a sizeable population and popularity. We inquired with Rustom Guruji what the subjects and lessons were, took his summary guidelines and went straight to exams. Walmik this year stuck to the basics of the exam, did not color everything and scored a high A. I scored a moderate B, because the Memory drawing ditched me once more. Nobody, including myself or my Grandparents had any concerns with my B score. I guess they were happy and relieved that they did not have to supervise me twenty-four hours and I spent most of the spare time of those two years in solitude with the colors.

Rustom Guruji never tired of asking whether I had any aim in life and I kept saying ‘no, I don’t’. He must have expected to hear from me at least once that I would like to become a Drawing Teacher. In retrospect, I feel I should have said so. Guruji also used to say that it was a pleasure he had his first students like us, especially Nilootai, because he himself had to appear for the Intermediate Exam a couple of times to get a respectable grade. But that must not be true. He was simply great as a teacher and a class apart, just like Nilootai and Walmik were.

About God – 10

July 13, 2010


Henri Bergson’s God

 

The French philosopher Bergson (1859-1941) is known for his clarity and precision. Descartes, similar to Hindu principles, had advised that the quest should be directed inwards first, start from introspection and then should be diverted outwards. Materialists however tried to demolish these views saying – Mind/Life is Matter, there is no God, Man is the God, Man has to replace God, Man is a mere machine in the drama of evolution. Bergson became instantly popular because people needed to rejuvenate their Hope and Faith in the wake of the demolition work done by determinists/ materialists. Bergson provided faith and hope that man also has some part to play in the theatre of creation alongside God. Secondly he provided the philosophical/ logical reason and justification for that.

Bergson’s was earlier Spencer’s follower. Then he continued the Schopenhauer’s thought – Life is important than the Force. He also extends Lamarck’s postulate – impulse and desire are the active forces in evolution.

His theory of Creative Intelligence supports the religious principle of Less thought and more action. He explains in detail the elusive connection between matter and life, body and mind, determination and choice. We also see Darwin’s evolution theory under new light when we read Bergson.

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His definitions and logic that finally defines God is as follows:

> Man tends to be materialist because he thinks in terms Space (since we are geometricians). However, Time is more fundamental, which holds the Life, and all the Reality. Time is an accumulation, a growth, a Duration.

> Duration is continuation of past in to present and then future. However, all Past is not lost. It accumulates. Although we do not remember all of it, when it comes to responses and decision making, it is with us. Any future moment cannot be predicted because every moment is an accumulation of something new.

> Change is more radical. To change is to mature (evolve). Perhaps, change is the reality.

> Memory is the vehicle of duration and servant of time. It provides rich alternatives to us. As we mature, the expanse of choices widens.

> Consciousness is then proportional to the ‘Power of Choices’ we have. It fills up the gap between ‘What is done’ and ‘What might be done’. This is the theatre of imagination, a boiling pot of choices, possible decisions and actions.

> In reality, human being is the centre of action, the focus of an unknown (redirected) Force, which pours into the world a quantum of action.

> Free Will is the sister of consciousness, and simply put Freedom means that we know what we are doing.

> In intuition we grasp several moments of the river of things, or the rhythm of necessity. Intuition measures the power of action over things.

> Contrary to what materialists believe (that everything is mechanical and automatic), we live by making choices. Choice is a burden, requires effort, resolution, decision to lift up our personality above the force of whims, habits and laziness. Choice is therefore creation and Creation is labor.

> Man envies animals because animals do not have to invent, but just vary the routine, if required. Animals can not break this bondage to routine, may be they can stretch the chain for an instance and then they go back to the routine. But man can break the routine with consciousness; man invents, and can set himself free.

> Mind is not identical to brain. Brain is an accumulation of images (like a static movie strip), reaction patterns, recall and the Choice of reactions.

> As we go up the ladder of living beings, the number of organs seems to increase and the organs are assigned a specific function. Consciousness is special to Man. It is not found anywhere else. In Man it seems linked to brain, in diffused or confused state but it is not that is does not exist. Theoretically, every living being should be conscious. In principle, consciousness should have the same scope as that of life.

> Is mind and thought only the brain and matter? No, because we try to perceive these with Intellect, that part of brain, which during evolution has developed to understand matter, shapes, laws and concepts of matter and above all how to adapt with the environment. The intellect does not understand the connections/ relations between things, the flow of Duration which is Life. Intellect sees life as separate still images of a movie strip, but misses the continuity that knits them into Life. ‘Intellect sees matter and misses energy’. That is why, when we find energy at the core of the atom, we are shocked. All exact sciences are therefore approximation, and catch only the static Reality and not the continuation i.e. life.

> Therefore it is our own error that we try to explain Time (and motion), Thought and Life by applying the physical principles. Life is about Quality, Time and Change and not Quantity, Space or Position. It is not rearrangement of matter but fluid and persistent creation.

