Something To Live By


Image

Existence is Fluid;

the Universe is Multiple;

Each Life is Unique;

A Human is Born Free;

Justice is its Need;

Happiness is Holistic;

God is You.

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Welcome!


Sit down,

Take off your shoes,

Would you like some tea?

Have some cookies,

Eat your brownie!

Put on this unicorn horn,

Smile :D

Now hear me ramble –

So, what is this blog about?

Frankly, even I don’t know. I needed some place where I could talk shit and maybe, hear your crap. So, I opened up a wordpress account and created this blog.
This is a place where we can chat and have some ‘intelligent’ conversations. Well, not really!

Who is the target audience?

People who have escaped from mental asylums, intellectuals, dumb-asses, art lovers, art haters, philosophers, laymen, stand-men, sit-men, teenagers, oldies, truth-seekers, lie-seekers, people curious about the world, people bored with the world, YOU!
Basically, anybody who can read the peculiar language called English.

Great! Where do I start?

Scroll down blind-boy (or girl, whatever).
Or you can check out the footer of the blog for some categories.

Categories

And then?

Comment, like, tweet, share on facebook and don’t forget to follow me on twitter.
And lastly, add the blog to your reader –

RSS Reader

What is a reader?
Google Reader — read my blog in your mobile

Google Reader is DEAD. Try Feedly instead.
Instapaper — a boon for online readers

Truths, Experience and the Return of Falsity


When I was a kid I always thought that the deaths in films were real and that the actors who died were actually born again to star in their next blockbuster.

My fantasy fell apart when I actually saw the video of a film shoot in which the hero died 5 times within the span of fifteen minutes.
It was one of my first encounters with the failure of Truth.

It’s amazing how these early life lessons are buried under pretentious, fallacious theoretical bubbles.
How can people — scholars, intellectuals and activists — actually accept that everything we believe to be true actually becomes our reality? (Yes, I am talking about the post-modernists.) If the world really worked this way there would have been no disappointments. Expectations, faith and hope would have never crumbled as easily as it usually does.

Thus, even if there is no ultimate Truth, there sure exists some kind of falsity. There exists a difference between what we think or consider as the Truth and what we experience as reality. The problem simply is that we can’t demarcate between the two — the nature of our ever-changing knowledge doesn’t allow any permanent dichotomies.

And this is precisely why I think we should approach knowing in a different way than we usually do.

The base of Human Knowledge is not knowing.

Our quest for knowing is fueled by this partial or complete void; because, if we already know everything, then why seek anymore?
Remembering this fact is intensely liberating.

Let us not pretend that we uncover some hidden truth in the ‘outside’ world which we can’t even be sure of (as the world, for us, only exists in our perception).
I don’t mean to exclude the possibility that we have indeed discovered some thing which is universal, permanent or objective. But we just can’t be sure of them. Our knowledge is still in process, and this process includes change,rejection and return of truths which were previously rejected. The world was once flat and now it’s round. Who knows if it won’t turn into a triangle or not?

Knowledge and Truth will always be something which we put in. It exists only as Human knowledge. It is an act of our minds.

So let us pretend  instead that Truth is a story we tell which makes sense.
But does this mean that everything proclaimed as Truth becomes real?

Based on our collective experience of the world, Truth seems to be multiple and fluid. But not everything seems to be true. Not every medicine system cures the disease which it itself claims to cure. Not every hypothesis is proved right even when the person conducting experiments believes in it completely.
Newton is reported to have been much more interested in Alchemy than Physics. Why is it that all his time spent in the search of knowledge, only his experiments with physics bore fruit but not his alchemy?
There is a reason why newton discovered the laws of motion and not the philosopher’s stone.

Truth is the narrative which works as Truth.
For any story to become reality, it has to correspond to experience.
If I believe that the sky is green and I myself see it as blue, then that belief fails as my own personal reality. Similarly, collective narrative has to reasonably correspond to a collective experience.

We don’t necessarily need an outside structure of comparison to judge the narratives — we can use their own claims and predictions to discover their Truth value.

By the same logic, Truths can be hierarchic.
Any Reality Narrative which fails less is obviously better than the ‘Truth’ which fails more in experience.If harvest rituals promise bountiful crops and they don’t as compared to the scientific techniques of farming, then the latter is a more reliable Truth for the society than the former. (Whatever anyone wants to believe.)

