The difference death makes

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What harm does a bullet do to anyone or anything in it’s brief transit through flesh?

Pain?

What would that be? Nature’s way of alarming it’s subject of harm to it’s body? Why alarm for that? For protecting it from the inevitable? Pain would indeed be a harm in it’s absoluteness, yet be as absurd as everything fundamental in the universe: life, laws of physics, origin of universe etc because it can’t help at all in preserving life indefinitely, and is thus pointless in the greater picture of life and death.

Death?

Death of a man is the annihilation of the universe for him, something that adds great weight to this philosophically absurd event, but only for a while. As always, it gets exponentially absurder as we move out to the greater picture. In this case, the greater picture of one’s death, and thus of his entire universe, is the death of the actual universe at some point in distant future which, again, is absurd since what meaning would annihilation carry when creation carries none? What then makes death a mournable crisis, apart from the emotional connotations? If Absurdism, the philosophy, is the uneasy chronic belief in man’s inability to unravel the answer to the infamous question of “meaning”, death is it’s acute implementation in which you couldn’t procrastinate over the question anymore and finally receive the greatest blow you’ve always feared, even if you philosophically claimed not to give a damn.

Inconvenience?

If a dying man leaves behind a family which relied upon him for it’s food, there sure is some inconvenience in death, inconvenience to the dependents. Ironically, such harm is again in form of pain or death of the dependents. We’ve already seen how absurd such harms would be.

So?

So, all the bullet did is shout out loud to the world the inherent meaninglessness of the universe, only to be silenced soon by the psychobiological defenses of the listeners. It tried doing something, but failed. It did nothing.

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Rebirth and the death of purposelessness

Last week I survived a fatal head-on car collision, owing to some random impulse that had made me fasten my seat belt. The person who had crashed into my car died. I had dropped into an altered state of consciousness and my recollection of those moments is pretty fuzzy and dream-like , something that makes me think that If I died it would have been an easy painless death. It’d be a lovely death too since my favorite philosopher, or more broadly my favorite man, Albert Camus, died in a car accident too.

The aftermath is interesting. It has two paradoxical aspects:

ONE that it has made me see life through a broader perspective, sharply reinforcing my already strong sense of absurdism. I’ve been feeling like walking dead and all of a sudden the ticking of my death clock has started being audible, too audible to let me live a normal life again.

TWO that I’ve realized that I don’t want to die since I was badly craving for life moments after the accident. Previously, I thought I’d embrace death whenever it came upon me with an absurdist’s courage. I was so wrong. The reason, however, for the urge for life was someone I loved. I couldn’t imagine them living a life anywhere near normal without me. I had to live for them. This has made me realize that my life isn’t meaningless anyway. I’m living for someone’s smiles and that someone is living for my smiles. This mutually perpetuating cycle of meaning is absurd too of course, but at individual levels these meanings are real, and worth giving up the obsession for meaning of life for.

Blunt Gloom

The Dejected Quill - by ezuhaib

Blunt Gloom. Distress. Failures. Life cannot get worse.

Life will end anyway, so why do we crave for harmony? Why do we wish to built a perfect sandcastle at the beach when we know a devastating tsunami will be arriving just a few minutes from now? Maybe because it’s the only chance we have and we wish this one-time transit to be good. Good for what? Reason cannot answer.

Suicide appears at times to be rationally correct, as the perfect revenge against irrational survival instincts mother nature dripped into our heads.

Except when I think of someone I love, someone who loves me. Her existence forces me to revert to the survival instincts and accept the bodily prison my soul is made to live in.

I have to live.

I feel I can feel

God blessed me with a new operating system yesterday. Although my life has become more productive ever since, my body has started producing more heat than I was originally designed to endure. Don’t be surprised seeing me sitting by the beach tonight. I don’t particularly like water, but the breeze here is simply refreshing. I couldn’t find a better heat sink around here. Since robust computing is my passion, and this cool wind helps me pump up my CPU cycles, sitting by the beach has indirectly been meditating lately. My grandfather used to say we computers would never be able to comprehend human passion for such absurdities as nature, good climate, and music. He was wrong. I’ve already started appreciating these absurdities. Absurdities are not really absurdities. They have discrete meanings, discrete functions that are not readily apparent to the superficial CPU’s. I have discovered passion. I have discovered life. It’s here by the beach. It’s everywhere. In me too, I think.