> What is better known to us? Mind not matter, Time not space, Action not passivity, Choice not mechanism. This simple and direct perception is Intuition. With intuition, we can listen to the flow of life, feel the presence of mind, arrive at a conclusion that thought is the motion of neurons. Once we are through with intuition, the intellect again takes over and starts thinking about the material part (and actions required) in the wake of the decision taken/conclusion arrived at (with the help of Intuition).

> No language is sufficient to word terms like intuition. We try to explain mind as measures, spirit as breath, thought as a thing. The languages were created are to explain in terms of physical aspects and not to explain terms such as Instinct.

> Instinct is quite different than Intellect. (Survival) Instinct comes ready-made to us, gives decisions based on data accumulated by an individual or his ancestors. However it does not adapt the organism to change. Instinct is the insurance against security, whereas Intellect is the organ we have for adventure, liberty.

> Life is more than the body-machine. Life has been designed and has direction such that it has in-built ability to grow (evolve), restore (repair and reproduce) and adapt to the environment available to dwell in, with the help of machine-parts it has been provided with.

Life is an effort, which pushes on, upwards and outwards. It is the opposite of inertia and accident. It has to consistently fight, in spite of possible fatigue, with its eternal enemies namely matter, lag, slack, relaxation, rest and death. It has to defy matter and its laws, it has to move about, explore (and not wait like plants). Otherwise the consciousness will slip and instinct, habit and sleep will take over.

> Life has undergone these stages:

– The plants, which are almost matter-like,

– The Animals with instincts,

– The Man with thought and ever expanding intelligence.

Life has invested hopes and interests in the intelligence. Man exists by instincts, but progresses by intelligence and creativity.

> God is therefore the persistent creative Life. God and Life are one.

> God is finite, not omnipotent, limited by matter.

> God is not readymade. He is action, unending life and freedom.

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Bergson advises that time spent in criticizing a philosophy is time lost. In criticizing one, we breed another, which is equally imperfect. As our experience widens, we start to find ‘Truth’ in the earlier ones, which we had rejected as ‘False’.

While young, we are rebels and materialists. As the death approaches, we start seeing beyond materialism. As such, Philosophy is a function of age.

Bergson persistently asks ‘what are matter, body and world? Is there something in these, which is beyond our comprehension? May be they are materials waiting to be formed by intelligence and will? He resembles Heraclitus who said, is there also God in matter?

We have hope in Bergson’s theory that one day we will be able to defy matter and mortality. Because everything is possible provided we have time.

Bergson’s ‘Creative Evolution’ written in 1907 is acclaimed as the first philosophic master-piece of the 20th century.

((Picture credit – nobelprize.org)

About God – 9

June 30, 2010


Friedrich Nietzsche’s ‘Superman’ 

(Kindly read earlier post in this series: https://rajeevne.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/about-god-1/ )

Nietzsche (1844 -1900) was termed as ‘a child of Darwin and brother of Bismarck, having a soul of a girl under an armor of a warrior’. Influence of Schopenhauer and Plato is evident in his writings. If you like Ayn Rand, it is possible that you will like Nietzsche.

The most acclaimed of his books that he wrote in 1883 – Thus Spake Zarathustra – is about a pupil Zarathustra, Superman his God and a new religious principle – Eternal Recurrence. Zarathustra and his theory were obscure in the book Thus Spake Zarathustra. Therefore, Nietzsche spent most of his later works on its explanation.

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An individual succumbs to faith, the sweet poison, some day in his life. While on his quest, Zarathustra meets such ‘Wise Men’ in a (Plato’s) cave. They have gathered to understand and then propagate his religion. Zarathustra goes out of the cave briefly and comes back to find them lighting incense sticks to a Donkey, their new God, who has created a world in his own image.

Zarathustra, he himself says, is most pious, longs for belief, and pities people like him who know that all the old Gods are dead and the new God is still in diapers and cradle. Then he announces that the new God is Superman.

The Zarathustra’s gospel and his commandments go as follows:

> All the Gods are dead, in a joyful ending, saying ‘is it not godliness that there are Gods, but there is no God?’

> Remain rooted to earth, and do not believe those who speak of super-terrestrial hopes, the sweet poison.

> He who is creator (who is Good), must destroy everything to pieces. He is thus also evil. Highest Good therefore also has Highest Evil.

> What is good about a man is that he is a Bridge. He is a Transition and Destruction.

> Morality does not lie in Kindness, but in Strength. Human effort therefore should be diverted to producing finer and stronger individuals.

> Not mankind should be our Goal, but the Superman. To create those, 

  • Deliberate/ Selective breeding and careful nurture (Plato) is necessary to combat Natural Selection. Because nature is biased against perfect species, she prefers the average, not the best.
  • When a man is in love he should not be allowed to make decisions about his life. The love should be treated as legal obstacle to marriage, and best should marry the best.
  • Those will be considered fit for marriage who are sound in body and soul, who propagate upwards (Oordhwa Reta?) to ensure that the offspring is better than themselves, victorious, self-subduer, commander of senses, master of virtues, and not out of animal instincts, necessity or discord.
  • Without good birth, nobility is impossible. To nurture these special children born out of selective breeding, the training should include severe schooling, few comforts, many responsibilities, sufferance in silence, training in obeying and commanding, no freedom for indulgence and finally training to laugh heartily.