And the narratives whose claims lie outside the realm of experience by definition like the existence of God, life after death, heaven and hell will become less legitimate as a common reality when other narratives exist.
Narratives which can be judged inside lived experiences are always more reliable because we can check it’s falsity (or the lack of it). Narratives whose base claims are undetermined are dangerous because when it reaches its fanatic heights, people with other beliefs have no way of negotiation — you either have blind belief in them or you are branded a betrayer, heretic or a conspirator.

This in no way means that such narratives are illegitimate. They shouldn’t be completely excluded. They just can’t be relied upon as COMMON Truth, on the basis of which a WHOLE society can make its decisions.

I am not really suggesting that we create any rigid structures. All Truth, it seems, is probable. As we haven’t experienced the whole of existence, proclaiming any narrative as the ultimate TRUTH will be a fallacy of presumption (same applies for the rejection of the possibility of any permanent Truth).
Knowledge should always be open-ended because knowing is always in process. As long as we live we are experiencing beings.
Knowledge is merely a pattern we put into these experiences, which enriches them, binds them and in turn create new experiences in our consciousness.

Personally as a knower, my ultimate aim isn’t to find out the ‘TRUTH’. Especially when the existence of such a truth itself isn’t absolutely assured (although essentially the question remains open).
I see life in terms of experience and hence, to me such narratives are a way to gain a depth in experience.
To unite scattered feelings, events, memories and thoughts. To combine them in different ways. And to experience those different combinations in different ways.
Perhaps this is too much philosophy for one post :P

–Dee


WHY SO MUCH PHILOSOPHY?

My first answer to that is — Why not?

But I understand why many people are wondering about this question.

We all are children of post-modernism now. We all have known the “anything goes” motto in some way or the other.
Initially it does feel liberating.
I was a fan too not a long time ago.

But then reality strikes.
The dark side of this is that no one can really counter the fanaticism which has slowly saturated our world. And I am not only talking about people with guns, scriptures and suicide vests.

There has been a general taking away of liberties all over the world. Our existence is in threat. Even the existence of our planet. And we don’t have anything to fall back on — to counter such threats in a substantial way.

One may question why this taking away of freedom is a bad thing.
To them I reply, that question’s answer doesn’t really lie in some high-brow theoretical argument, but in plain experience.

And yet until we put them into narrative, we will always be silenced by the fanatics.

The following posts are my attempt to at least try creating a position through which we can fight back –

Trying To Escape 21st Century Nihilism By Finding Out The Inherent Purpose Of Life
http://deerayolia.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/the-inherent-purpose-of-life-is-absurdly-clear/

Attempt To Create A Charter Which Isn’t Too Rigid But Which Gives Us Some Guidelines To Fall Back Onhttp://deerayolia.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/the-new-charter/

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Baboon Banter About Judging People


Judgement

“Never judge a person.”

We have all heard this phrase. We are bombarded by it in social media, popular memes, sit coms, our friends keep repeating this and even our judgmental relatives have started parroting the same fashionable advice.

Although I agree with the accepting spirit which informs the thought, but to follow it as a life-rule is absurd.

All of us have to judge if we can trust a person or not. We have to figure out if the other human being is friendly or hostile to have a meaningful relationship.

If you don’t, you may find yourself lying unconscious on an unknown street mugged, raped or even murdered.

Judgment is necessary for survival. It’s a life skill.

But there is a world of difference between judging and pre-judging.

The latter is about presumptions, prejudices and stereotypes.

It’s not based on the knowledge about the person per se, but about the ideas and formulas one has already imposed on them without checking if they are true or not.

Commenting on a person’s style on the basis of the clothes they wear is judging.

Labeling a person ‘slut’, ‘gay’ or ‘stupid’ on the basis of their clothes is pre-judging because there is no direct relationship whatsoever between the labels and the clothes.

Most of the arguments I hear against judging people is that every judgment is subjective.

It is. So what?

It doesn’t mean that we don’t judge people; it simply means we don’t treat our judgments as divine, permanent and universal Truths.

We keep the possibility of being wrong open and modify our judgments when we actually are.

I agree that we often don’t know from where people come from, their personal history, their internal struggles, demons and anxieties. We can never really know a person completely. We get to see only a part of their lives.