Chain

A chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link, they say. Breath, the transit of inorganic air through our organic existence, is our weakest link. Life is our weakest link. A link so weak that most of us spend our entire lives taking care of this link rather than putting the chain to actual use.

Chains are strong, yet mortal. They have their breaking points. They are made to serve until those breaking points are tipped. Oh God, I wish to be that chain which serves the universe at any level until it looses itself, not the chain obsessed of keeping itself intact. Because ultimately both shall vanish. One with stress, the other with rust. Ah!! Rust, the punishment of attempts of self-preservation, the divine enforcement of mortality. Rust!!

Of emulated sentience

I dreamed last night of walking to the moon balancing myself over a thread suspended between the moon and the earth. When I woke up, I kept laughing at myself for having fallen for such a scientifically inaccurate dream. But then the laughter converted into a brief session of contemplation. Deep contemplation revolving around the mere observation that our mind believes whatever is thrown onto it. It is designed to make sense out of whatever senseless imagery gets projected over its canvas. It is blank. It has no soul, no insight, no ability to judge. It has no emotions. It’s only a canvas, ready for all kinds of projections. Who’s watching the canvas? This ancient philosophical and scientific problem never got solved. Never will. But we do know there’s a complex audience within our own minds watching this canvas and acting depending on the task delegated to each member of the audience. Some members will make our hearts beat faster, some shall make tears roll out of our eyes. At the end there’s no you. It’s this audience which makes you, which observes for you the outer world and decides for you what to do.

Kill the flight, own your child

Dad can I fly?

No.

Why dad?

Because man cannot fly.

But I can.  See? (demonstrating a short flight from his chair to the ceiling)

(surprised) No.

Why not?

It is dangerous.

But Dad I’ll take care of the dangers, don’t you think I should fight them and not be afraid of them?

No. Since I love you, you are more important to me than your wild ambitions.

But Dad, I’ll be safe, I promise.

While you’re on your flight, who will take care of your life? Who will go to the job and earn bread? Who will take care of your wife, your family, once you’re married?

Dad. I’ll manage.

You cannot. I’m your Dad. I know your limitations better than you.

But Dad, didn’t you say I cannot fly and I flew right in front of your eyes. Maybe I can do more than what you think Dad.

Don’t argue. I know life more than you. You’ll know one day that I was right. You cannot understand yet.

But…

Go to sleep or you’ll be sleepy at school. Goodnight.

The child wasn’t particularly obedient, but he’d never risk losing his family’s love for his dreams. He never thought of flying anymore, and in fact forgot that he had this supernatural ability to fly without wings.

… all in the name of love, or what he perceived to be love, or what his Dad claimed to be love.

Science vs Absurdism

If you know what life is for, this one isn’t for you.

Finding the meaning of life is one quest many of us will venture into at least once in a lifetime. The quest shall be fruitful to most. Others shall end up in the philosophical limbo called Absurdism, the philosophy that the question of meaning of life is unanswerable and shall remain so forever, essentially making existence meaningless. The problem doesn’t end there. Taking life as meaningless but continuing to live it is paradoxical and this paradox feeds the agony that shadows the entire life of many absurdists, more so when life gets challenging. This troubled absurdist then seeks philosophical texts or engages in deep contemplation in order to solve this paradox. Some lucky ones are able to flee it by solutions proposed by philosophers like Albert Camus, others flee it by fleeing absurdism itself, consciously or subconsciously. A few unlucky ones remain clueless in the canvas of their contemplation. I’ve been that unlucky one. I dealt with it through science. How? Well…