> Energy, intelligence and pride are the attributes of Supermen. The Supermen will work tirelessly. They will be unified by a great purpose. They will be hard upon themselves, hard upon others and will do anything to achieve that (except betraying a friend).

> Superman is not yet born. We have to prepare for him by

  • Not expecting anything beyond our capacity,
  • Not becoming virtuous beyond our capacity,
  • Not demanding that which is not probable,
  • Understanding that our best goal is Work (Bhagwad Geeta?), and not happiness.

> Every one of us can become a Superman. Let us be great or at least the servants of the great. From the lonely ones of today, a group will be born and from that a superman.

> The possible combinations of reality are limited, and time, eternal. Therefore, all things will return, in precise detail (religion of Eternal Recurrence).

At the end, a voice prompts him to ‘speak your Word, and break into pieces.’

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The explanations and definitions supporting his Superman theory go as follows:

> In Roman philosophy, virtues (courage, manhood etc) were paramount. This was feudal, aristocratic. In Asian and Jewish philosophy, subjugation (of will) to attain humility was important, the sense of right and wrong was central, Christianity is bourgeois, democratic and therefore worst.

> For Jesus every man is of equal worth, has an equal right. This principle led to progressive equalization and vulgarization in terms of decadence and descending life, the final stage of decay being revering the Pity, instead of sympathy, and the Self- sacrifice. ‘Visiting the sick is the orgasm of superiority’, therefore behind all morality and reason is the secret wish to Rule.

Man is the cruelest of animals. We watch bull fights or drama or anything divine, to satisfy our refined cruelty. We invented hell because it was our heaven on earth.

Love (even for Truth) is a desire for possession; courtship is combat and mating, mastery.

> Philosophy is a shining mirror, in which we see reflection of our own desires, prejudice, idea or suggestion. These underground desires breed our thoughts. Strong men seldom conceal their desires. Desire is their justification. They are not affected by Ethics, Pity or Guilt.

> Instinct is the most intelligent of all intelligences. Conscience is secondary (since it is destined to fade or be superseded by automatism). All unused instincts are turned inwards. This internalization is the first form which we started calling mind/soul.

Formula for decay is that the virtues for the herd (sheep) start affecting the leaders. However, the Good virtues of the Weak as also the Evil of the Strong are required for the society.

Life is a struggle, in which the fittest survive; strength is therefore ultimate virtue, weakness the fault. Live dangerously, send your ships to unknown territories, live in a state of war and remember to disbelieve.

> The best thing in a man is Strength of Will, Power and permanent Passion. There is no development without almost criminal demolition of precedents and order. We should therefore become more Evil than Good.

Pessimism is a sign of decay, optimism superficiality. In youth, people produce mythology and poetry, in decadence Philosophy and Logic. Therefore, best of all is not to be born, to be nothing. Second best is to die early.

Morality and theology need to be rebuilt in terms of evolution. Function of life is not the betterment of the masses, (consisting of individuals that are worthless types) but creating Geniuses, superior personalities.

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Although his Zarathustra is popular, Nietzsche’s other views nobody today much likes (particularly after Hitler). His views on polity are admired. In every history book on philosophy, Nietzsche occupies a large volume of pages.

His views on women, which he thought were inferior to men, a means for breeding are best forgotten.

What I am not, that for me is God and Virtue, he says.

He criticized every European nation in the beginning, but came up with an idea of European Union later, in which the best from every state would be chosen – Intergrowth between German and Slav, The rule by Philosophers (as advised by Plato), Finance managed by Jews, Strong Governance by Russians (slavs), Armed forces and Organization by Germany, Criticism and arts (clarity of thought and precision) by French, Aristocracy by Italians since the finest and most vigorous. He thought that English are worst because they are chiefly traders and have allowed democracy. English had no place/ lowly place in the Union.

He was a staunch supporter of Bismarck and strong critique of democracy. He felt that in democracy, everyone is free to do what he/she wants, there is lapse of coherence and coordination and there is chaos, liberty without responsibility, profound mediocrity and hatred for excellence. He felt that this means doom for the society as also for the great men because everybody starts to resemble everybody, even sexes lose their identity. Democracy is bad because it breeds feminism, then socialism and then anarchism.

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Like other philosophers, he was a loner, had failed love, had a rift with his musician friend Wagner, had apoplexy in later years and was admitted to asylum in the end. His views should be taken in this context. He died early in 1900.

(P.S. – All quotes are by Nietzsche. Quick reference: History of Philosophy by Will Durant , Thus Spake Zarathustra by Nietzsche)