And so we should always be aware of this and remember that our judgments are only about that part of a person which we get to know and not their whole being.

I may criticize a person for having anti-liberal, conservative views about individual choice. It doesn’t mean that I see that person as a monster.

The judgment will only be about certain parts of her ideology. There is no reason why other aspects of her being won’t pleasantly surprise me.

The need for judgment is very clear. If we don’t judge terrorists and rapists we don’t have any grounds to stop them and we end up with a fucked society.

However, always judging other people for the sake of it is foolish, time-consuming and exhausting. Not everything is necessarily right or wrong, good or bad – there is a neutral zone when people are simply different.

Judging a person for having different tastes in music, clothes and ice creams will simply be stupid and is often not needed.

I firmly believe that our judgments should help us figure out people, life and ourselves. But if it makes us confused and miserable then it becomes counterproductive and cumbersome.

Lastly, to end with a cliché, I also believe that we should mostly judge ourselves first before judging others.

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The Inherent Purpose Of Life Is Absurdly Clear


Blue Wall

Blue paint strokes on the wall bathed in warm sunlight. Air rushes out and flows into my lungs every second.
I try to remember my dreams from last night; can’t.
The sound of my heart in my head.
What will a purple world feel like?
Yada.

Experiences.
Sight. Sound. Sensations. Taste. Smell.
Thoughts.
Creative experiences.
The setting Sun.
A cut on your wrist.
The story of your childhood.
We know we are alive because we experience.

But is it real?
What if everything is an illusion? Our senses are often contradictory or wrong. What if everything is wrong?
These questions about the nature of our experiences have been asked throughout centuries, around the world.

But the experiences themselves exist in some form or the other. Even if everything is an illusion, then the illusion has to exist. It doesn’t become any less ‘real’.

Various philosophers of doubt like Descartes, the skeptics, the cynics along with Buddhist and some Hindu traditions have questioned the ‘reality’ of the world which we experience.
However, their concept of reality itself always had some presumptions of permanence or objectivity which exists outside of the experiencing subject.

To me it seems a little bit absurd. Why should anything which isn’t permanent be any less real than a thing which supposedly IS permanent. A bolt of lightening which exists only for some seconds can kill a human being. It is as real as the Human itself. And to talk about something existing OUTSIDE of consciousness is not fruitful because knowledge itself requires consciousness (at least the kind which we are aware of).

The existence of EVERY experience is absolutely assured. It’s nature is not.

This is the only thing life grants us.
The inherent purpose of life is to experience life.
All other interpretations, meanings and purposes given to it are mere embellishments. To label them as inherent is to be dishonest with oneself.

If there was any inherent meaning to life other than this, then we would’ve never asked. It would’ve been clear to us since birth, because we ARE living beings.

Life IS us.

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Why Why?


Why Why?

 

If you dive deep into the abyss of Reason and have that insanity in you which drives you till the very end of your wits,

You will eventually ask:

Why why?

What what?

How how?

The questions will start questioning themselves. The circle of Reason will be complete.

There will be no answers. And that will be the real dawn of truth.

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I Feel That My Insides Are Blunted


 

It was so different when I was a child.

Happiness was so easy. It wasn’t that there was no pain or no fear. In fact, I was very shy and insecure. But I FELT life so much more…so much more intensely.
If a put a standard, a template to measure life — then of course I am better off than I was then. More money, more luxury, more friends.

But I feel that my insides are blunted. Pain doesn’t hurt that much. And there isn’t so much pain any more. But joy feels so dull too.

I was too sensitive towards life. I was affected by it far too easily. But there was an unsaid depth to it. I don’t know if anyone else felt it like I did. But life was special. I did not have to philosophise about it. I didn’t have to ‘figure’ things out.
I was vulnerable — but that’s exactly what made me feel so much more alive

I think people and society unnecessarily attach too much importance on things like pleasure as opposed to pain.
I think that the only inherent purpose to life is to experience it. After all it is because we experience that we know we are alive.

All other ‘purposes’ which philosophers, scientists and people attach to it are mere interpretations.
Experiences — wild, varied, ever changing, sometimes positive, sometimes negative, sometimes calming, sometimes overwhelming.
Everything has its place.

But now I just don’t feel it.

Maybe I got stuck in my pain and my anger for too long.