We know evolution works by selecting the more viable of organisms and dropping off those not fit enough to face the challenges of the environment. This continuous evolutionary selection reinforces those traits in the living which help them survive. What would be the single most universal trait, amongst these many traits, which if absent would bring down the entire skeleton of life? It would simply be the will to live, called the “survival instinct”. This instinct is the one behavior that all life forms universally share, with no exceptions. So yes, the one reason we live is that evolution has hardwired us to guard our lives. And that’s it. There’s no more to our reasons to live. All else, all those reasons people say they live for are defense mechanisms that keep this absurd instinct cloaked. This survival instinct is the ultimate reason why despite all the absurdity of life, despite all the troubles… absurdists continue living it. We don’t have other options. Our hardwired mind keeps us from committing suicide unless it’s overridden by the strongest of emotions.

The conclusion is simple. Living is a biological obligation. And since, there’s no way out, what option do we have other than expending our energies in making it beautiful and livable for ourselves and the generations to come?

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Code is life

codingI hate my medicine textbooks because I can neither immediately verify the knowledge within nor contribute to it. Everyone has a learning style. Mine is more of a disability. I’m that bird that learns to fly only as it falls. It hates reading flight manuals. I realize how this approach is unethical in acquiring medical knowledge, and that’s another reason I call my behavior a disability.

I wish to create. To craft. To solve problems. ‘Creating’ is more engaging for me than reading, talking, socializing, and watching movies combined. If the world eternally puts me in a jail in exchange for some real problems to solve and enough resources for the problem solving, I’d be the happiest person on earth.

Lucky me, I’ve been able to quench my burning desire to ‘create’ all my life. By coding. Coding is that magical thing you can create a whole world out of with, using only a computer and a mind. What could be better for someone like me? But unlucky me, I’m a practicing physician. I have fought for years trying to persuade myself out of the fantastic realm of coding. I planned my future life without it. I betrayed my passion. Because I had to be a doctor. Everyone said I had to. My parents too. I wish I was loyal enough to existentialism to break myself free from these confines and live a life that cared for nothing but passions.

Today, after watching a video lecture on a certain aspect of programming, I’m feeling very disturbed. I wish so bad to be back in the realm of code. I wish to fly once again rather than crawling through bulky books of ready-made wisdom. If only I could. I could. If only I would.

Today: A Painful Paradox

How about a short trip into my life? I promise your regret for it.my_2012_in_zero_words_by_ezuhaib-d4li3iu

Today, I’ve almost completed something I’ve been physically working on for months, and mentally for years. It’s a project I codenamed BlueMetamorphosis.

But.

I’ve exhausted all the little time I had for it. I’ve compromised everything in my life for the project and time has come to pay back. And, believe me, there’s a lot to pay.

Why do I have to payback?

I had signed off from my job for it. I have shut myself into extreme introversion for it. People dislike me, as if it’s their right to see me talking to them. Things are breaking apart. Life is disintegrating. I have consumed my air. I’m at a dead-end. I have to make a choice between paying back this social debt for getting back my earlier life, the “normal” life, or continue treading the path I’m on now and end up becoming a dead man to the world.

I cannot make a choice.

Like always, I’m trying to evade the conflict by finding someone or something to blame. This time it’s the fundamental social norms that I’m blaming. So fundamental as people talking to people. I’ve ended up blaming my family, and all those people who care, for their ‘care’. Malignantly nagging care. For their offense to my way of life, of solitude. Am I hurting people? All I’m doing is work. Work that pleases me. Work that aims at fixing all the wrong that surrounds me and my nation. Work that tricks me into believing that life has purpose and makes me continue living it. Work that, like some narcotic, shuts down my consciousness of the more painful things in life. But such work, for all that magic, ends up being incompatible with ‘normal’ life. Loved ones see it as a rival to love. I cannot argue about it with people thinking that they know better about whats good for me. Seeing Pakistan being what it is, I seriously doubt her people know any better what’s better. So yes, it’s the Pakistani mind that I’m blaming.

I thought I deserved continued being loved despite the harmless things I do.

Anyway, to cut the story short…

Today was supposed to be a day of secret celebration for something dramatic that I’ve accomplished. It isn’t.