While in a thoughtful frame of mind I pondered over the much discussed assertion -Is life akin to a half full or half empty glass? However the analogy is debatable because to characterize it one way or the other depends on each person’s own take on life. Life as such appears to be a spectrum of hopes, despairs, paradoxes, contradictions, incertitude and much much more. There are no constants in it. That is why the Existentialists say,
‘Man is always in the process of becoming.’ Every day is a new day, a new challenge.
There can’t be any objective definition of life. For Soren Kierkegaard the Danish philosopher ‘life is all about subjectivity.’ The fluidity of life defies all logic. As a simplistic statement let it be said that it is an ever-changing collage of myriad patterns, drawn by some unseen power, which is steering the fortunes of the inhabitants of this mysterious universe.
A cynic’d say, life is a Big hassle but there is no escape and we are condemned to live it.
Then some say life is like two inseparable sides of a coin, thereby sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. When your mental baggage is too overwhelming, nothing gives comfort. To escape the heat of the plains you rush to the hills and life’s hassles are transported with you there. You do require a few minutes of uninterrupted solitude for a rendezvous with your self in the form of introspection, meditation or a soliloquy but modern day hullabaloo and maddening distractions keep interfering. Is there any escape out of this maze of life’s ‘givens’? ‘No way’ say the ‘existentialists.’
So we’ll have to extract some meaning out of the absurdities of our life by being the masters of our life. The French writer Albert Camus emphasized this approach in his critique “The Myth of Sisyphus” which is a great book to comprehend the predicament of our stay in this world.
The other side of the same coin is a diehard motivator. It exhorts you to seize the moment, enjoy the exuberance of those transitory moments which make you soar in the sky by giving you imaginary wings of which dreams are made of. Time is fleeting; the darkness on the other side follows you like a shadow. Brooding and wining won’t take you anywhere. Wishing wells are for those who act and not for those who decry their fate and wallow in inertia. Flex your muscles and make grass greener wherever you go.
The basic truth is that, duality is juxtaposed inherently in our existence. Life is a paradigm of co-existing opposites. Happiness is insignificant without pain or sorrow.
Therefore let’s not allow joyful moments pass by unnoticed. Let’s drink life to the lees like Homer’s ‘Ulysses.’ Thomas Hardy’s classic statement in his ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge’ sums up the reality of life thus, “Happiness is an occasional episode in the general drama of pain.”
Life’s joys are akin to a spider’s web, so marvellous, intricate and ethereal which appears like magic on a special morning and disappears as suddenly. Likewise life springs surprises here and there to keep us beguiled. Indeed the show has to go on. Sagacity demands not to go over the top, rather try to take things easy. Flow with the waves of time and don’t push too hard, is the lesson worth remembering.