Of course it hurt.

Now it doesn’t.

But is it because now I am numb?

I don’t know.

When I passed out from school, my psychology teacher wrote that I should always cling on to my innocence.
I was a child who talked freely about sex (in all its variations) and liberation back when we weren’t allowed to. When it still wasn’t cool to think on your own.
I was a little surprised she called me innocent, but somewhere I knew what she meant.

Innocent doesn’t really mean ignorant or naive to me.
It means being a special kind of Honest.
Not in the Abraham Lincoln/Gandhian sense in which you don’t lie to others for your own benefit or when lies are needed.
Innocence means being Honest with YOURSELF.

I am 19 now, and I fear that I am slowly ‘growing up’.
I don’t want to.
I always want to feel as honestly as I did when I was a child.

I am afraid.
And I am not lonely. But I am alone in this, for no one can help me.
I am desperately trying to find my way out, and sometimes I don’t even realise the desperation.

The Gypsy In The Sewer


Cub

Metal bars stuck around the hollow of his stomach since the day he was born – it never went away.
The nomad was abandoned, his mother was the drain. Everybody knew the stranger from the underground.
The gypsy roamed the international sewers trading a part of him with the merchants from the surface.

If you were to be one of them, you would definitely ask, “Where is his gut?”
And there would be none.

Let your name be Alice.

A louse crawled in his flowing, gray hair and Alice ignored it, pretending to be disgusted by the sewage instead. Perhaps she wasn’t pretending after all. Alice was genuine.

A leash held him in. The jail was made up of metal pipes filled with the black bile from the surface which their citizens couldn’t stand. It was made to prevent the traders from stealing the nomad.
The Gypsy from the sewer smiled from the enclosure.
He could stand us. He could stand anything.

The people liked him because he was the only one to ask, and they wanted to tell.
His eyes would gleam with the sheen of dreams, as if his tear ducts collected your stories.

He remembered each one of them.
He remembered the time when the two towers fell as the bird went blind in the middle of the city.
He remembered the boy who left tears on his shoulders when he told him about his brother who left.
When that girl gave him daisies, he asked her how she found them and he still remembers the garden in her backyard where she played with pythons.
He hasn’t forgotten the wall which fell when the cold years went away.

When he slept it all came back.
He walked through the garden, breathing the dust from the towers, looking for the brother who was lost past the broken boundary wall.

In his sleep he lived on the surface, amidst the part of the lives the people left behind.
He worked the hardest in his dreams. Breaking and mending the weak, creaking parts – making a whole which functioned.
He found the answers to the questions they didn’t even know they will ask.

When he awoke, the answer was found in the cage of his stomach.
Each time it was different.
Once, it was the bonsai tree with thin, paper leaves.
The merchants took it up to the surface and planted it in their cities. The plant grew into a metropolis.
Then he made a red star and it made the wall which crumbled.

A tiger cub sat curious in his stomach when Alice told the nomad about her cycle which broke. The cub’s piercing eyes searched her face, maybe looking for the tooth which went missing when she fell, or imagining the white fluid dripping down her lips and eyes. Her stomach was yet not fat.

His pupils dilated, its throat vibrated – its purrs called to you, Alice.

When she finished telling her tales, the other merchants handed him the money.
The cub was squeezed out of the cage.
It trembled with hesitance. Its tiny claws dug into the metal of the pipes.

Alice picked it up; the tiger’s licks left wet, red trails on her neck.

The merchant group walked away – ready to fuel their machine of civilization with dreams that they would distort and promises they couldn’t keep.
This one would be good for a decade.
After which the merchants will return to buy a part of the nomad again.
It’s best for business.

Alice glanced back towards the gypsy again. His cage lay hollow, his eyes caved-in.
He will never see his cub alive again.
The surface which thrives on his organ implants bars him from living his own dreams.
Or does it?

Alice strutted away.
A leash has its way.
A louse still hangs on his silvery strands which may never shine with Sun rays.

The light awaits the nomad.

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The New Charter


We don’t find anything as self-evident. But, it is through the laborious and painful experiences of millions of people throughout centuries, that we have discovered 5 values which are necessary for a healthy society which helps all its people in their pursuit of happiness.

The New Charter

Fluidity

We have found that the capability of change is indispensable in order to adapt to life .

Throughout history, ideas, facts and ways of life which were thought to be eternal have been wiped out abruptly and with astonishing ease. The world which was flat under our feet for hundreds of eras has turned out to be round. The Sun which was universally seen to be moving has turned out to be stationary and the earth which was our point of unchanging existence has proved to be rotating and revolving. The triumphant physics of Newton which was able to explain almost the whole Universe has been trashed by the new physics of the Quantum.

To blindly believe that the Truth of our age will never change is naive.

We know that a human being has to change according to unique situations. We believe that every human being should be psychologically adept and ready to be fluid like water and change the form, function and abilities of one’s own being without any resistance from within. Mental stability can never be found in permanence but in fluidity.

We also believe that structures and models which mould our social institutions should have this fluidity inbuilt in them. Institutions are meant to help us live our lives better. If they can’t change according to our ever changing lives, then we regard them as defunct and futile. It is vital for any institution to have the ability of spontaneous change in-built in their systems. The present systems also undergo change but it is only through modifications and amendments. Such systems can never be fast enough to adapt to the hyper-fluid world that we see looming in the horizon of the future.

We also reject any knowledge system which has the necessary self-delusion of being permanent and eternal. We do not reject the probability of the existence of such a system, but we have seen that everything can be doubted. Every knowledge system should embrace this doubt about its base beliefs and should not only strive to prove them right, but should always check if they are wrong with equal zeal. If such a system is indeed eternal, then it will be unaffected by such a practice.
For instance, Science bases itself in the presumption that there is an objective world outside of the subjective perception of different human beings. Moreover, they seek to find out laws which are universal and don’t change. These are all presumptions. The world might be a RESULT of our perception. We don’t really know that does our perception perceives an object which already exists or does it CREATE it? Also, we haven’t been to all the parts of the universe and are not omniscient beings who can see the past, present and all future at once. The rules that physics or chemistry finds out may not be universal. Or they might change with time. Or they might not. We don’t really know.

We believe that the true pursuit of knowledge should always be aware that its base presumptions can be wrong, and hence should always keep the question of their validity OPEN.

The validity of every knowledge system should be judged if the reality it claims actually happens. Or in other words, REALITY is simply what works. The system of knowledge should be judged according to its ability to fulfill the claims that it makes. This negates any OUTSIDE structures or systems of judgement or validity criteria.

We also think that the leadership of any social group should be fluid and decided by a specific purpose. When the purpose is achieved or someone else proves to have more ability than this leader, then the position of power should be immediately abandoned. The leadership systems which give a small group of people massive amounts of power over gigantic populations are by default flawed. Kings, Presidents, Prime Ministers and Dictators can never create a truly efficient social organisation simply because the purpose and their reason for power is too wide (administration of whole countries), they can’t possibly know the individual needs of each person they rule and their period of holding power is far too stretched.
And there is no need for leaders where leadership is not required.

 

Liberty

We have also discovered that the enlightened ideal of Freedom has endured extreme attacks against itself. We believe that freedom which doesn’t take away the liberty of others should be allowed to be exercised by individuals.

Liberty means a freedom from oppression, suppression, exploitation and violence. It also means a freedom to fulfill our dreams, desires and reach the epitome of our abilities. This is a precondition for Human Happiness and for innovation, along with fluidity — all of these are inherently helpful for adaptation and progress.

Perhaps the strongest argument for liberty is derived from the experience of people living in societies devoid of it.

The societies under dictatorships or ravaged by fundamentalism stand as prime examples.

It is to be understood that a lack of liberty means control which isn’t designed to hinder harm or is made to suppress people’s abilities. This control is always exercised by a group (usually a small group) and is never interested in the well being of the society as a whole but cares only about its own power position.

 

Heterogeneity

Through our exploration of the world and  history, we know that heterogeneity and multiplicity is the essence of the universe.

We find that every society has diverse individuals and every Human has diverse aspects inside their being which can be complementary or even contradictory. A person has both love and hate and anger and peace coexisting inside them.

We believe that it is inherently good and is needed to live fruitfully in the world — to react to and exist in diverse situations that the world invariably provides us with.

We thus reject any force which seeks to kill or exterminate this diversity — both internal and external — through direct coercion or implicit influence.

It is observed by us that the dominant trend throughout the world to bond people together is through an insistence on sameness and a rejection of difference. We believe that this is a self-deflating method as people are heterogeneous both within and in comparison to others.

We believe it is a superior way to bond people in diversity, both in terms of similarity and difference. No two persons are the same and eventually every social group which is based on sameness cracks from within because it is based on a fiction and will inevitably fall apart.

Also, we believe that the difference which is so often suppressed is in fact enriching and helps an individual grow, change and is able to have diverse viewpoints which helps it in adapting to a diverse universe.

We also observe that diversity is often talked about in social groups. The affect of this is people INSIDE the social groups are often encouraged or forced to destroy their internal diversity in order to mould themselves according to the image of their group.

We believe that an individual is the basic unit of human existence. The heterogeneity inside a human being is the only diversity which really matters in practical terms. Social groups are abstract entities which only have meaning when it refers to individuals. We believe that a person has heterogeneous identities, we believe that this is inherently good and we also believe that no one identity of a person should be given prime importance in order to subordinate or reject the other identities that individual possesses.

We maintain a micro-focus on individuals and refuse to talk in terms of homogenising groups.

We also believe that social institutions should not only preserve individual heterogeneity, but should also encourage the multiplication of this internal diversity through the exchange and cross pollination of identities so that an individual is able to reach and exist in ALL the different identities that a person can possibly achieve.

We plan to explore the limits of the range which nature grants us in terms of being, in terms of thinking, feeling, sensing and existing — a simultaneous nuclear explosion brought about by the eternal fusion and fission of identities in ALL individuals.

 

Justice

It is observed that Justice is a human need. That people should get what they deserve. If a person does harm, s/he should be harmed. If a person does good, s/he should be rewarded.

The main problem which arises is in defining what is good and what is bad. It is an ever going debate. But we firmly believe that a lot of things become clear and simplified through a direct experience of the event. The intellectual reasoning seems hollow without it.

However, we also accept that there are no universal rules of morality like there are the universal rules of physics. It is based on the people involved in a situation, the context and the subsequent outcomes. An element of subjectivity will always prevail, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that ALL of them are justified or right.

People have made flimsy arguments that things like violence, starvation, rape, poverty and so on are not necessarily bad, and their value judgement will always be subjective. To such people, we recommend that they EXPERIENCE such events and then tell us if their value judgements should be based on mere opinions.

We don’t yet have an answer, but we acknowledge the fact that the current systems of justice have severe shortcomings and need to be either revolutionised or replaced. However, we also acknowledge that they aren’t entirely defunct and until some bright alternative is found, we should continue with the same institutions while trying to reform them.

 

Uniqueness

We believe that every human being is born unique. They are not equal. They are not unequal.

We reject any universal standards or measures of judgement.

We know that each person has his or her own unique traits and hence, a unique path of progress.

We believe that preserving this path for every individual and the attainment of this path is good for the society as a whole.

The value of every individual is inherently unique and priceless, as no individual is same or born again.

The destruction of this uniqueness for some imagined and accepted model of value or goodness is a loss which can never be compensated.

We believe in hyper-customization of every institution, especially educational ones, in order to cater to the needs and desires of every Human — a necessary micro-focus on every individual.

We envisage that the very space and streets of the society will instantly transform and mould themselves according to unique needs of every person.

 

 

This is our vision for a perfect society which is like a womb which nourishes every individual, helps them find their own path of self-fulfilment and derives priceless benefit from their unique achievement.

We stand by our values and reject any enemies who threaten them. There is no tolerance for the intolerant. There is no freedom for people who threaten freedom.

We are not plagued by indecisiveness or directionless-ness as the era which immediately preceded us was.

Many great philosophers have predicted an end of History — as if it is a problem which only needs resolution and hence an end.

We don’t think Human History has even started. Until and unless all the societies of the world have achieved this womb-like state which we mention, all that happens is of no consequence in the wider arch of grand History. The majority of the Humans are struggling to survive — reaching the epitome and peak of their being is a distant dream.

History will begin with the New Charter.

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Failed Paths, No More


I am tired of walking
On your dreary paths.
I shall rather sleep
On a patch of grass which is my own,
And later fly in a sky which chooses me.

My life has too much laughter destined for it.

I can’t waste my breath
Running after dreams
Which you failed to achieve,
Or obeying rules
Which failed you.

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